Vousden reckons golf fans are getting too ****ing abusive

Thought for the Day
If you continue working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day

It’s time to stop pussyfooting around and recognise that golf has a problem, and that problem is American golf fans. Justin Thomas recently had one ejected from a tournament – the Honda Classic he went on to win. The ‘fan’ had yelled for Thomas’ ball to go into water, and then yelled again for it to find a bunker, after which the golfer asked the gallery: ‘Who said that? ‘When the man was identified, Thomas told him: ‘Enjoy your day buddy, you’re gone,’ and had the culprit evicted.

The only regrettable aspect of Justin Thomas’ behaviour is that the following day he tweeted an apology in a series of tweets, as follows:


‘Getting a lot of comments on the fan incident yesterday… sorry to any and all offended by it. There was more said as we walked to the tee wishing bad things on the course for myself or Luke [List, with whom he was paired]. Then the get in the bunker comment over and over again I felt… (more…)

It’s almost enough to make you want to high five someone. Almost

Be honest; if you’re going to hole out from off the green, you want it to be like this…

Faster Faster

Thought for the Day
If someone tells you there are one billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint, you will touch it to be sure

Pace of Play
JB Holmes took four minutes and ten seconds to take a shot at the last hole of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last month. After considerable deliberation, he laid up. In fairness to Holmes, he had led the tournament at the start of the last day and needed to make eagle on the par five 18th to regain top position. He eventually concluded that he had a better chance of doing this by hitting a wedge from in close than trying to stop a fairway wood on a hard, fast green. And he was playing a tough course with hard fairways, clinging rough and a gusting 10-15mph wind into his face, making club selection uncertain for his 239-yard shot.

jb holmes

So he needed a birdie to probably go into a playoff and eagle to win. Unfortunately his playing partners included Jason Day, Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren, who shared the lead. Day and Palmer had already played but Noren was left fidgeting while waiting for Holmes to make up his mind. The wind was gusting and Holmes’ caddy was heard to say: ‘You’ve got to be patient.’ The crowd began barracking him and Nick Faldo and (more…)

Martin’s Crystal Ball

Thought for the Day
If you’d known you were going to live this long, wouldn’t you have taken better care of yourself?

This prediction business is a dangerous thing but nonetheless I’m going to stick my neck out and have a punt on what I think 2018 may bring to the world of golf. Incidentally, the reason why pundits like me continue to prognosticate is because we type with fingers crossed (never easy) in the hope that no-one who reads this now will remember to go back in 12 months’ time to check how accurate we were.

The Majors
Rory McIlroy will win the Masters. After the disaster of 2011 when he hoicked his drive miles left on the 10th en route to a disastrous last day 80 he understandably had a couple of so-so performances. In the last four years, however, he’s finished in the top-10 and clearly loves the Augusta National course. But my main reasons for optimism are that a) he is due another grand slam event, he’s just too good and b) this year he is changing his schedule and playing eight events leading into the first major, rather than two or three. If Rory doesn’t win, Dustin Johnson, who is already showing frighteningly good form, will.

rory masters 2011

Phil Mickelson will win the US Open. I know, this is heart writing, not head because the man has famously finished runner-up in his own national championship more often than anyone else (six times) without winning it. And he’s 46-years-old, and no longer with Bones, the man who caddied for his entire professional career. But because of this I believe Phil knows he’s running out of chances and needs to summon all his considerable talent for one last effort. I’m also a believer in omens (not really) and remember that (more…)

The Best Shots of 2017

Martin’s 2017 Review

Bummer of the Year: Tiger Woods
In September on the eve of the Presidents Cup the almost 42-year-old admitted his career might be over. Four lots of knee surgery and four back operations in 18 months, with no tournament appearances between February and November all signposted that one of the great golf careers may be a thing of the past.

tiger woods

Reason to be Cheerful of the Year: Tiger Woods
He’s back. Making his much-heralded return in the Hero World Challenge was enough. That he played four rounds and hit some great shots, pain free, was all that he and we could hope for. More worryingly, everyone commented that he had his old swing speed and was generating a lot of torque but that’s what caused his problems in the first place. Nevertheless, good to see the old boy back in harness

Almost Bummer of the Year: Paul Casey
Sadly, 2017 continued a worrying trend. He went into the last round of the Tour Championship leading by two, shot 73 and finished 5th. He had nine top-10 finishes in 2017 but in five of them his last round score was the worst of the week and his only US Tour win was eight years ago. Perhaps he is consoled by his $21,982,360 career winnings in America

Overlooked Winner of the Year: Xander Shauffele
The magnificently named golfer won the Tour Championship, the finale to the US season but hardly anyone noticed because Justin Thomas did enough to win the FedEx Cup

Xander Shauffele

Lightning Start to the Year: Justin Thomas
In only his third season the 24-year-old showed he is no flash in the pan. Three wins in the first five events and five overall, including the dollar bonanza of lifting the FedEx Cup, with icing on the cake coming at the US PGA Championship. It all makes him a short-odds favourite to win at least one more major in 2018

Player of the Year (worldwide): Justin Thomas
See above

Player of the Year (Europe): Jon Rahm
Tommy Fleetwood won the Race to Dubai but that’s because Rahm played much of the year in America but still finished third in the season long European race and won twice. Leaving aside the majors and WGC events, Fleetwood played 15 events on the European Tour, Rahm played five but won in America and finished the year ranked fourth in the world (Tommy was 19th). Oh, and Jon Rahm was in his rookie season (more…)