GolfPlus News

Saturday, 25 June 2016

From Bed to Fairway





Giardino Ascona has become Ticino’s premier golf resort as it now enjoys direct access to the course at Golf Ascona, allowing guests to roll out of bed and straight onto the fairway.

Giardino Ascona has become Ticino’s premier golf resort as it now enjoys direct access to the course at Golf Ascona, allowing guests to roll out of bed and straight onto the fairway. Giardino Ascona and Golf Ascona, set on the banks of Lake Maggiore in the Italian-speaking canton of southern Switzerland, benefit from a unique micro-climate that creates temperate, balmy weather that allows the golf playing season to run until well into October. Established in 1928 as a 9-hole layout, Golf Ascona soon became a meeting place for local businessmen, wealthy tourists and celebrities who chose this little slice of paradise at the foothills of the Alps as their regular golf spot. Soon, the course became known as “the nicest 9 holes in Europe”. The popularity of the club led to its expansion to 18 holes with the help of renowned golf course architects Harry Colt and Giardino Ascona has become Ticino’s premier golf resort as it now enjoys direct access to the course at Golf Ascona, allowing guests to roll out of bed and straight onto the fairway. 

Charles Alison, who created a classic, tree-lined parkland course that weaves its way down to one of Europe’s most famous lakes against a backdrop of magnificent Alpine mountains. The par-4 16th and par-3 17th holes run directly alongside the picturesque lake whilst the rest of the course meanders through avenues of mature trees and expansive but shallow bunkers that defend many of the tricky, undulating greens. In 1960, the Patriziato of Ascona (local governing body) took over the lease on the golf club and, to this day, the City of Ascona manages the club though the feel of the clubhouse remains very much that of a traditional, private golf establishment. Since then, Golf Ascona has received many accolades, including the title of “Best Golf Course in Switzerland” in 1999. Right next door to the golf club stands the luxurious, 72-room Giardino Ascona, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The hotel offers fi ne dining in its 2 Michelin-starred Ecco Restaurant TRAVEL where Rolf Fliegauf (one of Switzerland’s most decorated chefs) resides, a less formal restaurant known as Aphrodite and a bar overlooking a lush Mediterranean garden, as well as extensive fitness facilities, including a dipiĆ¹ spa. 


The property is the ideal retreat after golf as it offers a rest and rehabilitation programme, ‘Golf Perfekt’, which is designed specifically for golfers in mind and run in collaboration with well-known physiotherapist Cornelia Albrecht.  After a thorough 90-minute body check-up, Cornelia accompanies her clients onto the golf course to get a detailed picture of the rotation, stability and coordination of their bodies as they play so that she can then provide advice and individually-tailored exercises to suit each golfer’s own body and movement. Cornelia looks to resolve any issues affecting player performance and, with her input, many golfers have managed to increase their driving capability considerably. After a session with Cornelia, a dipiĆ¹ massage in the hotel’s spa is the ideal way to relax and rest tired muscles, and is included in the package, which is priced at CHF355 (approx Euros326/£234). For those just wanting to play a round of golf, the cost of a green fee at Golf Ascona is CHF130 (approx Euros 117/£90) during the week and CHF150 (approx Euros135/£104) at weekends/public holidays, with Giardino Ascona guests qualifying for a 10% reduction on those rates. Keen golfers wanting to play a bit more golf have the option of trying out two other courses in the area. 

Golf Gerre Losone, which opened in 2001, offers a complete contrast to Ascona Golf; it is a modern, open and very challenging course thanks to a number of tight fairways, unnerving OB possibilities and several rock-lined streams and ponds that demand good course management and accurate shot making. A few kilometres away, the Golf Club Lugano course is laid out over gently undulating terrain that is bisected by the River Magliasina that often brings water into play. The tight, technical layout with numerous bunkers is tempered by large greens, whilst azaleas and rhododendrons add splashes of colour on various holes. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

LADIES ON THE LINK


TWO IN A ROW

Ariya Jutanugarn shot a final-round 67 to claim her second consecutive LPGA Tour victory at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC. Jutanugarn shot all four rounds in the 60s at the River Course at Kingsmill Resort and fi nished at 14-under par and one shot clear of rookie Su Oh of Australia. American Gerina Piller and Sei Young Kim of South Korea finished tied for third at 12-under par. It may have been a bit easier for the second-year member, Ariya Jutanugarn, to pick up her second victory of the season. “Yeah, a lot easier. I didn’t get nervous. I didn’t get excited until the last putt,” explained Jutanugarn. Despite a few nerves on the last putt, she kept a steady hand to sink a 10-foot putt to earn back-to-back wins to join Ha Na Jang, Lydia Ko, and Haru Nomura repeat winners in the 2016 season. “Yeah. Actually a little bit harder because the lie and a little bit longer.” 

