Welcome to our latest news filled instalment, this is one of my favourite weeks of the year as Open Championship fever grips the golfing world and despite the loss of injured world number one Rory McIlroy from the field it still promises to be a great tournament played at the Home of Golf St. Andrews. Read on for a full Open preview as well as the results from our own Club major - the Hartford Club Championship.
This week's news:
- Steve edges a close Club Championship
- Open Championship preview
- Last week on the shirt trade in deal o Try the new range of Ping irons here first
- TaylorMade fitting day news
- Ladies news
- Upcoming events
Club Championship results
The golf course was in absolutely fantastic condition for our big one of the year - the Hartford Club Championship on Saturday and it proved to be quite a battle for the title!
Defending champion was two handicapper Tom Duncalf and he lived up to his billing as this year's favourite by firing three birdies in his first nine holes to be two under par after nine holes, his main rivals were six handicapper James Eaton who had a bogey on nine to sit at one over par and Steve Bond (also off 6) who was on four over par - as they were all playing in different groups they didn't know how each other were getting on which made it even more intriguing. The tenth hole proved to be crucial as Tom made a double bogey and so did Steve after hitting a seemingly good drive he mysteriously couldn't find his ball and had to return to the tee - at this stage Steve admitted he thought he had no chance of winning as he slipped to six over par. James meanwhile made a solid par on ten and a brilliant birdie two on eleven to take the lead, James was playing excellent golf and got to the seventeenth tee at level par, however Steve was also making a good recovery as he believed his chances of winning had gone and he scored birdies on holes thirteen and sixteen.
Steve made solid pars on holes seventeen and eighteen to return a score of 4 over par 73, in the end the difficult eighteenth hole proved crucial as Tom made a bogey to also end up on 73 but James agonisingly made a triple bogey seven after getting stuck in a greenside bunker. In the end James's troubles on eighteen meant he also shot 73, even a double bogey would have been good enough to see him win but after a three way card play-off Steve finished in first after an excellent last eight holes played in level par when the pressure was really on. A gutted James finished in second place and young Tom Duncalf finished in third place after the closest finish we've ever had in this event. Well done to Steve who won the best gross title for a second time.
The best nett in the Club Championship was also a close affair as Jonno Ness triumphed after a card play-off with a brilliant nett 63, this was just good enough to edge out Stuart Gray who had also scored nett 63. In third place was Chris Bird with a fine nett 65, Chris has been playing really well lately and has been unlucky to not get a victory or two.
Here are some shots from what was a great day at the Club, the next competition is another board competition - the Hartford Stag Trophy and it takes place this Sunday so you can play in that and get in time to watch the final round of the Open Championship!
Open Championship preview
I know that as golf fans we all love the Masters and the US Open but surely the best tournament of them all is the Open Championship which is taking place this week, the fact that it's being played at the Home of Golf - St. Andrews makes it even more special. The golf course probably won't provide such a stern test as Chambers Bay did for last week's US Open but the large undulating greens, deep bunkers and rolling fairways will still challenge the world's best golfers and if the wind blows this is the best defence the golf course will have. It's a shame that Rory McIlroy can't defend the title he won last year as he is injured but the fact that Jordan Spieth has won the first two majors of the season and is still on course for an unprecedented Grand Slam adds even more intrigue to events. Full coverage of all four days will be shown in our clubhouse so it's ideal if you want to play a round of golf and then watch how the world's best players do it! Given the quality of players in the field even if the weather is windy I expect the winning score to be at least fourteen under par, it can be difficult to pick winners but as usual here are a few predictions of some players that I think are worth backing to feature in the top five.
Jordan Spieth (6/1) has to feature as the number one tip he is the form player of the year and having won two majors already this season it's hard to look past him, he is a wonderful putter which helps on the large tricky greens and a very straight driver of the ball meaning that he rarely finds trouble. A victory in America last week in the John Deere Classic has offered him the ideal preparation for his tilt at the Open.
Rickie Fowler (16/1) after being labelled the most over-rated golfer on Tour, Fowler has really taken his game to the next level with two tournament victories this year, a victory at the Scottish Open last week shows that the American has the game to suit links golf and he seems to be playing with a new found confidence and maturity.
Louis Oosthuizen (22/1) won the Open comfortably last time it was played at St. Andrews five years ago and the big hitting South African is certainly returning to form this year sitting at third place in the Race to Dubai with a joint second in the US Open and six top ten's in last seven events.
Bernd Wiesberger (66/1) probably the form player on the European Tour at the moment, a comfortable victory recently at the French Open and his odds seem quite generous, could well feature in top five.
Matt Kuchar (55/1) finished second at the Scottish Open last week with four rounds of 68 or below, plays with a low ball flight that perfectly suits links golf and is in the top ten putters on tour this year, finished tied ninth in the 2012 Open and tied twelfth at the recent US Open at Chambers Bay.
It was the ladies Charity Day last Thursday and there was a good turn out as they played a three player Texas Scramble, the winning team were Di Sommerville, Jill Bebbington and Collette Walling with a brilliant nett 31.0 this was good enough to beat second placed Kath Hough, Ena Rudman and Audrey Kettle with a nett 32.1.
There was also a Monday evening nine hole competition, the winner of this was Sue Gunning with 21 points, in second place was Christine Paxton on 18 points and Sharon Dunning was third with 17 points. The next ladies competition is their Club Championship on Sunday 26th July.
Ladies nine hole roll up - Thursday 23rd July 9.32am.
New PING range of irons being launched at Hartford
You may or may not have heard that PING are soon to be launching some new irons, I know for a lot of you keen golfers out there this we will be exciting news and even better news is that we will be amongst the first golf centres in the country where you can try these new irons. We will be having a launch fitting day on Tuesday 28th July from 2-6pm, we can offer a free fitting session with PING's John Bragger for the first lucky six people to book a slot, and the fittings will just be on irons only there won't be any woods to try on the day.
The new PING irons are so new that I must admit I don't know a great deal about them yet but I believe that there will be a new I series iron that will lead on from the i25 range and there will be an ultra-forgiving G Max iron which is obviously a development on the G30 range. If you would like to book a slot contact me here.
£10 off a new shirt with our trade in deal
I make no apologies for again mentioning this promotion as it's such a good one we don't want you to miss out! With the sun shining and all of our latest summer collections in stock now is the perfect time to upgrade your wardrobe, in fact we've had more new clothing arrive this week so it's worth calling in to have a look and you can get one of the latest shirts for £10 less than it should be.
The promotion is available on any shirts priced at £35 or over and includes leading brands such as Nike, adidas, Galvin Green, FootJoy, Under Armour and Ping, you can trade in any old golf shirt against these.
The trade in deal will run up to 19th July so you have nearly a month to take advantage of this great offer and get your golfing wardrobe upgraded but be quick as a lot of the best shirts are already going!
We are lucky enough to have another TaylorMade fitting day booked in for just after the Open Championship on Tuesday 21st July from 1pm-5pm, as always we will be offering FREE fittings on the new TaylorMade 2015 range and there will also be special offers on the day!
Fittings on the new TaylorMade 2015 range and there will also be special offers on the day! If you would like to book a fitting slot please contact me here.
Ladies Summer Stableford 18 holes - Thursday 16th July 9.32am
Seniors match v Pryors Hayes - Thursday 16th July 10.36am
Hartford Stag Trophy - Sunday 19th July 11am
Seniors nine hole Stableford - Tuesday 21st July 9.16am
Ladies nine hole roll up - Thursday 23rd July 9.32am