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banner Saturday, 13 October, 2001, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Peter Alliss answers
E-mail your questions and log-on live on Saturday 13 October at 18.00BST to hear Peter Allis answer
Veteran golf commentator Peter Alliss was on hand to answer your questions on the penultimate day of play at the Cisco World Match Play Championship.

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    Fears that the World Match play tournament would be marred by a lack of big names were quickly put to rest with some scintillating golf.

    Saturday witnessed dramatic semi-final action setting up an attractive climax to the tournament between Padraig Harrington and Ian Woosnam.

    Forming part of the BBC commentary team at Wentworth Peter Alliss was in a perfect position to offer his views on a fantastic day of golf.

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    Graeme Leckie, Scotland

    Is a caddy allowed to give his player a physical line on the green as Harrington's appeared to on the 6th green using his feet as a target, during play on Saturday?

    That's perfectly legal, but you can't touch the line of the putt. You'll notice that when someone's got a club in their hand they point to the spot where they think the ball is going to come in from, which is okay.


    Richard Sullivan, UK

    Do you think Nick Faldo will ever win again or is his best chance when he turns 50 with the seniors?

    That's a difficult question. I think if Nick wishes to continue playing when he gets to 50, which is still a few years off, he'll be a very formidable competitor. He's lost a little bit of sparkle. I can remember before he made the alterations to his swing that made him so successful, he used to hit 64's and 65's with fairly great regularity. Now 67 or 68 would be a very good score, and there are lots of 70's and 71's. I've always felt that over the years that little bit of magic has disappeared. He was always going safe and straight, and the flamboyance had gone. I'm not sure whether we're going to see him win another tournament. I think he's got the, particularly if he has a good putting week, but the longer you go without winning the more difficult it becomes. I would think that if he did continue into the senior ranks, he would be a very formidable character there.


    David E Telfer, Canada

    Who is the best match play golfer you have seen, or played against?

    Some people are much better at match play because you make mistakes, and if you make a serious mistake in match play you only lose one hole, where as if the same happens in medal play you could end up taking eight or nine strokes. Arnold Palmer was always very good, and Seve Ballesteros was a magnificent match player. Brian Hugget, who now plays on the senior tour, was also an excellent competitor. It's something in people's characters. Hand to hand fighting suits some people, where as others like to be a mile away pressing a button and hoping something happens.


    Neil Ward, England

    I have been thinking of changing my golf clubs for some time now, perhaps to carbon-shafts. Why do we rarely see professional golfers using carbon-shafted irons?

    Usually because there's a bit too much whip in them - a bit too much liveliness. Golf professionals basically want to keep the ball flying relatively low and going forward. Club players want to get the ball up, and that's why club players like grass on the fairways - they like it a bit fluffy. In tournament play the fairways are almost like a billiard table, there's hardly any grass on them at all - they're cut beautifully. Club players would find it very difficult getting the ball up and away on the fairways that the pros play on. So a lot of players use what we call 'cast headed' clubs. Too many of them don't use clubs that suit the amateur better. There's a lot to it if you examine it closely. A lot of people playing club golf today could improve If they thought about the golf ball they used.


    John Harvey, UK

    I purchased two Peter Alliss Slazenger drivers second hand and I'm happy to say I am still playing with them and they are still in good condition. Do you still use a Slazenger?

    No I don't any more. I was with Slazenger for many years - a wonderful firm based in Yorkshire and I had a marvellous association with them. I've got a set at home with some of my old clubs, which are probably just about ready for the golfing museum up at St Andrews. Of course they don't make wooden headed clubs anymore, and I don't think they'll ever return. They're all metal-headed clubs now, which are much easier to make, and give you much greater uniformity. With clubs hand made with wood you get a difference - rather like Waterford crystal. Every jar and every vase comes out slightly differently, because it's not machine made.


    Luke Byrne, UK

    Peter, if you could go back to when you were at the peak of your game, knowing what you do today, would there be anything you would have changed about your game or the way you went about your game, i.e. lifestyle, diet or fitness program?

    That's an interesting one. Looking back, I have no regrets. I won 21 'proper' tournaments, and played in eight Ryder Cups and ten World Cups. I had a wonderful lifestyle, made a few quid, and enjoyed myself. I suppose I could and should have practiced a little bit more. The Allis family probably deserved to win at least one Open Championship, certainly my father did. I got within four shots of the winner on a couple of occasions. As for dieting, I was 11st 7lb for many years believe it or not. When I was playing I was about 13st 4lb and just over 6ft tall. Now I'm a whisker heavier than that.

    The fanaticism wasn't there then and the practice facilities weren't as good as they are today. You had to go with your own practice balls and send your caddy down the fairway with hundreds of balls showering down on him. And if you had a decent set of balls your caddy was always very annoyed if someone else pinched them. So it was all very different. We traveled before motorways were built, and we had to pack our sandwiches in our Thermos flasks and plan our route so that we went via the all night petrol stations. It was a great adventure, and it was wonderful. I wouldn't have missed for the world.


    Jean, England

    I was looking at a dictionary cum reference book and was delighted to discover a new (to me) golfing term: Golden ferret, which means the holing of a ball directly from a bunker. Have you ever heard of this?

    Oh yes. Golden ferret, oozlers, plonkers, etc - these are all betting terms. There's also one called 'sandy'. A sandy is if you're in a green side bunker and you're up, then out, then in. So you're out of the bunker in one and you hole the putt.


    Dave Scott, England

    I'm old enough to remember the Pro-Celebrity BBC series hosted by your good self, which was excellent. Any plans to re-run these shows or make any new ones?

    I'd like to think so, but the problem now is finding a slot to put them in. There's so much sport on television now, and there was always the discussion of whether the show fell into the category of light entertainment or sport, and there was a bone of contention as to who would pay for it. I would love to think Pro-Celebrity could come back again. With a different format and different players I think we could do it, and make it interesting. But of course with so much golf being beamed in from overseas in the winter, gone are the days when we sat round on a Sunday night and watched the golf from Gleneagles Hotel played in the summertime. I for one would like to see them come back. I think we could make them interesting, informative, and it would be a lot of fun.

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