Jutanugarn won her first career title at the Tour’s last stop at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic when she became the first Thai player to win on Tour. This week, the 20- year old from Bangkok became the second player this season to win back-to-back events, joining world No. 1 Lydia Ko (Kia Classic & ANA Inspiration). She said closing out win No. 2 turned out to be a lot easier than trying to get her fi rst. “Yeah, a lot easier,” said Jutanugarn. “I didn’t get nervous. I didn’t get excited until the last putt. My hands were shaking, but it’s just a little bit, not like last tournament. Last tournament was so bad.” Jutanugarn bogeyed the par 3 second hole but birdied four of her next seven holes to make the turn at 13-under par. She received some pressure on the back nine from Gerina Piller and Su Oh after going fi ve consecutive holes without a birdie. But a birdie on the par 5 15th hole gave her a two-shot lead with three holes to play. 


She said she was aware of what the other players were doing but it didn’t faze her. “I didn’t feel pressure,” said Jutanugarn. “Today I just feel like whatever it is is fine because I just really want to have fun. I’m not really care -- actually I know they play good, but I’m not really care about them. I really worry about like what I want to do more.” Oh sank a long birdie putt from the fringe on the 18th to get to 13-under and within one shot of the lead. Oh’s runner-up finish is the best of her career and first top 10 in her rookie season. She gave herself an early birthday present as she turns 20 years old tomorrow. “You can always be a little more pleased, but yeah, I’m very happy with how it went today,” said Oh. “I got off to a really good start, which was nice, and just kept it going until the end.” Jutanugarn walked to the 18th tee needing a par to close out the win and didn’t make things easy on herself. 

After a great tee shot, she landed her approach Two In A Row on the far right fringe, setting her up for a diffi cult third shot with the pin position in the far left location. She hit her chip shot to six feet and confidentially made her par putt for the win. “I mean, last win was like breakthrough everything, so after I won one tournament, because I really want to win one tournament this year,” said Jutanugarn. “And after I do that, I just feel like whatever it is, I’m just going to take it and have fun, so that’s the only thing…I expect more wins, but I don’t know about next week.”


Monday, 20 June 2016

Rory May Reject Olympics!

Rory may reject Olympics!

Rory McIlroy says he could turn down the chance to play at the Olympics because of the Zika virus in Brazil. The world number three from Northern Ireland is “monitoring” the spread of the virus, which is linked to brain deformities in newborn babies. McIlroy said that there is going to be “a point in the next couple of years” where he and fiancee Erica Stoll may think about starting a family. “Right now, I’m ready to go but I don’t want anything to affect that,” he said.

Asked if there was a chance he might not go to Rio, McIlroy, replied: “Yeah.” But he added: “Right now I am going and looking forward to it.” He was speaking just hours after securing his first Irish Open title. Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Australian Marc Leishman have already pulled out of the Rio Games because of the Zika virus. Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have also said they will not compete in the event for scheduling reasons. “As it gets closer, I am relishing the thought of going down there and competing for gold,” McIlroy added. “But I have been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there have been some articles coming out saying that it might be worse than they’re saying and I have to monitor that situation. “I am actually going to get my injections on Wednesday - at least I will be immunised for whatever... if I do get bitten by a mosquito down there.”

The 27-year-old, who has won four majors, said he would be proud to represent Ireland this summer. “I used to view the Olympics with a bit of resentment because it made me really think about who I was and where I was from,” the player from County Down added. “If there was just a Northern Irish team, I’d love to play for a Northern Irish team. But it doesn’t quite work like that. I’ve always played golf for Ireland. “We view golf in this island as the whole of Ireland and it’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I’m going to do down there... be proud to put on that green shirt and compete
for a gold.”

Friday, 17 June 2016

RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS


RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS
                                                 
-By Chuah Choo Chiang

Let’s talk about football for a change. And by now, I’m absolutely certain every sports fan around the world would have truly been blown over by the fairy-tale rise of Leicester City, who was crowned champions of the English Premier League in May. Twelve months ago, Leicester barely survived the relegation battle to stay afloat in the top tier and a scandal which erupted during a pre-season tour in Thailand did not help matters as far as their image was concerned. But sporting dramas sometimes provide the feel-good twist which defines both the detractors and silences the critics. With a new team manager, Claudio Ranieri on board followed by some astute summer buys, the Foxes began to outwit the bigger teams and lo and behold, the 5000-1 rank outsiders were soon popping the bubbly in celebration of one of the greatest ever sporting upsets in the world. Well before you think that this column should be appearing in Four Four Two magazine rather than a golf takeaway, the whole idea of marveling about Leicester’s stunning success was to simply drive home a point – that underdogs do have their days in the sun. 

