Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Srixon and Prostate Cancer raise £42,999…

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Srixon and Prostate Cancer and Graeme McDowellMany brands talk about helping people but very refreshing to hear that Srixon and Prostate Cancer have worked to together in 2017 to raise an impressive £42,999…

Srixon and Prostate Cancer working together…

The sizeable donation comes on the back of another successful year for the brand in the UK, as demand for its 5th generation, Z-STAR / Z-STAR XVgolf ball continues to grow.

Brand ambassador, Graeme McDowell joined Srixon Europe’s Tour Manager, Iain Steele to pose for the cameras with a cheque showcasing the impressive final donation during a recent European Tour event.

The Ryder Cup star and former U.S. Open champion personally played a key part in the multi-platform promotional campaign that spiked media exposure and drove sales.

The ground-breaking partnership saw Srixon donate £1.50 for every dozen Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV golf balls sold at trade to Prostate Cancer UK, helping to raise funds as well as awareness of the life-threatening male-specific disease.

To enhance awareness of the campaign and give its loyal customers more value, Srixon introduced a limited edition 15 ball ‘Z-STAR/ Z-STAR XV Bonus Pack’.

This included an additional free sleeve of the new Z-STAR / Z-STAR XV, decorated with the iconic Prostate Cancer UK logo.

Srixon and Prostate Cancer

Srixon and Prostate Cancer – What they said…

Commenting on behalf of Srixon Sports Europe, the company’s UK & Ireland President, Leslie Hepsworth said, “2017 has been a fantastic year for the Srixon brand in the UK market and we are really proud that we have been able to raise such a significant amount of money, that we know will be put to great use in fighting such a devastating disease.”

The partnership delivered on all levels and provided the perfect complement to the launch of the latest iteration of Srixon’sperformance-packed Z-STAR / Z-STAR XV golf ball,” he added.

IMPORTANT FACT –  One man dies every hour from prostate cancer!

Astark statistic, given that the average length of a round of golf is five hours. The charity’s aim is simple: to stop men dying from prostate cancer. This will be done by shifting the science over the next 10 years to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support.


For further information on the Srixon and Prostate Cancer and the Z-STAR and all of the brand’s products visit www.srixon.co.uk

Read about TSG Charities…

 

Women & Golf Magazine PUMA & COBRA – Reader Day…

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Women & Golf Magazine PUMA & COBRA – Reader Day – The Course…Women & Golf Magazine

The tree-lined golf course at Silvermere is a true test of golf located in the heart of Surrey. The first six holes are sure to get the pulse racing with tight fairways, challenging approaches and great views.

However, the course is probably most renowned for the 17th and 18th holes which are played over Silvermere Lake.

The 18th hole finishes into a semi-island green that has been recently re-built, offering a spectacular finishing hole.

For players, there is the thrill of hitting over the lake onto the island target. For the visitors enjoying the ‘Inn on the Lake’ there is always the hope of watching another ball confined to a watery grave.

The course was designed by Neil Coles and Brian Hugget and opened for play in 1976.
Whilst it is not a long course by modern standards, the combination of tree lined fairways and the succession of water holes makes it a particularly challenging course. Playing to your handicap is a real achievement at Silvermere.

Silvermere, however, really should be better known for its former use as the site where Barnes Wallis tested his famous Dambuster bouncing bomb.

In the film and more recent TV documentaries, you may recall scenes where Barnes Wallis used a huge catapult to fire mini prototypes across a lake to test whether they should use forward or back spin, a spherical or cylindrical shape or a smooth or dimpled surface.

Women & Golf MagazineThese tests were all conducted on Silvermere Lake, so if you stick the ball in the drink on the 17th or 18th just put it down to scientific endeavour and be consoled by the thought that your ball has joined other valuable objects in the water…

Silvermere is also well known for its extensive Golf Store situated at the club.

Want to play in the Women & Golf Magazine PUMA & COBRA – Reader Day?

To book a place, email kim.wild@womenandgolf.com. If you have any queries, please call 0207 434 0995


*Offer available on Thursday 6th July only. Discount excludes the purchase of waterproofs, accessories, headwear, shoes and golf equipment. Excludes sale items.

RolleyGolf showcase their latest Golf Trolley…

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

RolleyGolfThe revolutionary RolleyGolf  ‘hop-on, hop-off’, transformable golf trolley will be on display at all its golf events in 2017…

Owner of RolleyGolf, the Aspiration Group, will host almost 40 exclusive golf days this year at prestigious venues such as the four-time home of the Ryder Cup, the Belfry; Valderrama, home to the 1997 Ryder Cup; Open Championship venue Trump Turnberry; Tour stops Loch Lomond, Forest of Arden, the Grove, Kingsbarns, and Quinta do Lago; and five-star destinations such as Westin La Quinta, Stoke Park, the Renaissance Club, and Monte Rei.

Whether the client is a professional football club, multi-national conglomerate, a charity or an individual – in the case of BBC sports presenter Dan Walker – each of the events will include a ‘beat the pro’ feature with the relevant professional using the innovative RolleyGolf to travel between the tee and green.

What’s more, the Aspiration Group will also be taking orders for the new product at their events….

RolleyGolf – The background…

The original RolleyGolf was the result of five years’ meticulous R&D by the UK company and introduced golfers to a product which offered a choice between walking or riding around the golf course, as the machined movement creates a seamless transition from power-assisted walking trolley to a ride-on machine, all with one pull of a lever.

The ground-breaking Rolley was quickly embraced by top clubs and players alike who were quick to see the potential for a unit which was less damaging to golf courses, while increasing the speed of play – an essential factor for many clubs wishing to increase green-fee revenue.

