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Ryder Cup 2020 organisers say they are now 'very hopeful' of staging this year's USA vs Europe matches despite the global Coronavirus pandemic, but only if, Justin Thomas agrees to do TV commentary.

Thomas took the golfing world by storm on Sunday night instantly becoming the new David Feherty in a guest commentary role at the behind closed doors Tiger Woods vs Phil Mickelson "The Match 2." 
 


"The man has the voice of the angel," said European Captain Padraig Harrington. "Sure he's just one of the lads, and really witty and funny and all, it's like your best friend in the whole world is standing on the side of the green and he's talking to you but he also is best friends with the players so he's talking to them to.  Next thing I feel like the players are all best friends with me too, it's amazing.   Even if JT told stories for 8 hours a day during the Ryder Cup and just slagged Charles Barkley's fat arse everybody would be laughing their holes off and having great craic and nobody would notice there's no crowds, or focus on the fact that a golf event could be responsible for kicking a second wave of a worldwide pandemic .  I'd be all for it."

USA Captain Steve Stricker also said today that he thinks having Justin Thomas commentate so the Ryder Cup can go ahead "is a 100% great idea altogether" before adding "sure we'll find some other lad to play instead of him."  Stricker denied the heavily laden drone hovering over his house had anything to do with his comments.

More as it emerges.
     



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If you had seen the original "The Match" you would have been right to fear the worst. It was a steaming pile of shite. And when the weather turned crap yesterday, The Match 2 looked doomed.



But nobody told rookie announcer Justin Thomas, who accidentally proved the PGA Tour has some great personalities and he's one of them.  Good stories and well able to put Charles Barkley's 'fat ass' in his place! Check this out!



Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods? Well they weren't actually that conspicuous for a change. Tiger played like Tiger Woods on the course, which was a bonus, and Phil improved as things got going.

Beforehand I thought he was high on drugs with this aside!



Shot of the day was Tom Brady's hole out for birdie on the par-5 7th.  He had been playing utter tripe until Brooks Koepka instagrammed that he'd donate $100,000 to Covid Refief if Brady made just one  par (or better) on the front 9!



Tiger seemed chilled. It was nice just to hear him chat.



Phil going for the green on the 11th was pretty impressive too. He's in serious shape.



All said The Match 2 was better, much better than before. Well done to all on the money raised.

The Match 3? It will happen.


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I said before that the PGA Tour returning at Colonial on June 8th would not happen due to Coronavirus fears.  Well it seems reason is going out the window and plans are advancing at full steam to hold the event behind closed doors.

It's ok that I'm not convinced they are organising this safely, but when Adam Scott questions the 'protocols' and says he won't have anything to do with the event or several after, you have to take notice.


The PGA Tour is putting it out that they can test every player, caddie, official, everyone involved and have the results back inside two hours.  That is absolute bollox, and Scott knows it.

"What concerns me is dialogue that Tour is hopeful of returning one or two-hour test. You'd want that in place before competing," Scott says.

In the PGA Tour's own protocol it says it will use nasal swab tests that “at best” will return a result in 24-48 hours.

Scott also questioned picking up the virus from an asymptomatic person at a tournament.

"If they're not showing symptoms and I somehow picked it up inside the course and I'm disqualified I'm now self-isolating (there) for two weeks. I'd be annoyed if that happened. I thought you'd start quite tight and loosen those protocols to normal if appropriate."

Cant wait to see what they come with next. A vaccine that only works on players and caddies?


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The PGA in Ireland said it expects up to 30,000 applications from players seeking to turn professional this year.

The news comes as golf clubs around the country reopened this week after lockdown allowing everyone to avail of an Irish Government scheme to incentivise careers in professional golf, by paying people €350 a week to play four days in a row. 

Future pros getting a taste of Tour life this week.

