Posted by & filed under Blog, Competitions, Feature Articles, Majors, Masters.

Seeing the sight of Augusta National brings excitement to any golfing fan across the world. When the time comes around for the Masters it seems to signal the real start to the golfing season, especially in the UK.

Here are 10 facts about the Alistair McKenzie-designed course that you might not know about:


Augusta National Golf Club



Obtaining a membership is extremely difficult. Harder than gaining tickets for the Masters!

You must be invited by the club and then reportedly pay a five-figure subscription fee. Notably, Bill Gates is a member.


Playing Augusta National

If you thought gaining a membership sounded tough then trying to play the course is just as difficult.

You must either be friends with a member, be part of the golf media ballot at the Masters, be a volunteer at the tournament or play at a nearby university to name just a few options.



The yardages of Augusta National are rounded to the nearest five or 10, leaving a round figure for those of you who have OCD with numbers.

Course founders Bobby Jones said the forever changing tee and pin positions were part of the reason to leave the yardages rounded. The course currently measures at 7,435 yards.



There are 10 cabins located inside the grounds of Augusta National and for the members and their guests.

One cabin is called the Eisenhower Cabin as it was purposely built by the club for President Eisenhower.


Amen Corner

One of the most iconic phrases in golf. The saying comes from sports writer Herbert Warren Wind, who, in 1958 referred to holes 11, 12 and 13 as Amen Corner. Coming from the jazz song “Shouting at Amen Corner”.


Par 3 Fountain

There is a fountain placed next to the first tee of the par three course. It has every par three contest winners engraved on it starting with Sam Snead in 1960.

As you may know, no player has won the par three contest and the Masters Tournament in the same year.


Champions Dinner

The Champions Dinner is for members of Augusta National golf club and past champions of the tournament.

The reigning champion hosts the dinner and picks the menu for the guests to eat.


Crow’s Nest

Ever wondered what is at the top of the Augusta National clubhouse?

Well situated at the top is the Crow’s Nest which is capable of housing five people at a time. This is where the amateur players stay during the week of the tournament.


Club Closures

Despite the peak golfing season being in the middle of the summer, Augusta National is only open until May and closes until October.


Strict Rules

Augusta plays by strict rules. The club maintains a no running policy as well as no electronic equipment allowed on the course apart from on practice days. The latter applies to players as well.

Commentators, broadcasters and anyone else referring to the crowds at Augusta must call them patrons. Some have been kicked out and taken off air for failing to do so.


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Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment, Golf Tips, Golf Updates, Reviews.

Mizuno have added the JPX-S to their 2017 ball line-up which they believe will offer a more balanced performance for players who don’t posses tour-level swing speeds.

The Japanese brand are still fairly new to the ball market having released the MP-S and MP-X models a couple of years ago followed by the introduction of the JPX and high-tech JPX Platinum 5-piece models.


Mizuno JPX-S


Mizuno say JPX-S has a softer core allowing their engineers to enhance the feel of the JPX-S at impact and also deliver increased initial ball speed for the majority of golfers. Those with slower swing speeds may struggle to get the benefits out of a firmer, higher compression ball.

But club golfers with moderate swing speeds could find performance benefits from using a ball like the JPX-S. The aerodynamics of the new ball have been improved too with an an enhanced version of their unique dimple-cluster design, helping to create more air-time and convert that increased ball speed into extra yards.

We recommend spending time with your PGA pro to find a ball that works best for you. There’s no right or wrong when it comes choosing your ball as every player may look for something different.


Mizuno JPX-S


For example, feel and spin around the greens may the most important thing for one golfer with distance off the tee more vital to another. Maybe price is the key consideration?

What seems to clear to us is that Mizuno now have a range of balls with something to suit all levels of player. And at £35 per dozen, the new JPX-S may tempt those not willing to pay top whack for their golf balls.



RRP: £35 per dozen


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Posted by & filed under Competitions, Feature Articles, Golf Updates, Majors.

Royal St George’s has been named the host venue of the 2020 Open Championship. St Andrews, which has held the tournament every five years since 1990, will now host in 2021, which will be the 150th edition of golf’s oldest major.

