It was too cold to play golf last week, so Mutt & Jeff met at their Golf Club for a cup of coffee and had a chat about this and that.
Mutt: What would be your advice for playing in really cold weather?
Jeff: Wear two gloves with hand warmers inside but not when gripping the club handle, obviously; I like to wear large mittens over my golf gloves with plenty of room for those vital hand warmers.
I try to dress for the cold by wearing long john's and long sleeved thermal vests. Layers of thin clothes rather than bulk works best. If I'm cosy, I love playing in the cold.
I don't find it any trouble at all. It's the rain, I don't like. I have played a lot of cold weather golf over the years, especially at Rosses Point during the West of Ireland and although not a fan of wearing two gloves, it does beat being so cold you cannot hold onto the handle.
Mutt: What about your putter? Do you use a heavier one in winter when the greens are slower?
Jeff: A heavier putter is a good idea. I would never abuse my favourite putter by bringing it out in the cold. I make sure that it is kept wrapped up, happy and warm indoors throughout the winter.
Too many bad habits are picked up when the greens are bumpy and slow and not at their best.
Mutt: An Eskimo will tell you that there is no bad weather, only bad clothes.
Jeff: I've never worn one but a balaclava is a good idea! I must get one and put it in my golf bag. A scarf or 'duck' around one's neck works well too.
Mutt: When I was seriously competitive, I used to put four golf balls into hot water while having my breakfast and before putting them into my pocket and going to the golf course where I would rotate them at every hole. A warm golf ball travels further than a cold one.
I also liked to wear my old football socks. If your feet and lower legs are cold, your whole body will be cold and another thing, I never ever leave my clubs in the boot of my car overnight.
I have no idea if being cold affects the shafts and club heads but the dampness certainly does.
Jeff: Do you do warm up exercises, at all?
Mutt: No but I should. A bit of stretching is very valuable. When it is cold, windy and wet golf a real a challenge!
Jeff: As you know I am not a lover of golf in The Olympics or The Olympics themselves. In my eyes they are totally corrupt especially at the organization level.
Mutt: What has happened to upset you now?
Jeff: The Olympic Committee overlooked that women are barred from being members of Kasumigaseki Country Club, which is the host course of the 2020 games in Tokyo. You really have to wonder how that was slipped through the selection process?
Of course, it didn't slip through. No one cared. As long as the kick back, bribes are high enough for the IOC nothing else matters.
Mutt: I'm not sure if I can stand any more bad news and hearing of former heroes of mine passing away. At 91, the unparalleled John Jacobs died last week.
I was on the first-ever Irish Panel in 1964 under the first, National Coach, Eddie Hackett.
Eddie invited Jacobs (a.k.a. Dr. Golf) to come over from England to teach us 'stuff' that has lasted a lifetime. He coached me from behind a screen, only looking at the flight of the golf ball.
He spoke about the basic laws of physics relating to why a golf ball flies in different ways. I have never forgotten that valuable information.
The image of train tracks running towards the target, are imbedded in my reshot routine for over 50-years as is his dictum that the golf swing is two turns and a swish in the middle.
Come to think of it, it is getting harder to turn and my ability to swish is on the wane.
Jeff: Jacobs did everything in golf. Won tournaments, played and captained in the Ryder Cup, devised, organized and ran the fledgling European Tour, wrote books, designed golf courses, had a wonderful turn of phrase that was ideal to 'quick fix' those who came to him with their golf in disarray.
He was so successful because he kept everything simple - no complicated stuff. He was extraordinarily influential in his time.
Words of the Wise
Bob Jones had his likes and dislikes. He hated slow play, he hated grandstanding and he didn't suffer fools even if they were colleagues of his in the legal profession.
The following story illustrates Jones's attitude perfectly. An Atlanta trial lawyer was defending a capital murder case, the evidence pointed overwhelmingly towards guilt.
In his summation to the jury, the lawyer stormed eloquently for several hours. “Bob”, he said afterwards, “I was fantastic. I had the jury absolutely captivated.” “How did it turn out?” Bob asked. “Oh, no surprise, my client was convicted,” said the lawyer expecting some praise and comfort.
Instead, Bob Jones looked him straight in the eye and quipped: “I think I could have gotten him convicted in a lot less time!”