A confident, steady Tiger Woods cruised at Bay Hill and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. But his comeback won't be complete until he wins that elusive 15th major championship, writes Golf Magazine's Alan Bastable.
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A confident, steady Tiger Woods cruised at Bay Hill and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. But his comeback won't be complete until he wins that elusive 15th major championship, writes Golf Magazine's Alan Bastable.
Jason Darrell's insight:
It grates me to say it, but Tiger Woods is back. But why do I feel this way?
For the first time since I've been commentating on golf, Tiger's at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings.
Last time he was there, my wife and I were sat in our appartment in Tenerife watching the miners being lifted out of a collapsed mine in Chile.
Lee Westwood knocked Tiger off the top of golf's world rankings and the number one spot, despite changing hands a few times, has not lef the UK since.
That was until Monday, when Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill for the 8th time in his career and hardly broke sweat to do it.
The only other golfers who look capable of reigning in Tiger at the moment are Brandt Snedeker and Justin Rose.
Whilst the media have been concentrating on 'the comeback', Brandt and Justin are making their own inroads in the OWGR almost under the radar.
True enough, with his win at Bayhill, Tiger has dumped Snedeker off the top of the Fedex Cup leaderboard as well as usurping Rory McIlroy at the top of the OWGR.
But just look where Snedeker and Rose are. Snedeker's holding onto second in the Fedex Cup and has climbed to fifth in the OWGR.
Justin Rose is now third in the OWGR, becoming the highest placed English golfer in the world.
I'm not certain, but I suspect with Westwood and Donald's jaunts as world number one over the past three years, it's the first time Rose has held that lofty position.
But this is where it grates. This is where it hurts, being a European golf fan.
Where has the challenge been from McIlroy, Donald and Westwood to stop what's seemingly an unchallenged domination of golf by arguably the greatest golfer of all time in Woods?
They shared the top three places for so long - and by such a distance - it seems unthinkable that Luke Donald could now be sitting in fourth and Lee Westwood a lowly thirteenth in the OWGR.
Will there be a Major winner from the Eastern Atlantic shores in 2013? Or will US golf dominate?
Will someone other than Justin from UK Golf show that they're interested in winning a title this year? Yes, I'd love to see Justin pick up a major - he's the most deserving golfer from Europe by a long shot.
But honestly, a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet...
Jason Darrell's insight:
What keyboard shortcuts do you use - or even know exist - when you're browsing in Chrome?
Know how to isolate specific text in amongst a sea of trawling content? Now you can.
The attached infographic was designed with students in mind, but as ever-developing scholarly types ourselves, it's a great little cheat-sheet for freelancers, too.
It's perhaps even more beneficial for freelancers whose product is of a digital content nature. Not only will it help speed up (re)search, but also add a string to your bow that you can pontificate about to potential clients.
If you're researching background material, for example, rather than keep mousing up to the address bar, thus distracting your fingers from the keyboard, you can hit CTRL+L and your cursor will go straight there.
That's a new one on me and will - over a lifetime of blogging yet to come - doubtless save hours of repositioning, let alone help prevent RSI.
Once you're in the address bar, were you aware that you could actually type in a mathematical problem (using basic functions & parantheses) and the answer will appear in your browser?
This will save freelancers hours.
Rather than loading your calculator every time you need to work out your bid based on how many dollars per 100 words you charge, you can CTRL+L to get yourself into the address bar, then type in the relevant calculation, e.g.: (5,400/100)*6.
The example above will calculate your bid for a 5,400-word project @ $6/100 words. Remarkable.
And don't you just hate it when you have to search a topic that could mean two different sets of SERPs? And sod's law states that the most popular results never collerate to the subject you're researching.
Yesterday, I bid on a job for a 'subs for bust content website'. I'd got the gist of what 'subs' entailed, but wanted clarification. What came up?
Baguettes, substitutes for sports teams and u-boats.
In this Google infographic, there are handy tips showing how you can have more control over what's delivered in the SERPs, based on different instructions you give to the search engine.
That's one across the bows of Google, who are trying to rebrand your keywords as you type, displaying results that have more ads potency, rather than relevant results to your subject.
Read more about that, here: http://feckuk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/google-rebrands-longtail-keyword-search.html
Not only does the 'Get more from Google' infographic highlight the best practises for Google Search (wouldn't it be great if people knew how to search properly, let alone use their keyboard to surf more efficiently?), it also concludes with a few scholarly tips about article creation, similarly constructive for the freelance blogger.
Okay - I've said enough. I'll let the HackCollege.com infographic tell you the rest.
If you know any search-struggling students or frustrated freelance-furrowers, be sure to share this infographic with them, won't you?
Thanks for listening, Zeb. x
"The Joburg Open has reached halfway, thus the cut. No surprise really, but the South African golfers are all over the leaderboard like ants over jam scone on a picnic table [Ed - WTF?]"
Jason Darrell's insight:
Charl Schwartzel sits just five shots off the pace as he looks to win the Joburg Open for the third time in four years in Johnnesburg, this weekend.
Branden Grace came between Schwartzel and that prestigious honour last year. This time around, there are four other South African golfers and Chile's Felipe Aguiler all with their eyes on the prize and very much in contention.
Fisher Jnr & Sterne lead the way, T1 on -15 going into the penultimate day at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course.