Enhancements in the 2017 model include the lightest chassis in the range, meticulously machined from British aircraft-grade aluminium for increased strength and mobility; the most efficient and powerful TWINDRIVE system yet to appear on a Rolley – with intelligent braking, to quicker detect gradients, stopping users safely on even the steepest hills; plus environment detection sensors, ensuring excellent traction no matter the weather – and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The introduction of a three-stage, fully adjustable, telescopic steering column, with a new twist-grip allows for one-handed operation, while the extended walk-mode handle, provides improved manoeuvrability on long walks, and the refined silent motor provides a greater power-to-weight ratio, for the ultimate ride.

As well as being the greenkeeper’s friend – it is far less detrimental to turf than many other ‘ride-on’ products – the RolleyGolf’s flexibility to switch from walking to riding allows golfers to play 36 holes in the time it would normally take to walk 18, while also encouraging exercise in those seniors who would otherwise, faced with 18 holes, take a buggy or simply not play at all.

RolleyGolf – What they said…

Ady Wheatcroft, PGA professional and director of golf for the Aspiration Group, said:We were really taken with the Rolley when it was first demonstrated to us and we realised immediately it would add a little something if we used one within our golf days. It also benefits RolleyGolf because it means the product is on show to keen golfers who take their sport very seriously.”

Inventor of the Rolley – and co-founder of RolleyGolf – Arnold du Toit added:RolleyGolf and Aspiration make perfect partners. Aspiration is the market leader. A round on the Rolley is a unique experience. Together, that’s a sure-fire recipe for a truly memorable day.”


For more information call 0044(0) 20 3294 6655 or email info@rolleygolf.com

 

 

G/Fore launch new designer golf bag….

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

G/Fore Golf Bag

We love it when new golf products are launched into the market – so we were very interested to learn more when we heard about the new G/Fore golf bag!

The new ‘Transporter’ G/Fore golf bag features weatherproof matte leather, tonal onyx black logos and quilted patent leather front pockets making it the ultimate luxury stand bag in a sleek, black design.

It is available exclusively on the G/FORE website with international shipping, which will launch by the end of the year (2017).

Priced at around £260 and weighing six pounds (2.7kg), the bag can also be customised with embroidered name or initials on the front pocket for an extra £20.

Manufactured in collaboration with Vessel, it is also brimming with features including a cooler pocket, an inner valuables pocket with two combination lock, magnetic tee pocket, patented Rotator Stand technology allowing maximum stability and a double equilibrium strap.

Having forged its identity on brightly-coloured, high-quality gloves and eye-catching footwear and apparel, the G/FORE brand – created by fashion industry pioneer Mossimo Giannulli in 2011 – has made significant strides in its first few years on the golf scene.

And this latest addition allows golfers to show off even more of their G/FORE style.

G/Fore golf Bag – What they said….

Mossimo Giannulli said: “We are very excited about our new golf bag collaboration with Vessel. Vessel’s innovative golf bags paired with the clean aesthetic of G/FORE makes for the perfect combination.”

To view the brand’s full range of apparel, gloves, shoes and accessories, visit www.gfore.com

By Ian Mullins


 

G/Fore Golf Bag – Company history…

G/FORE logo 9_14– Mossimo Giannulli – who is married to Full House and Summerland actress Lori Loughlin -founded G/FORE in 2011 after becoming frustrated in his search for colourful and functional golf gloves.

– A fashion industry veteran and avid golfer, Giannulli founded the billion-dollar clothing company Mossimo Inc in 1987 and brokered a first-ever designer-exclusive distribution deal with Minneapolis-based Target Stores in 2000.

– G/FORE embodies Giannulli’s expertise in fashion, passion for golf, and dedication to creating products of unmatched performance and unparalleled style.

– G/FORE’s first few years have seen it grow from crafting colourful gloves to also producing premium golf shoes, apparel and accessories for both men and women.

– In just a few short years, the G/FORE brand has been worn by a host of top-level professional golfers, award-winning actors and music industry stars.

– G/FORE golf gloves are worn by professionals every week on the PGA, Champions, European, Japanese and LPGA Tours.

– In spring 2016, Bubba Watson joined G/FORE’s line-up of elite ambassadors.

 

Used Golf Balls – yes or no?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

used-golf-balls-tin-cupIf you’ve played golf long enough, you’ve probably had that “Tin Cup” moment?

It might not have come on a par 5 but on a par 3 but you basically find yourself pumping most of your ball supply into the greenside water, as you stubbornly try to reach the green over a hazard.

But what’s more painful, the nine you made on the hole, or the dozen golf balls you just lost?

If you’re like most regular golfers, it’s the £15-40 a dozen you just drowned.

Of course, if they’re used golf balls, it’s far less painful.

Used Golf Balls – The Prejudice…

Sadly, there’s certainly a stigma associated with playing used golf balls. But why?

If we find a good one (such as a Titleist Pro V1)  in the trees, most of us will feel like we’ve won the lottery but if you buy used golf balls, you may be considered a cheapskate, but what’s the difference?

For some reason buying recycled or used golf balls is beneath many players. Yet, it was so long ago – post-recession – that we were all quick to return to the days or

Yet, it was so long ago – post-recession – that we were all quick to return to the days of ‘Make do and Mend’.

After all, these golf balls are usually harvested from ponds, streams and lakes, but surely the water has to be bad for them, right?

Well, that’s true but probably to a much lesser degree than you think and it used to be truer than it is now.

Used Golf Balls – The Truth…

The golf manufacturers have long made claims that balls recovered from water lose a significant amount of performance yet much of that was before the solid core technology and advanced cover materials used today.

The truth is, golf balls are so well made today that they can spend a few weeks in the water and come out just fine, at least for casual play. (I mean, if you’re playing in the U.S. Open qualifier, by all means break out the new sleeves.)

The good news, today, the companies that sell millions of used golf balls harvest lakes regularly, so they’re not spending much time in the water.

In addition, the used golf balls are sold according to grade, so you get what you pay for.

It also depends on where the golf balls are lost.

