Feb 5th, 2017
Massive congratulations to Sergio Garcia as he wins the Dubai Desert Classic by three shots over Henrik Stenson. Here's how he did it to earn his first European Tour victory for three years.
Massive congratulations to Sergio Garcia as he wins the Dubai Desert Classic by three shots over Henrik Stenson. Here's how he did it to earn his first European Tour victory for three years.
Leading premium golf apparel brand Galvin Green has introduced its biggest ever range of high-performance clothing aimed at young golfers for the 2020 season. The collection features more than 20 garments designed to appeal to golfers between the ages of 9-15 who are serious about their game.
Golfers on the European Tour have come together to record a message to encourage everyone across the world to follow the World Health Organisation’s guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak, reinforcing the #STAYATHOME message.
If you want to keep playing golf, then listen to this intensive care doctor and take action, now. There is much discussion that golf is a sport that can continue socially. However, unless we ALL take heed of the advice to social distance in all parts of our life, the virus will keep spreading and the authorities will shut down the courses.
It came as no surprise when on Friday the LPGA announced the postponement of three more tournaments. What was not expected was that the LPGA has set a date for the ANA Inspiration, which is to take place between 10th and 13th September.
The LPGA has announced it is postponing three tournaments amid the fears over the Coronavirus pandemic, including the first major on the 2020 golf calendar, the ANA Inspiration.
Trial by television was with us again at the Bay Hill Classic on Thursday. No Patrick Reed this time but rather the squeaky-clean Justin Rose. Rose had a tricky chip from the back of the 11th which he ran some 10 feet past the pin but did he move the ball at address?
As previously reported, the Golf Hall of Fame recently amended the qualification criteria moving the minimum age for both male and females to 45 from 50. So, it was hardly a ‘dropped my bacon sandwich’ moment when we learned that Tiger was on the list of finalists.
GolfPunk favourite Ian Poulter saw red following comments by Paul Azinger at the weekend suggesting the European Tour was a lot easier than the PGA Tour. Poulter took to Twitter and did not hold back on what he thought about what was said by the ex-Ryder Cup captain.
He has been saying for a while now that he needs to get off to better starts in events and in Mexico yesterday Rory McIlroy delivered. The World Number One soared into a two-stroke first round lead at the WGC-Mexico Championship to continue an excellent run of form of late with a six-under-par 65 at Chapultepec Golf Club.
The Scottish government has refused planning permission for a controversial plan to build an 18-hole championship golf course in the Highlands of Scotland. The plan had been to build a championship golf course at Coul Links, Embo, near Dornoch.
Surely the least contentious and well-deserved award for 2019 was Jon Rahm being voted the Seve Ballesteros Award as the 2019 European Tour Players' Player of the Year, after a spectacular campaign which included two Rolex Series titles, another victory on home soil and culminated in him being crowned the Race to Dubai Champion.
It was a fine victory for Adam Scott last weekend, he is a great ball striker, but I must confess I rather sighed when I saw him using a long putter to great effect once again. It was a similar feeling to that I had when Scott won the Masters back in 2013. I’m sorry, but I am with the brigade who consider these long putters cheat sticks.
Forget the roses and chocs this Valentine’s Day what you need is a shiny new Stewart Golf trolley. Yes, slightly left field isn’t it but those lovely folk at Stewart have produced a shiny new video to support their Valentine’s offer.
Ok as nobody else seems to be doing it, I am going to come out and defend the seemingly indefensible, or at the very worst add a bit of perspective. Hank Hainey made a pretty unwise statement and was clearly mistaken in taking what might be described as ‘locker room humour’ to the airways. But, was he being ‘racist, xenophobic, and sexist’ as stated by the PGA Tour’s lawyers?
Thomas Pieters leads the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after an impressive opening round of 67 on the tough Emirates Golf Club course. The Belgian leads by one shot from David Lipsky of the USA with a gaggle of twelve players, which includes Englishman Eddie Pepperell, Robert Karlsson of Sweden and Dane Søren Kjeldsen, a further shot back.
