A worthy cause

There are many worthy causes in the World today; caring for the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked.

But if you are a sports brand, then you need to have the best players wearing and using your products.
In golf the very best player costs 20 million dollars a year. Hence today, Golf Refugees are launching a Worldwide appeal to raise this sum. All we ask is for each person to donate just 10 dollars, by our calculation we only require 2 million denotees. Who will each become a shareholder. Think of it as owning a small piece of the World's best golfer, say an eyebrow, or a finger nail or a few chest hairs for a whole year.

Please send your donation by contacting Golf Refugees with the title; 'Help us get the World's best golfer'

For other worthy causes please contact; Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Amnesty International, UNICEF.


You'll need plenty of XXXX

With the clocks going back this Sunday, I've been wondering if there's enough daylight hours to get a quick 9 holes at my local par 3 course.

But how about a course that takes 4 days to complete? Dreamed up "over a couple of beers", it is hoped the links will attract tourists to the Eyre Highway, which traverses the desolate Nullarbor Plain in Southern Australia.

Golfers will stop at one roadhouse, play a hole, then drive on to the next tee 50 miles down the road in some cases. Tees are artificial and sand, grit and gravel make up the majority of the rest of the course.
The Nullarbor Links references its outback landscape with holes called - Dingo's Den, Border Kangaroo, Oyster Beds, Golden Horse and 90 Mile Straight.

Operators expect the course to become a major tourist attraction, saying international interest is already proving strong.

"The Japanese are prepared to play golf on a rooftop, that's how keen they are. Can you imagine?
They'll be flocking in hordes to get over here and play this. Australian Tourism Minister announced government funding for the project , saying the money would be used to help promote the golf course and pay for signs and fixtures at each hole location.
Even ahead of its official opening, 600 golfers have played the course, and the Nullarbor Links boasts members in 27 countries. Are you up for the challenge?


The Birdie Sisters

You've heard of the William's sisters in tennis; Venus and Serena, well here are the Birdie sisters for golf; Myah and Erica. Granted they are only 9 and 11 years old respectively,
but when you listen to interviews of today's sports stars they all started playing competitively at a very young age. By the time they were 15 some had over ten years experience and some will go on to retire at the tender age of 25. It's no good looking back when you're in your mid-thirties and mull over that you were quite good a such a sport as a teenager, but didn't do enough about it.

Myah and Erica are pictured here putting with the original black golf ball at their home town golf course in Chicago. These talented duo are also spending their time playing the piano and practising taekwondo.

Well, I'm off to strap up my ankles and knees before playing sport. You never know after a couple of pints I might even break out a tune on the old spoons.


Where's our green jacket?

This week on the BBC’s Inside Sport good old Peter Alliss flew over to northern Spain to interview recovering golf legend Seve Ballesteros at his home. It was a little bit like watching an episode of ‘Through the keyhole’, but still fascinating to have a nose around Seve’s impressive pad. With a Ferrari and Lamborghini in the garage, swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium and a lovely view out to sea.

Seve’s been working hard, he proudly showed us his ‘guns’, after pumping iron and running hundreds of laps around his indoor pool. Doctors orders you see, to re-gain his fitness with a goal of playing at St Andrews in next years Open Championships. He asked viewers not to feel sorry for him and expressed his gratitude to all his fans. I have read before that having a positive mental attitude when recovering from serious illness can play a major part in the recovery process. Seve certainly has this in buckets loads. A winners mentallity.

There’s a room full of golf clubs, from drivers to putters and his favourite wedges. An even larger trophy room, with five major titles, numerous Ryder Cup victories and named European player of the century. All starting with a little golf trophy he won at the age of 14 before turning pro at just 16.

Behind a glass fronted cabinet were two Masters green jackets. He said to Peter Alliss that Augusta forbid you from taking the jackets away from the tournament. But if they wanted his green jackets back, they’d have to come and get them.

Nice one Seve.

The importance of colour

Why did Golf Refugees create a black golf ball?

Our reply usually begins with, well, we didn’t understand how ‘white’ has become the predominant colour for a golf ball? And still don’t. Early golf balls were not white, their colour usually dictated by the natural colour of the materials. If you were conducting a scientific test to find the most visible colour for a golf ball, then probably a bright orange would suffice. When taking into consideration visibility in the air and on the ground. Visibility in the air should be of great concern, especially if you are a spectator at a golf event.

How many golfers complain about their white golf ball being difficult to follow in the air? When you watch a golf tournament on the telly, the camera often loses site of the white ball when flying through the sky. Therefore, are white golf balls too dangerous?

Perhaps a bright orange colour suggests a sense of fun and adolescence. Whereas white is a more plain, sensible colour which reflects golf’s image as a sport played mainly by middle aged men.

So what is the best colour for golf ball?


Golf an Olympic sport?

