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THE R&A AND USGA ANNOUNCE PROPOSED RULES CHANGE TO PROHIBIT USE OF ANCHORED STROKES

The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA), golf’s governing bodies, today announced proposed changes to the Rules of Golf that would prohibit anchoring the club in making a stroke.

The proposed Rule 14-1b, which follows an extensive review by The R&A and the USGA, would prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club held directly against the player’s body, or with a forearm held against the body to establish an anchor point that indirectly anchors the club.

belly putter

The proposed new Rule would not alter current equipment rules and would allow the continued use of all conforming golf clubs, including belly-length and long putters, provided such clubs are not anchored during a stroke. The proposed Rule narrowly targets only a few types of strokes, while preserving a golfer’s ability to play a wide variety of strokes in his or her individual style.

Prior to taking a final decision on the proposed Rule, The R&A and the USGA will consider any further comments and suggestions from throughout the golf community.

“We believe we have considered this issue from every angle but given the wide ranging interest in this subject we would like to give stakeholders in the game the opportunity to put forward any new matters for consideration,” said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A.

The proposed Rule change would take effect on January 1, 2016, in accordance with the regular four-year cycle for changes to the Rules of Golf. This timetable would also provide an extended period in which golfers may, if necessary, adapt their method of stroke to the requirements of the Rule.

For more information about the newly proposed Rule, as well as additional information including videos and images of strokes that would be allowed or prohibited by the proposed changes to Rule 14-1, visit www.RandA.org/anchoring or www.usga.org/anchoring.

New Rule Would Define and Preserve the Nature of the Stroke
In proposing the new Rule, The R&A and the USGA concluded that the long-term interests of the game would be served by confirming a stroke as the swinging of the entire club at the ball.

“Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “The player’s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club.”

NEW RULE WOULD ADDRESS RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE GAME
This proposal reflects The R&A’s and USGA’s responsibility to define how the game is to be played. Aspects of how a player must make a stroke have been addressed in past Rules changes, such as the century-old Rule codifying that the ball must be fairly struck and not be pushed, scraped or spooned and the 1968 prohibition on the “croquet” style of putting.

“As governing bodies, we monitor and evaluate playing practices and developments in golf, with our primary mandate being to ensure that the Rules of Golf continue to preserve the fundamental characteristics of the game,” added Davis.
Although anchoring the club is not new, until recently it was uncommon and typically seen as a method of last resort by a small number of players. In the last two years, however, more and more players have adopted the anchored stroke. Golf’s governing bodies have observed this upsurge at all levels of the game and noted that more coaches and players are advocating this method. The decision to act now is based on a strong desire to reverse this trend and to preserve the traditional golf stroke.

“Anchored strokes have become the preferred option for a growing number of players and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game,” said Dawson. “Our concern is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional putting strokes which are integral to the longstanding character of the sport.”

REVIEW PROCESS AND TIMETABLE
Earlier this year, The R&A and the USGA announced that they were reviewing the subject of anchoring. There has been widespread discussion of the issue throughout the international golf community which has been noted by the governing bodies.

Each organisation is expected to take a final decision on the proposed Rule change in spring 2013. Anyone wishing to provide written comments to the appropriate governing body is encouraged to do so by 28 February 2013 as directed on the respective websites: www.RandA.org/anchoring or www.usga.org/anchoring.

(In the context of this news release, The R&A refers to R&A Rules Ltd)

A memorable 12th Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for Kingsbarns

The 12th staging of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will definitely be one to remember for Kingsbarns. As unpredictable as the weather can be in Scotland the sun so often seems to shine when the big days take place at Kingsbarns. It was no different at this year’s Dunhill. The popular European Tour event is a celebration of links golf and boasts the second largest prize fund after the Open Championship.