George Coetzee occupies third place on his own, three shots off the leaders.
Then comes Schwartzel, Agulier and another South African golfer, Keith Horne, all on -10 at the halfway stage.
UK Golf's best chance of bringing some of the €1,300,000 purse back to Blighty is Tommy Fleetwood. He and a clutch of golfers occupy T7 a shot further back on -9.
Whilst the action pre-cut has taken place on both the West and East Golf Courses, the pairings for the weekend's golf action will all play on the East Course.
First tee-off is five to seven in the morning; Robert Jan Derksen gets us under way. The leading five pairs, including Charl Schwarzel and Tommy Fleetwood, all tee off around noon, local time.
They're two hours in front at the Joburg Open, so please remember that if you fancy slipping 50p each way on Schwarzel to log on to SKY Bet by 9:30-ish, latest.
For golfers further down the field, you'd better log on a tad earlier. The top 20 golfers at Joburg are listed in the accompanying pic to this article (bigger through the link at the top of the page).
Watch out for Italy's Lorenzo Gagli, is my advice. He's -8, seven off the pace. That's certainly doable, especially considering the leaders have each saved 15 shots from par over the first two days' golf.
Coverage in the UK is on SKY Sports 3/3HD. Programmes start at 10:30am, both Saturday 9thand Sunday 10th Feb.
Therefore the leading pair, Trevor Fisher Jnr & Richard Sterne, will have just teed off in the morning when we join South Africa live on SKY.
If you're interested in what's going on over on the PGA Tour this weekend, coverage of the third day at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am comes live from California immediately after day three at the Joburg Open is wrapped up. Same channel, SKY Sports 3/3HD, 6:30pm.
I sincerely hope you've got the winner and had a few pence on him.
The remaining four golfers post-cut from 10-Tee-20-Vision, my Fantasy Race To Dubai team, and links to all sorts of other useless golf information you'll find through the link at the top of the screen.
Thet Watson. xxx
It's been a great year for both European and UK Golf, hasn't it?
Rory McIlroy may have lost a little form mid-season, but that was sandwiched between two inspired spells on the European and PGA Tours, culminating in the US PGA Championship as the Northern Irishman picked up his second golf Major.
The money will have helped compensate all of that toing and froing across the world, too.
As well as the golf, Rory was in town to support his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, at Wimbledon during the Olympics as well as snatching moments between the Tour events and the Ladies' Tennis circuit.
There are few who will argue that RoMac didn't deserve to top the money lists on both side of the Atlantic as well as win the Race to Dubai with two events in hand.
Just how far will the young man go, with the world of golf seemingly at his feet, and at the tender age of 23?
To read the full article, click on the link below
The rumors have been circulating for weeks, but this morning it finally became official, Rory McIlroy and Titleist will part ways this December...
As the stand-out golfer on the circuit for the last two years, this latest news will be body-blow for Titleist, who've supported McIlroy since he turned pro five years hence.
As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever and this will give the opportunity for another brand to swoop in to align the Northern Irish golfer's name with their name.
For as long as the rumour-mill has been suggesting that Titleist and Rory McIlroy will part ways, stories from similar quarters have whispered of a $250M dollar deal with Nike for the two-time Major winner.
Given the amount of money in the game, the move could well signify the biggest individual sponsorship deal in golf history. Who else would command anything like the endorsement McIlroy could give a golfing brand?
Sure, Donald, Westwood, Rose from the UK have been up there all season and emerging stars like Watson and Mahan have flourished and twinkled for a split second, but no one has hogged the limelight - or shown as much resilience - as the man from Holywood.
As the Bleacher Report rightly predicts, no matter who get's Rory's signature, one thing's for sure - Forbes will have Rory McIlroy in its top ten highest earning sports stars come the end of 2013, guaranteed.
The Golf Street Journal; Samantha Lewinst's Profile Wonder whether any other golf networks have members like this? Fancy playing a round with Samantha? Mm, who wouldn't?
Join us at The Golf Street Journal: you can sign up, here: http://www.tgsj.com/signup.php?signup_referer=Zebedeerox
Do you write golf?
Sign up to TGSJ & join us in the "Golf Pro Writers" group. Can't say too much nor make promises just yet, but big plans are afoot. Watch this space, that's all I ask. Will reveal more when I'm back from Lanzarote w/c 22nd October.
In all seriousness, this is the single, best golf social network - as there tag-line goes: "Fore Golfers, by Golfers" - and it shows. If you like golf and you like social and/or business networking, this is for you.
Whilst the membership is predominantly from the US, Europe is building up a head of steam, too and is becoming more representative of the overall membership.
It's early days and there is even a chance to earn from the Virtual Partner program - the co-owner Jeffrey will give you all the gen when you sign up - just head on over to the Virtual Partner program (direct link through your profile) to see which exciting competition they have this month.
Look, I could wax lyrical about this all night, but there's only one way you're going to find out, and that's by getting stuck in yourself.
Sorry, the cost, you aks? There is none - zip, nada, zilch. Here's my introductory link to the simple sign up page, again:
Come say hi, write on my wall - the 19th hole, check out my profile (Zebedeerox, btw) or Samantha and the other girls, including the infamous Aphrodisiac Ice Cream girls - even if you do nothing else, it's worth signing up just for their galleries...
