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The Front 9

It's not the end of the season - the golf starts here!

Posted Aug 20, 2009 by Iestyn George


You know how it is. There's always a bit of a lull when the last major of the year comes to an end. But that's not the way we look at things at the Imagine Golf Club, there's tons to look forward to, so here's a list of future highlights the season hurtles into overdrive.


The eighth Presidents Cup takes place on October 8-11 at Harding Park Golf Club in San Fransisco. The US won comfortably at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in 2007, but with Angel Cabrera (pictured), Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and, of course YE Yang all in good form, the International side will be in good spirits, with non-playing captain Greg Norman having a host of options for his two picks. US captain, Fred Couples, on the other hand, will just have to wait and see whether Phil Mickelson makes the starting line-up, or chooses to stay at home with wife Amy.

Even if you pointed a gun to my head, I wouldn't be able to give you an accurate and detailed explanation of what The Fed Ex Cup is all about without resorting to some snidey Googling. What I do know, however, is that The PGA Tour Playoffs is upon us, starting on August 27 at The Barclays in New Jersey and the whole competition comes to an exciting climax at The 2009 Tour Championship between September 24-27. This time there won't be any canny South Koreans to prevent Tiger Woods walking away with the big prize.

The Ryder Cup is special, but The Walker Cup has an allure all of its own. The 2009 Walker Cup takes place at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania on September 12 and 13, pitting the finest amateur golfers from The US and Great Britain & Ireland. If you want to see many of the most talented young golfers around. The US is looking for a hat-trick of victories after winning in 2005 at Chicago Golf Club and in 2007 at Royal County Down.

The Dunhill Links is the golf party of the year. St Andrews is the golf capital of the world and for a week in the year it's teeming with the numerous half-decent golfers who've played international football, had a walk-on part in The Bill, or happen to be Hugh Grant. You'll never get a chance to catch the tour pros in a better mood (discounting when they've got a 7am tee-time the morning after the night before) and this year it's been pulled forward in the tour schedule October 1-4), so there's a chance you'll be able to identify the celebrities under those waterproofs for a change.

The Volvo World Matchplay Championship was the invention of Mark McCormack, founder of the IMG sports empire and manager of some bloke you might have heard of called Arnold Palmer. Staged at Wentworth, it's faded from the premier event of old, with many of the big names from The US, choosing to stay at home. But with a new home - Finca Cortesin in Spain - it's a chance to revel in a match play battle in the autumn sun.

Just so you haven't got the wrong end of the stick, the Race To Dubai isn't actually a race at all. That would be stupid, all those blokes in chinos hurtling across the globe with their caddies puffing loyally behind. It's actually a golf tournament and the richest one in European Tour history to boot. The Dubai World Championship takes place at the Earth Course on the Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 19-22. The Top 15 players will share no less that $10million and if you fancy seeing the top 60 players competing for the big prize in the flesh, the tickets are free.

We loved The World Cup when it travelled from country to country, but despite the fact that it's now appeared to take root at Mission Hills this is still a fantastic tournament, taking place this year on November 26-29. The Swedish duo of Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson charged to victory last year with an astonishing last round 63, three shots ahead of Spain. Anyone suggesting that my enthusiasm for this event is based on the fact that it's the only World Cup Wales has won in my lifetime, may have a point, actually.

We've not gone short of exciting young golfers in 2009 with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Ryo Ishikawa getting plenty of airtime during the majors season. While we're looking into the future of golf, here's a speck on the horizon who might well be big news one day. Justin Thomas was just 16 when he made his debut at the 2009 Wyndham Championship this week. Forget the one about policemen looking younger every day...

But in case you needed reminding to get 'em swinging young...

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