Form is temporary, class is permanent

Ivan Morris

Matthew Wolff congratulates US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Ivan Morris

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You never know, no matter how innocently you put something into the public domain via Facebook or Twitter, how anybody, whom you may or may not know, will react.

I took the notion that the following Ben Hogan quote might help to inspire and encourage my fellow-enthusiasts when they are allowed to return to playing golf again: “The average golfer is entirely capable of building a repeating swing and breaking 80, if he learns to perform a small number of correct movements.”

Never in a million years did I expect this off-the-point comment regarding the PGA Tour’s Concession Event in Bradenton, Florida last weekend, to arise: “What a complete embarrassment of a ‘professional’ golfer Matthew Wolff is showing himself to be. Disgraceful. He looks like he simply doesn’t care.”

Very harsh commentary, I thought. Of course, he didn’t care and was peed off with himself but, only in that moment and he will care (a lot) later. It’s just frustration. We are all entitled to a bit of self-flagellation and self-disgust from time to time. Wolff (more than anybody) won’t be proud of himself and will probably use his disappointment to help spur him on to better days ahead.

It isn’t that long ago (September) when Matthew Wolff was going head to head with the man of THAT moment, Bryson DeChambeau in the final round of the US Open at Winged Foot. With 8-holes to go it was neck and neck between them until Bryson pulled to win easily and Wolff finished second on his own. That’s golf! And, since then DeChambeau has begun to slim down (after he put on 40-lbs in a couple of months, last year) and he, too, has suffered a dip in his form. Golf is like that.

I have no doubt that in spite of his ‘different’ looping swing motion, Matthew Wolff is a class act who will recover from his current travails and will contend again. It could even be in this year’s US Open at ‘brutal’ Torrey Pines where his enormous length will be advantageous. Apart from that little jump start of his, I like Wolff’s rhythmical swing. It reminds me of Jimmy Bruen (of whom I will write soon).

What about Brooks Koepka who was down in the dumps most of last year and who is now riding high again? What about the recent poor form of Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and many others. They’ll all be back on top someday soon and we will forget they were ever away because form is temporary and class is permanent.

As for the Ben Hogan quote back at beginning that caused all of this commentary. Ben is right – provided you are reasonably young, fit and flexible. Find a good golf coach as soon as the courses and driving ranges re-open and start your digging in the dirt! There is golfing gold in divots and nothing is as satisfying as believing you are an improving golfer!

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