R&A Renegades Close The Open.

The Royal and Ancient have closed the door for many people in England on seeing The Open on national television. This is a national disgrace, the people have bought a TV licence but will now have to subscribe to SKY TV if they want to watch the national tournament.

The BBC golf presentation team, who give the best golfing coverage to be found, will become redundant. A sad end to anyone who enjoys the quirky quips and great knowledge of the game of Peter Alliss, the commentary team leader, Peter had this to say about the sad announcement;

“I know they (the R&A) do lots of lovely, lovely things but now when it comes down to the nitty-gritty they have dipped their hands into the money and that’s it. I don’t think there will be a golfer that won’t be bitterly disappointed at the news today.”

The Open

Peter with the BBC Team

Lee Westwood, who is currently leading the Malaysian Open, could not believe what the R&A have done;

 I cannot believe the Open isn’t protected as one of the crown jewels, that is an absolute disgrace.”

Graeme McDowell, who is also in Kuala Lumpur right now, feels sorry for anyone who expects to see The Open on national TV;

“I feel bad for anyone sitting at home with their TV licence and who will be robbed of Peter Alliss and the boys. The coverage from 7.30am to 7.30pm at night is special.”

For certain SKY will not be transmitting The Open for 12 hours a day, like the BBC do, and also you know the Sky coverage will be constantly interrupted by advertising.

Rory McIlroy knows it is all jut about the money;

 “I guess it’s just the way it’s gone, money talks, you know.”

The Open

Rory winning The Open

The people of England can put down The Open in July 2016 as the last one before golf stops being one of the major sports in the country and begins a long and agonising retreat to the margins.

Sky cannot be trusted, down here in New Zealand they have recently stopped transmitting the Premier League football, and have also removed Golf entirely from the program, so we basically get nothing.

The Open

The Open 2015 will be at St Andrews, the last one to be televised by the BBC.


60 years since The Open was first broadcast on BBC — 1955 was the 84th edition of the competition.

1969 The first Open to be shown in color, with Tony Jacklin taking the Claret Jug.

267 The lowest 72-hole score, carded by Greg Norman in 1993 — his second victory at The Open.

6 British winners since 1955 — Tony Jacklin (1969), Sandy Lyle (1985), Nick Faldo (1987, 1990 and 1992), Paul Lawrie (1999), Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2014).

£12m Total winners’ prize-money in BBC era. First prize in 1955 was £1,000.

1 in 5 people in the UK watched McIlroy win in 2014.


Volvo China Open. Broomstick Brett Wins Again.

Broomstick Brett Rumford won the Volvo China Open, the first Australian in 42 years to win back to back Tour titles.

With this win - Brett Rumford

Brett Rumford / Getty Images

Brett Rumford cruised to victory with a final round of  -4 under par 68, on the Binhai Lake Golf Course on Sunday in the Volvo China Open. His winning total was -16 under par, four shots clear of the field.

Brett said that he was more than happy;

” As with last week I’m kind of speechless at the moment. It’s quite surreal, it’s the first time I’ve actually played the week after a win so I’m more than pleased. It’s hard to get my head around it at the moment. I managed to get up and down when I really needed to. There are some very tight lies round the perimeters of the greens, so it was tricky. My putter was also really on song, as it was last week. It puts a lot of pressure on your opponent when you’re saving par all the time.”

In second place was Finn Mikko Ilonen, a final round effort of -1 under par left him with a total of -12 under par, just one shot ahead of third place. Mikko was disappointed he did not take the opportunity to win, but was full of praise for Brett;

” I had a chance to win, disappointed not to do so but I couldn’t do much more, you saw what Brett did there on the back nine for three holes. I’m speechless, I couldn’t force the issue. I had a number in my mind, which is what Brett finished on. It’s my second second place this year, so hopefully there’s a win round the corner. The confidence is building.  I’ve been hitting the ball nicely most of the time this year. Today I drove the ball really well, and I feel a lot more confident all round. Brett did so well not to make more bogeys, his short game, bunker play and wedges were unbelievable today. I don’t see too many better players than him in the world in that area of his game. So he definitely deserved to win today.”

Third place went to Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, a last round of -4 under par helping him to achieve a tournament total of -11 under par, and third position to himself.

