The history & tradition of the BMW PGA Championship

Wentworth Club is one of the most prestigious courses in the UK, set in Surrey; this course is home to the BMW PGA ChampionshipGolf equipment with direct golf is exactly what you need when tackling these challenging, yet enjoyable courses.

The BMW PGA Championship is considered the flagship event of the European Tour with the PGA European Tour headquarters based at Wentworth Club. This even was founded in 1955 and is usually played at the end of May each year on the West Course of Wentworth Club.

West Course at Wentworth is a seventy three par course that opened in 1926; the course record belongs to Robert Karlsson, a 62 shot at round three of the 2010 BMW PGA Championship. This is considered to be a stern but fair course designed by Harry Colt with pleasant elevation changes. In 2005 the course was redesigned and a renovation project was underway by golfing favourite Ernie Els, lengthening some of the holes including the construction of eighteen new greens.

BMW PGA Championship Winners

Over the past ten years there have been winners from all over the world that have played on the beautifully landscaped West Course at Wentworth for the championships.

Only eight players have managed to win the event more than once and when the total prize money is estimated around £3.6 million, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most prestigious golfing events held annually and followed by thousands of spectators.

The most wins at this course during the championship is held by Nick Faldo with four wins, followed by Peter Allis, Berhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie with three wins. Tony Jacklin, Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Anders Hansen all have won this event twice.

Other winners at this event include players from Spain, Denmark, Argentina, England and Scotland with last year being won by Luke Donald from England with a 278 (-6). This was a match to be remembered by everyone who loves golf with Luke Donald winning in a sudden death playoff against Lee Westwood that enabled him to go home with the winning prize of £600,000.

What to Expect This Year

The BMW PGA Championship is ready to start for this year with a buzz of excitement as the top three contenders are expected to offer thrilling entertainment as they battle for first place.

This year all eyes will be on Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood to see who will walk away with the winning prize and title.

For those who enjoy golf equipment with direct golf, you will be able to see how these professional players take full advantage of their equipment during the game, what they use for which holes so should you ever have the opportunity to play on the prestigious West Course at Wentworth Club you will have an idea on what to expect.

The tournament will be made up of fifteen major Championship players and twenty nine Ryder Cup players who will battle it out over four days this year to win the ultimate title of winner of the BMW PGA Championship.

Luckily the weather is holding for this year’s event, the West Course has been designed to take full advantage of the climate and location, taking wind factor into consideration during the planning stages, but sunshine is always welcome when attending or playing in such an event.

The longest drive on the course still belongs to Robert Karlsson and it will be interesting for those with golf equipment with golf direct to see if there is a new record broken this year. The course difficulty remains the same being challenging yet enjoyable for the handicap golfer.

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Luke Donald becomes the first golfer to win US PGA & the European PGA Tour Money List

Yesterday Luke Donald became the first golfer to officially win the US PGA & the European PGA Tour Money List in the same season.

Donald added the European Order Of Merit, or Race to Dubai as it has become known, by finishing third in the Dubai World Championship yesterday.  The only player that was able to stop him was Rory McIlroy.  But he failed to win the event and finished 10 strokes off the lead following a poor final round. The event was won by Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, by two shots with an excellent 19 under.

The US PGA & the European PGA Tour Money List awards are given to the player who wins the most prize money over the course of a season. At his peak, Tiger Woods managed this feat in unofficially by winning European tour titles on an invitational capacity.

But for Luke Donald to achieve this twin award officially means he had to agree to play a minimum of 13 tournaments on the European tour and no less than 15 tournaments on the US PGA.

This massive achievement comes at the end of a great year for Luke Donald who, for the first time in his career was ranked world number 1. But without wishing to take the shine off what is truly a great achievement, I find it a little bit at odds that the number 1 ranked golf player and the winner of both the US PGA Money List & European Order Of Merit goes to someone who didn’t win a single Major in 2011.

There’s no doubting Luke Donald is one of the best golfers in the world right now.  But I want a number 1 ranked player to be the best in the world, someone who wins, a true champion, like Tiger Woods was in his prime.  Not a ‘steady Eddie’ who hardly ever three-putts.

