Veterans’ Charity Golf Event Reaches Milestone

Addington Court Veterans’ Open Competition

On Wednesday, 1 July, there was fierce competition for the Addington Court Veterans’ two replica Claret Jugs, modelled on the most iconic trophy in the world of golf. It was the hottest day in London’s recorded history, but 79 veterans set out undaunted.

As part of the Addington Veterans’ annual fund-raising programme, the beneficiary this year was the Demelza Hospice for Children, and the generous donations from The Dorchester Hotel, the Croydon Park Hotel, and many others, were put towards a Raffle and an exciting Auction. On top of the healthy sum raised, a series of in-house competitions and social events will run at the club throughout the year to raise more.

It will be a celebratory presentation of the cheque to Demelza in January 2016, with the club having reaching the incredible milestone of having raised £70,000 since the programme was launched in 2002.

The winners of the Claret Jugs this year were Frank Cassidy (Mitcham GC) and Len Nicholls (former Captain of Addington Court Veterans).

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Charity event aims for 80k

On Wednesday , July 1st – two weeks before the 144th British Open Golf Championahip
commences at St. Andrews – Addington Court Veterans Golf Club, South Croydon will once again modestly mimic the classic event.

Male golfers, aged 60 and over, will attempt to acquire a replica of the iconic “Claret Jug” trophy plus a range of exciting prizes including a new car kindly provided by ANCASTER NISSAN, South Croydon to any entrant who achieves a Hole-in-One on Tee Number Eight (Par Three) at the course in Featherbed Lane, Croydon CRO 9AA.

When Harry Bowyer, last year’s Club Captain, recently presented a cheque representing the proceeds of the Club’s 2014 fund –raising fund to “Help for Heroes”at a meeting in Tidworth (see picture), this year’s captain, Derek Hollidge took the opportunity to announce that he had nominated the“Demelza Hospice for Children” as the beneficiary of the Club’s 2015 Fund Raising campaign.

Golfers of appropriate vintage who wish to enter the competition or sponsors interested in being associated with the event are cordially invited to contact;

Derek Hollidge – Telephone: 0208 654 5961 (Email: jodel2@blueyonder) or the
undersigned Arthur Lyddall Telephone:0208 657 8240 (Email: ajl@arthurlyddall.co.uk).

Arthur Lyddall

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Rory on top of the world

Another fine display from Rory McIlroy who calmly brushed aside a weak chasing pack on his way to title number 15.

The 25 year old from Northern Ireland, renowned for his power and distance, quite frankly under performed off the tee in what could be said as his worst driving performance for some time. Only 44% off fairways were hit during the four rounds on his way to equaling the tournament record 22 under par.

That is right – he still won the tournament, comfortably.

There were plenty of big names in contention but nobody could find that extra gear. Only Alex Noren, on his way back from injury, slammed home a few birdies on the back 9 to put a little pressure on Rory; whilst we watched the shameful Lee Westwood collapse with yet again some awful golf shots.

Rory Dubai

I will not be the first and definitely not the last to say this, but Rory is having an impact in golf like we haven’t seen for a long time..

In recent years, the European and PGA Tour have seen some major shifts in the patterns of successful players. Rookies have started to win prestigious events; youngsters have out-nerved the veterans and we have seen some of the biggest collapses by some of the best.

However, it is a different story when Rory is in town.

Nervousness is evident; you can almost sense the fear through the television. He has that ability of being able to create a miracle shot from nothing – a trait the king of golf, Tiger Woods once held over the rest of the field.

The scary thing is, it doesn’t even look like he is trying. -22 from 44% of fairways, imagine if he had hit 95%.

It is only a matter of time before he shoots the first 59 in European Tour history. Don’t act surprised if he cards himself a 55.

We are witnessing one of the most talented golfers both physically and mentally cruise his way to comfortable victories. We are all hoping to watch a young man bag himself the grand slam later this spring, but there is a few other records I think he could destroy this year.

Forget Ernie Els’ 4 round record of -29 … lets see Rory get into the -30’s.

The most birdies in a round = 12 … I want to see Rory have 18!

2015 could quite possibly be the year we see one man win 10+ events.

