I had a text from a friend yesterday, suggesting a subject for today’s blog, a very, very, very (ad infinitum) contentious subject: the dreaded, ever-divisive dress code. Not being in one of my argumentative, disputatious moods (a bit odd that, for an Irish person, or, at least, this particular Irish person), I’m not going to bite.
Suffice it to say that I cheered when I saw Tyrrell Hatton wearing his hoodie at Wentworth. Yes, a HOODIE. Shock horror, hooray, hooray. When David Cameron (remember him? I’m pretty sure it was him) suggested we hug hoodie-wearing teens instead of vilifying them, I put a hoodie on my wish list – a cashmere hoodie, admittedly but a hoodie nonetheless. In fact, it went on the list immediately after whatever shopping centre it was said it was going to ban them.There’s a Guardian article from the time – July 2006 – that said: “In a ground-breaking speech calling for more ‘love’ to be shown to adolescents, the Tory leader will attack bans on hooded tops – a symbol of urban menace to many adults – that were imposed by a shopping centre last year, arguing that shrouding their faces is a response to children’s own fear of crime against them, not a crime in itself…..”
Hatton helped demonstrate that far from being an urban menace the hoodie is now a fairway fashion item. In the way of fashion items, it’s not entirely practical because, let’s face it, who’s going to be hitting a shot with the hood up? And with the hood down you have to make sure it keeps out of the way of the swing and is not going to knock you about the face. The key is that he was wearing it at all, showing what? That golf’s now the epitome of urban cool? That Adidas had a bit of extra material to make use of? Who knows? But thanks Tyrrell and many congrats on winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and moving into the top ten in the world rankings.
My golf’s not quite in the same league and if I’d been wearing a hoodie the other day, I’d have pulled the hood over my eyes because I had a fit of the unmentionables (Arthur Ranks for older readers or real cinema buffs) at a crucial time; going from two up with four to play to two down at the end……Great…..The smile as I left the 18th green was of the rictus variety…..
Maureen’s advice included a mat (I have no grass because what’s the point when you have an entire park, well maintained by a lovely, friendly team who are as good for your well-being as the grounds they look after, 50-odd yards max from your front door?), a kitchen sponge and an airflow ball. She described how to set things up and added the magic words: “Don’t think of anything too technical…”. As if. I won’t go into any more detail in case she wants to use it as a proper tip at a later date and I can’t report on its efficacy until I’ve been and gone and got the equipment….Wilkco here I come.
There was a poignant moment at Wentworth last week when Andy McFee and John Paramor said goodbye to the European Tour and left their replacements as rules officials shaking in their shoes….Decades of experience are hard earned and they were two of the best in the world; the hole will be filled (and it’s a very big hole) but it’ll take time.They both reminisced a bit and were very nice about the AGW (who were presenting them with a memento) and Paramor recalled a rather chastening, slightly terrifying moment from his early days as a tournament director. It was at the Belfry, the week before the Open Championship, the weather was piggy, with rain delays galore, electrics that didn’t work, all in all a lot of a nightmare for anyone, let alone a relative rookie. Decisions had to be made on the hoof and John told a load of marquee players, including former Open champions, all of them playing poorly and well off the pace, that they could go home – or wherever.
“I’d let them go without any nod to anybody,” he recalled and it didn’t go down well with the people who had features and (endless) Open previews to do….including my late husband, who’d have been working for the Birmingham Post at the time and was not a man known for his que sera sera equilibrium…..
”I was taken into a room with Dai and some of his senior colleagues,” JP said, the memory still vivid, “and told in no uncertain terms that I was a ‘complete bloody idiot. What you need to do is you need to talk to us and we will tell you what you should be doing……And you need to be honest with us…’ Thank you Dai, wherever you are….for that bit of advice.”
I’ll raise a glass of red to that!
It’s just been announced that the 2023 Solheim Cup (remember that, with luck, the 2021 version will go ahead at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio, next September) will be held in Spain for the first time, at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia. If it’s a fraction as exciting as the Ryder Cup at Valderrama in 1997, the wine drinkers among us will need plentiful supplies of Rioja to calm our nerves….The more healthy are welcome to stick to their green tee, sorry, tea…..
The featured pic (at the top of the piece) probably needs explaining…..it’s there because it always makes me laugh, especially in these chaotic times but also because now, sadly, my favourite mug is defunct. It cracked yesterday and I include it as a tribute to an old friend…..Sorry Mo.