Golf Yoga
8/6/2011 4:21:28 PM
The connection between between being fit and hitting the ball a long way is not a hard one to establish, but too often we focus on strength training when we need to remember that being flexible is critical in the golf swing. I firmly believe in yoga for the golf swing and I'm not alone in my thinking, a lot of the top pros are using yoga as a secret way of getting a couple of extra yards and improving their overall fitness. Give it a try, you'll thank me for it - eventually :)


Zimbali Preview
11/23/2010 7:01:42 AM
I will be playing Zimbali this week as part of my summer review season, and from what I hear it not only has excellent facilities and service but provides an exceptional test to the golfer. Stay tuned for further updates, pics and vids. Here is a picture to wet your appetite!
Smash it loooong!
7/5/2010 5:56:01 PM
Hitting a long drive is one of the most satisfying things you can do in golf, in order to hit a long ball it is important to remember not to strangle the turkey! Keep your grip pressure light, your grip will tighten by 5 times your initial pressure on the downswing. So to go long, relax!


2010 - Exciting new equipment
2/3/2010 7:36:48 AM
It feels like I was unwrapping socks and jox a week ago and it's already feb, my how time does fly. So looking forward into 2010 what can we expect from the golfing manufacturers? TM has released their new 5 piece ball that really looks great, has excellent feel but is it better than my Zstar or ProV1? Sorry, not yet. I'm sure we will see a number of die hard TP fans playing the new ball but it's just not enough for me (and others I would presume) to switch... unless TM are going to sign my powerball cheque? TM are also releasing a new range of MWT wedges, I don't really know if the market is ready for that yet. Time will tell. They also have the new R9 SuperTri that looks like the old R9 but is carbon black, also on the driver space the have the Burner SuperFast which is a dramatic departure from the old burner in terms of styling, let's see if it can be as successful as it's older brothers.


How to cure an upright swing
12/29/2009 5:02:31 PM
It's amazing how quickly bad habits sneak into your game, I have managed to develop a half decent shank as well as a low snap hook that would scare the pants off tiger :) Anyhow, I popped off to the range this morning for a solid session of --what the hell is going on??-- They were doing free video analysis and I signed up to see what was going wrong, now granted seeing your own swing is similar to watching a video of yourself dance... always surprising, normally not good surprising.. but I digress. So back to the matter at hand, the video showed me that I had a ridiculously upright swing, Furyk would be proud... my problem was that I'm not as good as Jim at getting it back into the slot (I managed to hold off on another tiger reference here, barely). So what was the fix, simple.. take your backswing and stop at the top, look behind you at your hand position it should be in line with your right chest pocket, not your left... resist the urge to layoff the club. Keep the angle, you'll find if you can get to this spot it's fairly easy to attack from the inside. Another couple of keys to a smooth swing for me today was to remember to coil against my lower half, this is done by keeping my weight on the inside left of my right foot (put a ball under the right side for an exagerated effect). The second key was to keep my hands and forearms relaxed and finally swing through the ball, releasing down the line.. easy :)


Power Swing
10/25/2009 3:48:15 PM
A great way to introduce power into your golf swing is by creating enough width, and then taking advantage of it. So, to create width ensure that your left arm is kept straightish through the backswing, then focus on pulling down the but of the club to kick off the downswing. To illustrate this move, try swinging at waist/chest height. At the end of the backswing you should feel tension in your lat muscle, stretch it a little and then pull through to initiate the swing. Happy power swinging!!!


Time for a change... of putter!
8/2/2009 8:07:35 PM
After another diabolical week of putting I decided to retire the scotty to the garage... for now.. I have settled on a pretty popular putter on tour, the Taylormade Spider putter.. I have tried the Itzy bitzy spider but it just doesnt have the same weight and feel of the spider. The spider almost feels like it controls your stroke, giving you a smooth well balanced stroke. Add together the great MOI you get from the perimeter weighting makes this putting for dummies :) So, if you are battling with your putting then give the spider a try, it may just change your life!


Platinum Tees
5/30/2009 8:17:27 AM
Let me ask the question, if you had the choice between your standard caddy and a supermodel caddie, who would you choose? Now I'm all about the golf, obviously... so the caddie in question would need to be able to read the greens, give me decent yardages... who am I kidding, I'd also go with the supermodel.. lol.. choose your selection after the jump... boing.
New Taylormade R9 460 Released!
5/14/2009 6:59:55 AM
A couple of months after the first R9 range hit the market TM has already added a new baby to enhance their offering. The original R9 was aimed at the more accomplished player but the demand as usual was there from the middle to higher handicaps. To answer this demand Taylormade have now launched the R9 460 at a lower price point of $299, the new driver doesn't feature moveable weights but still has the shaft adjustability which allows a shot dispersion of 40 yards. Shafts are the REAX 60 (a bit of a dog), there is a TP version with better shaft options like the Voodoo, Matrix and the Mitsubishi Fubuki and Motore F1. The TP price point is shaft dependant so get out your cheque books :) On the whole I'm not sure if this launch is going to upset all the guys who bought into the original R9 that would have been better suited to this varient? Time will tell.


Cyber Creek Golf
5/7/2009 8:25:19 PM
Awesome news fellow golfers, PE has a brand new indoor fullswing simulator in willow road. For those of you not familiar with the concept you basically hit balls into a kevlar screen with the course projected in front of you, lasers measure your balls trajectory and speed 60000 times a second! If you compare it to the Vektor and the FlightScope machines it fares really well, trust me.. if you hit your 7 iron 150m on the course you are going to hit it 150m on the simulator!! There are 52 courses to choose from and a variety of elements to select, a word of caution: only play from the tips (championship tees) if you are feeling brave! There is also a little pub and a couple of LCD screens to watch sport on, league has already started so make sure to get your name down early!! Address: Unit 7, Willow Road Business Park, PE


Angel Cabrera wins Masters 2009
4/13/2009 8:15:49 AM
This has to be one of my favourite last days at the Masters, ever!! Phil and Tiger were paired together and they ripped up the course, Phil shooting 30 on the front nine and then putting a ball in the water on 12, shocking! I thought tiger had a chance upto 17 when he overcooked his drive left and bogeyed the hole he needed to birdie. All this was going on in front while Kenny Perry, Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell were doing a great job of holding it together while hearing all the shouts and screams from the crowd up front watching Tiger and Phil. Perry birdied the par 3 12th and 16th, with the shot on 16 having a chance of going in for 1. Perry looked like he had it in the bag after completing amen corner but then hammed up both 17 and 18 ending in a 3 way play off, the first since 1987!! Wow!! So Cabrera, Campbell and Perry go back to 18, Cabrera puts his tee shot in the trees and makes an excellent 1 in a 100 recovery. Perry ups and downs from off the green for par and Campbell misses his par putt. Perry and Cabrerra go to 10, Cabrerra smashes a 3 wood down the hill with a nice draw, Perry takes driver and does the same. Perry pull hooks his iron left, into the trees... catches his chip shot a little thin and it runs on to 20 foot. Cabrerra finds the green with his approach shot, Perry misses his par putt and Cabrerra 2 putts to win the masters!!! Well done Angel Cabrerra!!!! To be honest I didnt give him a chance the whole day but he made the shots when it counted!!


Masters 2009
4/6/2009 3:13:47 PM
It's almost here, my second favourite tournament after the open! The Masters kicks off on Wednesday night with the par 3 contest, as usual the winner there will not feature in the main tournament as has been the case since the beginning of time.... bad luck, chuck! So who do I think will win this year, well it is a tough one and I'm going to make a real dark horse pick here. I am going to say that Louis Oosthuizen has a chance with Retief Goosen also having some good pre-tournament form.


GW Lesson 5
4/2/2009 8:56:33 PM
So the swing has tapered off a little, ok... maybe a lot. We had the awesome experience of playing Oubaai and Plett this weekend and both courses are in great condition, plett being better overall but Oubaai having the purest greens I have ever putted on. Anyway, enough jabbering...onto the serious stuff, my swing! I've been getting a little steep of late and hitting a light cut on my irons and my driver has been really inconsistent, so I managed to book a lesson with Graham at short notice and in 5 minutes he had me back on my game. My swing thoughts for now are to take the driver back inside the line (this is actually down the line but it feels inside for me) and then bring it back inside the line, key here is to remember my neutral grip, low relaxed hands and feel like I'm turning the club over quickly and early (almost as my hands pass my right thigh. Finally I need to stay with the shot and exagerate the follow through, this helps me stay with the shot. Easy enough :) Again, if you are battling with your swing go and see a good PGA pro!!!


Geek Golf now in SA!!!
3/5/2009 8:17:16 PM
Howdy happy people, great news.. the infamous Geek Golf equipment range is now available in South Africa.. Geek Golf has a solid pedigree in the long drive market and also have the longest recorded drive in competition, 551 Yards!!! Now that's a bomb of a drive! From a shafting perspective you can get a range of premium offerings from Aldila, Grafalloy and House of Forged! Get your Geek on after the link!!
Finally, a Golf Course Ranking System
2/24/2009 5:52:11 AM
At last, we the general public have a community based site that we can use to review the state of the courses we play! The site is easy to use and most importantly it's going to give us a clear reflection of the actual state of the courses, go and register and help improve the courses you play at through feedback.
Telkom PGA
2/24/2009 5:45:18 AM
Well done Jaco van Zyl, I thought you had hammed it up on 17 when you put it in the water... but you made a great recovery and saved par, then on 18 you hit your second into the rose bushes and then made the most amazing recovery shot to up and down for bird and win by one!!! Thanks for one of the most exciting finishes I've see since Tiger winning the US Open last year, well done!!!


Taylormade R9
1/30/2009 1:10:39 PM
With it's usual impeccable timing Taylormade has launched it's latest offering, the R9 driver. With 3 weights utilizing MWT which is not new for TM, what is new is that the driver can have it's face set open or closed by upto 4 degrees. Now that's cool, so if you prefer an open face with a draw bias then there you just set it accordingly. They have their first win on tour, Pat Perez put it in play two days before the tournament and bam, he won. Image courtesy of GolfWRX


Retief Goosen wins Africa Open!
1/19/2009 9:22:05 AM
Well done Retief, it's good to see you back in form. The Goose as he is more commonly referred to won by one shot on 21 under par with Darren Clarke and Darren Fichardt a single shot behind. The Goose looked like his old self with some of the best iron shots I've seen in ages, including an albatross two with a three iron!! Well done Retief, I'm glad to see the Taylormade clubs are still working well (especially the new putter).


Golf Tip, Stuck Swing
1/7/2009 12:37:55 PM
Over the last couple of months I haven't been feeling too grand about my swing, I really feel like it's an effort turning around my spine and I don't feel like I'm getting enough coil, or power on my rotation. While watching some British Open highlights on ESPN classic I noticed that the golfers arms were hanging more from their bodies than mine were, I was too upright? The second thing I noticed is that I had developed (always had) a bit of a chicken wing swing, ie. arms bowed at impact. So off to the mirror I went with my trusty 3 iron (already in the house as a home security weapon) and I proceeded to change my posture, instead of having my arms in line with my pecs I made an effort to ensure they are on top of my pecs, try it you will see how it frees up your swing!!


Top Golf Equipment for 2008
1/7/2009 10:27:25 AM
Happy new years golfers, I hope your festivities were great and the hangovers small. I am taking this oppertunity to do my round up of top kit for 2008, 2008 saw a lot of new golf equipment hit the shelves. It seemed as if each manufacturer was releasing a new driver every three months, which in some cases they were! Ok, onto my Top 5 list. 5th position: The Titleist ProV1x revised ball 4th position: Rife 2 Bar Hybrid Mallet Putter 3rd position: Taylormade Burner Hybrid 2008 2nd position: Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 1.5 1st: Aldilla Voodoo Shaft I'm sure you are all wondering how a shaft can win equipment of the year 2008, well if you haven't tried this shaft out then get down to your proshop and give it a whirl, find it standard on the new Titleist 909 D1,D2,D3 driver range.


Markets Down, what does it mean for golfers?
10/26/2008 9:03:32 AM
To qualify this, I am not a financial expert although in these uncertain times I don't think anyone can comfortably say they are an expert as the baseline for everyone's financial perspective has seriously been altered. So what does it mean for the golfers, well I'm afraid to say that for us poor souls here in South Africa it means that golf equipment prices are going to go through the roof along with the ZAR / Dollar price. Golf balls are currenly sitting at around R40.00 for a single ProV1, for most of us that's quite expensive but if that price goes to R60.00 a ball it will severely limit the amount of ProV1's sold. The proshop currently has the new Ping Rapture 2 drivers for around R4500.00 but at the current exchange rate that stock should be selling at R6500.00, so lets hope they have a serious amount of forward cover to keep the pricing down on new landed stock. Scary stuff, so for us mere mortals it means more lake balls, more second hand balls from the caddies and limited new equipment, at least until the rand dollar sorts itself out.


On a break
10/26/2008 8:51:55 AM
I normally play golf once a week unless the weather gods provide us with torrential downpours and even then it's 50-50 as to whether I will play or not... but that's not the point, our beloved Port Elizabeth Golf Club is undergoing some serious greens work which means that we are all playing off temp tee boxes and temp greens. Now I might be spoilt but I find it tough to play my home course when it's not up to par, the only other decent (wait for the stink eye from walmer members) course to play is humewood and the course is also under some serious pressure to replace their greens. So I'm taking some time off to reflect on my game, spend some time with Luke (who's now almost ten months old) and do all the chores I've been putting off for ever ;) On the upside I get to play Pezula in 3 weeks time, yeeehaaaa!!!! Oh, yeh... 10 points to anyone who got the Friends reference :)


Get Well Seve
10/22/2008 12:31:17 PM
It's a sad day when a sporting great such as Seve Ballesteros is diagnosed with a brain tumour, we believe the operation to remove the tumour has gone well and he is currently recovering in hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Seve, get well soon!


Taylormade Pre-Owned Site Launched
10/22/2008 1:58:30 PM
It's always exciting to get golf on the cheap, especially when it's quality kit! Well TM have finally come to the party and launched a pre-owned web site, they will do a 6 point check of kit to ensure it's as good as new, regrip the clubs and add a new head cover!! Now that's service, with a smile, at a great rate!!! Well done TM!
Madrid Masters: Shwartzel
10/13/2008 9:56:19 AM
Well done Charl on winning the madrid masters, he played three fantastic rounds of golf and did really well to hold it together for a solid final round and a three shot victory. For those of you that don't know Charl, he is one of South Africas bright up and coming talents. Nike signed him a while back, they always have been a good talent scout!! A couple of notes on Charl's final round, he appeared relaxed during the round and even when he put himself into difficulty his recovery was superb. Again his putting was on song, something that has escaped him of late. Well done Boytjie!!!!


First Look: Itsy Bitsy Spyder
9/24/2008 5:57:35 PM
Taylormade has just announced the new itsy bitsy spyder which has been brought to market by a lot of requests from the tour looking for a mid size mallet. The original Spyder is still one of my favourite putters and this one performs, pricing is around the $200 mark and we will see the smaller spyder in South Africa around mid october. From a sizing perspective it's around 20% smaller than the original and the wings have been tucked in a little. This could be the backup putter I have been searching for, just don't let my wife know :)


Muss Gammon on Greenside Bunkers
9/24/2008 5:16:23 PM
Muss explains that you need to swing with a predominant right arm, cock the club steeply and accelerate with the right arm aiming 2 balls behind the ball. To start open your stance by about 20-30 degrees. Your clubface should now face the target. Take the club back along the body line. Keep your right knee locked in, again cock your wrists asap on the backswing. Weak grip, cock wrist and fire! The final gimmick that Muss talks about is to imagine a large circle with a smaller circle around the size of a cricket ball, try and hit the ground with your right hand, down and through. Thanks Muss!!


USA wins ryder cup 2008
9/21/2008 11:27:47 PM
Well done USA!!! You were the underdogs and you won it convincingly!! 14.5 to 9.5, the last round was thrilling with some amazing play from Perry, Kim, Furyk, Poulter, Casey and Boo Weekly. The one thing that did irritate me was when Kim, Azinger and Weekly stirred up the crowd... A tad on the unsporting side gents.


Ryder Cup Update
9/21/2008 8:10:00 PM
Things are hotting up on the final day of the ryder cup, Kenny Perry is putting like a man posessed and Sergio is battling to keep up with young Anthony Kim. The galleries are typically loud with cries of USA and BOOOOOO echoing over the course.So things are looking bleak for Europe as the USA only need 5.5 points to win. Let's see if Europe can get some momentum going...


Ryder Cup 2008
9/16/2008 4:46:58 PM
Well, the ryder cup kicks off in around 48 hours and we are all thrilled to bits to see if Europe can retain the title. There are a lot of sub plots this year with Tiger being injured, Mickelson in terrible form and Darren Clarke being left out of the side (I won't mention Monty). So enough politics and onto the golf, there are a lot of new young guns in the sides and I hope this will add an edge of excitement to the event. There is a lot of negative sentiment towards Faldo this year especially after snubbing Clarke and Monty, but no Captain is going to keep everyone happy. I think the absence of Tiger is a good thing for the USA, they tend to lean too heavily on him and when he has a bad day, the team tends to follow him. So, the all important betting tip. I would put my cash on the US this year, Europe have the comradery and the better team but I think the US have a better captain and some young blood so prepare for an upset!


To me, from me, love me, part 900
9/5/2008 9:46:16 AM
There is nothing better than spending cash on yourself, sure kids are fantastic and pets are a special blessing but blowing hard earned moola on something as frivolous as a scotty cameron newport 1.5 putter, now that's awesome!! The scotty first caught my eye on the European tour, I noticed a number of players had switched to the new newport and I loved the design, the simplicity and the look of the putter. I also liked the TM Spider which has one of the best rolls on any putter I have ever hit. I gave the two a shootout at humewood on their newish bent grass greens and I preferred the classic scotty over the spider, so it's in my bag now and my bank account has taken a knock.... but I'm happy :)


3Wood Shootout
9/5/2008 9:23:57 AM
It's that glorious time of the year where there are more specials floating around as the retailers clear their shelves for next years stock. I have fallen out of love with my Exotics 3 Wood, it is very straight with little side spin but the downside is that I am incredibly inconsistent with it. If it goes left it stays left, right is the same. I imagine this is due to the reduced gearing effect on the face that causes the counter spin to bring the ball back on line. Anyhow, I was looking at replacing it with a strong hybrid, maybe 16 degrees. I tried the old adams pro hybrid with a stiff shaft (vst) and hit a recurring smother hook. I tried the Ping G10 with proforce high launch shaft in 15 degrees and didn't have any degree of success with it. I moved on to the new Burner rescue and absolutely loved the 19 degree but they didn't have a 16 degree locally so I tried the new Burner 3 wood, which I disliked... not the same feel as the Hybrid, a little soft. So while I was searching the racks for the answer to my problems I noticed a steel shafted old burner, I tried it in the launch monitor and had great success both off the tee and off the turf. The local proshop did a great deal for me, thanks Miles, Hayden and Ross!! So off to the course tomorrow for monthly medal, let's see how the 3wood performs on those short, tight par 4s.


Back to Basics
8/28/2008 9:01:58 AM
Do you know what the difference between pink and purple is? The grip :) This also holds true of golf, over the weekend I focussed on maintaining a soft grip with all the clubs, putter included. This helps maintain feel and you will also feel a lot more comfortable over your shots, the reverse happens when you are stressed: you end up strangling the club which prevents the hinge and leads to a weak shot because you are interfering with the natural order of the swing. So remember, purple is not going to get you any distance :)


Padraig does the double!!
7/21/2008 8:44:20 AM
Firstly congrats to Padraig Harrington on winning his second Open title, it was a bit of a let down for me though because I didn't think that anyone other than Poulter played decent golf on Sunday. Let me qualify that, everyone else looked like they were scared to lose where as Poulter was the only player that looked like he wanted to win. Sure, the conditions were tough with strong winds and hard, fast greens but if you don't play positive golf then you are going to drop strokes! The shark also came out of the blocks slowly but I think that wasn't fear so much as not being golf fit, 4 days of open golf is going to take it's toll on seasoned pros and if you are not used to it then you are going to battle. Congrats again paddy!!!


