Friday, 31 July 2009

Last Day of the Ryder Cup Ballot

I've just woken up the fact that its the last day to sign up for The Ryder Cup ballot for next year’s contest in Wales. It closes at midnight tonight, Friday, July 31 (BST).

Go to to sign up for the ballot, which will take place early next month.

Better get on with it.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Czech Open

Jay has been racking up the Air Miles this year - he's done 249,000 miles to date - and he's only just half way through. We used to call Jay Townsend our US Golf Correspondent, but the truth of the matter is that he's really becoming our Global Golf correspondent, as this week he's in the Czech Republic, reporting on the Moravia Silesia Open, at the Prosper Golf Resort.

It's an event I can say without fear of contradiction, that I have never been to.

News from the course is that the Argentine Tano Goya is leading at 6 under going through 15, and that Oliver Fisher has retired injured with a +7.

I think Tim has Oliver Fisher in his fantasy 5 Ball, so he will be narked.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Getting in the Golf

This is turning out to be a proper golf week. 9 holes today at Haywards Heath Golf Club, which is always a tricky track - tight and hard to score on. Never mention the insecticide incident to them is my only word of advice. Damaged a couple of fairways last year, and made the national press. It's all better now though.

Then it's up to Lindfield Golf Course for a round on Friday and another one on Sunday. Lindfield is the home of The Golf College, where you can get some A levels under your belt and learn how to be a pro. Not an option I had in my youth - lucky bleeders.

Think it's time I unleashed my swing on a largely unsuspecting world. So look out on Show Me The Golf' UGC page for a swing that will make Furyk orthodox.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Senior Open Finish

A fine 67 from Sam to take him to fifth and now a play off on the 18th at Sunningdale. Fred Funk's out, so McNulty and Roberts are battling it out. McNulty has just missed to the left and Roberts has a very makeable putt. And he's missed it.....tried to steer it in. He'll be kicking himself for weeks after that one. McNulty now as a missable one....and phew it's in. So it's back to the 18th hole again. Third time lucky.

JohnD - live from the sofa.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Fred The Funk

Day two at Sunningdale, and Fred the Funk has been busy putting together a pair of tidy rounds - a 64 and a 65. A run of 18 putts for 12 holes on Thursday set him off in the right direction. And then yesterday he completed his round with an eagle on the par 4 18th - a very rare event for this hole. It's 420 yards, up-hill to a green that cannot be seen from the fairway. Funk hit an 8 iron in from about 170 yards, and that was that. Job done. No wonder he's 11 under par with that kind of a performance.

Sam had, in the words of John Hopkins of The Times, an 'enchanting' round. The Show Me The Golf team are hoping that he can keep the enchantment going, and take out Funk with a spell as well.


Friday, 24 July 2009

Sam's in there

A bit of local knowledge, great form, and massive appetite and hey presto Sam is right in there with at 7 under. Fred Funk is still out in front with a 4 shot lead, but with two days to go and Sam's inside take on everything Sunningdale and you'd have to be hopeful. His delightful Manager, Vicky Cummings, warned us that Sam was totally up for winning this. And now I'm asking myself why I didn't put down that fiver at 25-1. Doh....

The Letterman Show and Stewart Cink

On the Letterman Show on Tuesday they ran a spoof feature entitled: 'Top ten surprising things about Stewart Cink.' And the number one item was the admission by Cink, the new Open Champion, that "even I wanted Tom Watson to win." What a top man. Just going to sort out the link. It will be on Show Me The Golf shortly......But if you can't wait....try this....

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Senior Open Day One

So with only a couple of days off, Tom Watson was at it again with a three-under 67 in the first round of the Senior British Open. Steady on lad. But that still wasn't enough to lead, as Fred Funk shot a 64, with Jay Haas and Loren Roberts both shooting 66's to share second place with Des Smyth and Christopher Williams.

Our Sam - sorry, Mr Torrance to me - shot an excellent three under 67 as well, so he's toe to toe with Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Greg Norman and Jerry Bruner.

Can't wait for tomorrow. Playing golf and then getting immersed with the second round. Can't be bad.


Senior Open Time

Tim and I had a full on golf day yesterday - 18 holes at Woking, followed by a trip up to Sunningdale. Woking is pure magic, with some of the best greens I have played on in a long while. My putter was so hot, it was burning up the greens - but I think it was as much to do with the honesty of the greens. You could really trust them.

