Tait: Pondering golf’s oddities during silly season

Since it’s the silly season – when newspapers and television stations run stories that wouldn’t normally get column inches or air time – I thought I’d throw in a few silly-season questions running around in my own head right now.

Did Tiger turn down the Euro Tour because he might look ordinary?

Supposedly Woods turned down an invite to play in next week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on the European Tour. Wonder if he did so because right now he would look ordinary even in a European field full of B-list players?

Why do we need Walker Cup selectors?

The GB&I Walker Cup team has just been named, but don’t think captain Nigel Edwards picked all 10 players. No way. He has to work with a team of selectors, who have huge influence on who gets picked. Quite why we need selectors is beyond me. Why not let Edwards pick his own team? After all, he played in four straight Walker Cups from 2001 to ’07. He knows his stuff. Imagine telling Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United or New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi that a bunch of guys in the back room were going to have a say in who played for their teams. That would be laughable.

Do the R&A and USGA regret not banning long putters?

Bet there are many in both organizations who wanted them banned. Well they can’t now, can they? Not after Keegan Bradley’s win in the PGA Championship. What’s that old saying about he who hesitates?

Is any one of us really an expert?

No one would have picked Darren Clarke and Keegan Bradley to win the last two majors of the year except close family friends of the two players. Yet you’ll hear no end of people, so-called “experts,” telling you who’s going to win this tournament and that tournament. I’ve got a Twitter follower who’s supposedly an expert on golf, and I’ve never heard of him. And I’ve been in the game for more than 20 years. These days, anyone can hang the “expert” label around his neck, and just about every player in major fields has a chance of winning. That’s why I try not to make predictions.

Why does amateur golf attract so little interest?

The amateur scene around the world is full of future superstars, yet no one seems to care. Why? Newspapers over here, and Sky Sports, our equivalent to the Golf Channel, give the amateur game very little coverage. That’s a shame, because I’d rather read about some amateur tournaments than many professional events. Plaudits to anyone involved in supporting amateur golf. They do sterling work for very little reward.

Why are golf courses getting noisier?

I was standing on the sixth tee of my course recently and I could hear every word of the conversation among the four ball on the fourth – and it’s nearly 80 yards away. Maybe it’s just me, but golfers seem to be getting noisier.

Are we really picking the correct line?

When we read a putt, are we picking the line because it’s the correct line or because it has a blemish or mark on it at which we can aim? I sometimes feel it’s the latter. Maybe that’s why I don’t hole more putts.

Why do new clubs go well for only a little while?

I got a new driver a few months ago and hit it great on the range. I hit it great for a couple of rounds and now can’t find a fairway with it. I’ve gone back to my old driver. What is it with new clubs that they sometimes promise so much and deliver so little? Beware the new-club syndrome.

Why can’t Nick Dougherty make a cut?

The Englishman has played 19 events this year and hasn’t made one cut. The three-time European Tour winner looked like he might make the cut in this week’s Czech Open after an opening 71, but a second-round 78 caused him to go 0 for 19. Dougherty’s last win came in the 2009 BMW International Open, a pretty decent European Tour event. How can you go from world-beater to hacker in such a short space of time? Bet he’s asking himself the same question.

What is the meaning of golf? If you know, please, please tell me.

Show Hide