View From The Fairway - Most Memorable Golf Shots
Golfshake's Derek Clements reveals his latest View From The Fairway!
I SOMEHOW managed to miss out on Golfshake’s Most Memorable Shots feature. And I am peeved. There are two that I want to share with you.
The first came at the Eden Course at St Andrews. It was my opening drive in a competition that used to be known as the Boys Championship. The opening hole at the Eden is a par four measuring 323 yards. I stood on the tee, aware of the hundreds of eyes boring into my back - fellow competitors and their parents. I was shaking from head to toe but somehow managed to draw back my driver and make contact. The ball came right out of the middle of the club. It felt so sweet. And it was. I looked on in utter astonishment as the ball soared into the air with a gentle draw. It climbed higher and higher and disappeared into the distance. As I bent down to pick up my tee I suddenly became aware that everybody who had been watching had started to clap. And the reason? Unbelievably, the ball had found the front of the putting surface. I was 15 years old and weighed about seven stones at the time. It was down to pure adrenalin.
Shot two came at the seventh hole at the Valley Course at Barnham Broom, a 140-yard par three. It is a blind shot played from an elevated tee, over trees. You have to move to one side to see the flag and then you pick your spot and hit your tee shot. But you don’t see it land. I hit a gentle eight iron right over the tree I had picked out as my line. When we got the green my ball was nowhere to be seen. There is a stream behind the putting surface and we assumed that my ball must have carried the green and ended up in the drink. I was just about to declare a lost ball when one of my playing partners noticed a huge pitch mark inches from the hole. And yes, you already guessed - my ball had finished in the cup. There’s more…I was playing in a company day and the seventh was the nearest-the-pin prize! Twelve months later we returned to the Valley Course, to the same hole, and I used the same club. The ball finished two inches away.
WHO says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? As he prepared to defend his TimberTech Championship title, 53-year-old Darren Clarke revealed that his three victories on the Champions Tour this season have come as a result of sheer hard work. Clarke, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson are the only three-time winners on the over-50s circuit this season. Clarke says that there is a real camaraderie on the circuit but adds that there is no way anybody can win out there unless they put in the hard yards. He said: “When I decided to give this a real go I knew that I had to buckle down because everybody else out here is doing exactly the same.” He works with a swing coach in England, another in the US and a fitness trainer. And he also revealed that when he saw pictures of himself at The Open at Royal St George’s in July he knew the time had come to do something about his weight. “It has always been up and down,” Clarke said, “but I finally realised that I really had to change my eating habits to get the excess pounds off. I am now living in The Bahamas and loving every minute of my life.” It is good to see Clarke back out there and competing properly.
A SIGN that the world is slowly beginning to get back to normal comes with the announcement that Hero Indian Open is returning to the European Tour schedule next year for the first time in three years. The event was one of the first to be cancelled when the coronavirus pandemic shut down professional sport worldwide in March 2020, and ongoing restrictions enforced by Covid-19 again forced organisers to abandon plans to play the Indian Open this year. But the European Tour has given the go-ahead for the tournament, first established in 1964, to take place from February 24-27 2022, with 2014 Ryder Cup star Stephen Gallacher expected to defend the title he won in March 2019. "We are delighted to welcome the Hero Indian Open back to the European Tour in 2022 and thank everyone involved in staging the 56th edition of this historic tournament," announced European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf will host a special event this week highlighting the roles golf can play in climate action and exploring the pathways to net-zero emissions.
Driving for Net Zero, organised and facilitated by the GEO Foundation, will take place on Thursday, November 11 and coincide with the COP26 climate summit being held in Glasgow. Hosted by Sky Sports' David Garrido, the virtual event will take place from Scotland's Climate Ambition Zone and bring together leading experts from United Nations agencies and other climate action bodies, along with representatives and examples from across the sport of golf. Solheim Cup legend Suzann Pettersen, who plays an active role as a Sustainable Golf Champion, said: "Golf is a global sport connected to people and landscapes around the world - affected by and affecting climate change. This event is an important and valuable opportunity to discuss how to take our responsibility and opportunity further, faster. Not just for golfers, not just for society now, but generations to come."
ONE of the best golf courses in Ireland has been saved from closure. Seapoint Golf Links in Dublin was heavily in debt but a consortium led by Carr Golf has stepped in to save the day. The club owed more than £3m to a US fund manager but the sale clears the debt and the club will now see some serious improvements, including clubhouse refurbishment and upgrades to the course.
NO AMERICAN has ever won the Race to Dubai but that could all change at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, with Collin Morikawa and Billy Horschel leading the way. I am still at a complete loss to understand how Morikawa can be heading to Dubai at the top of the pile since the only regular European Tour event in which has taken part this season is the Scottish Open, where he finished 71st. At least Horschel has taken the time and trouble to come across the Atlantic and win the BMW PGA Championship. It is surely time that the European Tour took a long, hard look at the qualification process.
YOU will know that the USGA and R&A have decided to limit the length of driver shafts to 46 inches. I have a question: what happens if you are a 6ft 9in Tour professional?
YOU have just got to love Padraig Harrington. There three-time major champion is one of those golfers who is always tinkering, always looking for something to give him an edge. And at the age of 50, he is still keeping up with the young guns on the PGA and European Tours. His secret? According to Harrington it is all down to a pair of golf shoes that have given him an extra 12 yards off the tee. Don’t believe a word of it - Harrington hits the ball as well as he does because he is still super-fit and still has a great technique. Period.
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)