It was a huge pleasure to see such brilliant golf from across the world beamed into our living rooms, beautifully presented by Sky Sports and seemingly scripted by thriller writers.
Dear Industry Colleague,
It was a huge pleasure to see such brilliant golf from across the world beamed into our living rooms, beautifully presented by Sky Sports and seemingly scripted by thriller writers. The recent Arnold Palmer Invitational was won in magnificent style by a resurgent Rory McIlroy, who stormed to the head of the field with a final round of 64. Tiger Woods continued with his great come back and was a relevant contender until a daft drive on 16 ended his hopes. Henrik Stenson dominated for the first three and a bit rounds, and Bryson DeChambeau showed us that there are so many more ways to skin a cat, with his unusual, but scientific and powerful swing.
For those who stayed up a little longer another treat was in store, as Dame Laura Davies swept back the years to finish joint second in the Founders Cup. Her fabulous third round of 63 took her within sight of victory and showed that nobody is washed up - even at 54 years of age.
We have had an enormous amount of feedback from last month’s article on affiliation fees and the role of England Golf. Despite the polished professionalism and a magnificent ability to speak quangoeese, I just do not think they are providing good value for money. Golf operators need all of the support and help they can get at present, having had an appalling winter to trade through. Yet England Golf seems intent on increasing affiliation fees with no improvement in golfing numbers. Sport England is also under attack, but not just from me - one of The Times leading journalists, Matthew Syed has recently laid into them for their ability to justify action and funding, yet producing no results. I think the term RAAJ will enter the language – Results Averse Activity Justifiers.
Sadly, we also report on another golf club closing. Cranbrook Golf Club in Kent, where my wife was a member, is to shut its gates at the end of this month.
Also it is with huge sadness that we have to announce the death of Tom Hilliard OBE. Tom was an innovator and a highly competent man who mastered many businesses. In golf he made a huge success of both Kingswood Golf Club and also the amazing complex at Silvermere, both in Surrey.
He was a tough man, but a kind and generous host, who raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity and good causes over the years and lead to him being given his OBE. It was hugely well deserved and he will be hugely missed.