Royal St George’s was the host course the first time the Open was held outside of Scotland back in 1894 and was won by JH Taylor, who became the first English professional to win the Championship. The 2020 tournament, which will be played from July 16-19, will mark the 15th occasion the Claret Jug has been decided on the Kent coast.

Open Championship

Image Credit:

Former Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke was the last player to etch his name into that famous trophy the last time the Open was held at Royal St George’s.

“It was an unbelievable feeling to lift the Claret Jug and know that my name was displayed on the trophy alongside so many of the greatest players ever to play the game,” Clarke said.

“The Open is what it is all about for me as a golfer and it is the championship I always dreamt of winning from when I first took up the game as a kid. I have so many wonderful memories from that week at Sandwich and I will be thrilled to go back there for The Open in three years’ time.”


Other Open champions at Royal St George’s include Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Bobby Locke, Sandy Lyle and Greg Norman, while it was also the scene of then world No. 396 Ben Curtis’s famous victory in 2003.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, added: “Royal St George’s has produced a series of outstanding champion golfers over the last 120 years and it is a thrilling prospect for golf fans to see the greatest players competing on one of the world’s finest links courses.”

While the 2022 Open is also yet to be decided, Slumbers suggested Turnberry and Muirfield could both be in the running. “We are focused on Turnberry as a golf course,” he said of the venue owned by US president Donald Trump. “There has been nothing that has happened in the last year to change its status on the rota. It remains absolutely as one of our nine courses.

“Turnberry wasn’t involved in the discussions for 2020 and 2021 and we won’t be thinking about 2022 for at least another year. It is very important that we are clear about what our business is, which is making sure the Open is one of the world’s greatest sporting events and that it should stay out of politics.”


Muirfield, meanwhile, lost its place on the Open rota when its members voted against allowing women to join in 2015. But a second vote is underway.

“I’m very pleased that they are having a second vote,” Slumbers added. “Muirfield is a wonderful course and it is a great Open venue. We will make an announcement very quickly after the result of the vote is known. We believe that golf should be open to all, regardless of gender, skin colour, religion or nationality. This is however a matter for the club and is really none of my business. So I don’t want to pre-judge the result. But the more the game looks at encouraging families and younger people the better.”


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Posted by & filed under Blog, Feature Articles, Golf Equipment, Golf Updates.


It’s official: Tiger Woods has joined TaylorMade.

The 14-time Major champion will play TaylorMade woods, irons and wedges as part of his club contract, although he won’t be using the latter two in the immediate future.

Specific product models are yet to be determined with extensive testing process between Woods and TaylorMade to be carried out.

When he begins his season at Torrey Pines this week, he is expected to have two new clubs in the bag: a 2017 M2 strong 3 wood and a 2017 M1 5 wood.




For the time being, he will continue to use last year’s M2 driver, along with his Nike blades and wedges and his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter.
Tiger will also co-create with the brand’s club engineers and have an integral role in the design and development of a new, personalised iron model. It is unclear when that will be ready for him to put into play.

What Tiger said: “Throughout my career, I’ve always been meticulous about my equipment. Over the past few months, I’ve had clubs from every brand sent to me to test. When it came to making a final decision, the choice was easy—it all came down to performance, which is why I chose TaylorMade.”




Tiger Woods joins TaylorMade: Which woods will be in the bag?

Driver: TaylorMade 2016 M2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 70TX
Specs: 44.5 inches, D4 swing weight

3 Wood: TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 90TX
Specs: 42.5 inches, D4 swing weight

5 Wood: TaylorMade 2017 M1 Tour (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 90TX
Specs: 41.5 inches, D4 swing weight


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Posted by & filed under Blog, Golf Equipment.

Since their inception, the Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1x balls have been the ultimate performing ball in the world of golf.

Now it’s 2017, and it’s time for the latest generation of the Pro V1 & Pro V1x to be unveiled.


So what can we expect from the new balls?

Titleist say that you will still have the same superior short game feel around the greens thanks to their Urethane Elastomer cover. This will give the golfer confidence to hit the ball closer to the hole and deliver much improved drop and stop greenside control.