...well, that's enough from me - I'll see you when I'm back from The Canaries in two week's time.
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.
Oh my, this image taken of the final day's play at the Ryder Cup is just too good not to share.
Normally, I'd wax lyrical, but the screenshot does all the talkin' it needs to!
Golf funny man David Feherty said he'll be rooting for the USA when the Ryder Cup tees off Friday morning.
It was only last week we posted a guest blog on http://sportsmongeronthegreen.com/ about Rory McIlroy possibly facing a tough decision ahead of him in front of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which sees the reintroduction of golf following an absence of more than a century. Should the golfer from Holywood play for EIRE, as he played for the Republic in his junior country-representing events? Or should he play for the UK as, after all, he's from Ulster, technically making him a UK citizen?
Whereas the popular money's on Rory switching his historic allegiance and returning to Northern Ireland, hence Team GBR for Brazil and beyond, another Northern Irish golfer and ex-Ryder Cup team member, David Feherty, is thinking of abdicating to Team US for this week's event in Medinah. I know, shocking!
But, to be fair, has has lived Stateside for the last decade and a half and, although the European Tour winner and Team Europe golfer quipped that he'd never win the legal batle to become an American proper as his "wife always wanted to marry an Irishman", it's clear to see where his loyalties lie ahead of Medinah this weekend, if his latest broadcast on Feherty Live is anything to go by.
The repeat of Monday's Ryder Cup Special show can be seen on The Golf Channel tonight (Weds 26th, September) and features a host of global sports stars helping the golfer-come-presenter-come-comedian make the decision, Team Europe or Team US.
And although he had strapping Scot Sam Torrence alongside him threatening to 'smack' him if he chose the stars 'n' stripes over the blue with yellow stars of Europe, his closing line of, "I'll take plenty of flak for it..But hey, Americans take flak. We take it pretty well." pretty much says it all.
In hindsight, if Northern Ireland could have the choice of who they want n their team for the Ryder Cup and Brazil, 2016, I think they'll be happy the switch has worked out this way around and not the other, to be sure...
"It felt like match play out there and I'm delighted to have come out on top," - Fernandez-Castaño, upon winning the Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri.
Where I picked him frm this weekend, I don't know, only that his name was screaming at me when I was choosing my Fantasy Race to Dubai Team, this week.
On the same day that I had a reminder frm the European Tour about choosing my team, I had an e-mail from Ben at PaddyPower, asking me if I fancied a free bet on the Italian Open. Had I only the same conviction after I'd picked my team when Ben's offer came through I could well have made myself a few bob from Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño's win. Always in hindsight, eh?
Had I known that the 31-year old Spaniard had won here before, I may well have been even more tempted. With Simon Dyson winning a hat-trick of titles at the KLM this year, Lee Westwood retaining the Indonesian Masters and Luke Donald repeating his heroics at Wentworth in Spring, it's been a year of golfers winning championships they've already got under their belt at some time in the past.
Fernandez-Castaño left it until late to finally get the win by two shots after going into the weekend session having headed the leaderboard, but surrenedered it to valint runner up Garth Mulroy going into the final day.
You can understand where Gonzalo was coming from when he made the match-play statement, with the lead passing between the final pairing all the way along the final eighteen holes.
It was four consecutive birdies at the half way point that really put the Spaniard in the driving seat, but even then Mulroy fought back to level the score on the 70th hole of the competition weekend.
Even though Nicolas Colsaerts had held the lead early in the day, he made heavy work of the back nine and it was a two horse race on the last two holes of the weekend that decided the 2012 Italian Open.
With Gonzalo's final score of -24 under for the tourney, you'd think that a par and a birdie on the last two may have jeopardised the Spaniard's chances, but it was the South African Mulroy who found trouble on both the 71st and 72nd holes that allowed those scores to be enough for Gonzalo to pick up his sixth Euroean tour title.
Mulroy found the sandtraps on both of the last two holes, bogeying seventeen and parring eighteen, gifting Gonzalo the title by two clear shots.
It was just the tonic Gonzalo needed after being pipped to Team Europe's Ryder cup team by the aforementioned Colsaerts.
Rather than arriving in Italy on his usual Tuesday to get acclimatised for a Tour event, Gonzalo stayed back a day to see his children start the new term at school. Perhaps this is a new beginning for Gonzalo, too. He's spoken to Olly about not making the team for Medinah and fully understands why he's not been included - his performances have not been polished and consistent enough throughout the season. It was that simple.
But that was set aside in Italy as he took his first title since last November and, more importantly, scored Zeb's Tee Totallers maximum points in the Fantasy Race to Dubai - Go, Go, Go, Gonzalo!
Golf great Gary Player once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Whether you are an experienced player or new to the game, get a little luckier on the links with private golf lessons from ten-year PGA member and established teaching proffesional Keiran McCarthy.
Just thought I'd share this one with you, specifically for our Stateside audience - well, unless you want to nip across the Atlantic for a golf lesson, that is.
The Times runs a special e-mail program ffering special discounts for its members - to be totally honest, I only had it for the cookery articles when I used to do a bit for cookerycourses.co.uk (hiya, Rich!) but, being the numpty I am, I've lost the password and so can't sign in to cancel the subscription.
Any road up, in today's edition there was the traditional 'helf off Peruvian food lessons' as the offer for foodies but, just peeking out of the top right ahnd corner I saw the golf ball attached to this post in my inbox.
