By The Devel's Advocate
CONGRATULATIONS to Hideki Matsuyama who successfully defended the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday and becomes the first Japanese to win four times on the PGA Tour.
The 24-year-old beat Webb Simpson at the fourth extra hole and has moved up to No 5 in the world.
Considerably less pleasing was some of the shouting aimed at Matsuyama from the galleries as he posted a last round 66.
The tournament attracts huge crowds, and for many of them a day's drinking seems as big an attraction as the golf.
Maybe it should be renamed the Wasted Phoenix Open.
It was reported that 14 very intoxicated fans – most of them unconscious – had to be transported to nearby hospitals on the Saturday afternoon alone.
One of them had fallen into a drainage area and needed to be rescued by a technical crew using a 24-foot extension ladder.
So, let's be charitable and suppose that the final round heckling directed at Matsuyama came from drunks who didn't know if it was Sunday or Monday.
Because the alternative, that the shouting was on the basis of his nationality, doesn't bear thinking about.
Yet, now that Donald Trump is President of the United States and in full anti-immigrant mode, the PGA Tour will have to be extra vigilant in this regard.
There's nothing wrong, obviously, with American fans rooting for American golfers – but a line is crossed if the environment becomes hostile for players from other countries.
A GOOD start to the year for Spanish golfers with Sergio Garcia following Jon Rahm into the winners' press conference after lifting the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday.
And well done to Stephen Gallacher who had a top ten finish in a tournament he has won twice. The 42-year-old has had a hard time of it with injuries over the last 18 months.
By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
We were delighted to partner with The Golf Guide last year and we're delighted to announce the renewal of our partnership for 2017.
The Golf Guide Tour is a series of events played at top quality courses across the UK and Ireland. With 17 fantastic events throughout the year, including a trip to The Home Of Golf and several overnight events there are some outstanding golf courses to play this year.
We'll be supplying DEVEL Pitchforks and Lucky DEVEL Ball Markers as prizes for each event. If that's not enough you'll have the chance to win a trip to Spain at each event!
With a number of events already sold out, 2017 promises to be an even bigger year than last year! We'll be playing at four events (Royal St David's, The Astbury, West Lancs and Sandiway) so if you are playing any of those dates send us a message on social media and say hi!
The Golf Guide Tour begins on Thursday 3rd March at Delamere GC. You can sign up for any of the Golf Guide events here
By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
Belated Happy New Year everyone!! Hopefully you will have shaken off the festive cobwebs and are now gearing up for the 2017 season.
We've decided to take a look ahead to the golfing year and pick out six things we will be monitoring.
1. Tiger Woods returns to competitive action. Ok, so he made an appearance at his own tournament pre-Christmas, but we all want to see him at The Masters. With odds as low was 20/1 to win at Augusta National, the bookies clearly aren't concerned about Tiger's age or fitness.
2. Golf Balls. The Kirkland Signature golf ball is due to hit the shelves in the UK this month. That could well shake up the market significantly at its price point (circa £30 for 24 balls). We already have Snell Golf and Vice Golf creating tour standard balls at lower prices than traditional manufacturers. Bubba Watson has also signed up to use a Volvik S4 ball in three different colours. These "cheaper" golf balls are throwing the market wide open, Are we now seeing a golf ball revolution in the wake of big players like Nike pulling out?
3. The Rolex Series on the European Tour. A minimum of seven events each promising a purse of $7m and enhanced television and digital coverage. The European Tour is making great strides to evolve the way we regard and watch golf content (who can forget when Rory met Billy in 2016) so we are looking forward to see what these events bring.
4. The World Super 6. A brand new tournament in February where professionals will play strokeplay for three rounds to qualify for the six hole knockout matchplay format. There's a real push on shorter forms of golf at the moment, so it will be interesting to see how successful this event is.
5. How the golf world deals with Donald Trump. In June last year the PGA Tour angered the future president by relocating one of the World Golf Championship events from his golf course in Miami and moving it to Mexico of all places. Will we see any fallout from this when Mr Trump takes office? Trump's golf empire includes Turnberry in Scotland, a course on the Open rota. Will the R&A consider Turnberry as a future Open venue in light of his comments towards women and minorities? Given the stance taken towards Muifield, it will pose a further headache for the decision makers in St Andrews.
6. The final item has to be what we here at DEVEL Golf have coming up in 2017! We are working on several new golf products as well as an exciting new members' club offering limited edition golf accessories and members' only offers. More to come on that in a blog soon though!
Here's to a great 2017!
By Duncan - DEVEL Golf
We are delighted to release the new presentation tins for our DEVEL Pitchforks this week. After several weeks of design and re-design we have come up with something that truly compliments each DEVEL Pitchfork. We might be slightly biased but if there’s a better presented divot tool on the market today we’ve yet to see it!
