Bad lies

A very sad farewell to Beatrix Geen and Bob Molt…

Beatrix Geen, long-time assistant to Gary Player here in South Africa very sadly died over the weekend after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Beatrix was such a genuinely lovely lady, who was popular with everyone she came into contact with. She certainly was an integral part of the golf industry here in South Africa, having run Gary Player’s South African office for more years than any of us can remember.

She will be greatly missed. My best wishes and condolences to her husband, Alan, her kids, family and friends.

Bolt Molt was responsible for bringing many of the young American players to play on the Sunshine Tour in the eighties. Players like John Daly, Corey Pavin, Tom Lehman, Fran Quinn and many others.

At that time Bob was the professional at a very famous golf club outside of Boston called Pleasant Valley which held its own PGA Tour event. In his later years Bob owned and taught at a driving range. Bob always had a smile on his face and had a friendly word for everybody. RIP Bob Molt.

Jack Nicklaus, Golf’s Greatest Golfer, has been quoted as saying; “I don’t hit the ball as far as I used to, which is why I don’t tee off the back tees anymore!

Well if Jack Nicklaus doesn’t, why should we?

85% of golfers in Britain who tried forward tees, said they had more fun.

Here’s a simple guide to help you decide which tees you should be using: -

Driver in Metres    Course in Metres
180 5000
220 5500
240 6000
PGA Merchandise Show Broadcast…

Not to be missed!

If you are interested in equipment or how equipment is made, make sure you join us for Episode 1 of the PGA Merchandise Show being broadcast on Supersport this week: -

Tues, 3rd March – 20h00 (SS5)
Wed, 4th March – 06h00 (SS5) & 22h00 (SS8)
Thurs, 5th March – 12h00 – SS5
Sun, 8th March – 10h00 (SS5)

You will also be able to find the programme on Catch Up!

When the ball hits back


I lenjoyed episode one of this new documentary series by The European Tour called Roots which takes a look into the background of some of its players. Episode 1 features New Zealand’s Ryan Fox who comes from a great sporting family – his dad is All Black legend, Grant Fox, and his grandfather was a cricket Black Cap. 

Check it out here.

Harold Varner, when interviewed after his first round 79 in the US Open and asked if he’d had a tough day: “Tough day. I was getting paid to play golf on one of the greatest golf courses in the world. You want to talk to someone who’s had a tough day, go talk to the volunteers out there who paid to try to find my balls.

Around the world

• It was just a matter of time for Sungjae Im to win his first PGA Tour title and it finally came at The Honda Classic at PGA National. His final round 4-under 66 saw him win at 6-under 274, one shot clear of Mackenzie Hughes. He made four birdies in the first five holes and another three on the back nine, playing the notorious “Bear Trap” (15th – 17th) in two under. Hughes shot his second consecutive 66 to finish second at 5-under and Tommy Fleetwood, who was hoping for his first PGA Tour win, shot a 71 to finish third at 4-under. Charl Schwartzel tied for 17th at level par.

• In just his sixth European Tour start, Finland’s Sami Valimaki won the Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat in a play-off with Brandon Stone. They both shot final rounds 2-under 70’s and both sank dramatic birdie putts at the last hole in regulation play to tie at 13-under 275. The play-off was neck & neck, with Valimaki winning on the third play-off hole. Adrien Saddier had set the clubhouse target at 12-under. He finished alone in third place, while Guido Migliozzi and Mikko Korhonen tied for fourth at 11-under. George Coetzee tied for 6th at 9-under; Shaun Norris tied for 18th at 7-under; Zander Lombard tied for 25th at 6-under; Justin Walters tied for 30th at 5-under.

• Eighteen-year old Julia Engström from Sweden won her first Ladies European Tour title at the Women’s New South Wales Open at Dubbo Golf Club. She started the final round five off the lead and clawed her way back drawing level with overnight leader Manon De Roey when de Roey bogeyed the 17th hole. Engstrom birdied the last (while De Roey made another bogey), and won by two on 14-under 274. Camilla Lennarth finished third on 11-under while Aditi Ashok and Atthaya Thitikul finished fourth on 10-under.