I guess this win will encourage more players to change to the long putter, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington have already made the change. They said if it gives them an edge to win a tournament, it can only be good. Unless the R&A and the USGA actually get around to banning it, it which case they will have to change back again.


Putting Updates, Ernie and Phil making Changes



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Ernie Els, The Open Champion, is going to use his Belly Putter for the last time at a Major, during the Masters at Augusta National next week. He intends to  phase out the controversial Belly Putter ahead of a proposed ban by the R&A, and USGA.


Ernie Els / getty Images

The Big Easy used a conventional putter for his first three rounds at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in Thailand before taking 29 putts with his belly putter on Sunday in a closing two-under-par 70 to finish tied 14th in the Asian Tour event. Ernie explained about that last round use of the Belly Putter, and also said he went to Thailand to get his swing under control;

“I just wanted to play with the belly putter since it was my last competitive round before the Masters. Mentally, I was going to do the long putter at the Masters. I wanted to feel what it is like under a little bit of pressure. So far this year I’ve played some decent golf in parts, but I’m not quite there on the consistency front. All you can do is keep working hard, though. As we saw last year, your fortunes can change quickly in this game. I came here to get my swing under control, which I think it did. The short game is not too bad, everything is kind of there, it’s just the confidence search now. I’m hitting it nice again, I’m really glad I came here. I’ve had a great experience in Chiangmai,  I just wished I made more birdies.”

If you are still searching for a new putter Ernie, take a look at our website, and contact me.

Phil Mickelson has changed to a jumbo grip on his putter, but intends to keep using the claw grip, he explained;

” I’ll go back and forth because, again the claw grip, what it does is gets me in a better address position where I get rid of too much forward press.  I want a little bit but not as much as I’ve been getting.”


Phil Mickelson and jumbo grip / Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Looking at Phil in the picture above, I think he is a little too bent over, he needs to stand taller, looking straight down at the ball, this will free up the arms to get a nice pendulum motion. He looks to be reaching for the ball, standing taller will get his feet closer to the ball.


“As long as it’s legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”

Ernie Els and his Belly Putter /

 Kyle Terada, US Presswire.

Ernie Els said in 2011 ” As long as its legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”  Seems as if Ernie may now be voicing some concern about the banning of his Belly Putter, a complete 360 on his original quote.

This is what Ernie now has to say;

” For a lot of guys they thought it was a magic wand, you put your hands on it and you’re going to make putts. But it’s taken me a long time to get used to it. So in all honesty, I’m not for it if they change it, but if so then so be it. I’m not the rules maker, there are people that want to look after the game and the future of the game, and if they feel that they need to ban it, I’ll go with it, but I’m definitely not for that.”

Ernie jumped camp and turned to the belly putter two years ago, the use of this putter ended more than a two-year Tour winless drought, with his Major victory at The Open last July at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes.

Although the  proposed ban on anchoring, Rule 14.1b, by the sport’s governing bodies. the R&A and the U.S.G.A, is not due take effect until the year 2016, the Tour could create its own rule and outlaw the method much earlier, perhaps as soon as OctoberErnie has admitted he has recently played a couple of rounds at the Johor Open with a conventional putter;


It felt quite good”

But Ernie has no plans to change back to the conventional putter anytime soon, may be the Tour could force him into the swap sooner than he thinks.

Australian PGA Championship, Popovic Prevails.

Daniel Popovic / pga.org,au

Daniel Popovic prevailed at the Australian PGA Championship on Sunday at the Palmer Coolum Resort golf course, to win by four shots after beginning the last round with a two shot advantage. Daniel  kept his emotions in check to par the last hole for a closing 69 to finish the tournament at 16-under par and claim his first professional victory. A delighted Daniel said;

“I can’t believe this has happened. I really just can’t believe it”

Anthony Brown finished in a tie for second on -12 under par along with Rod Pampling. Tied in fourth place was Geoff Ogilvy and Brad Kennedy at -11 under par. Big talking Peter Senior failed to match his arrogant rhetoric before the final round, falling to a +5 over par round of 77. No big winds to give him an advantage this week, with his broomstick putter. That should give the R&A and the U.S.G.A  something to ponder over before announcing their anchoring decision.

Congratulations to Daniel, I hope this win will be the first of many more.