What's that, thought I? Okay, I may not play as often as I used to since the op, but I still know what a golf ball looks like.
So here's the deal. The Times is offering a one-to-one 3-Pack 1-Hour Pro-Golf Lessons package with Kieran McCarthy at the Twin Brook Golf Academy in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, a snip at $120 - literally, you're getting three lessons for the price of one. Can't be bad.
All the instructions are in the article, so I won't bore you with them twicely - all you need to know is that there's four days left to take up the offer through The Times - you may have to sign up to receive the offer, but the option to do that is down the bottom right of the page.
And, whatever you do, write your account info down so that you can go in and canael your subscription at a later date if your inbox gets overloaded. Oh, I've got offers for massages, haircuts, cookery lessons, fung shui, makeovers, gym memberships - to be honest, if you're in New York and into a bit of pampering or self-improvement, it's not a bad little subscription - gratis and free, if you choose to accept the mission.
TTFN, Thet Watson.
Darrelldoo wrote: The Golf St. Journal Hurricane Promo... Join Facebook to connect with Darrelldoo and others you may know.
It's not difficult to get your head around, this one.
The Golf Street Journal (http://t.co/XdTSnyFF) is a brand new social media concept, their tagline: "fore golfers, by golfers". The two owners think there's a lot of mileage in getting a lot of golfers under one onlione roof where they can network, pitch, be pitched at and probably take advantage of the on-site advertising, which is kept in-house for the members, by the members.
Golf is a cash-rich community and, yes, everyone likes to be dealing within the appropriate circles. My link can get you direct access to those normally hallowed networks on the new site, with full permission from the owners to invite new members with the sole purpose of inviting new members.
Why would you do this?
TGSJ is a brilliant concept. The two guys running it believe in it that much that they are paying members $2.50/pop to refer other members.
If you're good at marketing and have access to sport, especially golf or football (show me a footballer that won't eventually golf and I'll show you a Scot that doesn't drink) or can access the hgher-level management within your corporation, marketing this network will be a doddle.
It's free to join, create your profile, get your referral link, start hitting the three niches I've just pointed out and you're away. No restrictions to the medium - I'm on fb, twitter and linkedin but my reach is not huge. For someone with loads of followers, they could even be in with a shout of the big prize the guys are utting up in the Hurricane Promo Party group -0 you haave to check that out when you get inside, honestly. Unreal!
Once you've signed up under my link: http://t.co/XdTSnyFF (I'll know, coz I get a report), come find me [Zebedeerox] and say hi and I'll show you the ropes. If I'm offline, there's a post on the blog attched to this one and in the 19th hole On THE SITE with a clear sign-post about which group to join for the best advice.
There is no charge, at any stage, to sign up, join groups, create a profile. Anywhere.
See you on the inside.
Poulter & Colsaerts make the cut
Next month sees Medinah host the 2012 Ryder Cup with Team Europe looking to defend the title they won so valiantly at Celtic Manor in 2010 on American soil...
And so, Olazábal names the final squad.
If you've followed my golfing commentary recently, I've been writing off Team USA's chances, stating that there's only one winner, and that's us.
Why, then, when the final Team Europe selection is down in front of us in black and white, do I not have that self-same confidence that echoed across the blogosphere only 48 hours hence...
...can we do it? What do YOU think?
I'd love to hear your opinions...
...TTFN, Thet Watson. x
Enter our fantastic competition for your chance to win a four-ball at Gleneagles.
As the Johnnie Walker gets down to the nitty gritty post-cut, how do you fancy the opportunity of playing the same golf course, The PGA Centenary Course, for free?
The European Tour and Visit Scotland have teamed up to host a competition that could see you playing a four-ball at the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup shortly after the golf pros vacate the world-famous arena this weekend.
There are no quiz questions to answer, it's simply a prize draw. There's a 3-question radio-button style survey after you've entered your details and the chance to receive regular updates by e-mail from both the Scottish Travel Board and Gleneagles itself that you can either opt in or out of.
The survey is about your experience of Scotland and your perception of the country as a holiday destination - it is jointly hosted by Visit Scotland, after all.
Click through the link below or the title itself if you're reading this directly on Scoop.It/UK Golf. If you're reading it on any of the darrelldoo4golf satellite sites, use the bottom link only to get you directly through to the entry form.
Two minutes and you could be on your way to Gleneagles in the very near future for a four-ball in the home of golf.
Please - if you know of anyone who'd be interested in this prize, please share this post directly with them.
And if you've not already visited Scotland to form an opinion already, firstly, why not? Secondly, you don't know what you're missing.
True, broad Glaswegian and deep Black Country sound like two different species of creature trying to make contact in a vortex after 12 double-scotches, let alone dialects of the same language conversing, but I've never - in all of my time nipping up to the East End of Glasgow to watch the finest football team in Europe play their home games - ever experienced that Celt/Anglo rivalry so often publicised. Although, when I've been wearing my hoops, to be sure, I've stuck to Parkhead and the surrounding area, so that might have something to do with that, but even when out of 'uniform' I've ne'er had the slightest issue - beautiful country, beatiful people.
So,. c'mon - let's see you win this competition and you can drop me a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year-old Single Malt back by way of thanks if you're the lucky winner!