Monique Smit won her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour title at the Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club. Her final round 2-under 70 saw her finish at 1-over 217, one clear of overnight leader Sideri Vanova. Vanova had started the final round with a 7-shot lead but dropped five shots on the front nine. A three-hour rain delay wouldn’t have helped but her final round 78 saw her finish alone in second on 2-over par. Stacy Bregman was third on 6-over while Jane Turner and Kim Williams tied for fourth at 9-over.

• The first stage of the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School was held at Observatory Golf Club, where 31 players qualified for the Vusi Ngubeni Tournament Presented by the Sunshine Tour and Petrus Kleinbooi at Soweto Country Club this week, where Sunshine Tour cards will be up for grabs. Despite a final round 1-over 73 in the final round, amateur, Siyanda Mwandla finished on top of the leaderboard on 2-under over 36 holes.

Rupert Kaminski topped the leader board at State Mines Country Club in the Sunshine Tour’s First Stage of Qualifying School. He shot rounds of 68-66-65-68 to finish at 21-under 267, five clear of Gerhard Pepler who shot a course record round of 8-under 64. Morne Buys, Luke Brown, and two amateurs; Vaughn van Deventer and Rigardt Albertse, tied for third at 14-under. Thirty-three players qualified for the Final Stage which will be played at Houghton this week.

• Australia’s Brad Kennedy won the 101st New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport. He started the final round two off the lead and shot an 8-under 63 on Sunday at the Millbrook Resort to win at 21-under 264. Lucas Herbert bogeyed the last to finish second on 19-under and Nick Flanagan finished third on 17-under.

David Kocher won his first Korn Ferry Tour title at the El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA at El Bosque Country Club in a three-man playoff. Chad Ramey set the clubhouse target at 12-under 276 after a 6-under 66. Kocher began the final round five off the lead and shot a 3-under 69 to match Ramey, while Paul Barion, playing with Kocher, missed a birdie putt at the last for the win. Kocher then won with a birdie on the first play-off hole. Dylan Wu, Matt Atkins and Mito Pereira finished tied for fourth at 11-under.

Bernhard Langer returned to the winners circle with his 41st win on the Champions Tour at the Cologuard Classic at Tucson National. His final round 8-under 65 (which included 9 birdies) saw him move up the leaderboard for a two-shot win over Woody Austin at 18-under 201. This marks the 14th consecutive season that Langer has had at least had one victory. Austin made a hole-in-one at the fourth and was still in it until a bogey at the 14th saw him fall behind. Brett Quigley began the final round with a three-shot lead but shot a 73 to tie for third with Rod Pampling at 14-under. David Frost tied for 24th at 8-under; Ernie Els and Retief Goosen tied for 34th at 6-under.

AP Kuiper won the Boland Senior Open at Hermanus GC. He shot rounds of 70-72 to win by two over Ebotse’s Graeme Watson on 2-under 142. Ulrich Schulte; Deon Brown and Ralph Fransman tied for third at 2-over.

Christo Lamprecht had a convincing win in the Cape Province Open at George GC. The Pinnacle Point golfer finished on 26-under 262 after shooting rounds of 66-68-60-68. He won by nine strokes over Martin Vorster, while Kyle de Beer finished third at 13-under.

• Ebotse’s Kiera Floyd won the North West Women’s Open at Pecanwood. She shot rounds of 65-69-65 to win on 17-under 199, three clear of Samantha Whateley. Kaylah Williams was third on 13-under.

• Waterkloof’s Jacques van Tonder won the GN Mid-Amateur Open at Pretoria CC. His rounds of 69-68 saw him win by six shots on 7-under 137. That was six shots clear of Travis Fraser and Clive Palm.

