IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP

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Crowborough Beacon golf course, East Sussex.

THE FIRST MENS’ monthly medal was held at Crowborough in April of 1896.   The ladies monthly medal followed in July.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was appointed Captain for 1910.  Most of his writing was done at nearby Windlesham Manor; his study looked out towards the Crowborough clubhouse.  Lady Conan Doyle was elected Lady Captain for 1911. The story is told that Conan Doyle made a pact with his son to meet him on what is now the fourth green exactly one year after his death should the son perish in the war – which he did. Whether the meeting took place Sir Arthur never said.

 No-one knows who first designed Crowborough Beacon golf course (perhaps Sherlock Holmes should be put on the case) but Dr. Alister MacKenzie, who designed the Royal Melbourne course and Augusta National, re-designed eight of the holes.

JORDAN SPIETH’S 4 STROKE win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was impressive but hardly hair-raising stuff.  Tiger Woods won his first U.S. Open there in 2000 by a record-setting fifteen strokes which made everyone sit up, but for a nailbiting climax the duel between Watson and Nicklaus at the 1982 US Open on the same course takes some beating.  Nicklaus was looking for a record fifth U.S. Open title.  The two were tied when Watson’s tee shot on the par-3 17th found the deep rough.   Thanks to Youtube, we can still admire his unbelievable chip-in for a birdie that left Nicklaus looking shell-shocked, followed by another birdie on the 18th.   It was Watson’s only U.S. Open triumph, but what a victory!.

THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP will be at Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, March 1-5.  In June, 2016 the PGA Tour announced that Trump National Doral Miami  would no longer host the tournament, hence it’s new venue for 2017. President Nieto will be counting all that lovely gate money. Should help to pay for the wall.

JOHN JACOBS, OBE, who has died aged 91, gained the title of “Dr. Golf” when his coaching schools spread his teaching methods around the world.  An excellent golfer and twice Ryder Cup Captain, Jacobs also coached most of the European teams and Walker and Curtis Cup players.  Tony Jacklin and Tom Watson were among many top players who sought his counsel.   Butch Harmon said of him: ”There is not one golf teacher who does not owe something to John Jacobs, he simply wrote the book on coaching.”  

Incidentally, Jacobs was a great friend of Percy “Laddie” Lucas, CBE,DSO & Bar, DFC.  A commemorative plaque at Prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich marks where Lucas, an excellent golfer, used his local knowledge of his home course to make an emergency landing after his Spitfire was crippled over France in 1944.  Spotting Sandwich Bay just as his engine died he glided in keeping the clubhouse as a marker, and landed belly-up out of bounds.  He recalled being very unhappy at the state of the greens and his continuing inability to hit the 9th fairway. 

RORY MCILROY had to give up his Sunday morning lie-in when he was ‘invited’ to play a round with Donald Trump.  Top U.S. players had better be ready for the call of the Trumpet; the President has already played with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els this month.

Several ex-presidents teamed up with pro golfers, Ike and Arnie were a frequent double act.  Clinton, Reagan and Nixon all chilled out on the course, not forgetting Gerald Ford who tended to try and keep the population down by decapitation. 

AT THE GENESIS OPEN at Riviera, Pat Perez, not known for sweetness of temper, clouted two spectators without making any attempt to shout “Fore.”  I’m sure they were thrilled with the signed autograph he gave them.  Someone should tell U.S. players semaphore doesn’t work.

IF YOU’RE PLAYING WELL in a competition your partner will tell you that if you keep this up you must win.  This will ensure a string of double bogeys.

Until next time: Happy Golfing.

Contact Mick for your gripping and repairs.  638 859 475.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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