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Brian has been a member since January 14th 2011, and has created 119 posts from scratch.

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Golf… Robin Williams Explains (IN MEMORY – LEGEND)

The Robin Williams on golf video clip is widely regarded as stand-up gold. You just have to visit any search engine, type in Robin Williams on golf and you will be bombarded with hundreds of sites hosting the world renowned clip.

I have yet to come across a site that doesn’t praise the clip’s virtues. However, it might not be to everyone's taste as some of the language that Robin uses is not for youngsters or those people that are easily offended.

In essence it is a thoroughly humorous way to look at how the game of golf was created in Scotland and there are numerous side-splitting jokes to guide us through and keep us captivated.

Robin tells us how the game of golf was invented by a drunk Scotsman. He then explains how the ball was hit with a crooked stick into a gopher hole situated hundreds of yards away but to make it more difficult there are obstacles in the way… so that you can lose your ball.

The clip, although comedic, is fact based and it makes you wonder how the game of golf has developed into the sport that it now is. After all, walking around the countryside for hours on end hitting a ball into a small hole doesn't really sound like a lot of fun, does it???

Robin then talks about the attire that golfers wear. The focus is on how golfers have the nerve to dress in such “loud” clothes, the kind that no one else would be seen dead in…

His routine is wound up by encouraging his audience to think about why people like to watch golf and he pokes fun at how commentators try to portray the game as being electrifying as they listen to the grass growing…

If you are not easily offended, please watch and enjoy.

World’s Oldest Golf Course ‘Totally Unplayable’

THE first golf course in the world to gain royal patronage is “totally unplayable”, it was claimed yesterday, as it emerged funding has been slashed just months after a council pledged to spend an extra £50,000 to save it.

There are fears the North Inch Golf Course in Perth will be closed forever because of flooding by the adjacent River Tay.

With the course having fallen into disrepair through flooding and a lack of investment, Perth and Kinross Council said in February it would put an extra £25,000 into North Inch over the next two years to secure its future.

But golfers have since learned the council has actually cut the funding for the course, one of the oldest in Scotland, by £23,800.

Donald Macleod, a former member of the Perth Artisans Golf Club, yesterday claimed the council had slashed the money it pays sports contractors McNab Sport to look after the grounds.

The Kinross-based firm refused to comment, but the council said the current maintenance contract had been reduced by almost £24,000.

Mr Macleod said: “They’ve said we’re getting this extra money, but they’re just cutting back and cutting back.”

He added that, as a result of the cut in grounds maintenance, the course is now “worse than ever”.

Eddie Thornton, greens convener of the Perth Artisans Golf Club, said the iconic course is “totally unplayable”.

He said: “I’ve been playing this course for 40 years and I’ve never seen it in such a mess.

“There’s so many of the greens damaged it’s unbelievable.

“The rough is absolutely horrendous. It’s taking guys umpteen shots to play out of it because it’s so thick. It’s been turned into a dog toilet.”

Both men have also raised questions over the council’s decision to employ a new golf course officer, whose role will be to “market and manage the course”.

A council spokesman said yesterday: “The council has altered the golf course maintenance contract by approximately £23,800. This will support the provision of a golf course officer to market and manage the course in the interests of increasing the use of the facility, as well as acting as a point of contact for local clubs.

“A range of regular duties for the upkeep of the course, such as litter picking, will now be dealt with by the council’s golf course operatives during the period 1 April to 30 September.”

He added: “The previously approved additional funding of £25,000 per year in 2014-15 and 2015-16 will be used as agreed at committee for course improvements, including additions to the maintenance contract, with the aim of enhancing the appeal and use of the course.”

St Andrews is known as the “home of golf”, with the first recording of golf being played there as far back as 1574.

However, Robin Valentine – captain of Perth Merchants Golf Club – has said it is Perth which should hold the title, after finding that King James IV played golf in the town more than 70 years earlier.

by AIMEE BEVERIDGE

THE DREADED GOLF SLICE SHOT

The Golfers Club – Slice Shot

The most common problem golf beginners have playing the game must surely be the slice shot.

This is where the golf ball curves through the air from left to right, assuming the player is right-handed.

The flight of the golf ball is determined by the spin of the ball and a slice shot is caused by the ball spinning clockwise thus causing it to travel through the air in a clockwise arch direction.

The Golfers Club – Slice Shot RemedySlice Shot THE DREADED GOLF SLICE SHOT

The most common reason why this happens is due to the fact that golfers, in general, tend to lift their head when they strike the golf ball.

The action of lifting your head causes the face of the golf club to hit across the ball and not through it.

By hitting across the golf ball you are essentially hitting the ball from the outside in and it is this action that causes the ball to spin in a clockwise direction.

If you happen to be one of those unfortunate enough to slice the ball try to keep your head down and still until after you have hit the ball.

By keeping your head down, and your eyes focused on the ball to the point of contact you will play through the ball and your swing will remain straight, resulting in the ball following a straight path.

Just remember to keep your head down until after the golf ball has taken flight keeping your head and shoulders solid.

The Golfers Club – Slice Shot Rule

Another reason for producing a slice shot is by trying to hit the ball too hard.

When you try to hit the ball ‘hard’ you could be using your arms to pull the club in and this will also cause the golf ball to spin.

If you hit your shot for less distance you can then concentrate on getting the correct golf swing and play for accuracy rather than length. Try reducing your golf swing with these smaller shots to see if this helps to correct the problem.

When you start to hit the golf ball straighter you can then begin to increase the length of your back swing and go for more distance.