Craig Murray
Crown Golf

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Rory McIlroy beaten to the finish line by Lewis Hamilton

On Sunday night, Lewis Hamilton finished yet another race in first place, by beating Rory Mcilroy to Sports Personality of the year.

Rory McIlroy made the rest of the world’s golfers look fairly average this year after contending in almost every event he played. McIlroy, known for his power and distance, has stormed clear as no.1 in the world creating an atmosphere and threat like we haven’t seen for a long time.

McIlroy bagged himself 4 titles this year including back to back major victories in The Open and the PGA Championship; performances that have been highly regarded as being as good, if not better, than Tiger Woods’ dominance in the early 2000’s.

Unlike Woods, McIlroy has not only begun to dominate in single events, but his stand out performances in the Ryder Cup helped secure yet another title for the Europeans. After 2 halves and a loss in the doubles, Rory came out fighting on Sunday to give Rickie Fowler one of the most embarrassing defeats of his life. 6 under through 6 holes, the world no.1 fired Europe to their first victory on the final day.

His season was topped off by being crowned the Race To Dubai champion without even having to play the remaining tournaments of the season. So far clear, Rory already knew the trophy was his before finishing 2nd behind Henrik Stenson on the final day of the European Tour Season.

Rory RTD

The look on Rory’s face when he received second place at the Sports Personality of the Year …. Priceless. .

There is now a fear, an apprehensive fog that surrounds the name ‘Rory McIlroy’ on scoreboards around the world. Players know that he is capable of winning from anywhere. They know he won’t crumble when in front. The Northern Irishman is stamping his authority on the game of golf, something we haven’t seen since the prime of Tiger Woods.

The Grand Slam …. Is on. I think it’s time. The maybe he can win Sports Personality.

Craig Murray
Crown Golf

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A Third Consecutive Ryder Cup for the Europeans

After a 7-1 demolition in foursomes over the first 2 days, Europe went into Sundays singles matches with an overwhelming 10-6 lead.

Credit goes to the European Captain. Paul McGinley organised his team in a fantastic manner to stay in control after the 1st day foursomes, adapting his strategy to the form and attitude of his players.

Not once did McGinley drop a winning pairing, charging the confident players full of energy in the quest to win the Ryder Cup. Stenson and Rose cleared up over the first two days before an injury prevented the partnership continuing as Stenson withdrew.

Rookies Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson, on the shoulders of legends, secured two points in their foursomes matches as a commanding lead over the Americans began to emerge.

New-Ryder-Cup-Banner

Into Sunday we went ….

The talismanic, major winning Rory McIlroy exploded out of the blocks, -6 through 6 holes, 5 up on poor Rickie Fowler who had barely put a foot wrong. The young American had contended in all majors this year, 4 top 5s, but once again, Rory pushed him aside with a commanding 5n4 victory.

Former US Open winner, Graemme McDowell, was thrown into the deep ocean, a match against a cocky Jordan Spieth who had shown the world of golf, once again, how good he really is. 3 up through 5, Spieth looked in control and on his way to another American point. However, McDowell had other ideas.

A troublesome middle part of the round for Spieth allowed G-Mac to fight his way back into contention before slamming home a couple of birdies on the back 9 to take the lead. 3 points from 3 for the European to make it 12-6 in their favour.

The charismatic and somewhat arrogant Patrick Reed wound up the Gleneagles crowd during his match with Henrik Stenson. The young rookie did himself no favours but not for the first time this week, Reed bagged himself yet another point to add to the American total.

With Europe in control of their own destiny, a burst of blue began to appear on the score boards.

Kaymer took Watson to church with an outstanding 4n2 victory. The US Open champion schooled the Masters Champion on European soil to put the tie almost to bed.

Man of the week, Justin Rose, unbeaten in 4 matches, shocked the crowd when he found himself 4 down through 6 holes. A pumped-up Hunter Mahan was not going to give up the Ryder Cup dream, not yet anyway. However, an inspired Rose went on a 4-hole birdie streak through the turn to level the match. It would remain this way and Rose would secure another half point for team Europe.

Justin Rose

13.5-9.5 …. Possibly the most in form player leading up to the Ryder Cup, Jamie Donaldson, displayed pure excellence over the former major winner Keegan Bradley.

