January 2013

by Ron for golfcentraldaily.com

ray chalres In what appears to have been a massive miscommunication today, dead singer Ray Charles and not golfer Bob Charles as is the latest to be implicated in the deer antler spray scandal.  It was earlier believed that the 1963 Open Champion had been guilty of using the banned substance until  the reporter for the Washington Post who broke the story admitted to mistakenly writing ‘Bob’ instead of ‘Ray’. He cited tiredness and bad pay.

“Obviously I’m delighted to have this mess cleared up”, said the 76 year old New Zealander, “the only spray I ever used was a bit of Brut to score with ladies on a night out. Before I met the wife of course.”

Meanwhile the PGA Tour are now left with the dilemma of how to investigate whether blind 50’s soul legend Ray Charles actually used the banned deer antler spray and if he ever played golf.  He’s been dead since 2004.

Film - Blues Brothers, Ray Charles 3 - 1980 “We are meeting today to consider exhuming the body,” PGA Tour chief Tim Finchem told reporters.  “It’s not clear whether Ray Charles took the deer antler spray knowingly or whether somebody like Aretha Franklin sprayed it onto his Cornflakes.  The fact that he was blind makes it even more blurry”, added the commissioner.

ron[2] Many believe Ray Charles was high on the banned deer antler spray during his cameo as a music shop owner in the 1980 film Blues Brothers.

More as it emerges.


I met up up with AimPoint founder Mark Sweeney and Irish instructor Donal Scott at the 2013 PGA Show for a chat about AimPoint on the PGA Tour, AimPoint green reading teaching courses and the success of Stacy Lewis using the program.

For more information on AimPoint, how it works, the theory and green reading courses available in your area check out www.aimpointgolf.com.

Like Donal Scott and Gareth McShea’s Irish AimPoint facebook page here.


bo It’s probably too late to get the same 38/1 odds on Bo Van Pelt winning the 2013 Phoenix Waste Management Open as a few days ago but he showed he’s bang in form for the event after shooting a course-record 59 in the pro-am.

Check out Bo and the .

Van Pelt had 10 birdies and one eagle in his round, and almost had a hole in one on the 17th.

The 59 does not count as a PGA Tour record.


Brian McConnell aka The Silver Fox from Bushnell golf is a legend on the European Tour. Out on Tour Brian looks after all the players and caddies rangefinder needs. Here Brian guides us through what's new for 2013 in Bushnell's Golf range.  Included are the Tour V3, the Pro 1M Slope and the latest wrist worn rangefinder from Bushnell.

For more in for check out  www.bushnell.com. Get the best value when purchasing your Bushnell from  


I met up with Graeme McDowell last week at the launch of his GMac By Kartel collection at the PGA Show in Orlando and gave him the opportunity to pick his all time fantasy Ryder Cup team.  There are a couple of surprises in there and some notable absentees!

To find out loads more information about the GMac by Kartel clothing range click here or on the logo opposite.


Disappointed by criticism that nobody in America finds his demonic alter ego the least bit scary anymore, 70’s mad bastard rocker and golf nut Alice Cooper has embarked on a fright campaign on the European Tour, starting with the Dubai Desert Classic. However the wrinkled rocker whose stage props included guillotines, electric chairs, blood, and snakes was himself stung into silence when he met the Swedish Toro, Joel Sjoholm.

“That crazy motherf*cker wears more eyeliner than I ever had on my Welcome To My Nightmare Tour.  And he wears short pants. Respect!” said Cooper. 

“I tried all the usual shit like carving the number 666 into my chest with a razor blade but the Toro just stared me down. He’s one sick puppy”, continued the heavy metal icon.

According to onlookers Sjoholm showed absolutely no fear of the demonic satanical persona that Cooper represents.

Alice-Cooper-007 “I’ve hung upside down on a crucifix while Marcel Siem smeared me in pigs blood a couple of times for a laugh”, said the Swede. “I’m pretty used to it.  There’s some pretty evil shit happening out here on Tour.”

After their meeting, both men shook hands and  agreed to follow each other on twitter. 


pic: Joel Sjoholm twitter

So you’ve hated Vijay for years, but could never really put your finger on why.  The laugh?  The derogatory tone to all living humans perhaps?

