Bacon’s Bites: Masters time! Defeat at Melton – and no excuse not to get the beers in at Spurs!
- Credit: AP
In this week’s column, MIKE BACON takes a look at the world of golf, from the Master so the EADT v Melton St Audrys
You know summer is on the way when it’s Masters weekend.
The first full week in April sees the start of the Augusta classic, the first Major of the season.
For fair-weather golfers like myself, it signals the start of summer golf – early morning tee-offs, or late afternoon rounds, sitting in the bar at 9pm enjoying the view.
I know, winter golf can be fun. But I really am much happier in t-shirt and my Union Jack shorts (only kidding folks!!!).
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No just a nice pair of tailored ones, bit of warmth on your back, strolling down the centre of the fairway to your drive... Well, sometimes!
Golf is continuing to battle against the pressures of modern life, although it is not all doom and gloom as it appeared to be a decade ago.
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Many golf clubs are reporting membership beginning to bounce back but there is much to do to keep the sport relevant and affordable.
The focus on encouraging the young to play is of course important and golf has done much in this area.
But clubs also need to focus equally as hard on other demographics
I speak to many golfers who ‘used to be’ members of clubs.
There are differing reasons why commitment to a club for them is no longer viable, and sadly cost is still high up their rankings.
Membership of golf clubs just here in Suffolk can be more than £1,000 a year at a few. Many are between £500-£900. Others are less. I haven’t included a joining fee, that some also charge.
We’re living in strange times.
People are always looking for a bargain. Interest rates may be low, but so are wage rises – for those lucky enough to get one.
Golf is a great sport and I know it is hard for clubs to think of reducing green fees or memberships. They have big commitments to keep their courses up to spec.
Then again here’s a thought.
Does a club want 200 members paying £1,000 each a year or 400 paying £500? Is that a risk worth taking?
With the added benefits of drink, food and spend in the club house and pro shop, 400 is surely better than 200.
But then again, it’s not my money and I’m not pretending it’s as simplistic as that.
Still, let’s move on and enjoy the Masters, let’s enjoy watching the maestros at work at Augusta.
Golf is still very popular. A British winner at Augusta would do wonders for the sport in this country.
TALKING of golf.
I mentioned last week about our upcoming EADT golf team’s trip to Melton St Audrys to play a fixture that has been going since 1966.
Well, it all went pear-shaped, I’m afraid.
After two successive years of victories, to bring the overall score to something like EADT 7, Melton 43, with a few drawn, Melton added another victory tick into their box on Monday.
Our captain and golfing doyen, Tony Garnett, decided to ‘mix it up a bit’ and shuffled the pairings about. He was quickly renamed the ‘Tinkerman’ by some in our team, but his tinkering failed to bring us the win.
Only my colleague Stuart ‘350 off the tee’ Watson and his partner David Cockburn were victorious, with myself and partner Mike Pennock - he of Ipswich Golf Club who plays off four for goodness sake – losing 3&2 to a very good pairing of Zac and Dan... I never got their surnames, apologies!
Not one to make excuses, I blame Pennock, who three-putted one hole which put me right off my next eight tee-shots! Ha! Ha!
It was a lovely evening, weather was superb, course in good nick and the after-match food excellent.
Even Mr Garnett’s after-dinner speech made sense this year.... A rare treat indeed.
DOESN’T the new White Hart Lane look flash?
Gosh! I must admit it really looks so impressive.
Among the many glitzy things the new stadium enjoys is the Goal Line Bar, in the South Stand, which at 65m is the longest in Europe.
That won’t go down well with my brother Rick.
His ‘standard’ line on a night out when it’s his round is that there is ‘no room at the bar’....!