Newsletter: 24 May 2012
This week looks like being a great golfing week for two reasons, firstly the PGA Championship is on at Wentworth and is always a terrific tournament. Secondly you will get to play golf without the aid of waterproofs, umbrella's, thermals and a rolling 15 minute update from the Met Office!
The PGA is the European Tour's flagship event and definitely if you do get the chance, pop along to watch it in person. Sadly the opportunities of seeing these great players close too is becoming less and less, due to the games worldwide popularity. Back in the day, there were around 6 - 8 tournaments on the UK Mainland. Still, before I begin to sound like Peter Allis after lunch, we will put this fact down to progress and move on!
One topic that is in the golfing news at the moment is the slow play issue. Several players led by our hero Luke Donald have called on the 'powers that be' to do something about it and certainly the Professional game needs to take a lead on this. I am sure many of you would of watched the Tournament Players Championship from Sawgrass a couple of weeks back and witnessed the fidgeting Kevin Na, who after spending time on calming the bumble bee that seems to permanently habitat his shirt, then requires his caddy to line him up. Watching the caddy issuing the "left a bit, right a bit" instructions, I suddenly had an image of that stellar seventies quiz show - The Golden Shot. Basically (for those of you under the age of 40), the premise was that a crossbow was attached to a camera and this would shoot a bolt at a large apple (shades of William Tell). The crossbow was operated by a blind folded cameraman (trust me this really happened, and I know health and safety wouldn't allow it now) and the contestant via phone either in the studio or sometimes from their home, would guide him, hence those immortal instructions "up a bit, left a bit, down a bit...FIRE". In one legendary edition an ingenious contestant actually rang into the show from a public phone box that was cunningly situated next to a television shop. From here he could watch the programme and talk to the host Bob Monkhouse. After successfully negotiating the opening round, the master plan disintegrated when the shop owner locked up for the night and turned off all the televisions! Back to slow play in golf - The ladies tour took a positive stance on this last week in their Match play event. In the semi final, one player Morgan Pressel, had been warned for slow play. On the 13th she holed a putt to go 3 up, only to be informed that due to her slow play she was in fact penalized a hole, thus making her only 1 up. Her opponent, Azahara Munoz went on to win the match and the tournament. I am very sure that whilst seeming harsh, this is the way forwards and after a couple of shot penalties the players will speed up and the club game will feel the benefit.
Kindest regards Barney