Well now, you can go right ahead and be fully justified with your vitriol with the news that the Fijian is no better than Lance Armstrong, shooting up a tonne of banned stuff to win tournaments.  It doesn’t seem to have worked mind, but that’s not the point.

And it’s not as bad as it looks, but that’s not the point either.  It’s a slow news day in America.

Turns out Vijay has been taking deer antler spray which contains IGF-1, which is supposed to be a "natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth."  It’s unclear whether Vijay rubs the spray on his balls, but it would be damn funny if he did.

Here’s the full story on golf courier.

The Oprah interview is next week.


also check out my Dubai Desert Classic Tips here

Jason Dufner 16/1

separated at birth dufner[4] After two top-10’s on the European Tour in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, Jason Dufner returns to the PGA Tour. I make it seven straight top-20’s now for Jason and after finishing second on his own here two years ago, he’ll famcy his chances.


Robert Garrigus 42/1

robert-garrigus Mixed the good with the mediocre and still tied sixth last week, the sign of a solid player. His nine top-10’s in 2012 did not include a win but he came mighty close at the Children’s Network and CIMB Classics. On the negative side, he doesn’t have much form at TPC Scottsdale; nevertheless I think he will do well.


Charles Howell 32/1

charles howell The form golfer at the moment, Charles added a T9 at Torrey Pines to his T2 at The Humana and third at the Sony Open already this year. His best result here is a T4 in 2010; this week will be his 12th start in the desert.


Brian Gay 75/1

Gay has always done reasonably well at Scottsdale clocking up four top 25’s with a best of tied sixth in 2009. However with a win at The Humana under his belt which included very unGay like driving stats, he has to be considered for his best ever finish here.

Bo Van Pelt 38/1

bo Racked up 12 top-10’s in 2012 and finished the season nicely with a win in Perth in October. A final round of 81 at The Farmers sees him slip in the betting but his desert golf tee to green impressed me a lot last year. If Bo can get his putter warmed up, he can definitely win out here.

Best Of The Rest

Watch out for best mates Bubba Watson (19/1) and Rickie Fowler (20/1) also this week. Bubba returns from a week off sick having tied fifth last year and Rickie’s tied sixth last week included a first round of 77.

Please follow me on twitter here or by clicking on the icon.


Here’s what’s in Tiger Woods winning bag at the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open.

DRIVER: Nike VR Tour (8.5°) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6 shaft
Nike  VR Pro Limited Editon (15°), SQ II (19°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103X   shafts
Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Nike VR (56°), VR Pro (60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
Nike Method 001
Nike Tour D
All Tiger Woods clubs are available both new and pre-owned at unbeatable prices from Golfbidder.
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Doc profile pic Just noticed that my Dubai Desert Classic betting post was the 3,000th on GolfCentralDaily.  The first post came back on the 12th of August 2008; I can’t believe I’ve been at it that long!

The highest viewed post of the 3,000 came this month when 80,000 people visited to see what was in Rory’s McIlroy’s new Nike bag.

So thanks to everybody who has been supporting me over the years, all the gang in Golfbidder without whom I wouldn’t be able to keep this going, my advertisers over the years, Karl and Alan in Kartel who sponsor all my clothing for the videos, all the people who have come to my days out, all the clubs that have hosted, all the contributors to the site and all my friends, real and those on social media I’ve yet to meet.

Thanks everyone. I’ve enjoyed every minute.


Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 31 Jan 2013 - 03 Feb 2013
also check out my 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open Tips Here

Henrik Stenson 16/1

pga_g_stenson_400 I really like the chances of Henrik adding to his 2012 win in South Africa this week. His return to form has been nothing short of remarkable; he hasn’t been outside the top 30 in his last eight events and picked up a cheque for the guts of a quarter of a million euro at the DP World Championship. Statistically the longest driver in the field at 305.4 yards in Qatar last week, you wouldn’t have dreamed that during the lean years. Henrik is a past champion here too, winning in 2007 before adding three more top 10’s since. Great each way odds.

Thongchai Jaidee 33/1

thongchai Parachuting into my tips this week is Thongchai. Tied ninth last week in Qatar to bring his top 10 streak to five consecutive events on three different continents. Played great on his last visit to Dubai to tie seventh on the Earth Course at the DP World Championship and he also has a best of solo third on this Majlis course in 2010.