With the stage set, dormie 4 up, Donaldson lined up his pitching wedge towards a roaring crowd on the 15th green.

STIFF! The best wedge shot he could have possibly produced, 6 inches from the hole, gave Keegan no choice but to shake the Welshmen’s hand.  The victory was ours.

A deflated American team would be beaten again, no fight, no nothing on the final day of play. The experienced quartet of Phil Mickleson, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson was nowhere to be seen. The only players who seemed hungry for the American team were Spieth and Reed, two rookies who led by example.

Garcia would finish off Jim Furyk with a 1up victory. Poulter took another half point against Webb Simpson. Westwood was beaten by Jimmy Walker, which was expected, the American, who has had a fantastic year, finished it off in style.  The young Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson, halved with Zach Johnson. An unbeaten rookie who looked unstoppable this week, ‘Europe’s next big thing’, said Graemme McDowell.

16.5 – 11.5… A comfortable win for Paul McGinley’s men. As expected, the Ryder Cup belongs to Europe.

I think the Americans needed this guy …

BH

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Billy Horschel seals the deal

Billy Horschel has bagged himself the biggest prize in Golf by winning the FedEx Cup following back to back wins on the PGA Tour.

The young American, in his Rupert the Bear trousers, held off a late charge from Jim Furyk to double his career earnings in just four days. $11.4 million in total was signed over to him last night, not a bad way to celebrate the birth of your first child.

Renowned for his lairy outfits and lively charisma, Billy Horschel did not let down the American fans on Sunday, pulling away from the field just has he had done the previous week. A controlled and sophisticated approach to the final day’s strategy looked unbeatable, as the chasing pack came and went once again.

The winning moment – a 30 foot par putt on 16 slammed into the back of the cup to keep daylight between himself an Jim Furyk…. And boy did he know it, fist pumping his way to the 17th tee.
BH
The Playoff’s

After a weak display at the Barclays, Billy Horschel found himself well adrift of the leaders in the FedEx Cup. He missed the cut and spent the weekend at home sulking to his coach, preparing for the following season. Well that was the plan anyway.

The following week at the Deutsche Bank witnessed a revitalised Horschel, 71 holes of pure grit and determination before a nervous swing on 18 took away his chances with his ball finding the water…. 1500 Fedex points was not to be sniffed at and he would go into the BMW full of confidence.

The second place was topped off by a run away performance at the BMW. Anybody who thought he could not handle the pressure would be wrong. Pure brilliance from Horschel bagged himself the win and more importantly, 2nd place in the FedEx standings heading into the final week.

A week which saw the most calm and confident man lead from the very first day until the very last hole. An outstanding performance by a truly great man, unfazed by his playing partner, world no.1 Rory McIlroy.

The Northern Irishmen praised the performance by Horschel stating he had played the best and deserved to win.

‘There are a few guys I’m glad I’m not seeing at Gleneagles: him, Ryan Palmer and Chris Kirk’.

And I think he speaks for all of us ….

These three Americans, hands down, would be more frightening than the actual picks. Form is everything in golf, and right now, the US team are struggling.

Horschel tops off the week by winning $11.4 million dollars just weeks before the expectancy of his first child. Little does he know that life, even with the large wallet, may just become that little bit more stressful.

Congratulations Billy, see you next season.

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Billy Horschel claims first prize in Denver

After an impressive 63 on Sunday, Billy Horschel holds his nerve to secure his first victory of the season.

A three shot gap had opened up over Ryan Palmer heading into the final day with the rest of the field a further two shots behind. Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler were all poised to capitalise on any mistakes made by the leader.

Overnight rain and a shortened course set up the opportunity for the chasing pack to slam home some birdies in the early holes… And just as expected, the leader board gathered like a peloton and chased down Horschel.

Horschel set out on Sunday with a game plan ‘to not make any bogeys’, but after an error off the tee on hole 2, his lead was already cut to 2 shots.

And that gap would get even smaller….

After 11 holes Ryan Palmer found himself sitting side by side with Horschel with an impressive 4 under score for the day. Birdies at 1, 3 and 5 were followed by another at 11 forcing pressure on Horschel.

Until the 12th… when the wheels fell off as Palmer got a little too excited. He followed the bogey at 12 with more careless errors in a destructive back 9.