Greg Norman leads!
7/20/2008 3:05:04 PM
Awesome, Greg Norman is leading after the third round of the open, this is quite an achievement considering he doesn't play competitive golf anymore. Maybe its all the Tennis he has been playing with his new wife that has brought his golf back into form! Good luck for the final round Shark!


The Open 2008
7/17/2008 4:12:17 PM
Time flies, it's been a crazy month and I can't believe that the open has arrived. The open is definately my favourite major probably because we get the most coverage because of the time zone similarity and secondly because I enjoy watching links golf! The course is playing tough at the moment due to some awfull weather and retief has the clubhouse lead at +1, go Mr Goosen!!! I watched him make some really nice putts and his swing is looking better than I have seen it in a while, could it be his year this year?? I also saw Phil the thrill loose a ball off the tee and then have to take the long walk of shame back to tee off again after not finding it in the alotted 5 minutes, he was battling at +7 at last glance. Other picks for this open, Sergio and hopefully Ernie. Go look at the live site, listen to the radio and go buy yourself some awesome goodies from the online shop (just dont ship to SA, likely to get lost in the post).
Titleist 909
7/15/2008 4:26:41 PM
Well it looks like the rumours are true, there are three new titleist drivers on their way in december 2008. The interesting thing about the drivers is that they are not all 460cc's, the D1 and D2 are 460cc but the D3 is 430cc's. I must say that I am intrigued by the move to 430cc's. The drivers were launched at the US Open and so far the feedback from the pros have been very positive which is a good thing considering the terrible flow the 907's have been. I can't wait to try this new driver, maybe it's the holy grail!!


US Open - Torrey Pines
6/13/2008 4:27:13 PM
Wow, it's open time already. I watched with great interest as Tiger, Scott and Lefty played in arguable one of the coolest groupings in a while. I love the way they have thought about what people to group together, like the internationals, etc. The first day had minimal drama, except for tigers double on the first.. He followed up with some good, not great golf and finished on one over. Ernie is in it with a shout, two off at one under. I loved lefty's fluff out the rough, memories of two years ago :) Let's see how day 2 goes, at this stage my money is on a new winner, maybe an aussie. Maybe Scott!


Pro Lesson 2: GW
5/22/2008 9:00:13 AM
Lesson 2 was pitching and chipping, an area that I used to be quite decent at but have moments of brilliance overshadowed by gummed chips screaming into the future. So, Graham had his work cut out for him. Essentially his technique is very simple, setup square to your target, feet close together (not touching but I would say about 25 percent of your normal stance width), ball middle of stance. Now drop your left foot back and move your head forward to about 6 inches in front of the ball (toward the target, weight obviously on your left side). Now take the club back on line (not inside), hinge and swing through keeping your left wrist straight. Simple :) On a positive note, I went to practice it yesterday and had two 20 foot hole outs with my lob wedge in 3 balls (stats got progressively worse, of course :)). Next Week, bunkers!


Shadow Caddy
5/19/2008 10:22:05 AM
You have to love technology, I see they have just launched the first ever golf cart that shadows the golfer. So put your clubs in the shadow caddy and let it follow you around the course, no sharp chirps after you fluff another chip, no dissapointed look when you only tip the caddy R100.00 after the round. The device has a follow me and park mode so you don't put it in a bunker or on the green. Awesome, so when can you try one? They aren't available in SA yet, so hang five for now :)


Pro Lessons - Graham Whale
5/12/2008 4:32:00 PM
Today was lesson day number one, we worked on my grip again. Left hand grabbing the club from above and right hand in the fingers, feels fine not too awkward considering I have been playing with a left hand finger grip for a while. So with the grip sorted we moved on to the swing, we worked on some 7 irons and getting my weight transitioned onto the left side properly, I need to finish with my body facing forward and my arms naturally following through. The next thing we worked on was my 3,4 hybrid, 3 wood and driver and Graham showed me what a complete swing should feel like, man was I striping the ball!!! I can't believe the distance gains I got and I feel like I can really go after the ball, so for future reference the top of the backswing should feel like I am 100 percent coiled and then swing out through 1 o clock. Next week, chipping.... hello gummers!!


G10 vs ZTI vs Adams XTD
5/8/2008 10:41:25 AM
Well I can tell you that after much deliberation and many golf balls later I was at the range yesterday trying to work out my woes with the ZTI. I had pretty much decided on the XTD 9.5 degree with the DVS shaft, really nice club and it was more consistent than the ZTI, the ZTI was a tad longer when I middled it but I would take consistency over length any day. So there I am, snapping drives into the road when the pro pops past and helped with with my..... grip. I can't believe that my grip had become so bad that it was leading to snap hooks, not my right hand getting too strong but I ended up with my left hand grip in the fingers! So after a couple of serious slices I was hitting the ball nice and straight, even with a slight draw but try as hard as I could I battled to hook it. So, the money is going to be spent on another 10 lessons, not on a new club. Hope this helps a couple of you hookers out there!


Adams A3/A3os Drivers
5/7/2008 10:22:29 AM
It's been a while since I have heard so much positive hype on a new driver so it was with great interest and excitement that I headed down to the local proshop to try out the new driver on their recently upgraded flightscope. The Adams XTD comes in three variations, the first two the A3 and A3os are standard market items both featuring the aldilla DVS 55 Gram shaft which in itself is an awesome shaft (high launch, light weight). The third variation namely the PRO comes with a graphite design YSQ-65 shaft another premium shaft with mid launch characteristics and definately for the more torquey of swings. But back to the A3, the setup is nice, the swing weight is perfect and the strike is incredible. I managed to increase my swingspeed on average 5mph with this driver vs my Srixon! The dispersion on shots is also excellent due to the increased MOI and the ballflight is nice and high. I tried out the 9.5 and 10.5 stiff shafts on the A3 and both gave me similar results, the A3os has a slight offset for faders so I left it alone (no need to accentuate captain hook). Retail price at the moment is R2799.00 and worth it considering the premium shaft. Would I replace my Srixon with this, well I almost did... if it wasn't for the cost of nappies :)
Be the ball!
4/16/2008 4:52:52 PM
One of my favourite movies of all time has to be caddyshack, I smell poontang varment! Anyway, back on topic... some company has jumped on a good marketing oppertunity and are producing caddyshack putters, follow the link for more information and the sound byte (which plays when you press the button on your putter glove).... Na, na, na, naaaa... be the ballllll!
Well done Trevor!!!
4/14/2008 10:21:02 AM
What a brilliant display of golf, I really enjoyed watching the 2008 masters and most importantly I enjoyed watching Trevor Immelman win!!! It's always nice to have a south african in contention but to have Trevor lead from the start all the way through was a real treat, his ability to deal with pressure was awesome considering he had tiger nipping on his heels. Well done Trevor, it looks like kids will want to emulate you just like you emulated Gary Player!


Masters time already!
4/9/2008 12:29:23 PM
I can't believe it, it seems like yesterday that the 2007 masters were on and a semi unknown player with a strange new putter won! I think this is going to be the start of Tigers grandslam, he has what it takes to pull it off and I think his swing is ready. He has won 7 of the last 9 tournaments he has entered so I'm not going to put any money against him. If I did I would put an emotional bet on Ernie, but I think he wants it too much and I think that as far as great iron players go Tim Clark has got an outside chance. So enjoy the viewing, I see they are televising the par 3 contest on ESPN tonight at 9pm CAT.


Pure your irons
4/7/2008 3:38:18 PM
It's one of the best feelings in golf, puring your iron shots has to be one of the signatures of a great game. I have a tendency to scoop the ball instead of compressing it into the ground. I have tried a number of drills to sort out this issue although some, including the late Moe Norman thought that this was the best way to achieve acuracy with your irons. But I wanted that divot, that pro sound as the ball takes off and that extra distance. I discovered the forward press as an accident while watching Ernie Els in the SA Open a couple of years ago. Simply put you press your hands forward (toward the target) by 1-3 inches to start your swing, you then swing as normal and it encourages a downward strike on the ball, it also encourages good timing and prevents me from snatching at the club. Try it, it may work for you too!


Titleist AP1 and AP2 irons
4/2/2008 4:53:10 PM
Ever so often there is a new product that comes on to the market with a substantial amount of hype, the Titleist AP (Advanced Performance) irons are such a product. I have been hearing rustlings from the grapevine about these irons and after scoping out the awesome add on titleist's web site I had to see them in person. The AP2 iron is aimed at the single figure handicap whilst the AP1 irons are aimed at the aspirational golfer, ie the golfer who knows he is sitting in the mid handicap range and wants to get down to single figures. Both irons feature a little offset with the AP1 irons being slightly more than the AP2s (duh), I prefer the look of the AP2s but know that the AP1s will be better for my bag!


Bushnell Pro Yardage Rangefinder
4/2/2008 4:28:54 PM
I am a lucky little monkey, I won a laser based bushnell pro tour range finder in the Golfdigest letter of the month compo. I was ecstatic when I won, I dreamt up many great uses for the bushell, honing in my wedge game, checking the real distances at the range to their generic flag locations, getting the exact yardage to the flag at my home club, the list was endless. The question you must be dying to ask is... does it work, well ladies and gents it definately does!! The range finder is compact so easy to store and is really quick to use so it won't slow your round down, it's definately quicker than pacing off from your closest sprinkler head. I had a couple of issues on pins over 200m, where I found it easier to point the range finder at the base of the flag instead of the flag itself. Would I spend the R2700.00 on the device? Definately, I can't wait to get back out onto the course!


Flying Right Elbow
3/12/2008 9:47:21 AM
How many of my blogs start with.... i've been battling lately with X. Well today X is defined as a low snap hook, it is seriously one of the most frustrating shots in golf. Anyway, I have tried a number of things, new drivers, softer shafts with higher kick points, more loft on the driver, weight distribution and so on. Yesterday I discovered what was going on, not just with my driver but with my irons aswell. My right elbow has a tendency to get a little high on the backswing, this coupled with my weight being centred or on the front foot has made for a particularily scary hook with the driver. I am now ensuring that I keep my elbow low and close to my side through the back swing, I also make sure my weight is 60/40 on my rear foot. This helps to create a higher more solid strike on the driver and a more neutral shape. I also noticed that my grip is getting a little strong so I've moved my right hand a little closer to my left (anti-clockwise). I hope some of this information helps you, remember it's only for the practice range and not for the course :)


Visualize
2/11/2008 12:27:41 PM
I have read this tip a lot, but I never paid too much attention to it. On Saturday I made a point of visualizing each shot and it made a huge difference, especially on my drives! So next time you have a round spend some time picturing the shot before you pull the trigger!


Luke has Arrived!!
1/17/2008 11:47:41 PM
Sorry readers, it's been lean blogging times of late as we have been awaiting the birth of our son, Luke and my mind has been elsewhere. Well, I am pleased to announce that my soon to be number 1 caddy has arrived, he was born on the 11th of Jan and he's awesome!!! I am a little concerned about his early wrist hinge, but other than that it looks like his swing will be a solid one!! But seriously, welcome to the world little man, I am sure we will enjoy many rounds together (golf and beer)!


Harvey Pennick's Game for a Lifetime
12/28/2007 10:55:51 AM
This is the follow on to his acclaimed little red book, I really enjoyed the little red book and this follows the same format with short to the point tips and stories for all of us to follow. If I had to choose between one of the two I would definately opt for the red book as the content is slightly better but the second book does stand on it's own quite nicely. A solid book to add to your collection, I bought mine online through kalahari.net, see ya on the links!


3 Weeks to go!
12/14/2007 9:24:53 PM
It's amazing how time flies, we have about 3 weeks left until the arrival of my new caddy, sorry son.. Luke. I'm really amped, I get to buy small golf clubs when he hits around 1 year old... I'm thinking of getting him custom fitted, special grips, swing weights.... Think of it as an investment in my future retirement ;) Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to be one of those pushy dads, I'm just going to give little Luke the option of playing golf, he can take it or leave it... I would of course prefer if he takes it, followed by the US Open and then buys me a small island, nothing fancy, maybe the UK. Anyhow, I'm off to bed now... I think I'm going to need my rest!


Pitching 101
12/14/2007 9:12:17 PM
Short game, short game, short game... I played another up and down round on Saturday, at least I broke 90 this time! The difference between the front 9 and the back nine was simple, my short game on the back 9 was really good but shocking on the front 9. I shot 46 on the front and 41 on the back, 5 shots, that's what a short game can do for you!! My revelation is something I personally haven't read anywhere before, I tried to slow my pitching down to about 60% of my normal swing, weight on the front foot and I aimed a little left of target. I hope this helps you, it certainly helped me!


Merry Xmas to me, Merry Xmas to me!
12/7/2007 4:01:40 PM
It's been a while since I've splurged on kit, it feels like weeks since I've been to the proshop and parted with my hard earned sheckels! Any how, my TM 3wood has been misbehaving and the annual proshop Xmas sale is on with a Tour Edge exotics 3 Wood at half price, I tried it out and it's really nice, at least another 15m on my current 3wood (they do advertise it as being way longer). While I was there another guy was hitting the same 3wood in the nets, he smoked it 280m at sea level flight only, no roll!!!! Now that's a 3wood with some distance, my distance was around the 200m mark without roll off the deck!


Bunker Play - Pro Lesson
12/6/2007 4:00:23 PM
As you know bunkers are my nemesis, I have the ability to play fairway bunkers quite easily but greenside... now that's a whole different kettle of fish! I was chatting to one of my mates who recommended Graham van der Nest at Humewood, I booked a lesson with him and within half an hour I had the idea... here are my keys to bunker success! 1. Weight forward, I mean really forward. 2. Hinge Wrists immediately on backswing and don't release the club through impact. 3. Take it back inside the line, I tend to cut across the bunker shots a lot so this helps me straighten it out. 4. Build up your tempo and accelerate through impact, turn your shoulders through the shot. 5. Aim 1 inch behind the ball. 6. Downslope = less sand, softer. 7. Upslope = more sand, more acceleration. To try and get the feel for getting steep on the shot put another ball about 4 inches behind your first ball and an inch closer to you, this will force you to hinge immediately on way back (remember to keep left arm straight).


New Shoes - Adidas Tour 360 II
11/13/2007 11:13:57 AM
I traded in my old putter yesterday and bought myself a much needed pair of shoes, the Adidas tour 360 II model. What a lovely shoe, it has great support for people who tend to be quite hard wearing on their shoes and I hope that my days worth of foot pain will be a thing of the past. I will do a follow up in a months time after a couple of rounds!


New Putter - Seymour
11/13/2007 11:11:33 AM
Sometimes I just can't help myself, I haven't been entirely happy with my putting of late and after chatting to my wife's brother Kevin he suggested I try out the Seymour putter. It has an alignment guide (red dot) under the shaft, the point is that you should not see the red dot at any point on the putt. So off I went to the proshop for a marathon session of putter comparisons, I tried out the new cleveland VP putter, the Odyssey black (blade) range and pretty much every other blade type putter they had including the seymour FGP. My shot dispersion on the FGP was better than everything including my new rife. So it's in the bag now, I used it on the weekend and I'm happy to say it's there to stay! (3 putters, 1 year, not quite up to Ernie's status yet).


Well done Bokke!!!
10/22/2007 10:01:27 AM
I am so relieved that we won the world cup final, apologies to all the brits out there and well done to Jake, John and the boys! It is at times like these were you see the country band together and it gives me hope for the future of S.A in general. Apologies for the non golf related blog post, but I have it on good authority that some of the sprinkboks play the golf, so there is a thin thread connecting them to golf blog!


Book Review: Harvey Penicks Little Red Book
10/10/2007 4:42:34 PM
I love golf books but they often dissapoint, I have heard from a number of people that the little red book is a winner and I had to see for myself. I read this book cover to cover in a week, it's made up of small instructional tit bits but don't let that put you off, the tit bits are often so to the point and brilliant that a 300 page manual couldn't have done a better job than Harvey and 2 pages! Harvey was a PGA teacher for his whole life and he mean't this book to be his sons inheritance, fortunately for us he went to print with it shortly before he passed away. I loved his explanations, his stories, basically everything.


Sometimes...
9/27/2007 4:52:29 PM
Sometimes life can be a challenge, work, family, money... all these things can weigh heavily on your mind and sometimes the best thing for you to do is take some time out, too often though the time spent out is crammed full of other social commitments or DIY jobs that have been waiting just a tad longer than they should have. So what's the answer, you ask me.... I'll tell you, but keep it a secret. I go and play 9 holes on my own, I tee off at 5-30am and walk the nine slowly, trying different shots and really just having a nice practice round.. work on the shots that normally bother you until you get them right, if it means hitting 4 shots from the same fairway and seeing which option is more reliable then do it. I had a great round this morning and it took my mind off all the important stresses that go on day to day, for 90 minutes it was just me and my golfswing.... pure bliss.


Tiger wins Fedex Cup!
9/17/2007 10:40:22 AM
You all know my stance on tiger, I have slowly moved onto the Tiger's bench and now I'm pretty much president of the fan club! After watching him shoot four rounds in the sixties I can happily conclude that he is the greatest player of his time, Ernie is really going to have to work hard in the next two years to catch him! I think the thing that makes Tiger great is his ability to win, week in and week out.. other Pros go through hot streaks but Tiger consistently wins. Well done on the fedex win Tiger, you deserved it.


Bunker Play
9/5/2007 3:33:21 PM
I've never been a great bunker player (read shocking) and after taking 9 shots at medal on 16 at PEGC I decided I needed some help. So off to the range I went with Kev, who after much chuckling worked out that I was releasing my hands through the shot instead of holding off. So from the start, setup 30 degrees left of the target, open the clubface so that it points at the flag and aim about an inch behind the ball. Then cock your wrists, complete a full shoulder turn and then accelerate through the shot. Finish high for longer bunker shots.


New NXT and NXT Tour
7/28/2007 9:42:03 PM
Not happy with 90% of the pro market our frients at titleist have relaunched the nxt and nxt tour balls, while I haven't had a chance to check them out yet I found the new Ian Mcalister website brilliant!! If you are a little confused then fret no more, it's just John Cleese and his split personality carrying on about banning the 'wonderous' NXT and NXT tour ball... check out the site after the link, it will bring a smile to your dial.
Golf Tour 2007
7/25/2007 8:59:05 AM
It's almost upon us, the famous yearly Golf Tour!! This year me and seven mates will be playing a 4 day compo at the following venues: Simola, Knysna. Pezula, Knysna. Oubaai, George and finally Pinnacle Point just outside Mossel Bay. The stakes are high, the beers are chilled and the swing is.... well let's leave that out for the moment. As always there is lots to prepare before hand, you need to ensure that your liver is working at it's peak so suprising it at 6am with shots of Tequila a couple of days prior to the event will get it in shape, quickly :) I have bought a new glove, 12 Taylormade TP Black balls, regripped my driver and irons and put a new putter in the bag... so on all accounts I should play terribly, and I can blame the grips, glove, balls on my poor performance :)


Ohhhhh, Sergio!
7/25/2007 8:52:28 AM
It is with a heavy heart that I write this postmortem... how many more of these second places can Sergio take? I watched as Paddy put two shots in the water to "give" the open to Sergio, but that putter is still not working the way it should... Sergio hammed the putt and then went on to ham the playoff.. I could go on for pages but I'm sure many will ask me if I want some cheese with my wine. So, well done Paddy you deserved it and Sergio, there's always 2008.