Buy the top-graded used golf balls, and it’s almost impossible to tell from new.

In fact, some golfers have been known to buy high-grade used golf balls and put them back in their old sleeves.

used golf ballsUsed Golf Balls – Who supplies them….

One of the UKs largest online retailers of used golf balls www.premierlakeballs.com

The company was started in 2003 by Scott Phillips, a ‘+1 golfer’ who saw the savings used golf balls offered and the business has grown year on year since it started.

The reason being that PEARL grade lake balls offer the exact same performance as a new ball and offer HUGE savings.

“We ship a lot of golf balls across Europe and no doubt they find there way back to us said Phillips

He’s joking to a degree, but it is conceivable that you could actually buy your own golf balls back after you dunk one in a pond.

After all, in 2015 Premier Lakeballs sold between 1.8-2 million golf balls across the EU and UK.

Phillips says “All we ask is try us once and you will never buy a new ball again

 


By Ian Mullins

The History of the Golf Ball…

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Royal and Ancient Golf Club

Which came first – the golf club or the golf ball?

The History of the Golf Ball – Where it began…

In the first four hundred years of golf, there were only four types of golf ball – the Hairy, the Feathery, the Gutty and the Haskell.

The ‘feathery’ or ‘featherie’, which dominated golf for over 200 years, was the making of golf on the links.

However, before the feathery, came the ‘hairy’, inexplicably written out of golf history, due partly to the romance of the feathery, though it was arguably the reason why golf initially developed in Scotland, when many other similar games died out.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Wooden

The use of wooden balls in golf in Scotland is an assumption, but without any definite evidence.

Wooden balls were used extensively in northern continental games such as Colf, Crosse and Mail which share some characteristics of golf.

Examples of these balls have been found and descriptions of wooden balls in golf and the types of wood used are derived from these sources and not from any examples or accounts in Scotland.

The spherical wood balls were smooth and thus not did not have good handling properties. Although they were more hard-wearing, the distance they could be hit was only about 75 metres.

It is unlikely links golfers used these in preference to the hairy colf/golf balls which were available in Scotland from the time golf is first recorded.

Wooden balls may well have been used in the above-ground, target game in Scotland, also termed golf, but this is not golf proper and it is more likely than not that the ‘hairy’ colf ball was the first ball used for golf on the links in Scotland.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Hairy…

The Romans had a small, leather stitched handball filled with hair, called the harpastum, though there is no known connection to colf or golf and it is not believed that they used this ball in any stick and ball game.

The hairy ball was almost certainly one of the balls imported between 1486-1618 from The Netherlands, where it was manufactured in large quantities as a by-product of the Dutch agricultural revolution.

It came into its own on the Scottish Links.

This type of golf ball was being made in Scotland from at least 1554, when there is a reference to a dispute between the cordiners (leather workers/cobblers) of the Cannongate in Edinburgh and the ‘cordiners and gouff ball makers of North Leith’.

Hairy Ball Amersfoort

A Hairy Colf Ball from 16th Century was found in 1984 in Amersfoort, courtesy of Archeologish Centrum Amersfoort, The Netherlands.

The hairy was originally used in colf, particularly in the version played on ice, where it had better handling characteristics than wood.

It is estimated that the ball could be hit 135-150 meters and it was more controllable than wooden colf balls, although it was prone to water damage.

As the weather in the east of Scotland is comparatively drier in the winter and, as the links land dries quickly, ball damage would be mitigated.

The manufacturing technique would have been broadly the same as that outlined below for the ‘feathery’, and other materials such as cow hair or straw were used.

These balls apparently continued in use for decades, referred to as ‘common’ balls at 2 shillings, half the price of the best golf balls, from late 16th century until early 18th century.

There is a record of a dozen ‘goiff balls’ being purchased for £3 for the young Earl of Montrose in the early 17th century, which would be 5 shillings per ball and no small expense.

In 1618, James VI/I granted a 21 year patent to James Melville and William Berwick to make golf balls in Scotland, as the cost of imported balls was becoming exorbitant, but this licence was later successfully challenged and became unenforceable.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Feathery…

The feathery or featherie is the most famous of all golf balls, though it is not definitively known when or where it was developed.

There is a reference in the Edinburgh Testaments (vol xlvii 123b) to ‘fyve scoir twell flok goiff ballis’ (112 flok golf balls) in a will in 1612.

Flok, from the Latin for ‘floccus’ meaning wool, is also used to refer to ‘the down of unfledged birds’ as well ‘a tuft of feathers on the head of young birds’ (OED) and is thus probably an early reference to feathery balls and may explain their origin. The cordiners began by using the sweepings out of bird coops.

The first reference in the Netherlands is in a poem in 1657 (a pennebal) with a Scottish ‘cleek’, so it is possible that it was developed in Scotland and the concept re-exported to the Netherlands.

No written reference to the feathery per se has been found in Scotland before 1724, when Alan Ramsay refers to it in an unpublished draft of a poem, cited in The Chronicles of Golf.

The most famous mention of the feathery in ‘The Goff’ by Thomas Mathison in 1743 – “the feathers harden and the leather swells”.

“..the work of Bobson, who with matchless art, Shapes the firm hide, connecting every part,
Then in a socket sets the well-stiched void. And thro’ the eyelet drives the downy tide;
Crowds urging crowds the forceful brogue impels, The feathers harden and the leather swells.”

Thomas Mathison 1743

Feathers are keratin, a hydrocarbon plastic, found in most animals, forming hair and nails in man.

The ball’s manufacturing process began as three pieces of leather stitched together and turned inside out leaving a ¼ inch slit through which the feathers were pushed with the ‘brogue’ using the chest.

The feathers and leather were wet and, as they dried, the feathers expanded and the leather shrank, creating a two way pressure and a tight ball with characteristics only recently matched by modern balls.

