The players on both the PGA and European tours had little time to enjoy any New Year celebrations, ensuring that they kept up with their training as January and February are busy months – writes Golf At Goodwood academy manager Chris McDonnell.
The PGA Tour kicked off last week in Hawaii and the second tournament is being played out there this week. The European Tour players are kicking off 2017 in South Africa and the following week they move on to Abu Dhabi.
Interestingly, Tiger Woods has announced his first four tournaments of the year after spending much of 2015 and 2016 out of the game through injury. He is planning to play his first two tournaments in America on the PGA Tour and then he heads to Dubai for the Dubai Desert Classic.
I think it’s great for the game of golf that he is back playing and his new driver and ball manufacturers, Taylor Made and Bridgestone, will be hoping he gets back to his winning ways.
Despite making headlines for the wrong reasons off the course, in my opinion Tiger is the best player the game has ever seen. This latest comeback from injury is surely his last chance to pursue Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles. Tiger currently has 14 major wins, and now aged 41 his time is running out.
owever, he can take huge encouragement from his fellow countryman Phil Mickelson (aged 46) who has played the best golf of his career in the past five years.
There has been a lot of expert suggestion about what Tiger needs to do to find his form again, but I think he needs to stop trying to become the perfect golfer and concentrate on the job in hand.
I think his mind and focus has been distracted by his sheer obsession for perfection; however there is no such thing as the perfect golf swing and he should start playing to his major strength of being the amazing competitor he once was and not worry how it looks.
For those of you working on your own swings for the coming season, my advice is to work within your capabilities.
We would all love to swing the club like Adam Scott or Rory McIlroy, however without the gym dedication and the hours of practice needed it’s almost impossible.
If you would like advice on the best way to improve your game, contact me at the Golf At Goodwood Academy to book a consultation – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01243 520162.
Read Chris McDonnell’s golf column each month on this website and in the Chichester Observer
Cowdray Park seniors held their first Stableford of the year under the watchful gaze of new captain Mike Hughes.
Following a heavy overnight frost, the early starters were faced with frozen greens and frost-covered fairways which remained for some time, but as conditions eased scoring improved.
Going out first, single-figure handicapper Dave Lucking showed his class with an excellent score of 36 in the worst conditions of the day.
His score included a two and three points on nine holes. As conditions improved it was unlikely this score would be good enough to win and halfway through he day this score was overtaken.
Ken Marjoram, battling through recurring knee problems, returned with 40 points despite failing to score on the final hole, and he was the only player on the day to incur a handicap reduction. The old adage of ‘beware the injured golfer’ proved true again.
Soon to follow him into the clubhouse and on to the leaderboard were Jon Fife and Robin Phillips, both with 38.
In division two, Alan Richardson made a fine start to the year with an excellent 37 points to win the division from a clutch of seven players on 35. Afterwards, Mike Hughes expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their generosity in raising £151 for his charity from the raffle.
Leading scores - Div 1: 40 Ken Marjoram; 38 Jon Fife, Robin Phillips; 36 Dave Lucking; 35 Dave Coombes. Div 2 - 37 Alan Richardson; 35 David Laver, Tony Sapsworth, Rob Doney, Ian Ward, John Renwick, David Manning, John Sexton. Twos - Dave Lucking, John Sexton, Peter Hallt, Ken Marjoram, Brian Carpenter, Roger Poat, Vic Barnett, John Hall, David Carter, Robin Phillips, John Renwick.
The first competition of the new year for Cowdray ladies was Hidden Partners. This is a fun Stableford competition where you enter singly with playing partners of your choice but your actual scoring partner is drawn. The day dawned as frosty and sunny but bitterly cold.
Results - 1 Judy Stillwell and Pat White 66 (combined); 2 Marilyn Davis and Chris Sommerville 55 (countback); 3 Gaynor Dudman and Jo Fife 55.
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