It's another packed newsletter this week as there has been plenty going on here at the Club with a new course record to tell you about and in the golfing world Tiger Woods has suffered another injury setback whilst Rory McIlroy has won another big tournament in America.
McIlroy clinched his first World Championship title on Sunday and has returned to the position of world number one. He led the field in driving distance with a mind boggling average of 334 yards and was 12th overall in driving accuracy. With the USPGA Championship coming up this week at Valhalla Golf Club he will be the very hot favourite to win his fourth major and further enhance his position as the world's pre-eminent player. It seems that there are many European golfers playing well at the moment as Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose have featured on the leaderboards which bodes well as the Ryder Cup is fast approaching in just seven weeks.
Full coverage of the USPGA and the Ryder Cup is on Sky TV but if you haven't got it at home don't worry we will be showing plenty of the live coverage in the clubhouse.
New course record for Steve
As impressive as Rory McIlroy's performances have been recently there was also a quite outstanding round of golf played here on Saturday as 5 handicapper Steve Bond smashed the old course record in shooting a gross score of 66 - which is now the new course record. The fact that he played this round in truly awful wet weather conditions makes the score of 66 even more impressive, the golf course needed some rain but it all seemed to come on Saturday afternoon as the heavens opened. Steve had just one bogey during the round on hole six but this was offset by birdies on holes four and eight to mean that he was one under par after nine, all good rounds have a slice of luck somewhere and Steve's came on the tenth hole when he hit a drive left that looked destined for the trees but it bounced back out further up the fairway!
He then kept battling away through the rain getting pars up until the fifteenth hole when he got another birdie followed by holing a birdie putt from off the green on sixteen to get to three under par. Steve knew two pars would be good enough to secure a new course record but of course the pressure was now on! He missed the seventeenth green in two but got up and down and then hit a good approach in to eighteen but went long through the back of the green under trees, this is where he hit the best shot of his round from a difficult position he chipped up to within inches of the hole to tap in for par and finish with a 66 - well done Steve, that record could stand for a very long time!
Incidentally Steve puts much of his good golf this season down to purchasing a Skycaddie GPS distance measuring device which gives him precise yardages to the flag, this has helped his accuracy massively and now he 'can't manage without it'! If you would like to look at our range of GPS devices call in to the shop they are available from just £99 and it really will help your golf.
August Medal results
Courtesy of his course record score Steve Bond won the August Medal comfortably with a nett 61 off his 5 handicap. Although this was his eighth top ten finish of the season, it was his first victory this summer. He beat playing partner Steve Holehouse in to second place as he finished on nett 66 and it was club captain Chris Bird who continued his good form with a third place finish on nett 68. A mention also to Paul Underwood who scored 2 two's on the back nine.
In the Order of Merit it is now neck and neck between Steve Bond and Paul Underwood and it looks to be a two horse race as they have a big lead over Dave Johnson in third place. The next competition is this Saturday's Captain's Day.
Captain's Party this Saturday
This Saturday is the Captain's Day competition and then there is an evening party - it's still not too late to come along but please buy your tickets in advance, they are £25 with Pimms on the patio included before a barbecue and evening live music and DJ entertainment. The captains are raising money for Tiny Steps and the MS Society so the more that come along the more money we can raise for a great cause!
Click here to find out more information.
Why custom fitting can make all the difference
I saw club member Andie Fraser on Saturday as he was looking for a new set of irons. As a mid handicap average height golfer he was using a standard off the shelf set of irons but has struggled recently with all his iron shots starting left of the target and hooking further left. We tried various new irons with different lie angles to try to straighten up the flight but nothing changed, all his shots were still flying left. It was then that I noticed he was set up very close to the ball with his hands very tight to his body meaning he had no room to swing his arms, so we then tried a shaft half an inch longer and this immediately meant that he had more room from his body and got his posture and set up in a much better position - immediately his shots flew straight down the target line and none of them went left. As he is average height Andie had always believed he should use standard clubs but as a result of a fitting it was shown a longer length iron suited him much better, he was also using too thin a grip further causing the pull hook shots as his hands were too active. In the end we settled on a set of PING G30 irons - look out next week for a reader review about this exciting new range.