While many pundits are still suggesting Rory McIlroy is the next Tiger Woods, It is Luke Donald that will celebrate Christmas after winning £4.19m in the US and £3,632,685 on the European Tour this year.

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Rory McIlroy wins the Hong Kong Open

Rory McIlroy wins the Hong Kong Open to keep alive his contest with Luke Donald at the top of the European Tour‘s Race to Dubai.

Rory McIlroy made an impressive comeback in the fourth and final round to win the Hong Kong Open today and with it keeps the pressure on Englishman Luke Donald for the coveted European Tour’s Race to Dubai championship.

Rory McIlroy won with a final round of 65 by two strokes with a 5 under score.  The 22 year old from Northern Ireland was delighted to seal the victory and told reporters:

“It is very special to win this. No matter how prestigious tournaments are, this is one of my favourites and I’m really happy to win it,” he said. “To be able to win a golf tournament when you are not at your best is something. Tiger Woods did this all the time. This is a great win, to come from behind and to be able to draw level and then close it out.”

There has been much pressure on the young Irishman’s shoulders since he turned professional in 2007 and eventually won his first major – the US Open – earlier this year.

McIlroy beat off challenges from France’s Gregory Havret who finished second, two strokes behind, and Sweden’s Peter Hanson on 9 under. Ian Poulter was looking to retain the title he won in 2010 and shot a good final round to finish joint fourth on 8 under with Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul.

After failing to win the Hong Kong Open, Ian Poulter told reporters:

“It’s disappointing obviously. I came to defend and I’ve come up shy. I thought I had a chance when I got to 9 under, but I just flushed it on the 15th. It was a costly bogey at the wrong time,”

Last week Lee Westwood announced that he would be joining the US PGA Tour next year which I assume is to give him a better chance to win either the US Open or The Masters.  By doing so Westwood may forfeit the chance to win the Race to Dubai, based on the highest prize money on the European Tour in a given season, but the US is where the big money is.

If like Lee Westwood you are looking to win your share of prize money then why not check out the golf betting competition at BettingExperts.

They are offering a massive a £5,000 in a free to enter competition.  The competition covers all golf tips for major, minor tournaments including PGA and European Tour during the competition date. The top ten golf tipsters with the highest profit (measured in units) on golf shares the prize pool, which will be paid in free bets & prize giveaways. Tipster with the most overall gets the first prize.

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Luke Donald is ranked number one golfer in the world

Luke Donald World Ranked #1 Golfer
Luke Donald World Ranked #1

English golfer Luke Donald tops the world ranking after winning the BMW PGA Championship last weekend at Wentworth.

The thirty-three year old from Hemel Hempstead plays most of his golf these days in the United States but is also a member of the European Tour.  He turned professional in 2001 and first entered the world ranking Top 20 in 2005 and Top 10 in 2006.

He first played in the European Ryder Cup team in 2004 and in the same year won the WGC-World Cup for England with his partner Paul Casey.

Last month he became the second English golfer to be ranked number one player in the world by replacing Lee Westwood. His victory at Wentworth followed his biggest win to date in February 2011 when he beat Martin Kaymer to win the WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship 3&2 in the final.

Watching golf over the past few years I saw Luke Donald as a very reliable, safe and consistent player but am surprised he has become ranked world number one.

Furthermore, previous to his much publicised meltdown, no one would have thought that in 2011 the name of Tiger Woods would not be at the top of the list, let alone falling out of the Top 10!

Official World Golf Ranking Top 20

1  Luke Donald,  England
2  Lee Westwood,  England
3  Martin Kaymer,  Germany
4  Phil Mickelson,  USA
5  Graeme McDowell,  N. Ireland
6  Rory McIlroy,  N. Ireland
7  Matt Kuchar,  USA
8   Steve Stricker,  USA
9   Paul Casey,  England
10 Charl Schwartzel,  South Africa
11 Bubba Watson,  USA
12 Ian Poulter,  England
13 Tiger Woods,  USA
14 Dustin Johnson,  USA
15 Nick Watney,  USA
16 K.J. Choi,  South Korea
17 Jim Furyk,  USA
18 Hunter Mahan,  USA
19 Jason Day,  Australia
20 Francesco Molinari,  Italy

For more information visit the Official World Golf Ranking website.

