Posted: March 29, 2012
For pure unadulterated spectacular scenery, the Verdura Golf and Spa Resort, venue of the Sicilian Open, takes some beating. Azure water, clear skies and sunshine greeted the European Tour after some long travels from Morocco.
Opened just three years ago, the Kyle Phillips designed course measures 7,375 yards and plays to a par of 72. Relatively flat and open, the course should yield some low scores unless the weather changes, but the current sunshine suggests it won't!
And basking in the sunshine after his opening round will be Pro V1x loyalist Peter Lawrie - a first round of 8-under has left him at the top of the leaderboard. In close pursuit, at the time of writing, are fellow Titleist ball loyalists Jamie Donaldson, Joakim Lagergren and Gary Orr.
Titleist ambassador Tano Goya, sporting a new Scotty Cameron GoLo Mid putter, is also chasing down the leader - lying just one shot back after the first round (see the slideshow below for pic). Seems the putter was working - eight birdies for a 7-under opening 65! Keep it up Tano!
To see the full slideshow, just click on the image below:
And this week, we are at.......
Posted: March 27, 2012
The six winners of the Titleist Ultimate Short Game Tune Up competition made their way to Brocket Hall last week for a short game clinic with Titleist ambassador and coach to some of the world's leading pros, Mark Roe.
Arriving at the stately home, which is set in 543 acres of mature Hertfordshire parkland, the six winners enjoyed lunch at the estate's golf clubhouse before venturing out onto the Melbourne course for 18 holes in the afternoon. After a keenly fought match between the two fourballs (made up by two Team Titleist staff), there was time for a quick shower and change before heading to the Michelin Starred Auberge du Lac restaurant for some fine dining and good natured banter about the afternoon's golf.
Mark Roe sets the scene for the Titleist Ultimate Short Game Tune Up
Following breakfast the next morning, Allan, Danny, John, Anthony, Neil and Jamie were introduced to Mark Roe, before making their way down to fantastic range and short game facilities on the Palmerston Academy at Brocket Hall - covered range bays, two separate short game greens, bunkers and a putting green make this an ideal venue for the Ultimate Short Game Tune Up.
Anthony looks to pick up some posture tips from Roey
After an hour and a half's short game tuition, during which Mark Roe put his iPhone on the green and challenged the winners to land a golf ball on it, three winners moved over to the range to be fitted for their Vokey Design SM4 wedges.
Jack (L) works to find the optimum Vokey wedge fit for Team Titleist member Allan (R)
Allan, John and Danny remained with Mark for a further hour of bunker tuition - working on the basic principles of bunker play through to mastering even plugged lies in the sand.
John was delighted to be able to overcome his bunker fears by the end of the morning
After Danny, Jamie and Neil had been fitted for their Vokey wedges by Titleist Fitting Technician Jack Yetton, it was time for the two groups to switch.
Danny gets it in the neck from Roey
"I think some of the guys were surprised by how many options we were able to offer them," explains Jack. "And that by trying some different bounce options and some different loft options we were really able to affect the flight and distance gapping to give much more consistent results!"
Anthony records some numbers during his wedge fitting
And giving credence to this was Anthony, who said, "I have always just carried a pitching wedge and 56 deg sand wedge, but after the bunker class with Mark, he recommended a 60 degree wedge for shots out of sand. The session with Jack was excellent and I could see that the gaps that worked best for me were to have a 52 degree strengthened to 51 degrees. a 56 and 60 all with mid bounce."
Roey's proposing something to Team Titleist member Neil
Also commenting on the two days, Neil stated, "Mark was, as expected, a top bloke with a real natural ability to make it look all too easy. Even with my ham fists, I have a lot to go and work on, which has given me a real fresh spark to go and practice."
Jamie makes the most of the time with Mark Roe and gets in plenty of questions
"Put simply, this has been, by far and away the greatest golfing experience of my life," enthused Jamie.
All in all, a phenomenal first Team Titleist event and rest assured that we are already working on other "money-can't -buy" experiences exclusively for Team Titleist members - keep your eyes peeled!
To view the video highlights of the event, simply click on the image below:
Posted: March 26, 2012
Sitting nine shots off the lead after the opening round, Titleist ambassador Michael Hoey must have thought his chances of a win at the Trophee Hassan II were slim at best.
However, three subsequent rounds of 67, 65 and 65 rocketed him to the top of the leaderboard and a three shot victory with a 17-under 271 total. The 33-year old Northern Irishman recorded his fourth European Tour title and picked up a stunning jewelled dagger as his trophy.
The win also moves Hoey (Pro V1x, 901 D3 8.5, 910F 13.5, 910H 18.0, AP2 irons 3-PW, Vokey Design SM4 Sand and Lob wedges) into the top 15 in the Race To Dubai, as well as putting him well in the hunt for a Ryder Cup place later this year.
“I was actually thinking that I might struggle to make the cut after shooting two over in the first round but I started swinging the club really well and the confidence was there so it was great to back that up with the scores too," said Michael. "The second round was a good 67 and then to shoot two 65s over the weekend was pretty special really.”
Pro V1 loyalist Jamie Donaldson shot a course-record 61 to share third place at 13-under 275 with Titleist ambassador Phillip Price (Pro V1x) and Robert Coles (Pro V1x). Donaldson played the back nine first in 28, only one off the European Tour record, with two eagles and four birdies, then turned for home with another birdie to be at 9-under for his first ten holes. The 61 equalled Donaldson's lowest round ever. Titleist was the overwhelming ball of choice at the Trophee Hassan II with 70 players, more than three times the nearest competitor.
Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour, it was a Titleist 1-2-3 finish at the Kia Classic, where Pro V1x loyalist Yani Tseng recorded her second straight victory and her third in five events. Tseng, who led wire-to-wire, closed with with a 2-under 70 for a 14-under 274 total, six shots clear of runner-up Sun Young Yoo (Pro V1).
With her victory, the 23-year-old Tseng becomes the second-youngest player to reach 15 LPGA Tour victories. Shanshan Feng (Pro V1x) shot a 5-under 67, the lowest round of the day, to tie for 3rd with Pro V1 loyalist Jiyai Shin at 7-under 281. Of the 11 players who tied for 10th or beter at the Kia Classic, 9 trusted a Titleist golf ball for their success.
Again, Titleist was the overwhelming ball of choice with 98 players placing their trust in Pro V1 or Pro V1x, compared to 13 for the nearest competitor.
Elsewhere, Australian Nick Cullen sealed his first OneAsia Tour victory after finishing with a 9-under total of 279. But it was far from smooth sailing for the Titleist staffer. Holding a four shot lead with five holes to play, Cullen (Pro V1x, 910D2 driver, 910F fairway metal, 910H hybrid, AP2 irons, Vokey Design SM4 approach, sand and lob wedges) carded a seven on the par 4 14th.
Finding himself tied with David Smail (Pro V1x, 910D3 driver, MB irons, Vokey Design SM4 pitching, sand and lob wedges), Cullen holed a clutch 20-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 17th to regain sole possession of the lead. He then got up-and-down for par on 18, finishing one shot clear of Smail. Three players finished tied for 3rd at 7-under 281, including Pro V1x loyalist Michael Long.