Playing by the Rules

IMG_0407BEST TO AVOID the Indonesian Open if you can help it. Why? Because it has been the scene of two notorious allegations of world famous golfers cheating.

Actually, when Vijay Singh signed his card at one better than he scored in order to make the cut, something he was found guilty of and banned in 1985, he was far from famous, but Colin Montgomerie was headline news in 2005.

Montgomerie needed a top three finish to get into the world top 50 and qualify for The Players Championship and his second round in Jakarta was going badly. On the 14th his ball was lodged near the edge of a deep bunker and Mongomerie was struggling to get a stance to play the shot, with one foot in and the other out of the bunker. Continue reading “Playing by the Rules”

Play Away: Estonia

Estonia Sea 3rdSITTING in Tallinn’s central medieval square enjoying a chilled, early evening beer outside one of its many pavement cafes it is almost impossible to believe that Estonia only broke free of the dead hand of communism in 1991.

Despite a legacy of massive levels of pollution, including nuclear waste, Russia’s Baltic neighbour has taken giant strides forward in the last two decades to attract western tourists keen on seeing some beautiful scenery, historic castles and architecture, as well as those seeking the more bacchanalian pleasures the capital has to offer after dark.

And for the seasoned golf traveller there is now a course in Europe’s top 100, which is most certainly worthy of our attention plus some first class hotels to stay within a 30-minute drive. Continue reading “Play Away: Estonia”

The Best of Tines- the Worst of Tines

20111002-8631Do these fellows do it just to spite us? We wait all Winter for the greens at our club to start showing signs of improvement, especially those poor souls unfortunate enough to be forced onto the dreaded temporaries. Then we get a bad Spring and we are still waiting until, at last, Summer arrives and our putts start rolling true again, and we begin to hole a few and get more confident and then it happens. Continue reading “The Best of Tines- the Worst of Tines”

Slow going


The rain was coming down in buckets as we stood on the 11th tee on the Old Course at St Andrews. Even in vile conditions the par three hole is an object of the highest regard with a green that slopes front to back and the notorious Strath bunker sitting, brooding, awaiting its next visitation.
However the hole’s magic starts to recede rapidly when you have a Japanese four-ball on and around the green each studiously putting out for at least seven. One of the party must have taken that many in the Strath but continued, doubtless satisfied to write down a gutsy 13 on his card which he did whilst still standing on the green. Continue reading “Slow going”