TTFN, Thet Watson.
#Golf Drive: LinkedIn The Clubhouse, UK Tour 2013 Guest Post by Kay @ Brand You Brilliant #LinkedIn #socialmedia Source: golfdrive.tumblr.com via Jason on Pinterest Who wants to host a "LinkedIn Th...
Jason Darrell's insight:
Whilst there's probably some truth in the rumour that golf is yet to get to grips wholeheartedly with social media, LinkedIn members would argue the contrary.
There are some notable exceptions, of course; The Bleacher Report's golf columnists excel at optimising their content for social channels.
Thinking about it - as I was prompted to do by a guest post on It Drives Like A Golf, yesterday - let's temper that first statement about LinkedIn.
While the members in the golfing fraternity may argue the toss, it seems that there are a lot more professionals in the niche who'd like to be able to get involved, but can't.
They either haven't the social-savvy virtues or world-wide-web wherewithall to create a relevant following or create enough of a ripple to make spending time on LinkedIn worth their while or don't want to admit those shortcomings.
Why else would they not use one of the most prolific networking sites on the planet to make new contacts or suss out new opportunities?
The handful of networkers on LinkedIn who've took the bull by the horns and created golf-oriented groups seem to be having it all their own way.
Should 'social' networking really work like that? Kay Hebbourn (and I) don't think so.
Within those groups, it always seem to be the group instigators or self-confessed salesmen and marketers who attract the greatest following, spark the greatest reaction and command the discussion threads.
Kay's company, BrandYouBrilliant, has spent years working in the social media sphere, one of their strategic areas of concentration being the golfing fraternity.
This year, BrandYouBrilliant is going on a UK Tour and will be passing a clubhouse near you. Well, hopefully.
Kay and her merry band have identified the very real need for more golfers to get involved in the networking aspect of LinkedIn. No great Sherlock skills needed there.
A lot of the action that used to take place on the greens and fairways of the UK's golf courses is now taking place online, meaning essential opinions are not being considered.
Perhaps even more worryingly, golf club memberships and 19th hole activity are suffering terribly as the golf course is no longer the place for networking it once was.
What's exceptional about BrandYouBrilliant's Tour is that it will not only teach the virtues of getting the most from LinkedIn, but by having clubhouses host the stages of the 2013 Tour, it's bringing much interest - and revenue - back to the golf clubs themselves.
BrandYouBrilliant has put together a fantastic itinerary for the package they're offering for their world tour of UK clubhouses, all highlighted in Kay's guest post through the article attached to this here Scoop.
If you have anything to do with running a golf club or are in any way associated with the golfing industry and you feel you need to develop your social media acumen, then I urge you to speak to BrandYouBrilliant.
Her bespoke LinkedIn training, as it states on her website, will teach you how to:
- grow your network
- get new leads
- make sales
It's a course that genuinely will pay for itself.
If you'd rather deal with a familiar (cyberspace) face than contact Kay unannounced, please feel free to e-mail me first to make the introductions on your behalf:
email@example.com with the subject "Brand me brilliant"
Use my above e-mail address, too, if you'd like to join my expanding network on LinkedIn or discuss guest-posting on It Drives Like a Golf as Kay did, no problem.
Full instructions for guest posting on my site are on the submission page, here: http://golfdrive.tumblr.com/submit
Further options for paid distribution around my entire golf network (see attached image + we now have YouTube & Pinterest) upon request - £25 for the whole shooting match and kaboodle.
If, on the other hand, you've no such hang-ups, you can contact Kay direct on 01229 588414 and just say to Kay, "Jay said 'Hey!'"
Have a great weekend; I look forward to hearing from you.
This week's European Tour event, the Tshwane Open in South Africa, will leave a golfing legacy for local communities.
Jason Darrell's insight:
One of the greatest aspects of the game of golf compared with other sports is what the players themselves put back into their sport at grass roots level.
In the UK, many of the current PGA and European stars - and we're taking multi-millionaires, here - can very often be found at centres of excellence they've founded, academies for Junior Golf or getting behind the sport at Open Days to get in and amongst the fans in a manner few other professionals do.
But is UK golf participating enough to make golf accessible to all? Let's look at what's going on in South Africa, by comparison.
Nowhere is the practise of contributing to grass roots golf more apparent than in South Africa. Which is perhaps a contradiction in terms, due to an astonishing lack of grass roots one could physically mow into a green capable ot putting anything on.
Okay, we'll settle on savannah roots level, then.
As the European Tour makes its final appearance in South Africa this year at the Tshwane Open, we get a chance to see this savannah roots level of input in action.
The Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate is home to Els Club Copperleaf, our hosts for the last tour event in the Africas this year.
Beyond all the glitz, glamour and €1.5M purse, the Tshwane Open is actively pushing local authorities to provide golfing facilities for the under-privileged in Tshwane, Centurion and the surrounding areas.
Indeed, 50 children from the vicinity were present at the Els Copperleaf Club on the eve of Thursday's European Tour event, getting to grips with the facilities on offer through this initiiative.
The pushing has worked, not just on potential South African golfers of the future, but their right-hand (wo)men, the caddies, too.
The municipality's spokewoman has already been in touch with local media to confirm that the city of Centurion is committing to golf clinics to cement this golf drive [sorry].
