Doughtie Sr. on Golf (December 2012)

MERRY CHRISTMAS

As we drift into the winter season ,and a period of dark afternoons,freezing temperatures and gesloten courses,we should perhaps look back on the brighter moments of the 2012 season.

Hopefully most of us will have improved all or part of our respectives games and handicaps?????.......That extra practise session,lesson from the Pro,tip from an observant playing partner,that wonderful new driver(guaranteed to go further and straighter),the new putting grip or may be just a bit of good fortune,might have contributed.

Some of us will have competed in the NGF Competitie and tasted success,in the form of Pool Winners or may just have had great ,competitive fun,whether in that format or in Club Medals,Championships or in Friendly matches.

It is ,however not so much fun in the Professional Tours as they battle each week to earn enough prize money to maintain their Tour cards,pay expenses, and make a living.For all the successes there are thousands of disappointed failures.

Many expectant Tour Players have to battle through the Qualifying stages to gain one of the few spots up for grabs.

During 2012,the largest ever number of Dutch players contested the various events and it was Joost Luiten ,who fared the best, closing off with a 16th spot in the Race to Dubai including a hole-in-one.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy stole the show on both sides of the Atlantic.Not only did he crown a fantastic year with victory at the final event and topping the European Order of Merit,He also claimed the top spot on the US tour and became the 2nd European in successive seasons to achieve this accolade after Luke Donald triumphed in 2011.Rory highlighted his year by winning his 2nd Major at the USPGA.Luke ,incidentally ,with a late season win in Japan,leap-frogged Tiger Woods into 2nd spot on the Official World Golf Rankings.....with Rory well clear as Nr 1.

The year's first Major went to Bubba Watson after a play-off at the Augusta Masters earning him a Green Jacket .The US Open was captured by Webb Simpson at Olympic San Francisco,while The Open was gifted to Ernie Els by Australia's Adam Scott who collapsed on the finishing stretch.The final Major at Kiawah saw Mc Ilroy silence his critics.

Some would say the highlight of 2012 was the dramatic European victory in the Ryder Cup in September.Trailing 10-6 going into the Sunday Singles,few gave The Europeans much hope.But a series of early scalps got the ball rolling and when Kaymer's putt dropped at the 18th it was all over...14 1/2-13 1/2.

Let us not forget another fine achievement. Daan Huizing (Lage Vuursche) our top Amateur,won the prestigious St Andrews Trophy on the Old Course with an outstanding score of 264,which was 23 under par. This beat the previous tournament record by 9 shots.The 2nd placed player was 14 stokes adrift. It should also be noted that Daan triumphed in the equally notable Lytham Trophy,by a margin of 11shots. This made him the 1 st player to win both titles in the same year.

The year closed with the R and A and USGA,finally taking a stand on elongated(belly) putters ,which will probably outlaw their use ,when anchored against the chest or stomach, by 2016.This will be the first Rule change on the method of applying a stroke in over a hundred years. Although in 1968 croquet style putting was forbidden.

.......unfortunately the year closed with the sad news(for Purists of the sport)that changes are to be made to the Old Course to improve it's defence against the World's Top golfers......work has already begun...

We wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy,Healthy and Successful 2013
 
   
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