In mid-June, the PGA Tour plans to resume play, in Fort Worth, for the Charles Schwab Challenge. There won’t be fans. The flagstick will stay in. The caddies won’t touch a rake. You’ll have your temperature taken before you enter the Colonial Country Club grounds, no matter who you are, or something along those lines. It will be different.
But there will be a 72-hole tournament and a TV show and a first-place check for $1.3 million. It will be way better than nothing. Scott Stallings need not worry.
I know one significant thing about Stallings, and it’s admirable. Five years ago, he admitted to PGA Tour officials that he had accidentally used a banned performance-enhancing drug and that admission got him a 90-day suspension. And his admission came after he had passed a drug test. Another example of PGA Tour players policing themselves.
But what Stallings said the other day to my colleague, James Colgan, makes no sense. Stallings, a three-time Tour winner, said, “Guys are not going to play for their livelihood with no rakes in the bunker and no caddies.” Not to hang on his every word here in a fluid situation — there likely will be caddies, and bunkers can be raked by designated volunteers — but let’s look more broadly at it:
The human race is adaptable. We the people, for whom the Constitution was written, are adaptable. PGA Tour players are adaptable. The Tour will put in place sensible procedures to ensure safe tournaments, but the show will go on.
Your heart goes out to those who are ill, and it aches for all the death and sadness this pandemic has left in its wake.
But every day of our lives we calculate and allow for risk. I have confidence that the PGA Tour officials are doing just that as they plan responsibly for four tournaments in four weeks — Fort Worth, Hilton Head, Hartford and Detroit — played at 72 holes with full fields and without fans, starting on June 11.
Yes, the decision to play carries risk. But Keep Calm and Carry On is as meaningful now as it was in Great Britain during World War II. The first part requires you to be smart, careful, aware, but also sane. The second part means life continues. You make the necessary adjustments, but life does continue.
We are not in lockdown, here in the United States. Yes, there has been a myriad of governmental orders for businesses, including golf courses, to shut down as this virus sweeps across the country and the world. We’re being told to stay at home. But lockdown is a term of prison, and it’s been the wrong word here. What the overwhelming majority of us are doing — in golf and way beyond golf — is choosing to make smart decisions because we are responsible people, looking out for ourselves and each other. This is a cooperative movement. By Michael Bamberger
Spring training for your golf game
by Tony Porter
Inspect your club heads for scratches, nicks, dents, rust and worn spots. These problems are best dealt with right away before it gets out of hand. Also, remember to examine the face of your woods for cracks because any imperfections here will lead to imperfect shots on the course. Rattling in club heads are caused by loose weights in the shaft or epoxy that has broken loose and this can be repaired quickly and inexpensively. While it may not affect the playability of your club – it can be distracting when you swing.
Check your grips for wear and tear. Cracking or spots that are smooth, shiny, or worn are signs that it is time for a grip replacement. Regular players should replace their grips once a year. Re-gripping can make a huge difference in the level of enjoyment you experience during your game.
Examine your steel shafts for dents or rusting because this can lead to breakage during your game. Any imperfections here could mean that the shaft should be replaced.
If you play with graphite shafts, look for fraying or peeling where the shaft enters the head of the club. The shaft may need replacing if there is excessive wear at any point in the shaft. The most common place for wear is the spot where the shaft rests against the carrying bag.
Are your loft and lie angles correct? A minor change in the lie angle of any club can greatly affect the accuracy of your shot. Many experts recommend that you have your club specs checked twice a year. This is definitely worth the effort and the small expense when done by a qualified professional. You will be amazed at the ease for more consistent shots by these small adjustments.
Be a wise golfer and check your equipment regularly. Knowing that your equipment is in good shape will put you a step ahead of your competition when you step on the first tee this season. The best players in the game are constantly upgrading the performance of their equipment. Doing so on a regular basis will help you do just the same.
Spring Tune-Up Package $60.00 (tax included)
- Provide grip fitting analysis and recommendations
- Inspect shafts for damage and corrosion
- Inspect condition of ferrules
- Thorough cleaning
To book your tune-up, call Tony Porter at (705) 761 – 3836