Barney's April 2017 Newsletter
April to all golfers means just one thing.... The Masters. The majority of viewers have not been to Augusta in person, however years of watching on TV means we know all the holes, especially Amen Corner, so well. It is without doubt on all golfers bucket list to go there and experience it live just once.
As ever selecting a winner is a challenge, although it is hard to look past World Number One and winner of the last three tournaments, Dustin Johnson. For the other players, his recent comments will raise their eyebrows "There is still a lot of room for improvement in my game, so I'm just going to keep working on it. Wedges can definitely get better, as can my mid irons". The only issue I would take with this statement is from what I see, after his prodigious drive I cannot imagine when Dustin would actually need a mid iron! I enjoyed the recent match play event and good to see the European Tour putting on a pairs match play event (greensomes) which even better is local to us at the super Centurion Club just outside Hemel Hempstead. In many ways to help golf's future we should look into how the game was played in the past and match play was the preferred style of play. Of course, from a speed point of view it is quicker and certainly four players playing foursomes can be round in the 3 hour mark. The fact we err for four ball golf the majority of the time does clearly have a knock on effect on how long golf takes.
Anyway, off the soap box and back to the Masters. I have put a link here to Danny Willett, the defending champion's, swing sequence that I analysed for Golf Monthly last October. Sadly his form since then has been patchy, so I am hoping revisiting the scene of his amazing triumph will inspire a good week and he can begin moving up the rankings again. In terms of other challengers, I think Rory and Jordan pose a considerable threat and Phil Mickleson continues to play well. As a multiple Masters winner Phil's knowledge is immense. It would be good if Tiger played, but his body doesn't seem to want to conform with his plans at the moment, but he is keeping his options open, so watch this space. Long shots for me would be Ross Fisher who has hit a rich vein of form recently and with the knowledgeable Ken Brown helping him on his putting, could be a good each way bet. My favourite what I call "Father Christmas" (i.e. shows up once a year) golfer is Angel Cabrera. He enjoys coming out of semi retirement and rolling in a few birdies, smelling the Azaleas and then back to Argentina to work on his waistline! So all in all I think Dustin to win at a canter.
The month of March has been very kind to me and working with David Short Golf, I have been coaching and playing with groups of golfers of all levels in the Algarve.
The weather started off amazingly and then a little patchy for a week or so, but everyone who attended really enjoyed springing into golf for the new season
Enjoy the upcoming Masters as every year throws up some surprises, plenty of drama and at the finish we all end up wanting to emulate what we have seen.
Enjoy your golf, all the best