With Rory taking time out from golf by watching some whiter than white tennis at sunny Wimbledon. Chin wagging with minted Murray and big apple McEnroe. One of the Beeb’s commentators uttered that Maria Sharopova is the highest paid female athlete, raking in a cool 25 million pounds per year. Granted she is six foot, blonde, cute lookin and won Wimbledon at the tender age of 17. It’s understandable that makers of sports apparel, shoes, watches, perfumes, shampoos etc would pay handsomely for her endorsement. My personal favourite at this year’s championship is Bulgarian Pironkova. Though she has just been knocked out by another ‘ova’.
Anyway, back to golf, all this got me wondering who’s the best female golfer and how much does she earn? I’ve read stories that Michelle Wie was worth 10 million dollars with sponsorship deals from Nike, and that was before she’d even won a tournament. Granted Annika Sorenstam earned a packet, but she did win several majors and had that Scandinavian appeal. Taiwan’s Yani Tseng is currently the best female golfer, but to earn the really big bucks does Tseng have the ‘eye candy’ to go with the undoubted talent?



Picture by Les Catchick
The four largest producers of cotton are China, USA, India and Pakistan.

Only 0.8% of world cotton production is organic and just over 1.2% is fair trade.

For example Ikea uses 100,000 tons of cotton per year, which takes 170,000 tons of chemicals and 2,890 billion litres of water to grow. Brands such as Ikea, Gap and Levis are all trying to look at their cotton production and grow ‘better cotton’ which uses natural resources more efficiently.

In developed countries cotton farmers are subsidised by their governments to compensate them for any losses caused by natural disasters, unfortunately their counterparts in developing countries are not so lucky.

Pesticides were virtually unknown in Pakistan 30 years ago, now there is a market worth an estimated £150 million. Cotton is susceptible to many risks; including too much water and too little water, heavy wind and rain, greenfly and moth caterpillars. Hence local Pakistan farmers have turned to pesticides, despite the increased costs, to reduce their risks. We’ve all seems pictures of tractors being used to spray large fields, but in developing countries spraying of these hazardous chemicals are done by hand.

Instructions of how to use safely are all printed on the containers, but they are not much use if the vast majority of farmers in Pakistan cannot read. For those farmers who cannot afford the branded pesticides they can always turn to the black market which supplies cheaper, banned chemicals.

Hopefully in the near future ‘better cotton’ will let the natural predators; ladybirds and dragonflies, of cotton pests live long enough to enjoy a few crunchy snacks.




Here at Golf Refugees we like a little bit of science and nature. We know some of the jargon to conduct experiments, such as ‘double blind tests’ and feel confident our research can stand upto peer scrutiny.

Now, we’ve all heard how the latest technology can add yards to your game, whether this is from a new multi-layer ball or super-hot faced driver. With the meteoric rise of Rory McIlroy, Golf Refugees have sent their intrepid player to investigate whether donning a Rory style curly mop can increase your golfing ability.

Our methodology focused on tests conducted over a few days using the following clubs; wedge, 6 iron, 4 iron, hybrid and driver. Measurements were taken of distance and accuracy when striking a golf ball. The same tests were performed on different days at the same venue with the same clubs, at a similar time with an identical level of consumed food and beverages to reduce variables.

To sumarise, donning a Rory style curly mop can increase your playing ability, in terms of both added distance and accuracy. Psychometric tests provided additional research material of increased brain activity and personality changes. One short sighted local even asked for an autograph which had a profound effect.



Are Nike golf balls, clubs and clothing all rubbish now that their tour players, including Tiger, are unable to win any major golf tournaments?

Should all of us golf consumers switch over to which ever ball, club and shirt Rory McIroy uses?
With Rory set to become the brightest star in golf, he must be using the best gear.

Personally, I have always believed hair to be very important. Hence to kick off my golf star reincarnation I’m going to begin by wearing a curly mop. Just like Rory's.




Congratulations to Rory McIlroy, the youngest winner of the US Open since Bobby Jones back in 1923.

He dominated The Master’s for three rounds and now completely dominated the US Open. Some say he’s the new Tiger. Nope. He’s Rory McIlroy.

Northern Ireland's success with both Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy’s US Open wins has renewed calls for the Open Championship to return to its shores.