Stephen Gallacher 50/1

gallacher Tied for second here last year and tied 10th the previous year, Gallacher clearly likes the place. The Scot’s form tends to be more streaky than others but when he’s in the mood it’s a delight to watch. Three top sixes near the end of last season set up a World Championship appearance in Dubai where he grabbed a tied 16th.

Thomas Bjorn 45/1

thomas-bjorn[4] Played great here for the opening two rounds last year before dropping into a tie for ninth after four rounds. Bjorn won the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001 (beating Podge and Tiger) and is generally a solid competitor around here although his second to last top 10 here came in 2007. He’s been par or better in his last seven tournaments and after a decent showing in South Africa a few weeks back, I think he could have a decent week.

Andy Sullivan 150/1

sullivan I recently did a what’s in the bag graphic for Andy and maybe I’m a little biased but he’s on my radar. Obviously he’s still learning and most of these venues are new to him but with a tied ninth (after a final round 64) in Qatar last week, I make that two top-10’s in his last three Tour starts. Great odds at 150/1.

Best Of The Rest

Sergio Garcia 13/2
The bookies have done their homework and came up with the exact same conclusion as me. I hate tipping players inside the 10/1 mark (that’s why Sergio is in this section) but the case for him is compelling. In tying for second last week in Qatar, Sergio was second in driving distance, third in greens in regulation and ninth in putting. A best recent result here of tied 11th in 2009, but with a run of six straight top 25’s including four top 10’s, an in form he is the justifiable favourite.
Marcel Siem 50/1
The tough as nails German came fourth here last year and I think he will grab a win somewhere this year. 50/1 says decent odds to punt on it being here.
Rafa Cabrera Bello 25/1
Rafa’s odds of defending the title he won so impressively last year dipped when he signed off with 64 last week in Qatar. Shot a 63 in his first round here last season so he should arrive very happy. And I like happy players!

Tiger Woods may be holing everything again, except Elin Nordegren according to sources.

The former Swedish hand model is almost ready to move into the $12.2 million, 17,000-square-foot ocean front house she demolished and rebuilt into a three-story, 21,000-square-foot hovel with an Olympic pool.

The new house does not include a chipping green or practice area; the clearest indication yet that Nordegren isn’t expecting Tiger to stay any longer than the minute it takes to pick up the kids.

This picture from jeffrealty.com shows the house. That would be the Olympic swimming pool out the front about to engulf the property then.

Reports that Woods and Nordegren might be getting back together are said to be merely reports from sources no more trustworthy than a pre 2007 Woods.

APTOPIX Womens World Cup Skiing Both parties appear to be getting on with their lives.  Nordegren is said to be pucking Swedish hockey player Douglas Murray;  while Woods is rumoured to be seeing Sean Foley by day and snowploughing into skier Lindsey Vonn by night.



Anonymous sources inside the PGA Tour confirmed yesterday that Nike’s grand plan of getting Tiger Woods back to the top of the world rankings is “working nicely” after signing Rory McIlroy and giving him wonky clubs.

blaneHead of Nike, Tom Nike himself took on the project codenamed ‘Tiger One’ six months ago along with a team of street magicians and an acrobat.  Sources say the street magicians job was to convince McIlroy he would be better off leaving his perfectly good Titleist equipment for Nike while the acrobat jumped through hoops to seal the deal.

“Rory’s new clubs are clearly arseways,” top clubmaker Tom Wishbone said yesterday “the shafts are bent like bananas and the numbers on the irons are all mixed up.  Isn’t is obvious?  Otherwise he would be out there kicking everyone’s ass as usual.” 

“They gave him a driver called a ‘Covert’ for Christ sakes,” continued Wishbone. “Covert operation? Are you guys stupid? Cant you see?”

Responding to allegations he was involved in the project, David Blane, who is currently attempting to set a world record by staying suspended from the Eiffel Tower for 30 days  in a block of ice, suspended by his tongue told reporters “Muh muh muh muh muh.”

More as it emerges.

Update July 2014: Holly Sonders Ice Bucket Challenge video.

