TG Magazine Digital Sampler | Issue 251
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12 Today’s Golfer Issue 251
Use the same club for
many chips as possible
you know how the bal
reacts off the clubfa
A lesson with... Simon DysonThe Seve Trophy star gives our man a short-game masterclass
The PRobleM:TG’s Associate Editor Simon Penson gets confused by the array of techniques you can use from the edge of the green so is a master of none of them and rarely makes up and downs.
Step forward European Tour pro Simon Dyson.
“A lot of people overcomplicate short-game techniques and it sounds like you’re doing exactly that,” he explains to TG. “If you use a different technique every time you face a shot from the
fringe you’re not being repetitive and therefore consistent.’ The cURe: “I almost always use one shot for these chips,” he added. “And the secret is to get the shot running at the hole quickly.”
To do this he always uses his 52˚ Nike wedge.
He explained: “I know exactly how the ball will come off my wedge as I hit so many shots with it from this situation. That is really important for creating
consistency and getting it close.“For anything longer than 30
feet I may pull out a short iron to get the ball running further and for longer. You don’t want it to fly halfway and then run on as it can become tricky to judge how the ball will bounce. Get it running at the hole as quickly as possible,” he adds.
In terms of set-up Simon likes to keep things simple.
“I stand with my feet together and grip down on the club for more control. With a grip
pressure of about six out of 10 I push my hands forward slightly so they’re just ahead of the ball and have the ball just back of centre of my stance so I hit the ball with a downward strike.”
While many say you should not involve your wrists in the movement, Simon disagrees.
“It’s easy to tense up if you’re not careful,” he said. “The important thing is ensuring your hands come through ahead of the ball, which makes it most likely you’ll get a clean impact.”
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42 Today’s Golfer Issue 251
The Eastenders star and doyen of pantos may shape up on screen and stage, but does he have the nerve to pocket a TG Twenty?
The showbiz rumour mill went into overdrive when it was announced that Bobby Davro would leave the
cast of Eastenders in October.From soap to living without soap it
suggested. The impressionist and comedian turned actor was widely reported to have signed a £100,000 deal to join the cast of I’m a Celebrity.
Of course, it was all complete rubbish. Instead of flying off Down Under to the jungle he’s heading west to Bristol this Christmas to play his favourite pantomime role – Buttons in Cinderella – alongside veteran American actor Mickey Rooney.
Yet, having watched his tenacious approach to the game of golf during a brief nine-hole encounter at the majestic Burhill Club close to his home in Surrey, perhaps I’m a Celebrity might have suited him down to a tee.
What fear could eating mealy bugs, crossing ravines on flimsy rope bridges or swinging in a harness beneath a helicopter
1,000ft above the ground hold for Davro? After all, if he’s man enough to attempt to wrestle a £20 note from the wallet of a tightfisted TG reporter, taming alligators should be a doddle.
However, as befits a man who made his name as an impressionist, there are more sides to Davro than just being a steely competitor on the golf course.
With his repertoire of clever one-liners, he also makes highly amusing company. Some of them might not be printable in a family golf magazine, but we had barely met five minutes when the topic of rugby came up. “I used to play for Wasps,” said Davro in a flash. “But I only ever made the B(ee) team!”
Despite recently celebrating his landmark 50th birthday, Davro still has serious ambitions as an actor.
He also talks openly of the depression that clouded his life several years ago when his career was becalmed. That depression ran so deep that ultimately it cost him his
bY graham otwaY PhotograPhY angus murraY
‘I’ll DO the
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50 Today’s Golfer Issue 251
‘It’s not quite the scene from CsI I was expecting but the lab was nevertheless a hive of activity’
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Issue 251 Today’s Golfer 51
It’s all to do with the ingredients. Some asthma medications and cough and cold remedies contain stimulants such as Glucocorticosteroids (GCS), Beta2Agonists (B2A) and ephedrine, which are all banned.
“Scientific evidence of the possible performance-enhancing effect of GCS is limited,” the Tour’s anti-doping policy adviser Michele Verroken told TG. “But it is suggested these drugs lessen pain, reduce tiredness and create a euphoric effect which might aid performance.
“Beta2Agonists help to prevent the symptoms of asthma. By inhalation the dose is likely to be so low as to have no real performance-enhancing effect. The concern is with a very high dose or oral administration, which is reported to improve muscle strength and endurance.”
It only takes trace amounts of a substance in the body for it to be detected – the equivalent of three teaspoons worth in an Olympic swimming pool full of water.
And it’s not easy to know what you can and cannot take. Many products have banned substances listed in their ingredients but are often completely legal outside competitive sport. Therefore it’s common for athletes to blame their supplements for positive tests.
