UAE Golf Columnist Archives

Schwartzel deserved winner of the Masters but is Tiger hopefully back

Any player who birdies the last four holes on the final round of the masters deserves to dawn the famous green jacket

Every year in early April, the world’s best golfers tee it up at Augusta National in Georgia for The Masters, the first major golf tournament of the year.

Though the youngest of golf’s four majors, too many The Masters, is the most prestigious – and it is unique in that it is the only major that is played in the same place annually.
It is certainly my most favourite of major championships. I feel that the difficulty of the course layout coupled with the extremely undulating approaches and greens means that the pro really has to be on top of their game.

And so we have Charles Schwartzel as our newly crowned Master’s champion and what a worthy winner he was. Any player who birdies the last four holes on the final round of the masters deserves to dawn the famous green jacket.

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What really made this year’s masters must be the fact that throughout most of the final round we had at least 12 players who could have made the push Schwartzel did to win.  It was thoroughly entertaining and a sign of what is to come in this season’s main events with so many young players raising their game.  This is certainly the first season in a long time that there are so many players vying to win every event and I am sure that there will be plenty more nail-biting Sunday afternoons ahead.

The year’s masters had so many memorable moments and one especially that sticks out in my mind……the tiger fist pump on 8.  After a superb 3 wood approach into the long par 5, it set up an eagle chance.  He precisely slotted in the putt which was soon followed by his trademark fist pump and an explosion of applause from the crowds.  A sign of the old Tiger and maybe (hopefully) a sign that he is getting his game together.  I must admit I am a massive tiger fan.  I have so much admiration for Tiger.  To have won so many majors and to genuinely think that improvements are required to get even better is phenomenal.  The work rate and dedication that this takes are truly astonishing and I sincerely hope that Tiger can confidently take what he does on the range to the course.  The other thing to realise is Tiger is actually striving to get better than he has ever been and not just get back to where he was……….time will tell!!

Well as the summer draws ever nearer to us here in the UAE watching the Masters means there is still plenty to get the golf juices flowing. It is a great opportunity to take clubs upon reduced off peak green fees and play courses that will be immaculate condition.

One tip that I have for you this month is recording stats.  I have come to realise that it is important to clearly identify what part of your game needs work!  I often here people blaming their putting again and again and it’s not until you analyse their game that you find that they may be perhaps hitting the ball to within 50 feet of the pin resulting in a tricky 2 putts.  I would strongly encourage to mark on the side of your scorecard all the relevant stats below and I am sure you will be surprised as to what part of your game needs attention.

– Fairways Hit

– Greens Hit

– Sand Saves

– Up’s and Down’s (chips followed by putts)

– Putts per Green (ball needs to be on the green)

These basic stats will be an eye opener to your game improvement.

Happy Golfing
Best Wishes from Yas Links, Abu Dhabi
Steven

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