Things We Want To See Happen in Golf in 2022
AS WE prepare for a new year our thoughts turn to what we would like to see in 2022.
Rory McIlroy Winning The Masters
The Northern Irishman hasn’t won a major since 2014 and still needs to secure a Green Jacket to claim the career Grand Slam. There are finally some signs that he has once again started to trust the technique that has given him so much success. His partnership with Pete Cowen was ill-fated from day one because McIlroy is a natural golfer, a man who doesn’t need to fill his head full of swing thoughts. Augusta National is made for him and winning The Masters would be a monkey off his back - and could well see him starting to win majors for fun once again.
The R&A & USGA Finding The Will to Tackle The Distance Debate
No subject has provoked more debate than the vast distances today’s professionals are hitting the ball. We are told that it is because they are bigger, fitter and stronger than the men who dominated the game towards the end of the last century. Yes, there is some truth to that, but the likes of Kiradech Aphibarnrat has never been near a gym in his life. It is all about the equipment. Restricting the length of the driver shaft simply won’t make any difference. So we either make changes to the drivers and golf balls being used by the top professionals or we just accept it and let them get on with it.
The Return of Tiger Woods
The greatest golfer of his generation has spent most of 2021 recovering from the horrific injuries he sustained in a car crash in February. There were concerns that he may never walk again, far less play golf. But, he resurfaced at the Hero World Challenge, declaring his hope to participate in next year's Open at St Andrews. He will never again be the athlete he was and may never win another golf tournament but it would be heartwarming to see him regularly competing again.
An End to The Pandemic
We’ve all had enough. Lockdowns, restrictions, getting used to a whole new set of rules - no bunker rakes, clubhouse closures, having to stay outside, table service, tournaments played out with no galleries. Thankfully, life is beginning to get back to normal. But make no mistake, Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. It is something that we may well have to live with for the rest of our lives. The good news is that hygiene standards have improved out of all recognition, borders are reopening and spectators are returning to golf tournaments. We all want to see the progress continuing as we head into 2022.
A British Winner of The Open
What could be better than to see one of our own walking down the 18th fairway at St Andrews, arms aloft on the way to winning the 150th Open Championship? There will be huge crowds at the home of golf and the vast majority of them will be there in the hope of seeing a British winner. Tommy Fleetwood, Robert MacIntyre, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy all have the game to do it. And let’s also all hope for four days of glorious weather.
The Start of a New Era
After 50 years, the European Tour is being rebranded as the DP World Tour, offering huge rewards. Prize money has soared and there will be new courses and countries for us to enjoy.
Reading greens is part and parcel of the game. For years now we have had to endure the sight of tour players pull out greens books which tell them what they can see with their own eyes. Or should be able to. Finally, and thankfully, they are being banned from January 1. And that means that men and women who make their living playing golf will actually have to trust the evidence of their own eyes. It’s long overdue.
We saw the end of belly putters and broom handle putters. Anchoring was banned. And yet still we see the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson quite clearly anchoring their putters against their left forearms. The time has come to put an an end to this once and for all.
You hit a glorious drive, straight down the middle of the fairway. You get to your ball and you discover that it has fallen into a hole because somebody ahead of you couldn’t be bothered to replace their divot. You are thus penalised for something that is entirely beyond your control. We all believe this is wrong. Let’s hope that the R&A and USGA finally decide to address this one and allow us all - professional and club golfers alike - to take a free drop. You should never be penalised for hitting a good shot.
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