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Seminole Shootout

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Sunday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief Skins Challenge was rightly seen by the vast majority of the golfing community as both a genuine contribution in support of front line health workers and as a much needed distraction for those of us still denied the freedom to participate in our all-consuming sporting passion.

An opportunity for golf to give something back, courtesy of the event’s main backer United Health Group and the viewing public’s generosity

An opportunity to watch four of the top stars of the modern Pro Tour demonstrate their rich talent whilst complying with current social distancing dictates. No caddies = get the carry bags out. No high fives. No crowd.

An opportunity to finally watch some golf played over the beautiful but rarely seen terrain of Seminole Golf Club. A captivating Donald Ross designed layout and a wonderful test of golf seems to be the standard comment from those fortunate to be allowed access on to its hallowed turf. The President of the club, Jimmy Dunne has been quoted as describing the club as “ Seminole has probably the highest golfing aptitude of any golf club in The United States “. Clearly this is a golf club which takes its golf very seriously.

Allied to this approach is the emphasis the club places on golf being a walking game ( for all those who are able of course ) and particularly that the speed of play is paramount to the enjoyment of the game.Their sign exhorting all players to “ Play Good, Play Fast. Play Bad, Play Faster “ really should be reproduced in every club wherever the game of golf is played.

The event itself has generated great interest and comment before, during and after winnings have been totalled and donated. What seemed like a nice, simple fundraiser has now provided a timely sounding board for a whole range of golf related issues.

Modern sport at the highest level needs spectators. The Ryder Cup needs its crowd, its chanting , its cheers; just please remember to show sporting respect to the great players on the other team and don’t ever invade any green.

This was definitely a missed opportunity to involve some of the highly talented players on the LPGA Tour, many of whom must be based along the Florida coast.Some form of mixed event would surely command great interest and ensure an early season boost to both tours.

When are we finally going to see some real action from USPGA/ R&A on limiting distance at the top level of the sport. The increasing discussions on driveable par 4’s is becoming farcical. Bifurcation, ball re-design, Persimmon, ban on tees for pros ?
Not sure about Sir Nick’s one with no tees but all these have their supporters, all have some merit. It could well be a couple of seasons before we see large crowds at golf tournaments again. Is this not the perfect time to redefine the game to ensure an exciting, challenging and ultimately fun, enjoyable future ?

 

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