Congratulations to Jerry B, who won the photo caption competition.
Jerry's winning entry was : "I used to be a good golfer until they chopped off my legs. Now all I can do is read about it... once these two give me my book back."
Special mention must also go to Russell James ("Okay. The camel… AND… this book... for your wife.") and to Wendy K ("Looks a good book. Mustafa copy.").
Thanks to all who took part!
Forty-five years old this very week, three of the four Majors already in the bag and the people's champion to boot; it's no wonder that Phil Mickelson is probably drowning in the global goodwill that wishes him towards the US Open title at the challenging and controversial Chambers Bay.
But what about a man whose record in the event includes four top-three finishes?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 51 year old Colin Montgomerie, that perennial underachiever who actually managed to achieve quite a lot and has gone on to glory on the Seniors Tour, where he has won the US Senior Open 2014 and two consecutive Senior PGA Championships.
Okay, the Seniors is the Seniors, but Monty's learned how to win big events against quality competition. Add that to his all round game, his ability to play links courses and an attitude that is decidedly more relaxed than at times gone by and I suggest that - weirdly - this may be his year.
Certainly the bookies and the punters don't think so (500-1 before the event). Even Monty probably expects to be behind the commentary microphone after a couple of days, resting his weary feet after trampling over the 7,900 yard course a couple of times.
But this is a competition where the player who makes fewest mistakes tends to win. This course punishes all kinds of shots - good and bad - and the putting greens are nowhere near the quality these guys are used to playing on. The confidence of the top players will be tested. That may affect how they play. The result could be a levelling of the playing field and, if that's the case, don't be surprised if the old war horse comes trundling through the pack.
Of course, I could be wrong. History suggests I will be. But I've splashed out £3 on an each-way bet on the big man anyway, just in case.
I know from experience at Alharin in the mountains of Spain how dangerous driving a buggy can be in the wet.
Click here to see another example, which also shows there's always something to laugh at when golfing in the UK - even if the weather's poor...
Delighted to report the first blog review of "You! A Golf Guru!" has been published online at MyDailySlice... and it's positive!
Author John Beule calls it "a great how-to-be-a-golf-buddy book" and "golf's version of How to Win Friends and Influence People."
I've even been invited to play some golf with John, next time I'm in Georgia. That's the first location on the world tour pencilled in then!
Starting on any tee and finishing on any green of your home club, what would be the ultimate test of golf? And what par would you set for the ‘hole’?
At my home course of Lingdale, this could entail teeing off with a big fade from the sixth over the trees on the right and round the corner onto the par-3 seventh fairway. Three shots from there up the par-5 eighth would end with a mid iron onto the ninth fairway and then a mid-to-long iron over the practice ground, trees and a road onto the tenth. A mid iron over 15 onto the 14th would then leave a tricky shot or two over woods onto the uphill 12th, followed by an approach to the green and a couple of putts. A par twelve if ever there was one (and probably a few more than that in practice).
From a safety point of view and to avoid annoying everyone else on the course, MegaGolf would probably only work if you teed off around 4am in the summer, or if you owned your own private golf course.
It’d be a fascinating challenge and a great laugh though. And you’d certainly be using your imagination and looking to hit shots you had never needed before. Your course will never look the same again.
And even if MegaGolf proves impossible to implement, deciding on the ultimate challenge on your own course can provide plenty of entertaining and spirited debate in the clubhouse over a couple of beers.
This is the third idea in the blog series “Making golf more attractive”.
I think it’s only fair to point out that all four ideas were created at various stages of consuming a reasonable amount of wine and a large bag of chipsticks. This may be reflected in their quality, feasibility and attractiveness (the ideas… not the chipsticks).
This is all about teamwork, tactics and timing.
Teams of four see how far they can get one golf ball around the golf course in a specific time period (say half an hour or an hour) or in a time period with a set amount of shots.
Each player on the team has a specific responsibility – tee shots, fairways, short game (100 yards in) and putting.
They can position themselves wherever they like on a hole whenever they like i.e. while the rest of their team’s game is going on around them. For example, the tee shot specialist will take their shot and then move on to the next tee, where they will take their shot once they receive the ball from the previous hole.
With three other players relying on you, every shot is a pressure shot. Using the time format, topping your drive means your mate has to walk 150 yards towards you in order to take the next shot and then has to walk 150 yards the other way to hit the one after that. Using the shot limit format, putting out – as in other forms of golf – can ruin an excellent hole if you’re not careful.
One thing’s for certain. There’ll be plenty to talk about once the game is over!
Comments and your own ideas welcome!
The challenge, the weather, egos and pressure - a few thoughts on the last four days in Northern Ireland...
This is the second idea in the blog series “How do we make golf more attractive”. I recognise that these ideas may not be original, although they were to me when I came up with them. Comments and your own ideas welcome!
How about a mini Ryder Cup, played out between two teams of twelve (or eight, or even four) over 18 holes?
Go out as a four-ball with one pair from each team as per each captain’s team order.
The entire round is played matchplay but with four points available in total for foursomes (first six holes), fourballs (middle six) and then two games of singles for the last six.
It adds variety to the round, gives everyone the opportunity to recover from a poor start and to contribute to the team score and – being matchplay – should be reasonably speedy.
The format could be used between golf clubs, between different groups at the same club or – if each team consisted of four or eight players – on a club league basis, to be run throughout the season.