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David Wood

Orsett Golf Club PGA Golf Professional

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Club championships

Zach closes in fine style… 

Zach Chegwidden finished his UK season off in fine style with a win in the Club Championship last weekend. Off to America on a golf scholarship this weekend the 19 year old battled with the other pre tournament favourite, Dan Vaughan and won a thrilling 4 hole play off Sunday evening. The first round took place Saturday with a field of 120 players with a cut to 33 for Sunday in windy and very dry conditions. Leader after the first round was stalwart Mark Whiten with a brilliant 71. Not only were the conditions to battle against but the greens had been stepped up to 12 on the stimp. Add slope and breeze and 71 became a very tidy score opening up a 2 shot lead on Senior County player, Ian Grant. The pack followed around the CSS of 2 over par. Vaughan though had it all to do after a 79 which included a 9 and a 7!

Sunday came and the weather settled. Temperatures high and even quicker greens, scoring got tougher for many. Vaughan climbed the leader board with a 71 and waited. Zach, added a 76 to the 74. Would anyone get passed them? Cadets Cass Steffens just missed by a shot and Davis King seeing the finish line unfortunately doubled the last to also miss by one. It was down to the final 3 ball of which Whiten was the only realistic possibility. Through the back of the difficult 16th , he had to play a left handed shot that went wrong. It rebounded and struck him causing a penalty that would lead to a 7. His challenge ended with another 7 at the next.
So to the playoff, 2 pars were followed by birdies on the next. Thrilling golf. Dan then made a bogey to Zachs par. Down the last 2 excellent shots by Dan to 20 feet gave him the chance. Zach just short chipped and was left with “one of those”. Dan agonisingly missed leaving Zach to hold his nerve in front of 50 members. Great effort from Dan, congratulations to Zach and a coveted Club trophy.

All the members were singing the praise of the course, especially the quality of the greens. 

Great effort Perry and the team. Enjoy America Zach, it is the land of opportunity.

Members news

I only single out members when they have excelled on the golf course but I can't avoid the passing of one of Orsetts most popular golfers. Howard Smith or "H, Smiffy" to his friends and colleagues sadly passed away last week after a short battle with cancer. The cornerstone of one of Orsetts sweeps, Howard worked tirelessly to "organise and direct" the S Club 46 every Sunday morning with both his considerable knowledge, pc skills, communication, humour and legendary witty put downs and yet he never liked to be centre of the attention. 

If there was a problem "ask Smiffy, he'll know", was often heard to which he often had a humourous retort. His genuine mistakes in his sweep emails to see if anyone actually did"bother" reading them was entertaining. His immediate family, Tina, Shaun and Leanne have had their world devastated by his passing. 

He will be genuinely missed by his mates at the Club and for those who didn't meet Howard his ability to treat success and huge adversity the same was just incredible. The sweep will obviously continue as life itself but for the S Club if anything gets questioned any reply will undoubtedly begin with "How would H. have done it?" It's said the best go too soon, in this case it is right. 

God bless Howard, it great being around you even if you did follow Chelsea. 

Improving your game

Summer strategy… 

With the warm weather, hot sun and little amount of rain, the sand in the bunkers has become powdery, and in some people's opinion, too thin. I, however, love the sand this time of year, soft on the top and firm underneath. I know how the ball is going to come out no matter how much sand is in there because it's easier to judge. 

My basic rule is if there is not much sand in the bunker, I take a lob wedge with a thinner sole and less bounce. This allows the club to slide under the ball. A wider soled wedge or one with more bounce would not 'fit' under the ball, causing the splash thin shot. The thinner softer sand offers less resistance as the club passes through it, so I can afford a slightly slower swing to get the ball to travel the desired distance. 

If I were in thick sand I would need the thicker sole and added bounce a sand wedge provides to stop the club digging, causing the 'duff'. The bounce and sole help slide the club through the sand, but I need more speed to help get the club out of the sand. 

Thin sand = Thin sole (LW). 
Deep sand = Wide sole/more bounce (SW). 

And remember, nice and shallow into the sand, accelerate and HIT THROUGH THE SAND.

World of sport

King Kenny makes history, just like his Mrs.. 

Jason Kenny and his wife to be made history at Rio with record breaking medal hauls. Kenny the most decorated Gold Olympian in British history equalled Sir Chris Hoy with a 6th gold. His wife to be next month Laura Trott became the first British lady to win 4 golds for Britain. If golf is of fine margin so is Cycling. Differences of 100s of seconds not even 10th second makes it a gold or nothing, brutal. Tough to deal with after 4 years of training and sacrifice. Same goes for the gymnasts , tiny margins between winners and nothing. Essex boy Max Whitlock lead the British team with 2 golds and a silver, never been done before for Team GB. Andy Murray retained his tennis gold and to cap it all GB golfer Justin Rose won gold on the links beating off Open Champ, Stenson. Rose embraced the whole journey and loved every minute of it. If I had a product to advertise, he might be the perfect person to do it. 

Britain have been brilliant in all skills, more medals away from home than ever before. Doesn`t it make you feel proud to be British? 

Buyer's guide: Irons
Buyer's guide: Irons
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Video of the week

Flashback! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for Michael Phelps – who can forget this monster putt from the Olympic legend?

Michael Phelps: Not just a great swimmer






Putting passion into your past time
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David Wood, Orsett Golf Club, Brentwood Road, Orsett, RM16 3DR

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