Rife Aussie
7/18/2007 1:38:16 PM
I am a sucker for new equipment, I spotted this putter in the proshop at the hill the other day and after a couple of perfect putts I knew it was for me! I traded in my now old 2ball and my Yes, Callie putter for this bad boy! So what, you may ask is the reason behind the change.. well I like to take an agressive stroke at the putts, I hate leaving them short and would rather the putt go past 12 inches than hang on the cup. This putter has a very soft feeling head, the putts don't jump off the face and it definately suits my stroke (especially on the faster greens). From a cost perspective it was in the region of R1500.00 excluding discounts, trade ins, etc. Go try one out, it may be the answer you have been looking for.


Chipping
6/12/2007 5:10:24 PM
One of the most important elements of any golfers armoury is a solid short game, chipping forms a crucial component of that. I chipped like a monkey on Saturday and decided that I needed to work out what was going on, the number one problem I (and most people) have is commitment... you need to be 100% committed to chip properly! I tend to chip with my stance slightly open, feet close together and ball in the front of my stance (some prefer back of stance for bump and run shots but I keep the ball forward on all shots). I visualize keeping the club on an arc, I need to feel the clubhead at all times and ensure that I accelerate through the ball while maintaining a stiff set of wrists.. To get the feel take your SW out to the chipping green and focus on striking the grass and feeling the bounce.. a lot of people also try and keep their left wrist pointing to the sky, I don't bother with that.. I just make sure that my wrists are stiff and that I accelerate through the ball.. oh, and don't forget to keep your head down :) Happy chipping!


Srixon ZTi Driver
5/8/2007 9:19:10 AM
About a week before I got married my TM R7 425 driver had started misbehaving itself. In short it had developed a radical snap hook and in order to fix said snap hook I had tried everything from opening my stance to gripping down, swinging slower, etc, etc. In short, nothing worked, for long at least. So in another case of it's the arrow not the indian I popped off to the proshop to change out my driver, or at least bench it against what was on the market. I tried the rapture, the new Hibore and a couple of other non mentionables and along the way I tried the new Srixon ZTi... this was definately the club for me. The Srixon has a straight ball flight by default and maybe even a little but of a fade but I can really go after it without fear of snap hooking it! If you haven't tried this driver out yet and you are in the market then give this a bash, you will be pleasantly surprised!


Mizuno MP60 Irons
5/8/2007 9:12:56 AM
I have been very happy with my Cobras of late, hitting them really well but I have been battling to shape the odd shot.. I really battle to hit a fade or a dramatic hook with the irons most probably because they are mean't to be forgiving and hit the ball straight. So off to the local proshop I trundled with the aim of upgrading the set, I had read a lot about the new Cobra CB Irons.. really good looking irons and I was keen to give them a smack. Unfortunately the local proshop didn't have them but they did have the Mizuno MP60, Callaway X20 Tour, Ping S58 and a couple of others that I won't bore you with. I managed to get a really nice strike out of the Mizuno irons which suprised me as they really look blade like, I suppose they just suit my swing. I then took a 6 iron to the range and tried a variety of shots, low hook, high hook, low punch, high fade, low fade and most importantly straight!! The club was brilliant. I contacted Humewood Pro Shop and had Graham do a Mizuno fitting, he agreed that the MP60's would work nicely for me and changed the shaft to a SL-Stiff as well as bending it 2 degrees upright (I am about 6 foot 3.5) and the shaft was extended by 1/4". So, I get to test drive the new irons at Simola on Friday in the Canon golf day!!! Wish me luck, the last time I played Simola the greens were so quick they freaked me out completely!!!


Footjoy LT review
4/10/2007 2:32:40 PM
I was really looking forward to last weekends golf, medal on Saturday and another game at Humewood on Friday.. but the weather Gods had other plans, we had rain and wind on Friday which made Humewood as much fun as a trip to the dentist, I also managed to blow out my entire heel and side support of my Adidas golf shoes, so there I am happy camper number one stumbling down the 14th with a flappy shoe, wet from head to toe and my golf game had also abandoned me! Anyway, this story does have a happy ending.. because I blew out my old shoes (1 year old) I needed to go shopping for new ones... weeehahaaaa! I tried on a couple of pairs and the most comfy for me and my fat (read wide) feet were the Footjoy LTs.. they are really comfy and have loads of support for my buxom figure! Price wise they were reasonable and they are solidly made so I am sure they will last me longer than the aforementioned pair.


Full shoulder turn
4/10/2007 2:19:08 PM
It really is one of the first things you hear in golf instruction but very few of us really know how it feels to complete a shoulder turn. I used to bend my left arm and thought that is what a full turn felt like.. well I was horribly wrong.. While watching Muss Gammon on his new Ultra Simple Golf series I noticed him showing Roland Schoeman how to complete a full turn.. something clicked inside my head and I realized, shit... I am not completing my turn! I went to the range and focussed on getting my left shoulder under or past my chin while keeping my left arm straight and turning my right shoulder out of the way... what a difference! I was smoking my drives, the transition to the down swing felt easier... what can I say.. life is good again!


Pinnacle Point
4/2/2007 2:58:02 PM
On the coastal N2 road between PE and Cape Town is the little (or not so little any more) town of Mossel Bay. Now this town is better known for its waves than its golf courses but a recent multi million rand project just outside of Mossel Bay saw the launch of Pinnacle Point, designed by Peter Matkovitch and appearing as a Darren Clarke signature course it really did make me feel like a kid before Xmas. So, you ask... how did I manage to arrange a game with my current pleb status.. simple, my then wife to be phoned up, told them we were going to be on Honeymoon and some wonderful lady on the other side said.. no prob, we'll make a plan! Win, win, first the wife to be (now wife) had arranged a golf game, at pinnacle point, on our Honeymoon and was quite happy to drive the cart!! What a lucky boy I am :) Anyway, onto the course and experience. Driving into the parking lot is nothing special, nice hotel on the right, casino and then a parking lot for people playing at Pinnacle Point. Some gent grabbed my clubs, put them on a cart and with a big smile indicated that I should follow him to the practice range... yes practice RANGE! They have a really decent range, no extra cost.. hit as many balls as you want, to the real greens (not just flags in the ground).. a full chip and putt section finalizes the practice experience. There is a 10 minute drive down to the course by cart and this is where you start to see how magnificent the elevations are. The clubhouse is a spectacle, mounted on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean and back nine on one side and being a 360 degree clubhouse means that you can pretty much see forever. Service was excellent in the bar, proshop staff suffered from their usual expensive course arrogance. But everyone else from the starter to the half way house ladies are exceptionally polite and helpful. The course is majestic, the views are sensational and you need to play this course before you die, seriously. The greens obviously need to grow in a little but I was surprised at how well the course had been constructed, Mr. M did an excellent job of creating drama off the tee. As a mid handicapper there were a number of nervous moments (can I carry that gorge? can I clear that bunker?) but the carries are not as long as they look and the course is a fair test, with a little wind though it will make even the most seasoned pro nervous! Nuf said, make a plan, play this course!
Adam Scott wins Shell Houston Open!
4/2/2007 12:13:10 PM
Wow, wow, wow... if there was one swing I want it's Adam Scotts. He has such a fluid swing that generates tons of power. So anyway, back to the final round... there's Adam one up with three to play.. he smashes his drive on the super long (608 yard) par 5, he has 285 yards in... no prob... out with the 3 wood and smashes the 3 wood onto the green!!! Yowza! That's a 285 yard 3 wood, most of us are lucky if we hit our drives 285 with a gale tailwind :) Moving on, last hole... tough one, water left long dogleg left par 4 bunkers right... Adam pulls his drive into the water, I go balistic.. what is it with Adam and water on the left! Appleby is only one back, he puts his drive into the bunker on the right.. a lot safer than water left. So Scott takes a drop, lying 3, Appleby to play. Appleby pulls his bunker shot, splash... he then mutters and tosses his club out the bunker. Adam hit's a nice shot to about 40 feet, dry, safe. Makes the putt, wins the open!!! It was nice to actually watch some exciting golf where it comes down to a shot here and there actually winning or losing the tournament.


Retief Wins Qatar Masters, Finally!!
1/31/2007 10:47:48 AM
I have been a huge Retief fan for a while now but his form has just not been there. I cry on most Sundays where he hams up the lead (see US open) and I am left wondering if he will sort out his pressure related issues. Well wait no more, Retief started out by hamming two putts on the back nine to drop out of contention and then went birdie to be in 1 shot of the lead. Nick o hearn opted to play the 18th the sensible way while retief smashed a utility to the back edge of the green for two and gave himself a 50 footer for eagle. Well, we were all thinking he will probably miss the eagle, maybe make the bird and end up in a playoff (that he will ham up). But, Retief the man made the shot... he sunk the eagle putt that even suprised his caddy!! Well done bud, good to have you back on a winning streak!!!


Low and Slow!
1/19/2007 11:15:17 AM
I have been battling (again) with my driver, I called the priest and he exorcised the demons... still nothing, I have developed a low snap hook.. which while more manly than the girlie fade I once owned is way more frustrating. So off to the range I went, a couple of times.. I tried stance changes, I tried ball position, I tried weaker grips, stronger grips, low tee, high tee, I even begged a friend to have a look at my swing... nothing. My mate Kev reckoned that I may be picking the club up too suddenly so suggested that I do the low and slow move, essentially you keep the driver as low to the ground for as long as possible and move the club back slowly. This definately worked wonders, especially on the trajectory side of things. My stance is still a little closed (read a lot!) but that helps me get a nice little draw (read snap hook :) ). I will report back on Monday as to how it went, maybe I can convince myself that it's not the driver... it's me.... (whatever, it's always the driver, never me :) )


St. Francis Links Review
1/18/2007 5:14:54 PM
I have been dying to play St. Francis since it opened in December and we were lucky enough to get to play there for Dave's Birthday. Yip, Dangerous Dave is another year older... soon it will be time for graphite shafts for his irons... my how time does fly ;) Anyway, onto the course.. initial impressions of the course were wow, nice clubhouse and pro shop... awesome halfway house, everything has been put together with a lot of thought and effort.. The physical course however is intimidating to say the least, we started on the front nine which is definately the tough nine! The first tee shot is either an accurate driver or a really solid Hybrid/3Wood. This will leave you a mid to high iron approach shot onto a tricky multi-tiered green. The greens as a hole were quite slow with lots of undulations and levels. The bunkers are out of a horror book, there is bush in most of them and they really are like playing out of sand dunes! There are a lot of blind shots, either tee or approach and the greens tend to be elevated with bunkers short, left, right and long... lovely ;) As far as distance goes, the course is relatively short from the club tees but will pose a real test from the tips. Overall experience, awesome! Would I spend R600.00 on green fees and another R90.00 on half a cart, doubtful. I think the course should be priced at the R350.00 bracket for SA residents, foreigners can afford the 40 quid :) Carts are optional but I wouldn't recommend walking the course unless you are Bruce Fordyce.


Weather advice? Ask a golfer!
12/13/2006 8:36:20 AM
It's amazing, ask any golfer on Monday what the weather is going to be for the week and he will rattle off the highs and lows for each day, humidity and most importantly the wind direction and strength. Now this is simply because all golfers are prepared, they need to know in advance how to plan their rounds, wind is important for club choices and rain will always effect your wardrobe and bag options! I have personally become a little too obsessive with checking the weather and then getting depressed because it ALWAYS rains on Saturday!! Oh, well at least I can try out the new waterproofs ;) There are a couple of net based resources for South Africa, the best two are: http://www.weathersa.co.za and http://www.buoyweather.com the latter being a site mainly used to work out the swell and wind direction.


SAA Open 2006 Humewood
12/6/2006 8:07:41 AM
I can't believe that it's a week until the SA open and it's in my hometown, Port Elizabeth!!! The open this year will be played at Humewood which is renowned as the only 'true' links course in South Africa. The course is looking superb (for a links course, remember royal liverpool??), the conditioning is good but the water table is still a little high. If there are strong rains towards next week the greenkeeper will have serious difficulty drying out the course!! I have taken the 15th off work and I will be walking the course, hopefully the wind will pump, I can't wait to see how the pros handle the course. It's a very easy course (for them) when the wind doesn't blow but let's hope it howls!!! Personally I want to follow Ernie and Retief, so it should be interesting.
Now thats a loooong ball!
11/23/2006 8:27:27 AM
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin hit what is now been recorded as the longest golf shot ever! He launched a gold plated six iron off the International Space Station into orbit. Estimates are that the ball could stay in orbit for years and travel tens of thousands of kilometers, imagine the final time on a space round!! The event happened on the anniversary of Alan Shepard Juniors 1971 golf shot, it's amazing how time flies. Other interesting snippits, the golf ball only weighed 3Grams (vs 35 Grams on a standard ball).


Yes! Callie Putter Review
11/14/2006 8:49:16 AM
I have been on a serious putter testing rampage, the other day I popped down to the course and gave a couple of Yes! putters the test, if it's good enough for Retief, it's good enough for me!! I tested the Victoria, Callie, Tracy and Tracy II. Choosing a putter is a very personal thing and I found that the Callie suited my setup and stroke, the 35" version was tested on the putting surface and what I noticed with all the Yes! putters was that they really are easy to get rolling, the concentric grooves (patented) create a bucketload of topspin which also reduces the effect of any side slope. So, after holing 5 six footers in a row I begged the pro shop to let me take one out on a playing demo. I played on Saturday at PEGC with a slight hangover and found my putting to be a lot more consistent, I battled a little on long putts but that's mainly due to the Stroh rum messing with my motor skills. I ended off with an 86, first time I've broken 90 since Pezula!!! I tested the putter the next day and had similar results, my long range putts were also better. Now, I just need to tell the wife (to be) what I want for Xmas... 1 x Yes! Callie Putter


Titleist Detour
10/24/2006 2:51:47 PM
On another bloody windy day in PE I decided not to go and embarrass myself at the range by hitting a 7 iron 40m into the gale force wind but rather to hide in the safety of the proshop. I was particularly interested in their new putters, the Nickend Pipe and the Titleist Detour. I benchmarked the putters against my standard Odyssey 2 Ball and the results were quite interesting. The Pipe was a great putter, nice feel off the face, good alignment but it just looked a little cheap for my liking. It was also a bit too light which could result in twisting through the shot. The Detour on the other hand is a brilliant piece of machined beauty. The feeling off the club face is soft and responsive, the balance is awesome and you can also use it as a traditional weapon should your playing partners’ renaig on the bet. The price was a little steep for my liking, R1999.00 is a lot for a putter... but if it saves a couple of shots a round I think it's a bargain!!! The final test was six balls and a four foot putt. The pipe made 4, the 2 ball made 5 and so did the Detour. (I obviously repeated this experience a couple of times to ensure the averages were fair). Go out and test this putter if you are in the market, just ask them to put the charge down as Car Service so that she who must be obeyed doesn't kill you when the bank statement arrives.


Draw your Driver!!!
10/23/2006 9:29:43 AM
After 6 lessons with a pro I now have a clear idea of how to hit a driver with a draw, it boils down to a couple of key things. The first key is to ensure that your shoulders are aligned at or right of the target, your right shoulder should feel as if it's lower than your left shoulder. The next step is to ensure that you set your feet to be aligned right of target, for me this is key, I set my feet up in a very closed position aiming for the right rough. Ball alignment is inside the left heel and the swing thought is low and slow back and attack from the inside, swinging out to 1-30 on the clockface. I think that all these are simply indicators and it really is up to the individual to work out his exact recipe for a draw, other things to experiment with are hand position, weaken and strengthen your grip to see what results you get. Enjoy the tweeking, I'm off to smash some drives ;)


Nike SQ Sumo Preview
10/18/2006 5:39:15 PM
I have not been a fan of the Nike SQ to date, it looks like some ill-fated inbred chicken experiment... so what do Nike in all their wisdom do?? Simple, let's make it uglier!! Now this is fantastic for your --I want to be different-- golfer, you know... the light blue pant and green shirt wearing kind of dude. But for the rest of us, come on... get real. The apparent reason for this is to move mass back and low, a technique that has been done before, but now they are spreading it out to both sides.. making an off centre hit go straight---ish. Callaway have also mentioned that they will release a square driver next year, who knows... maybe I'll crush one over 300m and be forced to buy pale blue pants and a green shirt?


DiXX Putter
10/9/2006 5:05:03 PM
The latest from our friends at South Korea based Infinics is a putter tutor with a difference. This putter has an LCD screen that helps you line up the putt aswell as built in telemetry sensors that feedback to your PC giving you a full swing analysis. Once you have got the putter singing you can replace the illegal aiming LCD with a dummy weight and head off for the course. The cost of this little beauty is around the $850 mark.


Bushman Sands
10/5/2006 8:28:09 AM
About an hour and fifteen minutes out of PE is the small town of Alicedale, this was pretty much a ghost town until a couple of years back when the Mantis group and Gary Player got together to build the Bushman Sands Resort. I was fortunate to be invited to a golf day there and found it an altogether pleasant experience. The course was built in two stages, front nine or ten holes and then the remainder at a later stage. This definitely influences play as you really are playing two totally different nines. The front nine is a quirky well bunkered nine that you can afford to take an iron/utility off most of the tee boxes, drivers are punished by harsh pot bunkers and close OB markers. The back nine was much more my style, the holes were longer and it felt more like a traditional links just with more elevation. There has been some damage done to the course of late with the recent floods but the course is recovering nicely. My favourite hole was definitely the 590m par 5 16th (i think), it requires a great drive and a great second leaving you with a 130-180m carry for your third over water to a raised green the size of a postage stamp!! I drove the ball really well but my golf brain was not firing on all cylinders and I made a number of bad decisions (3wood off deck, trouble left, trouble right, 220m carry... come on, be a man, OB!!!!). The resort has also invested heavily in the local community opting to train caddies and hotel staff rather than bringing them in from other towns. So, would I pay to play the course again, definitely!! The rates are reasonable and the course is very nice, take the family with and let them have a picnic by the pool while you take on 18!
Driver Shootout
9/13/2006 2:58:12 PM
I truly am the worst person at taking my own advice, never change clubs while you are in the process of taking lessons or changing your swing. Don't throw money at equipment, fix your swing... Well today I am here to confess my transgressions, out of sheer frustration I took the Hibore back to the ProShop to test it against some new drivers, the results were interesting to say the least. First off, Ping Rapture vs Hibore... both look great at address but the Rapture looks a tad more inviting, the Raptures grip is fantastic, really nice and the look of the club is awesome. I hit both clubs almost identically on the launch monitor (flightscope) which was very strange to me seeing as they are radically different. I then tried the 460 and results again were similar, the 460 is a lot lighter than the 425 and I got the same distance and direction (neutral setting) as with the Hibore and Rapture. I then tried the Titleist 905R and had some good results, a bit longer than the other clubs and a heavier swing weight that suits me. The only downside is that it wasn't as forgiving as the first three which is not surprising as it's intended for a low handicapper which I am not!! The final club was the R7 425, setup for low neutral I smashed this club 10m past the other 4, shape was straight or slight draw... great swing weight, nice and heavy and I am used to the grips as I already own two rescues and a TM 3 Wood.... Verdict, R7 425 = 1, Others =0. The credit card made a swishing sound as the Hibore was traded and the R7 wrapped to go!!
Is the Hibore broken?
9/11/2006 4:20:59 PM
I have been battling of late with my driver, it's really frustrating but since the new swing changes and the fact that I am gripping the driver higher (not down on the shaft) I have been spraying the driver somewhat, I want to get a T-shirt that says FAR and WIDE!!! While explaining my frustration to Ross @ the local proshop he asked me what the main problem is, how does the club feel, etc... My answer was simple, I can no longer "feel" where the driver is in my swing, if I grip down on the shaft no problem, but the second I grip higher I lose that "feel". He suggested that I should try a heavier driver, I tested out the new Ping Rapture... very nice club and it looks amazing at address, really class product. I also tried the R7 425 and the Titleist 905R, WOW... I could fee the club on the entire swing and it was a lot easier for me to control the shape of the swing, ie... I want to concentrate on dropping the club inside and swinging out, creating a nice draw...The results were fantastic. So I have asked them to bring in a 9.5 reg R7 425 to try out, I will let you know how the shoot out goes! R7 425 vs R7 460 vs Hibore vs Titleist vs Rapture


Pro Lesson Number 3
9/11/2006 4:07:41 PM
It's all coming together, I shot 87 over the weekend to come 2nd in my division and got a DVD player for my troubles!!!! Awesome prize, much better than the standard meat pack or sleeve of distance balls ;) At least the missus can see that there are some advantages to playing golf :) Anyway, back to the lesson. We worked on creating width again today, I have a tendency to narrow my swing so I need to focus on keeping it wide. We also worked on ball position, I have a tendency to scoop my shots and leave no divot, today I worked on taking a divot by focussing on striking down on the ball... worked a treat. The most important part of today's training was the work we did on the driver, I not only changed my shoulders by closing them a lot (push left shoulder out right), but I also focussed on getting my right shoulder down low, this gave me great results with the driver... key thought is to get the right should out of the way so you create room to swing from the inside, not over the top!!!


