FOUR-TIME MAJOR winner Rory McIlroy says the PGA Tour offers him a lot more incentives than the European Tour.
“I enjoy America more, the weather, the convenience,” he told reporters. “I want to play against the strongest fields week in and week out, for the most part of the season that is in America.”
The European Tour’s CEO Keith Pelley held crisis talks with McIlroy last month, trying to persuade him to commit to four events, the minimum required to retain European Tour membership, but by the look of the picture Rory is saying he will only play in two events. At least I think that’s what he’s saying.
THE TIMES has cast doubts on the financial stability of the European Tour, which made an operating loss of £9.5 million after tax in 2017. The working capital was also down to £424,000 (after 15 million in 2015.) Keith Pelley’s £2,75 million salary in 2017 also raised a few eyebrows, though judging by his schedule-juggling for this year he does do his best to earn it.
“TWIST FACE” and “FLASH FACE” sound like Batman’s latest rival, but actually represent the technology for Taylor Made and Callaway’s latest drivers.
With “Speed Injected Twist Face” TaylorMade can now produce the thinnest face to start above the legal limit of COR, before dialling it back by injecting a specific amount of resin into two ‘tuning’ slots on the driver face to get to within 2-3% of the legal limit and give golfers an extra 2mph of ball speed.
In addition, TaylorMade’s M5 and M6 irons have the “Speed Bridge.” A single beam of steel that connects the sole to the crown of the iron, it is designed to stabilize the head at impact. Positioned exactly at the point that vibrates most, it works with the Speed Pocket to improve sound and feel, creating, you guessed it, more ball speed. TaylorMade claims its design is revolutionary, but it sounds suspiciously like Jailbreak Technology.
Callaway’s ‘Flash’ technology consists of computer-designed ridges behind the driver face which optimise ball speed all across the face, and the thinnest part of the face is now in the centre (unlike previous Callaway drivers.) The face is forged on the inside then milled on the front in order to get the thickness down so that it is consistently closer to the limit. And, of course, Jailbreak technology.
UNFORTUNATELY FOR TAYLORMADE, Justin Rose won’t be showing off their latest gear in 2019 as he has defected to Honma Golf. In December the premium Japanese brand, famous for 60 years for artisan-style craftsmanship and eye watering prices, signed the FedEx Cup winner to play a minimum of 10 Honma clubs and sport their cap and staff tour bag, but could not announce the deal until the completion of Rose’s contract with TaylorMade.
Rose is expected to play Honma’s TW747 driver, forged irons and wedges, giving them their first outing at the PGA Tour’s Desert Classic in Palm Springs on January 17.
TESTING THE NEW RULES at Kapalua, Justin Thomas said he couldn’t take himself seriously if he left the stick in. Bryson DeChambeau did the Okey Cokey by alternating between leaving it in and taking it out. Marc Leishman tapped in his eagle from three-inches with the stick in and laughed at himself. Winner Xander Shauffele’s caddie took the flag out, but his boss’s stunning final round of 2 eagles and 8 birdies for an 11-under 62 showed Xander wasn’t bothered either way.
Advice from Bob Hope: “Arnold Palmer told me how I could cut eight strokes off my score – skip one of the par threes.”
And finally a tip from Dan Marino: “Swing hard in case you hit it.”
Until next time: Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.