May 2021 Newsletter
Great to see golf in full swing, all we need is for the weather to catch up. At least the much-needed rain has come down and hopefully some heat to follow as I can’t think of a day when I haven’t had at least three layers on and a woolly hat handy just in case.
The interest in golf continues to grow and certainly I have been busy with all levels of player from professionals to novice golfers, all eager to fine tune their game. A common theme has been short game control. I’ve included my recent article from Golf Monthly magazine with some thoughts on the game around the green. Certainly, now the greens have softened up, chipping will become more predictable, as the surfaces when we returned to golf were really firm and did induce some nervousness in our chipping. When we are in doubt over a shot it is easy to start gripping too firmly which usually leads to a snatchy movement. A good thought is if 1 out of 10 is the weakest you can hold the club and 10 the strongest, then look to hold the club around a three to gain fluidity in the stroke. If we think about throwing a ball underarm a short distance, just how hard would we grip it? Definitely not at 9.9 which is some of the grips I have been seeing. Here is an article that I wrote for the June 2021 Golf Monthly Magazine.
This week sees the second Major of the year with the PGA Championship held at the spectacular ocean course at Kiawah Island. I thought it was timely that Rory McIlroy won last week and last time the PGA was held at Kiawah in 2012, he won the event by 8 strokes. Clearly, he’s been installed as favourite for the event, and I must say he would be my choice, but I can be a bit of a Jonah to players I pick for Majors, so perhaps I’ll go for Jason Day another former PGA winner who has been in reasonable form of late.
The golf story of the moment was the heart-warming win of Richard Bland in the British Masters at the Belfry. A 20-year veteran of the European Tour who in 2018 had just finished 163rd on the Tour and so had to play on the Challenge Tour to earn his way back. On Saturday being 48 years and 101 days old he became the oldest first-time winner on the European Tour, in his 477th tournament! Talk about try, try and try again, Richard’s amazing last round of 66 propelled him into a play off and he showed no nerves as he calmly rolled in a 3-footer to win.
Of course, for many of us these great golfing occasions have had some insightful and witty commentary from Peter Allis over the years. His passing has left a huge hole in the world of golf. I came across this piece the other day and have included it for your amusement as it sums up the great man and how he lightened up our lives.
Hoping your next round of golf is a good one and certainly bagging a birdie is always a highlight. It got me thinking as to how the term came about. As with all stories there are a few versions, however the gist of it is that Abner Smith playing at the Atlantic City Country Club in (you’ve guessed it was in the States) hit a great shot to within a few inches of the hole. His brother who was playing with him announced it was “a bird of a shot! Now to put this into context around the turn of the 20th century, bird was American slang used to describe a person or a thing of excellence, e.g. “he was a perfect bird of a man”. This then morphed into the word birdie which our American historians tell us was viewed as an “abomination” in the eyes of the British. An Eagle followed on as did the rare Albatross, although speaking of abominations our American friends insist on calling it a double eagle, to which I would counter with their favourite phrase of “Go Figure?”
May your next round bring you a bird of note and above all – Enjoy the Game!
Enjoy your golf
Fellow of the PGA