Wannabes to cause major stampede

 

Imitation, apparently, is the sincerest form of flattery. Which is why, at this moment, Titleist must be bracing themselves for all those "I Am Tiger Woods" sorts to knock down the poor golf shop attendants - and, indeed, the local professional - in the mad rush to get the equipment that the man himself uses.

Not only that, but all the "I Am Karrie Webb" brigade can also be expected to stampede because, in effect, Titleist had a double-whammy with two major winners in the same week. While Woods was winning the British Open, Webb was being crowned the US Women's Open champion and, you've guessed it, they were both using the same brand of driver . . . and irons . . . and wedges . . . and putter! The only difference came in their respective choices of fairway metal woods.

For the record, Woods used a Titleist 975D driver, Titleist 970 three-wood, prototype Titleist forged irons, Vokey Design sand wedge and lob wedges and a Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum prototype putter.

Webb, meanwhile, used a Titleist 975D driver (with ProLite graphite shaft), Callaway WarBird three-wood, Callaway Steelhead five-wood, Titleist DCI 981 irons, Vokey design sand wedge and lob wedges, and Scotty Cameron Del Mar III Pro Platinum putter.

All the genuine article, except for one little alteration - the grip used on Tiger's putter. What you see is not always what you get it seems because, although Woods uses a Scotty Cameron by Titleist putter, he has a Ping grip (with the lettering blacked out). Scotty Cameron himself was responsible for putting the Ping grip onto Woods' putter - he has used a Cameron putter since his amateur days. Back then, he had a Golf Pride grip and but he has also used Titleist Cameron grips. Woods also used a Ping putter prior to switching back to a Scotty Cameron model and the request to use the Ping grip on the Cameron putter, according to the maker, "goes back to old memories".

If anyone wondered how Woods has cultured such a brave and consistent putting stroke, it is worth noting that the world number

one is a frequent visitor to Cameron's putting studio in California. "He's here more frequently than anybody else, he and Brad Faxon," explained Cameron. "This game isn't luck for him. He works very hard and he wants to know how and why a putter works."

Although Woods and Webb were remarkably similar in their choice of clubs, there was an appreciable difference in their selection of golf ball, gloves and shoes: Tiger used a Nike Golf Tour Accuracy ball, Nike Golf Tour Elite glove and Nike shoes while Karrie used a Titleist Tour Balata, FootJoy shoes and Titleist glove.

Travel

South Africa may have missed out on hosting soccer's World Cup in 2006 but Irish golfers are being offered the chance to savour the delights of that country in an escorted tour that combines golf with sightseeing early next year.

Dublin-based Litita, in conjunction with Travel World in Camden Street, are currently offering a 17-day tour from February 6th-24th next which will take in Sun City, Durban and Cape Town. Included in the package (£2,645 - non-golfer £2,525) is accommodation in four and five-star hotels on a bed and breakfast basis, six games (including the two top courses in South Africa at Sun City and Durban Country Club), optional golf days and 10 extra meals. For further information, email litiaeircom.net or phone Travel World (Darach Culligan 014783611).

Also included in the trip is the novelty of an international match. On a visit to Royal Cape Golf Club members of the travelling party will take on members of Mowbray Golf Club in a team competition.

Clothing

Who do you associate with different brands of clothing? Of course you know that Padraig Harrington wears Kartel, Tiger Woods wears Nike, Nick Faldo wears Pringle and Paul McGinley wears Dunhill.

However, in a unique move, Ashworth have drafted in Fred Couples' wife, This is their socalled "new image" campaign which was launched last week. The first photos of the couple wearing the company's clothing were actually shot at St Andrews and will be used in a global campaign by Ashworth who are seeking to tout their brand as the choice for travel and leisure. It will carry the tagline: "It's not the destination but the journey - clothes for the trip."