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?

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

What do Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Ian Poulter, Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones all have in common?

That’s right, they all have all launched their own golf gear brands.

And now Open champion Henrik Stenson has joined them by producing his own eyewear range called, funnily enough, Henrik Stenson Eyewear.

 

I have always found something appealing about a piece of clothing or equipment endorsed by one of my favourite stars.

A Tiger Woods hat or any Nike gear (Rory Mcllory is also one of my favourites) is right up my street.

There have been a whole host of famous names who have set up their own line of golf gear, but which ones are the best?

 

5) Greg Norman

golf

 

The shark emblem is an unmistakable logo.

Two-time Open winner Greg Norman’s line of clothing and accessories is a recognisable and popular brand across the world of golf.

Established in 1992, a year before his second Open victory at Royal St George’s, the collection captures Greg Norman’s “powerful elegance, enthusiasm and passion for an individual design sense”, according to the Greg Norman Collection website.

 

4) Tiger Woods

golf

 

Tiger Woods is one of the most iconic figures in the world of golf.

Despite the 14-time Major champion having not struck a ball competitively for ages, Nike still sell his range of gear, simply called TW.

 

3) Jack Nicklaus

golf

 

Who wouldn’t want to wear clothes branded with the golden bear logo of the most successful golfer of all time?

Jack Nicklaus’ range of men’s and women’s clothing is just like its owner – smart, classy and oozing quality.

 

2) Ben Hogan

golf

 

Nine-time Major champion Ben Hogan set up the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company in 1953 in Fort Worth, Texas, with the aim of making clubs targeted toward “the better player”.

He sold the iconic brand to American Machine and Foundry in 1960 but stayed on as chairman for several years.

Ownership of the company has changed hands several times down the years but is still going to this day.

 

1) Arnold Palmer

golf

 

The late, great Arnold Palmer was a true trailblazer in sports business.

He was one of the first sportsmen to use his fame to build a business empire, through an array of commercial ventures.

He founded Arnold Palmer Enterprises to handle his endorsements and other ventures and it is widely recognised thanks to its umbrella logo.

 

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

We’re offering one lucky member of The Golfers Club the chance to stay warm on the course throughout the Winter by winning another Mizuno bobble hat!

Q: Who won this year’s British Masters?

Simply email your answer to competitions@thegolfersclub.co.uk with details of the prize, your name, membership number and contact number. The prize draw will take place on the 2rd December 2016.

The Golfers Club
European Tour

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

As the European Tour becomes more global by the year, Florian Fritsch retained his card this year by playing just 12 events and not getting on a plane.

 

In terms of arranging an interview with a European Tour player, getting in touch with Florian Fritsch was just about as straightforward as it gets – “Happy to chat. I am on the road for the next two days so feel free to call anytime.”

Not the usual rigmarole of “ring at this precise time when I won’t pick up the phone and we can then talk for half the agreed time”. Just a simple call whenever, and we can chat then.

 

Fritch is on his way back from the Portugal Masters and is halfway up Spain when we speak. He spends a lot of time in his car as he doesn’t, to put it mildly, much care for flying. So much so that he never flies any more.

While all those around him on the Race to Dubai have played around 25-30 tournaments in a bid to retain their playing privileges, the German only started 12 events this year.

 

Given the way the European Tour looks these days, Fritsch’s season only got going in May and, while there were plenty of made cuts, he looked like losing his card. And then everything came together in a seven-week spell where he commuted from Switzerland to Holland, to Germany, to St Andrews, to Watford and finally the Algarve. In that period, he racked up three top 10s, earned something like €240,000 and finished 101st on the money list.

And no airports, no checking in and no anxieties.

 

When did the fear of flying first show itself?

In 2005, I was on a flight from Frankfurt to Turin and suddenly the plane started rocking like it never had before when we were over the Alps. Before that I would fly like people take buses, it was the most normal thing to do. I was sat next to my national coach and I asked him if anything was to happen, what would it be like. He said, if something happened, then it would happen very quickly. From that moment on I started to think about what I was sitting in and then the fear developed over time. Eventually, it turned into discomfort, then into fear and then whatever you want to call it now. In 2010, it got so bad that I decided to quit golf, which I did for a year.

 

I despise flying with a passion so spent 10 years of my life having to either get very pissed or take tranquilisers. I take it you tried these options…

I would drink a lot and that didn’t work. I tried sleeping pills and they didn’t work. In 2011, I had some drugs which were classified as putting people to sleep for an operation when they are afraid of needles, they are as strong as an anaesthetic. On a flight from Cork to London after the Irish Open, I popped two of those pills and still stayed awake. It was quite amazing how adrenaline could override those pills.

It was too harsh a measure just to play golf and it was out of proportion to do this a lot of the weeks of the year.

 

At least most of us know when we’re going to have to fly, as well as doing it lots of weeks of the year, a missed cut would mean another flight. How much would it play on your mind?

Initially it would start off at the gate, then it would be arriving at the airport and then it got worse and worse and would get to the point where I would feel bad three weeks prior to the flight.

It was kind of a depressive feeling, I would be very downbeat and grumpy, easily agitated and not nice to be around. On my last flight in 2013, someone asked me what it feels like to fly. I said it was like someone pointing a gun and playing Russian Roulette with me and I was waiting for the gun to click.

