European Ryder Cup Team Captain, Ian Woosnam, is aiming to lead Europe to a third successive victory over the USA when the 36th Ryder Cup takes place at The K Club, Co Kildare, Ireland in late September. Looking to inspire his team both on and off the course, eight-time Ryder Cup player, ‘Woosie’ is now fine-tuning his own short game on his newly-refurbished Huxley all-weather practice green.
Installed originally by Huxley Golf in early 2001, the 1,500 sq ft practice green has seen long hours of use over the past five years as Woosie worked on his putting and pitching strokes in the privacy of the garden of his Channel Islands home. The result brought early success for 48-year old Woosie when he won the Cisco World Match Play Championship in 2001 and he continues to delight spectators around the world with his tenacious playing style and effervescent personality.
Following the announcement last year that he is to captain the 2006 European Team, Woosie decided to have his Huxley practice putting green restored to peak condition well ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup matches. “The Huxley surface looks and plays just like a really top-class tournament green,” he said. “It’s been of huge benefit in allowing me to practise my short game at home without having to worry about maintenance.”
However, after five years of constant use, the all-weather surface needed a service and Woosie asked Huxley Golf to give the green “a birthday”.
Carried out over two days in early March, the refurbishment has restored the green close to its original condition, producing a ball speed of around 9 on the stimpmeter. This figure impressed Woosie initially back in 2001 when he applauded the true roll and speed of the ball, commenting that it was typical European Tour standard.
However, Woosie pointed out that when practising for events such as The Masters at Augusta – which he won in 1991 – he wanted the green to be as fast as possible. “I was shown by Barry Huxley how to quickly increase or decrease the speed of the ball to suit my needs for forthcoming tournaments. It’s great to have a really good surface to practise on at home.”
Huxley Golf specialises in the supply and installation of premier all-weather surfaces for Golf. For further information please visit their websites www.huxleygolf.com, www.huxleymodulargreens.com and www.rotanet.co.uk.