Ping Europe Ltd has lost an appeal against an infringement decision from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and £1.25 million fine. The CMA had originally ruled that the manufacturer had broken competition law by stopping retailers from selling its clubs on their websites.
Encouraging signs from the first event with the European Tour’s new regime on slow play. The toughened up four-point plan did not result in any penalties but the general consensus was that the pace of play was better. Even Bryson DeChambeau seemed to have responded positively – might the penny be finally dropping?
GolfPunk Hall of Shame inductee Sergio Garcia has been chucking clubs again. This time he has jettisoned all his Callaway clubs and replaced them with a selection of PINGs along with TaylorMade fairway woods. Garcia announced ahead of this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that he has ended his two-year relationship with Callaway golf clubs and ball.
Tiger Woods will open his account for 2020 and quest for his record breaking 83rd tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines from 23rd to 26th January. Woods last seen leading Team USA to victory at the Presidents Cup will then head to the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in mid-February.
Ping has signed up Eddie Pepperell on a multi-year equipment deal. Eddie will be all Pinged up , as it were, as he will be wearing a Pink hat and carry a Ping staff bag as well as playing the clubs. It seems Eddie’s antics on Twitter also endeared him to the bosses at Ping and once again he amused his audience with an offer to Prince Harry.
The European Tour has a real headache on its hands following Iran’s recent threats to "destroy" parts of the United Arab Emirates if there is retaliation after the attacks they launched on Iraq in reprisal for the US killing of Qassem Soleimani.
Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey was arrested as part of a prostitution sting in Central Florida. Gainey has been a pro golfer since 1997 and joined the PGA Tour in 2008, where he became famous for wearing gloves on both hands when playing.
Well they’ve had the boxing, Tiger and Rory have declined big pay days to play there and now Saudi has made history by announcing the first-ever professional women’s golf event in the Kingdom. The fully-sanctioned Ladies European Tour event will be staged in collaboration with Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation and carry a purse of $1 million.
LET 2018 Rookie of the Year, Julia Engström, carded a two under par 70 at Vipingo Ridge course to extend her lead in the Magical Kenya Ladies Open to seven shots over the field. Esther Henseleit who needs to win the event for a chance of grabbing the LET order of merit title could only manage a 71 and sits in joint second.
Sergio García will play in next year’s Saudi International despite trying to trash a number of their greens when playing the event in February of this year. The Spaniard was disqualified after his extraordinary behaviour but it seems that there was a further sanction from tour who have insisted he plays at the event in 2020 without an appearance fee. call that a sanction? We are not impressed.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Ladies European Tour (LET) today announced that they will unite in a joint venture partnership to push women's professional golf to new heights in Europe and around the world. The combination of the LET's European expertise and relationships in the region, with the LPGA's global strength and worldwide exposure, and their shared vision for the future of women's professional golf and growth of the game, provides the core ingredients to ignite a tour loaded with upside potential.
France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera is riding high at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai but all eyes are on the battle for the Race to Dubai. After round two Tommy Fleetwood (69) and Jon Rahm (68) were sitting in joint second three shots behind the leader but Race to Dubai leader, Bernd Wiesberger, was a further six shots back in a tie for thirteenth.
The folk at Galvin Green, in keeping with their name, are enhancing their environmental credentials by introducing a collection of golf wear using high-performance fabric that is left over from the production of its comprehensive core range. The UpCycle Edition collection consists of a limited number of garments for both men and women.
In the final Hero Challenge of the year South African Erik van Rooyen defeated former Masters Champion Danny Willett. You know the Hero Challenge, it’s the one where 6 top pros compete at target golf, hitting to a floating green out in an expanse of water. The closer to the flag you are the more points you score, with the closest ring being 50 points the next 25, well you get the gist.
Stop Press: Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam is set to become the first female professional to compete in the PNC Father Son Challenge. We’ve just picked the Brigadier up off the floor spluttering something about it never happening at West Hill or something. Yes, it is called a father son event but this is 2019 and actually the fairer sex has competed before.
