Week 5 and there has been some good news this week with the COVID-19 infection curve flattening and beginning to show signs of the infection rate dropping across Europe. This has meant some easing of restrictions in several of our European neighbours and, perhaps of most interest to golfers, the news that the US PGA Tour is planning for a return to action in June, albeit behind closed doors. But what will it mean for us at a local level? The honest answer has to be that we don’t know yet, but any positive golf news is to be welcomed.
Even if we aren’t free to go to the Course to play, the availability of live golf from America in the evening will be good news for some of us: it also gives all of us hope that we too will be striding the fairways soon. Over the past few months many of us will have read how good golf is for our physical and mental well-being and it is interesting (and a bit worrying) that lobby groups, including the Green Party’s Leader Caroline Lucas, are pushing for golf courses to be opened up to the general public as green spaces for exercise during the lockdown. As in all these debates, there are arguments for and against. As a Club, we may not be subject to the same pressures that clubs like Radcliffe, Sherwood Forest, Wollaton, to name but a few, will face but the prospect of people trampling over private golf courses is challenging. If you haven’t been following the debate, perhaps have a look at www.nationalclubgolfer.com (National Club Golfer) to find out how members of clubs are reacting? It’s also worth having a look at The Golf Business (www.thegolfbusiness.co.uk).
I’m not sure how many of you know that I run a business which provides educational and training services. I am currently working on a project to provide an online course for young people in the age range of 15 to 17-years in the Middle East. This fascinating project has become something of a priority to the client because of COVID-19: finding online educational activities for youngsters is high on their wish-list. Humour me, there are a couple of links here to ideas for us to think about to occupy our time until the Club can re-open.
The programme is a 10-hour course, which can be accessed from an App on smart devices – phones and tablets – as well as the more traditional browser-based approach on PCs and laptops. In the first module, we ask the students to take on a mini-project, to do something they have never tried – examples include, baking, playing a musical instrument or learning another language. Maybe that it is something we too could try while we are in lockdown? I have over the past two weekends been dabbling with a bit of cookery, preparing and trying some puddings and desserts which we might serve when we can (finally) have friends over again.
The second life lesson we cover on the life skills course is about spotting fake news and recognising that our perceptions leave us prone to bias. In this section of the course, we look at photoshopping, the touching up of photos or creation of images that seem plausible but can cause disbelief or horror. Go to https://www.boredpanda.com/reality-behind-photography/ to have a look at some of these, #7 is one that I particularly liked. In looking for an example of celebrity images being photoshopped, we found a great example with ‘before and after’ photos of Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately, in Kim’s past, there was a tape that somehow became a short pornographic movie, making her unsuitable for our target audience … it’s always important to do some due diligence.
Anyway, we finally settled on a ‘before and after’ shot of Matthew MacFadyen. MacFadyen is married to Keeley Hawes and both of them first came to my attention when they co-starred in the BBC series Spooks. Spooks, or to give it its correct title MI-5, ran for 10 series (86 episodes) and is available on BBC iPlayer and Sky. We plan to start watching this series again as a result of my research.
First, however, we have decided to revisit Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Both star Philip Glenister as Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt and respectively, Jon Simm as Inspector Sam Tyler and the aforementioned Keeley Hawes as Inspector Alex Drake. The premise for those that have not seen either programmes is that Simm and Hawes are transported back in time from present day policing (2006 and 2009) to, respectively, 1973 and 1983 to work for the irascible, non-politically correct, Glenister, Simm in Greater Manchester and Hawes in London. As is often the case, the acting is great, but it’s the trip down memory lane which really works. If you’ve not seen one or either of the shows, it’s worth a look. For those that have seen it and enjoyed it first time round, it’s just as much fun the second time. All five series are available on BBC iPlayer and Sky (in the boxsets section).
The CMC have started holding meetings remotely using video-conferencing as we start to look forward to a point in time when the government eases restrictions and we will be allowed back onto the golf course. We should have something to share with members the week after next, probably with the CMC Blog #7. However, in the meantime, if you want to find out how golf is being played at La Moye in Jersey, which is still open, go to National Club Golfer. This may be the social-distancing model we have to adopt when we return.
We have decided to extend the entry for the guess the hole quiz, as so far it is proving too difficult. So if you fancy having a go please see last week's blog and submit entries into Rob on firstname.lastname@example.org. The new deadline for entries is now Thursday 30th April.
Alex and his team have upgraded the 1st Tee with some new planters (image below), we have planted a few plants from our gardens and borders, but we could do with some Perennials. If anyone has any that they are willing to donate then please email Rob on email@example.com and we can arrange a collection from your front door.
We decided to change the way we shared news with you this week by putting out Baggy’s Tip of the Week on Monday, the Spotlights on Wednesday – The Captain and Ladies Captain were featured this week – and The Blog on Friday. Hopefully, you will approve!
Finally, a charity update: Captain Tom Moore had a good week last week. He has now raised over £28m for the NHS, has opened by video-link the Nightingale Hospital established at the Harrogate Conference Centre and released a single with the singer Michael Ball., which is up there fighting for number one spot. Strange times!
Stay safe one and all.