Opinion is divided as to whether the feathers or leather were boiled and there was more than a ‘hat’ full of feathers in each ball.

Afterwards, the balls were painted white for protection and so that they could be found.

Early reports say a ball maker would make 2 to 3 balls per day. The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1838 estimated

The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1838 estimated a expert ball maker could make 50 to 60 balls in a week.

With Tom Morris as his apprentice, Allan Robertson made 1,021 featherie golf balls in 1840, 1,392 in 1841 and 2,456 in 1844.

The work was hard, as shown recently by a review of autopsy reports of golf ball makers. Allan Robertson died at 44. Many of the Gourlay golf ball-makers at Bruntsfield also died young.

Feathery J Goulay

John Gourlay, 18th-century ball maker from Edinburgh with an example of his feathery which sold at Bonhams for £5,000

Top quality featheries could sell for 5/- (5 shillings, called a crown), though there were lesser quality balls costing half that price.

These were known as ‘common’ balls and were probably hairy balls or leather balls with cheaper materials or with course stitching and may have included recycled balls.

Today, featheries from named makers such as Tom Morris, Allan Robertson or his father command thousands of pounds at auction.

Featheries could be packed harder than ‘hairies’ and would thus travel further.

In 1786, a controlled test in Glasgow recorded an average distance of 193 yards and 1 foot from 5 drives by John Gibson, ranging from 182 to 201 yards.

The ‘official’ feathery record was set in 1836 at 361 yards by Samuel Messieux from Hole O’Cross green into Hell Bunker at St Andrews, wind assisted.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Gutty…

From 1848, golf balls made of gutta-percha gum, called ‘gutties’ began to replace featheries. Several claims are made about the origin of the gutty.

The traditional story of their creation, relates that in 1843 Robert Adams Paterson a divinity student at St Andrews, received a package from Singapore of the God Vishnu packed in gutta-percha, which is  dried gum resin from guttiferous trees especially of the Malaysian sapodilla tree.

It was not uncommon to make things from this gutta-percha packaging and Paterson tried heating and molding it to make golf balls.

His early experiments were not successful.

After he graduated and emigrated to America, where he died in 1904, his brother worked on to create an acceptable prototype, which he stamped “Paterson’s Composite – Patented” golf ball.

The patent existed only in his imagination, as none was ever granted.

Gutty Christies 2006

Gutty Golf Ball which sold at Christie’s for £180 in 2006.

Rev John Kerr writing in 1896 does not mention this story but provides three other tales ascribing the origin of gutties to Dr Montgomery in 1842, Campbell of Saddell in North Berwick in 1848, and Mr H T Peter at Innerleven in 1848.

These merely claimed to have discovered gutties, not invented them.

The first gutties were smooth, but it was soon noticed that the ball performed better after it had nicks and blemishes.

It is said that a saddle maker in St Andrews used tools to create regular grooves, which was better than random cutting.

Initial reception to the gutty was mixed, as gutties were not demonstrably better than featheries, merely cheaper and more robust.

In 1848 Admiral W H Maitland Dougall at Blackheath adopted it, while Alan Robertson who saw them at Innerleven initially did not.

John Gourlay at Musselburgh is said to have disposed of all of his featheries to Sir David Baird and then gone into the production of gutties.

However, by 1860, they were good enough and popular enough to replace the feathery and a new era of golf was born.

In 1871, Willie Dunn at Musselburgh created a mould to make gutties, which was a quicker and more consistent method of production.

Gutties were painted white or red for winter play, for the same reason as featheries, as protection and to be able to find them.

The cost of gutties was 1/- one shilling, much cheaper than featheries, and a main factor in bringing golf to the masses. The gutty lasted until 1900.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Haskell…

Haskell Golf Ball, unsold at Mullocks in Jan 2014

Coburn Haskell, an American, developed a wound core ball in 1898.

In 1899, he and Bertram Work, an employee of the Goodrich rubber company in Ohio, patented the Haskell ball, as it came to be known, in 1899 – a solid core wrapped tightly with rubber threads covered with a layer of gutta-percha.

The ball arrived in Britain in 1900, but in 1905 Haskell’s patent in UK was refused onHaskell Mullocks 2014 the grounds of prior existence from 1870.

This means that, for different reasons, none of the golf balls which were the making of golf were patented in the UK.

The hand winding of the rubber threads was soon mechanized.

The outside covering was initially a Bramble pattern, and it would be a dozen years before superior dimples patterns that we know today were developed.

Bobby Jones described this as the most important development in golf, and it certainly was of his lifetime.

Within a few years, the Haskell was outperforming the gutty and superseded it.

In 500 Years of Golf Balls, Chick Evans relates how, when he was a caddy, he witnessed the first use, and loss, and finding of a Haskell golf ball.

Though the first 2-piece ball with solid core and cover, was developed in 1902, it would be decades before the Haskell ball was replaced.

In 1967, Spalding re-devised this construction using Suralyn as cover. Since then, there has been a never-ending explosion of 1, 2 and 3 piece developments of cores with variations of covers and dimples.

The result is golf balls than spin slower off the driver, and hence slice less, but still allow control in short game.

This enables high handicap golfers to play like pros, as we all know!

——————————————————————–

The History of the Golf Ball By Scott Phillips at Premier Lake Balls

Sharing a Golf Buggy – Confessions of a Golf Addict Pt 3

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Sharing a Golf Buggy

Let me introduce myself, my name is Paul and I’m a golf addict!

Playing golf socially with friends can be a pleasing experience, add a bit of competition and it makes the experience even more enthralling. Sharing a Golf Buggy with unknown opposition is an entirely different matter!

Sharing a Golf Buggy– It all started with such good intentions…

I’ve now been playing golf for a couple of years just monthly, in the society about ten times a year.

My handicap has stuck at the agreed 32 mark; I’m not really competing at events but still thoroughly enjoying my new past time. The golf shop in Chelmsford market (sadly no longer there) is a source for new or second-hand equipment.

