View From The Fairway - This Week in Golf
MATTHEW WOLFF has opened his heart about the mental health issues he has faced in recent months. On the face of it, these young men would appear to have it all but they are just like the rest of us. Cooped up in hotels for months on end, unable to mix with friends and colleagues and playing in front of empty grandstands, is it any wonder that so many of them have struggled? Wolff says that he struggled to get out of bed in the morning and had little interest in hitting golf balls. His low point came when he was disqualified at The Masters after signing for the wrong score. He took some time out and thankfully, Wolff has a good support team and is now on the road to recovery.
STACEY LEWIS is the latest player to speak out about slow play. You may remember that during last year’s Scottish Open, Lewis was openly critical about the time her playing partners were taking over their shots. And it wasn’t sour grapes, as the American went on to win the tournament. She is growing increasingly impatient at the reluctance of the game’s governing bodies to impose penalties. She says that financial penalties are meaningless and wants to see culprits hit where it will hurt most - by penalising them shots for slow play. Let’s hope that somebody is listening to her.
AARON RAI, Matthias Schwab and Lucas Herbert are the latest European Tour pros to gain full playing rights on the PGA Tour after coming through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. They will head across the pond with huge expectations, and we all wish them well. But they would do well to heed the experiences of the likes of Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, who also gained his playing privileges on the PGA Tour but then struggled horribly and lost his card after just one season. There are huge financial rewards on offer on the PGA Tour but the pressure to succeed is enormous and many good players fall by the wayside.
STEVE STRICKER’S USA team to face Europe in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits at the end of September may have to do so without Patrick Reed, aka Captain America. The 31-year-old has not played since the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational after withdrawing from The Northern Trust with an ankle injury and it has emerged that he has been in hospital recovering from pneumonia.
He said in a statement on the PGA Tour website: "The good news is, my ankle is okay. The bad news is I've been in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia. I'm on the road to recovery. Once I'm cleared from the doctors I look forward to returning. I wish you all the best and I can't wait to get back out there! Thank you so much for your support, it means a lot to me.” Reed may well find that it takes him longer than he expects to recover from this debilitating condition.
IT IS a well-known fact that sport is good for people’s mental wellbeing and so a project that has been launched in Sheffield is to be applauded. It will see elderly people being introduced to golf in a bid to benefit their mental and physical health. It is part of a unique partnership between Age UK Sheffield,Sheffield Hallam University and Golf in Society. Golf in Society supports individuals and families living with dementia, Parkinson’s, strokes, loneliness and depression to discover how golf can play an important part in their life.
Anthony Blackburn, founder of Golf in Society, told Golf Business,: “We use local golf clubs and put them in the heart of the local community and we invite local families to enjoy great days with us. We provide people with the opportunity to discover a renewed sense of purpose, relax and enjoy beautiful natural surroundings, and the chance to meet new people. For us, it’s all about creating opportunities for people to live a full and active life.” The programme is looking to make Sheffield the first dementia-friendly golf region in the world.
A MUNICIPAL golf course has been given a grant to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. Bassetlaw District Council has been granted £319,722 as part of the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to reduce carbon emissions at Kilton Forest Golf Club. The money will be used to replace an outdated heating system and install other energy efficiency measures, and will see carbon emissions at the club slashed by more than 70%. The upgrades will include replacing an oil-fired boiler with an air source heat pump, installing new fan-convection radiators, installing solar panels, energy efficiency improvements to the building fabric, windows and insulation, installing controls to remotely manage the heating system and monitor usage, and updating all lighting with LED bulbs.
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