How golf is going to help England win the World Cup

The Scoop

Perhaps. Maybe. Probably not. But the other beautiful game has turned to our beloved sport for help, writes Alex Perry

Hello. Welcome to the latest edition of Dialled In. It all got a bit serious the last couple of weeks, didn’t it? First there was that stuff about shortening members’ courses, then all that stuff about playing off tees to suit our ability rather than our ego. (I realise I promised you another piece along those lines – that’s coming on Wednesday.)

This week I’m going to lighten the mood a little bit: England are going to win the World Cup…

OK, stop laughing.

I’ll give you a minute.

Done? Good.

England are going to win the World Cup…

You’re doing it again.

England are going to win the World Cup, and it’s all going to be thanks to golf.

I know, I know, let me get there.

England’s senior team have lost six out of seven penalty shootouts at major tournaments since 1990, so some brainiacs at the Football Association decided to study them all to see what was going wrong.

It turns out that players tended to rush their penalties, while more successful teams took their time.

Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy play golf on England duty ahead of the World Cup

The FA trialled a system with the England Under-20 side at their World Cup in South Korea last year where the players honed their psychological skills for a shootout … by putting.

Technical director Dan Ashworth said the team held a putting competition “in one of the meeting rooms, with teams of five, and the other teams were allowed to put you off with shouting and hollering and a bit of pressure”.

The idea – if it isn’t obvious – is to get players to concentrate more on getting the ball in its intended target by just taking that little bit more time.

I bet you feel a bit silly for maligning slow play now, don’t you?

Trump Bru-ing up a storm

Donald Trump has made some baffling decisions in his time as US president – and the 70-odd years before that, to be fair – but this one is a step too far in the eyes of the Scots.

Trump has banned the nation’s favourite fizzy drink, Irn-Bru, from his Turnberry resort because it’s too orange – and every now and then being a writer on a satirical news show is the easiest job on earth…

The resort has just undergone a £200 million refurbishment, including a new ballroom, restoration of the hotel, renovation of the clubhouse and a whole new golf course, and the reason for the ban is down to Irn-Bru’s reputation for being notoriously difficult to remove when spilled due to the unique combination of distinctive colourants.

As general manager Ralph Porciani explained: “To replace the ballroom carpet alone would be £500,000. We have villas here with Irn-Bru stains in the carpet, which I can’t allow.”

Fair enough then.

Due to Irn-Bru’s popularity,  Scotland is one of the few countries where Coca-Cola is not the best-selling soft drink – which has nothing to do with the story but I just found it out and thought you might like to know.

Get shirty

Phil Mickelson was the butt of the jokes during the practice rounds at The Players, mainly-slash-completely for what he was wearing.

Here’s my favourite gag from the Twitterverse…

But it’s Mickelson who will have the last laugh, as he owns quite a large percentage of the company which makes the shirts, Mizzen+Main.

“We had our best sales of the year [on Thursday],” CEO and founder Kevin Lavelle told Golf.com. “It was the most engaged, mentioned and trafficked day in company history.”

The article goes on to say that Lavelle declined to say exactly how many of the $125 shirts they sold, but did reveal it was “a meaningful multiple over a normal day”.

Mickelson is not contractually obliged to wear the shirts at tournaments, but now it’s a proven success and with the stakes as high as they are, expect to see a lot more of buttoned-up Phil.

Faking it

With the sheer volume of wonderful content out there these days, it needs to be special to stand out.

This video from the team at Skratch is just marvelous and well worth a couple of minutes of your day…

Ronseal of the Week

This made me laugh…

At least it’s accurate, I suppose.

I wonder how they would describe me?

“Alex Perry: Thinks golf will help England win the World Cup.”

That’s enough from me. Have a good week, everyone.

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