The Pro V1 ball is the longest Pro V1 Titleist have ever designed, and the Pro V1x has kept its extraordinary distance with its new tetrahedral dimple design.

So what we can expect is two premium golf balls that perform just the way you would want your golf ball to perform.



A bit on the technology in the new balls?

The Pro V1 is a three piece ball with a new 2.0 ZG Process Core in the centre. It has a 352 tetrahedral dimple design.

The Pro V1x is a four piece ball, with a 328 dimple design which helps produce a higher trajectory and a more consistent ball flight.

Titleist say that every ball is manufactured in the company’s state of the art ball manufacturing facilities to the highest possible standards.



Am I good enough to play the Titleist Pro V1 or the Pro V1x ball?

Of course you are. These golf balls are designed for all levels of golfers. This is why Titleist gather so much feedback from golfers of all abilities.

The advanced technology that goes into these new balls gives you the forgiveness you need to get the best possible results.


What are the pros saying?

Nothing but good things…All in all over 100 players worldwide have put the new balls into play, including Kevin Kisner, Adam Scott, Ian Poulter and Jimmy Waker.

Jordan Spieth: “I put the new Pro V1x into play and in the first week we had won. What I noticed immediately was the improved flight”.

Adam Scott: “I think the remarkable thing with the new Pro V1 is the distance it goes. I’m hitting it longer than I ever have before.



Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1x – £52 per dozen

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Posted by & filed under Blog, Feature Articles, Golf Equipment.

TaylorMade have announced their 2017 ball lineup which is highlighted by the two new models: TP5 and TP5x golf balls.

Both of these two golf balls incorporate 5-layer construction to actively improve or increase driver/iron distance, control and spin without sacrificing any industry-leading greenside performance.

golf balls

So what makes these golf balls stand out? Well their unique advantage starts with the 5-layer construction.  In traditional golf balls with 3 or 4 layers, you are forced to settle for high wedge performance at the expense of distance, or more driver/iron distance at the expense of losing control and feel around the greens.

TP5 and TP5x feature varying 5-layer constructions, where each ball maximises driver and iron distance while also delivering best in class wedge performance and greenside spin, giving you the best of both worlds.

So how is this achieved?

The Tri-Fast Core of the golf ball consists of a very low compression inner core and a progressively stiffer outer core and mantle. The combination of the three layers work in unison to create lower spin and increased velocity.

golf ball

This gradient is what makes the Tri-Fast Core so unique, as it builds up speed in transferring energy from the club face to the ball and delivers incredible distance on full shots.

Then there is the the Dual-Spin cover which boasts an ultra-soft Cast Urethane cover and a rigid TP inner cover. This system creates a condition that is ideal for greenside control as the inner cover forces the soft urethane cover into wedge grooves for maximum spin generation.

The result is a multi-layer cover that is designed for extreme distance without sacrificing feel or control around the green.


So how do you choose between the TP5 and the TP5x balls?

They both offer complete tee-to-green performance thanks to TaylorMade’s patented 5-layer construction. TP5x is slightly firmer and launches higher, and TP5 features a softer feel with mid launch.


NCG Equipment Editor James Savage sat down with Eric Loper, the Director of TaylorMade golf ball R&D.

What were the thought processes behind TP5?

“A ball that reduced spin with the driver and irons but retained greenside control. The five-layers is a great platform for us to do this.”

How would a five-layer ball differ from a two-piece ball?

“Five layers allowed us to not compromise. With fewer layers you can choose high wedge spin for example but then that has an impact on your driver and iron spin. ”

How do each of the layers work?

“The soft inner core pulls spin out with driver and irons when you are deforming the ball. Each additional layer adds additional speed.”

What will players using the new TP5 balls notice?

“This ball will be noticeably different if you’re a tour player or an average player. Out on the course you are going to see more distance with your irons. The ball flight will be a little bit higher and stronger. We’re talking about half to full club length gains so golfers will have to recalibrate how far their irons go. Who doesn’t want to hit their irons further? Who wouldn’t want to hit an 8-iron instead of a 7-iron?”


Pricing & Availability

TP5 and TP5x will be available at retail from the 3rd January at an RRP of £49.99 per dozen.


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