"What's not to love about the Tour life?" said prolific 14 handicapper Derek Dundon of Mount Rathbridge Golf Club after he completed his fourth round in as many days. "Out here golfing in the sun every day, few cans of cider, getting a tan on the ould legs; it's like being Ernie Els at a WGC event, there's no cut and I get a cheque into the account on Friday no matter how shite I play. The only downside is my back is fucking killing me."

Other countries are now looking at the successful Irish scheme as a means of possibly winning Majors in a couple of decades time.




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Tragedy struck at an Irish golf course today after a player had to be rushed to hospital after accidentally touching the pin with his hand.

It was the worst possible news, on the day that golf returned after 8 weeks of lockdown.

The player and course, which cannot be named until full contact tracing takes place, reportedly placed his right hand somewhere near the top of the pin on the 15th green, triggering an emergency shutdown and evacuation of the golf course.



"I definitely saw him touching the pin," an eyewitness said. "I was looking over across the fairway and I clearly saw him suck each of his fingers after. He must have just forgotten the rules for a second."

Emergency services arrived on the scene within 10 minutes, and the victim was stripped naked, doused in Jeyes Fluid, and powerhosed with boiling water as per the newly published "Golfing Under Covid-19" regulations before being airlifted to a nearby hospital for testing.

His condition since is described as stable but scalded.  The course in question will now remain closed until December while a full disinfection is carried out.

#Parody


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An Irish golfer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was left heartbroken today after playing absolute shite on his comeback to golf.

Courses reopened today after an 8 week Coronavirus shutdown but only for members who live within 5km of the golf course.

The forty year old, who plays off 15, was widely expected to shoot in the low 60's on his return to action after he impressed several friends on Instagram with the extra power he developed over the last 8 weeks by hitting balls into a wet duvet on the clothes line at the back of his house.



"I couldn't fucking hit it out of my way....I mean after all the effort I put in just to get here today this is what I get?" the devastated former Captain's Prize Back-9 winner said after. "I was like OJ Simpson in the Ford Bronco with the nerves on me driving the hour down to the course. I said to the wife this morning 'fuck it I'll chance it with the 5km rule' but I was full sure some lad was going to video me or the cops would be at the gate of the golf course and I spent the whole day looking over my shoulder and I don't mind saying it......it just ruined my golf."

"I've a 30 mile journey home now in the car to gather my thoughts, figure out what went wrong, and get my head right for tomorrow," he added. "This is like the professional life on the PGA Tour, there's highs and there's going to be lows like today but if I play well over the next three days I'll feel like I've earned my €350 Covid Payment at the end of the week.


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Golf is back!! And now is the time to give your bag a good spring clean and reorganise its contents before we hit the course again!



Here's my guide to what exactly you need for your game!





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10 years in the making!.....or just very stuck for content in the lockdown!



Here's my first ever what's in the bag video.




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I know I'm never going to win an argument on Twitter yet stupidly I seemed to land in one at the weekend regarding the post Coronavirus return to play of golf and the new protocols.

It started when I posted a video last week on Twitter last week imploring golf's lawmakers not to make golf ridiculous when it returns because........ in times of worry and heightened perception like we are in....common sense can often go out the window; please aka don't have us putting against a foam swimming noodle instead of a golf hole.



The "fear" is that Coronavirus is theoretically viable on plastic surfaces for 2-3 days and touching a golf pin or a rake will or could lead to infection. 

I asked the golf authorities to compare the "risk" of Corona infection from touching a flagstick to the "risk" of plastic touching during grocery shopping and considered golf to be of much lower risk.

There's no restrictions in Ireland with everyone doing the grocery shopping right? No gloves or masks are advised when in the shop. Disposable gloves are even considered worse than hands.
It's fine handling all those plastics and products from all over the world, that have been handled by tens of sweaty hands during production, stacked on shelves, picked up and put down by other shoppers, the trays of meat from factories with known Corona clusters, handling the trolleys and baskets, unloading and loading at the checkout.  Then bringing all that into your own home and putting them onto your kitchen table and into your fridges and cupboards.
And that is seriously considered less "risky" than touching a golf pin?

