Barney's December Newsletter
And although when the snow comes everywhere looks Christmas Card perfect, when it goes that's a different story! Looks like we will be playing from this week and temperatures will be nearer double figures than zero, which is good news. However, the cold air does affect the flight of our golf ball and not in a good way. Basically the cold air is denser than warm air, add in reduced mobility due to extra clothing (even if the postman is still wearing shorts) and we have perfect conditions for reduced flight. I would say it's at least 10%, so any doubt club up. On that theme I like to carry a reduced set in the winter, rotating odd and even irons so if it's a bit of stretch with an 8 iron an easy 6 is a better option and good for your swing. The other point to remember is that in these soft conditions we will make more pitch marks. It is even more important that we attend to them at this time of year with no growth now until March. I thought this piece from our friends at Golf Monthly is a good reminder as to how to go about doing it properly.
One final thought on this subject, if you can repair yours and one other, our brilliant greens teams will be very grateful!
Professional Golf takes a very small break over the festive period and looking into 2018 it promises to be a bonanza year. We have the Ryder Cup in September and even thought the US will be strong favourites, with Rory returning, the multi talented Jon Rahm and new European No.1 Tommy Fleetwood, I think it will be close, certainly better than the cricket!
Tiger coming back to action will offer a really interesting dynamic and his performance on his return at the Hero World Challenge was encouraging. As mentioned Rory is also on the come back trail and I am not alone in hoping he can stay injury free next season. He is, after Seve, the most naturally gifted golfer I have been fortunate to watch and I am convinced he will add to his 4 majors.
In the women's game, keep an eye on Georgia Hall, as she continues her meteoric rise up the rankings. She played like a seasoned pro in the Solheim Cup and won the European Order of Merit at a canter and could be a good bet in the Majors over the next few seasons.
For me there is a natural wind down this time of year, although I have a pretty full diary for lessons next week with golfers wanting to get a head start on 2018. I have been busy on the writing front with several pieces on players for Golf Monthly and Women and Golf Magazines, which I will include in future newsletters. Dustin Johnson was really eye opening as to just how athletic he is through the ball, for most of us to copy him would put us in traction for a week!
On Monday at 19.00 I make an appearance with that great institution the Trilby Tour on Sky Sports Golf, commenting on their Grand Final up in Hull. I can't say I had ever been to that part of the world and was really impressed with the welcome and condition of Hull Golf Club.
The greens were immaculate and the staff in their (interesting) clubhouse really are on the ball as on Final day there were some impressive numbers of members and guests who came to support the event. Suffice to say the golfers did not disappoint and you will be treated to a Grand Stand finish when you tune in. The Trilby Tour Rogues Gallery Special can also be seen on Sky Sports Golf Xmas Day at 19.00 (I am not appearing).
I wish you all Seasonal Salutations and here's hoping for a peaceful New Year.
May your drives go straight, your putts find the bottom of the hole and a smile never be far from your face.
All the best