Pro Lesson Number 2
9/1/2006 3:56:54 PM
It's been a long week, lots of practice trying to get my new swing to work... lots of drills, lots of duffs (mmm, beer), lots of frustration. But it is all worth it, I can see the hint of a little draw, something we all want, especially the faders amongst us!! So onto the second lesson, I am coming along quite nicely creating width with my right arm, today we worked on creating 3d width, what I mean by that is width on the left arm and width on the right arm... to get into the position take a backswing and freeze at the top (left arm straight), from there drop the club's head straight down... if you have created the correct width it will land on your right shoulder, if it's too narrow it will land closer to your neck. Now, on the downswing you need to initiate a hip shift towards the target and drop the club into the slot, once in the slot you can accelerate focussing on striking the ball on the inside right corner and following through. Sounds very technical but once you see that little draw it all becomes worth it!! The new drill I got today is to line the ball up with my inside left heel, take a quarter swing with arms only and flick through the ball. This will give you a nice feeling of the correct hand movement through the ball.. the strange thing was that I was able to generate almost as much distance with this quarter shot as a bad fade.... scary!!!


Pro Lesson 1 of 6
8/29/2006 12:36:09 PM
Went to my local PGA pro yesterday to have a look at my golf swing and set me on the right track to improving my swing, long term. A couple of immediate things he picked up on were that my hands had no dropoff, so i tend to have the golf club at the same angle as my left arm.. He moved me further away from the ball, told me to grip higher up on the club and dropped my hands so that a nice angle is formed between my arms and the club. The second thing he worked on was creating width in my backswing, I have a tendency to be right arm dominent in my swing, to nullify that he has showed me the correct position for my hands. To illustrate the point take a backswing and freeze at the top, if you now look at your hands they should be positioned away from your head, to put yourself in position simply focus on keeping your left arm straight and shortening your swing, then look at where your hands are at the top. The final step was to sort out my shoulders, they are still pointing left of target and after a couple of shots focussed on pointing my shoulders right I understood what he was on about. I have a drill to use on my practice swing that is basically swinging the club with your left arm only and your right arm gripping your left wrist, take long, slow swings and this should give you a clear indication of how a good swing should feel and groove the width aspect.


Hole in One!!!!
8/21/2006 11:57:39 AM
I can't believe it, after playing some of the worst golf of my life, I strike a sweet rescue into the Par 3 3rd at humewood, it pitched short, tracked for the hole.... and dropped!!!!!! Weeehaaaaa!!! I still can't believe my luck! Stats on the shot: Distance 198m, Club used, TM Dual 19 Degree Draw Setting, Callaway HX Tour 56 Golf Ball, Wind, fresh southerly (left to right crosswind), shot shape - gentle draw... I have attached some hole in one stats: Average age of a Hole In One golfer: 44.2073 yrs. Average handicap of Hole In One golfer: 13.3111 Number of years playing golf: 16.2761 yrs. Percent of Aces by: Male 82% Female 18% Percent of golfers registering first ace: 54.39% Day of week most Holes In One occur: Friday Day of week least Holes In One occur: Sunday Date when most aces occured: July 19th, 2003 Golf hole most frequently aced: Hole 8.86 Average par for the aced hole: Par 3.02 Average yardage of aced hole: 150.44 yds. Club most used in making an ace: 7 Iron Anyway, enough chatting... I'm off to get something to drink :)


Coil for power
8/18/2006 11:19:15 AM
I had a disasterous golf tour last week, partially because we drank like it was our last week before prohibition but also because I just wasn't comfortable with my swing. I have been trying so hard to turn my fade into a draw that I have ended up with an ugly snap hook. The main reason for this is my agressive attack on the ball from the top of my backswing... I end up with all my weight staying on my back boot and a wild snap left... on one shot into the wind I snapped it so badly I ended up going downwind... shocker!!! So, it's back to the range and I have signed up for another 6 lessons. Hopefully I will stick out the lessons and try and learn something, it's amazing at how stubborn we can be as golfers... i mean, what do the pros know anyway.. hahah. So onto my tip of the day, I found that in order to hit a solid shot with my long irons I needed to feel like I was coiling around my spine with my weight transferring to my right thigh. Then start the downswing by GENTLY letting the club drop into position and then accelerating through the ball ending with your left arm straight-ish and high... Good golfing!


SMS Mark to 34212
8/17/2006 3:38:32 PM
Yowza, the time has come for my TV debut.. quite a scary thought considering my dodgy swing at present. The show on the whole was very well done, the other contestents all came across positively and I think the production team did a great job! We had the entire upper section of the anchor and about 20 friends rocked up to watch my public humiliation... awesome! I was glad to see that they only focussed on good shots as there were about 600 duffed shots that they could have used but opted not to. Anyway, nuff said. Send MARK via SMS to 34212 and stand a chance to win a weekend away at Pezula...


Ballfinder Scout - Reveal the ball!
8/7/2006 3:34:18 PM
From the people that brought you colour Television, I present... drumroll.... tish...... The ballfinder scout, as endorsed by, wait for it, Nick Faldo! Ok, enough with the Verimark type build up. The ballfinder scout is a digital ball finder using advanced image recogition software, this means that the ball can be found if a mere 3 dimples are present... in an area of 600 square feet!!! Yowza! Unfortunately I haven't been able to demo one of these units and at 2k it will have to find a bucketload of prov's before the ROI is realized. So, amazing technology that may come in handy if the rand-dollar goes to 20-1 again.
Flooding hits PE Courses
8/7/2006 12:00:35 PM
The eastern and southern coast was hit by one of the worst rain storms in 20 years, there has been damage reported from George all the way down to East London. On the PE side of things both Humewood and PEGC closed their courses over the weekend with Wedgewood's Dam bursting they look to be closed for at least 2 weeks. So in effect we have had no practice time for the impending tour.... bloody weather!! Anyway, enough doom and gloom.. onto the tour: Tomorrow see's Myself, Dave, Martinus and Gary head off to Sedgefield for the annual golf tour, there is another cold front hitting cape town as I type this so it may be a St Andrews type of golf tour... gale winds, rain and cold. We should be able to survive the tour as I believe the garden route stocks quite a bit of Port/Sherry ;) The format for the tour is 4 seperate golf days, each day is 4ball better ball and I have prepared by buying loads of golf balls!!! Hopefully my golf will be better than of late if not I can focus on my beer drinking talents.


Tiger takes his 50th
8/7/2006 11:51:08 AM
What another fantastic weekend of golf, Tiger comfortably took his 50th PGA tour victory at this year's Buick. He had a great final round beating out Furyk who had some bad luck with the putter by three strokes (Tiger finished at 24 under). It amazes me that this guy can leave the driver in the bag and still walk a competition like this, definately shows how far ahead he is on ability compared to the other PGA pros... Onto the Euro tour now, the tall Swede Robert Karlson almost took his second title this year but was edged out in a playoff by Scottish rookie Marc Warren, who managed to tie the first playoff hole after fading his drive well right into the trees. He made no mistake on the second playoff hole and smashed his 3 wood down the middle and then hit his approach shot to 8 feet for a comfy two putt and the cheque.


Nokia N93
8/4/2006 11:39:43 AM
Can you believe it, target marketing at it's best!!! Nokia have announced a new Golf focussed cell phone, the N93. It's current features include capturing and analyzing your swing, split screen analysis of swing plane, angles and so on. Everything is included in the package so no need to hook it up to a PC to analyze, do it right there on the phone!!! At this point availability is limited to Europe and I am still waiting for the service providers here in SA to give me a roadmap, definately looks like something I would try.


What's in my "new" bag - Part 7
8/1/2006 9:06:37 AM
So golf hasn't been brilliant lately, short game seems solid but my faithful Hibore driver is on the fritz... It's amazing, new equipment will always work perfectly until after the money back guarantee expires... it will then break, in spectacular fashion. It's definately not that I have tinkered with my swing to encourage a High Draw, not a low fade ;) Aaaanyyway, moving swiftly on.. with the impending annual golf tour coming up I decided that I needed to put a 3 Wood into my bag, so I tested a couple and eventually bought a TM R7 St, great club, set to Draw and go!!! The unfortunate thing with a 3Wood is actually deciding when to hit it, if you are 210 out and you know you are never going to hit the rescue that far... do you risk putting the 3 Wood in the bushes with a glory shot or do you lay up with the utility?? Well for me it's a feel thing, I try and make a call based on how well I'm striking the ball on that day.. if I have been thinning all my shots and my tempos all out then I will opt for the rescue 9/10 times (provided I can keep the caveman part of my brain passive during the thought process). So, on to new equipment on the market. Cleveland are launching (heheh) their new Hibore Fairway, a scaled down version of the Hibore driver and if you loved the Hibore you'll love the Hibore Fairway. Launch date is 1st August. Also on the horizon is the new R7 460 Draw Edition Driver, yet another R7 variant.. I must say that TM are risking diluting the R7 brand with all these products.. I am a purest and believe that they should have kept the R5 range going and restrict the R7 to quad weighted equipment. Enough winging, the driver is intended to help players with a "chronic" fade.. they also mention "banana slice" and other terrible descriptions of the glorious fade. I don't know that I would even buy one with that kind of a sales pitch.


Weekend Golf
8/1/2006 9:07:39 AM
What a great weekend of golf on the telly, watched Karrie Webb take the Evian masters with a narrow margin from Michelle Wie and Laura Davies. What a great compo, I really believe that Michelle showed true grit and determination and it's only a matter of time before she wins something ;) Other great golf was on the European Open, watched the tall swede Robert Karlson almost throw it away by snap hooking his drive on the 18th ob, nerves are a strange thing! The final game over the weekend was the Milwaukee Open, Corey Pavin (remember him, he had a Magnum PI like stache and won the 96 Colonial) managed to hold onto a two shot win to take the title ended a 10 year drought!! My personal golf over the weekend was so, so. Martinus and Henry managed to take more cash of myself and Dave by dovetailing like old masters!! Dave and I have decided that a new tactic (playing better) will have to be used next time, so watch out Mr Prinsloo.... your shekkels are coming this way soon!


Well done Tiger!!
7/24/2006 9:38:10 AM
As you know I have never been a great fan of Tiger, but after watching the Open I have a new found respect for the man. He played to a plan and didn't let anyone interfere with that plan, he played solid golf and even when he was battling on the first day he held it together, well done Tiger.. your dad would be proud!!! On to the other performances of the open: I think Ernie had a great game and was unlucky not to hole more putts and I believe this is the turning point for his game, he has battled of late but we saw a lot of the old Ernie at the open... look out for great things from him soon! I was dissapointed with Sergio's performance on the last day, he really did lose focus a bit, I imagine however that it can't be the easiest thing being paired with the world number one, especially when he's playing solidly on the last day! Other notables, Angel Cabrera... unlucky bud, that triple bogey killed your otherwise good round and Dimarco must be getting tired of finishing second to Tiger, first the masters last year now the Open this year.. A final note to the tonsils that were flying around in helicopters and the gallery that was galling like geese while Sergio was teeing off on the 17th, learn some manners people!! A final note, if anyone knows why some spectators threw purple powder on the 18th green before Tiger got there, mail me! mark@golfblog.co.za


British Open - Royal Liverpool
7/19/2006 11:16:35 AM
After his tremendous season thus far Trevor Immelman has pulled out of the British Open, his wife is due to give birth on the 27th of July and he has opted to be with her instead of play in the open. As an avid golfer I can only imagine the level of soul searching he went through before pulling out of the open, good for you Trevor, tough call but the right call! On a different note, there is a lot of talk about the course being too short, many have nicknamed the course the Royal Out of Bounds due to all the OOB areas off the tee, I for one can't wait to see what strategy the pros are going to use.. certainly the longer hitters will not be opting for driver off the tee on the shorter, trickier holes?? Who knows? Phil the Thrill is taking a rest day today and reckons he has put in more than enough practice time and knows exactly what shots he is going to play, that is of course until the caveman within takes over on the 18th... hahahah.... Enjoy the open, good luck to the SA guys left in the field.. My money as always is on Retief, maybe Ernie too will suprise us??


Duck, here comes a set of golf clubs!
7/18/2006 3:44:41 PM
I cannot explain to you the level of anger I am currently feeling, mostly towards myself for some of the worst golf I have ever played but even more so because I can't control the rage within!! I had an absolute mare on Saturday, my golf has been below average of late and Saturday was the clincher. Started off with a shocking fade into the right rough, stuck under a sappling, tried a low hook around the tree but ended up duffing the shot and almost breaking my 4 iron around said sappling. Next drive was the same, so was the next.. My usual solid putting stroke had turned into something from the nightmare on elm street and I hit so many chips thin that I eventually started putting from off the green, and this was all before the 3rd hole!!! Yowza. So I tried some mental relaxation techniques, nothing worked... I struggled through the 18 holes like a bear with a sore head, my partners thought it was hillarious because my normal good humour was interjected with bouts of terrets. I did however hit some amazing shots, like a 80m shank with a SW into the water, a 200m chip with a LW and finally a 150m drive off the hosal! Those guys on the PGA better watch their backs!


Book Review - Golf, the Mind Factor
7/5/2006 12:12:31 PM
We all know how important having a relaxed state of mind contributes to having a good game of golf. This book takes the usual mental approach to golf up a couple of notches, the book was written by Darren Clarke and Dr Karl Morris (Darren's Mental Game Coach) and covers everything from positive reinforcement to dealing with bad shots, making good decisions and visualization. I really enjoyed the book and found it's techniques useful and easy to apply. I am starting to use them one at a time and I am definately enjoying the game more through the techniques. For all you guys that reckon that Golf is purely a game of skill, I challenge you to read this book and not take a lesson away from it!


Johnnie Walker Striding Man Compo
7/3/2006 11:54:44 AM
There are some things in life that you will always remember, the JW Striding Man Compo is definately one of those events. I woke up bright and early on Wednesday morning and drove through to Knysna, check in was at 11am and being paranoid I worked out that if I left at 6-30am I could fix a flat tire, replace the engine and still limp to Pezula by 11am. The weather was terrible, wet and rainy but even that couldnt dampen my excitement. Our accomodation was at the Pezula hotel which are around 5k per person per night in high season, so you can only imagine the levels of luxury they have. There was even a pillow menu (extra length, orthopedic, etc,etc). Following check in we played a practice round at Pezula, I have said it before... what an awesome course, tough but beautiful. The evening was spent chatting to the other finalists, what an awesome bunch of guys, Trevor broke his neck in a car accident and is now playing off a seven handicap, everyone was down to earth and genuinely inspirational. So after a great meal at Zachary's and a couple of bottles of Johnny black it was off to bed. The next day we were up bright and early, tee off started at 7-40am, nerves were apparent and I was shaking so much that I almost missed the ball ;) The cameraman (Wayne) was also positioned in front and to the right, so if you pushed your drive out right there was a good chance that Wayne was going down. The day was brilliant, my golf was shocking but the experience was nothing short of phenomenal, there should be a good number of shots of me in the bunker, me in the bunker and even some of me in the bunker. I also almost managed to hit Wayne with a gummed gap wedge from 90m, maybe next time:) There was some excellent golf played with Brett Burgess finishing on 36 points, Eugene (off a +2) on 35 points and Trevor on 35 points. Congrats to all the finalists and many thanks to Pezula, Johnnie Walker, Adidas, Celini and Golf Digest. Remember to vote via SMS, the program should be broadcast end of July or early august on Supersport.


Johnnie Walker - Pezula Compo
6/26/2006 10:28:32 AM
Yowza, two days away from the much anticipated Pezula trip... I am going to leave early on Wed morning from PE, check in is around 11am and we will then go off for a practice round in the afternoon. The hotel is awesome, we have popped in there a couple of times, had a drink or 10 in the Champagne Bar and basked in the opulence of the place, but I have never stayed in the hotel, should be a real treat!! After the practice round we get to have supper in Zacharys restaurant.... an awesome venue with a spectacular wine list and menu, the American chef is brilliant and again it's something really out of the ordinary so it should be superb. The sponsors have indicated that Johnnie Black will be flowing during/after supper so I expect to see a couple of broken men on the tee the next morning for the compo round (not me, being as pure as the driven snow). The thing that is still freaking me out is the filming, can you imagine the swing thoughts? --Don't miss the ball, don't curse the ball, don't toss your clubs into the ravine, etc, etc... It should definately make for good TV. I probably won't do any posts until I get back next week, so wish me good luck and vote for me at the end of July!!!


Figjam's US Open Blog - Pt 2
6/26/2006 10:12:43 AM
Posted 5:27 PM ET Good news: I'm back in the lead thanks to a birdie. I have to say, it's amazing what kinds of things go through your head when you're playing golf, even in the fourth round of a major. For instance, I was just thinking if I'm overdue for a mammogram. I think I might be. Posted 6:03 PM ET Sweet. Another birdie, and now I'm up two strokes with just four to play. I can taste it. I'm going to win my third major in a row and my fourth overall. I'm in cruise mode. I can't wait until I win on the 18th green and my wife sends my kids to spontaneously run out to greet me. It's so spontaneous, each and every time. Spontaneity makes for great TV, and corporate sponsors just lap it up. Posted 6:32 PM ET So I bogeyed my last hole and am now only up by one -- no biggie. Two holes left and I've got my fourth major. I wonder what Tiger Woods is doing right now? Not winning the U.S. Open, I know that. Posted 6:50 PM ET Here it is. I'm going to tee off on No. 18 in a minute or two. This is so easy for me, it's not even funny. There's not a single person who is any good on the leaderboard near me who I have to worry about. Colin Montgomerie? That guy is such a choker. Geoff Ogilvy? Same thing -- if he's anything like his countryman Greg Norman, at least. Charles Krupa/AP Photo Mickelson couldn't hide his disappointment after his monumental collapse. And I know I'm not going to choke. Those days are long over for me -- I'm about to win my fourth major. That's why I'm going to wale away with my driver here. Sure, I haven't hit it anywhere near the fairway all day, but there's a reason they say: "Drive for show, putt for dough." I'm going to show people how awesome I am when I crush this drive right down the middle. And then I'll leave it to my putting which, like dough, is delicious. OK, I'm going to hit now. Posted 6:58 PM ET Oh, sweet mercy. I hit it off the corporate hospitality tent. No worries. It's good to get close to the sponsors -- I can show them that smile I practice in the mirror all the time. Plus, now they'll see up close how awesome I am when I rip this next shot 200-plus yards out of the trees and onto the green. I'm the only one who could pull this shot off, as I am great, and they'll want to give me big endorsement contracts. Posted 7:01 PM ET Frick! Why did that tree branch jump out and hit my ball? OK, OK -- no problem. Breathe, Phil, breathe. Go to a happy place. You are in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. You are swimming naked through a river of chocolate -- milk chocolate, made from fresh, clean milk suckled by the Wonkas from your very own … cartons. OK. I'm back. Now the pressure is really on. I have to hit this shot directly over this enormous tree in front of me and land it on the green and one-putt for the win. No problem. With the Wonkas cheering me on in my head, I can't fail. Post 7:12 PM ET Son of a … I failed! Stupid Wonkas. They chanted in my backswing. But I can't believe I got a double bogey on 18. Why would I go and do that? That is so stupid. What am I, stupid? I am so stupid. Sometimes I think I'm just a perky set of breasts with no brains to speak of whatsoever. I just want to go home, rest my head on my chest and cry. DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to The Onion.