Amongst others I attracted the attention of whoever runs the Belvoir Park GC who took a dislike to my opinion. And pretty much any attempt to explain myself after.

So I had another go last night.


Thankfully when the Golfing Union Of Ireland produced their return to play protocols, the pin WAS in there and no foam swimming noodle or four inch pipe! So maybe my plea worked a little.

We will all stick by the rules. We will leave the pin in. We wont rake bunkers. We will all just be happy to be out there again.  Even if I don't expect an invite to play Belvior Park to be coming anytime soon!




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I have a big fear.  I'm worried that when golf comes back post Coronavirus the protocols for play will be over the top.  They'll be ultra cautious, clinical and they'll take the fun AND the skill out of the game.

Here's my tuppance worth.




First of all the notion of picking up the virus from the flagstick or a bunker rake, or from taking the ball out of the hole is miniscule. It's ridiculous even. There's not a shred of evidence that there's even the slightest threat from it.



Coronavirus is a protein, not a living thing, it doesn't "coat" or barely even survive on plastic or wooden surfaces like flagsticks or rakes handles.  Especially outdoors.  Even if you do think its a risk, compare it for example to grocery shopping.  Think of all the thousands of products in your Tesco supermarket, think of all the people that handled the packaging of all the stuff in the trolley before you. Then you bring it all home.  If touching surfaces was an issue, then shopping would be a much bigger issue than a flagstick!

Yet every time post Corona golf is mentioned it is front and centre, 'oh we'll have no bunkers in play 'coz we cant rake them' or 'oh instead of the hole we'll have a plastic pipe or a foam swimming noodle that you'll putt the ball up to and if it hits it it's in.'  That would be idiotic.  That's not the game.

Bunkers are what make the game tough.  They are hazards.  Lip outs are what loses tournaments and Majors for God's sakes.



Matt Fitzpatrick was leading by a mile when at the 2019 Scandinavian Invitational when his approach shot hit the pin and bounced off the green leading to bogey.  If that happened in a post Corona, with 'just knock it off the pin/plastic pipe/swimming noodle thingy and we'll call it in' he'd have won the tournament by a mile!! Sorry Erik Van Rooyen but its a fact.

So I am pleading with the powers that be, in my country its the Golfing Union Of Ireland, to yes please have social distancing and other good strategies in place to make golf safe, but use your intelligence and common sense and don't make golf stupid when it returns.



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Ryder Cup organisers have today announced a number of measures which will allow the Ryder Cup to go ahead this September as planned despite Coronavirus fears.

Spectators will NOT be allowed attend the event.  Instead special speakers will be placed around the course to allow fans to shout 'Bababooey' and 'Mashed Potatoes' during tee shots via the Zoom app.

To avoid transmission of the virus on the course each match will be separated by 24 hours.  So with 28 matches it should be all wrapped up inside a month or so all going well.



Players will not be allowed bring their own caddies.  Instead golf bags will be carried by registered nurses wearing full head to toe PPE, and golf grips must be disposed of after every shot.  Players must also wear nitrile gloves and face masks at all times on the course.

To avoid breaking the 2-metre distance rule, clubs must be thrown to players at all times.

Players caddies and officials must be powerhosed, injected with dettol and undergo UV light treatment after every match.

Pins and flags will not be allowed. A pink foam swimming noodle will be placed in the hole and any ball which hits off it will be deemed holed.

Wives and girlfriends will not be permitted on the course on in Team rooms.  Ryder Cup organisers say this could greatly increase the risk of transmitting the virus back to the players families.  Sex workers however will be allowed in the players hotels as these are deemed an essential service.

More as it emerges.


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What a relief!

There was joy in the glorious sunshine at Roganstown golf course in Dublin yesterday as players on the course finally caught the dog that's been shitting on their greens during the Coronavirus lockdown.