In sporting annals, there have been so many well-scripted sporting upsets over the past few decades. And everybody loves a David vs Goliath tale. In boxing, there was James Buster Douglas’ knockout win over Mike Tyson, Boris Becker’s win at Wimbledon as a 17-year old first-timer in tennis, Japan’s upset victory over South Africa in rugby’s World Cup last year, Greece’s shocker at football’s Euro 2004. The list goes on… The game of golf has also witnessed many pleasant surprises. In recent RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS By Chuah Choo Chiang Soomin Lee times, there was John Daly’s magical triumph at the 1991 PGA Championship, where as the ninth alternate to get into the field following a spate of withdrawals, the former Wild Thing, who reportedly drove overnight to Hazeltine, produced a remarkable three-shot victory which would stake his claim in golf’s folklore. From an Asian golf perspective, Korea’s Y.E. Yang will forever be remembered and celebrated for toppling Tiger Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship where he outduelled the then invisible American to become Asia’s first Major champion. 

Woods has never lost a Major title when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead but Yang, an Asian Tour alumni and now an honorary member, was not intimidated as he took the tiger by the tail and prevailed in one of the golf’s greatest upsets. The defeat has left Woods stuck on 14 Major wins, four shy of the record held by Jack Nicklaus, and he’s not been able to increase the tally over the past seven years which have been littered by a sex scandal and a spate of injuries and surgeries. With the privilege to be right in the thick of the action with the Asian Tour, this scribe has enjoyed watching and chronicling the emergence of many stars.From Thongchai Jaidee to Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal to K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang to Anirban Lahiri, Miguel Tabuena to Kiradech Aphibarnrat, there is a sense that the talent tap in Asia will continue to flow freely. These days, Asian Tour golfers aspire to reach for the stars, and they don’t just speak about only winning in tournaments at home or around the region. Instead, they now talk about winning the tournaments and Major championships. When such confidence emerges from this new generation of Asian players, which stems from a growing self-belief and  confidence, it is rather misplaced that some golf pundits have chosen to water down their dreams rather than congratulate them for their determination and desire to win on the big stage. 

Over a two week spell in late April and early May, Korea’s Jeunghun Wang and Soomin Lee, who have both cut their professional teeth on the Asian Tour, emerged victorious in European Tour tournaments in Morocco and China respectively. Two more wins for the underdogs. Entering both events on sponsor’s invitations, Wang, 20, and the 22-year-old Lee showed great courage to triumph on international soil and atone for heart-breaking losses previously in their search for career breakthrough wins. The likes of Indian legend Jeev have predicted that Wang, for one, could go on to become a Major champion in the near future. Is this misplaced confidence or sheer aspiration by the Asian Tour stars? Let’s just get this straight – underdogs can rule in sports. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

PACE OF PLAY


THE R&A PUBLISHES PACE OF PLAY GUIDANCE MANUAL





















A new manual giving guidance to golf clubs and golfers on ways of improving pace of play has been published today by The R&A. The manual will be distributed to The R&A's 152 affiliated organisations around the world and every golf club in Great Britain and Ireland. It will be available to download from The R&A website, www.randa.org/paceofplay, where further information, resources and related videos can also be viewed.

The new manual provides practical guidance in the three key areas of management, course set-up and player behavior. Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, "There is no doubt that pace of play is a key issue for golf today and one on which many golfers have strong views. Through the research exercise and the conference we gained some valuable insights into the views of players, administrators and officials involved in all levels of golf.

"We fully recognise that in a sport as diverse as golf there is no one-size-fits-all approach and so the new manual outlines approaches which have proved to be effective and offers some thoughtful solutions to the day-to-day pace of play challenges which can arise in golf. We hope the manual will prove to be a useful reference guide for clubs, competition organisers and players alike." The R&A carried out an extensive international survey into golfers' views on the pace of play in 2014/15 which attracted more than 56,000 responses from golfers in 122 countries. One of the key findings of the research was that 60% of golfers said they would enjoy golf more if they played in less time. The findings were discussed at the Time for Golf conference last November, which was attended by professionals and administrators from throughout the world of golf and those discussions helped shape the new manual.

European Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher took part in a discussion session at the conference. Welcoming the launch of the new manual, he said, "I think this is an important step forward in providing some practical ways of improving pace of play. It was fascinating to hear different perspectives on the pace of play at the Time for Golf conference and there was definitely a feeling that we should share some of the best approaches to dealing with the issue with a wider audience. The new manual gives some great examples of best practice and I would definitely recommend it to anyone involved in golf."

Recognising the increased pressure that many people face in their leisure time today and the overall time it can take to play golf, The R&A recently announced the launch of a new nine-hole championship to promote nine-hole golf as a perfectly valid format for the sport which can be played competitively, for handicap purposes and for fun. A group of 30 qualifiers will compete in a nine whole handicap event at Royal Troon immediately before The 145th Open in July.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Golf in Paradise




How can the golfers miss the opportunity to unwind themselves at such a beautiful destination? Especially when it's all about KASHMIR. It is a heaven on the earth where nobody would deny to spend their vacations. And when Golf and vacations go hand in hand its makes and incredible combination. The upcoming tournaments ‘ Srinagar Golf Cup’ & ‘Kashmir Golf Festival’ will absolutely going to be an out-of-the-blue experience. The enrollments are at a great pace, so don’t miss it. For the ones who haven’t registered yet, reach us for registration at: regristration@slwindia.com