Against, the great Dom Joly;

I find it hard to understand why golf is going to get in. When I was at the Olympics in Beijing I spent ages trying to work out why some events felt like they belonged in the Olympics while others didn't.

All the athletics felt decidedly Olympian as did the swimming and things like the fencing and gymnastics. Others, however, felt completely wrong. Tennis, for instance, was decidedly un-Olympian, as was football. I couldn't work out why until I shared a taxi to a BBC studio with Steve Backley, the javelin thrower (there's almost nothing more Olympian than the javelin and the discus, especially if done by naked, oiled -up Greeks).

I asked Backley what the criteria should be and he had the perfect answer. "If being at the Olympics is not the pinnacle of your sport then you shouldn't be there." I tried to apply this theory to every event I saw from then on, and it worked. With sports like football and tennis, it was clear that World Cups and Grand Slams far exceeded the prestige of the Olympics and that competitors were there just for the novelty of trying to get an Olympic medal for their trophy cabinet.

For other sports, however, the Olympics were clearly a one-off opportunity to step up to the attention of a global audience – canoeing, archery, air-pistol shooting... none of these have massive global followings and the Olympics are perfect for them to have one stab at glory.

I started to realise the Olympics are actually a kind of charity event for a lot of "small" sports that, on their own, are not exciting enough to hold your attention for long. As far as I'm concerned, there is already way too much golf going on and there is no way that it should be in the Olympics.

Rugby Sevens, however, is a different proposition. At first I wondered why they hadn't gone for rugby itself. Then I remembered that there were only about five countries that could play the game to a decent level. The joy of Sevens is that it's a random game that encourages all sorts of tiny Micronesian islands to have a go. This is what the Olympics are about – an opportunity for Fiji and Vanuatu to have a good crack at something. Personally, I'd prefer to see five-a side-football in the Olympics as opposed to the "proper" version. In fact, why not go the whole hog and bring in a lot of stripped-down events? Actually, forget five-a-side, that's way too mainstream – how about table-football... or Subbuteo? Why is croquet not recognised as an Olympic sport? If the "proper" version is considered too restrictive we could come up with an easier version called something like "total croquet" in which competitors take part in a "no rules" version where mallets are used for both the game and sorting out any disputes.

What about crazy golf? It's an awesome spectator sport and played all over the world. Sometimes, if you're on fire and really playing out of your skin you can get a crowd of three, maybe four people watching you on the seafront in Minehead and only two will be very drunk. Children all over the world grow up learning how to make the best "bomb" when they jump into water. Do we ever harness this talent? Do we ever have events that allow them to show off this skill? No, we don't and this is a crime and needs to be thought about in the next Olympic sport selection meeting.

For, the not so great Peter Dawson - big chief at R&A;

We are an inclusive sport, he insisted. Golf is enjoyed by 60 million people, young and old, in every part of the world.

I'm aware that golf has a reputation for having men only clubs. But the number of single sex clubs is currently less than half of one percent and that number is falling rapidly.

Our sport is closely aligned to the values and ethos of Olympism. Your beliefs in sportsmanship, honour, integrity, excellence and fair play are also close to our hearts.

These are important lessons to youth.

Dawson also insisted the world's top players had committed to compete at the Olympics, after one IOC member sought assurances that Woods would compete in 2016.

So that's one vote for crazy golf and one vote for Tiger Woods.
Golf Refugees are with Dom Joly on this one. Golf is not an Olympic sport. Peter Dawson forgot to mention that one of the minority private 'men only' clubs just happens to be The Royal & Ancient Golf Club. Who are a governing body and supposed to represent the 'inclusive' sport of golf without allowing any women members.

Watching Tiger Woods pic up an Olympic gold medal for golf would be like watching Simon Cowell win an award for modesty.



List of moans

Compiling a list of things to moan about for my interview this coming Friday with internet golf channel GolfBug TV;

1. Why don't the big golf apparel brands use recycled polyester fabric in their polos and pants?

2. What's wrong with playing golf in a pair of comfortable trainers? Rather than buy a pair of uncomfortable stiff golf brogues.

3. Allow young golfers to play in t-shirts and trainers, share golf clubs and golf bags to reduce the cost of golf.

4. Put a limit on the number of middle aged men allowed on golf committees. How many young and female golfers are on the R&A's rules committee?

Please let me know your thoughts, preferably before this Friday.


Tube chair

Now that the UK winter is fast approaching, I'm going to be spending more time sitting on my arse reading and watching golf on the telly. So I decided to design myself a new chair; Tube chair. Naturally it's made from eco materials; recycled cardboard tubes. There are some optional extras;  a bubble wrap seat and back-rest cover.

Next Friday, I've been invited onto internet golf channel 'GolfBug TV'. No idea what I'm going to say or do. Perhaps I need a few practise swings in the garden and a list of things I can moan about.

After that I'm going to relax on my recycled chair, wearin a carbon neutral t-shirt with one of my dirty golf mags.