• Woodhill’s Fabrizio De Abreu won the Bridefund Managers Junior Series at Wingate yesterday. He shot a 2-under par 70 to win by one over Nico Booysens; Luka Stanisavljevic;Tiaan Diedericks and Stefano Marchetti.

• The R&A’s Martin Slumbers, announced last week that the 2023 Open Championship will be played at Royal Troon. This will be the 10th time the Open is played at Troon and it will mark the 100th Anniversary since their first hosting in 1923, when Englishman Arthur Havers beat Walter Hagen. Troon hosted the 2016 Open which was won by Henrik Stenson, who shot a final round 63 to hold off Phil Mickelson.

• Rather surprisingly, and for the second year in a row, Tiger Woods will not be playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational, citing the fact that he needs to “rest his body” as he aims to peak around the Masters. Tiger has had eight wins at Bay Hill – the last in 2013.

• The USGA has decided to name the medal that the winner of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship receives, the Mickey Wright Medal. It will be redesigned to feature a picture of her swing. What an honor. The gold medal has been handed out to the winner since 1953 but has never had a name. Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA said; “Naming the U.S. Women’s Open champion’s medal after Mickey, in a milestone anniversary year for the championship, is a fitting way to honor the breadth of her accomplishments and contributions to the game of golf. She embodied what it means to be a U.S. Women’s Open competitor and champion, showing mental toughness, exquisite shot-making and exceptional course management. We are so honored to have had the relationship with her that we did.”

Who’s up this week?
Please note that this is the entry list as at Monday and is subject to change
• PGA TOUR - Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. By Mastercard - Christiaan Bezuidenhout; Dylan Frittelli; Charl Schwartzel
• European Tour – Commercial Bank Qatar Masters – Dean Burmester; Haydn Porteous; Darren Fichardt; Brandon Stone; George Coetzee; Zander Lombard; Justin Walters; Justin Harding; Wilco Nienaber; Hennie du Plessis; Mathiam Keyser;
• Sunshine Ladies Tour - Jabra Ladies Classic – Lee-Anne Pace; Ashleigh Buhai; Stacy Bregman; Nobuhle Dlamini to name a few.

Players of the month

Australia’s Min Woo Lee won the ISPS Handa Vic Open (6th to 9th Feb) at 13th Beach GC in Geelong, sharing a title his sister, Minjee Lee won in 2014 and in 2018: - "My sister and I winning the same tournament, it's pretty special. I've got bragging rights now so it's even better. Vic Open, it's the home Open… Especially as it's the European Tour, it's big. I'm over the moon.

Adam Scott picked up his 14th PGA Tour title at The Genesis Invitational (13th to 16th Feb) at Riviera CC:- "I'm stoked with this. It's a big step, whatever point in my career I'm at. I haven't won for three years. This feels very special."

Caitlyn Macnab and Casey Jarvis have won the Aon Women’s and Men’s Amateur Championships at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club: - Casey - “I’m a bit lost for words at the moment. I was mentally tired after last week, so to come here and manage to get the win is something that I’m extremely proud of,” & Caitlyn - “Having Aon as a sponsor has been incredible…They have really lifted the scale of the event and we can feel it, especially on the women’s side. It felt like a professional golf tournament, like when you go to the South African Open. Sharing the championship with the men has been great. The vibe was fantastic, even if we sometimes bumped elbows on the putting green. It was great to go and cheer the guys on in their qualifier, and then to see them return the favour and support us in the SA Stroke Play final. The vibe has been good and we’ve all cheered each other on.

• Nineteen-year-old Australian amateur Stephanie Kyriacou won the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic Bonville (20th to 23rd Feb): -  “I’m lost for words and still on cloud nine. I think everything was going my way today. I was pretty confident going into the last round…The first hole wasn’t great again, but after that I bounced back and had five birdies in a row...

