Have you got what it takes to be a winner?|
As the finest players in the game assemble at Pinehurst to do battle for the 2005 US Open, we ask one of golf's greats to explain just what it takes to reach the top in golf. You can listen in as he reveals the secrets of a modern golf professional here. (May 2005)
We understand Duffers. The highs, the lows, and the days when you swear you'll sell the clubs, give up the game and finally get round to doing something about the garden. So just in case you really mean it, we have a little song to help you, right here. (March 2005)
If you played badly this weekend, spare a thought for 2001 Open Champion and former world no. 1 David Duval. He started the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with rounds of 82, 79 and 85, which included five 6's, five 7's and an 8. He shot 49 for the back nine in his third round, only 10 fewer than he needed for 18 holes when he won the tournament in 1999 with a record-breaking final round of 59. Keep trying David, you make us feel good! (January 2005)
A very Happy New Year to all our readers! Been playing badly over the holiday period? Try not to lose the festive spirit. Why not sing a jolly song with us? We just happen to have one here... (December 2004)
Nearly there Nick! In his attempt to make the 2004 European Ryder Cup team, the former world no. 1 Nick Faldo has been playing a lot of golf, but sadly is all too often let down by his putter. He has even experimented with the belly-putter, but to no avail. Fortunately Nick has not lost his sense of humour on the greens: "I have a lot of work to do. Line, pace and stroke. Apart from all that I have really got it sussed." (September 2004)
Size matters, Jeff? Heads turned at Shinnecock Hills last week as former US PGA Champion Jeff Sluman was overheard saying "Itís longer than the average short one, and shorter than the average long one". They needn't have worried. He was just talking about his new belly-putter. (June 2004)
Poulter hairs home for new baby. Ian Poulter withdrew from the TPC of Europe before the third round to rush home after hearing that his second child was born. After seeing baby Luke James, Poulter was heard to ask "Where'd he get that red hair?". (May 2004)
Nice one Jesper! Jesper Parnevik is enjoying a welcome return to form, just one shot back after the first round of the Colonial in Texas. Only some indifferent putting kept him out of the lead, prompting a classic David Feherty put-down. As Jesper made a complete hash of an approach putt, Feherty remarked: "Apart from reading it not too well and hitting it far too hard, it was perfect!" (May 2004)
Kiwi sighted in London! The Duffers Golf Club HQ recently had the honour of a visit from President & FD Carol Gordon of the LOFT Masters Auckland Chapter. A working session, followed by a working lunch were on the agenda. Find out more about this vibrant Chapter of the DGC here. (April 2004)
One moa time, Chris? This week's Diageo Championship at Gleneagles reminds us that last year Chris 'Moa-Man' Gane (pictured) ran up the second highest ever score for a single hole on the European Tour, a twelve over par 17 on the par 5 18th, called a moa in AFT's revolutionary scoring system. A stiff Johnnie Walker before teeing off this year Chris? Read his story here. (April 2004)
The wackiest website in golf? It's AFT, according to Ronald S. Montesano of Buff-Golf.Com, the online guide to golf in western New York and southern Ontario. Thank you for the kind words Ronald, we try our best. Of course, we knew we were the wackiest golfers - more whacks than anyone else... (April 2004)
Keep smiling, Shigeki! If you're grumpy when you mess up a good card with a few bad holes, spare a thought for Shigeki Maruyama in the 1st round of the Masters. He shot 36-46 for an 82, and his second nine contained every score from a 2 to an 8. His birdie 2 came at the 16th, and a goose 8 (5 over par) at the 12th. Despite a second round of one under par 71, he missed the cut. But somehow he manages a smile. (April 2004)
Poulter - dye another day. As long as it's not between April 8 and 11. The Chairman of Augusta National and host of the US Masters, Hootie Johnson, has "let it be known" to Ian Poulter that gaudily coloured hair will not be welcome at the tournament. The master of the follicular folly has confirmed that he will abide by this request, although he may make up for it with some colourful clothing. "I hate to look like any other golfer," said Poulter, whose hair for the week will presumably be a light Georgia brown. (April 2004)
All the threes... Classic commentating claptrap heard recently on Sky Sports TV:
"He's going for number 3, he's going for the hat-trick, three in a row." - Dominik Holyer of Ernie Els at the 2004 Heineken Classic.
"That looks like it's going to be... probably... a certain three." - Richard Boxall on Ignacio Garrido at the Qatar Masters.
These, and many other gems of TV commentary, can be found in our first and second 'Alliss in Wonderland' collections. (April 2004)
Aree has her game on... Wongluekiet? Thai-Korean teenager Aree Song is leading the first Ladies' major of the season after an opening 6 under par 66. The 17 year-old is no stranger to the Kraft Nabisco Championship, having already played four times and finished 10th as a 13 year-old in 2000. "I'm pretty comfortable out here now, getting to know a lot of the players, the staff. I mean, the comfort level has definitely grown," she said. It must have helped when she changed her name two years ago from Wongluekiet to Song. (March 2004)
Breaks, wind and leaves The US edition of surprise literary hit 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation' by Lynne Truss has a foreword by Craig Stadler which gives the book its US title.
Stadler grasped the importance of good punctuation after giving an interview explaining the difficulties of putting sloping greens on a breezy autumn day. The next day he was horrified to see that the journalist had omitted the vital comma in "Craig Stadler - breaks, wind and leaves"! (March 2004)
Singapore swings... Golf is on the curriculum at the Singapore Management University. Staff believe golf builds networking abilities and will help future graduates clinch deals. The 200 students will also be expected to learn "social etiquette, integrity, and other social values". And, hopefully, a sense of humour. (March 2004)
While William rings... Prince William is clearly taking after his uncle, the Duke of York, this year's Captain of the R&A, and playing golf in the university town of St Andrews whenever his studies permit.
He could, however, do with a lesson in etiquette from his uncle on the use of mobile phones. According to locals, "William's phone seems to be permanently welded to his ear, even when he's just about to play a shot." The Prince might usefully read our guide to text messaging here... (March 2004)