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Chance to be pretty in pink

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Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson

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Bubba Watson

DO you want to look pretty in pink on the golf course? Most men would answer in the negative on that one -- at least old fashioned males who like their steaks blood-rare and their plates laden with spuds.

But if there was a chance of getting your hands on a 'Bubba Watson' pink driver, similar to the one the left-handed Southern 'good old boy' utilised in winning the Masters, one might make an exception.

Golfers the world over love something different, something gimmicky, and if it is associated with a great triumph, it's going to be a best seller. The problem will be supply versus demand, as Ping prepare to launch a special edition pink version of their G20 driver.

Prior to the dramatic Augusta triumph of Watson (pictured), interest was already stirring in the colourful driver he has been using since January.

Michael McGuirk, of McGuirk's Golf, asked about availability of the pink clubs arising from some customer enquiries at his shops. As a novelty item, he would have stocked a few to see how they sold, but was told they were not available in these islands.

Stock

Indeed, Brian O'Regan, who is the Ping rep for Ireland North and South, said a number of customers had asked about them before the Masters, but since last Monday week, he had over 30 calls from account holders in golf clubs and golf shops looking to stock the pink drivers.

Now, the hype will soar following Ping's announcement that they are to sell 5,000 -- and only 5,000 -- special edition pink G20 drivers worldwide.

The drivers will have a pink shaft and clubhead in 9.5, 10.5 and 12- degree lofts for right-handed players, and in 10.5- degree loft only for left-handers. A ladies 12-degree model will also be available.

They will come with a matching pink headcover, and a TFC 169D shaft with the words 'Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by Ping. Limited Edition 2012.' And 'limited' means exactly that.

The company may revise their plans at some stage, but 5,000 is the number now, and the question remains as to how many, if any, will be available in Europe and in Ireland.

The clubs will be sold in America from June 1 with a recommended retail price of $430 (€328).

They are likely to appear in Europe a few weeks after that, around the €400 mark.

No matter what the price, the pink Bubba limited edition clubs will be prized items, so it will be interesting to see how many, if any, Irish golfers get their hands on them.

The manufacturers will donate 5pc of the proceeds to charities associated with Watson's 'Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million' fundraising bid for good causes in the Phoenix area.

Ping have already made a $10,000 donation and followed up by giving $300 for every drive Bubba hits over 300 yards on Tour this year. They have paid out over $60,000 for Watson's long driving to date.

Irish fans would love to see Bubba parade his talents at the Irish Open in Royal Portrush from June 28-July 1, but it's an unlikely proposition, despite his previous experience of links golf in this country.

As a student, Bubba made a trip to Ireland in 1997 and played Waterville, Lahinch twice, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, and Portmarnock (Old).

However, with our own Major champions Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke in the field, the European Tour would surely be reluctant to pay an appearance fee for Bubba.

If Watson wanted some links experience in advance of the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne's, Portrush would be ideal.

However, Bubba is not a great overseas traveller and is likely to come to Europe the week before the third Major of the season.

Lyons website coverage huge boost for 'west'

THE 90th staging of the West of Ireland golf championship at County Sligo was followed worldwide via twitter and facebook and by Joe Lyons of golfwithamember.com

Lyons, West of Ireland winner in 2007, set up the site which is primarily aimed at facilitating golfers from around the world to play at clubs with a member.

It's social networking with benefits, as most clubs offer cheaper rates if you play with a member and can help clubs get more green fee traffic. For the West, which has never been covered by TV, Lyons' site kept updating news with forum posts and video clips.

Allied to the excellent live updates by County Sligo on facebook, the video clips really enhanced the interest and helped draw spectators to the final, in which Harry Diamond (Belvoir Park) beat Stephen Healy (Claremorris) by one hole. The links was once again in fine condition for a well-contested championship.

Dunne's six of the best drive leinster to glory

HATS off to the ladies of Leinster, Women's Inter-provincial champions of 2012.

Leinster beat Connacht and Munster and then dethroned an Ulster team (5.5-3.5) that was chasing a hat-trick of titles at Cork Golf Club.

Maria Dunne of Skerries was the Leinster star, winning six matches out of six, including a 7&5 singles win over Louise Coffey in the singles against Ulster.

Former Irish Close champions Deirdre Smith and Mary Dowling also won their matches on the big day, with Ariana Coyle Diez claiming an important half-point against Charlene Reid.

Leona Maguire and Paula Grant were the only Ulster singles winners against Leinster, with Maguire unstoppable in finishing seven-under-par for the 13 holes it took her to beat Aedin Murphy.

Leinster team -- Anna Courtney (St Anne's), Ariana Coyle Diez (Elm Park), Karen Delaney (Carlow), Mary Dowling (New Ross), Maria Dunne (Skerries), Louise Mernagh (Woodenbridge), Aedin Murphy (Carlow), Deirdre Smith (Co Louth). Captain: Denise McCarthy (Woodenbridge).

Irish Independent