• In his 48th start on the PGA Tour, Sungjae Im won The Honda Classic (27th Feb to 1st Mar) at PGA National: - “Even after winning Rookie of the Year and having a few chances to win, I really wanted to get that win. I’ve had a few good chances that slipped away, but I'm still very grateful that I could win at such a young age, and to have it happen as fast as it did, I'm very happy and satisfied…“I’m just so happy to be on the PGA TOUR and just to play golf. I don’t really look at it as work. It’s a chance to go out and do what I love.”

• Fresh off earning a card at last year’s Qualifying School, Sami Valimaki won the Oman Open (27th Feb to 1st Mar) in a play-off with Brandon Stone: - "It's awesome. There are not many words to say, it's unbelievable…I didn't make a really good par on 11 and after that bogey I felt like, 'okay this is gone'. But then I just grinded, made three birdies and on the last, an awesome birdie."


In the bag


Bobby Locke was a genius around the greens and he always maintained that winners were the golfers who were consistently able to turn three shots into two around the greens. Players like Seve, Player, Tiger, Mickelson and Ernie are just a few who could do this well.

If you have confidence in your chipping and bunker play, it also takes pressure off your shots to the green. You can attack pins because you know that it’s likely that you will get it up and down.

It is really important to choose the right wedges to suit your game and the golf course that you play most often. Are the fairways firm or lush? Are the bunkers soft or hard? If you miss the green, would you have to play a lot of lob shots or are you able to run the ball up to the pin?

Have a chat to your professional. Let him advise you as to what wedges would suit you.

Also remember that iron sets have been de-lofted over the years, so a gap wedge is very necessary because this is the same loft as the old pitching wedges. For most golfers I’d rather see a gap wedge in their bag than a lob wedge.

Cleveland – CBX 2
Cleveland Golf have been making great wedges ever since the company opened in the seventies. There are three good reasons to try this wedge. Firstly, it has a slightly bigger head than most others, which gives you confidence. Secondly, the V-shaped sole allows you to play a lot more shots around the green and in bunkers, and thirdly, for forgiveness – it is toe-heel weighted to match the rest of your irons. Comes in lofts from 45 – 60 degrees.
Ping – Glide 3,0
One of the options is a wedge that has all the latest groves and technology from Ping, but is based on the hugely popular Eye II sole. It has a little offset and the sole is rounded from toe to heel. Tony Johnstone used and has always recommended this versatile wedge. This club really spins the ball.
Titleist - Bob Vokey SM8
Bob Vokey keeps refining and improving his wedges. The latest version of the SM 8 is another precision instrument. There are so many loft and bounce options available that you need to evaluate your game and course to work out which wedges should be in your bag.
Callaway Jaws MD 5
Designed by Roger Cleveland who says these wedges have the most aggressive grooves in golf. The wedges are designed to offer the softest feel and most spin. There are 23 different loft and bounce options and five different grind options. Add to this a choice of two finishes. Platinum Chrome or Tour Grey.
Cobra King Black
The Black Finish of the clubheads make these a little different. The grooves are CNC Milled and the heads are made from soft carbon steel for feel and spin performance. Loft options are from 50 to 60 degrees in two-degree increments. There is also an option of grinds. You can choose either a versatile, or wide low grind.

Tour events

Take a look at all the upcoming Tour events around the world.

On Tour with Dale

Dale Hayes Golf appreciates the ongoing support of City Lodge.

The Driving Range

This month Elsabe Hefer looks at Foot Alignment.

This week she looks at foot alignment in putting.

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.

And, to finish off…

The rare hole-in-one, the most 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.

With the Arnold Palmer Invitational being played this week, I thought it apt to have March in memory of the The King:

"I can only tell you one thing that I do know for sure, I am a dreamer. There are not many people that will recognize or want to recognize the fact that they are dreamers in their own life ... I continue to get up in the morning, enthusiastically, and go pick up a golf club with a thought that I can somewhere find that secret to making the cut. That's just an example, but it applies to other things in life, too, and that's the way I live and the way I think and the way I feel."

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