Eddie Pepperell must have mixed memories of Portugal Masters after missing the cut and losing his card in 2016. However, this year he appears to have found an innovative way to motivate himself, wagering Martin Kaymer about appearing on the Television Show First Dates.
Jason Day gets in private jet, hot foots it from CJ Cup in China where he was 31st and then beats Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and home favourite Hideki Matsuyama to the spoils taking home $210,000 of the $350,000 pot. Happy Days then (do you see what we did there?)! Well perhaps for Jason but not really for golf as the inaugural 'The Challenge: Japan Skins' lived up to our pretty low expectations.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama will go head to head in a globally televised skins game, the first in a series of annual competitions staged by GOLFTV. "The Challenge: Japan Skins" will take place on the 21st October ahead of the PGA Tour's Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino C.C. in Chiba, Japan, and we will not be watching.
There has been much debate about parity for women golfers and there have been attempts to move in the right direction, for example the Jordan Mixed Open and the ISPS Handa World Invitational promoted by Niall Horran’s Modest media. With all respect to these other events, finally, there is a big one with some serious money attached.
Cobra Golf today introduced its next generation of KING Forged TEC Irons, featuring a traditional muscle-back shape with a hollow design for softer feel and improved power preferred available in a variable or ONE Length set make-up.
A year after finishing tied for second in the Hero Women’s Indian Open, Christine Wolf enjoyed a much happier experience at DLF Golf and Country Club as she claimed her first Ladies European Tour title. The 30-year-old Austrian, who had led by three going into the 18th hole 12 months ago before a nightmare double-bogey wrecked her chances, was able to take care of unfinished business.
Jon Rahm successfully defended a title for the first time in his career as he stormed to a five-stroke victory at the Mutuactivos Open de España. The 24-year-old secured his fifth European Tour title in just his 39th start, becoming the fastest Spaniard to reach five victories surpassing the late, great Seve Ballesteros who reached that milestone on his 49th appearance.
We love a good 14 club challenge at GolfPunk. We’re not very good at them but watching the pro’s go at it is always a scream, especially when they manage to hit the green with a putter or equally unsuitable club!
Australia’s Whitney Hillier carded a one-under round of 71 to claim a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Hero Women’s Indian Open. She leads by a single shot from Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord with Linda Wessberg of Sweden and Meg MacLaren of England a further shot back.
Christine Wolf shot an excellent five-under-par 67 in the third round of the Hero Women’s Indian Open to take a one stroke lead into the final round at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram. The 30-year-old Austrian will be determined to make amends for last year when she dumped her third shot into the water at the 18th to take a double bogey and lose the event by two shots.
10th hole West Cliffs Golf Links, 372 yards, Par 4.
Poor old Bio Kim. The Korean who is leading the money list on the Korean tour, has been handed a three-year suspension for raising his middle finger at members of the crowd at the weekend. This seems a rather harsh punishment and will cost the young man a lot of dosh.
As we head into October there is a definite chill in the air and those hopes of an Indian Summer might be waning. With this in mind the stylish, but practical, folk at adidas have introduced their Frostguard Collection. A new layering collection for both men and women that was designed to help golfers extend their golf seasons during the colder months of the year.
Only a fortnight after playing her part in Europe’s Solheim Cup victory at Gleneagles, Carlota Ciganda claimed the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open at Terramar Golf Club in Sitges, Spain to add another unforgettable moment to her remarkable career.
Victor Perez became the first French winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the event, winning by one shot from England’s Matthew Southgate at St Andrews. Whilst, at the same time, Rory McIlroy, finishing tied for 26th place complains to the BBC that the European Tour is too easy.
England’s Matthew Southgate and Victor Perez of France take a two shot lead into the final round at the Old Course, St Andrews in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Perez shot his second 64 of the week at Kingsbarns Golf Links to move to twenty under and was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Southgate who birdied his final hole at St Andrews to card a 65.
Danny Willett made a welcome return to form winning the BMW PGA Championship with a comfortable three shot victory after posting a five-under-par 67 on Sunday at Wentworth. Overnight joint leader, John Rahm of Spain struggled to card a 70 whilst South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout's charge slightly petered out leaving him third.