Concentrate on your accuracy first and the distance will follow – a good rule to always play by if you want to permanently get rid of that dreaded slice shot.

Ryder Cup 2014: More Tickets To Go On Sale

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AROUND 5,000 extra tickets for each match day of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles are to go on sale to the public.

The tickets were initially earmarked for purchase by ‘stakeholders’ involved with the event, but the deadline for those groups to buy up their allocations has passed.

The briefs, ranging from single day tickets to full season tickets for the event, will go on sale on 26 March to those who completed the ticketing application process last summer but were not successful in getting tickets.

Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to release further tickets to the general public. Those who were unsuccessful in last year’s sales process now have a final opportunity to snap up a Ryder Cup match day ticket.”

The remaining tickets for the 2014 Ryder Cup, to be held at Gleneagles in Perthshire from 26-28 September, go on sale at 3pm on 26 March on the Ryder Cup website.

 

Ryder Cup: Torrance, Smyth Named as Vice-Captains

AFTER biting his lip for more than a year, Sam Torrance was 
finally able to share his secret yesterday as another chapter was added to an illustrious Ryder Cup career.

“It’s like getting an honour from The Queen – I’d known for bloody months but couldn’t tell anyone,” said the 60-year-old after being named along with Irishman Des Smyth as one of Paul McGinley’s vice-captains for September’s match at Gleneagles. His wife, Suzanne, knew but was sworn to secrecy in the Sunningdale stockbroker belt. So, too, were his parents, Bob and June, back in Largs. “Four bookies that would take my bet also knew,” he joked.

Others had to be kept in the dark. “I couldn’t tell my best friend Queeny (former European Tour player Michael King) as you might as well have put it in the newspapers if he’d known,” he revealed. “It’s been a bloody nightmare!”

Following yesterday’s ann-ouncement in the Irish Government Buildings in the heart of Dublin, it has turned into a dream scenario for Torrance.

The man who played in eight Ryder Cups, providing one of the event’s most iconic moments with his arms raised in celebration on the 18th green at The Belfry in 1985, then captained a winning European team at the same venue in 2002, is rolling up his sleeves again in preparation to fight the US.

“This is a different one for me as I’ve been brought in for a reason – my knowledge,” he said. “There’s nothing like being told you are the Ryder Cup captain – it was the highlight of my career by a billion miles – but this is a great honour for me, too.”

It was in the offing from the moment McGinley appointed Torrance as one of the captains for the Seve Trophy in Paris last October, though, even before that, you didn’t have to be a genius to work it out.

The pair are close friends, play regular “money matches” at Sunningdale and have the greatest respect for each other. Even before his appointment in Abu Dhabi last January, the event’s first Irish captain had eulogised about Torrance’s leadership skills in 2002, revealing how the Scot had helped him feel at ease for a match that saw McGinley hole the winning putt – in particular, by making a special journey up to the Midlands in the build-up to the event and over a bottle or two of champagne in the back of a chauffeur-driven car on the journey back home, listening to Torrance tell his Ryder Cup tales.

“Paul says I drank all the champagne on that journey – but he’s a lying git,” said Torrance in jest. “Seriously, though, there was nothing premeditated about that at all. It was just a case of me going up there with a couple of players and having a laugh with them. I did explain a lot of things to Paul on the way back and he obviously soaked that up, which was great.”

McGinley, making the first of his three playing appearances in the event before serving as an assistant to both Colin Montgomerie in 2010 and Jose Maria Olazabal two years later, duly delivered for Torrance, who now wants to repay the favour. “If I can do a tenth for Paul’s team what he did for my team, we’ll both be very happy men,” he admitted.

Torrance said he expects to be an “errand boy” in Perthshire. He knows, however, that he’ll have a bigger role than that in the European team. “I’ll try and inspire them,” he said. “There’s no question that playing in a Ryder Cup was the most nervous thing in my career. If you’ve come off the last green having three-putted as an individual, even to lose a tournament, you get it over it pretty quickly.

“But, in a Ryder Cup, when you’ve got to walk into a team room where the others have been heroes that day but you’ve lost is a terrible feeling – and they know you’ve lost as soon as you walk in there.”

McGinley had originally intended hanging off until the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event, in May before officially unveiling both Torrance and Smyth, the man who mentored him in the early part of his career.

The reason he brought that forward, though, was more down to him also appointing Smyth as assistant captain to Miguel Angel Jimenez for the new EurAsia Cup in Malaysia later this month than responding to opposite number Tom Watson opting for experience in the shape of Raymond Floyd and Andy North as his assistants.

“Absolutely not,” replied Torrance to the latter. “Once Paul made me a Seve Trophy captain, I thought it was brilliant and now it’s the same with Des for the EurAsia Cup. It gives us experience of seeing the players again and getting involved.

“Paul has a gameplan. I have looked at the Ryder Cup and asked ‘Is there anything that he can’t handle’ and there is nothing about the Ryder Cup that 
he won’t do 100 per cent well. He is meticulous, he thinks about everything, he gets the right people in, he takes his time about things. He’ll be fantastic.”

There were a couple of instances yesterday when Torrance showed the wit that McGinley will be looking for in that home team room in September. First, he jokingly pulled up this correspondent for wrongly suggesting he was 61 in a live TV broadcast. “Who is 61, by the way? You?” he jokingly replied, revealing afterwards that he’d have made his point in more colourful fashion if it hadn’t been in such a public setting.

Then, as all three protagonists took part in a series of interviews in a nearby hotel, he walked past McGinley to hear the Irishman singing his praises and declared, with that cheeky smile on his face: “Bollocks!”

  • by MARTIN DEMPSTER