As you can see from the wee green picture above I haven’t the foggiest notion, not a baldy, how to take a selfie. Just look at the eyes and the startled, bug-eyed expression. When I asked Maureen to do her technical stuff and put it in the blog’s media library for me, her reaction was immediate and explosive: “FFS! [whatever that means] Noooooooooo!”
“Don’t worry,” I told her, via WhatsApp, “all will tie in. How do you take selfies anyway?!” That message took a while to write properly because I was crying with laughter and could hardly type. My choice of photos is often the bane of Maureen’s blogging life and, being a big sister with a rather unedifying nasty streak, I was delighted she reacted in the expected fashion. That’s one of the problems with big sisters: having known you since the day you were born (if you’re lucky), they know all the buttons to press, no matter how old, mature, sophisticated and wised up you have become.
“I’m NOT putting that in !!”
Eight minutes later.
St Patrick’s Day having been cancelled (something stirring vaguely at the back of my brain cell tells me that that’s a Latin construction: Rome having been stormed, that sort of thing; Boris would know and so would Fanny G, our small but formidable Latin teacher….) To continue, a friend, Irish, was in self-isolation, so I thought I’d go round and cheer her up with a bit of greenery and an approximation of an Irish jig. Luckily for her – and her neighbours – it was dark by the time I got there, so there was no jig and no one could see that I was wearing my Rugby World Cup 2015 tee shirt and hat plus a very aged ILGU scarf as my bandit’s mask.
Just as a by the way, there being no sport on offer now and certainly not a contact sport like rugby, do you think Johnny Sexton might have the yips? The kicker supreme had two successive shockers in his last international, not just mistimed but butchered, so…..? The yips can affect all sorts of people doing all sorts of things, not just people trying to putt, or drive, or play the violin, or serve, or hit the dartboard, or whatever, from a standing start.Most golf, like everything else, is at a standstill at the moment – though I think the women are still playing on the Cactus Tour in Arizona – and Mike Whan, the commissioner of the LPGA Tour, who continues to impress his members and the rest of us with his calm, clear-eyed, open approach, gave his reasons for calling off tournaments from a very early stage. Talking to Rich Lerner on the Golf Channel, Whan said, “I think we probably cancelled [the Asian events] more out of uncertainty than certainty….because we didn’t know what we were dealing with, we decided to make that decision. In hindsight, thank God we did. But it wasn’t because we had all the information……”
Things had got a lot worse – global catastrophe anyone? – and people were better informed by the time the LPGA announced that they were postponing the Volvik Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona, the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California and the first major of the season, the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California. Perhaps the first two events could have gone ahead, with precautions and without fans, Whan said but, crucially: “Can I live with it if I’m wrong? If I’m wrong, I live with that for the rest of my life.
“If it’s a decision that’s wrong the other way and we should have played, I feel terrible about it but I can live with that. This is a decision that I might not like but I don’t think I’ll ever regret.”
Put like that, putting golf on hold for the time being, however agonising, has been a no-brainer for every commissioner or chief executive of every tour.
In a video recently, Whan, relaxed and casual, sitting outside as though at a family gathering (no one else in shot though), not behind a desk in a suit and tie, said that the LPGA’s greatest ever season (from the point of view of prize money, events, television coverage) was “on a break for all the right reasons.
“We needed to do what we could to make sure that we weren’t part of any kind of spread of this virus…….We’ll use golf to pull us together not pull us apart…….We’ll work through this together…….Hang in there, live together, love together…..”
Social distancing permitting, of course.The good thing about golf at the most basic level is that you can play it on your own or if you’re with friends, operate at the advised distance of two metres apart. You’re outside, in the fresh air, getting exercise and company, all the elements essential to your health and wellbeing. No handshakes afterwards though and certainly no hugging or kissing and you can forget the drink in the clubhouse.
At Whittington our clubhouse will be closed for the foreseeable future after today, which might be inconvenient for us members but is a darned sight more worrying for the staff whose livelihoods are at risk. The knock-on effects of this virus are amazing and the chaos it’s caused is mind-blowing. It’s like a war someone said, so why bother with nuclear weapons when you can cause mayhem and panic for virtually nothing?
We’ll need billions to sort this all out, so that’s good: we can cancel our nuclear programme; ditch the ill-conceived (yes, I’m biased) HS2 project; and lo, there’ll be billions billowing towards regeneration, rehabilitation and resurrection.
And there’s one immediate, very minor benefit from this whole thing, something that’s very dear to my heart, the abolition of one of golf’s most laughable, ridiculous and pompous edicts: “NO CHANGING SHOES IN THE CAR PARK”.
They may think it’s only temporary but, rest assured, there’ll be no going back……..