For once, the blog is starting with a vaguely serious golfing topic – although admittedly there will be those who say that there’s nothing remotely serious about golf.  However, at the highest level it is biggish business, with quite a lot of noughts at the end of the numbers.  Probably not as big as Elon Musk, say, would consider particularly impressive but Donald Trump, for example, who likes big numbers, is keen on his golf and it’s a big part of his business portfolio.

Where’s this going, you might well ask.  Well, I’m just about to congratulate Guy Kinnings on his new job as European Tour Group CEO, taking over from Keith Pelley, who’s heading off back to Canada after a torrid stint in charge.  Given that a lot of knowledgable observers think that the European Tour (DP World) is on its way down the tubes (a technical description), crushed by the (US) PGA Tour and LIV and who knows what combinations, why would any sane person want to be in charge?

I don’t know Guy Kinnings well but I’ve known him for a long time and feel remarkably sanguine about him being the man at the top.  If anybody can navigate their way through the mire that is men’s professional golf at the moment, Kinnings has as good a chance as any.  He’s from Wolverhampton for a start; studied at Oxford; became a lawyer; joined IMG under the legendary Mark McCormack and has been in golf ever since.  There’s not much he doesn’t know.

Guy Kinnings ready to roll [Getty images]

“It’s a very proud day for me and my family,” he said.  “It’s a real privilege…and a responsibility I do not take lightly.  Our tour has such a wonderful history and I am delighted to have this opportunity to help shape the next exciting phase in its evolution…

“We have a great opportunity to look forward, a chance for us to focus on uniting and alignment…we have an ability now to bring the game together… I’m optimistic that we can look forward to a bright future…a more global mindset…

“That’s something we really welcome, something that plays to our strengths.  We have a global footprint, we have huge global experience.  Essentially for 50 years we’ve been growing relationships around the world, staging events in different countries and I think that that allows us a great opportunity to help shape the game in the right way

“For us globality [sic] is at our core, it’s in our DNA, it’s one of our three guiding principles:  there’s globality, there’s inclusivity and there’s innovation…

“Essentially it’s our job to continue to make sure we appeal to as many of the fans worldwide, from as many different backgrounds, different demographics, as we possibly can.”

Crucially also, this is a man who spent years looking after Colin Montgomerie, one of the most high maintenance, volatile men in any sport.  Kinnings has proved himself a diplomat sans pareil.  He’s the man for the job.  Surely?

A young Kinnings (right) with a relaxed, smiling Montgomerie. No idea who took the photo. It’s from The Real Monty, written with the ever-patient Lewine Mair, published by Orion in 2002.

Good luck Guy.

On a less optimistic note, I was sorry to hear that golf writing in Australia, if not exactly defunct, has officially fizzled out.  The AGMA (Australian Golf Media Association), founded 50 years ago as the Australian Golf Writers Association, has been disbanded.  At an extraordinary meeting, via Zoom (of course), last month, the remaining members voted unanimously in favour of disbandment.

I looked up my aged Roget’s Thesaurus and it confirmed that to disband is pretty final, coming up with words such as:  scatter, separate, part, break up, split up; deactivate, detach, let go; dissolve, disorganise, disintegrate.   Grim to those of us who remember the good times and all the wonderful Aussie sports writers who spent a good deal of their time covering their wonderful golfers.  Sadly, it seems there are no longer enough of them to merit an association.

Happy days: Dai with the peerless Kathie Shearer, preparing for the Aussie Golf Writers’ dinner at Kingston Heath in Melbourne in 1995.

I still have my NFS keyring somewhere, to commemorate the occasion when Dai’s suggestion that I, as a member of the AGW (Association of Golf Writers), should be allowed to play as a guest in the Aussie golf writers’ championship, was dismissed by the chairman with the immortal words:  “There’ll be no f…ing sheilas playing in my f…ing tournament.”

Ah, sweet days of enlightenment.

Looking forward to next week, Iain Carter, the BBC’s indefatigable golf correspondent, a former chairman of the AGW, will be busier than ever.  Not only will he be up to his eyes covering the Masters at Augusta National but he will also be keeping an eye on sales of his new book, due out on Thursday 11th April.

Published by Bloomsbury, it’s got a snazzy green cover and is called Golf Wars (with the ‘s’ cleverly depicted as a gold dollar sign), Liv and Golf’s Bitter Battle For Power And Identity.  It’s billed as “the compelling story of how golf was ripped apart…….this epic tale of fierce internal warfare has shaken golf to its core and marks a seminal moment in sporting history…”

Well, it promises to be a blockbuster and I look forward to reading an account that will make some sense of the whole sorry mess.

Good luck, Iain.