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: RoyalStGeorges.com

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.

 

TaylorMade

 

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.”

 

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.

Titleist

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.

Titleist

 

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.

Titleist

 

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.

Titleist

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.

 

Details

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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Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

Designed to be one of the toughest tests of a golfer’s ability, the US Open has thrown up its fair share of brutal challenges.

The courses are set up in a way that results in tight scoring. Rarely will a course be severely beaten by a player, rather winning scores are close to level par or over it.

Rory McIlory’s 16-under-par victory at Congressional in 2010 and Tiger Woods‘ 12-under win at Pebble Beach in 2000 have been rare exceptions at the US Open.

Expect to see players hacking out of long rough and tricky, undulating greens when the best players in the world tee it up next summer.

 

What is the US Open?

The US Open is the national golf championship in the United States and is the second Major to be played during the season.

The tournament was established in 1895 on a nine-hole course at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island.

Back then it was a 36-hole competition played in just one day. Now, it is a 72-hole strokeplay event played over four days in June at different courses across the United States.

The inaugural US Open at Newport Country Club was won by England’s Horace Rawlins. Golfers from England, Scotland and Jersey would dominate the early US Open tournaments.

The US Open is run by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

US Open

 

Where is it?

The US Open is held on courses set up in such a way that scoring is very difficult.

In fact, a course attempting to get into the rotation for the tournament will undergo renovations to develop its features in line with what is required of a US Open course.

The 2017 US Open will be held at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, which only opened 10 years ago. This will be the first time the course has hosted the Major championship.

 

When is the 2017 US Open?

This year’s installment will be held from Thursday, June 15 to Sunday, June 18.

US Open

 

Are tickets on sale?

Yes. There a range of tickets available, including standard gallery tickets but also more expensive options in the form of the Trophy Club and 1895 Club.

A Thursday gallery ticket will set you back $110, while Friday, Saturday and Sunday Gallery tickets are priced at $125.

 

Who is the reigning champion?

Dustin Johnson, of the United States, claimed his first Major title at the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.

The tournament was heavily disrupted by bad weather but Johnson took the title by three strokes thanks to a final round of 69 to finish on a four-under-par total of 276.

However, his victory was somewhat marred by a controversial incident.

US Open

 

After finishing at five under par, Johnson was penalised a shot as he was judged to have made his ball move as he addressed it on the 5th green, despite being initially absolved of wrongdoing.

His score was amended to four under par after the round and the USGA was heavily criticised for its actions.

 

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golf clothing

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

A widely held opinion across the globe is that golf is a stuffy, elitist sport mainly played by old men.

The picture above would probably be the first image that jumps to a lot of people’s minds when asked to describe a typical golfer.

But this would be a warped view.

Major golf clothing manufacturers down the years have looked to break the golf style mould, moving away from traditional trousers, polo tops with collars and jumpers in neutral colours.

While many golf clubs still insist on a strict dress code, manufacturers are continually looking for new styles to offer an alternative option to traditional golf clothing.

 

Nike’s modern golf clothing


Nike have long been one of the innovators in sports fashion and their golf clothing has been no different.

Remember Tiger Woods sporting a collarless Nike top, most notably on his way to victory at the 2005 Masters?

Many traditionalists got a little hot under their soft-rolled collars, while others headed straight to their nearest golf shop to see if they could get their hands on this latest trend.

golf clothing

 

A lot of golf clubs insist that players wear shirts with a collar but Nike have continually been trying to move away from the tradition.

Their most famous current golfing athlete, Rory Mcllory, has sported the company’s range of athletic, collarless T-shirts and hi-top shoes.

golf clothing

 

While Nike’s tights, which might take the most convincing for the club golfer, are said to be good for helping with recovery.

golf clothing

 

The American firm’s Nike Golf Club Winter Rules Collection follows in the same eyebrow-raising, groundbreaking vein as their previous ranges.

It’s another attempt at bridging the gap between what is worn on and off the course, helping players feel more comfortable and at ease on the course.

golf clothing

 

The collection, which was released this month, features a ‘blazer’, jogger bottoms and Nike Air Zoom 90 IT golf shoes – all in keeping with the idea of being able to wear your golf gear on and off the course.

Traditionalists will baulk at this latest collection, others will love it.

However, Nike aren’t the only brand to introduce innovative clothing to the market.

 

Galvin Green’s colourful waterproofs

golf clothing

Until Swedish company Galvin Green came along, waterproofs were either navy blue or black. Possibly tartan at a push. Now you can have any colour you like!

 

Ecco’s spikeless shoes

golf clothing

Only wearing spiked golf shoes became a thing of the past thanks to Ecco’s spikeless shoes.

Freddie Couples brought this style to global awareness when he wore them in the 2011 Masters. Many of us don’t wear spikes for golf anymore, instead wearing versatile spikeless shoes both to the shops and out on the course.

 

Under Armour’s base layers

golf clothing

Golf in the winter used to be about long johns and extra wool jumpers. Not any more. Which of us doesn’t own a skintight base layer for those frosty January mornings?

 

Boa’s lacing system

golf clothing

 

Rushing to the first tee has never been easier. Adidas added it on the tongue, FootJoy on the heel. It offers performance benefits too.

 

Tour pros wearing shorts!

golf clothing

 

Whatever next? Quite why it is causing such controversy is beyond me, but it does show how difficult it can be to change the way things are done in the game. Which golfing clothing innovations have annoyed you the most?