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  1. #1
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    January's GR Personality of the Month - Sandy Lyle

    "It's not whether you win or lose - but whether I win or lose."
    Alexander Walter 'Sandy' Lyle MBE (1958 - )


    Born Shrewsbury, England but considered Scottish, Lyle was one of Britain and Europe's top golfers during the 1980s. He is one of the golfers credited with breaking American domination of golf on the world stage. Lyle was introduced to golf as soon as he would walk. His father, Alex, was a teaching professional at Hawkstone Park GC and had his son playing with miniature clubs from the age of 3. Lyle had an outstanding amateur career culminating in victory in the English Amateur Stroke Play championship in 1975 and 1977. He also served on the Walker Cup squad twice. He turned professional in 1977 and was nominated Rookie of the Year in his first full season a year later. His first professional victory was the 1978 Nigerian Open. As a player, Lyle is renowned for his cool temperament and focus. However, his form is not always consistent and tends to play either exceptionally well or exceptionally bad.

    Lyle won his first Major, the Open, in 1985. Perhaps the highlight of his career was victory in the 1988 US Masters. He was the first non-American to win the event, a victory made sweeter because of the intense competition between America and Europe in all aspects of golf. Lyle has also played on 5 Ryder Cup squads and represented Scotland 3 times in the World Cup.


    I recently read a great article, which in the cirrent context is probably not a million miles away from David Duval's dilemma (personal cirmcumstances are different obviously)

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...431287,00.html

    Some extracts that caught my eye - "Despite his success in 1988, he was unhappy with his game at the start of 1989, and, after a fortnight’s break in Britain, he returned to America for the Florida swing. He made a couple of cuts, but something wasn’t right, and at Bay Hill his game collapsed. The search to rediscover it began, and despite one or two false dawns, has never really ended.

    Faldo, who manufactured his domination of golf, described his rival as “the greatest natural talent in the game”.
    Ballesteros, whose shot-making flair became legendary, once said: “If we all played our best, Sandy would win.”

    “I don’t know how I did it, I just did it,” says Lyle. “I played instinctively. I could see in my mind the shot I was going to hit, and it was all down to feel. At the start of my most successful years, I didn’t have many thoughts about winning majors. It just happened. It makes me realise now that knowledge of your golf swing is vital. You can’t go out there, be blasé and rely on your skills to get you round."

    I remember him once playing the World Matchplay many years ago at Wentworth. He was playing Tommy Najagima (I think) and they both shot something like 65 each in the morning and then Lyle went ballistic in the afternoon. He was something like 10 under for his last 8 holes. Blew old TNj away. And he made it look so easy. In another story he was playing the Open at Muirfield and didn't hit a driver in 72 holes. He just screamed his one iron the entire week, hitting it 280yds +. And his caddy Dave Musgrave recounted that nothing ever put Sandy off. He would put through a leaf in his line or a gun going off and never get phazed by it.

    I still figure Sandy will win before he hits the Seniors. He just lacks one good round per week. He shoots 68 70 77 68 on a regular basis.
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    Last edited by Irishgolfer; 01-27-2005 at 12:53 AM.
    You know me you know the score. Keep them satisfied in bed and they wont bother your golf - wise words from The Master, Feb. '05

  2. #2
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    Fabulous post IG.

    I had the pleasure of following Sandy round Sunnigdale in the late 80's and he certainly was the most natural player I've ever seen. The limited number of golfing biographies I have read all seem to point to Sandy as having the most innate golfing ability of all the European stars, as your Seve quote describes.

    Particularly interesting is the:

    "It makes me realise now that knowledge of your golf swing is vital."

    I guess this has been the difference between Faldo and Lyle over the years and why Nick went on to win 6 majors to Sandy's 2. Sandy had the talent but Faldo had the work ethic and mechanical knowledge.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by corbo
    Fabulous post IG.

    I had the pleasure of following Sandy round Sunnigdale in the late 80's and he certainly was the most natural player I've ever seen. The limited number of golfing biographies I have read all seem to point to Sandy as having the most innate golfing ability of all the European stars, as your Seve quote describes.

    Particularly interesting is the:

    "It makes me realise now that knowledge of your golf swing is vital."

    I guess this has been the difference between Faldo and Lyle over the years and why Nick went on to win 6 majors to Sandy's 2. Sandy had the talent but Faldo had the work ethic and mechanical knowledge.
    Interesting in the ST article that he feels he has been overlooked on the Ryder Cup front. Maybe SL was just too nice a guy, never ambitious enough. I don't know.

    I really like his Dunlop sweater!!!
    You know me you know the score. Keep them satisfied in bed and they wont bother your golf - wise words from The Master, Feb. '05

  4. #4
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    Agreed, it is a fine sweater, not quite up there with the Seves blue/black Slazengers during Opens 84 and 88 but infinitely superior to Faldo's Pringle horrors.