Belly Putter Ban Imminent ?

It is commonly understood an official from the R&A will make presentations to the golf playing professionals at this week’s HSBC WGC Champions event in Shenzhen and then at next week’s Barclays Singapore OpenMike Davis, the chief executive of the USGA, has already held such a seminar with PGA Tour players. It is likely that they will take a formal vote in March, to decide if, and when, the ban will come into force. It is possible that a ban could be in place for competition from the start of 2013, or they may wait until the end of the current rules cycle which runs through December 2015. Either way it looks fairly certain that  they are going to eradicate the belly putter altogether. The catalyst for this action seems to be the fact that three of the last five major winners have used belly-putters. Strangely enough there is no mention of the broom-stick putter in this decision-making process, but if the ruling is based on Anchoring, rather than the length of the putter, jamming a putter under your chin, or chest would also be eliminated.

Davis Love 111, the US Ryder Cup captain, attended the meeting with the USGA representative in Georgia, he expressed the view that whatever path the authorities took, they should proceed with haste.

” If they said today, we met with the Tour and we’re going to change putters; Keegan Bradley is going to get himself a conforming putter and he’s still going to be a really good putter. He’s just going to have to make a change, but you’d rather not talk about it for three years and have it be a distraction.”

Webb Simpson, the US Open champion is already practicing with a conventional putter, in readiness of a rule change, although he disagree’s with the argument for a ban;

” I’m friends with a lot of the R&A and the USGA guys and I know they are trying to do it for the betterment of the game. But I don’t think it’s a good decision. If you look at the stats, last year there was no one in the top 20 of the strokes gained category who anchored a putter. So you have to throw out the argument of  it’s an advantage right there. There’s a bunch of arguments going around but I haven’t heard a good one yet.”

Players like Matt Kuchar, who use a long putter but do not Anchor it will be free to continue using such equipment if the ban itself is centered on the anchoring point and not just the length of the putter. It will be extremely interesting to see how this event pans out, is it really going to make the game better, or fairer, I actually doubt it.

BBC in danger of losing The Open coverage, due to incompetence

The BBC is in danger of losing their coverage of golf’s greatest title, The Open, after golf bosses criticised their handling of  The Masters in Augusta. Most of the classicism surrounds their lack of coverage of the game and use of celebrity interviewers. The worst offender was England cricket captain Michael Vaughan who attracted embarrassing ridicule at the Masters by not knowing the number of Green Jackets won by Tiger Woods. After that gaff he compounded the enormous error by leaving the course and final presentation  before the end of play on the final day to go on holiday. Eternal shame on you Michael, and heads should have rolled at the bosses at the top. The BBC is run by the old school tie network, and nothing will change the way they do things, and for that they will lose The Open coverage when the contract runs out in 2016. These people only rate The Open as a B-listed event in the country’s sporting crown jewels, just like the Ryder Cup, incompetence of the highest order. They will only show six days of live golf coverage from next year, these will be the first two days of Augusta and the Open Championship, this will be the only live golf on the BBC from 2013 because of cost cutting.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson has called upon the Corporation to change their restrictive policy or seriously jeopardize losing out on the oldest Major when the current deal runs out in 2016.

“We have certainly had that conversation with the BBC. It is not just golf but tennis that for financial reasons they are making towards the bigger events. Like anything in life, you need to be in practice to do it well and keep up with advances in technology. We obviously want the Open championship to to be seen by as many people as possible. But the BBC know they have got to get off the financial plateau. They know we have got our eye on them.”

Commenting on the Michael Vaughan incident  Dawson added:

“It seemed rather unusual. But matters like that are best left to the BBC.”

Veteran commentator Peter Alliss said:

“It’s like playing poker with someone who has millions when you only have hundreds. The BBC can’t compete. But at the Open, we go through from 9 in the morning until 7.30 at night for four days on the BBC with no interruptions for commercials and it’s there for your licence fee.”

The 141st Open, and the 11th at Royal Lytham , will be staged July 19-22, the course has been lengthened in honor of receiving the worlds best players, and longest hitters. The course at Royal Lytham and St. Annes has been lengthened by 181 yards for this year’s British Open, with all but two holes having been altered since the last time the tournament was held there in 2001.