Update Jan 2014:  The "second pic" of Holly Sonders described herein now shows up on a google image search.  At the bottom of the article, I have shown a screen grab of the google search in which the image appears so don't shoot the messenger! I didn't publish it, google did!
This first pic appeared in an sbrforum, before it appeared here.

The media centre at the 2013 PGA Show was buzzing this year.  Not because of anything that happened at the show.  God forbid!
holly1When I rocked in, several men (and one woman) were gathered around an iphone ogling and sharing  two pics of who they claimed were Holly Sonders naked. Now I have to hold my hands up and say, I had to google her to find out she’s from The Golf Channel. I don’t watch the Golf Channel because I don’t have an erectile dysfunction problem or need to rent a car from National.  I’m told adverts for both are all that’s on that channel.
How they knew for certain it was her, I dont know.  Unless the cheeks of her ass were on her passport photo and they recognized them from there, but I doubt it.

The First Pic

holly2The first pic is taken from behind. No pun intended.  The media guys say it was taken by her fiancee (?) and shows Holly in a white thong which has disappears cheekily. Shown at bottom of post.

The Second Pic

I'm guessing it's ok to show the second pic now since it shows up on a google search.  It is taken with an iphone in front of a mirror supposedly by Holly herself.  Again that’s unverified because you don’t see her face.

Rather than get in trouble for posting the pics I've taken a screengrab of the google search in which the second pic appears top middle and added a couple of Tiger heads!  Just search google images and you'll see the uncensored thing.

I've had to add a few Rory heads to the bigger pic!

This kid is 17 months old (and still technically one year old, I checked).  His parents are so poor they cannot afford any furniture in their home.  But judging by how their son is able to hit the ball it looks like as if they might be able to cash in with him.  If, of course, they manage to survive financially for the next 15 or so years while the kid grows.  And, assuming of course, he doesn’t divorce them like Sean O’Hair.

You know what would be the biggest shame?  If he turned out to be a rubbish putter.


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What a mental day we had at the PGA Show yesterday. First up we had the GMac interview on the Kartel stand.  A big crowd  gathered and we had great fun with the 60 second beer mat challenge and getting Graeme to pick his all time fantasy Ryder Cup team.  The footage has been sent in to the back9network so hopefully we’ll have a link or an embed code for the video by the end of the day.


With Alan and Karl Swan afterwards.


karen stupplesThen we did a lap or two of the hall.  Man is it big.  So easy to get lost. The PGA Show is immense.

Next up was an interview with Karen Stupples about her new Lynx Boom Boom driver.  Filled with Argon, I’m told on the robotic comparison testing, it’s the longest driver out there.

butchThere was an Irish drinks reception after work in the Peabody.  On the way out John Casey, Patrick Aiken and me bumped into Butch.  What a nice guy considering all the times I’ve extracted the wee wee out of him over the years.

The day ended, as it usually does in Howl at the Moon.  Pitchers of cocktails with four straws.  It got messy! Here’s me with Bekah Huie of Doonbeg and Kiawah poisoning ourselves.


Big day again today so its off to work.


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We arrived in Orlando last Saturday for the 2013 PGA Show which kicks off in earnest today.  I’m meeting GMac at the Kartel booth to have a bit of fun on camera. In the best traditions of being Irish I had nothing prepared so asked 30 people in the Bahama Breeze bar last night for a question they would like to ask Graeme and wrote them on a beer mat. So I’m going with the 60 second beer mat challenge this morning; wish me luck!bronzes

Last Sunday we played Old Memorial Golf Club down near Tampa.  I teamed up with John Farren from Ballyliffin and Aine Mangan from East Coast Golf Alliance had head professional Marc Carter on her side. I’ve never seen anyone drive the ball as good as Marc, 300 yards plus every time but alas it was to be our day.  Johnny cannned four birdies and I had seven one-putts which earned us the cash!

old memorial toiletsOne of the highlights of the day was at the tenth green where a bronze of two men stand alongside the green; Tim Coughlan and Billy Minardi. Both were young men and members at Old Memorial who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. Everybody who makes a birdie on the tenth (and it’s tough) leaves their ball at the two men’s feet.  Such a fantastic gesture by the members to honour the men in that way.  And John made a smashing birdie which was extra special.  This time last year John played the course with his best mate (and everyone’s friend) Connor Mallon, who has since passed away.  moneyMaybe Connor cajoled Tim and Billy into giving John the birdie there.  It’s like something he would do!