Then it was onto Sunningdale to meet with Jay Townsend, Show Me The Golf's US correspondent and general golf guru. Jay has one hell of a travel schedule, and I've never met a man with the more airmiles. He's already racked up 249,000 miles this year, and he's only mid way through the season. He's covering the British Senior Masters, before taking off to the Czech Republic, Germany and Swtizerland.

It was great walking round Sunningdale, as there were more major winners and golf legends per sqaure foot than I've ever seen in my life. Oh, there's Craig Stadler. And isn't that Sir Nick practicing his bunker shots. And that was just minute one.

We also managed to meet up Show Me The Golf legend and contributor, Sam Torrance, as he was playing his practice round with Ian Woosnam and Greg Norman.

I'm going to get back for the Saturday's play if I get half a chance. The train station is right by, and for £25 you can see some of the greatest players who have ever trodden the green stuff.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Open Calm Down Session

It's the morning after, and time to digest all that occurred. Well, after watching England win at Lords that is. A Tom Watson or Lee Westwood victory would have made it a crowning glory of a weekend's sport - one that sticks in the memory long after. But it was not quite to be. So we are drowning our sorrows in a few pints of Stowford Press cider - not rocket fuel at 4.5% ABV, but more than enough for a Monday afternoon. And the verdict is that Lee should have made Tom putt with a safe two rather than go for it. Easy to say after the event, but that's the Show Me The Golf conclusion after our third pint and counting. Hardly revelatory I know, but that's where we have come out. Would Lee have won a play off against Cink - who knows? Cink played the 18th twice with birdies, and the 17th with an eagle and a birdie, so you can't argue with that. But not on the radar, and really did a creeper in. But lovely fellow, and there couldn't be a nicer American to win it. Other than Mr Watson. Hey ho. Another year to wait.


Saturday, 18 July 2009

Open Day Two Late Night Musings

Was it my imagination or did the crowds look pretty thin at Turnberry? The normal army that follows Tiger around seemed a bit thin on the ground for a start, and then loads of space in the stands. Is this the credit crunch Open, or the too bloody difficult to get there Open? And can we blame Gordon Brown? The Show Me The Golf team didn't all manage to get there for a start. But that won't happen again. That said, I've seen more golf in the last two days than I've seen in my past five years going there - but that still isn't the point is it really. I should be there. Damn it to hell and back.


Friday, 17 July 2009

And win a trip to St Mellion

And there's more. Go to our competition page and you can win a trip to St Mellion, the most fabulous course in the South West of England, and a right hard one to boot. Designed by that nice Mr Nicklaus, it's as hard as hell.


Competition Time - Win A Maurice Lacroix Watch

We've got a brand new competition at Show Me The Golf - the opportunity to win a Maurice Lacroix watch, as worn by Justin Rose, worth £995.00! So if it's time to turn in your old Timex, step right up and come on in to our competition page.

And why does Justin Rose wear a Maurice Lacroix?

Here's the skinny..

Luxury must serve a purpose. In Justin Rose's opinion. Consequently the British golf pro likes the chronographs from Maurice Lacroix. This appreciation is mutual. "We could not desire a better ambassador for our company. We create watches for people who have the confidence to be themselves. Personalities who stand out from the crowd and are looking for more than social status." This is how CEO Martin Bachmann defines the people that Maurice Lacroix esteems. This profile fits Justin Rose perfectly. With his natural charisma and pleasant yet focused manner, the British golfer uniquely embodies the spirit of Maurice Lacroix.

"Authenticity is not a marketing slogan for us, it is a state of mind. Our fundamental desire is to create products that are genuine and true, whose actual value is not only in what can be seen," explains Martin Bachmann, CEO. Through the company's main design code 'less is more', Maurice Lacroix is constantly at the quest of creating the perfect object of desire merging perfectly design and function. This is why Maurice Lacroix has become one of the most exclusive and sought-after Manufacture brands.

For Justin Rose, 27 year old world class player, it is important to be in demand, and not just on the golf course. He lives his dream, yet keeps his feet on the ground, and is always conscious of what really counts in life. Loyalty. To himself and to others. Whatever he does, he does with passion. Justin Rose: "On the course I am a golfer and nothing else: absolute precision and accuracy of movement are all that count for me. In my private life I switch over and I am there for those I love, 100%. I am husband and father, friend and brother. I always try to live in the here and now."

