Barney's February Newsletter
I was very fortunate to spend several weeks in January in Florida, visiting with my wife's lovely Mum and Dad and enjoying some super golf on mud free fairways. Highlight of this trip was playing the uber exclusive Isleworth Golf Club billed as Florida's version of Augusta. My great friend Kevin organised this treat. The golf course as you can imagine was terrific and the greens were lightening quick. Quite a few tournament Professionals make their home here and you can see why, as they can hone their games in exactly the conditions you would find on the Tour.
The other interesting thing about this amazing property are the works of art that line the streets and fairways.
The biggest is the iconic Wall Street Charging Bull, which sits between the first and tenth tees. Kevin and I made friends with it before setting off.
Tiger Woods was a resident at Isleworth and whilst we were in the States he made his tournament come back. To say this generated a bit of interest would be putting it mildly. I thought the fact that he made the cut and finished a more than respectable 23rd (finishing ahead of Mickleson and Rahm which no doubt amused him) and the sign that he is ready for a proper return this time.
Standout statistic of his week was the 3rd round where he hit 3 fairways and 9 greens in regulation and managed to shoot 2 under par! It seems this is the year of the comeback with Rory looking good on his return and all of his fans are hoping for another Major for the talented one. Only 200 days or so until the Ryder Cup and Orlando resident and former European team stalwart Graeme McDowall has stated his desire to get back into the team. Incredibly he has fallen outside the top 200 in the world, so I wish him well on his comeback.
For us in the golfing fraternity, the winter (especially in the Northern hemisphere - did I mention how nice Florida was :-) is something to get through as quickly as possible. However, for our green keeping friends this is a good time for a project or two. At Mid Herts I have been watching with interest the rebuilding of the 7th and 14th tees. Both are looking really good and the care and attention to detail the green keeping team put into this is terrific to see. One day, I was marvelling at their handiwork and they offered me the opportunity of some spade work, however with great aplomb I pulled out my "I've got a tricky back card" and politely declined.
I've mentioned comeback (I'm contemplating mine...), however the one player who can go no further is World Number 1 Dustin Johnson. He has started the season looking like a man who has no intention of giving up that spot, so I thought you might find the recent Golf Monthly piece we wrote on this athletic power house, quite interesting.
Although golf can be challenging this time of year, the good news is that the rough is down and the odd offline shot on landing will tend to stop and not bound / bounce further on the intended line. The other thing to note is that with the greens being damp our chips and pitches into them are nice and predictable as to what they will do on landing. So this is an excellent time to practice some new higher shots around the green which we can use in the spring.
Good fortune and DS Golf Holidays see Jennie and I going out this month to the "Land of Smiles" Thailand and we are looking forward to this with great anticipation. Some interesting golf, culture, food oh and some warmth await, so will report back next newsletter and promise not to gloat.
Hoping that wherever your golf takes you, good fortune and straight shots go with you.
All the best