    As for the Ryder Cup, you've got Faldo, Lyle, Woosnam and Montgomerie all looking to captain the team over the next decade or so and you have to feel someone might miss out on the top job. Youve also got to think Olazabal might want it too and Christy OConnor? You may be right, out of that bunch you can see Sandy being the unfortunate one.

    This knitwear nostalgia has got me thinking, do you reckon those Slazenger sweaters are available? Ill check the web site.
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    Last edited by corbo; 01-27-2005 at 04:39 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by corbo
    Agreed, it is a fine sweater, not quite up there with the Seves blue/black Slazengers during Opens 84 and 88 but infinitely to better than Faldo's Pringle horrors.

    As for the Ryder Cup, you've got Faldo, Lyle, Woosnam and Montgomerie all looking to captain the team over the next decade or so and you have to feel someone might miss out on the top job. Youve also got to think Olazabal might want it too and Christy OConnor? You may be right, out of that bunch you can see Sandy being the unfortunate one.

    This knitwear nostalgia has got me thinking, do you reckon those Slazenger sweaters are available? Ill check the web site.
    I'm off to root through my Dad's knitwear collection, the 80s cupboard. He will have a fine spread of colours and patterns in Lyle & Scot, Pringle, Slazenger and hopefully Dunlop.

    In a funny related story, a couple of my Scottish mates (brothers) once set fire to their dad's golfing knitwears in some argument they had with him. They got them out in the back garden and doused them with petrol and then proceeded to dance round the pyre taking photographs. I don't think he ever forgave them, non golfing proletariat!!

    Any time I meet up with them I make sure it's a denim day!
    You know me you know the score. Keep them satisfied in bed and they wont bother your golf - wise words from The Master, Feb. '05

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishgolfer
    I'm off to root through my Dad's knitwear collection, the 80s cupboard. He will have a fine spread of colours and patterns in Lyle & Scot, Pringle, Slazenger and hopefully Dunlop.

    In a funny related story, a couple of my Scottish mates (brothers) once set fire to their dad's golfing knitwears in some argument they had with him. They got them out in the back garden and doused them with petrol and then proceeded to dance round the pyre taking photographs. I don't think he ever forgave them, non golfing proletariat!!

    Any time I meet up with them I make sure it's a denim day!
    I am concerned that if I pursue this knitwear idea in earnest I'll end up looking more Alan Partridge in a Harvester car park than Seve Ballesteros striding up the 18th at St Andrews. I'm sure my Dad has a similar fancy dress cupboard full of Farah etc, I'll investigate.

    The Slazenger website is under reconstruction so I made a couple of calls to a company that turned out to be officially called ........ Slazenger/Dunlop! I enquired about the above Sandy/Seve sweaters but sadly Dunlop got out of this game a while ago. Apparently there were a couple of Scottish brothers (with some previous) that put the squeeze on the factory work force and they refused to go back. Business just crumbled from there.

    As it turns out Slazenger 'apparel' is now produced by or through JJB Sports, I have just this minute left a message with their golf department sales team and I'll let you know how I get on.
    Last edited by corbo; 01-27-2005 at 08:10 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Apologies IG I fear my knitwear angle in response to your Sandy Lyle thread may have put off other posters and ruined a potentially interesting debate.

    That said I am sorry to report that Slazenger now only manufacture "round-neck sweaters" so it's charity shops or bust for me ...... again. The helpful man in the sales department informed me that this move was .......... "driven by market forces"!

    I'm sure, like me, you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting for the release of his White Paper on the subject, if there are any spare I will save you a copy.
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  8. #8
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    I think the moral of this thread is that Scottish brothers and golf knitwear do not mix. Perhaps the scots should take to fleece and be done with it.
    Please, just call me Schemp...

  9. #9
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    I wear "lyle and scott" which I think is Scottish I think they are a brillantjumper I only wear round neck as they are the best I have approximetely 15 of these jumpers they are great. Corbo or IG you wear them?
    Feels just like it should.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The master
    I wear "lyle and scott" which I think is Scottish I think they are a brillantjumper I only wear round neck as they are the best I have approximetely 15 of these jumpers they are great. Corbo or IG you wear them?
    I do indeed have one or two "Lyle and Scott" jumpers, one with "Royal Cinques Ports Golf Club" stictched on it on it - my favourite course.

    I have also recently purchased some grey cords, well if they are good enough for Vijay ....
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  11. #11
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    Yeah they are a great jumper but they only last lie 2 months because when you carry your bag it wears them away on the shoulder so they go bally and get holes.

    I have crests on some of mine about 3 "bangor golf club" and 1 " st andrews" and my favourite a fred daily one which i'm getting Master wrote on this year. I use to have a ryder cup one but I had to dispose of it a while back it had to many hot rocks.

    I have also have a few of the glenmures they are also do the job. You have any of them?
    Feels just like it should.

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