I’ve now secured a set of graphite Mizuno TZoid clubs, a mix and match group of woods and rescues, with a broom handle putter.

John the proprietor of the golf shop spots my enthusiasm and tries to assist in me acquiring all the right gear.  The putter is his idea, he also states that Henry Cotton had all his clubs the same length something I should consider?

This we did, I traded in the Mizuno’s (after a few rounds) for a set of Callaway Hawk Eyes which he fitted to all the same length other than the sand and gap wedge. So it was me who inspired Bryson Dechambeau!

Anyhow now clad in my new golfing attire and with the newly fitted clubs I arrived at Burnham Golf Club fit for purpose or so I think.

I’m drawn in a group of golfers who were playing off circa 15, so quite handy players.

On chatting to one of the players, we discuss why I should have taken an iron on the tee at a par three instead of the rescue, which I have hit too long.

It becomes apparent very quickly that I have no idea how far I hit the ball with each club; in fact I am focusing so much on hitting the damn ball, that direction is irrelevant.

The respect I have been offered by the society for playing on one leg has waned; quite rightly they think I should be improving from the handicap they gave me.

A bit disenchanted I finish the round in a lowly 14th, 3rd from last.

One of the group approaches me in the car park, his father is disabled and plays golf regularly.

He says “Paul my old Dad has his own golf buggy and plays regularly“… “I’m sure you would improve if you had a buggy and contemplated joining a club?”

I thought carefully at what has been said…do I take the plunge and join a club, how much would all this cost?

Firstly I would need to purchase a buggy and perhaps take a few lessons?

I have never had any natural ability at sport, I’ve always had to work hard to achieve anything involving games.

I’ve played chess for Essex a game my father taught me at an early age, I studied openings out of chess books, played both Nigel Short and Murray Warren both chess grand masters, but my claim to fame was beating Terry Marsh the fighting fireman.

Terry retired as unbeaten Welterweight world champion and was also a very good chess player.

As usual, I digress, nevertheless the pep talk from these society members kick-started me into action, I know now that I  want to be as good a golfer as I can!

Sharing a Golf BuggySharing a Golf Buggy – Who are you…

So a quick trip onto ebay reveals a single seat golf buggy for sale in Kent, with a few days I am its new owner.

Golf buggies for older or disabled players are as important as the clubs in your bag.  In fact, a lot of us cannot play the game without the blasted things.

Sharing a double buggy can be an interesting experience, and one I do regularly… my reasoning for getting my own single seat machine follows…

The Pro’s:  It allows two of you the bliss of being together for 4 or more hours. (Great if you both get on) even better if you hit the ball in the same direction. It can keep the rain off, save you energy; keep you cool and can make for quick golf.  They also allow you to carry loads of refreshments, and stacks of golf balls.

The Cons: They can be expensive to hire and you may be forced to sit next to somebody you don’t like for four or more hours also the driver maybe so bad that you cannot concentrate on your golf for fear of drowning in the lake the driver did not know existed until you careered towards it, or fear being crushed as you assume the wall of death position, while circumnavigating the side of a bunker while your buggy partner attempts to re-enact the Indianapolis 500.

On many occasions, I have considered leaping out away from the runaway death trap while the driver (talking on his mobile phone) hairs toward certain doom, utterly oblivious of the 200-foot drop he is driving towards!

Attracting the attention of a golf buggy driver is not an easy affair.

I was introduced to ‘Steve’ at the club house, he seemed a decent enough chap and was to be my buggy companion for the day, although I did notice he was chain smoking.  Anyhow we were out in the fresh air.

Steve apologised just before we set off, that he was a cricket nut and would need to listen to the test match (through headphones) on his Walkman.

Sharing a Golf BuggySharing a Golf Buggy – Check their credentials…

What he also failed to tell me was he did not have a driving licence!

Off we set with clouds of smoking billowing from the exhaust of the machine and from my playing partner Rothmans Super King size cigarette as we back-fired our way down the first fairway. (From the air we must have looked like a damaged Battleship in the attack on Pearl harbour).

Conversation was impossible amongst the smoke and noise from the engine, which was as fine-tuned as a dumper truck.

That we found our balls was a miracle, the suspension on this bone cruncher, had nigh shattered my eye sockets, my vision was so blurred by the smoke and the lurching ride made me feel dizzy it was like getting off a fairground ride.

I went to select my club, bang went the exhaust Steve was off in clouds of smoke like a dragster as Santa Pod, Steve!!

The two walking players in this four ball looked over in disgust at the commotion we were making.

Steve had played his shot, while being unplugged I managed to attract his attention by wildly waving my arms like a demented Morris dancer.

Steve realising that I was stranded clubless, fired up the ‘Mad Max’ sound alike buggy and proceeded to deafen this part of Essex.

Through smoke, petrol fumes and the smell of nicotine, I tried to play a good round, it was like playing golf during the Battle of Waterloo.

Steve was so engrossed in his cricket, he was not conscious of the commotion we were causing.  “100 for two he barked, Cooke’s got a half century”.

I just managed to pull my head in a Steve drove us through a Hawthorn bush, it spines tearing at the fragile fibreglass structure.

Out came the sandwiches followed by a flask,…”Tea?” bellowed Steve, who was all of a foot away.

Is this what sharing a golf buggy is about?

He proceeded to continue driving the bone shaking brute sloshing tea from a thermos cup, clutching an egg sandwich in the other hand; his mouth was still puffing on the near dog-ended grout!

FFS Steve!” I screamed you’re going to kill us, he had the look of ‘possessed demon’ in his eyes.

We had arrived at the next hole. “Cooke’s got 75 now” he muttered as he left the buggy parked half way up an elevated tee on a 1 in 2 camber.  I scaled out of the cabin more like a mountaineer than a golfer!

