Do you have a golf problem that’s keeping you awake at night?
Is there some aspect of your game that you simply can’t sort out?
Stop worrying because Dr Felix Shank, a more or less genuine
expert on all aspects of the game, is here to help. Illustrations by Tony Husband.
Not only does my father-in-law look rather
like Nigel Farage, he shares a lot of his
opinions and attitudes. His only redeeming
feature, in my eyes at any rate, is
that he’s a keen golfer. Aware that I go
to The Open most years, he has often
hinted he would like to accompany me
because he loves watching top competitive
golf. However, I’ve sat and watched
golf on TV with him several times and find
his rabid xenophobia rather hard to take.
He screams abuse at every non-British
golfer and cheers loudly whenever they
miss a putt or hit a bad shot. Then, if a ‘foreigner’
wins, he’s really annoyed. Frankly, I
don’t fancy taking him with me but it’s getting
increasingly difficult to find an excuse
Alex Rumbelow, Newcastle
You might be just in time to accompany
your father-in-law to the Glenmuir PGA
Professional Championship, which is to be
played very near you at De Vere Slaley
Hall from June 11-14. Although it perhaps
lacks a little of the prestige associated with
The Open, it’s a ‘top competitive tournament’
and, rather importantly, invariably produces
a British winner, which should please your
father-in-law enormously. If you’re too late for
this year, it will be staged again in 2014.
My partner is
an ardent feminist, doesn’t really approve of golf,
only reluctantly tolerates me playing once a week
and banishes me to my study if I want to watch it
on television. Because of her hostility, I have not
yet summoned up the courage to tell her that I’m
going to The Open for the first time ever this
year. I was about to break it to her when she
launched into a tirade against Muirfield for what
she regards as their hostile attitude to women.
Although I’m slightly sympathetic, I've already
bought a ticket for all four days and paid for
accommodation. What on earth should I do?
Peter Whittaker, Maidstone
The next time she brings up the subject
of Muirfield’s attitude to
women, you should agree with
her totally and say something
along the lines of, “I'm going to
do something about it!” Then
disappear into your study and
emerge half-an-hour later
brandishing a leaflet you’ve
just printed which attacks
Muirfield’s outdated policy.
Explain that you’re taking thousands
of these, together with a
banner, to protest outside the course
for all four days of the championship.
I’m a 22-handicapper who is utterly baffled
by the difficulty some of the top players seem
to encounter making adjustments. Take the
golf swing, for example. I remember plane
old Mr Nick Faldo, as he then was, taking a
couple of years, or thereabouts, to re-build his
swing. Tiger, too, was in the wilderness
recently because he was tinkering with his
swing plane, or something similar. And
now we have Rory McIlroy apparently
having trouble adjusting to new clubs.
Because I began shanking half-way
through the April Mid-Week Stableford, I
decided to alter my grip so that four
knuckles are now showing on my left
hand. Mercifully, the problem immediately
went away. But my point is it didn’t take
me 18 months to adjust. Similarly, when I
inadvertently let go of my seven iron a
fortnight later and it got stuck up a tree, I
decided to go on eBay and buy a replacement
half set. Two days after that, I
racked up 27 points in the May Mid-Week
Stableford. Again, I picked up where I left
off without any noticeable drop in form.
So how come these so-called top players
are unable to do what I did?
M L Korn, Dundee
The only explanation I can suggest
is that you evidently have
much greater mental fortitude than
Messers Faldo, Woods and McIlroy.
It’s only a pity you lack their talent otherwise
I’ve no doubt you would be a considerable
force in the professional game.
Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine