RECOMMENDED FOR CHRISTMAS VIEWING: “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” the 2005 film telling the story of amateur golfer Francis Ouimet’s historic US Open win in 1913 at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass.  20 yr.old Ouimet was accompanied by his caddie, 10 yr.old Eddie Lowery, who was playing truant from school. 

Francis won the 18-hole playoff, beating England’s Harry Vardon by 5 strokes and Ted Ray by 6.  His victory was a stunning upset for the strongly favoured British, who were regarded as the world’s top two golfers.

 The first amateur to win the U.S. Open, Ouimet’s achievement on that soaking wet weekend, in his woollen suit and squelching shoes, made front-page news.  Francis Ouimet grew up in a rundown house across the street from the course, and could see from his bedroom window the most important holes he would ever play. Even allowing for Disney’s poetic licence, it’s a great story.  Suggest watching it after the evening news, these days enough to make anyone reach for the jolly juice.

DURING HIS FIRST trip to Japan, Donald Trump played a round of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Hideki Matsuyama at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, proposed site of the 2020 Olympic golf tournament.  A local television station captured Prime Minister Abe’s shot from a fairway bunker.  

Trump and Matsuyama were walking off as Abe charged up the side of the bunker after them — even getting one foot on the top before losing his balance, tumbling backwards in a half-somersault and landing flat on his back at the bottom of the bunker.  It’s not often Donald is upstaged at getting a laugh.

JUSTIN ROSE just missed the Race to Dubai, but he did win back-to-back tournaments in China and Turkey.  He also received  £2,000.000 to put in his Christmas stocking.  Beats an orange.

The Turkish trophy was presented by the world champion hoverboarder who flew in on a drone.  Novel touch, however I can’t see the captain of the R & A flying in on a drone with the Claret Jug. (I wonder if they call it The Turkey Trophy).

TOMMY FLEETWOOD, who won the Race to Dubai, is back with his old coach Alan Thompson.  He says: “In 2015 I decided I wanted to hit like Henrik Stenson, so I switched coaches and asked Pete Cowen to help me, but I couldn’t get my body to swing the way we wanted, and lost my rhythm.  Pete taught me a lot anyway, but I hadn’t realised how difficult and dangerous it would be to try and change my swing.” 

If it aint broke etc.,

THE CUSTOM-MADE sunglasses worn by Henrik Stenson were designed by his very own company, named, amazingly:  “Henrik Stenson Eyewear.”  The company produces everyday glasses as well.  If they don’t help you hit a ball like Henrik at least they can help you see where it’s gone.

RG GOLF TIP FOR BUNKER SHOTS: If you just open the club face up, you’re not adding more loft, just pointing it further right. To hit this shot you need to drop the butt end all the way down to actually create some loft.  Merely opening the club face won’t do it. Take a wider stance with the butt end low and club flat, that will help you to hit a shallower shot which actually gives more elevation.

RORY MCILROY intends to begin his PGA TOUR season with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Feb. 8-11, followed by the Genesis Open on Feb. 15-18 and The Honda Classic on Feb. 22-25.   Rory, who will be making his Pebble Beach debut, is scheduled to play alongside his father, Gerry.  Hope he can remember which end of his club to hold, or Pop may upstage him.

WHILE ON HOLIDAY, Frank went into a golf shop, and selected some new clubs. He walked to the checkout, pulling out his wallet. The pretty blonde cashier said: “Strip down, facing me.”

Not quite sure what was going on Frank did as she asked. When the hysterical shrieks of laughter finally subsided he asked, “What’s so funny?”

“I was telling you how to hold your credit card,” the cashier responded.

A very Merry Christmas to all, and Happy Golfing in 2018.

Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.