Each week, four of the NCG team get together to ask each other the pressing questions. The only rule is: The question must be golf related.
In this edition, Mark Townsend, James Savage, Keel Timmins and Alex Perry take to the tee…
Mark: Which golf club in your bag do you view with the most suspicion and why?
James: 3-wood. When I’m driving the ball well it’s basically redundant as I’m never happy hitting it off the deck. I’m probably going to take it out in favour of another hybrid.
Keel: 60-degree lob wedge. It’s so tempting to try and pull off a magnificent flop when you’re short-sided, but more often than not I’m going to thin it onto the next tee-box, or even worse dump it into the bunker right in front of me.
Alex: Any iron longer than a 6 – so in my bag the 5 and 4. I don’t know what it is about them but they make me forget all my normal swing thoughts and just attempt to lash one. Nothing sends a shiver down my spine like seeing I have anything from 170 to 200 yards in. I’d sooner go 3-wood, 3-wood from the tee than driver, 5-iron.
James: What do you do if someone asks if they can play golf with you but you don’t really want to play with them? Go with it? Or make up an excuse not to play. I’m the world’s worst liar so will just say ‘Great, what time shall we tee off?’
Keel: Go full-Tiger and make up an injury excuse. For example, just last week I dislocated my wrist while attempting a shot from behind a tree. Of course, I popped it back in and went on to make birdie, but it’s still a little sore and it needs a bit of R&R.
Alex: I once met a very old friend that I hadn’t seen for a while for a round and while we were on the putting green a member of the club got chatting with us and invited himself to join us on the course. “I’ll show you the way round,” he said, like we were about to tackle the Crystal Maze rather than 18 holes of parkland. We were both far too nice to reject his offer so we let him. He was a very nice man, but were there to catch up, not chew the fat with a stranger. If you’re looking for an excuse to use in future, James, always use your kids. That’s what they’re for.
Mark: Probably try and turn it into a four to dilute my dealings with them. Years ago I couldn’t shake someone off so I moaned after every shot and generally made it not much fun (I was only young) and, hey presto, the phone calls stopped. He talked about every shot in detail which made the whole thing fairly unbearable. Otherwise I like to play with anyone where I play now as I’ve yet to meet a whopper down there.
Keel: We’re seeing some women’s teams face the men this week at GolfSixes. The Olympics would have been the perfect opportunity for a mixed teams event, but after they snubbed the idea, is it time for the European and PGA Tours to set one of these events up?
Alex: How long have we been discussing this? And it would be so easy to set up. There are no losers in the situation, only winners, so why it hasn’t been done yet is beyond me.
Mark: We seem to have been talking about this since Emmeline Pankhurst’s day. I think the tours trivialise this by only doing it on ‘off weeks’. We’ve got the European Championships at Gleneagles this year which will be a start and hopefully the beginning of an annual event. It shouldn’t be too hard to co-ordinate with the LET as there are so few events.
James: There’s no reason why men and women can’t compete on the same golf course. If you take the distance advantage away it’s a level playing field. It would be really interesting to see them compete on a short course to see who the best chippers and putters are.
Alex: Would you rather win one major and very little else as a tour journeyman, or win dozens of tour events and Ryder Cups but never quite get over the line at one of the big four? I’m basically asking if you’d rather have Shaun Micheel’s career, or Lee Westwood’s…
Mark: Westwood’s by a country mile. Playing on one winning Ryder Cup team would do me, just being able to share a look with a fellow team member in the years to come. A major would obviously be amazing but you then spend the rest of your career asking if you are a one-hit wonder. Then again Westwood has spent most of his answering questions about his major void.
Keel: I would much rather have Westwood’s career. Major championship success certainly elevates a player to the next level, but I’d much prefer to have 40-odd professional wins and an illustrious Ryder Cup career than forever being known as a fluke.