A late charge by the Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, was soon hampered by a triple bogey 8 at the 17th after trying to play safe … good move Sergio!

As the field came and went, Horschel made minimal errors and plodded his way round a tricky back 9. After a quick mid-round pee, he sprinted back to the course a new relieved man and finished off in style.

Climbing 18 FedEx places in the process, Horschel finds himself bang in contention entering the final week at East Lake with that $10m prize fund looking ever more likely.

The FedEx Cup looks to be in the hands on 7 individuals. A victory this week should be enough to take each one of these players top the top.

1. Chris Kirk
2. Billy Horschel
3. Bubba Watson
4. Rory McIlroy
5. Hunter Mahan
6. Jimmy Walker
7. Jimmy Furyk

But we all know Jim Furyk is scared of winning so we suggest it is down to the top 6.

Come on Rory, bring it home for the Europeans!

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Practice Vs Play

Spent an afternoon on the range Friday, hit the ball great beyond recognition and fired up for Saturdays competition. 

The first tee awaits…..

After a couple of holes the rhythm has gone and yesterday’s easy flowing swings have disappeared. The putts that you slammed into the back of the hole this morning don’t drop and chipping the ball feels like rocket science. If your are lucky you hit your buffer zone? 

Dreams shattered and you start to search for answers.

Was it my clubs fault…Possibly.

Do I need a lesson…Perhaps.

Differences

The driving range is a completely different environment; there is no pressure and quite frankly all you want to do is hit the guy in the range cart collecting the balls….

range_field

At the range:

Relaxed – A bad shot is corrected by the next swing and you hit the little net you was aiming for. 
Allignment – Sticks or clubs by your feet running parallel with a SQUARE mat aiming towards a stick in a field. No Hazards or traps to consider.
Routine – Will you hit a shot with a 3 wood, put it in the bag and change to a wedge? Then a driver followed by a 7 iron? I doubt it. Most of the time its 3 balls with a lob wedge into a net then bash the crap out of your driver until you clear the range or hit the guy in the range buggy. 
Flat Lie – On a mat, under cover with a heater keeping you happy. 

shutterstock_78873625

So why did I play so bad on Saturday…..

Score – I hit in in the trees and made a double bogey … consequences of my bad swing.
Pressure – Self inflicted and strongly linked to consequences. Technique can often change. 
Rhythm – It is hard to keep a consistent rhythm when waiting 2-3 minutes per shot.
Variance – How often were you faced with the same shot twice in a row? (Provisional does not count!)
Energy – 4/5 miles carrying/pushing/towing a bag will affect that tee shot on 17 and 18 ….
Fatigue – Mental strain will damage your game.

Slightly different from your 100 balls you hit with no thought on the range? 

So here are a few things to implement with your range time and round time…

Practice Or Warm Up?

When you practice: That is what you should be looking to achieve. If you have something to work on, work on it. If you don’t, you should have!

Going to the practice area without looking to work on or implement something is somewhat aimless. It’s a glorified warm up.

Warming up should occur before a round. Not during the week after work. (Of course you will want to loosen your muscles before hand for a practice session)

When you warm up before a round, Try and get yourself in to round mode. A few simple things to help are below. You do not need to adhere to all of them. Just one could make a difference.

Routine – You have a routine on the course. Use it on the range for a warm up. Taking aim, practice swings or maybe even a waggle or two. The more you make your warm up like your round the better. Routine improves rhythm.
Vary your club – Line a few clubs up. Play a few holes in your mind. Driver then and iron or a wedge. You are preparing for a game where shots are varied so prepare for it. A few years a go I remember hearing a tour pro say that he used to hit 2 balls with each club. Very simple yet effective
Consequences – Warm up next to a playing partner or colleague. Make things interesting with some target practice. Put pressure on yourself.

On The Course

So you have done the warm up. Prepared correctly and that should make everything smell like flowers when it comes to your scorecard? Not quite.

It is very difficult to replicate the feeling of round of golf without playing it.

A warm up routine gives you a better chance but here’s a few pointers to keep you going. As before, don’t use them all. Pick one you like and go with it.