Figjam's US Open Blog - Pt 1
6/26/2006 10:12:01 AM
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban updated his blog during the opening games of the NBA Finals last week. He would get up from his seat at halftime and post his thoughts on the first half, and then do the same again after the game ended. Phil Mickelson took notice. No less a "man of the people" than Cuban, Mickelson waddled into the fray Sunday and took fan interaction to a whole new level by making numerous blog posts of his own during his final round at the U.S. Open. After almost every hole he'd type a few thoughts on his Blackberry, and within moments they'd be up on his blog, allowing his ever-supportive fans to know what their hero was thinking in near real-time. Here's a sampling of what he wrote: Posted 6/18/06, 2:52 PM ET I'm about to head out to the first tee to begin my round. I'm feeling confident. There are some good golfers on the leaderboard, but I don't think they're ready for this jelly. Charles Krupa/AP Photo Phill was all smiles after scrambling to save par early. Posted 3:15 PM ET Saved par on the first hole, but I'm already feeling the heat -- it's in the 90s today. Most people don't realize how tiring it is to play in the final round of a major. There's three days of pressure built up on you and then, on a day like this, there's the heat, too. But what tires me out the most is pasting on a fake smile every time I stroll past the gallery. It's exhausting. Posted 3:27 PM ET Another par save on No. 2. By the way, I just realized there's some random guy playing along with me named Kenneth Ferrie. Never heard of him, but I can imagine he must be pretty excited to play with me, Phil Mickelson. If I have time while beating him, I'll try to give him some pointers. Posted 3:36 PM ET Parred the third hole. I rule. Before I get too far into my round, I want to thank all of my sponsors. First of all, the companies with logos on all of my shirts: Ford, manufacturer of great automobiles; and Callaway, who makes my clubs and balls. And secondly, I want to mention the company on my hat, Bearing Point, who makes … uh, well … I have no idea what it is they do. Outside of being on my hat I've never heard of them. Perhaps they're in the golfer hat sponsoring industry? Who knows. But whatever it is they do, I thank them for all the money they've given me. I spend it on fudge. Posted 3:48 PM ET Just birdied No. 4 to take sole possession of the lead, sending the gallery into an uproar. They love me. And that reminds me -- I'm asked by people a lot: "Phil, give me something simple I can do to be as popular and cool as you." And it's a good question. So let me share what I always tell them: "Wear a watch when you play golf." Not only does it remind people what a physically demanding sport golf is -- watch bands serve as great wrist protectors in case someone hits an errant shot and it strikes you square in the wrist -- but it helps you keep track of time so you can finish your round in time to catch the dinner special back at the clubhouse. Posted 4:26 PM ET Sorry, I haven't posted for a little because I'm struggling a bit -- 2-over on the past three holes, and now I'm two strokes behind Geoff Ogilvy. I hit perfect shots, of course -- I always do -- but the wind kicked up and I got some bad bounces and a camera lens clicked in my backswing and I got a flier lie and a squirrel ran into my line of sight, et cetera, et cetera. Posted 4:47 PM ET Looks like Colin Montgomerie is making a run and is now tied with me for second. Good for him, but I just can't respect a guy who doesn't keep himself in top shape. I mean, come on, Colin! We're highly paid professional athletes, for crying out loud. Would it be that hard to do a push-up or sit-up once in a while? Have some respect for the sport and your body, pal.


Winged Foot Post Mortem
6/21/2006 1:00:44 PM
Well, it was an interesting four days of golf wasn't it? I think we all love to see the pros battle with a shot or two but they were totally over whelmed by the course... the gradiated rough was a monster, the guys were too scared to putt on day 1, leaving a lot short... then the greens sped up and day 2 onwards saw a bucket load of lipouts... ag shame ;) I enjoyed watching the mental tole it took on the players and everyone looked scared (not Phil mind you, he continued to brandish that inane grin until the 18th on the final day!!). The final day could have gone several ways, Furyk could have taken it but missed his par putt on the last, Monty blew out, Phil had a meltdown (which included a fluffed 3Wood from the deep rough, I mean who even tries that shot!!!) and Paddy was still reeling from he tripple bogey on the 18th day 3. So the coast was clear for a suprised Ogilvy to take the 106th US Open, well done Geoff!! As for the South African contingent, next time lads, next time.


Cobra HS9 Driver!!!
6/19/2006 6:03:18 PM
Wow, it was just the other day that cobra released it's XSpeed line and today they announce the launch of the HS9 Driver (on the back of Geoff Ogilvy's US Open win). It definately looks like an unholy union between a hibore, R7 and the old cobra... but who knows what it will be like when it reaches our shelves here. The company line is that the driver will still be speed rated, M/F/X and that it is now hotter, longer and more forgiving due to the triple weighting system, use of carbon fibre in the head and greater flex across the nine HOT points of the face.. I will definately be inlined to check out the new driver, I just feel sorry for all the guys who just bought the XSpeed!
Gsok Review
6/19/2006 4:55:20 PM
I recently bought a second pair of golf shoes, always a good thing because you tend to wear one pair down fairly quickly, especially if you are a large brute like me ;) After checking out the various options and specials I went with a non conventional approach and bought a spikeless pair of Etonic Gsoks. The base of the shoe was designed by Goodyear and I expected to loose traction on my swing but no chance, these things grip like mad!! The shoe is good looking and extremely comfortable and for under a grand who can complain! I now alternate footwear weekly in an effort to get a longer life out of my shoes.


Grips!
6/19/2006 4:38:38 PM
I have been playing with my golf pride tour velvet grips for a while now and they are really nice with one exception, they tend to loose their tackiness quite quickly and they don't perform well in the heat. I battle with sweaty hands and I find that the grip ends up slipping and I then tighten my white knuckle stranglehold on the grip which invariably ends up with a ball heading for the trees! Soooo, what is the solution... I have read a number of reviews on different types of grips and my research pointed me in the direction of the golf pride decade multicompound grip. It's a very distinctive red and black grip, half cord, half rubber. The bottom section is nice and soft and the top is ultra tacky, a magic combo. The problem is that each grip costs about R70.00 without fitting, so after much debate I went and regripped my irons. The outcome has been fantastic, my grip is now nice and soft, I feel as if I can swing the club left handed with a light grip and not hurl it down the fairway. The moisture management has also made a dramatic difference and my sweaty paws are no match for the new grips!! I was so impressed with the grips on my irons I had the Hibore done today, I am quite happy with the TM rescue grips so they will stay as is for now ;) A point to note here, I used to leave my clubs in my car boot which apparently is not very good, the rubber tends to perish... while I saw no visible evidence of this, this may have been one of the reasons for the tour velvets to loose their tackiness quite quickly?? The golf bag now stays in the garage unless needed :)
US Open 2006 - Winged Foot -
6/6/2006 2:45:13 PM
The US open is around the corner and it looks like winged foot is going to be another monster of a course, from it's infamous history I think it's safe to say that we will be seeing another massacre at Winged Foot! This open is definately going to be an interesting one, Michael Campbell is battling with his form, Ernie's putter is refusing to behave itself (even after he swapped it for an odyssey blade). Phil has just won the masters so I'm sure he has a good chance of doing something special at Winged Foot, I hope to hell he doesnt! Tiger hasnt played for a while and is still mourning the loss of his father and Retief keeps having final round melt downs!! So, all that being said I have put my money on Retief to win it, his luck has to change sooner or later. BTW, dont forget to put your free bet in at fantasysports.co.za , you can pick your four ball and see how they progress. Enjoy!
Golf is a funny game...
5/30/2006 1:46:53 PM
For the last 8 weeks every Saturday morning has either had gale force winds, rain or both... I just hope and pray that it improves before I lose my mind, or die from flu! Anyway, that being said we had a great match with the guys we played, they ended up beating us 2 and 1 but it was a very tight match. Onto my swing changes, the driver was ok, irons were solid and I managed to pull off two dale hayes like shots (low hook shot around trees and ending up close to the hole---- of course I planned them:) ). The putter was pretty solid and my chipping was back up to scratch, even managed to chip in for a bird on the par 5 13th. So all in all it was a magic day for golf, let's hope the momentum continues... the 28th is coming and the TV appearence is making me a little (ha) nervous!


Laws of Golf
5/22/2006 1:01:19 PM
LAW 1: No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime. LAW 2: Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former. LAW 3: Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water. LAW 4: Golf balls never bounce off of trees back into play. If one does, the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down. LAW 5: No matter what causes a golfer to muff a shot, all his playing partners must solemnly chant "You looked up," or invoke the wrath of the universe. LAW 6: The higher a golfer's handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor. LAW 7: Every par-three hole in the world has a secret desire to humiliate golfers. The shorter the hole, the greater its desire. LAW 8: Topping a 3-iron is the most painful torture known to man. LAW 9: Palm trees eat golf balls. LAW 10: Sand is alive. If it isn't, how do you explain the way it works against you? LAW 11: Golf carts always run out of juice at the farthest point from the clubhouse. LAW 12: A golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer and an IRS agent -- or some similar combination. LAW 13: All 3-woods are demon-possessed. LAW 14: Golf balls from the same "sleeve" tend to follow one another, particularly out of bounds or into the water (See Law three). LAW 15: A severe slice is a thing of awesome power and beauty. LAW 16: "Nice lag" can usually be translated to "lousy putt." Similarly, "tough break" can usually be translated "way to miss an easy one, sucker." LAW 17: The person you would most hate to lose to will always be the one who beats you. LAW 18: The last three holes of a round will automatically adjust your score to what it really should be. LAW 19: Golf should be given up at least twice per month. LAW 20: All vows taken on a golf course shall be valid only until the sunset.


What's in the bag - Part XCV
5/22/2006 12:14:55 PM
I haven't done one of these for a while so I thought I would give you a breakdown of my current kit: Driver: Cleveland Hibore 9.5 Degree Regular Shaft........ Putter: Odyssey 2 Ball White Steel......... Irons: Cobra 3100 I/H Regular Steel, Nippon Shaft........ Gap Wedge: Cobra 3100 I/H......... Utilities: 19 Degree Taylormade Rescue Dual, Weighted Draw..... 22 Degree Taylormade Rescue Mid...... 3 Wood: Cobra Hyper Steel, currently in my garage....... Lob Wedge: Taylormade RAC Satin Finish 60 Degree....... Ball: Bridgestone B330-S......... Glove: Mizuno........ Bag: Ping Ultralite........ As you can see my 3 Wood is in the garage and not in my bag, that's because I opted to leave it out as I found a gap wedge more useful and I use my 19 degree rescue for shots over 200m and my driver off the deck for 220m and further.


Swing thoughts
5/22/2006 10:48:32 AM
It's amazing how up and down golf can be, they cut me to a 13 handicap because I managed to shoot a couple of rounds in the eighties... I got complacent, forgot some key swing thoughts and now I'm back to the nineties!!! So for the last month or so I have been trying to work on simple swing thoughts, what I have found is that you need to have seperate swing thoughts for driving, irons and chipping.. In order for my driver to work, I need to focus on taking the driver inside the line on the backswing, complete the shoulder turn and swing inside the line on the downswing. If I get the timing right I end up with a nice straight shot, if I am a little fast I end up with a hook. If I don't bring it back inside the line I end up with a fade. On my irons I need to focus on taking the back straight and then bringing it down inside the line, that tends to give me a nice straight shot. On chipping I need to get agressive with the shot, take it back straight and bring it down outside the line.. that gives me a nice soft cut with the ball dropping and stopping nicely. So now all I need to focus on is swingplane and rhythm for my round... lets hope I can see those low eighties again soon ;)


Bridgestone B330-S
5/18/2006 5:01:26 PM
After many compliments on this ball I thought I would give it a long term test, I have been playing with this ball now off and on for the last 2 months. I will compare this ball to other tour winners, the ProV1, the Srixon ZURS, the HX Tour 56. Off the driver the ball tends to feel really nice, about the same as the ProV1 and a little softer than the ZURS. On approach shots it spins nicely, has a good feel and comes back at you really well. On the scuff perspective the ball has lasted me fairly well, definately longer than the HX Tour 56 and I have been punishing it into a couple of trees, rocks, bunkers, people ;) The ball around and on the green performs so well it's scary. This ball also features a seamless design, I wont say I noticed it but overall I couldnt really fault the ball. So overall rating, fantastic. I have bought another 12 and at the moment this is my ball of choice!
HX Hot Review
5/16/2006 2:37:39 PM
Callaway have a really nice golf ball selector program and after tweaking and fiddling a bit I ended up with a couple of options, the HX Tour 56 which I already play with and love, the HX Tour and with one of my inputs I ended up with the HX Hot. I was unfamiliar with this ball as it doesnt really fit into my direct requirements, it spins but not a lot and it offers good distance off the tee. So off I went to the proshop and bought a sleeve, eager to see what they would be like... would I get more distance and would I notice what they are like around the greens. Now, I am really used to using the Srixon ZURS, Bridgestone B330-S and the HX Tour 56.. all tour grade balls with high spin rates, good distance and really soft off the club face. The HX Hot was nice off the driver, a little harder than what I am used too, approach shots were OK but I really battled around the greens, I am sure I could adjust to the feel of the ball but on the whole I did not find it any longer and I definately battled around the greens. So, my recommendation would be to spend a couple of extra rand on a tour grade ball like the ZURS or the B330-S.
Trevor, trevor, trevor!!
5/16/2006 2:26:37 PM
This is the second week that Trevor Immelman has come sooo close to winning. Last week he was battling Furyk this week he lost out to Brett Wetterich who won the EDS Byron Nelson. Other notables were Adam Scott, another favourite of mine but Trevor is definately on the verge of his first PGA tour win!!!


Senior Golfer Rule Ammendments :)
5/10/2006 9:25:14 AM
Rule 1.a.5 A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed on the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the rough with no penalty. The senior should not be penalized for uncontrollable mechanical phenomena. Rule 2.d.6 (b) A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree. This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game. The player must estimate the distance the ball would have travelled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there. Rule 3.b.3(g) There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. The missing ball is on or near the course and will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, making it a stolen ball. The player is not to compound the felony by charging him or herself with a penalty. Rule 4.c.7(h) If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. The law of gravity supersedes the law of golf. Rule 5. Putts that stop close enough to the cup that they could be blown in, may be blown in. This does not apply to balls more than three inches from the hole. No one wants to make a travesty of the game. Rule 6.a.9(k) There is no penalty for so-called "out of bounds." If penny-pinching golf club owners bought sufficient land, this would not occur. The golfer deserves an apology, not a penalty. Rule 7.g.15(z) There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard, as golf balls should float. That they do not is a technical problem that manufacturers have to correct. Senior Golfers should not be punished for manufacturer's shortcomings. Rule 8.k.9(s) Advertisements claim that golf scores can be improved by purchasing new clubs, balls, shoes etc. Since this is financially impractical for the average Senior Golfer, 1/2 a stroke per hole may be subtracted for using old equipment. Please advise all your senior friends of these important rule changes


Johnnie Walker Striding Man Compo
5/8/2006 5:56:34 PM
I made it, I was selected as one of the 12 national finalists in the Johnnie Walker Striding Man of the Year 2006!!!!! The selection was made out of guys from all over SA and we get to fly up to Pezula for a game of golf in June, they then make a SuperSport show and you get to vote for your favourite or most deserving candidate!!! Awesome, like Golf Idols :) So prepare yourselves to see my swing in all it's glory (or lack thereof) and you may also be forced to sit through the interviews where they ask us why we deserve to win a trip to next years Johnnie Walker Open!!! So have some mercy on a mere hacker and SMS for me after the show. On a seriousish note, I am petrified about what my swing is going to look like on TV, it looked quite scary on the PGA pro's swing vision so hopefully they will take pity on me and film me at a strange angle that compensates for my freakish swing ;) The next hurdle I am going to face is the rating of the show, I will try not to hurl any profanity at the golf course and I will also endevour not to hurl any of my clubs... All in all, it should make for interesting viewing ;)


54 holes, 2 days... yipee!
5/2/2006 11:34:07 AM
Had a magic weekend planned, took Friday off and booked 54 holes of golf in 2 days... weeehahahaaaaaa. So Dave and I set off nice and early for our first round at the hill, we decided that if it was going to be at all possible to finish 54 holes that a cart would be required for the first 36 holes. Tee off was at 7:15am at our home club, PEGC.. The course was awesome but my tempo had gone for a ball of sh%t.. I was spraying it all over the place, even my reliable iron shots were all over!!! The course is in a fantastic condition despite our current water shortages, the only problem I had was with the pitch marks on the green.. come on people repair your pitch marks!!!! Finished the round at PEGC nice and early and made our way down to Humewood where they are preparing for the SA Open in December, course is looking good but there are a number of temporary tee boxes, some of which are just plain shocking.. but I suppose there must be an element of suffering while the course is elevated to new levels. I heard they are reducing the width on fairways to 30 yards, some are 100 yards plus so that should be interesting. The 36 holes in one day ended with a couple of moans and groans, mostly about sore backs and bruised feet, imagine if we had walked! For the final 18 we where back to PEGC for the Saturday compo, played with Duanne and Gary and the wind Gods were up to their usual Saturday morning mischief. Battled through the round until the second last hole when I realised what I was going wrong, forcing every shot, snatching down at the irons instead of taking a 80% swing.. Damn hindsight! Finally, enough about me complaining about my painful golf, I am convinced I know whats wrong, again ;) The picture on the left is of Taylormades new RAC MB tp irons, designed for the tour level, low handicap player they feature a cut muscle design with a nice low trajectory.


Time Off
4/20/2006 6:08:44 PM
I have had quite a bit of off time lately with Golf, been travelling overseas came back to SA and had a lot of rain (which we really need here in the Eastern Cape, but not on a Saturday morning!!!). Anyway, the time off has given me time to reflect on Golf and my progress and frustration.. There are days where hitting the ball is just effortless and then other days when you battle to make solid contact with a 7 iron, then again if golf was easy none of us would be as obsessed as we are ;) I have realised that one of the most important things for my golf swing is to relax and slow down, I have a tendency to snatch at the ball from the top.. creating a out to in swingplane and then... bam!!! a fade!! Anyhow, no point moaning now.. I have a game booked with Dave for Saturday at Humewood and then I am planning on playing 36 holes next friday and 18 on Saturday.. should help me catch up on the golf I have missed. Until next time, adios... oh and well done to --Badds-- for holding it together against Furyk over the weekend, those bunker plays where some of the best I have ever seen!!