The things with which Justin Rose, member of the 2008 Ryder Cup team, surrounds himself must reflect his attitude and provide meaningful accompaniment to his life. "I am interested in the best quality, because I want to have something from the things around me for a long time and I must be able to rely on them. For me the design is every bit as important as the function. Ostentation for the wrist and bling bling do not fit into my world." It is the hidden details that interest and fascinate the athlete.

The master watchmakers of Maurice Lacroix are experts in this field. Since the launch of the first watch model, the company has consistently introduced pioneering developments that have brought the company many patents and trademarks. The company achieved a worldwide coup with the invention of Memoire 1, the first mechanical clock with memory. Which model is Justin Rose's favorite? "The fact that I can only wear one watch at a time is a real handicap for me. Currently the 'Le Chronographe' is my favorite companion."


1. Movement: Hand-decorated mechanical, hand-wound ML 130 movement, based on the Peseux 7001 calibre, 17 jewels.

2. Functions: Small seconds.

3. Case: Stainless steel; domed sapphire crystal, screwed-in crown, screwed crystal caseback; water-resistant to 30 m (3 atu), dimensions 37 x 39 mm (3 o.clock / 9 o.clock / 6 o.clock / 12 o.clock).

4. Dial: Silver-coloured or black, applied index marks.

5. Watchband: Leather with folding clasp.

Available to buy from : Jura Watches tel: 0800 011 2704

Open Day Two and Counting

So day two has kicked off, and already Tom Watson is back at the head of the leaderboard. It looks like Poults is going to be watching from home at the weekend, but he did a great piece on his Twittering for the BBC this morning. He’s really got into, and hats off to him for that. Funnily enough it was Stewart Cink how was the first golfer to Twitter, who is not the most likely candidate. But he’s on the case, and was Twittering as soon as he had got back to his hotel room yesterday after his round – trying to get some air circulating in the room. I know the American’s still can’t get their heads around our lack of air-conditioning or our plumbing. Remember meeting Pat Perez last year at the Vincent in Southport: he’d checked into his original Southport hotel room, taken one look it, and bolted to The Vincent – the only hotel in Southport to have entered the 21st century, and by some margin.

Right, better get back to the TV. Everyone's struggling, but the Show Me the Golf fiver is still in play.


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Open Day One

Knackered. We had a pre-Open celebration last night as the anticipation had just got too much for us. And as we are too busy with the site, we haven't been able to find the time to get up there. First Open I've missed since 2002. But I will actually see more by watching it on telly, but its simply not the same as being there.

Anyway, what a corking start. Tom Watson almost finished the day as clubhouse leader, a mere 32 years after the dual in the sun. What a weird game - a 59 year old can compete against an 18 year old and still come out on top. You'd have got 200- 1 for that, but as it didn't happen je ne regret rien.

The 16th certainly stuck it to a few players - not least Lee Westwood and Tiger. Tiger is often a slow starter, so I don't think he's too badly off the pace: but he needs to slot in a good one tomorrow or it could quickly get away from him. And the same goes for Poults. And some. Come on Poults, let's be having you.

Casey looked all set to go major on the course, and the touch-paper was well lit, only to be slightly dampened by the 18th. But he's still in position - just needs to get the putter working full-time.

I've had all day in front of the TV, but I've just worked out why there are no highlights tonight - apparently Setanta had the highlights rights and now they have gone under there hasn't been a new buyer - and so no highlights. Come on people, sort yourselves out.

And so to bed - I'm sad so will probably be thinking of Retief's bunker shot, which had to be shot of the day.

But the final word lies with Miguel AngelJimenez, the one and only wine drinking, cigar chomping Spanish golf maestro. His 64 is a record equalling first round for The Open, and he dedicated it to Seve. Of course Miguel doesn't have a website - not his style at all. But he's so unflappable that I think he could be in the mix on Sunday.


