IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
Bobby Jones in the apple orchard that was to become Augusta National.
I DECIDED NOT TO SHOW a picture of a glorious golf course this time, you're depressed enough. Instead this is Augusta National before Bobby Jones and Dr. Alister McKenzie got to work on it. A talent for design combined with unlimited dollars can work wonders.
Founded in 1932 on the 365-acre site of a former nursery called Fruitland. Augusta National Golf Club has hosted the Masters Tournament since 1934. This April the 300 members had it's perfect greens and fairways all to themselves, until last week when the course was pronounced closed until further notice. It always closes from May to October anyway so the members can't complain. The chap who can complain will be the owner of the TBones restaurant in Augusta village. He's had to cancel his usual Masters Week order for 6,000 pounds of steak!
THE CHARITIES WHO BENEFIT from the The PGA Tour will lose out this year. A record $204.3 million was raised in 2019 to bring the all-time total to $3.05 billion. The Players Championship alone generated $9.25 million in 2019, most of which benefited local children's charities.
Unlike other professional sports organizations, the PGA TOUR relies on more than 100,000 volunteers annually, and most of it's tournaments are structured as non-profit organizations donating 100 percent of net proceeds to charity. Beneficiaries include hospitals and shelters; youth programmes; and groups that support the military and their families.
The US Open, previously scheduled for 18-21 June at Winged Foot in New York, now 14-20 September.
The PGA Tour has outlined plans to financially assist players and caddies, including an advanced-payment based on projected FedExCup earnings. What a relief for Woods, Mickelson et al. However, Keith Pelley, European Tour CEO, told his players that the European Tour is “simply not in a position to do that.”
Possible schedule: Open played on Municipal Course, Southampton, Scottish Open played on Bellahouston Pitch and Putt course, Glasgow. Buses laid on for players from the nearest Travelodge. Presentation dinner held at McDonalds. Prizes: Amazon vouchers.
One thing is certain, trying to cram all the rescheduled events into this year and 2021 is going to give both tour organisers a prodigious headache. Not to mention the Olympics. I said not to mention the Olympics.
Here's to Happy Golfing in the not-too-distant future. Look out for end-of-lockdown special offers.
Contact Mick for re-gripping and repairs. 638 859 475.