As you will see from the photo below, each gift tin is white and embossed with the red DEVEL Golf logo. Inside the tins, each Pitchfork is encased in a high density foam so that your new Pitchfork arrives in perfect condition. We believe that if you are going to make great golf accessories you should present them in the best way possible!
For an equivalent divot tool and presentation tin you would pay approximately £20 but because we are cutting out any middlemen and selling to you directly we are able to offer you our DEVEL Pitchfork and presentation tin for just £7.99! So, you are getting a premium divot tool with our unique 3 prong technology AND a fabulous presentation tin for half the price!!
Don't forget, you can also personalise your divot tool here at DEVEL Golf. We can custom etch any name, initials or slogan on the back of your pitchfork for you for a very small extra cost.
As well as the new pitchfork gift tins, we are working hard at the moment to bring you lots more exciting golf accessories in time for Christmas. Follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter below to hear about our new products first!
By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
Several weeks have now passed since the Ryder Cup and it's a good time to reflect on how Team Europe can wrestle the trophy back from the Americans.
Following Alex Noren’s 3rd win of the season at The British Masters last week we discuss whether the European Ryder Cup Team are missing a trick by not deploying a similar rule to the “Horschel Rule.”
For those of you that don’t know, the “Horschel Rule,” as it is widely known, is the option to select a player the week before The Ryder Cup based on his (very) recent form. It was introduced following Billy Horschel’s remarkable run of form shortly before the 2014 Ryder Cup (where he won the FedEx Cup) but because the team had already been picked he was left out.
This season Alex Noren won for the 2nd time at The Omega European Masters but unfortunately that was the week after Darren Clarke selected the European Team. Had Darren Clarke had the option to pick a player the week before The Ryder Cup he may well have picked Noren. It would certainly have been hard to ignore a player who had 2 wins, a 2nd place and an 8th place finish in his last 6 starts prior to the Ryder Cup.
There hasn't been much discussion about Alex Noren’s spectacular recent form and the fact he missed out on The Ryder Cup. Perhaps this was because he did not play in the 3 tournaments before the team was selected, which probably put him out of Clarke’s thinking.
Players such as Justin Rose have already said the reason for defeat was that they simply came up against a hungrier American team. However, why not tweak the selection process to give ourselves the very best possible chance in future Ryder Cups? Do we really need a Ryder Cup qualification period that spans 12 months when form is such a key component to golfing success? Perhaps a 9 month period would be more appropriate, or even a shorter 5/6 month period starting from the Masters.
As it stands, Noren’s golden period has neither counted for this years Ryder Cup nor the 2018 edition. It can’t be fair that a player should miss out on a Ryder Cup and not have his performances count towards the next one…....just ask Billy Horschel.
By Duncan - DEVEL Golf
It was an exciting week here at DEVEL Golf! Several weeks ago we announced our collaboration with Olivera Cejovic (a.k.a. Olivera Golf Art) to create a range of unique ball markers. This week we were able to reveal all 5 ball marker designs and make them available for pre-order.
Olivera has now created 5 exclusive and stunning designs which we are using to create an collection of enamel ball markers. Each ball marker design will be double sided and feature the DEVEL Golf logo on the reverse.
We are delighted to be working with Olivera Golf Art to create iconic pieces that are sure to become collector’s items. There will only be 100 of each ball marker design available for sale and once they are gone, no more will be made! We are often asked at trade shows if we offer any collectible golf ball markers and these are definitely pieces for ball marker collectors!
The ball markers will be 24mm in size and come with a presentation display certifying that your limited edition marker was 1 of only 100 of that design ever made. If you’d rather use your ball marker on the golf course it will also attach to your DEVEL Pitchfork!
We hope you love the unique ball markers as much as we do! You can pre-order your ball markers by visiting our store!
By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
The Ryder Cup is almost upon us. The bookies have USA as this year’s favourites, despite their poor recent record against Europe. Losing the last 3 editions of the competition that started in 1927, the Americans are fired up to exact revenge.
Back then the competition was between the USA and players from Great Britain. However, a long losing streak saw the GB team enlarged to include players from Ireland and then their mainland European counterparts in 1979.
I'll say from the off that the inclusion of European players has undoubtedly enriched the competition. For a start, how many memorable moments did Seve give us in European team colours?
However, the emergence of young and talented GB&I players these past two years makes for an interesting debate as to whether a team without continental Europeans could defeat the Americans.
At the time of writing the top twelve GB&I players in the world golf rankings are (actual European Ryder Cup players in brackets where appropriate):
Paul Casey (Henrik Stenson)
Russell Knox (Sergio Garcia)
Shane Lowry (Rafa Cabrera Bello)
Luke Donald (Martin Kaymer)
Andrew Johnston (Thomas Pieters)
You may have noticed that seven of those twelve are already in the Ryder Cup team. The five "subs" in the list above are arguably no worse than the European players who will actually tee it up at Hazeltine. It would certainly be a close thing were the five subs to play instead of their counterparts in brackets.
