Barney's January Newsletter
Although 2023 has got golf off to a soggy start, at least some golf has been possible. For me any golf we play between now and the end of February has to be regarded as a bonus game. It is easy to forget we reside in the northern bit of the northern hemisphere and inclement weather is expected this time of the year. Also easy to forget that temporary greens were a feature at most courses ever since I started in the last century (although I look it, it wasn't the century before that!) right up to early 2000's.
At Mid Herts for instance, I marvel at the work Jody and his team have done over the years to change the structure of the greens. They putt really well even in the depths of winter. With this in mind I thought I would include some thoughts on putting on wet greens , which I think we will be facing for the foreseeable. Please click this link here.
Speaking of weather, the PGA Tour got underway in pleasing conditions in Hawaii with last years winners playing in the Tournament of Champions. It is always fun to look at when events started and how they have changed. Not wishing to be vulgar, but the money earnt has changed somewhat since the inaugural event in 1953. The winner, Al Besselink (Cuff to his friends) won $10,000 which was a decent sum and the sponsors thought it was a bit of a wheeze to give the money in silver dollars, all 10,000 of them, intriguingly in a wheel barrow. Not sure how Al fared at the airport on his way home with that. This year's Champion, Jon Rahm won $2.7million and I'm sure it was transferred neatly into his bank account, as that would be a mind boggling amount of coins.
I mentioned in the last newsletter about the PNC Championship held before Xmas, where Major winners play with their family members in a fun event. The defending champions were John Daly and his son. The great man always has an interesting take on golf and life come to that. Most of the Pro's in the Press interviews talked about technical and physical improvements they were making and some tips for us all. When it came to John's turn his excellent piece of advice was if you have had rather too much to drink, don't order an Uber Eats from a fast food restaurant. An order he made for a small gathering which should be around $50 (£40) came in at $477 (£400!) and that had no alcohol in the order.... you have been warned! Despite this they put up a good defence of their title, just losing out to VJ Singh and his son by a shot. One thing I have noticed John Daly do in practice is to practice swing and also hit balls one handed. Whilst hitting balls one handed does take some practice, especially with your weaker arm, it is a great way of increasing your co-ordination and general golfing strength. A good New Years Resolution is to do 30 swings with the non dominant arm and 15 with the stronger arm. You can do this over the course of a week in three blocks of say 10 and 5 swings. You can grade up to hitting balls, as it's an impressive party trick, when you can!
Wishing you all good golf when you can and the gift of patience when the weather says you can't.
All the best
Fellow of the PGA