These facilities will help develop the game for 6-16 year olds who would otherwise be unavailed of golf or any of its amenities.
It would be easy to underestimate this achievement, so let's not.
As Ndlovu confirmed in her statement, Tshwane's schools will be the first in the country to benefit from the introduction of golf into its sports curriculum.
Whereas the golf tuition will take place initially at the Els Foundation, the caddies' program will be spread around the municipalty's golf courses, meaning a potential broader catchment area for disadvantaged youngsters with an interest in golf.
It would be wonderful if some of UK golf's stars would push as hard to bring the sport to schools in towns and cities across the country that are not as upper class as your Wentworths, Royal Lythams and Sutton Coldfield's Belfry.
Perhaps they could get their heads together with Ernie Els whilst they're sunning it up Stateside and get a few hands-on tips from the man himself.
We'll see, when any of our UK stars deign to visit Europe, rather than spend the majority of the season, as has been the case so far, on the PGA Tour of America.
For an update of play at this weekend's Tshwane Open, here's a round-up of day 2 at the top of the leaderboard before the threat of lightning caused a third of the field to be called back to the clubhouse before they could finish their rounds: http://getthetwatson.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/storm-threat-halts-play-day-2-tshwane-open/
Play is due to recommence at 6:45am (8:45am GMT) tomorrow (saturday 2nd March) to finish round 2, make the cut and then continue with day 3.
Coverage in the UK starts at 10:30am on SKY Sports 3, where they should just about be getting into third round action, given that there's a good few holes yet to play out to decide who makes the weekend's golf and whose African golf safari is over for the 2013 season.
If you'd like to see more interaction from UK golf stars at grass roots level, share this article with anyone you think may be in a position to at least prick their Stateside consciences, would you?
Thanks a million, Thet Watson. xxx
Welshman Jamie Donaldson was the last man standing after a dramatic finale at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship which featured Justin Rose lipping out for a play-off on the last and David Howell four-putting from four feet when seemingly on the...
Jason Darrell's insight:
Tee-totallers, C'mere. There's more..
...there was this Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman...
..but no bugger reckoned on the Welshman creeping up to snatch his second victory on the European Tour at Abu Dhabi in a dramatic climax to the first Race to Dubai qualifying golf tournament of the season!
You know, last week when I was agonising over who to pick for this year's Fantasy Race to Dubai team (this year, we're called Ten Tee 20 Vision) I was umming and arring over Jamie Donaldson.
But I reckoned that, if it had taken him 255 events to win his first title, coming at the Irish Open last year, we'd probably got another decade to wait for his next.
That'll teach me no tot read the form books. To say that Jamie Donaldson is in the form of his life is an understatement.
Going into the final day, all of the big money was on Justin Rose holding onto his two-shot overnight lead. Including my £0.50 each way.
Indeed, if Rose hadn't rolled his penultimate putt around the cup, he would have taken Jamie Donaldson into a play-off.
But too much lip from Rose, a disastrous eighteenth for David Howell, and the Welshman was left to claim his second European Tour title.
He now sits second in the Race to Dubai proper, just €44,000 behind Scott Jamieson; full Race to Duabi rankings, here: http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/racetodubai/rankings/index.html
Having shot up the Official World Golf Rankings too (he in th top 30 after the Abu Dhabi HSBC result), who's to say he won't be in amongst the challengers at the end of the season?
For Ten Tee 20 Vision, it's back to the drawing board. The Qatar Masters is next week and should I omit Rory McIlroy again, as I did this week?
Given that the Northern Irishman ditched his new Nike putter in Abu Dhabi, there's a question over his equipment, for sure.
In this case, there's no doubt that it's not the bad workman blaming the tools. He's golf's number one and is so for a bloddy good reason.
With Rory, he does tend to overthink things. I can see a slow start to the season, more training in the gym and a lot more time on the driving range with his coaching staff and new golf clubs.
Dare I say it, but it wouldn't surprise me if Nike suddenly started to develop a range of golf clubs not dissimilar to the Titleist range.
We all know how devastating Rory McIlroy was in the final quarter of last season with those. But £80M has got to be a big temptation.
I defy anyone not to switch kit when there's that much dosh on the line. and that's despite Rory's protestations that it's not about the money any more.
With the new Nike deal, he's moved up the ranks of sport's elite like a rocket. That is a massive factor, a place in history, that any sportsman or -woman wouldn't turn down.
So, no. If Lee Westwood's going, there might be a place for him. The two golfers from Ten Tee 20 Vision who didn't make the cut may be dropped (but Francesco Molinari - he was my ace in the hole last season for Zeb's Teetotallers).
Okay - that's enough from me. More on Jamie Donaldson's victory in the attached article. I'm off to mull over my Qatar team.
Catch you next week,
Oh, yes - there were some concerns about RoMac's form at the height of the season, especially after setting off on the Race to Dubai at such a blistering pace, four top five finishes in the first four events, including two runner-up spots and everyone thought the Rory would walk it.
As it turns out, he has of course. And by a country mile.
But mid-season, his formed nose-dived, missing cut after cut, failing at Majors and even looking like a golfer who had a problem.
Then, on home soil at the Irish Open, he started to play again. Just let his natural game take over and draw on the wealth of experience - yes, I know he's only 23, but the fella was born with a golf club in his hand. Which must have made his ma's eyes water, for sure.