Sunday, 12 July 2009

Scottish Open...Kaymer Wins

So Martin Kaymer has won the Scottish Open with a 2 under 69 for his second straight European Tour victory, after his play-off victory against Lee Westwood in the French Open. He's now gone to No 11 in the world, and must be feeling good about The Open, even though no-one seems to do that well having won the Scottish. It's not quite as bad as winning the par 3 event at The Masters, but I'm going to have to get the record books out to make any claims like that. But three wins in a row? How often does that happen? Need a word with Stato on that front, if he does golf that is. Like Martin Kaymer, Stato doesn't seem to have his own website either. They should get in touch as the Show Me The Golf team could whip one up for him in a couple of hours. And Martin, come on mate, I know you've been busy on the course and all that, but not having a website in this day and age is a bit luddite.


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Scottish Open...and another thing

One burning question that we have been kicking around down at Show Me The Golf is why is the Scottish Open played at Loch Lomond - an inland course - when it could be held at a links course?

Is it because they don't want to overshadow The Open itself, which is always links? Would that be giving us too much links in too short a space of time? Wouldn't bother me, and it would mean that you'd get a great field attending, who wanted a bit of a links warm up before taking on The Open course. Padraig has had to go to Ireland to get his links practice in, but surely would have attended the Scottish Open if it had been held at one of Scotland's lesser links courses. Better for the crowds, TV watchers and sponsors I would have thought. Or am I missing something?


The Open Run In

Sad to hear the Phil Mickelson won't be at The Open. He will be sorely missed, just as Tiger was last year. Well, Tiger was missed before the event, but as soon as things got going and the weather blew in to create a golfing apocalypse, it was a bit of a case of Tiger who? Maybe exaggerating slightly, but the weather became the story, and then Greg Norman, and then Poults and then Harrington.

We spend a couple of hours each day on the 17th at Royal Birkdale, so when Padraig cracked his 5 wood on to the green on the final day, we appreciated just how great a shot it had been. In all the hours we had spent on the 17th before then, no body had managed to do much. We saw a lovely up and down from Lee Westwood from the green side bunker, but that was about it.

So, will there be a UK or European winner? Probably not. I hope Padraig will get in the mix; the hunger is so clearly there. Rory you would think could be in there - hits the ball high, which isn't great if the wind is up, but he grew up playing Northern Irish links golf, so he knows his way round. You'd like to think Poults will give it a go, but apparently he's never played Turnberry before, so might be at a slight disadvantage.

I'm just hoping it won't be an obscure American - no disrespect to Todd Hamilton or Ben Curtis, who I was delighted to see playing well at The European Open. Hats off again to the Heath Harvey at The London Club for putting on such as great show.

So no final decision as to where the Show Me The Golf fiver will be spent. Let's see what Padraig does today, and how the Scottish Open plays out.


Friday, 10 July 2009

Scottish Open

Adam Scott is coming good again, at last. We all know he's had a bad go of it recently, and that he's far too good looking for his own good. But we'll forgive him for that. Well, almost. He came and visited us on our tour bus when we were doing Golf Punk, but I think he may have been lured in by Nursie. But it's Retief who is looking in control with a round of 63. He's good at leading from the front, but if he gets this he's got no chance at The Open.


Harrington On Course

So the preparation work continues to go to plan, as Padraig takes a 4 shot lead into tomorrow's final round with a two over par 73, from England's Simon Thornton. OK, so it wasn't a perfect round, but there can surely be no better way of preparing for The Open than getting a win under your belt immediately beforehand, and having the day off on Sunday as well. And it worked for him in 2007 and 2008. This is looking like one hell of a cunning plan.

The Show Me The Golf fiver could be moving his way.


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Harrington Prepares...

It's not been much of a year so far for Padraig, with five cuts in a row missed, including the French Open. But clearly he has got his eyes still firmly fixed on the big one - The Open. And appears to be adopting a cute strategy to get himself back in the swing of things.

Rather than play in the Scottish Open against the likes of Ernie Els, Graham McDowell, Angel Cabrera, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomery, Padraig's teeing it up at the Irish PGA Championship, playing against club pros and tour hopefuls. He's done this before - winning at The European Club, south of Dublin, in 2007 and 2008 and then going on to pick up the Claret Jug both times.

He's also been keeping the driver in his bag, and resorting to long irons and at most a 3 Wood off the tee. The rough is apparently pretty tortuous at Turnberry, and it's set up the same at the European Club - long, and tight to the fairways. So he's rebuilding his confidence of the tees, which has been letting him down of late.

