Clubs Away Clubs Away
Who is golf’s player of the decade??

As I try and think of content for the Clubs Away blog, I want to cover a range of subjects that I think is helpful for golfers and golf fans and something that they might find interesting, creating further informative discussion.

As a PGA Professional and huge golf fan, a subject that has come up in my mind at various times over the year has been the achievements of Rory McIlroy. He has achieved so much over the course of the year, winning the FedEx Cup and The Players Championship topped off with the PGA Tour Player of the Year award to name a few. Even so, with all these amazing achievements he didn’t really feature in any of the major championships with his best finish being tied 8th at the PGA Championship.

I recently watched an interview of Tiger Woods and his opinions of who is the player of the decade, and before he answered I paused the interview to try and think what he would say. There is no doubt Rory has to feature in the top 5 contenders but who would you chose of player of the decade given that there are so many who have achieved so much? Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka – would you also consider Tiger given his stint out of the game during the decade?

Given he spent most of the time recovering from multiple surgeries I wouldn’t consider Tiger for the award, but I would certainly say that he undoubtedly won the achievement of the decade after winning The Masters in 2019. With that in mind I wrote down the players that I thought should be contenders.

Whilst it’s impossible to not consider the likes of Brooks Koepka and Jordan Speith but When you start looking at the stats it is tough to conclude that anyone other than Rory is the player of the decade, although I’m sure there will be a few people that disagree with me. Brooks and Jordan have both had amazing stints at the top of the game, Brooks major record is just outstanding. But when you ask who the most consistent performer of the decade has been, all the stats point to Rory.

I’ll be honest and say that I find it frustrating watching Rory at times, especially given he ranks right up there in the best ball strikers I have ever seen. The stats would back up that statement ranking number 1 in Strokes Gained of the Tee, Strokes Gained Tee to Green and Strokes Gained Total but in the last few years there has been a standout issue in Rory’s short game. Whilst not there yet, Rory has clearly been working on Pitching, Chipping and Putting and has shown marked improvements in his numbers. With a win already in the 2020 season my excitement for watching the player of the decade is like no other and I predict that we will see Rory win a major in this coming 2020 season.

Image courtesy of New York Times

Has Tiger finished licking his wounds?

So, last week saw the return of the greatest player ever to walk the planet, the one and only Tiger Woods.

I’d be lying if I wrote this blog saying that I was confident in him making it through the tournament without walking off with injury or seeing him at the bottom of the leaderboard with a score of 20 over par. In reality, we saw something that was far and beyond what anyone thought would happen, he was competing again with the world’s best players.

On a personal note, it wasn’t just great seeing him back competing but for the first time in a while I was excited to watch golf on the TV again. Tiger brings a certain draw to the sport that we are missing with the current worlds top players and it got me wondering why this is? After all, Rory is exciting to watch along with Dustin Johnson and Jordan Speith has achieved so much so early in his career. With this in mind why is it that the TV ratings go through the roof when Tiger plays? Is it his presence, his competitive nature, what he’s achieved or simply a combination of them all?

Personally, for me I have an appreciation for all these things but none of them eclipse what Tiger has done for the world of golf and sport in general. I think about what golf has done for me as an individual in my personal development and life skills that I have acquired through this amazing sport and the fact is that there are millions of people that benefit from golf every day.

Without doubt there wouldn’t be as many people playing golf and sport if it wasn’t for Tiger Woods, so with that in mind this isn’t a blog about how well he played, or picking out some great shots that he hit over the week, it’s a blog to say thank you Tiger Woods, thank you for raising the bar of this wonderful sport and providing us with the inspiration that no matter what career and personal up and downs you have, you can always make it back to former and greater glory. Here’s to the Power of Play.

Tiger Woods [image: Golf digest]

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