Sunday, December 08, 2019 Email Us | | Tel: 012 660 3640

Bad lies

This was an interesting week for Professional golf around the World.

In America, the PGA Tour visited Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am, which was formerly known as the Bing Crosby Clambake. This is a 1 pro - 1 amateur team event and this year probably the biggest excitement was the invitation given to “sweet-swinging” Ho-Sung Choi, who only took up golf in his late twenties, but has won twice on the Japan Tour. Check out his seriously unusual swing - watch video. Unfortunately he missed the cut rather easily.

Play was suspended yesterday because of darkness and so the final round will only be completed today, but Phil Mickelson has a three-shot lead with only two holes to play and only he and Paul Casey still need to complete their round. If he seals the deal, it will be his fifth AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am title and his forty-fourth career title. He was 6-under for the day when play was suspended. Paul Casey is currently tied for second alongside Scott Stallings at 15-under. The final round was plaqued with bad weather. It started late because of rain and then there was the freak hail storm in the middle of the round that only lasted a few minutes but delayed play by two hours as course staff tried to get the course playable again.

The European and LPGA Tours were in Australia for the ISPS Handa Vic Open, where the men and ladies played on the same golf course, at the same time and for equal money.

We saw two maiden winners at 13th Beach Golf Club in Victoria, with David Law winning on the European Tour and Celine Boutier winning the LPGA Tour title.

Law finished birdie-eagle to beat Wade Ormsby, who sadly made bogey at the 17th and then needed an eagle at the last to tie. He made birdie instead and finished one shot off the lead at 17-under in a tie with Brad Kennedy. Justin Harding finished 4th at 16-under after dropping shots at the 12th & 13th otherwise he could have forced a play-off, while Thomas Aiken tied for 24th at 8-under.

In the women's event, Celine Boutier started the final round two shots off the lead and shot a 72 to win by two shots at 8-under 281. Australian’s Sarah Kemp and Su Oh, tied for third alongside England's Charlotte Thomas at 6-under. Congrats to Ashleigh Buhai who tied for 11th at 3-under.

In South Africa the RAM Cape Town Open was played at South Africa’s oldest golf course, in what in my opinion is the most beautiful city in the World.

In windy conditions, Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Follet-Smith won thanks to a superb back nine 30. His final round 66 saw him win by two over Zander Lombard and Jean-Paul Strydom at 13-under 275. Peter Karmis was fourth at 10-under and Hennie Otto was fifth at 9-under.

When the Ball Hits Back…

Mike Powell doing us proud in the USA…

Each year at the PGA Show we meet up for breakfast with Mike Powell. Mike started Srixon in South Africa when no one had ever heard of the brand and many couldn’t even pronounce the name. Previously Mike had sold Wilson and Titleist equipment to the on- and off-course golf shops and he used his many friends in the industry to get the Srixon golf ball onto the market. He’d often leave them in the golf shops on consignment and only get paid if and when they were sold.

He was persistent and came up with many innovative marketing ideas, and slowly but surely Srixon became a brand to be reckoned with. The Japanese holding company bought into Mike’s company in South Africa and they then asked him to go to Europe to run Srixon there. After great success, his next assignment for Srixon was as President of Sales & Marketing for Srixon Golf in America. In a short time he has made major inroads into the biggest golf market in the World with both balls and clubs. It’s fun to see a fellow South African really crack it in America. Well-done Mike!

I first visited the PGA Merchandise Show back in 1978 and its always special to go back and bump into old friends. One of these is Roger Cleveland, who I met him in the middle eighties. He started Cleveland Golf and if there was a Hall of Fame for golf equipment, he would be in it. Wedges are his thing.  After he sold Cleveland Golf he was hired by Eli Callaway to design wedges for Callaway Golf.

Another highlight is visiting the Titleist stand and spending time with Bob Vokey and Scotty Cameron. This year they were both amazing, and spent some time with Bella Modisha and Fanie Roos, two young PGA professionals from SA.

Me interviewing Bella at the Show...

The Round Golf Podcast…

This week on The Round Golf Podcast with Richard Kaufman he interviews Lizette Salas.

The inspirational story of the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Lizette Salas turned golf lessons bartered by her father into a career as a LPGA Tour champion and Solheim Cup star.