Nelly Korda shot a four-under 67 to win the Lacoste Ladies Open to take her first European Title. Blustery conditions made it challenging at Golf du Medoc and despite being in a final round containing two local favourites, Korda managed to hold off Joanna Klattern and Céline Boutier for her maiden win on this side of the pond.
Following the debuting of the Titleist 2020 branding at the FedEx Cup playoffs the rather sleek looking bags are being launched on the European Tour at this week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. We still want one!
European Captain Padraig Harrington has named Robert Karlsson as his first vice captain for The 2020 Ryder Cup against the United States at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next September. Karlsson twice played in the Ryder Cup, in the victorious 2006 team that crushed the USA at the K Club and on the losing side two years later at Valhalla.
The teams were introduced, the crowds were bedecked in the colours of the teams and Sharleen Spiteri and Texas hit the stage to liven up proceedings. First points in the fashion stakes probably went to Europe with their mid length coats and Solheim Cup tartan scarves winning it out over the the not quite so flattering short jackets of Team USA. A real spectacle indeed and here are some of the best images.
Paul Casey has moves up to 14th in the world following his victory at the European Open in Hamburg. The Englishman shot a bogey free 66 that took him to 14 under and squeezed out Scotland’s Robert Macintyre, Austria’s Matthias Schwab and home hope Bernd Ritthammer by one-stroke.
Something for the weekend? Ooh suit you!
Two Foxhills members both hit a hole-in-one on the same hole with consecutive shots. Apparently, the odds of this happening are millions to one although we must confess, we haven’t a clue how that is calculated.
Cleveland wedges are definitely always in the mix when you think about premium tour products and we loved their recent CBX 2 launch aimed at the slightly more regular golfers amongst us. What they aren’t as well known for are their top of the line putters and perhaps, with the new Frontline range, that is about to change?
The techies at Cleveland believe that the keys to success are control and feel which gives confidence in putting and their new Huntington Beach SOFT range does just that, so that we make more putts, "plain and simple!"
Something for the weekend? Ooh, suit you!
What happens when you pair one of the world’s biggest pop stars with the world’s number two golfer at a Pro-Am event? Well it’s no joke but what you actually get is a lesson in bunker play in the middle of the round, oh and a very near miss!
The Solheim Cup is just three weeks away and Team USA captain, Juli Inkster, used her picks to add some experience to her rookie Solheim Cup line up last night. This will be Stacy Lewis’ fifth Solheim Cup and Morgan Pressel’s sixth.
World number one, Jin Young Ko, walked arm in arm up to the 18th green at the CP Women’s Open yesterday with defending champion and local girl Brooke Henderson, as she cruised to a five shot lead over her nearest rival, Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen, to confirm that she is in her class of her own on the LPGA Tour this year.
Something for the weekend? Ooh suit you!
Hot on the heels of the success of the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women event in Northern Ireland presented by his Modest! Golf Management outfit Niall Horan has announced he will be teeing it up in the BMW PGA Pro-Am on 18th September at Wentworth. Horan who is a member of the Wentworth Club in Surrey will take to the fairways of his famous home club alongside some of world golf’s biggest names.
Local favourite Stephanie Meadow will take a four shot lead into the final round of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational. The 27-year-old from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland shot a six under par 67 to sit on ten under for the event, four clear of England’s Eleanor Givens. In the men’s event, Damien Perrier of France and Todd Clement of England lead the field by a single shot following another long day with rain delays at Galgorm Castle.
Reports indicate our erstwhile Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP, has been learning to develop his golf game as part of a strategy to help him secure a trade deal with the US and presumably other nations headed by golf addicted leaders.
Scotland’s Craig Ross and England’s Eleanor Givens are the first round leaders lead in the The ISPS HANDA World Invitational, both carding an impressive 6 under par. Ross shot an impressive birdie free round of 64 Massereene Golf Club while Givens had seven birdies and one solitary bogey in carding a 67 at Galgorm Castle Golf Club.
