Martin Vousden’s Column

May 30 2017

Thought for the Day
You cannot change what you refuse to confront

New broom sweeps clean
Keith Pelley took over as chief executive of the European Tour almost two years ago and had given the organisation exactly the shake-up it needed. But any successful chief exec, in addition to business acumen and flair, needs a healthy dose of good fortune. The last of these was delivered by Swedish golfer Alex Noren who stormed through the final round of the BMW Championship at Wentworth with a last day 62, a new course record, to win by two strokes. If Keith Pelley sits at his headquarters on Monday with a big smile on his face (and I’m prepared to bet that he will be in his office despite it being a bank holiday), he has earned the right to be just a tad self-congratulatory.

Keith Pelley

He looked at the BMW Championship, which the Tour regards as its flagship event, on a par with the Players Championship at Sawgrass, and wondered why it was not attracting the best players in the world, particularly home-grown stars like Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose. He was told that the Wentworth venue was not up to standard (more…)

Add a comment

Martin Vousden on New Rules and Tiger’s Back

May 02 2017

Thought for the Day
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them one day.

Sanity breaks out
It has, admittedly, taken a while but recently there has been clear, incontrovertible evidence that the R&A and USGA have finally started reacting to events at something other than a glacial pace. As the governing bodies for the rules of golf worldwide, they belatedly recognised that the rules were far too cumbersome, nit-picky and incomprehensible. As a consequence they have released a set of proposals, to be introduced in January 2019, which should be welcomed by golfers everywhere.

Not only that, whenever an event at a televised pro tournament causes a bit of a stir, they have started to respond almost immediately (well, within a few weeks or months, which is pretty rapid by their standards) to clarify existing rules or, more pertinently, introduce new interpretations and judgments.

Rules of Golf

The catalyst would appear to be Dustin Johnson’s win at last year’s US Open, when he was belatedly penalised one stroke because his ball moved on the 3rd green – having been told at the time by the walking official that there was no penalty, he was then given the bad news of the retrospective punishment seven holes later, as he was playing the 12th. Consequently, from January 1st this year, (more…)

Add a comment