But what a place.  The clubhouse was immense, the bar, the showers, oh my God it was out of this world.  One hundred different toiletry products on offer for a shave! It’s a different world!

CIMG8248After taking the money off Marc and Aine, a measly five bucks!, we headed back up to Reunion for the Irish Golf Day.  Organized by John McCoughlan, Justin Farrell and Stacey Jane Williams, it was a fantastic day out.  I’m going to do a separate post on that in the next few days but for now a big clap on the back to the guys for giving us a great day out and here’s a pic of the winning team.


Yesterday, it was back to work at Demo Day of the PGA Show.  With my good CIMG8311mate Thomas TT Tanner on the camera, we managed to make 102 review videos for Golfbidder and poach people like Callaway CEO Chip Brewer, Cobra’s Tom Preece and some of the top guys in the game to show us what’s new for 2013. Poults was there too doing his thing.

Afterwards, because I was such a good boy, I got treated to a meal in Hooters!



Its off now into the PGA Show hall which is as big as five football pitches to find GMac for the beer mat challenge! Chat to you tomorrow.

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At the 2013 Irish Golf Day in Reunion Resort in Florida, I had the great pleasure of playing with trick shot expert Dave Edwards.  Afterwards he gave us a impromptu show on the range!  It was absolutely brilliant. To find out more about Dave and his show check him out on www.david-edwards.co.uk


Hi everyone, David Higgins here.  I’ve got my European Tour card for 2013 and I just cannot wait to get going.  My season will kick off in South Africa in February. I am all booked to go down there on the 1st of February and will be staying there until March 6th.

The weather at home in Waterville is pretty atrocious at the moment and though it’s a beautiful part of the world, if I want to practice six to eight hours a day I need good weather.  So I took myself to Barbados!  In for a penny in a pound as they say!

asleep on balconyThe weather here is really smashing and I’m getting good work done. If I’m to retain my card on the Tour this year with the exemptions I have, I’m going to have to hit the ground running.  I’m going to play two pro-ams here before going home to Waterville for five days.  Then it’s all systems go for one more spin on the rollercoaster that is the European Tour.  Only this time I know where all the bad turns are.

Pic: Hard at work. Stretching the hamstrings and quads while balancing a book on the core. It’s a tough exercise!

    I’ve got Jimmy Buffett playing on the ipod here; I’ve decided to give the Lumineers the month off as thanks for guiding me through the rigours of Q-School before Christmas.  Boy was that a tough station, but I’m delighted I got through it.

    Moritz Lampert O26ZcpI-Q8Mm While I think of it, keep an eye out for a player called  Moritz Lampert on Tour this year; I played with him in stage two of Qualifying and afterwards I told my caddie Ranko to call his bookie and get a bet on for him to win on tour in the next three years. He took the sixth card in Qualy and turned pro straight after.  Moritz and I had slightly different opinions of his future in golf but I think I am going to be right though! Get your money on.

    When I get home I’m going to get all my sponsorship deals finalised for the season.  I’ll tell you all about them when they become official but what I can say now is that I will be moving from Callaway to using Taylormade equipment this season. I’ve been using the driver for the past few months now, it’s awesome. My old two-ball wont be going anywhere though!

    downtime Okay it’s not all work here, when I’m not practicing, I generally head to the beach. After Waterville, Barbados have the best in the world!

    Pic: Me on the beach with the belly board.  More core strengthening work. Ahem!

    lincoln lawyer Another thing us pros are great at is film and TV.  There’s so much time to yourself out on Tour we’re always looking for something decent to watch.  Out here I’ve watched The Lincoln Lawyer and Skyfall, both highly recommended by The Higgs.  And Idiot Abroad series 3.  I know what you’re thinking, don’t say it!

    Chat to you all again soon.  Over and out.

    David Higgins


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    He’s my big tip to have a great first season on the European Tour.  Here’s what’s in the bag of Andy Sullivan.

    Thanks as always to friend of GCD Dominic Griffiths in the Ping van for Andy’s bag pic and specs.