Masters
4/11/2006 10:49:05 AM
So friendly Phil does it again, I cannot express how unhappy I am that Retief or Tim Clark did not manage to beat the two driver bearing Phil! I suppose you must give him some credit for playing well, but the whole grinning "monkey" routine wears a little thin with me. But back to our SA squad, pity that Ernie had another blowout and I really thought that Retief was going to do it this year, just had a good feeling (so much so that I placed a 7-1 bet to win on Retief at Ladbrokes.com!!). So now we all patiently wait for the next major.. I for one will not be rooting for phil (although the guy in the photo looks like he might be ;))
Joke of the day
4/4/2006 1:49:30 PM
A husband and wife were out playing golf. They tee off and one drive goes to the right and one drive goes to the left. The wife finds her ball in a patch of buttercups. She grabs a club and takes a mighty swing at the ball. She hits a beautiful second shot, but in the process she hacks the hell out of the buttercups. Suddenly a woman appears out of nowhere. She blocks her path to her golf bag and looks at her and says, "I'm Mother Nature, and I don't like the way you treated my buttercups. From now on, you won't be able to stand the taste of butter. Each time you eat butter you will become physically ill to the point of total nausea." The mystery woman then disappears as quickly as she appeared. Shaken, the wife calls out to her husband "Hey, where's your ball?" "It's over here in the pussy willows." The wife screams back, "DON'T HIT THE BALL!!!! DON'T HIT THE BALL!!!!"


First round with the Hibore
4/3/2006 12:37:07 PM
It's amazing how well behaved a new club is, I played medal on Saturday with the new Hibore and my most reliable club of the day was definately the driver. I hit 70% of the fairways and the ones I missed were not by much, no lost balls at all!! The Hibore has a great launch angle and flight shape, really inspires confidence at address and it just feels like I can't miss it. I have a game at Humewood on Wednesday and another game on Saturday back at the hill, I cannot wait to unleash the driver on both days. So what are you sitting around waiting for, go test the hibore.. and if you like it, buy it (I promise I'm getting no commission!!)


Taylormade TP Red/Black Golfballs
4/3/2006 12:25:30 PM
Well TM has just made an announcement that it is re-entering the golf ball market with a product called the TP Red and TP Black golf balls. Apparently Sergio is already playing with the TP red and he's enjoying some HUUGE drives at the moment with it. As most of you know TM's sister partner is Maxfli of BlackMax fame, so it's going to be real interesting to see who on tour ends up playing with the different versions. As far as differences on the ball go, the red launches lower and with less spin so it will suit players looking for a more penetrating ball flight (like we need here in PE!!). No indications yet as to when the balls will be launched locally in S.A.


Hibore!!!!!
3/31/2006 2:36:43 PM
Well after my ranting and raving about using the tools at your disposal and not falling into the new equipment trap what do I do?? I go and buy the new Cleveland Hibore driver, why? Because it's bloody brilliant!!!! I tried it out at the proshop, really really easy to hit, nice flight shape, awesome shaft, great looking at address, etc, etc, etc. So tomorrow it's off to monthly medal and I will be taking my newly aquired toy to smash around the place... i'm so excited I don't know how I'm going to sleep!!!!
Is new better?
3/22/2006 3:32:20 PM
I love new kit, but there comes a time where you need to ask yourself.. is new always better? Definately not, sometimes it's better to stick with what you have than throw money away on that new 460cc driver with --optimal launch-- conditions, but if you hit that driver 30 metres further and are more accurate then by all means... buy it! So there I am, trying very hard to justify another purchase.. first the drivers, tried the Callaway X460 driver really nice, tried the new Cobra F speed driver, also really good but neither where as solid as my old Cobra 440SZ.. strange but true! Then on to the putters, been battling with my stroke of late so I gave a couple of new putters a run, the Scotty Cameron Futura was really cool and nice and light for the fast greens we have at the hill but again, after sampling 8 or so putters I ended up trying my old Odyssey 2 ball.. Solid!! There is a lesson in here somewhere, don't be an equipment slave, but spend the cash when it will improve your game! Happy shopping hackers ;)


Layoff
3/20/2006 3:43:18 PM
Howzit fellow hackers, I recently had the awesome experience of going skiing in Switzerland... sounds fantastic and it was. Only problem was I didn't touch a golf club for 3 weeks.... dangerous. So once I returned from what can only be described as the international flight from hell (made red eye look like a Walt Disney movie) I was quite keen to get back into the swing of things. We teed off on Saturday at Humewood in PE with a light Easterly blowing, only problem was that for the first 9 holes I was totally useless... shot 51 on the front and 43 on the back (including a birdie on the stroke 1!) What a shocker! So it's back to the range to work on the swing and try to get back some of my recent form, see ya on the greens ;)


New Shoes
3/15/2006 5:21:45 PM
There comes a day when your golf shoes tend to look a little tired, the pristine white now has a shade of grey and the once spotless pair needs to be retired.. so off I trundled to the local pro shop and checked out their stock.. the tour 360's looked great but I couldnt bring myself to spend R1500.00 on a pair of shoes.. highway bloody robbery! A couple of people have told me to stay away from Nike and I am quite fond of FootJoy.. Anyhow, I found a pair of Adidas torsions on sale that fitted, got a half size bigger than normal and now I am as happy as can be. A word to the wise, if you have large (read wide) feet then get a size bigger, half size is a little cramped for the first 2 games. So, now I can put my brand new shoes on with pride and kick the bag with confidence after a bad shot ;)


Cleveland Hibore
3/2/2006 8:41:12 AM
Every now and then a piece of equipment comes out and makes you do a double take, the Hibore is one of those pieces.. using the technology from their award winning Halo rescue they have created a driver that looks truly unique, apparently they have managed to push most of the weight back and low (similar to what nike did with the SQ driver) to enable a --higher launch, lower spinning-- drive... something we are all after. Edwin Watts are prelaunching but we can expect to see the world wide release early april.. I for one cannot wait!!!


Sureshot GPS
2/28/2006 4:31:09 PM
I've looked at the SUUNTO golf watch that basically uses GPS to give you accurate yardages on your golf holes.. only problem was it was a little large, had limited input, and was bloody expensive. Well enter the sureshot GPS unit, this unit can be mounted to your cart or strapped to your belt, bag or any where else you care to put it. First looks are promising, it retails for a meagre $400 and has a very usable interface. I am thinking of importing one after I check what the local rules say at the home club. As per usual with the GPS unit you can program any course into the device and measure a gazillion stats (fairways missed, trees hit, putts lipped, lobs hit in the teeth).
Best Round to date
1/31/2006 8:35:08 AM
The weather here in PE of late has been nothing short of shite, gale force winds, a bit of rain and normally always on a saturday. I thought that maybe with a bit of luck if I book a thursday off I may be able to trick the weather and get a golf game in. So off I went to Humewood for a early morning game with Dave, the weather was perfect.. no wind and a little cloud cover... anyway, not to bore you but I shot a 38 on the front nine and a 46 on the back, gross 84 off a 16 handicap.. weeehaaa. The condition of Humewood was a lot better than a couple of weeks ago where it was very dry, it looks like all the water reticulation is in and is definately doing it's job. Humewood has the 2006 SAA Open to look forward to and at this rate the course will be in pristine condition!


Big Bad Bubba!
1/17/2006 8:27:13 AM
Let's first start with golf for the weekend, after a dismal showing last week I carded a gross 88 on Saturday, nett 70 giving me a little bit more faith in my abilities and saving my clubs from a watery grave. But onto the Sony open in Hawaii, it was a great tournament but quite dull towards the end. Tom's is a fantastic player but he's just not that entertaining, unlike tiger he's straight and consistent which get's a little mundane to watch. The highlight for me was definately Bubba Watson, he's a bomber of note and smashed most of his drives over 370 yards. One drive went 398 and he reckoned he hit it on the toe!!! Bubba finished fourth, not bad for a rookie ;) So here's to entertaining golf in the future, bring on the bombers and the hackers, I want to see the pros playing tricky aproach shots around trees and into the wind, none of this driver to the middle of the fairway and wedge into 6 feet crap... work for your scores damn it!


From ecstasy to agony.. in 5 days
1/9/2006 11:49:42 AM
Man I hate this game, I played walmer with a mate on Monday.. terrible condition, shot a wonderful 88.. The driver was solid, the irons perfect and the putting so, so... Played medal at the hill on Saturday, shot 98!!! 10 shots in 5 days, I was so furious I considered giving up this bloody torture. I forgot how to putt, I forgot how to drive, everything was an effort (aside from the well deserved refreshment at the 19th of course). Golf has to be the cruelest of games, by far.


Happy New Years... almost
12/30/2005 2:32:10 PM
By the time you read this it will pretty much be 2006, what a year it's been golf wise.. I broke 90 for the first time, I had three birdies in a single round and I came second in the Walmer C division club champs.. wooohooo! Here's wishing all you golfblog readers out there a magic 2006, may your handicaps dimish and your balls never find the rough.. New years resolutions, try and get the handicap down, improve my putting and iron play and be nicer to the non golfers around me ;)


Draw b%tch, DRAW!!!
12/23/2005 12:36:58 PM
I am one of those cursed golfers with a natural fade (read slice) and I have battled consistently with it since time and memorial... well no more I tell you, no more. I was reading an article in one of the high priced international mags that I have and in it they reckon the cure to the common slice is to focus on your left arm and hand... try and swing the left arm/hand so that you end up in almost a hitch-hikers grip... ok, sounds weird but you should have the knuckles of the left hand pointing towards the ground at about a 45 degree angle with your left arm full extended.. So I have given this a bash and for now it's working.. I am extending my left arm nicely through impact and find that I have very little influence with my dominant right hand. I can't wait for the snap hook to develop ;)


Retief Goosen takes SAA Open
12/19/2005 10:48:46 AM
What a fantastic end to a brilliant tournament, for those of you who missed the final day's events it was a nail biter of note! Ernie made up 3 shots on retief and going into the sixteenth he was one behind Retief, Ernie birdied the 16th to move even with Retief. Retief and Ernie missed the green on the par 3 17th and Retief proceeded to chip in from what looked like bogey country. Ernie then made par and slipped back one. Final hole is a par 5, both guys had decent drives with Ernie's being a bit longer. Retief missed the green with his second and Ernie put it within 6 feet for an eagle oppertunity... brilliant. Retief chipped it close and Ernie missed his eagle having to settle for birdie. Retief also made his bird and took the title!!! Well done Retief, you deserved it!


Grips
12/9/2005 8:43:32 AM
My current set of irons has tour velvet grips with two wraps of tape on it, this has made gripping the club a lot easier and feels a lot more comfortable than stock standard. My only problem with the grips is that some of them have started twisting around after 3 months of use.. very strange indeed. So while playing a round the other day I spotted some really nice grips on a friends set of irons and decided that I needed to standardize grips across all of my clubs... so off to the proshop I went but much to my dismay they did not have the exact grip I was looking for so I had to settle for regripping my clubs, adding two wraps to the driver and the 3 wood and extending my lob wedge by an inch (i have been doing some dentistry with it lately). So, will it make a difference.. time (and saturdays game) will tell.


Xmas Specials
11/30/2005 9:59:58 AM
I love this time of year, we get the new equipment guide with Golf Digest so we can drool at all the new kit.. there are heaps of specials at the proshop and everyone is in a holiday mood. It appears as if the new Nike SQ is doing quite nicely, which is suprising as it's probably the ugliest driver in the world (ok, maybe the MacTec is uglier). But back to the specials, this is the best time of year to stock up on kit especially well priced balls, I normally get as many as Santa can afford, this saves me heaps in the long run!


Taylormade R7 Irons!
11/7/2005 3:25:41 PM
It seems like every week new equipment is coming out, Taylormade has just announced the launch of their R7 range of irons.. strangely the R7 irons don't feature the moveable weight technology of the drivers and fairway woods. The irons are however packed full of technology and feature the highest legal COR possible on irons. There are two models, the R7 XD and the R7 CGB MAX, the main differentiator being that the XD is aimed at higher handicaps and the CGB MAX having more techno influence. The irons are extremely good looking and because they have moved the weight back on the irons they are incredibly easy to launch! Definately one for the XMas list.


Swing Analysis
11/2/2005 3:08:34 PM
I was (un)fortunate enough to have my swing analyzed at a golf day a couple of weeks back and let me tell you it's a bloody scary thing to see exactly how you swing. I will be honest, I am suprised I ever hit the ball!! The swing analysis however was positive, it highlighted a couple of problems with my swing and has given me a start in the right direction. I am trying not to obsess too much about the nuances in my swing, I definately don't look like tiger (more like someone running from a tiger;). But I digress, I am now focussing on keeping my shoulders online (they were pointing waaay left) and swinging the club back straight (not outside the line). So check back next week and see how my swing is progressing ;) BTW next week is club champs at Walmer CC, I am looking forward to my first forray into the world of home club competition.. Keep your fingers crossed!


Wedgwood Country Club
10/26/2005 3:59:34 PM
Just over 20 minutes outside of PE there is a ex championship golf course called Wedgwood. It has the most amazing layout and I have had some of my most memorable games there, they are in the process of possibly building an estate there but they still have a number of plots to sell before building will commence. The course itself is a long one, add wind to the equation and it becomes daunting!!! The major hassle with the course of late is that it is dry, now I'm not talking moderately dry I'm talking sand dry! The greens look like bunkers and the fairways are one big sand trap... what's more is that it is marginally cheaper for me to play there as opposed to Humewood or PEGC. The carts (trust me, you need one) are also expensive at R120.00 per cart and they have some refurbed 1970's model carts to boot. So, great course just overpriced at the moment and in bad condition... come on guys, water the course and drop your golf fees and I am sure that dead parking lot will be packed in no time!


When the wind blows....
11/7/2005 3:27:10 PM
3am Saturday morning, the wind is howling so much that my roof tiles sound as if they are going to move to another neighborhood... this is the joy of living in the windy city, so I pray that the weather will blow itself out before our 7am tee off at the hill (PECG)...please golfing Gods, pleeease.. Alas, I wake up to find a mini-gale going on outside and my girlfriend mutters something about mad golfers as I set off for the course. I reckon there will be about three other people mad enough as me to be playing in this dismal weather but to my surprise the parking lot looks busy and there are golfers all over the place sporting the latest in weather repellant gear. So, as this is an instructional spot I suppose I need to give you some advice on how to play in the wind.. First off, never...ever...ever try and force the ball in the wind, you impart too much spin on the ball (backspin, sidespin) and it ends up far from your intended target, so swing easy. The second trick is to work out how many clubs stronger the wind is, for instance.. on Saturday into the wind I needed to take 3 extra clubs, ie.. a 4 iron instead of a 7 iron and visa versa, when I was playing with the wind I would take a 9 iron instead of a 6 iron. With the wind traveling left to right you will need to take less club if your shape is a fade and more if your shape is a draw, conversely with the wind right to left you will need more club for a fade and less for a draw. The next tip is to try and keep the ball low, play it further back in your stance and try to punch the ball with a short punch downward blow and a limited follow through, some prefer hitting half shots with less lofted clubs, ie half a 5 iron instead of a full swing 7 iron. The final tip I have for you is try to bump and run as much as the course allows and be aware that the wind will affect your put, especially into and with the wind, side on wind has a limited effect on your ball. Most of all enjoy the fact that you can drive the ball 300m+ with the wind behind you.. a feat none of your mates will believe ;)


Stop trying too hard!
10/3/2005 4:28:59 PM
I often get caught up in a practice frenzy, I have been hitting the range at least once a week over the last year (rain, wind or shine... and trust me in P.E the adage should be rain, wind or bloody windy) and I have been diligently practicing my drills and sure there has been improvement but it has been marginal.. I admit: I am greedy... I want to improve quickly and I want a swing like Adam Scott but I'm built more like John Daly. So every Saturday I go out to the course with expectations of shooting a brilliant round, for me that's breaking 90.. and more often than not I try too hard.. by that I mean I put so much pressure on myself to score well that I forget the reason for being there in the first place... to have fun and hang out with my mates, and hopefully make some money on the game ;) So going into last Saturday's game I was feeling kind of melancholy, it was a medal round so I had no dreams of grandeur and just focused on having fun.. and boy did it pay off.. I had three birdies in the round and finished on a 92 (with a couple of blowouts, damn bunkers!) So next time you tee it up, don't forget to enjoy yourself and don't put too much pressure on yourself to perform.. see ya on the links!


Pezula Villas
10/3/2005 4:12:57 PM
I have raved about Pezula a couple of times, it's a great place to take a break and it really is an end to end experience. This is a quick accomodation review on the Pezula / Sparrebosch villa's, they are either 2 or 4 bedroom units with the 4 bedroom having three bathrooms, a lounge, diningroom, well equipped kitchen and a built in (not undercover) braai! We were lucky enough to get a 4 bedroom unit on our stay that overlooked the 7th hole, what a view (and believe me it took all my restraint not to tee it up on the lawn and fire some shots onto the fairway ;). The place also comes with a golf cart and a double garage, all this for a really reasonable price! Other advantages include discounted rates at the course and it's really close by to the new Spa (voted number one in S.Africa, trust me it's worth a visit!!), Zachary's Restaurant and Hotel. So give sparrebosch letting a call in Knysna and make your booking!!


GD Pezula Subscriber Challenge
9/27/2005 10:06:59 AM
We drove up late Wednesday afternoon to Knysna, the trip was fairly uneventful with the exception of a nail that devastated one of my tyres, excellent way to start the trip ;) It was a late night in Knysna with much anticipation of the day ahead, Gary was playing off a +2 so he needed to shoot his socks off and I was on a comfy 19.. The next day started with a magic brekky and then it was off to Pezula to sign up for the challenge, Pezula has been reviewed before and it remains my number one golfing experience.. the hospitality you receive coupled with the magic facilities makes for a perfect golfing holiday. A mention of thanks to Yvonne Jackman for organizing the event and also to all the sponsors, it was a really slick affair. Anyway, on to the golf.. we had the pleasure of teeing off on the 5th hole, a long par 3 with loads of traps.. Gary put his on the green and I bounced mine off the cart path and onto a grassy knoll.. brilliant start ;) The round got better from there and besides a couple of putts I should have dropped we ended on a respectable 41 points with Gary shooting a healthy 75 (including a brilliant eagle into the wind!!!) and myself a 91, the winners shot 43 and are off to Sun City for the final.. well done lads! All in all it was an unbelievable experience, well done to Kev and Ryan for coming second on Friday, they too will be off to Sun City!


Taylormade RAC TP Black Wedge
9/20/2005 2:55:43 PM
I currently have the RAC Satin 60 degree lob wedge in my bag, it is a great wedge and has served me well. So how are the guys at TM going to improve on it, simple.. the new RAC TP black wedge has the sharpest edges possible (they promise it will not destroy your premium balls), they now have Y cutter grooves which promise an extra 300 RPM of spin... The wedges will be released in a single bounce configuration promising a variety of shot options around the green and finally the engineers are using larger feel pockets to reduce shock on poor shots while enhancing feel on good ones... TM are going to release the following lofts: 52.08, 54.10, 56.12, 58.08 and 60.06. So, it looks great, has more backspin than an industrial bandsaw and comes in every loft imaginable, i may buy all 5!


Subscriber Challenge 2005!
9/20/2005 9:01:45 AM
Two days to go until the Golf Digest subscriber challenge 2005 (Pezula Leg), I can hardly wait!!! It looks like the weather should be fine, the cold front should pass early and we may have a little wind to contend with but other than that it looks peachy. The compo is better ball sford so hopefully I can improve on my scores of late and post a decent round... the top two teams from each day get to go to Sun City for the finals, yowza... so I have bought some fresh balls (Callaway HX Tour 56) and I will be cleaning my weapons tonight to ensure that at least I look like a golfer ;) Good luck to all the other entrants, see you at the course!