Relax between shots – Keep things happy! Avoid talking about your game. It only adds pressure even if you are playing well. The time to concentrate is 10 feet before you ball. Not all the way round
Keep the routine – Remember this? Routine encourages repetition. Try and stick to it
Focus on the shot you have in front of you. Not the previous one or the one in front. You can’t change the past and to change you future, you have to focus on the here and now
Keep up your energy – Take plenty of fluids out with you. Water if you can. Bananas, energy bars or dried fruit all release energy slowly. You would be surprised how caffeine or sugar can leave you lethargic mentally and physically an hour later

I hope you can take something from it. Try and make your warm up like your round. Practice something every time you go.

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Chris Kirk joins the elite names on the Deutsche Bank Trophy

After a woeful start on Friday, Chris Kirk blitzes through the field over the holiday weekend to take the Deutsche Bank prize fund.

The course, renowned for its distance, did not seem to trouble many this week as the leader board was peppered by numerous contenders over the four days.

The usual contenders seemed to be in control as Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer looked poised for the weekend.

However once again, the final day favourites couldn’t keep up with the fearless displays of some young Americans.

Chris Kirk had a terrible start, on Friday he carded a 73, 2 over par, sitting way back in the field on Saturday morning.

Well what ever he ate on Friday night, I want some.

He followed up the 73 with rounds of 66, 64 and 66, 2 shots better off than the field. 

Perhaps the most impressive part of the victory was how convincing he looked on the final two days when playing alongside the man of the moment; Rory McIlroy.

Unphased by the long hitting world no.1, Kirk finished 4 clear of Rory when starting on the same score on Sunday Morning. If the two had been playing a singles match on Monday, Kirk would have swept Rory away convincingly 5n4.

And on the eve of Tom Watson’s 3 picks, Chris Kirk may have caused a serious problem for the USA Ryder Cup Captain.

It was looking ever more likely for Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan or Ryan Moore to fit into the captain’s selections. However, an impressive season from Kirk will disrupt any plans that may have been written up.

In 14th position in the US standings when the points list was closed, Kirk had already picked up a PGA Tour victory. Only 2 missed cuts all season and his name now scratched into the shiny Deutsche Bank Trophy, I think Kirk has slipped his way into the Ryder Cup team.

If Kirk has not convinced Tom, then I am sure the FedEx Cup would be an ok replacement. $10million is not to be sniffed at.

Keegan Bradley may have won a major and has Ryder Cup experience but he has done nothing all year. Combined with those awful shoes he wears, I don’t think anybody would miss him at Gleneagles.

A positive for Europe.

Ian Poulter, after an injury stricken season has found form at the PERFECT time. A player, which I believe should already be in the team, displayed some great golf this weekend finishing on -7 for the tournament. We all know he is a fearless man who putts with raw confidence, If McGinley had not finalised his team, I am sure Poults will be there now.

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The Beast at TPC Boston

This week, the world’s elite travel to the East Coast with their most comfortable golf shoes to tackle the beast that is TPC Boston.

A monstrous 7241 yards stands in front of the FedEx top 100 as they set their sights on some serious prize money. A reachable par 5 18th provides an exciting finale to any championship; for the Deutsche Bank it could be a 20 footer for $1.5 million and more importantly 2500 FedEx points.

The current FedEx Playoff scoring process provides an opportunity for almost anybody in the top 100 the chance to win the $10 million jackpot. Those sitting in 72nd at the moment could possibly leapfrog to the number 1 position if successful this week.

So who is your money on?

Previous winners include some of the longest hitters on tour:
Tiger Woods
Phil Mickleson
Adam Scott
Henrik Stenson
and the man of the moment – Rory McIlroy.

This course was developed with distance in mind and the par 3s will cause major issues come Sunday; 208yrds, 213yrds and 231yrds are no pushovers.

The par 4s average way over 450 yards – this week’s champion will have to be one of the most accurate off the tee for sure.

Those to keep an eye on:

Rory Mcilroy, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler.

But our picks this week are Jason Day and Charley Hoffman. Jason Day comes off a solid week at The Barclays, falling a couple of shots shy of the superb Hunter Mahan. Charley Hoffman played solid last week (Tied 30th) but won this tournament back in 2012. Do not be surprised to see him in contention on Sunday.

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