It has rather flown under the radar but yesterday the ISPS HANDA World Invitational event for both men and women teed of at Galgorm Castle Golf Club and Massereene Golf Club. A first for golf in Europe as women will play alongside (sort of) the men and will play for the same money.
Following the Ladies Scottish Open the first eight players have been confirmed for the 2019 European Solheim Cup team. This afternoon the Team Europe captain Catriona Matthew will break some hearts and delight others as she makes her four captain’s picks. But GolfPunk have it covered, so you can relax Catriona as these are the picks!
TaylorMade are on a roll, of that there can be little doubt and when the TP Patina Putter collection drops you can be sure it will cause more than a little stir. The marketing bumpf is all well and good, but well, just look at them.
Well we nearly got the final line up right in that we predicted three of the four captain’s picks. European Captain Catriona Matthew went for France’s Celine Boutier, English stars Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Bronte Law and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen.
In 2018, Prince’s unveiled the newly-redeveloped Himalayas nine having undertaken a significant redesign by renowned international golf course architects Mackenzie & Ebert. A year on, the results are looking pretty impressive.
As majors go, the AIG Women’s British Open was a classic. Hinako Shibuno, the 20 year old Japanese rookie, who had never set foot in a tournament outside of her home country holed, in some style we might add, a 20ft putt on the 18th to secure the title. Just moments before Lizette Salas had missed a much shorter chance in front of an amazing crowd.
Less than 24 hours after the Evian Championship was wrapped up by Jin Young Ko, 49 of the top 50 women in the world hightailed it to Milton Keynes to somehow prepare themselves for the very different test that Woburn Golf Club’s Marquess Course will offer. Or at least most of them would have been preparing had Lexi Thompson not left her passport in her bag!
South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim holds a one-shot lead over compatriot Sung Hyun Park heading into day four of the Evian Championship. Indeed, Kim has no shortage of company from home as five of the top six players are from South Korea with the only interloper being Shanshan Feng of China.
Old Head of Kinsale Golf Links, Co. Cork, Ireland 12th hole (Courcean Stage) Par 5 564 yards
The men’s majors are over and so attention turns to the women, or ladies as they were referred to when I was growing up. We have a double header with the Evian Championship in France this week followed straight away by the Women's British Open. And we thought the men were compressing their majors too much!
On the day that The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP becomes the First Lord of the Treasury, or otherwise known as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, GolfPunk ponders the key issues of the day.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry produced what he called "one of the most incredible days of my life" shooting an eight-under-par 63 that gives him a four-shot lead going into the final day of the Open at Royal Portrush! Englishman Tommy Fleetwood is the closest rival on 12 under after a 66 with JB Holmes third on 10 under. World number one Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose sit one further back but there are tough weather conditions forecast for the final day.
The GolfPunk team love the game of golf and are big supporters of the idea of improving the etiquette on the course and in general. However, this week the big news running around social media was about the US amateur golfer that carded an impressively poor 194 for 18 holes and things got worse when the Florida State Golf Association confirmed it was actually a 131 over par 202!
It’s etiquette right? You hit the ball in the direction of another person on a golf course, you shout ‘fore’. It instilled in you from almost your first shot on a golf course, be you ten year’s old or eighty. However, it seems for some professionals that once they have reached the lofty heights of the tour this unwritten rule no longer applies to them.
Ok time for a rerun of our GolfPunk rant. The three-minute rule is a good one and it is intended to speed up play like the other good rule change, putting with the pin in. I am sure most pros did not expect to suffer too much from the rule change but then they are not playing Royal Portrush every day.
Who will win the Open? Vote now for your pick of the Top 20, as per the bookies, or do you think it will be more of an outsider who takes the Claret Jug on the shores of Northern Ireland?
For the first time it feels like we are getting really serious about this whole programme as we start to see real gains physically and we appear to be getting fitter, faster at the exercises and stronger overall. Plus, this week’s WOD was both a killer and also immensely satisfying to boot, which are words we never thought we would say!
