With much of last week dominated by the launch of the new TaylorMade R9 range, it was fitting to see Pat Perez win the Bob Hope Classic. The scoring wasn’t great but Perez, with the new TaylorMade R9 driver in his bag, claimed the title with a 33-under total. Meanwhile, with a straw hat and pencil-thin sideburns, Alvaro Quiros triumphed at the Qatar Masters.

Staying with new gear, on Monday we reviewed some modern putters. Having given you some food for thought with our selection of irons under £400 last week, you should have enough to think about gear-wise over the weekend.

Then, all eyes turned to Dubai. Colin Montgomerie was named the new European Ryder Cup captain. The voices of approval came thick and fast, but coach Butch Harmon – normally happy to sit on the fence – was “surprised”. It came as no surprise to Golf Monthly – research suggesting Monty has a decent Cup record and feels quite strongly about the whole event.   

Harmon, of course, was in Dubai to launch the aptly named “Butch Harmon School of Golf”. Dubai is the place to be at the moment, just ask Deputy Editor Neil Tappin, there for the TaylorMade R9 launch. Tiger Woods likes it there as well. Injured or not, he’s still going to build his 7,800-yard championship course, 100 villas, 75 mansions and 22 palaces. With all the talk of palaces, it was good to hear that Ernie Els was doing his bit for charity. Finally, in, umm, Dubai, Leisurecorp unveiled the Earth Course. The Race to Dubai does end in Dubai so it needs a course there. The Greg Norman-designed course should do the job.

Golf industry news was headed by the introduction of the new Titleist Pro V1. It goes longer and spins more, a refreshing change to all the short balls on the market these days.

As ever, the Golf Monthly Forum has been busy. Whether it’s to discuss your latest bets, or your views on all the new gear, there’s no lack of opinion. One of Friday’s threads is titled “Holes to play before you die”, a discussion likely to roll on over the weekend. We value your thoughts and opinion. A special mention to Andy Wardrop (aka madandra) for his moving words and story of Wee Joe Mo. We’re always happy to hear more and get these up for everyone’s enjoyment.   

So, there we have it. Come Sunday, weather permitting, we’ll have another name making the headlines in Dubai when the Dubai Desert Classic reaches its conclusion. The Golf Monthly team will be back next week when we’ll review a selection of hybrids. We’ll have all the latest industry news and top stories and, most importantly, they’ll be a new Golf Monthly Order of Merit pacesetter – the office equivalent of the Race to Dubai – after round one at Bearwood Lakes.

It’s been a busy week, but a productive one. Sadly the New Year’s resolution has been broken for some with chocolate cake featuring heavily in the diet for one reason or another on all but one day. That said, any excess calories were quickly burnt off as cricket-lovers Mike Harris and Alex Narey charged in from the Tate Modern end of the office doing their best to intimidate keen batsmen and new Sub Editor Tom Clarke. Evidence suggests there will be no Caribbean call-ups.  

Have a good weekend, and join us next week.