My nerves shattered from this eventful game I succumbed to just getting around the course intact without the need of medical attention.

All thoughts of a good golf score were long gone.  Just as I started to relax as we puffed along yet another fairway … I felt a stinging sensation on my chest!

Looking down I thought I was going to see the tell-tale sign of a black and yellow insect, but to my horror I saw smoke coming from my shirt I was on fire!!

Stop the kart!” I hollered while trying to put out the flame that was now coming from my shirt, Steve looked across and grinned removing the now dead fag from his teeth, “Cooke’s got his hundred”.

“I’m on fire you fecking idiot!” I tore his ear-piece from his right ear… pouring water over the coin size hole in my shirt, the smell of singed chest hair hit my nostrils.

It was hot ember from Steve’s now dogend fag that had been the culprit.  I leapt from the buggy as soon as we came to a standstill rolling on the ground like an agitated puppy.

After the carnage had be dealt with, and tempers had subsided (Steve apologised and promised to buy me a new shirt) he went to get back in the cart and replace his ear plugs; I put my arm across his chest …. “Steve, I’m driving!”

Sharing a Golf Buggy – The next step…

Next month, I finally join a golf club and am confronted with rules and golf etiquette!

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Paul Houghton is a member at Riverhall Hall Golf Centre where he plays off 17. He’s also a member of the Disabled Golf Association andEuropean Disabled Golf Association; he has represented England nine times in tournaments.

SkyTrak Partners with TruGolf…

Monday, August 8th, 2016

SkyTrak - TruGolfE6GolfThe world’s most famous golf simulator software is now available on the revolutionary SkyTrak – the sport’s most talked-about new game-improvement technology….

SkyTrak Partners with TruGolf for Realistic HD Golf Simulation…

SkyTrak LLC, a joint venture of SkyGolf and SportTrak, is pleased to announce a new partnership with TruGolf and its E6Golf software to give golfers the ability to play and practice on stunning, high-definition branded golf courses with SkyTrak (RRP £1,695) using their laptop or PC.

Golfers can now use the award-winning SkyTrak Launch Monitor, golf’s first complete Practice, Play and Entertainment System, with TruGolf’s E6Golf via the PC platform.

E6Golf has the sport’s largest selection of branded world-class golf courses, each one being a precise replica of its physical counterpart.

Millions of golfers have played TruGolf computer games over the last thirty years, with familiar blockbuster names such as World Class Leaderboard and LINKS the direct ancestors of today’s version, the thrillingly-realistic E6Golf.

“We are excited to partner with TruGolf to offer avid golfers a high-quality golf experience,” said Andy Allen, SportTrak Managing Director of Golf.

Golfers will be able to play well- known courses they see each week on TV broadcasts, and compete with their friends and family in a variety of games and scoring modes.”

“E6Golf is a well-established simulator brand with a long history of both commercial and consumer use.  We’re delighted to be able to make this offering available to SkyTrak owners.”

SkyTrak - TruGolfSkyTrak users can sign up for the annual TruGolf Standard Package for a £289.95 annual fee, which is additional to their minimum SkyTrak subscription plan (the £89.95 SkyTrak Game Improvement Package).

In this way, subscribers gain access to 15 E6 Golf championship courses including Pinehurst #2, Torrey Pines, Harbour Town Golf Links, and Bay Hill.

In addition, they receive a driving range, scoring zone, chip and putt practice area, long drive and closest-to-the-pin challenge.

Golfers will also soon be able to add additional E6Golf Course Packs, each subject to a one-time fee.

TruGolf is ideal for both in-home use and for golf clubs who would like to have a true golf simulator at an affordable priceadded Allen.

SkyTrak combined with TruGolf allows golf clubs to offer – at a previously-unavailable price – launch monitor rental deals and special golf simulator events & tournaments for members and guests, plus it’s a superb entertainment option for the golf club during weather delays and those dark autumn/winter evenings.”

For more information on the SkyTrak Launch Monitor System and TruGolf packages, please visit www.skytrakgolf.com or www.skycaddie.co.uk.

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TSG Pro Tips – Selecting New Golf Clubs…

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Selecting new golf clubs

                      Selecting new golf clubs

How many times have we all been heard to say the words, “I need new clubs!“? Probably once a round if you’re playing with some of my friends… so, should you change your equipment? And how do I go about selecting new golf clubs?

Selecting new golf clubs – How to choose…

Should you change your equipment? Fancy a new driver to boom those drives 300 yards? How about a new putter so you can putt like Speith?

Your next question should be – will it really help my game?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then great. An exciting time! But how do you make sure you get the correct equipment for your game?

Selecting new golf clubs – The Driver

Selecting new golf clubsIf you are looking for a new driver, the first thing is to get the correct loft.

Way too many golfers I see do not have enough loft on their driver, this can affect their swing as they try desperately to get more height and distance.

Such an issue this is, I have had a few golfers come in for a new driver, but with the help of a launch monitor, discovered they actually hit a 3 wood further.

A couple of years ago Taylormade launched their mini driver with more loft to help with this issue.

Selecting new golf clubs –  What the correct loft is for you?

The simple answer is to have a custom fitting with a qualified golf Pro who has a launch monitor (be wary of American Golf as often their custom fitters are not Pro equipment and have much less knowledge).

They will be able to tell you how high the ball launches, combined with how much you spin the ball to get the correct loft for you.

You will be able to see yourself both the difference in results of launch and spin, along with (hopefully!) how much longer you now hit it!

I’ve talked about a lack of loft here – just remember too much loft could mean shorter drives too (although in my experience this is less common).

Shaft flex and length is important too – so if you are getting fitted the pro will advise on shaft flex and just make sure it ‘feels’ ok to you.

I mentioned shaft length too – the average driver shaft off the shelf is 45”-45.5” long.

The average driver length on the PGA Tour is 44”-44.5”.

