The new golf rules 2019 (20 biggest changes)

2 11 2018

We’re less than two months away from the plethora of rule changes that take place in the new year, so here’s (another) short video explaining them. Maybe you can be the guy in your group who actually knows the new rules as opposed to making them up as you go along.

The active season in BC ends on November 15th, after which scores do not count towards your RCGA handicap. My own cunning plan is to play by the new rules so I’m good and ready for the new year.

I know there are some of you out there (and nice people too in many respects) who didn’t bother much about the old rules. Well, the new ones are simpler and there are fewer of them, so how about a New Year’s resolution in 2019? Watch this video, learn the new rules and play by them!


Oh, and thanks to my good friend Peter Dobbs for sending me this video. Oh the irony! Peter’s infamous for driving a cart and horses through the rules of golf – could he be a poacher turned gamekeeper? (Answer: highly unlikely.)


All da best!

Dave B.




The Job Interview

14 10 2018

You may not recognise all these golfers, although they’re all top players on the European Tour, but most of them seem to pass the beer test – i.e. they seem like the sort of guys you’d like to sit down and have a beer with.

My favourite answer to the question “What would you be if you weren’t a professional golfer?”

Ireland’s Shane Lowry: “Probably broke.”

Which is exactly what I’d be if I played golf for a living…

All da best.

Dave B.



Seriously? RWB 2018

9 09 2018

So the 2018 Red, White and Blue is in the books. It was unique for a number of reasons. Firstly, at Joe Dunham’s suggestion after last year’s tournament – his exact words were “I’m too old for this 36-holes-in-one-day shit” – it was decided that following Saturday’s 18 holes from the white tees,  we would play just 18 holes on Sunday, nine from the blue tees and nine from the red.  Secondly, with only six players, we had the smallest field in the history of the RWB. This was obviously directly related to the third reason – we had the worst weather ever in the 18 years we’ve been playing the event.

So bad was it that, apart from a singleton who set off half an hour ahead of us (a fellow inmate from the lunatic asylum, no doubt), the course was absolutely deserted. Perhaps because of this, Glacier Greens’ pro Bill Kelly gave us permission to play as a sixsome on the grounds that we were unlikely to hit into anybody. Brian Wise, his able assistant, offered free psychiatric help to anyone who needed it (i.e. all of us).

To be honest, when I left the house at 8.00 this morning I informed Scottish Wife with confidence that I’d no doubt be back within the hour. Clearly I’d underestimated the capacity for masochism among our group. Sure enough, from the eleven guys who had signed up two sent polite emails to say, given the 40kph winds and heavy showers, “Thanks but no thanks” and three others showed up just to see if we really were going to go ahead and play, but declined absolutely to join our venture. But the other five, and let’s name names here, – the spouses of Mrs Ball, Mrs Buckley-Jones, Mrs Hayes, Mrs Hautzinger and Mrs Moore – were determined to play, come rain or shine. It turned out, of course, that there wasn’t any shine but as Rob Moore put it “We could play in sunshine and it would just be a round of golf. Playing in this stuff is a story!”

Quote of the day goes, I think, to Dave Buckley-Jones. He watched impassively as Phil Ball slipped in the mud as he played his tee shot on #8, missed the ball entirely and lost hold of the club which flew 20 yards down the fairway. It was only when Phil totally topped his second attempt, sending the ball about 30 yards, that Dave quietly muttered: “Well, at least the ball went further than the club that time.”

When I got home after the post round drinks and prize giving, the Big Club under my arm and still soaked to the skin and some six hours after I’d told the missus I’d be right back, she put on her most Scottish Wifely expression:

“Seriously?” she said.

RWB 2018

2017 winner Ed Hayes, on the right,  is happy because he doesn’t have to look after the Big Club anymore. Thank you, Ed, for adding the second plinth so we can play for the trophy for another 18 years. In the background, Dave Buckley-Jones is happy because he cunningly contrived to come 2nd this year. The other guy’s just happy because he’s no longer slogging around the course in the wind and rain.

Thanks so much for coming out, you guys. Maybe a bit of sunshine wouldn’t go amiss next year though…

All da best!

Dave B.

Thank you, Chef!

7 09 2018

If you’re a cricket fan – and I realise that this immediately excludes a lot of you – Alastair Cook needs no introduction. For the rest of you, here’s a short summary: Cook (or ‘Chef’ as he’s known to his team mates) is playing his final Test match. Undeniably England’s greatest ever batsman, in Test cricket alone (you know – the play-for-six-hours-a-day, stopping for lunch and tea, five day version of the game which quite likely ends in a draw anyway – ‘proper cricket’, as purists would say), he has played 161 times for his country since his debut in 2006 and, as of close of play today, scored 12,325 runs at an average of 44.98 – by far the highest number of runs scored by an Englishman and 6th on the worldwide all-time list. So statistically he’s pretty darn good.

He’s also by all accounts a very nice bloke. Unassuming, modest, not in the least interested in social media, as soon as matches are over Cookie is off back to the wife and kids and the family farm.