Michael Phelps with Kieran Smith

Kingsbarns made the headlines from the first day of the tournament when the big-hitting South African Branden Grace celebrated in the sun with a spectacular 12-under-par 60 – the lowest round of the year on the European Tour – to open up a two shot lead in the tournament. His faultless round, which included ten birdies and an eagle, was the lowest score in the history of the Championship and smashed the course record at Kingsbarns by two shots, beating Lee Westwood’s 62 in 2003 when he went on to win.

Speaking afterwards Grace said: “The course record at Kingsbarns is actually my first course record and it will definitely make Kingsbarns a special place for me in the future. I just gave myself a lot of chances and made everything I looked at – a lot of 15 footers to tap ins the whole day. Frankly it could have been one or two better which would have been really nice.”

It was not only the golf professionals who wowed the audience. Saturday saw one particular fourball steal the limelight at Kingsbarns. When Paul Casey and Paul McGinley teed off at 9:22am with the Olympians Michael Phelps and Oscar Pistorius they could scarcely have known that such an eventful round of golf was ahead of them.
The drama started on the 6th hole when the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, lined up for an eagle putt on the par four. The ball was rolling for an incredible 17 seconds before finally dropping obediently in the hole and thrilling the galleries.

‘It was the longest putt I’ve ever had and to see it go in was a pretty cool feeling,’ Phelps, 27, said afterwards.
A smiling Oscar Pistorius added: “I think I need to take some of the credit for it as I showed him the line.”
The monster putt was selected as the ‘Shot of the Day’ by Sky Sports commentator, Ewen Murray. Murray said: “It was quite simply the perfect putt. Travelling down three different levels at the perfect pace it was well over 150ft (50 yards) in length.”

Then on the 12th hole Paul Casey came face to face with a dog called Digby, who had a liking for golf balls. Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius hit his tee shot and then whistled to Digby but he ventured off. As the players reached the green and Casey was heading to his ball, Digby appeared from nowhere to scoop up the ball in his mouth before happily trotting off the green. A smiling Casey called over a rules official to inform him of what had happened and at that moment a member of the gallery said they had retrieved the ball from the disappointed Digby. He handed the ball back to Casey, who was allowed to replace the ball. He calmly went on to make his birdie. As he left the green, Casey threw the ball to Digby to keep but by then the thrill of the chase had gone and he had lost interest.

Casey said: “He looked lost, to be honest. I made friends with him while standing at the back of the 12th green. His name’s Digby. I was 30 feet away for eagle and the next thing, he picked up my ball. I tried to get him to take it to the hole! Somebody brought the ball back to me and fortunately it had no teeth marks in it. He must have a soft jaw!”

After all the excitement, Kingsbarns yet again proved to be a fantastic venue for event and created some wonderful memories for the players and spectators alike. The course received fantastic feedback for its condition and the clubhouse for its top class service from both the professionals and the celebrities. European Tour star Robert Rock summed up the mood when he said:

“It is actually my favourite course, not just of the three but of all the courses I play. The par 5 12th hole is beautiful but there are so many great holes out there. I like coming back here a lot. I have played here a little bit socially and it is an easy course for amateurs as well which makes it a great design. It would be great if Kingsbarns would host more tournaments like this as we don’t get to come back here enough.”

Here´s to another successful Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Kingsbarns next year!

Monty’s golf day at Kingsbarns raises over £40,000 for Maggie´s Centres

Scottish golf legend Colin Montgomerie has expressed his delight at the funds raised for the foundation set up in his mother’s name by a special golf day at Kingsbarns Golf Links.

More than £40,000 was raised for the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation from the event on Monday, September 17 which was sponsored by the John Clark Motor Group.

Monty´s golf clinic at Kingsbarns_putting

The foundation was established in 2007 in memory of Monty’s mother and is currently working to raise £4 million for two new Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres in Scotland which provide support for individuals and families affected by cancer. The centres are scheduled to open in 2013 in Aberdeen and Lanarkshire.