The difference the correct length of club made for him can be seen clearly in the two photographs of his set up - look how much better he looks set up in the second photo as he isn't cramped and too close to the ball, we haven't had to change his swing in anyway but he is suddenly hitting longer straighter shots - this is the benefit of custom fitting!
The second most fun you can have in the dark!
We are pleased to announce that our famous night golf challenge is returning on Friday 5th September. This is always a great fun event and it always fills up very quickly so get your names down and £20 entry fee paid as soon as you can. The format is playing in the dark using irons only and a ball that lights up, the edge of the fairways and the greens and holes are lit up so you know where to aim, there will also be drinks in the bar from 7pm and food in the bar afterwards. You can book your place by clicking here - but be quick as we are strictly limited to maximum number of 40 players. Look out next week for further details!
Members complete their Alpine walk for charity
Members Martin Major, Gareth Eaton, Antony Green and Steve Nicholson have returned from their tough 85mile trek across high alpine passes and glaciers along the classic route from Chamonix to Zermatt. They quite literally went through blood, sweat and tears to complete the route and endured being snowed in at a hut for nearly 36 hours and icy rain and snow blizzards with visibility sometimes being virtually zero whilst climbing up steep snowy mountains.
Martin said physically the lads handled conditions well but they weren't prepared for the severity of the weather conditions - but they battled through and completed the route in the target 8 days. It was all done with charity in mind as they were raising money for Tiny Steps.
Many thanks to everyone that has sponsored them so far, it would be great if as many people as possible could help them raise money for this great local cause. You can donate in the shop or by clicking here: http://www.tiny-steps.co.uk/donate/
The Seniors played a nine hole 3 clubs and a putter competition on Tuesday. The lesser amount of clubs didn't seem to bother senior captain Graham Bower as he blitzed around with a nett 29, this was despite a double bogey on the last hole. In second place was Alan Tayler on nett 32 and third was Alan Phillips on nett 34. The seniors had a great turn out again of 35 players and next week they are having their Captain's away day at our sister club Pryors Hayes.
Why lithium is the best choice
I recently read an interesting article about lead acid batteries - and the simple truth is that they are not as good as they used to be! Apparently 'the consistent message from industry experts is that lead is now at a premium and the manufacturers are paying more money for less lead and therefore unable to produce a trolley battery that performs like they did 10+ years ago. If they did produce a battery with the same amount of lead/output of days gone by the cost would outweigh that of its lithium alternative. The result is more expensive lead acid batteries that are not lasting the test of time.'
So lead acid batteries aren't as reliable as they used to be and they don’t last as long - what's the alternative? Let me tell you some of the advantages of a lithium battery over a lead acid battery:
- 5 times longer life - lead acid batteries can take an average of 200 charges in their life compared to 1000 for a lithium battery, if you play up to 3 times a week a lead battery will last just over 12 months!
- lithium batteries ultimately cost less - as they last 5 times longer you would have to buy FIVE lead acid batteries to last as long as 1 lithium - the cost would be £375 compared to £199 for a lithium saving £176, if it was with 36 hole batteries the saving is even more!
- lithium is 75% lighter - this puts less stress on you and your trolley during transportation of your battery
- 5 year warranty on lithium batteries - lead acid batteries come with a 12 month warranty and not a day more!
- quicker and easier charging - lithium chargers are also lighter taking 4-5 hours to fully charge a battery, lead acid batteries typically take 8-10 hours to fully charge
- lithium batteries are not only lighter but smaller taking up less room in your car boot or house and easier to transport!
- 30% of battery sales are now lithium this shows that more and more people are embracing the benefits of lithium and the days of lead acid batteries are dying out
If you would like to see and feel what a lithium battery looks like please call in to the shop and we can show you the range - they also fit all trolleys including Powakaddy, Motocaddy and Hill Billy.