Let’s start with an admission. We know that our Fitness Friday article is going out on a Monday and we kind of dropped the (medecine) ball but we have a good excuse honest. So, we’re a smidge late but following the maxim, better late than never, here you go!
Normally a round of mini golf is a rather relaxing and sedentary activity. You saunter around putting that ball through a few windmills or similar unusual obstacles often with a beer in your hand and not a care in the world as you watch family members miss that putt for the umpteenth time. In fact its supposed to be so safe that it’s become a drinking based activity with places like Junk Yard Golf or Swingers popping up everwhere!
Justin Rose shot a third round 68 to close the gap on leader Gary Woodland to just one shot, with the field a further three shots back. Looming ominously in the pair’s rear-view mirror is one Brooks Koepka who shot a bogey free round of 68 to continue his slow, but continuous, move up the leaderboard.
Jordan Spieth was having a decent round yesterday. Level par for the first seven holes and all was well with the world, until the par four 8th. On a hole that requires precision and tidy positioning off the tee, Speith’s tee shot hit the fairway but then rolled too far, ran out of runway and dropped over the cliff edge.
The US open is returning to Pebble Beach with its magnificent views, tiny greens and changeable conditions. All factors that are taxing The Spiv’s brain matter as he sips on his port and peruses the field. But this year its all different as GolfPunk has a new algorithm and its going to make us all rich (necessary caveats and waivers apply of course).
The maxim that you can’t teach old dogs’ new tricks has firmly been dispatched this week as the “Lab Rats” as we have affectionately been called have truly turned over a new leaf, at least for the next 6/7 weeks are concerned.
I think it safe to say that the GolfPunk team are not exactly regulars at their local gym. When it comes to preparing for a round of golf its usually a bacon sarnie, washed down with a few cups of coffee, a couple of swishes with an 8 iron behind the first tee and away we go.
It’s an early rise for us on day two and a slightly thick head, that Schnapps for the road wasn't a great idea after all! After an excellent breakfast at the hotel we are off to experience two more courses. It will be an entirely different experience from the first day as the courses are located in undulating valley landscapes.
“Fancy playing in Bavaria?” came the call. Visions of steins of beers and shouts of prost from froth moustachioed faces sprung to the mind as I nodded furiously. Ok grab your clubs you’re off to The Quellness Resort.
GolfPunk’s strap line and overall mission is that it is the “The golf site for the rest of us...” and as you know we have long been advocates to increase participation in our beautiful game, lest it becomes stuffy, stale and the preserve of the privileged few.
How do you come back from blowing a seven shot lead in a major? Well, fortunately for Brooks Koepka it is a question that he will not have to answer. Staring down the barrel of the gun and the biggest collapse in golf major history, Koepka dug deep, held his nerve and took the title.
As Matt Wallace thumped the green with his putter as another birdie putt slipped by the hole at the 18th he knew he had blown a chance to lift the British Masters crown. Step forward Marcus Kinhult, the world’s number 210th ranked player, to coolly hole his ten-foot birdie putt and complete Wallace’s nightmare.
With the famous sign for the Bethpage Black course in mind Puma has produced a Limited Edition Warning Pack that Rickie Fowler will wear during the first two rounds of the 101st PGA Championship.
Twenty Chinese golfers made the cut for the weekend of the Volvo China Open but it was an inhabitant of the 116th biggest country in the world, by population, who lifted the spoils at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen. FInland’s Mikko Korhonen clinched his second European Tour title seeing off France’s Benjamin Hebert at the first play-off hole.
In his first outing since The Masters, Rory McIlroy carded an opening five under par 66 to share the lead of the Wells Fargo International from Quail Hollow. The Northern Irishman shares the lead with America’s Joel Dahmen, one of GolfPunk’s each-way tips for the event.
Wu Ashun delighted the Chinese crowd, adding an excellent 65 to his opening 66 and a two shot lead at the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen. But it was Wu’s young countryman Yang Kuang who grabbed all the headline as the youngest player to make a cut on the European Tour at the tender age of 14 years, six months and 12 days.