What is Hollow Tining
9/19/2005 1:23:20 PM
I am sure we have all sufferred the same fate, you are dead keen to play your Saturday golf game but when you get to the course they have hollow tined the greens, now you have to putt across what can best be described as a failed sahara themed golf course. So why do the greenkeepers hate us, and why do they need to hollow tine the greens, and what the hell is hollow tining any way??? Well, hollow tining is the process by which tines are injected into the green and soil cores are removed from the greens, the cores are then raked up and the green is top soiled. The reason behind hollow tining is three fold, they need to aerate the soil, relieve compaction and remove thatch.... so think twice the next time you curse the greenkeeper for trying to improve the greens, rather curse the club for not notifying you!!


Callaway HX Tour 56
9/15/2005 1:20:55 PM
The great thing about golf is that you can play with the same equipment as the professionals do, albeit with a limited degree of success compared to them ;) The topic for today is the Callaway HX Tour 56 golf ball, it is a fairly expensive ball coming in at pretty much the same premium as a ProV1 but the ball offers some -new- technological advances promising longer drives and better drop and stop capability. The ball has the standard hexagonal dimple pattern but also has a number of deep dimples similar to the Hogan deep tour ball.... makes you think doesn't it? So how did the ball do in the field test, well besides losing some of it's logo to an unfortunate incident with a tree it was really a nice ball to play with. It felt nice and soft and didn't seem to fade as much as my ProV1 and ZUR... so will I be playing with this ball for a while, definately.. ;)


Sony PSP - Everybody Golf
9/5/2005 2:41:21 PM
03-09-2005, the official launch date of the sony PSP in South Africa.. I was up at the crack of dawn to get down to the pick and pay hyper here in PE.. they were selling the Sony PSP for a bargain price of R1999.00 (first 25 customers only).. the shop was scheduled to open at 7am so I coasted in there at about 6:45am, much to my suprise the parking lot had more cars than expected and I needed to outsprint a retired couple to the queue (sounds easier than it is, wily old characters those pensioners!). So after arriving 19th in the queue I was assured of a bargain price PSP. I also managed to get my grubby paws on the last copy of Everybody Golf, a cartoon like golf game aimed at the masses. It is really a brilliant little game with many characters and courses, lots of challenges and many many hours of fun. I now have something to do in between the Saturday golf games that is almost as much fun as the real thing (probably because I play better PSP than golf!) ;)
What Feel means to me
9/2/2005 8:59:34 AM
We often hear about golfers with tremendous feel, they can use the same club to hit 120, 130, 140m just by varying their swing slightly.. What I have found is that when I can specifically feel where the clubhead is in the swing that I tend to hit the ball better. It's great from a follow through perspective because you are focussing on the path of the swing rather than the little white ball ;) A great way to get this sort of sensation is to use a David Leadbetter technique: Grab a 7 iron with your thumb and two fingers just short of the shaft and swing it with one hand slowly, you will feel the weight of the clubhead aswell as the natural motion of the swing. Give it a bash, it may help your game.


Get in the HOLE!!!!
8/31/2005 4:18:35 PM
Well, a couple of blogs back it seemed as if the clubs were headed for a short fall down a very deep hole.. but just as you reckon the golfing gods have it in for you they throw you a scrap.. the scrap came in the form of a driving range effort at lunchtime.. I have been trying so hard to get rid of this damn slice that I have stopped enjoying golf (shudder), but redemption came in the form of a simple tip.. one of my golfing buddies noted that I am coming back waaay off line, pushing the club outside the line and then swinging wildly back at the ball. So I told him bullshit, I take the club back perfectly straight. So to test his theory I picked a spot behind the ball (side on) and then proceeded to swing perfectly over it and back producing yet another magnificent slice. I then did the same thing from the back and sure enough the spot I was picking from the side was outside the line!!! Eureka, I picked a spot correctly now and addressed the ball and low and behold my slice was still present but not as bad as usual!!! Praise the gods! Oh, and if you are wondering what the image has to do with this blog, it's because I'm happy (I know, very poor humour) ;)


Buick Championship
8/29/2005 10:41:22 AM
Wow, what a brilliant final round. Looked like Justin Rose was going to end up in a titanic battle with Ben Curtis but both Justin and Ben had poor last rounds. Brad Faxon started with 4 bridies on the front nine and finished with 5 bridies on the back nine equalling the course record of 61! Tjaart van der Walt was sitting -13 at the tee box of the sixteenth and hit a great approach shot over the water, unfortunately he three putted to go to -12 with two to play. He finished the last two holes bridie, birdie to share the lead at -14. Rose narrowly missed joing the two for the playoff but it was simply not his day. The playoff was on the 18th hole, Faxon drove first putting his shot into one of the left handside bunkers, VDW smashed his down the middle with a little fade, got a members bounce and ended up in the middle of the fairway. So I reckon, we have it in the bag.. but Faxon hits a remarkable shot out of the bunker to within three feet of the hole! Tjaart not be outdone hit his approach shot right at the flag, and hit it!!! I was on the edge of my seat as Tjaart unluckily missed his bird (putt broke right to left same direction as his previous birdie but from the other side of the hole!) and Faxon knocked his into the back of the cup to secure the win. Nail biting stuff! Tjaart played brilliantly and has now earned exemption for the rest of the 2005 PGA tour, congrats boet!! A big well done to Faxon who hasn't won for a good long time and really deserved the win with a final round 61 ;)


Oubaai
8/24/2005 3:16:12 PM
One of the courses I was the most excited about playing was Ernie Els's new signature course, Oubaai. This was the last course we played as part of the golf tour and the weather was definitely against us on the day, the course is a links style course high up on the cliffs above Herolds Bay just outside George and the wind was gusting at about 35-45km's per hour... It was another shot gun start and we were lucky enough to tee off on the 6th hole which is featured on the picture. What you can't see on the picture is any balls on the green, that's probably because they are all in the bush short, right and long! The wind on this hole was blowing left to right and I aimed a 3 wood way left and watched the ball bounce happily off the green into the abyss below. So with 5 balls down in the 4 ball we were not off to a good start. The course itself is very new and needs to grow into itself, the greens were superb but I was not impressed by the fairways and the tee boxes. The clubhouse is fantastic and the proshop was great, just take your Amex black card with you. The layout was arguably the best on the tour and I really enjoyed the challenge, the one strange thing I found was that all the rakes had a Please Replace in Bunker sign on them, I have always thought that rakes need to be outside of the bunker... but I am not going to argue with Ernie.. especially with a sore knee. So does it get the must play status, definitely!
Enough is enough!
8/24/2005 3:00:23 PM
I have had it with this bloody game, time to throw the clubs in the lake! There isn't a golfer out there that hasn't had this emotion, and I'm sure there are a couple that have followed through on it, well that's exactly how I feel at the moment. I have good days and I have bad days, some days the golf is easy..you just stand up there and hit the ball and it goes where you want it, but at this point the ball seems to be going everywhere I don't want it to go! I have developed the mother of all slices and it has even started with the irons... bloody frustrating! So I made a call yesterday to go and see a pro, not for a lesson this time but for 6! So off I went to one of the local pro's for him to assess my swing, turns out I have a lot of work to do, I need to change my grip and my swingplane and let my wrists become more active... so with all good intentions I went through day ones drills and worked on using my wrists more and my arms and shoulders less.. hard work, especially when everything you have learn't over time has been ingrained into your swing. So after day one I was feeling confident, the points he made were valid and I was working towards a greater goal... so off to the range I went and this is where it happened... I forgot how to hit the ball! I was shanking and slicing, dribbling and duffing.. it was like day one all over again. Well as they say no pain, no gain and with this amount of pain you can expect to see a much improved golfer in a couple of months.. you will also probably see a couple of frustrated 4 balls along the way too ;)


Bunker Babes
8/22/2005 5:30:58 PM
You have to admit, most golfing sites tend to be boooring.. well on another hapless trip around the internet I stumbled across this site... golfpunk.com, the site has a brilliant section called bunker babes.. now not only are the bunker babes easy on the eye but they also answer tricky rule related questions... brilliant! So the next time you want to know if you are allowed to ground your club in a bunker, or clean a ball on the fringe, go check out the bunker babes ;)
Etiquette
8/22/2005 12:43:08 PM
Nothing irks me more than playing golf with a person that has no clue on the etiquette of golf, most of the time it's not the persons fault because either they are new to the game or someone has simply never told them what's acceptable behaviour and whats not.. sometimes the person knows exactly what's expected of them but they choose to ignore it. So I have taken it upon myself to help fellow new comers to the game with a couple of simple rules to make your life and the other members of your 4 balls lives better. The first rule is to always arrive well in advance of your tee time, make sure you are at your tee at least 10 mins before your tee time. The second rule is to be prepared, always carry enough tees, pencils, balls and a divot repair tool, ball marker and some cash (if you are keen on gambling). The third rule is to play at a decent pace, don't take 20 practice swings before each shot, ensure you check your putting line before it's your turn to put, pick up your ball if you are out of the hole (not medal play) and be aware of play order. Fourth and some would say most importantly is to respect the other players shots, don't talk on another players backswing or setup, don't stand too close to them on the tee box, don't drive the cart while they are playing a shot, don't tee off out of order, don't walk off the green while they are putting and for God's sake don't give them advice on the course unless they ask for it. Live by those simple rules and you will never upset another golfer again ;)


Practice with a purpose
8/18/2005 3:44:57 PM
Most of us suffer from the same fate, we play once a week if the wives allow and we practice even less than that... what's worse is that when we go and practice there are no clear goals in mind. You simply get 80 balls and smack them randomly around the driving range. I have tried to become more of a practice with a purpose type of guy, sure I still tee up the driver and see how hard I can hit the ball without falling over... but I try and focus on clear goals. The first thing I do is have a decent stretch, I follow that with some slow 7 iron swings and then set up an alignment club for my feet. I always aim at a target or at worst down a target line, I am not always worried about distance because a lot of the ranges simply aren't accurate enough and it ends up either freaking you out (why can't I hit a 6 iron 140m!!) or giving you too much confidence (wow, I can hit a 6 iron 180m, must remember that). The most important thing is to remain relaxed and have fun, I normally start with a driver like in a normal game and then swap to a 6/7 iron and then to a wedge and then back to the driver. If I'm feeling confident I will try hitting fades and draws with my irons and also try out new things that I can't while playing (ball position, punch shots, etc). I hope this helps the next time you hit the range!


Pezula
8/15/2005 11:38:44 AM
Day 2 of the tour arrived with much anticipation, we were off to play Pezula (ex Sparrebosch) in Knysna... Pezula is located on the east of Knysna's heads right next to the sea which makes for spectacular vista's and a beautiful course. On arrival our clubs were taken to our named carts and we spent some time on the putting green to warm up. The carts at Pezula are fitted with the most awesome GPS system you have ever seen, you can check exactly how far it is to each hazard, to each green and more importantly to each hole.. You can also see how far your drive went and how far the cart in front of you is so you don't injure a slow four ball! The service is out of the world and the Golf Director Jeff Clause (a fellow golf nut) was extremely friendly and personable... but enough about the brilliant atmosphere and fantastic service and onto the course.. well words cannot describe how brilliant this course is, the tee boxes looked like greens, the fairways were magnificent and a number of 50cm divots were dispatched into the air and the greens were fast and receptive.. lot's of backspin and really nice to putt on. The GPS system also helped a lot as it was the first time I had played the course and the distances were incredibly tricky, lots of carries and raised greens to contend with. I definitely want to go back and play the course a second time, I would also like to stay in the newly built Pezula Hotel and Spa... but at 5k per person per night that will have to remain a distant dream ;)
Simola
8/10/2005 1:12:05 PM
Finally, the golf tour has arrived.. we set off on Friday afternoon to Knysna late afternoon and arrived in time for some beers and a braai at Belvedere in Knysna. We stayed in a friend of a friend's house, Barry.. an absolutely stunning place overlooking the Knysna lagoon. The nerves were on edge and everyone was anxious about the next day at Simola, would my driver be working and my irons broken, or would my putter go on the fritz? Needless to say I slept about three hours and arose bright and early for the day ahead.. The drive up to Simola is a spectacular one, you wind your way to the top of the hill above Knysna and I must say that the photos don't do the place justice at all.. it really is stunning with huge elevations overlooking Knysna and the sea in the distance. The course itself is awesome, a true challenge with fast and slopy greens that are quite firm (tricky to attack the pin with a low iron) and well contoured fairways. The course is quite long (for me) and the carts were not allowed to go everywhere so prepare for a decent walk, or a really long one if you are spraying the ball all over the place.. We had a good round there with Kev and Ryan playing well while Kurt and myself battled a bit (me more so than Kurt). I recommend this course with no hesitation; just beware of errant golf shots crossing the fairways as this can become dangerous :) My favourite hole is number 2 with a hugely elevated tee you can almost drive the green with a monster drive, I left mine about 80m out and missed birdie after putting my approach wedge close, bugger! Congrats to all the guys that one prizes, Murray walked away with closest to the pin, about 8 inches from the hole!!
SmartSwing
8/3/2005 5:05:13 PM
I just love technology, and there seems to be no end to the golf and technology partnership! The latest product is the SmartSwing range of products, basically there is circuitry in their golf clubs that measures the 3D co-ords of your swing and then software that analyzes your swing in 3D!!!! But wait, there's more.. they can retrofit existing clubs with the technology so you can work out exactly what's going on with your swing... brilliant... so now we can see exactly how bad our golf swings are ;)
Time to get help!
8/3/2005 10:53:32 AM
The part of golf we all love is the ability to work on your game, we spend countless hours at the range.. putting on carpets at home and chipping in our back yards. There does however come a time where you realize that professional help is needed, this realization came to me after Saturdays game. My drives were horrible, I normally have a fade on the ball but aiming to the left side of the fairway tends to put me in the middle, but over the last couple of weeks this has turned into the beast of all slices, I now aim three fairways left and when the ball finally does hit the fairway it's bounces happily along it and deep into the right rough! So I thought with only a couple of days left before the tour I needed to work out the demons, so I called one of the local PGA instructors and off I went. He asked me what I was battling with and then instructed me to tee up and hit a couple of drives. I tee'd up the ball and proceeded to take a 13m divot with the driver, ball went straight up and landed 50m in front of me.. off to a good start. The second shot was better but the fade crept in and dragged the ball to the right edge. Undeterred the instructor (Wayne Berry) told me that I had two major flaws, the first was easy to fix and the other would require a lot more effort. The first problem was ball position, I have always tee'd up the ball on my left heel but over time and with all the tweaking it has moved further left, he moved it opposite my left big toe and amazingly it worked. Apparently with the new BIG head drivers the tee position is well forward, the other bigger problem is my swing width.. I tend to bend my left arm on backswing due to a dominant right side. I have a bunch of exercises now to sort out the swing, lovely... the most amazing part of the lesson was that now by just changing the ball position I have the confidence back to hit my driver, let's hope it doesn't break my irons ;)


Ernie's Bad Luck Continues...
8/1/2005 4:40:33 PM
There just seems to be no good news for Ernie, while on Holiday in the med he injured his knee and had to have emergency knee surgey, but wait it gets worse.. on advice from his medical advisors he will not be playing golf for the rest of the season! Now I know how grumpy I get when I don't play on a Saturday due to weather, or family pressure but can you imagine not playing for 6 months or longer, absolute torture!!! On the positive side maybe a good break is what Ernie needs to get back his superb form. Well good luck Ernie, hope the knee feels better soon.


Suunto G9 - First Look
7/29/2005 4:01:03 PM
Wow, a watch that can map out golf courses, record your yardage on different clubs, map 9 targets per hole..... this might mean the demise of the caddy! Well first look at these fantastic watches looks impressive, it comes with an interface to your PC and the ability to map with an accuracy of 1 metre / 3 foot. I think this will be an invaluable tool to the dedicated hacker, but I only have three concerns.. 1: Size, it's quite a large beast so day to day watch wearing may be an issue if you don't have forearms like the yeti, 2: I have never been a fan of wearing a watch on the golf course, it tends to make me feel off balance, but that's probably just me.. 3: Price.. the unit is around R5850.00 or $499 if you have family coming to visit from the states. So to conclude, I would probably buy one if I had the money... which I don't so it will remain on the christmas list for now ;)
Golf Tour!
7/29/2005 11:59:41 AM
It’s a week away, the tour of all tours.. myself and the usual suspects are heading up to George next week for four days of golf, golf, golf. It’s the supergolf golf days at Pezula, Simola, Fancourt and finally Oubaai that has got us running around like little kids the night before Christmas! I have not played any of the courses yet so I am nervous as hell, but I have bought enough golf balls to compensate for said nerves;) The four courses are apparently in mint condition and with Oubaai closing to the public soon it may be my first and last game there. I have diligently prepared for the event by trying to get as much practice in as possible (provided the damn wind stops blowing in PE long enough to hit the range). I will take lots of photos and review the four courses on my return, so keep checking the site for updates. Oh, and I hear there are still some open places so if you want to play then contact tracy@supergolf.co.za.


Retief's Back!
7/27/2005 11:14:18 AM
I watched the battle at the bridge last night with Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen up against John Daly and Tiger Woods. What a brilliant game, the pairings were fair and I really enjoyed watching the guys play in teams and for once it looked like they also enjoyed themselves... well who wouldn't, a day of golf with first prize being $1 mil split and second place getting $800k split! Retief was sporting his new adidas Tour 360 shoes that must have done something for his confidence because after a shaky start he birdied four of the last six holes. The course was fantastic and there were some scary carries on the back nine but as usual the pro's made it look easy, well almost.. Tiger pushed his second on a par five into the water and Daly pitched his shot on the edge of the green with roughly the same yardage, the kind of aggresive play we have come to expect from Daly. At the end Retief and Phil proved too much for the other pair and they won it on the 15th. Well done Retief, great having you back!!


Short Putts
7/27/2005 11:00:08 AM
Drive for show and putt for dough! While we all love a brilliant drive down the middle that travels 30m past your friends ball , the sad thing is that many points are dropped on and around the green. One of the drills I practice before teeing off is the short putt drill. I line up two, three or four balls about a foot apart and starting at 2 foot from the hole. I then hit the closest shot in and move onto the next shot, rememer to keep your head down until you hear the ball drop into the hole. The drill teaches you to have a smooth back stroke and it builds that short putt confidence that is critical. I had a HUGE problem a while back with short putts and always pushed them left or right, this drill has helped me tremendously and I hope it helps you.


