Gimme: Golf Style

Postponement of the 2020 Masters Tournament to November shouldn’t dampen your desire for a round of golf, in fact with other facets of life put on hold, there is all the more reason to get out on the course and look good, and it is The Rake’s selection of golfing attire that can endorse just that.

Seve Ballesteros, a five-time major champion and captain of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team in 1997. (Photo courtesy of Alamy)

The complexities of the subterranean labyrinth that scientifically and often invisibly controls the pristine, firm, crisp and lush-green appearance of championship standard putting greens, doesn’t get more elaborate than at Augusta National, the world’s most exclusive golf club. An automated underworld of vast piping networks and mechanical blowers otherwise known as ‘The SubAir System’ helps drain and ventilate the putting greens. When the system’s fans blow one way, they provide air to the densely seeded bent grass of the putting surface. This promotes growth. When the fans are reversed, they create a suction effect, and percolate water from the greens. This promotes firmness. Astutely mitigating the forces of nature in this way compellingly tests the skills of the best professional golfers from around world who are invited to take part in the first major championship of the year at arguably the most famous golf tournament on the planet, The Masters, held at Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia. Instead, the 2020 edition at least for now will be remembered for its postponement to mitigate the severity of the widespread health pandemic, Coronavirus. Augusta’s testing greens will be devoid of the frequent plopping sound of the landing golf ball and the cheers of spectators will be completely muted around the girth of the greens in lieu of the audience potentially being deferred to testing laboratories for Covid- 19. At least it delays the opportunity for the small crowd of prats, who turn up each year yelling ‘mashed potato’ or ‘get in the hole’ - the latter usually bellowed at Tiger Woods mid-tee-shot.

The Masters has fallen foul of government intervention where it slips into the category of a mass event. Golf enthusiasts at this stage shouldn’t be perturbed from temporarily giving up the sport they so love: depending on further decree, but should see this as an opportunity to grace the golf course more often albeit playing solo or in pairs. One could assume that Donald Trump, owner of Royal Turnberry in Scotland, wouldn’t like to see a dwindling golf population at his course. The sight of wind-swept green flags and barren fairways flanking the South Ayrshire Coast without a human in view is likely to dishearten the president of the United States of America. To most, it might seem appropriate to capacitate coronavirus as a disaster - and so they should on one hand, but with all its ramifications - zapping away countless opportunities for fun, golf might just be the one activity where we can find solace away from the negativity that this deadly virus is bringing. With this in mind, taking heed in the way you look and feel on the golf course could bear a greater predilection for enjoyment in these dark times.


    Hugo Curran


    May 2020


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