So I'm thinking it's not time to write Padraig out of The Open picture. Class is permanent, form is temporary, or words to that effect. I think some Show Me The Golf money could still be going his way.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Legend that is Chubby Chandler

Tim and I hopped in the motor at the crack of sparrow's yesterday morning to go and visit the legend that is Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler. We had some interesting video ideas for Chubby, and he gave us a fair hearing, so now we are sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. Chubby has put together an awesome stable of golfing talent; half the Ryder Cup team, and half the England Cricket team as well.

His golfers include Lee Westwood, Rory Mcilroy, Ernie Els, Paul Mckinley, Darren Clarke, David Howell. I could go on, but I haven't got all day. And I won't even start on the cricketers. 

Lee was very unlucky to miss out in France, but the ISM team were all pretty bouyant about his performance. Great to be finding some serious form coming into The Scottish Open, and The Open.

Then it was back in the motor, and another four hours of driving. So eight hours in the car for a one hour meeting. We must be committed or committable - or a bit of both.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Viva La Manga!

I’ve just flown in from a glorious 4 days at La Manga, where I managed to play two rounds – one on the South and one on the North course – before getting down to work filming a couple of Hell Holes and a HILF for

It was my first time at La Manga, so I didn’t really know quite what to expect. I guess I’ve grown up with La Manga always lurking somewhere in the distant background of my consciousness, but never knew what it was all about and whether or not it would really be for me. I’ve never really been one for a resort holiday, so I probably came in with a few preconceptions and a little bit of baggage. Well, not much baggage at all actually, as I took the golf club rental option, and an excellent decision it was too – a very nice set of Callaways, and a Big Bertha that I just kept on hitting straight. It’s always a good sign when the rental clubs are decent; it just shows that they take their golf seriously.

The South course is definitely the tougher of the two courses, and at 6,499 metres off the Whites and 6, 127 off the Yellows it’s not short. It’s the perfect course to play a competitive event on as it is fundamentally fair and transparent in that you won’t be at a disadvantage if you’ve not played it before. There are no significant elevations, but plenty of water to avoid as well as some massive ditches which are strategically placed to take your round apart. And lots and lots of palm trees – the resort’s emblem. Apparently there are over two thousand palm trees across the estate; my kind of tree really – not much foliage and therefore quite hard to hit.

On the subject of ditches, the 18th particularly comes to mind, and we’ve filmed it as a Hell Hole. It starts with a tricky drive – water to the left and right and a dirty great bunker slap bang in the middle of the fairway. Survive all that and you are then faced with a death or glory option – everything you’ve got to get over the ditch – well, more like a gorge – or lay-up. For me it wasn’t a hard choice, but if you’re got to post a score in a competition, you could be tempted. And there’s no margin for error. And if you get the distance, then there’s the odd bunker or 4 to avoid. But apart from that, no dramas!

The North Course is much more of a chill out course – a perfect remedy if you’ve been beaten up on the South Course, and want to remind yourself why you actually love golf. I shot the lights out on the front 9 – 21 Stapleford points I thank you - but lost concentration in the heat and limped in with an apologetic 11 more points. But I know there is a good score out there to be had, and at 5429 metres off the Yellows you don’t need to be hitting the ball long.

Between the three courses there’s plenty of variety, which is essential if you’re going to spend more a week at a resort. What I also loved is the fact that two of the courses start and finish right in the heart of the resort, so you really feel that golf is central to the whole experience, and not a side show.

On the non-golfing front I have to report that all is dandy. There’s a great pool, generous, modern and comfortable rooms with great beds – not something ever to be underestimated- and a wide choice of restaurants so you never have to eat in the same place twice – unless you want to of course, and the final restaurant of our visit is a place I’d go back to in a heartbeat.
The resort has a little beach area where La Cala serves some fabulous sea food – we had wonderful prawns and a Cuttlefish served whole and in garlic.

We flew out with Monarch Airlines, who fly into Alicante from London Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton, and Manchester. They also fly into Murcia from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester – sorry Luton. Fares, including taxes, start from £46.50 one way and £76.99 return. I’d recommend the return option as my swimming isn’t up to much, especially when I am taking my clubs with me.

We were also joined on the trip by our new travel partners- – where you can get more details on how to get yourselves out to La Manga.