Barney's Xmas 2018 Newsletter
The year is drawing swiftly to a close and 2018 has been another excellent year of golf. So many highlights to look back on with my favourites being Georgia Hall's terrific win in the Ladies Open at Lytham and Europe's stress free Ryder Cup win and the joyful pairing of Tommy & Francesco aka Moliwood!
The current World Number 1 (although this accolade is a bit of a revolving door at the moment), Brooks Koepka performed the amazing feat of winning 2 Majors in the year, bearing in mind he missed the Masters and the first few months of the season due to injury. This makes the achievement even more incredible. His low key persona tends to make the press forget about him and only last week he was left off a list of the 20 sports men of 2018 in the US. As they say over there, "go figure", still the $7 million dollars he has hoovered up in a truncated season will no doubt soften the blow.
Closer to home the form of Moor Park's Matt Wallace on the European Tour continues to impress. After three wins, he has moved to 44th in the world, thus securing himself a start in the Masters which is great news. Also the return to form of Welwyn Garden City's Tom Lewis has really been heart warming and look for him to press on next season.
With so many stories to choose from and players to analyse, it is difficult to have a favourite. However, the intriguing Ho Sung Choi from South Korea is in my top 5. This all action golf swing is tricky to describe, so I have included a montage for you, click here to view. Ho Sung is 45 and recently won on the Japanese Tour, his 3rd professional victory, which now elevates him into the top 200 in the world. He only started playing when he was 26, after taking a job helping out at a golf club in Seoul. The game fascinated him (doesn't it to us all!) and purely by trial and error on the range he built a golf swing. The eye catching follow through is a recent addition as he found the ageing process was losing him length. So by having this rather balletic movement post impact, it frees his back muscles and he says it has added 15/20 yards to his tee shots. So if you can handle the banter you will get, give it a go and see if it squeezes a few miles per hour club head speed for you. Golf truly is a wonderful sport offering us so many characters to enjoy. Ho Sung offers such a colourful approach to the game, I look forward to watching him in 2019 and beyond.
Christmas and New Year are a wonderful time for traditions of all sorts, from decorating the tree, singing carols, watching the Snowman and eating too much. On my travels to Tavira Portugal in Christmas past, I was introduced to the phenomenon that is "Dinner for One".
During the Christmas and New Year holidays our German, Austrian and Scandinavian friends sit down to watch this very English comedy sketch. It stars Freddie Frinton and it is so popular it holds the Guiness World Record for the number of times it has been repeated. Frinton performed at seaside theatres and a German director saw it and invited him to record it in front of a studio audience in Germany. Rather than explain the whole story, have a look at the You Tube above and you can see what our friends in Europe find funny. It has been shown on German TV for the past 45 years, so even more times than the UK favourite at Xmas 'The Great Escape' which apparently doesn't get aired over there!!!
Professional Golf now has a brief respite before the tours start up again in early January. I feel very fortunate that I will be out in Portugal for the festive season, so will be getting plenty of golf in.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my students for entrusting me with one of their most prized possessions, their golf game!
Merry Xmas everyone and I look forward to seeing or just hearing from you in 2019!
All the best