New high wire at Postage Stamp

The Open Championship will break new ground this year when a wire camera will run the length of Royal Troon’s famous Postage Stamp hole.

There will also be cameras positioned in all five greenside bunkers at the 123-yard par 3 which should make for some very interesting viewing.

The R&A’s director of championship operations Rhodri Price explained: “I have been desperate to put a wire camera on the course for years, but due to the playing conditions of golf in terms of ball flight, particularly from the likes of Bubba Watson, it is very difficult normally to place a wire camera on the course without it getting in the way of play.

“We recognise that, due to the short distance of the Postage Stamp, there was scope to get a wire camera in there on this iconic part of the golf course with the wonderful views. It will go all the way from the tee to a little winter green to left of the green. The Postage Stamp was screaming out to be a feature hole.”

All of which will get a few headlines come the start of Open week in July, there will likely be a few more regarding the club’s male-only membership.

The club, along with Muirfield one of two on the Open rota to have a male-only membership policy, will vote on the issue at the end of the year.


New Balance hit the Rory jackpot

Unlike some of his contemporaries Rory McIlroy has repeatedly expressed his excitement to compete in Rio and, given that he will be representing Ireland, he will be clothed in New Balance. His clubs and shoes will be Nike but everything else will be a tick, or a swoosh, in the box for the New England-based footwear company.

A report in the Irish Independent revealed that Nike chose not to bid for sponsorship of the Irish team, even though they were advised that McIlroy might well plump for Ireland over Great Britain.

Pat Hickey, the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, said: “Just in case he declared for us, we went to Nike in the UK and told them we might have Rory. But they just dismissed us out of hand and now they regret it, I believe.

“I’m told that the Nike guys nearly collapsed when they heard what happened and that they’d missed a golden opportunity. Rory’s agent came to us and said, ‘What about Nike?’ And I said, ‘What about them? They had the opportunity and they missed it.’”

Supposedly the New Balance Deal is worth somewhere between $1.5-3m, McIlroy’s annual deal with Nike is reportedly worth $20m.

Rory McIlory

Tiger Watch

Here’s a summary of what the World No 499 has been up to in the past few days.

– According to Reuters he has booked accommodation for both the Players (May 12) and Memorial (June 2). The latter is the favourite and comes two weeks before the US Open at Oakmont which TW has entered for.

– He was seen at the range at his charity event, Tiger Jam, and played five holes at the opening of the back nine at Bluejack National in Texas, his first course design to open in the States.

– Ryder Cup skipper Davis Love III has repeated that he would happily pick Tiger as a captain’s pick if his form warrants it. He told “He doesn’t have to be number nine in points to get picked. If he’s playing well, it would be hard not to go with him.”

Tiger Woods

Half century up for Long John

John Daly turned 50 last Thursday and will make his long-awaited Champions Tour debut this week. Here are a couple of Daly’s best stories from last week…

– Daly to USA Today: “I think it was Tuesday morning (of the Masters) and we played nine holes and went to T-Bonz and had some lunch. Next thing I know, we were in the same clothes playing Wednesday at 7:30 in the morning and the par-3 tournament. We stayed through the whole nine (holes), drinking, having a good time and eating.

“Fuzzy said, ‘I got 150 grand you’re never going to make it to 50.’”

Daly revealed that they hadn’t shaken hands so wouldn’t be calling in the bet..

– Playing in the 2004 Target World Challenge Daly had just finished playing the pro-am and was in the clubhouse when Tiger Woods walked into the room.

Daly told “Tiger’s there in his workout clothes and I said, ‘Tiger come have a beer with us, man’.

Given he was off to the gym and it was the eve of his own tournament Woods declined.

Daly continued: “I go, ‘Man, you don’t need to work out. You need to drink a little bit with us.’

“He said, ‘If I had your talent I’d be doing the same thing you’re doing. I’m looking at him thinking ‘you’re crazy, man.’”

Woods won the tournament.


If at first you don’t succeed, just wait… and then just hang around a bit, and pretend to hit it, and then, and then…