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Belek Golf Club in Turkey to become a European Tour Destination

Belek Golf Club in Turkey
Belek Golf Club in Turkey (computer-generated image)

Belek Golf Club, the first integrated golf and residential community on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is to become a European Tour Destination.

The partnership with The European Tour will result in top-flight professional golf being staged in Turkey on a new José Maria Olazábal designed golf course, construction of which starts this autumn.

Belek, 25 kilometres east of Antalya International Airport, is already a golf tourism hotspot (KPMG Golf Travel Insight report 2008) and was voted European Golf Destination of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators in 2008.

Now, joining London Golf Club as a European Tour Destination, Belek Golf Club will be the first world-class venue in the region offering golfers and non-golfers alike the opportunity to own a home within an exquisite residential and resort community benefiting from year round warmth and sunshine. England football stars Michael Owen and David Platt, as well as Austrian Alpine ski racing legend Marc Girardelli, are among those who will own homes at Belek Golf Club.

Hasan Besneli, Chairman of the Board, Belek Golf Club, said: “Our partnership with The European Tour is significant as it guarantees our residents, hotel guests and golfing visitors outstanding facilities and levels of service, positioning Belek Golf Club among the world’s finest golf clubs.

“José Maria Olazábal, who has taken a close personal interest in this project, has designed a remarkable golf course that will be a fitting venue for a European Tour event, and a compelling, enjoyable course that all golfers will want to play time and again.”

The Belek Golf Club residential development, which is fed by an abundance of water flowing from the Taurus Mountains, will feature a fully navigable 7-kilometre long canal system, also connecting lakes and streams on the golf course. Other amenities include a town centre with shops, a rich variety of dining opportunities and nightly live entertainment. A wellness clinic offering spa and fitness programs will be complemented by state-of-the-art preventative and anti-ageing medicine under the guidance of medical doctors.

There will also be a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Norgra Hotel Management will oversee the highest levels of service across the resort, while Troon Golf, the world’s leading golf management company whose portfolio of properties include Turnberry, Scotland, and The Grove, London, will manage operations and service at the golf club.

David MacLaren, Director of Property and Venue Development for The European Tour, said:

“Belek Golf Club is one of the best new golf and residential developments anywhere in the world and a fitting addition to the London Golf Club as a European Tour Destination, part of The European Tour Properties network of world-class golf venues.

“Belek, with its variety of high quality golf courses, excellent hotels and appealing climate, has already established itself on the world golfing map. Now, with a European Tour Destination and the promise of a full European Tour event within the next seven years, we believe this first integrated golf and residential community will become an icon for golf in Turkey.”

Jonathan Orr, Finance Director for The European Tour, added: “The development of our Property network is a major strategic objective for the European Tour and we are delighted to secure a partnership with Belek Golf Club, as we believe that it has all the ingredients to become an important strategic partner in a region of exciting potential.”

There are 17 golf courses in Belek, many designed by leading international golf course architects, and all within a 15-minute drive time. With year round sunshine and warmth (monthly average temperatures range from 15°C in January to 34°C in August) and an abundance of water, Belek is already a major golfing centre.

Two-time Masters Champion and winner of 23 European Tour titles, Olazábal, who coined the phrase ‘the magic of Belek Golf Club’, said: “The Castle Course at Belek Golf Club is my first design work in Turkey and I am honoured to be part of a development of such high international standard. I look forward to the challenge of creating a course that shall not only become a spectacular venue for The European Tour but, as importantly, an enjoyable and memorable experience for future residents and guests.”

Construction of Belek Golf Club begins in autumn 2010 with a planned opening date of 2012.

For more information visit www.belekgolfclub.com.