It was killing my quality of life too much. When I played back-to-back tournaments I would just be in that state non-stop.

 

European Tour

 

Are long hauls any better, less claustrophobic?

It would be on any flight, it didn’t matter. I did one flight from Frankfurt to Dusseldorf which was 25 minutes and even that one was bad. I can always handle the landing and take-off, if the plane flew at 5,000 feet I would probably be fine. I’m sure my fear has an element of a fear of heights but it’s not solely that.

 

Do you think it’s a phobia?

It’s very unfair that they classify a fear of flying as a phobia. I’m a novice but I would say a phobia is an over-reaction to a standard situation and, to me, to consider sitting in a tube for multiple hours, travelling at 600mph at a height of 37,000 feet is not a standard situation. So therefore I find that a bit misleading.

There are a lot of stats about but around 40-70 per cent of people sitting on a plane will feel like you and me, so we are in the majority.

People talk about the lack of control, but think about other modes of transport like trains, trams, buses or anything. You give up control but people aren’t as afraid of these.

People say driving is still dangerous and a car is 16 times more dangerous than flying. That figure sounds really high but flying might be 0.00000001 per cent mortality rate, so 0.000000016 driving sounds OK.

 

Colin Montgomerie is a renowned bad flyer, how common is it on Tour?

Ever since I came out with my issue and spoke quite openly two or three players have approached me about their discomfort, but they won’t talk about it as they are afraid of losing sponsorship.

 

How many miles a year do you drive?

I also played eight Challenge Tour events so about 24 events in total and so far, I am at 25,000 miles. It is not as much as people think, people who do that level of mileage will spend more time in the car than I do as I drive on the motorway/highway the whole time. My average speed is twice as high, so they spend twice as long in the car as me.

 

What are your favourite places to drive in Europe?

Anywhere where there is a toll, as that means less cars, I can put it in cruise control on and just drive and that is very nice. Any country that has free roads is horrible as everyone is on the motorway and it is very congested. I have found that the UK is congested between Manchester and London and everything else is great.

European Tour

 

How do you fill your time?

I call a lot of people, when I get in the car my friends now all turn off their phones! Mostly I enjoy some silence and the time to myself. It’s nice to catch up on your own thoughts and your own world, as it is easy to always be distracted by the world around you.

I am on the way to Bonmont GC, between Castellon and Barcelona, as I picked up some Mizuno wedges at the British Masters and a German player is at the second stage and asked me to bring them.

Another caddy asked me to take a driver home for him and you might have caddies and players getting a lift as I might be passing through cities where they live or fly out of – so a lot of people depend on me.

 

Does it take a lot of planning?

No, you have the internet and all these Apps to make it easy to plan these journeys. It is not rocket science any more, you go on the internet, find what you want and book it. It’s quite simple.

I have been doing it for multiple years. At the beginning I suppose I had to find out about ferries etc – now I know what I’m doing.

 

From September onwards you had three top 10s on the European Tour to retain your card, what brought about the change in form?

I want to say I played similarly whole year but I wasn’t getting it done on the weekends, though I was making a lot of cuts. The momentum swung my way in the past few months. You have to be patient and that is difficult when you’re not making the most of good positions.

Recently I got some good bounces, putts rolled in, I would chip in every now and then and things started to turn. So I would be going into the weekend in 15th rather than being 50th.

 

Given the nature of the low scoring on Tour there is a lot of pressure to keep pressing for birdies all week…

When things are not going your way I will still try to defend a good score, but that means you have no chance of being competitive. You have to take a step back to take two steps forward and rebuild some confidence and grow your game again over time. I am happy to play more conservatively. When I have my game back under control I can be more selectively aggressive.

At some point your instinct will be to take on a par 5 and that comes over time. I don’t like not being in charge of my game, I don’t mind shooting 72 if I feel in control. Hopefully it will be a matter of time before I get going again.

 

What tournaments do you miss not having a chance to play?

I don’t have a high interest in going to the UAE, players say it’s great but I would rather play Fiji or Mauritius. I have been to Puerto Rico and loved that. An island in the middle of the ocean would be really cool.

 

What if you qualified for Augusta?

I can always get to the Masters. It doesn’t really matter what I have on two weeks before so I could take a cruise ship and drive down and cruise back. For the US Open, I guess I do have my limits. I am not going to drive across to California, but if it’s in New York I could do it even easier than the Masters!

 

Will you ever get back on a plane again?

I don’t know, I struggle trying to predict the future as nobody can. I’ll leave it open.

 

How proud are you of yourself to do what you’ve managed this year?

When I started playing again in 2011, a lot of people in Germany were saying it would be impossible to make a living in golf if I was not capable of flying. It was the same thing when I dropped down to the Pro Golf Tours in 2013. How would I make the Challenge Tour if I wasn’t playing half the events – and I won the rankings.

Then it was the same on the Challenge Tour as I wouldn’t play the big events at the end of season – and I finished 12th on the rankings.

I am proud to show people that it is possible even though I haven’t gone down the route that everybody thinks you should go down. A lot of roads lead to Rome and this just happens to be my road. I’m not walking down Via Appia, I’m walking down Via Giulia and that seems to lead to Rome as well. As long as I’m convinced of that, I will keep going down that route.