The perfect metaphor for golf?
Hello. Welcome to this week’s edition of Dialled In, where I invariably talk about myself for a bit before I head out into the world of golf’s social media to see what’s going on.
Let me tell you about my weekend.
On Saturday, I decided to take my daughter to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. We were so excited. We’re both big animal lovers and the soft play there is every bit as fun for me as it is for her. Plus, you know, polar bears.
However, we got within half a mile when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw her projectile vomiting all over the back of my car. My recently valeted car, I might add. After a clean-up that lasted roughly half an hour and about three packs of wet wipes, we turned back and headed for home.
She was absolutely fine for the rest of the day. Laughing, joking, playing, singing. She moved on pretty quickly. Surprisingly quickly, I remember thinking, especially as I was struggling to rid the smell from my memory.
Fast forward 24 hours and I’m on the 18th tee at Wheatley Golf Club. The sun is shining, my spanking new Ping clubs are treating me well and I’m having one of my better rounds. In fact, I’m 8-over on the par 71 track and well on course to break 80. I don’t do this very often.
All I need is one more par on the mid-length par-5 finisher. It’s a hole that really suits my eyeline, doglegging to the right that favours my fading drives, so I let fly.
I find the trees on the right. But I’m not worried. I can push one up the fairway, pitch on and two-putt my way to 79.
Except I don’t. I catch my escape a bit thin and it scuttles across the fairway and nestles behind a tree on the opposite side. But I’m not worried, I can push one up the fairway, pitch on and one-putt my way to 79.
There’s a nice water feature just shy of the 18th green at Wheatley, and I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going with this.
I didn’t break 80. Not even close.
All I could think about on the drive home was how Saturday was the perfect precursor for Sunday – and, in fact, a pretty good metaphor for golf in general: Don’t get too excited about how you’re playing – there is still plenty of time to throw up all over your scorecard. Or something.
I am still seething about it now, and probably will for some time. There is a lot I, and many of you, can learn from a one-year-old.
So, what’s been going in the world of golf? My favourite story of the past week was Olympic Club being announced as the host of the 2032 Ryder Cup. To put it into context, we don’t even have host for 2026, ’28 or ’30 yet. Anyway, I had my say on that in The Slam, so here are some other bits and bobs.
Look who’s back
I’m all for golfers – and celebrities in general – being themselves on social media, and I respect those happy to speak their mind on certain topics.
PGA Tour journeyman Grayson Murray agrees. He even tweeted this in March:
Imagine if more guys from the PGA tour opened up on social media. Golf would gain popularity not be losing it.
— Grayson Murray (@GraysonMurray) March 2, 2017
The problem with Murray is – and how do I put this nicely? – he is a bit of a plonker. He has deactivated and reactivated his Twitter account more times than I can remember. He’s had his agent change his password and had a spell where his account was set to private. (There was one particularly sour incident where he hit on a high school student, but I’ll leave that to Deadspin.)
His latest warbling came after Golf Channel journalist Will Gray tweeted this:
Bernhard Langer 2017 @ChampionsTour stats:
22 starts, 16 top-10s, 21 top-20s, 7 wins.
Any system that allows someone else to win the season-long Schwab Cup clearly needs an overhaul.
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) November 12, 2017
Murray replied: “Does anyone really care is the real question… These guys were relevant 10 plus years ago.”
He followed it up with conceding the Champions Tour had “laid a good foundation” for the new generation, but then added: “You will never see Phil, Tiger, Furyk ever play on it! The tour subsidizes it every year. Loses a lot of money.”
There’s a reason I’m not showing you the tweets. It’s because he has deleted them.
Grayson, if you’re going to spout your views for the whole world to see, however controversial, at least have the balls to stand by them.
If it’s sponsor money you’re worried about, maybe just delete your Twitter account for good because you clearly can’t help yourself.
You’ve got to hand it to the team at Mayakoba. This is something else…
Mayakoba going in BIG on the Rahm IPO… pic.twitter.com/id5wbIMqZm
— Michael Wolf (@bamabearcat) November 8, 2017
They’ll be the ones laughing when Rahm lifts his 19th major championship to break Jack’s record…
A bug’s life
Staying at the OHL Classic, everyone’s favourite flat cap enthusiast Bryson DeChambeau had to call a referee for an unusual reason on the opening day…
Bryson and the bug ?
*No animals were harmed in this up-and-down for par.* pic.twitter.com/1PnDncp2Du
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 9, 2017
I love it when golf comes up on a gameshow. BBC’s Pointless is always good for this. They’ve had questions on Ryder Cup venues, Open Championship winners and anagrams. A quick search shows I even tweeted a couple at the time…
— Alex Perry (@AlexPerryNCG) December 18, 2013
— Alex Perry (@AlexPerryNCG) September 10, 2015
Don’t write in, it’s just for fun.
But over in the US, Jeopardy took it to a whole new level…
— dave (@Destaquito2) November 1, 2017
Maybe lay off the Marilyn Manson records, guys.
I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking this when they read these quotes from European Tour chief Keith Pelley…
"What do you think of the polo shirt, Lynn?"
"I think it's snazzy."
Accidental Partridge pic.twitter.com/wfnURJXEc9
— Matt Cooper (@MattCooperGolf) November 13, 2017
In last week’s Dialled In I briefly visited Donald Trump’s round with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and World No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama.
Since then, footage has been released of Abe taking a tumble in a bunker…
— GOLF.com (@golf_com) November 8, 2017
Now, I don’t speak Japanese – I refuse to do that until they take over the world – but if anyone could let me know what is being said when the put a red circle around Trump toward the end of the clip…
It’s the long and brutal European Tour Q School at Lumine this week. Our man Mark Townsend is over there and if you’re not too sure of what goes on at Q School, he wrote this handy cut-out-and-keep guide. (It’s just a phrase, please don’t put scissors anywhere near your screen.)
So do you, off your current handicap, think you would break 90 at Q School? The obvious answer is no, you would not. Mainly because no, you would not. But our club editor Steve Carroll thinks he would, and I absolutely love him for it.
If you’re not confident in your own game, what hope is there? Well in, Steve.
For the record, though: No, you would not.