So why would us mere mortals think we can use a longer clubs than those experts!

It’s only making things harder. Now, although a longer club can create more clubhead speed and therefore longer drives – it is much more important to strike the ball out the middle of the face for distance.

Always try a shorter shaft (or grip down) to see how your results are affected.

Selecting new golf clubs – Irons…

Selecting new golf clubsThose thin, shiny blades always look great in the bag.

People will think “that guy’s good!” but if you proceed to shank one in the woods – they will be less than impressed!

So what do the different head types do?

Cavity back – This is more forgiving – the sweet spot of the club is made larger by cutting the back out the club and moving the weight around the perimeter of the club.

There are differences in these though. Some have a big cavity on the back – the bigger the cavity the more forgiving the club will be. If it is only a small cavity, the club will not be quite so forgiving.

Who should buy these? Essentially anyone. There are many Tour Players using cavity back irons now but it is important to buy the correct ones.

Hybrids – You can buy a few hybrids or even a whole set of hybrids! Essentially small woods, the sweet spot can be large as possible as the clubhead is hollow which means more weight to put around the perimeter. Often there is a little more weight put near the sole to give a low centre of gravity which helps to result in higher shots

Who should buy these? Anyone who struggles to strike the ball out the middle or hits the ball very low.

Blades – Hardest of the club to hit. A small sweet spot and a slightly higher centre of gravity leads to shots that go lower but if you do not hit the sweet spot – do not expect to be hitting the green!

Who should buy these? Only elite players – scratch and less

Selecting new golf clubs – How to choose your set…

Selecting new golf clubsYou may feel you fit into a few categories here but firstly make sure you are giving yourself as much forgiveness as possible – if the tour players use forgiving irons, why don’t you?

Golf is hard enough, give yourself a chance!

Next look at how high you are hitting the irons; for example, if you are trying out hybrids and striking them pretty well but they are going too high (possibly costing you distance), try a cavity back.

This is all about getting the balance between forgiveness and hitting the ball on a good trajectory to give you the most distance possible.

Selecting new golf clubs – How high you should hit these clubs…

  1. Hybrids
  2. Cavity back irons
  3. Blade irons

It is possible now to not have to have a full set with the same head type, you can mix and match.

That is why you see golfers now having hybrids in the longer irons but there is no reason why you can’t go all the way down to say 6 iron in hybrids then cavity backs for the rest if it is going to make the game easier for you.

This may help you to find the blend between forgiveness and getting maximum distance.

In order to determine the correct shaft and lie angle (which can have a massive effect on the direction of your shots) seek out a professional with a launch monitor to see the differences between shafts and lie angle.

As a simple rule, if you want the ball to go higher and longer, try a more flexible shaft – not the most scientific approach but is a good rough guide!

Selecting new golf clubs – The Putter…

Selecting new golf clubsThere are many styles of putter from blade to mallet. In my opinion, the most important thing to go for is a style you like the look of.

Take this a little further and hit a few putts. I’ve found the putters I get on best with are a shape that allows me to “see” the line to the hole.

By that I mean the design allows me to easily line the face with my target.

What can be of importance is the shaft you choose. Now we are not talking about flex here but rather how the shaft goes into the head.

Some go into the centre of the head, some go into the heel (as with other clubs), some go into the heel but have a kink near the end. But what is the purpose of these different shafts?

Depending on the shaft you choose, the putter will be balanced differently from toe to heel.

For example; a shaft that goes straight into the heel will mean the toe hangs down if held horizontal to the floor. (Picture).

This will encourage the face to rotate open and closed through the putting stroke.

Whereas a shaft that goes into the centre on the head, the putter face will remain flat.

This encourages much less rotation of the face through the putting stroke.

The same happens when you have a shaft that kinks into the head as if you were to continue the shaft line down to the head, ignoring the kink, the shaft would end up in the centre of the head.

Selecting new golf clubs – What does this mean for you…

If you have a putting stroke that is rounded, i.e. the putter swings on an arc like a small semi-circle, then the clubface needs to rotate with that arc. nd therefore you are best to choose a putter where the shaft goes straight into the heel.

And therefore you are best to choose a putter where the shaft goes straight into the heel.

If you have more of a “straight back and through” stroke, you want little rotation in the clubface, therefore a putter where the shaft goes straight into the centre or KINKS into the heel, will be better for you.

It is best to get your pro to check what type of stroke you have (or get a friend to, if this is not an option).

This is quite important as a lot of people think they putt ‘straight back and through’ but in fact have quite a large arc.

Selecting new golf clubs – How long should the putter be…

So many golfers have a putter that is too big for them.

The easiest way to find out is to set up as if you are hitting a putt, then let go of your putter and let your arms hang naturally.

There should be a slight bend in your arms, but as long as they are hanging naturally and comfortable you will be on the right lines (picture).

Then put your putter back in your hands and see how low (or high) on the grip your hands are. This is the length of putter you need.

So there you have it, more great Pro Tips from Andy next month!


By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro. If you have a specific shot you struggle with contact Andy at

If you have a specific shot you struggle with contact Andy at andrew_clissold@hotmail.com

Andy Clissold - TSG Head Pro

 

 

My Golf Obsession – Confessions of a Golf Addict Pt 2…

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Paul Houghton - My Golf ObsessionLet me introduce myself, my name is Paul and I’m a golf addict!

My Golf Obsession – When did my golf addiction really start?

Someone once said, “The key is to learn from failures and then keep going!”

Well back in the late 90’s Scuba diving was my thing. I loved nothing more than hauling on a dry suit and submerging myself into the murky waters of Stoney Cove or Gildenborough water.

In the summer, I’d brave the Channel and other exotic destinations….

As life does it throws you a curve ball. I picked up an infection at work, (remember I was a roofer) the long and the short of it was I was diagnosed with Necrotising Fasciitis (the Flesh eating Bug).