He didn't win that event, but his first top ten finish on the European Tour for three months was the catalyst his season had been waitig for.
In a blistering spell, topped off with the final Major of the 2012 season, US PGA Championship, he saw off the OWGR #1 spot challenge of a resurgent Tiger Woods and put daylight between himself and long-time co-habitor of that hallowed position, Luke Donald.
It's been a great few years for UK Golf, with Westwood, Donald and now McIlroy closing off the season on top of the tree making it a fine British hat-trick...
...oh, and I nearly forgot to mention, two 14.5/13.5 Ryder Cup victories at Celtic Manor and Medinah, of course. Yep, cheap shot, but too good an opportunity, if you know what I mean?
All the news from New Zebland, The Savage Garden and the Crazy World of Zebedeerox here in one place, once a week to start your weekend - enjoy, share & comment!
I don't normally share this publication on Scoop.It but just casting my eye back over this week's Darrelldoo Weekly, it is probably the most accurate representation of Yours Truly based on Internet activity that's been published to date.
There's a little bit of Celtic, Mods, Rockers, Golf, Social Media & SEO.
In video format, pictures and articles, this is a superb snapshot of where I am to date and perhaps even a few clues as to how I got here.
I only hope that by Scooping this, it holds this week's edition as the URL remains a constant, just gets updated every Friday.
This is not to be confused with the UK Golf Pro Paper.Li ezine I run, that is, as the name suggests, for work-related golf articles, videos and fitness tips.
Have a great weekend and if you do get the chance to cast your eye over this, I think you'll find it, at very least, mildly interesting.
I'll see you in two weeks when I'm back from Lanzarote, ciao, Zebedeerox.
Win your own Ryder Cup Experience in Wales, courtesy of the Welsh/Cymru government
Even if you don't enter the competition, there's a downloadable Golf Wales brosh-shore that may come in handy...
The 2010 Ryder Cup venue, voted both European Golf Resort and Sport Venue of the Year in 2011. Celtic Manor - one of Europe’s finest, most prestigious golfing stay and play destinations.
Fields marked with * are required
How many golf courses are there at Celtic Manor? *
Cryptic Clue - The answer is the forename of the Star Wars character whose surname is the abbreviation for either our Post Office or an expletive requesting that you urinate elsewhere.
Info you provide (* = compulsory):
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Email Address: *
House Number: *
Post Code: *
Flat Number/House Name:
Phone number (so we can contact you if you win):
The organisers would also like to e-mail you periodically about what it's up to and more of the same from selected partners - you can tick the boxes if you want to receive this info.
They also ask if you'd like a hard copy of the Golf Wales magazine or provide the link from which you can download it immediately.
Fantasy Race To Dubai - brought to you by The European Tour and Fantasy League.
Blimey - what a bunch of miscreants we have in this week's Zeb's Tee Totallers for the European Tour's fantasy Race to Dubai!
To be fair, I'm sure they're all smashing chaps as well as excellent golfers (well, they'd better be!).
There's a distinct lack of familiar faces in the team, this week. Although, it has to be said, many of the top European golfers are absent from St Andrews/Carnoustie/Kingsbarns, this weekend.
But we do have three returning heroes from Medinah lining up, including Germany's Martin Kaymer whose putt so famously won the Ryder Cup for us last weeekend in historic fashion. Messrs Lawrie and Hanson are also back in domestic action, safelhome from action in Illinois.
Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO, my man of the moment way back in the middle of September winning the Italian Open in the last event before the Ryder Cup obviously keeps his spot; also, his fellow countryman Rafa CABRERA-BELLO lines up as one of the young guns alongside Simon Dyson, who I think will win his first top three place on the European Tour this year in Scotland this weekend.
Then it's call in the old guard, with Thomas BJÖRN, Ernie ELS, Monty and finally Darren CLARKE, who's had a tough year defending the old Claret Jug and is due a top five finish, if not higher.
So there we have it - a mixture of youth, European endeeavour, experience and confidence for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. It tees off with three pairings across all three courses at 9:00 am in the morning, so if you've not entered your team yet, you've not got long to do it.
The full tee times and pairings for the Alfred Dunhill can be found here: http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012074/teetimes/index.html
All the best, Thet Watson & the UK Golf gang.
p.s. we're off on a jolly to Lanzarote on Saturday for a fortnight so, if there's nought posted between now and October 22nd, it's because we're sozzled on cerveza and sangria!
Would you believe that there are only nine events left on the European Tour this term? Okay, there’s a little thing called the Ryder Cup in between now and the Alfred Dunhill Links
Maybe, just maybe, not everything’s wrapped up for RoMac Just yet...can Rose be a thorn in Rory's Dubai side?
It's not unthinkable, given that long-time Race to Dubai leader Justin Rose is only half a million Euro behind McIlroy, that the Englishman could bot yet pip the Ulsterman to the fnishing line, especially if he can fit in the one extra tournament after the Ryder Cup that he's played shy of Rory's eleven to date.
What a finale to the season that would be on the Jumeirah Golf Estates if the gap was to close between the two golfers, far and away the best Europe has had to offer this season, over the eight Tour events between now and the showdown in the desert over November the 22nd-25th: winner takes all, with a total purse of $8M up for grabs in Dubai alone.
