What you need to know about the latest issue of TG
A note from the Editor
I'm sure you've already had your fill of the decade in review, but please just humour me for one more look back before we dive head-first into the 2020s. I think golf is in an exciting place – challenged, certainly, but exciting nevertheless, with lots of opportunities for growth and development...
Memberships: Some of the biggest changes in golf will come at "traditional" members' clubs, where we pay an annual subscription. That model is already changing at forward-thinking clubs, who are trying new, more flexible memberships for people who can't play every week.
The format: Will we still be playing 18 holes on Sunday morning? A lot of us will, yes. But many golfers (in particular new ones) will only ever hit balls at high-tech driving ranges, where your phone pings with instant scores and launch monitors tell you how well you've hit it. Some golfers may never even leave the house to play (see Andrew Cotter's column on page 18).
The rules: Will 24-handicappers still be constrained by the same rules as Rory and Tiger? I'm not sure. Will we see two sets of equipment rules for pros and amateurs? I think we will. Will the R&A then roll back the ball? I think they've got to in order to stop tour golf becoming glorified pitch and putt.
The Tour: Will our Player of the Decade, Rory McIlroy, complete the grand slam? Can Tiger get to 19? Will we get one World Tour? Will a Ryder Cup be staged in Qatar? I haven't a clue, but I can't wait to find out!
Equipment: If the glut of new clubs in this issue has a theme, it's personalisation; different clubs built for different swings. That's only going to get more prevalent, along with even greater use of shot tracking... the results of which will then feed back into R&D and fitting. One thing that won't change is that feeling of elation when you smash a drive right down the middle... or clip an 8-iron to a foot... or chip in... Another thing that won't change is that feeling of despair when you fat your second after that brilliant drive; shank the 8-iron; or knife a chip over the back out of bounds! Happy New Year from us all at TG.
Chris Jones, Editor
NEW GEAR SPECIAL
All the tech detail and first hit verdicts on the biggest launches of the New Year - Including TaylorMade's new SIM range, Callaway's new Mavrik clubs, Mizuno woods, PXG Irons, Wilson Irons and Odyssey Putters. PLUS our latest top 10s!
FIND MORE FAIRWAYS
In this section, we get an exclusive look at how Ping are unravelling the mystery behind fittings and the perfect driver launch conditions to unlock distance, Lee Westwood shares some of the best things pieces of advice he's learned in 26 years on Tour, and TG Top 50 coach Chris Ryan helps you eliminate that costly big miss with our no-nonsense guide to keeping the ball in play.
BIG INTERVIEW: PADRAIG HARRINGTON
With nine months to go until the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, Padraig Harrington has already started trying to predict his team of 12. But, as Michael Catling found out, there’s a lot more to his job as European captain than you might think…
Perfect your putting with these simple tips to improve your balance... and speed control!
• Stat Watch: How they can influence tee shot strategy
• Get Me Out: How to play downhill lies in the rough
• Scoring Zone: Perfect your chipping strike
• Mind Games: Ask yourself this: Why do I play golf?
TRAVEL & COURSES
What, no winter greens? Our pick of cracking courses across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with the guarantee of a proper game this off-season.
PLUS, find out who came out on top of TG's 2020 Travel Awards for the best courses and resorts in Europe!
GETTING TO KNOW THE TOUR
Brooks Koepka's caddie Rickie Elliot gives insight into why he thinks his boss performs best in the majors, while Lucas Herbert takes on our golf test.
Enter now for your chance to win one of three PuttOut Home Putting Studios, or a trip to the Czech Golf Festival!