WITH GOLF’S professional tournament season pausing for little more than two weeks the 2015 tour is already upon us. With this in mind we thought that it would be fun to gaze into our crystal ball, study tea leaves, and peer knowingly at some old chicken entrails to consider precisely what will be grabbing the headlines over the next 12 months.
- The 11-man US Ryder Cup Task force sits for the first time in an effort to discover why the team has lost eight out if its last 10 Ryder Cup matches. The three losing captains, Raymond Floyd, Tom Lehman and Davis Love III chat animatedly to the man with most defeats in US Ryder Cup history, Jim Furyk, and Ricky Fowler, who has yet to win a game, on how to achieve success. Tiger Woods (won three, lost seven, halved one) does not turn up because he thinks Phil Mickelson (won 16, lost 19, halved six) will be there. Mickelson does not turn up either.
- Royal Troon, Royal St Georges and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Muirfield) all announce that women are able to enjoy full playing rights and join as members although Muirfield adopts an Augusta-style approach and invites Ruth Davidson, the non-golfing leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, to become the club’s first lady member.
- Tiger Woods and his new ‘swing consultant’, Chris Como, go back to the future as Woods tries to replicate his original and most successful golf swing. A series of missed cuts and more back and knee injuries attempting a young man’s swing with a middle-aged body result in Woods having his least successful start to a season ever. Chris Como becomes Tiger’s first ‘swing consultant’ to be seeking alternative employment.
- Golf club manufacturers Callaway and Taylor Made go head to head over which company can release more new golf clubs in a calendar year. Callaway finally admits defeat after launching its fifth new driver in as many months when in a candid interview with Golf Digest a Callaway marketing official admits, ‘The clubs were no problem to produce but the marketing became impossible when we ran out of adjectives.’
- Donald Trump, not content in changing Turnberry’s iconic ninth hole into a par three, announces that from henceforth the course with be known as The Donald at Trump Turnberry Open Championship Links thus ensuring that the Royal & Ancient Open Championship committee goes in search of a new venue.
- Two nine year olds qualify for the USLPGA Women’s Open Championship at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania and are drawn together. Unfortunately little Nellie Ho takes an instant dislike to Lulu Xiang’s fluffy green frog head cover and shouts ‘Horrid’ before bursting into tears. Xiang then refuses to play with Ho and hides behind the starter’s hut. Both are disqualified for failing to make their starting time.
- Tiger Woods, working without a coach or ‘swing consultant’ and with manager Mark Steinberg on his bag, finishes as runner-up in the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. To a flurry of ‘Beware the wounded Tiger’ headlines, exclusive to all golf magazines and newspapers, bookmakers immediately install him as 12-1 favourite for the Open Championship. He finishes tied 67th with Hideki Matsuyama.
- Colin Montgomerie continues his hugely successful run in seniors’ golf. Having retained his Travis Perkins Senior Masters trophy for the second consecutive year, pushing Barry Lane into the runners-up slot, Monty declares, ‘I really think that a green jacket should be awarded to all three times’ winners. This is the natural springboard for me to go on to become the first ever playing Captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine National in 2016.’
- Partnered with Kevin Na and Keegan Bradley, journeyman PGA tour player, Ben Crane- the man who famously produced his yardage book at a Las Vegas tournament to study the contours of a green- takes six hours and 10 minutes to complete a round. An official said that the USPGA is ‘Absolutely determined to stamp down hard on slow play. All we need now is a solution.’
- Hawaii’s Turtle Bay resort golf club closes. The club, a pioneer of playing rock music in golf buggies and at its halfway hut, filed for ‘Chapter7’ bankruptcy when the last tenant of the luxurious apartments and holiday homes that surround the course tore up his rental agreement. A club spokesperson said, ‘The club is confident that we can come through this. We have ditched our Iron Maiden and Judas Priest tracks and are road testing a selection from ‘Hooked on Classics’ in order to attract the more mature golfer.’
And whatever 2015 holds in store for you on the golf course, enjoy each and every round and do remember to swing slow and walk fast.