The extent of McIlroy and Rose's dominance is highlighted by the fact that Francesco Molinari in third - who's had a blinding second half to the season - has played twice as many tournaments as Rose to get where he is and nine more than Rory on the European Tour.
And of the latter season form of Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, what can you say? They sit in tenth and eleventh respectively and, although have played fewer contests than most above them in the RtD rankings, have lacked a cutting edge this last couple of months that does make you wonder about the strength in depth of Team Europe for Medinah in a couple of weeks' time.
As for the Race to Dubai, I wouldn't write Rose off until the last putt of the season's sunk in the desert on the 25th of November...
Darrelldoo wrote: Do you write golf? I know we asked... Join Facebook to connect with Darrelldoo and others you may know.
Do you write golf? I know we asked this question last week, but that was for someone else.
Darrelldoo wrote: One of the directions this page is heading, not that you'd guess right now, is down the avenue of diet and fitness for golfers.
To cut a long story short, I was forced into nutrition and diet long before surgery last year and even started a blog about it but never followed it through due to the extent of the ill health suffered post-op.
I still firmly believe that most people across the globe are ignorant of what constitutes a healthy diet, golfers being no exception.
Furthermore, the 'healthy options' being peddled by those who've made a packet out of selling us crap-in-a-box just because they've got a good marketing team are worse for those of us looking to build muscle and core strength through proper diet and resistance exercise than we yet fully understand.
And to compound matters, people in general have an even worse conception and understanding of healthy exercise.
It's no wonder, then, that the world's populace is getting obese and type 2 diabetes is rife, because the organisations with the power to truly instruct us what a healthy regime should be opt instead to sell us food void of nutrition, packed with preservatives and sodium and are in fact totally unhealthy; all this to protect a vested interest either of their own or for authoratitive figureheads in the niche and, even worse, in the great halls of power in the US, UK and across the world. "We're in this together"? - Yeah, rrright!
We'll not win the war - it has far too much financial clout for that - but the little victories, the small battles we do win, will make someone's life healthier, give someone that extra bounce they're looking for and quite possibly stretch their lives out by a few years in the process.
This is just the start of a crusade to rid the supermarket shelves of mis-leadingly labelled food, get the powers that be who endorse this 'weightloss can be achieved by pre-prepared frozen meals' myth to change tack and promote the natural goodness in food that has seen the human race eveolve to this point in time. If we don't act now, there will be no turning back, evolution tricked into a wrong turn and for the sake of what? Money? Greed? As Sir Jay Kay once questioned: "When you gonna learn?" - I say it's time to get out those exercise books and begin at page 1: understand that we are indeed what we eat.
Stay tuned - a lot more on the way.
Thet Watson. xx
Poetry and pitching - you'd never have guessed, would you?
Here's a quick little post from the Armchair Golf Blog, citing the little ditty to be found at Royal Birkdale encouraging golfers to replace the divots they churn up as they make their way around its golf course, rapidly approaching 125 years standing.
Like the armchair golf blog, I rarely get out on to the fairways and greens - it's these confounded hips, you know?
In the spirit of adding rhyme where reason seems deplete, I thought I'd compose my own little passage to sum up the good and bad of being confined to a recliner, watching the world of golf slowly flit through a 21.5" HD Benq monitor every day, rather than get out there on the course and spend as long, if not longer, in the 19th...
Title: Hip-flask to hip surgery
E'en 'fore my op the green and tee
Often quite eluded me;
Now I sit and write for succour
No more curse I that little...golf ball
Read, share, enjoy...
...TTFN, Thet Watson. x
Just a very quick one, today folks -
Adidias/TaylorMade bring you the chance to win a Sergio Garcia-inspired staff-bag in honour of the Spaniard's recent run of hot form.
Following up his victory @ Wyndham last week he looked like he was going for back-to-back victories, but failed at the last hurdle at Gleneagles, yesterday allowing home-soil golfer Paul Lawrie to take the Johnnie Walker.
Still, with RoMac's domination of the US PGA, Garcia last week on US soil and Lawrie yesterday in Scotland (Paul, not Peter, the Irish fella), it would be a brave fellow indeed to back against Europe retainng the Ryder Cup in Medinah later this year.
That's enough waxing lyrical about the state of European golf - you want to know about this competition, right?
The question is relative to the bumph, I swear:
By how many strokes did Garcia win the Wyndham @ Greensboro, North Carolina, last week?
Was it: one, TWO or three?
I know - it's just TWO easy, like starting up a TWO-stroke engine scooter on a downhill run. Got it?
Okay, good! Here's the t & c stuff:
Closing date for entries is 5.00pm on the 31st August 2012.
TWO be in with a chance of winning this prize, they're going to need your first and last name and email address and the answer TWO the question.
Not TWO tasking, is it?
Oh, other than ask if you've picked up this week's edition of UK Golf - http://paper.li/f-1344773191 - ? It's a cracker this week. With some very special offers for the American golf circuit, too! Get it now and share it with all of your golfing buddies - it's free, no subscription required. Share the golfing love!
If you're reading this directly on Scoop.It/Uk Golf, the link to the competition's through the the title.
If you're on Get Thet Go or It Drives Like A Golf, the link's here: http://www.tmagcompetitions.eu/
Okay - that's it for today.
Have a very happy Monday,
Thet Watson. xxx