Salas tells us why golf kept her out of trouble and what it meant to be the first from her family to go to university. Why days and nights in her dad’s truck taught her so much, why she considers Nancy Lopez an inspiration and why she would like to meet President Donald Trump with her parents. And The Round that Salas chooses, epitomises her battling qualities.

Make sure you click on this link TOMORROW, to access the podcast or you can subscribe to the podcast on itunes.

Around the world

Marion Duvernay and Flora Peuch became the first French winners on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with their win in the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship. They had a wire-to-wire win at Serengeti Golf Estates with 46pts in round one and 39pts in round two. Their 85 point total gave them a two-point win over Ivanna Samu & Lauren Taylor and Shawnelle de Lange & Pasqualle Coffa.

Michael Gligic won his first Tour title at the Panamá Championship at the Club de Golf de Panamá. His final round 5-under 65 saw him finish at 8-under 272 and gave him a one-shot win over Xinjun Zhang. Oliver Bekker tied for 32nd at 3-over.

Bernhard Langer had win number 39 on the Champions Tour at the Oasis Championship at The Old Course at Broken Sound. Not only that, he finised with a tournament record 19-under 197 after rounds of 64-68-65 and won by five over Marco Dawson. Bob Estes was third at 13-under, and David Toms fourth at 12-under. David Frost tied for 19th at 7-under and Retief Goosen made his Champions Tour debut in this event and finished in a credible tie for 24th at 6-under.

At fifteen years of age, Casey Jarvis became the youngest ever winner on the IGT Tour when he won the Race to Q-School #4 at State Mines Country Club. The Ekurhuleni amateur shot rounds of 66-70-65 to win by four at 15-under 201. Swiss professional Neal Woernhard, Dylan Kok and Francois Blaauw tied for second at 11-under.

The South African Golf Association have announced that Martin Vorster, Christo Lamprecht;  Casey Jarvis, and Sam Simpson will represent South Africa at the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge in Botswana in March.

After rounds of 71 & 70, Ebotse’s Kiera Floyd won the Gauteng North Junior Girls event at Woodhill CC at 3-under 141. She finished one clear of Nadia van der Westhuizen and three clear of Caitlyn Macnab and Samantha Whateley. Vryheid’s Liezl Smith won the Gauteng North Women’s Mid Am & Senior Championship at 10-over 154. She won by five over Bongiwe Shabalala.

• Who’s up this week?
(Please note that this is the entry list as at Monday & is subject to change)
 PGA TOUR - Genesis Open – Ernie Els; Branden Grace; Louis Oosthuizen; Charl Schwartzel;
• EUROPEAN TOUR – ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth – Justin Harding; Adilson da Silva; Scott Vincent; Thomas Aiken; Louis de Jager
• LPGA - ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open – Ashleigh Buhai; Lee-Anne Pace
• SUNSHINE TOUR- Dimension Data Pro-Am – Dean Burmester; Louis de Jager; George Coetzee to name a few
• SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR - Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am – Tandi McCallum; Bonita Bredenhann & Ivanna Samu to name a few

In the bag

In every 19th hole after golf, there will be a mention of some golfer who hit an enormous drive that day. There is no better feeling than hitting a long, straight drive and golfers will spend a lot of money to enjoy that feeling more often.

Well I’ve got great news for you. The top golf manufacturers have made that more attainable, even for us old timers who are only hitting the ball in the low 200’s. Never before have driver heads been more forgiving. Never before has more money been spent by R&D teams to extract a few extra yards out of drives.

Here are my Top Drivers from the PGA Show…
Srixon Z785
The driver has a pear-shaped head, which is preferred by the better player. It’s adjustable and is designed to impart low spin and a penetrating flight.
This is the longest and most accurate driver Ping has ever designed. Fully adjustable so you can choose the flight and height you prefer. This is the club that Ping pro’s have in their bags.
Callaway Epic Flash
The first time that AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been used in the design of a golf club. They have designed the ultimate clubface to increase ball speed. The only driver to get 20 stars on the Golf Digest Hot List.
Cleveland Launcher HB
This has all the latest technology built into the head. It is used by Jamie Sadlowski, who has won the World Long Driving contest twice. Easy to hit plus you get great distance and accuracy.
Wilson Cortex
By using carbon fibre 44% of the weight has been moved to where it’s needed to increase ball speed. It’s the most adjustable driver Wilson has ever made. This was designed by Driver vs. Driver winner Evan Hoffman.
Cobra F9 Speedback
The head has been designed to be more aerodynamic. The CNC Milled face is precise and offers a low centre of gravity and is available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.
Titleist TS2 and TS3
A few weeks ago Titleist led every one of the equipment categories on the PGA Tour. With these new drivers they have made the crown and face as thin as possible to offer more distance and forgiveness.

