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  • Barney

Post 2024 Masters Newsletter

For many of us in the golf world, The Masters feels like the real beginning of the golfing season and even more this year after our monsoon like winter. In this past week or so I've noticed how the fairways are beginning to firm up (admittedly courtesy of daily winds of biblical proportions!) and there are blossoms on the trees and plants are flowering. Add more light to the end of the day so it feels like spring has arrived. So to The Masters and the heavy favourite Scottie Scheffler won the event with ease. After opening with a 66 on Thursday, there was a growing sense of inevitability that he would be slipping on the green jacket come Sunday. Even in sun drenched Georgia, they too experienced really powerful winds on the second and third rounds. To give us an idea of their strength, Scheffler said on the Par 5 15th in the final round he hit driver and a four iron on the second day he hit the same two clubs, but still had 70 yards to the green.

 

Of course when any player or team in sports become really dominant, there is much debate as to how they do it and what can we learn from their process. Certainly his swing has an eye catching shoe shuffle that is idiosyncratic to him and wisely he and his coach have decided to leave that in there. I did an analysis of his swing which you might find interesting have a look here. For me he is somewhat of a throwback with his uncomplicated approach to golf and life come to that. On the range he warms up with a training grip to ensure his hands are in the right place (results suggest they are!) and his coach of 20 years, Randy Smith will offer an observation or two. Their approach to golf is simple and uncluttered, in fact fellow competitor Collin Morikawa summed it up succinctly when he observed of Scottie's game. "He keeps it simple and never puts himself in trouble". In his personal life he is grounded by his close family and his deep faith which keeps his identity secure regardless of the vagaries of tournament golf.

 

Outside of Rory not winning, my other disappointments of the week were the rather random selection of coverage that Sky received from its US counterparts. The amount of actual play we saw was I felt down on other years, and some players never featured at all. For instance on the first few days Kiwi, Ryan Fox was in the mix and all I saw was a quick picture of him walking off a green. I also found the commentators rather formal dress, quite incongruous. It was as if Paul McGinley, Butch Harmon, Henni Koyak et al were on their way to a wedding / christening and Sky TV said "Look I know this isn't great timing, but can you all pop in the studio and do a spot of commentary? It's just that our regular team (i,e those who look like they are commentating on sport) have got stuck in traffic."

 
Mid Herts Juniors beginning their golfing journey

Although the media is beginning to tire of the whole PGA Tour v LIV debate, none the less discussion around golf's 'have's and have more's' continues to drone on. It seems as if there is some agreement that moving forward the best will compete against the best, certainly in the Majors, which clearly is what we all want. There is also acknowledgement that the game is grown by golf's governing bodies, progressive and welcoming golf clubs, keen volunteers and dedicated golf coaches. Participation at all levels has increased amazingly since Covid and continues to grow. So many clubs operate great initiatives from encouraging a younger membership, more women participating and junior development.

 

Enjoy the next few weeks and if you have any lingering thoughts on swinging like the Masters Champion, this video on X should dissuade you. look here.

 

All the best

Barney

Fellow of the PGA

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