Thankfully golf courses in Ireland are due to reopen on May 18th, and the scourge of dog shit all over golf courses will come to and end, but it was an absolute stroke of luck that there was enough players on the course yesterday to catch the dog and its owner red handed.

And get this.......the dog's owner was even silly enough to incriminate his own dog by videoing the incident and circulating it on whatsapp.



Some people eh?


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In Ireland at least.....and I think I can speak for most.......we are beginning to really struggle with this lockdown.  We did what we were told, we flattened the curve, the dreaded surge was prevented.

The loss of 1,200 lives has been the sad reality of Corona virus in Ireland.

But what is becoming extremely worrying, to me at least, is the handling of cocooning for the over-70's.  It's an almost a "stick them in a room and they'll be grand" approach.  My own parents included.



I have spoken to and read posts from my friend Ivan Morris, a top class golfer, living a stones throw away from his local golf course yet serving the "jail sentence" of cocooning from something which, I can't say 'doesn't exist in' rural Ireland but certainly does not even come within an iota of the transmission threat it has in major cities.

Look.......kids have all the time in the world, adults like me can wait this out just fine with our exercise and phones....

But has anyone stopped to consider that every day is precious when you are over 70? And being stuck inside for four or six months is time a pensioner will never get back after this crisis is over?

We're now at May 1st, the big day the Government implored us to get to.  The day they promised to "ease" restrictions.  I was hoping golf courses would be allowed to reopen today, but now I'm positive that is not going to happen.

I'd wager the argument that the crowds in Tesco compared with a few people out in a field smacking a little white ball on a golf course was laughed out of the healthcare committee room.

Ivan banging in a 4 footer.
So if we are getting nothing today in terms of golf, why not give the golf courses to the older folk? Why not let the people who built your golf club for you, who grew the membership, who funded the place, who come to every prizegiving, who organise the flowers and sandwiches on Captain's Day, who are the very fabric of golf of Ireland walk out into the empty 200 acre field and play a few holes themselves? Why not? Give me one good reason? You cant.

And don't you dare say the pin is dirty or the handle of the rake could be infected.  I'm sure my parents and Ivan Morris would happily wear oven gloves to get the ball out of the hole if you agreed they could get outside and play.

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The best lockdown golf story this week has to be that of 76-year-old Ross Campbell and golfer Adam.  Campbell is suffering with several brain tumours causing a sort of dementia which has him believing that he is best friends with Scott.



He also thinks they have beers regularly in the Riverside Oaks club house which is actually a shed on his son's property in Dural (a suburb of Sydney) where he and his wife Pam now live.

As his confusion worsened Campbell's daughter Leigh somehow got in touch with Adam who readily agreed to phone him.

“You didn’t need me for the game yesterday?” was the first question Ross asked and Scott who readily played along.  For several minutes the two men chatted like mates.

After the call ended Pam asked “What about Adam Scott ringing you?” to wish Ross replied  “What are you talking about? Of course Adam would call. He wants a game. He’s here at Riverside Oaks!”

Such a lovely little story and well played Adam Scott!

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In a lovely gesture to the rest of us stuck in lockdown and not allowed next nor near our golf club some Tour Pro's including our own Rory took time out of the their busy day practicing to post videos of themselves hitting balls on the range.


Some claims that they are actually teasing the shite out of us as they bask in glorious sunshine on driving ranges in their private Floridian country clubs as we stare forlornly at the droplets of rain running down the sitting room window were quickly dispelled when it was pointed out that they are actually cheering us up and giving us hope that someday we may also be free.



Because the great news is Coronavirus, is now suddenly totally gone in America; the President was right all along. It was all a hoax and a pint of dettol with coke did the trick and everyone who ridiculed him now looks very stupid indeed.

Roll on the PGA Tour.

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It's the lockdown. It's causing people to lose their tempers and do terrible things to their loved ones.  Like poor Brooks Koepka who was subject to an attack with a hair clippers.


If you're squeamish please don't watch!




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