What's in my "new" bag - Part 6
7/26/2005 1:01:40 PM
One of the biggest noises being made on the golf course is definitely the Hybrid, some call them metalwoods some call them rescue clubs but despite all the arguing over the correct naming convention we all agree that they are fantastic. I have tried a good couple of rescue clubs out, I bought an 18 Degree 2 Iron replacement called a Bazooka and boy was it a bomb… So lesson learned, I thought long and hard about my next Hybrid purchase. I read reviews on the different makes and models and trust me there are hundreds to choose from. The bottom line is know exactly what you are looking for when getting a Hybrid, know what distance you want to get out of the club, know what your swing speed is or measure it on the Flightscope and then go out there and hit some rescue clubs. I eventually settled on replacing my 4 Iron with a 22 Degree TaylorMade Mid Rescue with a graphite shaft. Cool things to do with your Hybrid include playing it out of the rough, the heavy head and wide base make it a good option for getting out of tricky lies, you can also play a bump and run from just off the green and it will lift the ball over the thick grass and give a nice roll on the green. It can also make for a great confidence booster when playing tight par 4’s as well as long par 3’s. So bottom line is, go try and buy yourself one of these magic clubs ;)
Smash your Drive!
7/25/2005 5:48:09 PM
This has to be one of the hardest elements in golf, sure it’s been made easier with large heads, offset heads, weighted heads, specialized shafts, and so on… but still we battle. I have come up with a few fundamentals that have helped me when I struggle; they have been compiled through lots of tips from friends and golf mags, instructional tapes and so on. 1: If you have a tendency to fade the ball tee up on the right side of the tee box, conversely if you draw the ball then use the left side of the tee box. 2: Tee the ball up typically half a ball higher than your driver; you can tee it up lower for wind or higher if you want a bit more distance. If I tee it up higher I move the ball position further to my left, ie: closer to my heel or on it. 3: Line up the logo or alignment mark with the target; this is your target line. 4: Stand in front of the ball with your feet together, position your left heel adjacent to the ball and then move your right foot out to shoulder width. 5: Your head position should be behind the ball and your weight should favour your right side. 6: Pick a spot in front of the ball and behind your ball on the target line, swing back slowly on the target line and then back through the target line; your back swing is complete when your left shoulder passes the ball. Transition to your down swing slowly and accelerate up and through the ball.


adidas Tour 360 Preview
7/25/2005 11:13:08 AM
The shoe will be released on 1st September 2005 and has already won the ispovision Global SportStyle Award for Men's Footwear of the Year 2005! All I can say is that it looks great, adidas promise that this shoe will deliver exceptional support, stability and endurance. I just hope they release a wide version for my fat feet ;) Different colour versions will be released and we should see Retief sporting them soon, maybe the extra stability will help with his putting form.
Fish River Sun
7/25/2005 10:15:54 AM
Murphy's Law, every good golf game needs to be followed by at least five bad ones, each bad game needs to have different components that malfunction.. Ie, Game 1: Driver goes on the fritz, Game 2: Inability to putt anything further than 2 inches, Game 3: Chipping is now impossible, Game 4: Irons fail to hit ball first, either ground first or topping of ball mandatory and finally Game 5: A mixture of the first four problems. Well this weekend fell into Game 1 category, my usually reliable driver must have been bent on the trip because it had a nasty tendency to power slice every shot... the upside is that I contributed to the local economy to the tune of 6 ProV's! But bad golf aside, Dave and I played one of the best courses in the eastern cape.. rated number 22 on the GolfDigest best S.A courses. The weather was perfect, the greens were running at 10.5 to 11 on the stimpmeter and the course was immaculate. The best way to describe the Fish is unique; there are bunkers with trees in them and Aloes in the middle of the fairway (not a problem for me as the fairways were eluding me). The elevations are fantastic and there are a couple of nice water carries to contend with, one on a par four were you tee off over the "old woman" river and then a par five coming back were you either lay up to cross the river or brave it in 2 (I laid up and then pushed my approach into the river, brilliant strategy). On the whole a great experience, the staff are really friendly and the hotel is comfortable with great food at the Wahoo restaurant. Take a couple of extra balls with just in case Murphy visits you ;)
Hanky Golf Club
7/26/2005 2:24:30 PM
Just over twenty minutes outside of PE there is a small 9 hole golf course in Hankie. The town itself is in the middle of Citrus country (Cue banjo music from Deliverence) but go slowly otherwise you won't only miss the turn off to the golf course you will miss the town ;) The course is in really good condition thanks to a dedicated greenskeeper and his team. The people are friendly and they found my broken Afrikaans quite refreshing. Debs and I played there during the week and there were a couple of other locals enjoying the hot winter weather on the course. The first hole is my favourite; with a serious amount of bush on the right and an elevated tee it makes for a good nerve tester! Debs smashed her drive down the middle, I played for my customary power fade and powered it straight for a change to the left side of the fairway. Needless to say the woman beat me by sinking a monster putt (beginners luck;). The course is cheap, and really worth the trip if you are in the area.


Muss Gammon!
7/21/2005 11:58:23 AM
It is with great sadnesss that I watched the final (in the current series) of Ultra Simple Golf with Muss and Don Gammon, Muss is an absolute legend and my all time favourite tip of his is the "chip aim" technique. Basically what you need to do is focus on a point halfway between the ball and the hole and using a PW chip it to the point you are aiming at. The ball will rollout to hole high on a flattish surface. This technique is widely used in our fourball with Kev shouting... MUSS GAMMON.. every time he chips it close. You can vary the shot with a SW, 9I but change the landing point accordingly. So Muss, farewell until the next series.. let's hope your sponsors keep it going for a good couple of seasons to come. The attached photo is of Muss Gammon, Nick Mallet and Don Gammon, I had the priveledge of playing with Nick at an IBM golfday, hell of a nice guy and a great striker of the ball..
ProV Killer!
7/20/2005 4:46:42 PM
I have played golf with many different types of balls and trust me when I tell you that they make a huge difference to your golf score. The ball review for today is on the new Srixon ZUR, I have played with the soft feel and the AD333 Srixon balls and they are both average balls, but nothing spectacular. The ZUR however is a premium ball aimed at the low handicapper with a high swing speed (the opposite definition of me ;). Now every golf pro out there will tell you to stick to a 2 layer affordable ball if you are a high handicapper, ProV's and ZURs feel a lot softer on contact to me and definately spin more on short irons and less on drivers! I say if you can afford them and losing a R25 ball is not going to reduce you to tears or result in a caddy injury, then spoil yourself and get a box! Compared to the ProV I really prefer the Srixon ZUR, the logo is great for lining up on putts and drives and I enjoy having a different ball to the ProV crowd. I tested the soft feel vs the ZUR on drives and I got an extra 15-20m on average and it rolls really nicely on the greens.
David Leadbetter 100% Golf
7/19/2005 5:32:09 PM
This was the second instructional golfing book I read, the first was some dodgy book out of the 70's with slazenger equipment all over the place and some fat man attempting to teach the world golf.. But I digress, I found this book very helpful, all the fundamentals are covered and the illustrations and descriptions are easy to interpret. There are a lot of helpful practice drills and some great quick fixes for common faults. That being said, I would recommend the book for new golfers and high handicappers like me ;)


Brush T
7/19/2005 11:06:33 AM
Golfers will look for any excuse to blame their game as well as any potential remedy to fix it, I wouldn't know as I am not one of those golfers... ok, maybe I am. Anyhow, I went out and bought some brush T's to see if the promise of a longer, straighter drive rang true. On the positive side the Brush T is well constructed, it looks like it should last a while even for the most avid hacker. The other thing I liked was the consistent height you get on your driver, providing the ground is level on the tee box and the grass isn't too high. If the course has neatly mown tee boxes then it works perfectly, if they don't then it is a bit of a mission to get into the ground. My overall impression of the brush T was that I wouldn't use it on a consistent basis, I preferred my old wooden tees and found them more adaptable under different tee conditions.
Golfers competitive, never!
7/18/2005 12:23:40 PM
We all have them, the friends that just can’t be beaten, whether it’s a poker game, or drinking an entire pint the fastest or golf… whatever you try they always seem to edge you out at the last. Well this is a story that ends differently, Dave and I have had a great golf rivalry since I picked up the game last year, and problem was he always beat me. Dave admittedly has been playing golf longer but due to his hectic work schedule seldom gets to play on Saturdays so I have been edging up to his scores little by little over the past couple of months. We played the tightest two matches a couple of weeks back and Dave again beat me 88-90 at Wedgwood and 92-94 at Humewood. So I thought about it long and hard and realized that if I was to beat Dave it would have to be a cunning plan. So Dave and I had a game scheduled for Saturday, the thing that was different is that it was a friends birthday on the Friday night before the golf. Dave and I both swore that there would be little drinking as we needed to be in peak physical and mental condition for the game. Sooooo, Friday night came and we commenced drinking, a guy at the bar ordered a Bloody Mary and I remember reading somewhere that this is the best hangover buster out there, albeit after the event. Well my devious mind jumped in and said, drink one now and maybe if things get out of hand the restorative properties of the Bloody Mary will help you recover quicker and possibly have an edge over Dave. Brilliant. Hours later and an early morning Steers stop over it was off to bed. No sooner had I closed my eyes then the alarm went off and I dragged myself out of bed, cursing the whiskey and beer gods. On the way down to the course I received a call from Dave, sounding rough… albeit only slightly rougher than me. Well the golf was long and hard but we both made it through and miraculously I managed to edge Dave out, finally… the rematch is this weekend and Dave tells me he’s not drinking the night before. Viva Bloody Mary, Viva! ;)


Humewood Golf Club - PE
7/18/2005 11:03:18 AM
This has to be one of my favourite courses and definately my favourite PE course and no not just because I have recorded my best score here... Humewood is a traditional links course located along the Port Elizabeth coast line, the course is in immaculate condition and sports one of the most friendly 19th holes in the country. But back to the course, a 6225 metre course from the mens tee box that has some of the trickiest holes in creation. Some have called the course easy without wind but I have never experienced that, the course has a different feel every time you play it and the greens can be tricky to read. Throw a little wind into the equation and the course takes on a life of it's own, be prepared to lose a number of balls if your driving is not up to scratch. Course highlights are the 408m par 4, this hole is ranked as one of the top 500 holes in the world. If you are playing into the wind you will be lucky to walk away with a 5, many a good score has been devastated on this hole. The other hole I really enjoy is the Par 3 14th, a short par 3 at 145m but always tricky, fast green well protected and elevated so an errant tee shot is going to require a godlike chip to save par. The only negative about the course is the half-way house, the stools are located too close together and the menu is limited to pie, cold burger or sarmie. Come on gents, let's put an english brekky on the menu! So I'm sure you are curious about my best score (or not), well for the record it's an 88 off a 19 handicap.. not bad for a hacker ;) Good caddies at the course that I have used, Joseph ,Tony and my mate Dave recommends Philip.


Tiger wins Open!
7/18/2005 9:45:18 AM
I like Tiger as much as a 300m shank into the bush, but envy can be an ugly thing... So Tiger takes his second major for the year, I really thought Els was going to end his run of bad luck/poor form at the Open... but alas the monkey still seems to be on his back. I had hope that Retief was going to pull a sneaky last round and push tiger off the leaderboard but that too was a distant dream. Awesome moments of the Open: Jose's eagle put and tiger giving him a low five, brilliant and Adam Scotts reverse sand wedge out of a bunker, an amazing feat in itself, but then he goes on to chip it into the hole on his next shot, pure class! So it's another month to the next Major, let's see if the South African boys can pull it together by then.


Wild Coast Country Club
7/15/2005 4:03:32 PM
In January myself, Dave and the two girls went up to the Wild Coast Sun for Dave's birthday.. We drove from PE through Umtata, what a terrible trip.. dodgy roads, dodgy traffic next time we will definately fly to Durbs and then rent a car! But I won't let the long trip detract from what is arguably the finest golf course I have had the pleasure to play on. Everything there is well maintained (except the hotel, but I was more concerned about the golf anyway). There are ground crews that shoot around repairing your divots and ensuring the course is kept at championship level. The fairways where better than some greens I have putted on and the course layout was fantastic, lots of elevated tees, brilliant hazards a true pleasure to play. Favourite hole on the course was the Par 3 13th aptly named the Waterfall as it has a waterfall to the right of the whole and a huge void between the tee box and the green. On one day it was an easy seven iron and the next day into a howling wind we needed drivers! The final hole is an elevated tee shot where you have to cross about 200m of water, not too bad with a driver, but throw some wind into the equation and you will be doing a bit of a John Daly over extension trying to wind up enough to get over! The clubhouse overlooks this whole and there is a bell you ring for unlucky souls who don't make it over, Dave rang the bell three times for the two ball behind us... they clearly where not amused and where not shy to use some advanced sign language.. The clubhouse was also really nice, awesome view over the course, good halfway house chow and cold beer! Definately a course worth playing if you get the chance.
Plettenberg Bay
7/14/2005 3:38:50 PM
About 5 minutes outside of plett on the Port Elizabeth side are these awesome self catering forest cottages. The cottages where built by the owner and overlook an indigenous forest. There is a hiking trail that leads you to a black lagoon on whiskey creek! Awesome! They have different cabin options and we have stayed in the 2 person and the larger 4 person cabins, both are awesome. The golf courses in close proximity are: Plett Country Club, Goose Valley and Knysna is just down the road.
Alignment
7/14/2005 2:00:00 PM
While in Plett on holiday a couple of months ago I played a round of Golf at Plett Country Club, brilliant course.. It really is one of the gems of the garden route, but course aside I was fortunate enough to have a really sharp caddy, he played off a 10 if I remember correctly.. Anyway, my drives have always had a tendency to fade right but I have learn't to aim left edge of the fairway and the typically curl back into the middle or right edge. So after a couple of holes my caddy intervened and told me that I was aiming right with my legs and straight with my driver, hence the out to in slice... he put a club on the ground where I was standing and sure enough, I was aiming into the right rough. To align yourself correctly you should feel as if your feet are parallel left of the target, picture two train tracks.. one set for your legs and the other for your swing.


What's in the "new" bag - Part 5
7/14/2005 10:04:09 AM
Who knew golf was going to be so expensive, I imagine it would be fairly inexpensive if we where content with our equipment, but any golfer will tell you that golfing kit does not age well... unless you are playing well. I was quite happy with my kit, everything was working nicely and I was becoming confident in my ability to actually play a round of golf without raising my blood pressure too many times or cursing the bad lie that caused my shank out of the blue... when it happened, I will be the first to admit it.. I got cocky, I could clearly see the graph, time on one axis and handicap on the other with my handicap tending towards zero at a sustainable rate. Unbeknownst to me the golfing gods had other plans, it was a golf game scheduled at Humewood that would cause the mealt down... I simply forgot how to hit my irons, the harder I tried the worse things got, my swing turned into an angry flail and above the golfing gods chuckled.. Then my partner mentioned that being a tallish lad I should look at getting fitted, they measure lie angles, heights and taylor the clubs accordingly. I gladly set off on the fitting adventure but discovered that even with a perfect fitment I just wasn't hitting the ball that much better, at least not enough to warrant the 5k spend on a new set of irons. So I did what every golfer would do, I increased my search pattern... there must be a set of irons out there that suits me better than the N1+.. I tried the Calaway BB, the Taylormade RAC OS, the Mizuno MX 17, the Cleveland TA 6 and finally the Cobra 3100 I/H irons. I hit most of them fairly ok, but my preference was to the Cobra and the Cleveland irons. Some more quality time on the flightscope and it was decided, the Cobra 3100 I/H where the irons for me. At this point I must mention that I am not affiliated to Cobra Golf in any way, I just end up testing kit and buying theirs.... ;)
The Open
7/14/2005 8:58:33 AM
Well it's that time of the year again, the British Open kicks off this morning and I see Ernie has 10.5 - 1 odds on winning it. I hope his form improves and he takes it this year, I don't think I can handle another Us-open Retief-like dissapointment ;) Check out the site, it has live webcams, course flyovers and a really cool online store to pick up your St. Andrews memorobilia
What's in my "new" bag - Part 4
7/14/2005 9:01:08 AM
Great game golf, you are out playing a friendly game with your mates and you see something "unknown" lurking in your buddies bag, so Kev.. what's that-- Well it turned out to be a lob wedge, a 60 degree one at that, but the truly impressive thing about the lob wedge is it's uncanny ability to suck the ball back from behind the flag to exactly where you mean't it to land... magic, time for one of those. So the next time I was marooned in a foreign city waiting for a flight I went back to good old faithfull, the proshop. I enquired about the different lob wedges and was told that they come in many variations, the mizuno raw haze even rusts to make the surface more abrasive and really spin that ball back. I settled on the good looking Taylormade RAC satin finish, it has milled grooves that turn that ProV into a spinning beast, well most of the time... it turns it into a toothless wonder on the "odd" occasion I don't connect it nicely ;) But seriously, good product, nice grip, works like it should.
What's in my "new" bag - Part 3
7/13/2005 5:50:25 PM
With my long game coming along nicely I decided to focus on the short game, my chipping was so so but I had warm and cold days with my cheap blade putter... now knowing that equipment definately makes a difference, even if some of that difference is a mental - "I paid more for it so it must be better". I decided to investigate putters, I flew up to JHB for a meeting and was marooned there for a couple of hours waiting for my return flight.... so off to the proshop I went. I tried short putters, long putters, mallets, blades, counterbalanced ufo types, you name it. After a very scientific putting session I discovered that the Odyssey Two Ball, Blade was the putter for me.. the only problem here would clearly be justifying the R1200.00 spent on a non-power club, strange but true... not a problem to spend upwards of 2k for a driver... but a putter, definately have to give this one some long thought. Well the long thought lasted the 2 hour plane flight back to PE, the next day I was in the proshop handing over my hard earned shekels to my grinning friends at the proshop. This putter is fantastic, it is easy to align and gives a nice smooth stroke.
What's in my "new" bag - Part 2
7/13/2005 5:39:21 PM
With the driver saga sorted I was confidently smashing them down the fairway, ok maybe more rough than fairway but I definately felt positive about the new purchase. This encouraged me to look deep into my game problems and fix them, simply by replacing equipment... I mean it can't be the swing at fault, must make sure the equipment is up to spec! I realized that the other issue I was having on the course was the inability to hit my 3Wood off the deck, I really wanted to get to those par 5's in two and open up some eagle action so off I went to my new found friends at the proshop and tried out a couple of 3 woods. I must let you know at this stage that my choice had nothing to do with my Driver, I just happened to hit the Cobra SZ 3 Wood the best out of all the options. I tried the Callaway big bertha, the Ping G2 and so on but none where as solid as the Cobra, ching ching... the deal was done. To this day the Cobra 3Wood has been a good ally to me, sure it's punished a couple of ProV's deep into the rough but hey, that's not the clubs fault ;)
What's in my "new" Bag - Part 1
7/13/2005 5:30:22 PM
So the golfing bug had definately bitten, I was spending more and more time attempting to get the cursed little white ball into the air with a hope of the flight pattern being repeatable.... but I felt something was missing, my little 3 Wood just didn't give me the confidence of the GIANT headed drivers my mates where playing with and it certainly didn't help me on offcentre hits! So after much debating with the golfing buddies it was decided that a driver was in my near future. Off I went to the proshop and proceeding to "test" their latest and greatest MONSTER drivers, I saw a special on the Hippo 8.5" and after hitting it quite nicely in the net I thought this was the beast for me. It wasn't, this driver was clearly for someone who wanted to hit the ball no higher than three foot off the ground. So back to the proshop I went to exercise my 30 day money back guarantee, I decided now that some serious money would need to be spent on the big stick. After hours in the FlightScope the driver for me was without a doubt the Cobra 440SZ Unlimited 10.5". Beautiful draw bias to counteract my "power" fade and a nice regular shaft for my "normal" swing speed. Now drivers are definately a personal choice, I recommend spending the time and the money on testing the right equipment and ensure you have the right shaft, loft and flight bias!
What's in my "old" Bag?
7/13/2005 5:17:48 PM
I started out with a set of hand-me-downs from a mate of mine, Greggo.. after deciding that golf was indeed worth investing some hard earned cash in I went and splurged some tax rebate money on kitting myself out. I started with a set of Nicklaus N1+ Irons, a Ping Bag and a Hippo 3 Wood. Rearing to go I hit the driving range and began taking divots the size of small african countries, perfect form was not in my vocab!


Welcome!!!
7/13/2005 5:10:07 PM
As you may of guessed this is Mark's golf blog! I am an avid hacker based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa... My aim on this blog is to give you an insight into the magic game of golf through my eyes, I will review courses, equipment as well as have some travel specials and a little instruction along the way. Enjoy ;)
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