Soap Box

There has been a call from some quarters for the professionals on the professional Tour‘s to have their own rules. This is due to the few pros violating the new rule on not allowing your caddie to stand behind you while you play your shot.

It doesn’t make any difference who makes the rules, not every rule or change is going to be popular with every golfer, but more importantly, you have to learn the rules and clearly that’s the problem.

Here you have people playing for millions of dollars and yet they haven’t bothered to learn the rules. The new changes would take them one hour to learn. It’s shouldn’t be an issue, well unless you can’t read!

Despite that, the USGA and R&A responded to the outcry last week…
"The purpose of Rule 10.2 is to reinforce the fundamental challenge of making a stroke and to limit the advice and other help a player may receive during a round. Rule 10.2b(4) ensures that aiming at the intended target is a challenge that the player must overcome alone."

The USGA and R&A highlighted two clarifications:

Meaning of “Begins Taking a Stance for the Stroke”: If a player backs away from a stance, the player is not considered to have begun “a stance for the stroke.” Therefore, a player can now back away from his or her stance anywhere on the course and avoid a breach of Rule 10.2b(4) if the caddie had been standing in a location behind the ball.

Examples of When a Caddie is Not “Deliberately” Standing Behind the Ball When a Player Begins Taking Stance for Stroke: As written, the Rule does not apply if a caddie is not deliberately standing behind a player. It is clarified that the term “deliberately” requires a caddie to be aware that 1) the player is beginning to take a stance for the stroke to be played and 2) he or she (the caddie) is standing on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball.

Book Review

The Feeling of Greatness: the Moe Norman Story by Tim O’Connor

“Moe Norman was one of only a handful of golfers to ever own his own golf swing”. These were the words of Tiger Woods.

Watching Moe hit a golf ball was sensational but could get boring, because not only did every shot go straight, every shot went exactly the same height. After watching Moe hit shots, Ben Hogan once said that Moe was the greatest hitter of a golf ball ever.

So if he was that good, why haven’t most of us ever heard of him?

That was because Moe was different. There’s speculation as to what Moe’s mental problem was, but he was perhaps similar to an autistic person. He didn’t like crowds, so he was never comfortable at big tournaments. His golfing record was amazing. Over 50 holes in one, over 100 course records, many wins in smaller pro tournaments in both Canada and Florida where he spent the winters.

This is the 3rd book that I know of about Moe Norman and there’s been talk for a few years that a movie may be made. It’s a great story about a unique man that found a way to cope and success in life by overcoming mental issues.

I was lucky enough to meet him once at the Canadian PGA in Vancouver and was able to watch him hit balls on a few occasions. He was special – and by then he was already in his fifties.


On tour with Dale

Dale Hayes Golf appreciates the ongoing support of City Lodge & SkyNet

This month Elsabe Hefer advises you on the correct position of your head for various shots. This week she looks at keeping your head behind the ball.

Elsabe Hefer is a Fellow Member of the PGA; a former Gauteng North PGA Teacher of the Year and PGA Top 20 Teacher. She is the Head Teaching Professional at Zwartkop Country Club.

Tour news

European Tour, Sunshine Tour, PGA and LPGA Tour schedules. Take a look at all the events plus the international golfing events coming up soon.

And, to finish off...

The rare hole-in-one, the perfect fluke ever, it’s the best feeling in golf.

Celebrate – get the certificate and have bragging rights forever! For further information and to join, contact Margaret on (012) 654-1144 or click here to send an email.



“A golf ball simply cannot find the hole by itself. Even if it could, the ball would never do so willingly, after the hatred and hammering you’ve heaped on it to get it to the green.” - Dick Brooks

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