One of his best mates on the team is Jimmy Anderson who, on the surface, is Cook’s complete opposite. Cook’s a batsman – a well-spoken, private school educated southerner – and Anderson’s er, not. Jimmy’s a bowler (one of the greatest fast bowlers ever, actually, 5th on the all-time list) with a chip on his shoulder and a strong Lancashire accent to boot. Oh, and a wickedly dry sense of humour.

Dozens of Cook’s team mates past and present were invited to make short videos to congratulate him on his retirement. Here’s Jimmy’s contribution (twice, in case you struggle with the accent):

Nice one, Jimmy! And I can’t wait to see Cookie’s comeback in a year or so when you retire…

All da best!

Dave ‘Teflon’* Brooker

(*so-called because of the many catches I dropped as a wicketkeeper – they never stuck.)




The Snit

3 08 2018

Golfing tantrums

Sir Winston Churchill* said it best: “Golf is a game whose purpose is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

Let’s face it – for most people, golf is a fiendishly difficult game. It has been estimated that fewer than 25% of golfers ever break 100 (and just 2% break 80!), so it’s not surprising that many of us get a little frustrated at our failure to “put the little round white thing in the round holey thing”, as our friend Dave Laird used to put it.

I’ve just got back from my annual golf trip to Victoria with Glennie and his two long-standing Mainland buddies, Jim and Rod. I’m a (slightly dodgy) 14 handicap, Glen’s a 17, Jim’s in the low twenties and Rod’s somewhat north of that. By using our brilliant rolling handicap system (don’t ask) and changing partners for each round we manage to keep things close and – best of all – get to insult different people every day.

As it happens I was partnered by Rod on the first day at the beautiful Uplands golf course. He played lights out, nearly broke 90, and as a result, we won the match fairly handily. Day 2 at the equally lovely Cordova Bay course proved a bit more testing, but Rod remained defiantly chipper. Day 3 at Highland Pacific began more brightly, with Rod making an excellent par on the first hole and a birdie soon after, but a succession of difficult holes took its toll and Rod’s smile began to fade. The smile returned on the 9th hole (a tricky 165 yard downhill par 3) however, when Rod hit a gorgeous tee shot. We all oohed and aahed as it soared through the air straight at the hole, right on line. It landed on the front of the green and rolled towards the cup…which it missed by a couple of inches…and then continued to roll straight into a tiny bunker behind the green.

In hindsight, it may have been unwise of me to offer helpful tips as Rod played his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th shots in a desperate but unavailing attempt to escape the sand. Under the circumstances, Rod’s colourful language in reply was entirely understandable and my protests that I was “just trying to help” probably wouldn’t stand up in court.

So the question is: does this count as a snit or should the fact that Rod was clearly provoked mean that he should be acquitted? I leave it to you, my fellow golfers, to decide.

All da best!

Dave B.

(*Or it may have been Woodrow Wilson or someone entirely different).


You little Neymar!

15 07 2018

We have family staying with us at the moment – Scottish Wife’s sister Sue, her daughter and son-in-law and their two adorable kids. Well, I say adorable, but yesterday I was playing monsters with nearly-three year old Jarvis (as you do) when I accidentally trod on his little sister’s toe. Lerryn’s not quite ten months old, but she’s got quite a pair of lungs on her, let me tell you.

“I hardly touched her!” I appealed to the rest of the family who were gathered in the kitchen, in the manner of a World Cup soccer player hoping to avoid a yellow card while their alleged victim is rolling around on the pitch in apparent agony. After a minute or two Lerryn stopped crying and started to giggle.

“You little Neymar!” I hissed at her and then had to explain the reference to Granny Susan.

It’s been a wonderful World Cup – I’m writing this an hour before the final kicks off between France and Croatia – only partly spoilt by the histrionics of player such as Neymar – but Lerryn’s going to be hearing about this from me for years to come…

All da best!

Dave B.

F**k Racism!

25 06 2018

I’ve been loving the World Cup so far. Obviously, as an Englishman of a certain age, I know it will all go pear-shaped at some point (usually the round of 16), but for the moment I’m basking in the joy of a last minute win for England over lowly Tunisia followed by a 6-1 thumping of even lowlier Panama.  With a game to go in Group G we’ve already qualified for the knockout stages!

I’m relishing the fact that 32 games have now been played without a single 0-0 draw (take that, soccer haters!), diving and grabbing seems less prevalent than at previous tournaments – perhaps as a result of players knowing that Big Brother (VAR – Video Assisted Replay) is there to watch their every move – and fears of fan violence have so far proved unfounded.

I’m contractually obliged to hate the German team (since 1966 they always seem to beat England, usually on penalties) so I was slightly miffed when, on the verge of elimination on Saturday, they scored from a stunning free kick in the 92nd minute against Sweden to stay alive in Group F.

The poor Swedish defender responsible for giving away that free kick, Jimmy Durmaz, was distraught after the game. Things got worse when many hateful comments were made on social media. Yesterday, after their training session, the Swedish squad got together and this is what Jimmy had to say:

You may not like the language but I hope, like me, you applaud the sentiment.

Heja Sverige! (Go Sweden!)

All da best.

Dave B.