A slice of the Johnnie Walker action

8/24/2012 10:21:25 AM
A general view of the 18th green   (Getty Images)
A general view of the 18th green (Getty Images)

Our man on the ground at Gleneagles takes a look behind the scenes at the Johnnie Walker Championship.

Better Billy Bunker...?

This week’s tongue twister has a few people scratching their heads as they try to firstly pronounce the “Better Billy Bunker” drainage method eloquently and secondly try to work out what it is. So to enlighten you, the “Better Billy Bunker” method was developed by former Augusta superintendent Billy Fuller (hence the Billy reference) and basically sees an application of a liquid polymer sprayed onto a 4 inch deep layer of 2-6mm gravel which lines the bunker. Once set it creates a solid drainage layer which effectively turns the whole bunker into a drain. 72 bunkers of the 80 have been done and the system has performed very well since its installation. The construction process used 400 tonnes of Gravel, 1100 tonnes of sand & 9000Ltrs of polymer. This installation has seen the PGA Centenary Course become the first golf course in Europe to use the Better Billy Bunker Method.

Lucky Ball Marker...?

David Lynn, a man once stung by a scorpion on the neck while lying in his bed in South Africa, is not generally a superstitious man but he does like a decent ball marker. For years he used a Wedgewood marker and then the week before the 2004 KLM Open he lost it. But after replacing his “lucky” ball marker with a Shilling from his Dad, he promptly won the title. That was also lost and Wedgewood got wind of the story and stepped in, inviting him to the factory so to provide him with two more. Over the intervening years, one was lost and then, as he stepped on the first tee for the final round of the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and rummaged through his bag, there was no sign of his favourite marker. “I was thinking Oh my God, what am I going to do!” he said. “ And then I suddenly thought the last time I lost the marker I did alright and was this a sign?” Indeed it was, as the Englishman romped to arguably his finest performance to finish second to Rory McIlroy in the season’s final Major. Now the hunt is on to find a replacement to the rather dull 5p coin he used.

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee sparked celebrations up and down the land and here in Scotland, John Walker & Sons, Scotch Whisky Distillers By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, marked the occasion with the bottling of Diamond Jubilee; a specially crafted blend of rare malt and grain Scotch Whiskies distilled in and maturing since 1952, the year Her Majesty acceded to the throne.

The craftsmanship is exceptional with just 60 editions bottled at Royal Lochnagar Distillery, on the edge of The Queen’s Balmoral Estate. Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his apprentice Matthew Crow selected the rare grain and malt whiskies distilling for the last 60 years. The final, traditional step of marrying was carried out in casks made by the John Walker & Sons coopers using oak provided by kind permission of The Queen from her private Sandringham Estate. And that was just the start as 60 craftsman and women including fellow Royal Warrant Holders and Queen  Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Scholars came together to create bespoke pieces to present the whisky. Well worth having a look at what went into this creation, so click here and enjoy the video.