Only 14 golf courses have held the Open over the past 139 years. There must be many more golf courses dotted about the British Isles who could put on a great show. Let’s spread it about a bit more, instead of looking down the same old list.



CatClo from Protein® on Vimeo.



There are some big golf events kicking off.
Did you know there is a ‘sustainable golf index’ which measures the perceived sustainability of European professional golf tournaments?

Electric vehicles, biological catering and sustainable energy are some of the topics covered.

However, Golf Refugees noticed that there was no information regarding sustainable golf apparel.

We have now supplied evidence to the index, which states that if your tournament golf officials and volunteers wear carbon neutral polo shirts, you can save 1.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions. These figures are based on 200 eco polo’s.

What’s the point of wearing polluting golf polo shirts?



Photo: USGA Archives

Golf style circa 1967 courtesy of Chi Chi with his Puerto Rican heritage.
Panama hats, ascots and high waisted trousers with no logos in sight.
Sheer class.



Golf Refugees have noticed that many golf sites offer their readers product reviews. Unlike other so called ‘independent’ sites, we do not have a cosy relationship with the big brands and would happily say if their latest product was a load of junk.
Our testers have been busy testing, indoors and out, with the latest ‘ELC’ driver. It completely ignores the latest ‘white’ colour trend and goes instead for a calming pastel blue. We feel this could be of benefit to nervous golfers and those wishing for a lighter grip. It certainty made our testers feel super-relaxed. Through thorough investigative research we found it is also available in green.

What about the science bit? Well it’s made from a ‘forged’ composite material which combines high strength fibres embedded in a thermoplastic matrix. Apparently Dyson use a similar material for their fabulous bladeless fan.

We found it to be a very forgiving club, but were puzzled by a slighter shorter shaft length. Head of development Dominic McAndrew said “they wanted to avoid ‘shafting’ the public by simply using a longer shaft to gain extra distance”.

In a group test, our players thought the ELC driver outperformed the latest offerings from Taylor Made, Callaway and Nike.

But don’t take our word; go to one of the many demonstration days at your local Early Learning Centre store.



Flamingo pink organic carbon neutral polo shirt with ink jet printed label and bleached orange hem trim.
Designed by Golf Refugees for a top Ladies European Tour player.



Here we go again. Just because we have a new world number one in Luke Donald, some foes across the pond still can't except the rise of European golfers.
I used to love watching Lee Trevino play golf, I can still picture his swing in my mind and his broad smile. Lee Trevino. "Luke Donald, how can he be No 1?" Trevino was quoted by Golf magazine as saying. "He's won one tournament in the last five years!"

Donald has actually won four in this time. Two of them just happened to be two of the bigger titles on the calendar – the WGC Match Play in February and the PGA Championship last Sunday.

Nicklaus was also prepared to relegate Donald. "I think if you asked the players who is No 1, they would still say Tiger" he said.




What’s your favourite golf course?

My favourite is Baron Hill golf club in Beaumaris. It’s not particularly expensive or exclusive, but I have many fond memories of playing Baron Hill as a youngster.

The first hole has a brow which you need to drive over in order to benefit from the down slope to gain those extra few yards. That leaves a tricky second shot to the small elevated green.

Being in Wales, sheep are used to keep the grass down on the fairways. Spiked shoes unfortunately act as skewers for the abundant sheep droppings.

Next are the longer second, third and fourth holes which all use the same patch of sloping land for a fairway. Golfers tee off in either a north or south direction depending upon which hole you are playing. Errant tee shots can make you play your approach shot from 4 th fairway, when playing the second hole. It can feel like a ‘tour of duty’, with golf balls flying above your head as you negotiate the gorse bunkered land. There’s also the additional hazard of a brooke, which is either before the green on the 2 nd or after the tee on the uphill 3 rd.

The best hole is the short par 4 dog-leg.right sixth. You only require a modest tee shot to reach the elevated plateau fairway. But sufficient tee shot height is required to clear the rocky out crop to reach the promised land. The narrow plateau fairway provides a good view of the small green, which is protected by a large tree and an out of bounds animal farm on the right. There’s always a noisy reception from the local rooster which can distract your attention.

The modest clubhouse provides an excellent view of the first hole and beautiful scenes of the Isle of Anglesey.