An HFL Sport Science investigation published in July of this year revealed that one in 10 supplements contained illegal substances, even if they weren’t meant to.
It can take something as small as a perfectly legal ingredient being stored next to one that appears on the WADA prohibited list, or failure to properly clean the production line for contamination to occur – things that are very often outside the control of the companies producing the supplements.
This means one batch of a particular supplement could be absolutely fine while another lot of the very same product would
result in a failed test. Using supplements has, quite simply, become a minefield for golfers.
To get an understanding of the testing process TG travelled to HFL, one of two labs with WADA experience in the UK. It screened athletes’ samples for WADA between 2004-2007.
There were flashbacks to Chemistry classes of my school days as I slipped into the red visitors’ lab coat, donned the thick plastic specs and entered the testing area.
“After urine samples are collected by doping control officers, samples come into the lab in duplicate – in sealed A and B bottles,” explained HFL business development manager Catherine Judkins. “The samples come into the lab in anonymous form and we log them and maintain full custody records.”
It’s not quite the scene from CSI that I was expecting, but the lab is nevertheless a hive of activity with sample labelling, pipette squeezing and test tube spinning aplenty.
“The B sample remains sealed, and goes into secure storage,” Judkins continued. “This is only analysed in the event that something is found in the A. The A sample is then tested for items on the WADA list.
“If negative, no further action is taken. If it’s positive, a B sample analysis will be done.”
A random draw decides who will be tested every week but the policy allows for a specific player to be targeted if they fall under suspicion – or for an entire tournament field to be tested. However the reasons behind test distribution are closely guarded secrets to maintain the deterrent element.
“Testing is planned across the competitive calendar, looking at the key events and the level of testing that would reinforce the Tour’s anti-doping policy,” explained Verroken. “The policy allows for the collection of blood and urine samples, but so far the Tour has introduced testing through collecting urine.”
Dwain ChambersThe British sprinter was suspended for two years, stripped of medals and banned
from Olympic competition for life after testing positive for banned steroid THG.
Alain Baxter The Scottish skier blamed a Vicks inhaler he bought in America for failing a test after
winning bronze at the ’02 Winter Olympics.
Floyd LandisThe American cyclist spent nearly two years pleading his innocence after failing a drugs
test on the blighted Tour de France – but his conviction was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Guillermo CanasThe Argentinean tennis ace was banned for two years and stripped of £200,000 in prize
money when he tested positive for using a banned diuretic.
Adrian MutuThe Romania striker had a reputation as a playboy when he arrived at Chelsea from
Parma for £15.8m. In September 2004 he failed a random drugs test. Chelsea sacked him a month later and he was given a seven-month ban as well as a £20,000 fine by the Football Association. The ban ended in May 2005 and he is now playing in Italy.
Caught outNo golfer has fallen foul of dope testing yet – but other high-profile sportsmen certainly have...
DRUGS IN GOLF
Pre-test work Catherine Judkins shows our man how samples are prepared.
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by KEVIN bROWNphOtOgRaphy by aNgus muRRay
Kevin Markham toured Ireland in his camper and played every single course in the country. In just over a year. And lived to tell the tale!
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112 Today’s Golfer Issue 251
It’s an absolute disgrace.” Those were the harsh words Colin Montgomerie spouted as he
stormed off the 9th green at Collingtree Park midway through his round in the 1996 British Masters to complain about the state of the greens. According to the Ryder Cup hero the majority of players “were close to walking out”. Collingtree Park had suffered at the hands of freak weather, with torrential rain and thunderstorms ruining the greens on the first day’s play, turning them into a lumpy, bumpy mess that would make most municipals look good. The tournament was controversially played to its conclusion amid fury, a stream of complaints and numerous three-putts from the majority of players. Just one week later former European Tour director Ken Schofield was forced to make an embarrassing apology to the players and fans, removing Collingtree from future Tour schedules.
Fast-forward 12 years and all trace of those embarrassing problems on the greens has totally vanished. Although not the fastest around, the putting surfaces are smooth and true. They were in great condition for my visit on a mid-October day. The entire course underwent extensive drainage improvements, which means that rather than the muddy mess it used to be every winter, you can now enjoy a round here without slipping and sliding all over the place.
Scarred by bad greens when it hosted a European Tour event in the mid 1990s, 12 years on the Northamptonshire venue is back to its best...
by CARLy CuMMINsphotogRAphy bob AtKINs
back in favour
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Issue 251 Today’s Golfer 113
NNORTH SOUTH EAST WEST
Last but not leastDespite being tricky,
Collingtree’s last is one of the best finishing
holes in the country.
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