US Open 2014 – the last word

Pinehurst Resort

COULD THERE HAVE been a bigger contrast in the venues for the first two major tournaments of the golfing year? Pristine, manicured, highly treated and lavishly watered Augusta National where the mere sight of a daisy brings club members out in a cold sweat and the wild, wonderful, ragged Donald Ross masterpiece at Pinehurst 2 in North Carolina.

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Hull beached for US Ladies’ Open


THESE DAYS the world’s top men golfers can earn as much for simply showing up to a tournament as they can from winning it. Sponsors and television want to see the best players on show, not to mention the spectators, which is why there are howls of anguish at the prolonged absence of Tiger Woods from the tournament scene.

Which makes it all the more inexplicable why the USGA has not invited the current European ladies’ number one player to the US Ladies’ Open Championship at Pinehurst 2 following the men’s tournament. Continue reading

October decision time for R&A


NO ONE COULD ever describe the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews as a radical organisation. Nor is dynamism the first noun one thinks of when considering the decision makers of the game’s most influential club.

Over the last decade or so the most headline grabbing changes to emanate from the grey stone clubhouse has been the banning of various golf clubs. Continue reading

Play away: St Enodoc

St Enodoc Golf ClubTRAVELLING GOLFERS the world over are constantly seeking that ‘Wow!’ factor when it comes to playing new courses and St Enodoc provides plenty of them. From the very first tee this majestic old course opens up with a roar like the start of a Beethoven symphony.

Golf has been played on this ruggedly beautiful stretch of north Cornish coastline since 1888 although it was not until 1907 that James Braid created 18 holes. And, with relatively few alterations and diversions, the course remains very much his magical creation to this day. Continue reading

New kit on the block


MEMBERS MAY HAVE seen that the greens have apparently been darned recently with thin green thread, in much the same way as my mother used to mend my childhood socks. However, this isn’t sewing but sowing: over-sowing, to be precise, with a brand new piece of kit  known as a disc seeder (see photograph above with deputy course manager, Ray Crisp). It comes from Holland, weighs more than a ton and over the next few years will transform the preparation, repair and consistency of the Ashdown greens. Continue reading