Around 60 golfers took part and were greeted by the victorious European Ryder Cup captain at the renowned modern links in the East Neuk of Fife. Monty gave the golfers some swing advice during his golf clinic and played with them at the par three 8th hole.

Speaking from Kingsbarns, Monty, the eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner, said: “I’m delighted to see such a good turnout at the golf day which will raise a fantastic amount for the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation. Providing support to people who have been affected by cancer is so important and events like this give a great boost to our fundraising efforts. I hugely appreciate the support we have received from Kingsbarns Golf Links in donating the course for the day and John Clark Motor Group in sponsoring it. To play golf at Kingsbarns on such a beautiful day is a pleasure and I’m sure everyone taking part has enjoyed themselves enormously.”

Alan Hogg, the Chief Executive of Kingsbarns Golf Links, said: “Colin has been a great friend of Kingsbarns over the years and we are proud to be able to support his fundraising efforts for the foundation. It is an extremely worthy cause and we are delighted to back it along with a number of smaller charities we support throughout the year. The course is in excellent condition as we look forward to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and I’m sure the golfers relished the opportunity to play it ahead of some of the world’s leading golfers.”

John Downie, Group Marketing Director at John Clark Motor Group, commented: “We have had some fantastic feedback about the event and about the golf course. We would like to thank the golfers who took part for their generous contributions which have given a considerable boost to our wider fundraising efforts.”

Laura Lee, Maggie´s Chief Executive, added: “We are delighted that John Clark Motor Group and Kingsbarns Golf Links continue to show so much support to Monty’s Maggie’s Appeal. Through the golf day John Clark Motor Group are helping to keep the doors to Maggie’s Centres in Scotland open whilst also playing a vital role in building a new centre in Aberdeen. We are extremely grateful to John Clark Motor Group for their support and would like to thank Colin Montgomerie for giving his time to make today such a huge success.”

For more information please visit www.elizabethmontgomerie.org and www.maggiescentres.org.

New collection of luxurious golf villas launched by Le Bureau

Golfers seeking a dream holiday at some of the world’s most prestigious golf resorts and best golfing locations need look no further than a new collection of luxury golf villas developed by Swiss travel specialists Le Bureau.

Finca Cortesin

Finca Cortesin

Golf villas are available at exclusive resorts such as Vilamoura, Chamonix, Villa d’Este, Chiang Mai, Doonbeg and the venue for the recent USPGA Championship, Kiawah Island in South Carolina as well as famous and much sought after golfing destinations including Orlando, Scottsdale, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Mauritius.

Le Bureau specialises in offering dream holidays that make the seemingly impossible happen. Golfers looking for that special experience in some of the world’s most exotic and best known golfing destinations can select from the new range of villas carefully compiled by Le Bureau to provide truly outstanding golf holidays.

BlackSeaRama

BlackSeaRama

Thousands of miles separate the destinations but they all share the highest standards of luxury and are set in stunning locations with exclusive facilities. They are located close by some of the world’s most famous golf courses which will be on the bucket lists of many golfers such as Valderama, Finca Cortesin, Villa d’Este, the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, Doonbeg and Ballybunion.

The villas at Kiawah Island, for instance, are close to the famous Ocean Course and offer excellent access to all five top class courses on the island. As well as the golf, guests can enjoy a full range of leisure and wellness facilities and dine in some wonderful restaurants offering an array of cuisines.

Dominique Rey, Managing Director of Le Bureau, said: “The Le Bureau Golf Villas Collection offers stunning properties near great golf courses all over the world. We have carefully selected the properties to ensure they provide the highest standards of facilities, service comfort and privacy for our guests. Above all this collection of villas offers some of the best and most memorable golfing experiences to be found anywhere. We regularly add new destinations to our existing portfolio and our selection of Golf Villas extends every month.”

To view the full Le Bureau Golf Villas Collection and download itineraries and prices please visit: www.lebureau.ch/en/produitscategories/the-golf-villa-collection.