However, after what I like to refer to as ‘my lost weekend’ I emerged from hospital minus 5 stones in weight… and my right leg above the knee.

What’s all this golf to do with golf you say? Bear with me….

Paul Houghton - My Golf ObsessionMy Golf Obsession – What I did next…

After my amputation, I did return to scuba diving but it’s a tough sport with two legs, let alone one. I did do a three and a half mile charity swim for McMillan but my love of this adventure had waned somewhat.

I needed a different challenge…

Enter Amputee Football. This started but I met the England national team amputee goalkeeper (as you do), he  only had one arm!

He put me in touch with the Southend United Amputee Football team manager and I was part of this circus for three years.

Amputee football is seen as too dangerous to be included as a Paralympic sport, so right up my street.

Over the next  three years; I rose to the heady heights of Chairman of the club but again life made some changes and it was time to move on….

Paul Houghton - My Golf ObsessionMy Golf Obsession – You look like a golfer!

A colleague of mine at work used to shout out; “You look like a golfer!” every time I limped past his desk.

He was recruiting for the Council’s golf society. “How can I play golf I’d answer?

Plenty of one-legged golfers out there he’d retort“.

This went on for some time, one day he made his usual demand; I stopped looked him in the eye, and said, “OK, put me down for your next event“.  It turned out to be Manor of Groves, Hertfordshire.

Now, ‘time’ had moved on in golf club technology, the Slazenger XTC’s were no longer state of the art equipment.

In fact, when I dug them out from the back of the garage, they were not exactly in what you would call in tip top condition either.

But they will have to do I thought. It had been roughly 12 years since I have hit a golf ball, so off to The range I went.

Paul Houghton - My Golf ObsessionMy Golf Obsession – Starting again…

Earlier I mentioned a quotation, which actually came from Sir Ranulph Fiennes. A man I deeply admire. So learning to swing a golf club with a bit missing can’t be that hard….can it?

Memories of those eventful outings with CT came flooding back.  This time around, I intended keeping the ball in play a bit more.

Life on a prosthetic leg can be kind of interesting.  The opportunity of crashing down onto terra firma is never too far away. Balance and stability are key to standing upright and keeping your remaining limbs unbroken.

Introduce the golf club, and life for the leg amputee gets slightly trickier.

I had a little over a week to nurture my swing into a competitive stroke, allowing me not  to look too foolish at the society bash.

The basic principles to hitting a golf ball on one leg are the same as with two.

Obviously over swinging is going to cause loss of balance, so having a more conservative swing with more focus on ball contact makes a lot of sense.

So with a few basic fundamentals in place I turned up at Manor of Groves anxious that I would not make a complete fool of myself.

What a day it was it was! It was a scorcher as the temperature rose into the 90’s, the other society members gathered. I knew a few from work to say hello but none you would call friends.

I was introduced to the captain, given a card “What’s your handicap?” said the secretary discreetly looking at my prosthesis which gleamed from my shorts.

I don’t have one!” I exclaimed. In the past CT and I had played off 18 but that was wishful thinking even then).

“OK how about we try you off 32!”

Seemed fair to me (although I didn’t think I could be more than 28?!).

Paul Houghton - EDGA - TheSocialGolfer.com

My Golf Obsession – It’s the leg, honest…

I was introduced to the four-ball I was playing with….

As you all know, Social golf is a great way of meeting new friends but being the new boy and being half robot does make you feel slightly apprehensive.

A suction socket on Prosthesis is sufficient in everyday life but for sporting activity and on a hot day, air expands and the stump gets sweaty.

So you tend to let out a fart like sound every time you get up from a chair especially getting out of a golf cart – what would these guys make of me?

I shared a bacon roll with my four-ball partners and made my excuses so as to collect my golf bag and get a buggy.

Thrupp off went my leg… charming the lady member of the four-ball exclaimed, my face reddened.

On the tee, I joined my colleagues, hit a scruffy shot down the fairway and took a big sigh of relief.

Thrupp went the leg; my female playing partner looked at me with disdain.

After a few holes, I was getting exceedingly hot, I had secured a few points and the two chaps I was playing with were nice enough, but the lady was a bit fierce.  She was a good player and very competitive.

On one hole she hit her ball into the rough; I thought she had given it up, so returned to my ball in front on the fairway.

She was very hot and bothered and hollered that she could still score if only she could find her ball.

I returned to help her search…Thrupp went the leg “That’s not nice” she exclaimed, “It’s very undignified“.

I can’t help it!” I offered…Thrupp! We played on.

Now this lady was very well-endowed and she was perspiring heavily. Her shirt had become very sweaty in the chest area and was becoming a bit see through.

About this time the others players arrived to help in the search. Hands on her hips she ripped into them (one of them must have stared, a bit too intently at her now semi-transparent shirt on course etiquette).

Are you looking at my chest she demanded!”  Thrupp! I tried to move uncomfortably away from the now intense debacle …only to hear her shout again “Will you stop farting, you rude man!” she screamed!

Needless to say, the rest of the round was a little tense, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Paul Houghton - EDGA 2015

Paul Houghton – EDGA 2015

My Golf Obsession – Back at the Clubhouse…

Shooting well over a 100 I was pleased to contribute a few points into the match even if I was last.

I declined the club cleaning service offered, as I feared the rust and dirt were holding the clubs together.

I left early from the meal careful only to let my stump give out a gentle ‘Thrupp’ as I got up from the table.

I saw my male playing colleagues look over smiling, my female companion was not.

Is that your leg making that noise?” someone asked…

You’ll never know I replied!” and hastily made my exit.

My golf obsession had begun!

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Paul Houghton is a member at Riverhall Hall Golf Centre where he plays off 17. He’s also a member of the Disabled Golf Association and European Disabled Golf Association; he has represented England nine times in tournaments.