Furthermore, when you consider that previous Ryder Cup stalwarts such as Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington aren’t in that team either, there's a strong argument that a British and Irish team could do just as well against the Americans.
What do you think? Could the GB&I team above beat the Americans? Share your thoughts with us on social media!
By The Devel's Advocate
SO, at the age of 40, Eldrick is coming back. You'll know him better as Tiger Woods.
The organisers of his first scheduled tournament, next month's Safeway Open, can now let their marketing people stand down. Tiger's presence ensures that the event will be monitored by the entire golfing world, just as he himself was in the glory years.
There are some – perhaps many – in the sport who don't like Woods. That's their prerogative, but no one figure has done more to popularise golf. He arrived as a young black man in a white person's world and captured the imagination like no player before or since.
At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, we can only hope that this comeback – after a prolonged absence – is more successful than his previous attempts to cast aside the ravages of time.
It is now more than eight years – EIGHT – since Woods won a major. That US Open victory, itself won despite a bad knee injury, is almost certain to be his last.
Some have suggested that a one-off 15th major, such as that by Jack Nicklaus when he was aged 46 at Augusta National in 1986, could yet be possible. For me there are too many scars, both mental and physical, for that to happen.
It shows you how quickly events can take a downward plunge. In the early years of this century, when Woods was winning majors for fun, I would have staked my mortgage on him being the man to finally break the Nicklaus record of 18 majors.
It wasn't a case of would he? It was simply a matter of when – and after that how many more would he win.
His injury problems, and the jaw-dropping revelations about his sexual philandering which led to his wife, Elin Nordegren, divorcing him, cast aside for ever the cloak of near-invincibility which was so integral to the Woods' armoury.
He was no longer to be feared.
Nowadays Tiger is still a man to be treated with some wariness, but the aura has gone. He may not yet have been reduced to the status of the punch-drunk former boxing champion, but his powers are diminished.
We see this in his choice of tournaments. He will again be back at the Turkish Airlines Open, and the organisers are understandably delighted.
We can only assume that Tiger's bank manager will be as well. Hard though it will be for Tiger to swallow, he may now be playing primarily for money, not titles.
By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
It has been a busy couple of weeks here at DEVEL Golf. As well as the arrival of a new little DEVEL to the family, our time has been busily spent crafting new products to the range.
The first of these new products is particularly exciting for us as it is our first collaboration product! We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with renowned golf artist Olivera Cejovic to create a range of limited edition double sided enamel ball markers. If you haven't come across Olivera's work before you can visit her Olivera Golf Art store at www.oliveragolfart.com
It is a great honour for us that Olivera has agreed to create unique sketches that will feature on the ball markers. On the reverse of each ball marker will be our iconic Dg logo in an array of colours.
There will only be 100 of each design made and once they are gone…..they are gone! Once the designs are finalised we will be taking pre-orders here on develgolf.com. However, if you would like to register your interest before then, get in touch with us by email or social media and we will make sure you are the first to be notified when they go on pre-sale!
If you go to our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook profiles (@develgolf) you will see the designs as they become available!
By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
The Olympic golf tournament in Rio tees off this week to widespread indifference. The Zika virus cited as the reason why golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth opted out.
An event lacking most of the world's top ten is undoubtedly a slap in the face for the International Olympic Committee who elected to bring back golf for the first time in 112 years. Rory McIlroy saying he probably wouldn't even watch it was a further insult to the already devalued tournament - or, depending on your viewpoint, a realistic appraisal.
The idea of playing in Rio on reclaimed swamp land probably wouldn’t fill me with much excitement either if I was a pro used to playing at some of the most picturesque locations around the globe. However, it’s arguable that the Olympics might actually benefit one group of golfers - those knocking on the door of winning a major.
Like golf, tennis was re-admitted to the Olympics in recent years and suffered much of the same negativity, with one question in particular being posed: “How does the Olympics fit in with a sport that already has four Grand Slams?”
Golf and tennis both have four major championships and, as with tennis players, you will find few golfers who would prefer to win the Olympics over a major.
However, an often overlooked fact is that Olympic success in 2012 for Andy Murray provided a springboard for him to win his first Grand Slam later that year. He has since gone on to win three, including this year's Wimbledon.
Yes, it can be argued that Murray would have won a Grand Slam eventually. And yes, it could be said that the Players Championship already provides a stepping stone for golfers to win a major.
However, wouldn’t it be great if someone like Sergio Garcia (a winner of the Players already) won in Rio and used the confidence to win his first major next year?
The enthusiasm shown by Justin Rose and Danny Willett on social media in recent days has been great to see and I wonder whether some players are now regretting the decision not to play. However, the reduced field gives other players a chance to win Olympic gold and use
The Devel's Advocate is our resident golf blogger. With long experience of covering golf there aren't many issues he doesn't have an opinion on!