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  • Alistair Tait

What to Bank on in 2022

Tis the season to be making predictions if a trawl through the most popular golf websites is anything to go by. Seems every Thomas, Richard and Harold is getting in on the act, so I’m joining in too.

By the way, pretty sure you can bank on these prophecies.

Owning up time, I hate making predictions. In another golfing life I was forced, along with colleagues, to predict what was going to happen in, say, the Open Championship, the Masters, the Ryder Cup. We’d have to pick a likely winner and an unlikely one too. We sometimes had to pick the overall Ryder Cup score, and results for individual matches.

Here’s the truth: despite our wealth of golf knowledge and, to be fair there was a lot of it from many distinguished scribes, we were wrong most of the time! No surprise there since our predictions were as reliable as the guesses ordinary golf fans would have made.

Still, I suppose we fooled readers because they thought we had some sort of inside track. But just because we were on a first name basis with players, caddies, coaches, officials, didn’t mean we could look into our crystal balls and make the correct call every time. Face it, if we could do that we’d have given up our – ha, ha, ha – lucrative careers as golf writers and become professional gamblers.

With that thought in mind, here are a few guaranteed predictions that will come true in 2022. (To be filed under: What else is new?)

The Rich Will Become Richer…

You can bank on this because it has already happened. The European Tour, sorry, DP World Tour, will feature more prize money this year than last, and the stars will continue to collect wheelbarrow loads of appearance money for having to fit a burdensome "four" regular tour events into their schedules. Mind you, many of them aren’t waiting for appearance money from DP World Tour events: they’re taking the Saudi shilling in the Saudi International on the Asian Tour. How do you say up yours Keith Pelley in Arabic?

As for PGA Tour members, they might want to send a wee thank you note to the Saudi sheikhs for trying to launch a rival tour. The Saudi threat has spurred Jay Monahan to turn multi millionaires into multier millionaires with increased prize funds and obscene "player impact programmes." Mind you it hasn't stopped many of them from playing in Saudi Arabia. One thought occurs: are these guys really worth all this dosh?

Women to fall further behind the men…

Another cheat on this prediction since the gulf between men’s and women’s golf continues to grow because of the above item, even with increased prize funds and more tournaments for the Ladies European Tour. Many women professionals must feel as if they're swimming against the tide looking at the money pouring into the men's game.

Question: how long before the women’s majors, at least those run by organisations who stage men’s majors, achieve equal prize money? Will we see it in this decade, or will that question still be pertinent in 2032?

Amateur golf will continue to be ignored…

If you read me on a regular basis, then you know my love for the amateur game runs deep. There was a time when the unpaid game got a lot of coverage. Not now. Lip service is all it gets. Too bad, considering it's the breeding ground for the Rory McIlroys and Charley Hulls.

Professional golf won’t get any quicker…

Yes, green reading books have been banned but tour players will continue to impersonate snails. You can bet on that. The professional tours have had years to act on slow play, but have not shown any desire to do anything despite repeated promises. I predict rounds will be just as slow in 2022.

Tiger Woods will play golf…

… and the world will go crazy. The mania surrounding the hit-and-giggle PNC Championship? I rest my case.

The majors will be won by…

The players who shoot the lowest 72-hole scores. Don't place bets inspired by those who predict so and so will win the Masters, the Open, the Women's Open, U.S. Women's Open. As noted in the introduction, your guess is as good as theirs.

More Tait prophecies...

The C word will continue to get swept under the carpet, and I'm not talking "charity"…

The Rules of Golf will continue to mystify even the game’s best players…

Putts not hit hard enough won’t get to the hole…

Club golfers will still expect greens to run at 13 on the stimp even in the dead of winter…

You’ll still come off the golf course thinking: it could have been so much better…

You’ll still hit the off perfect shot and wonder, why can’t I do it all the time?...

That new driver, putter, wedge will only work for the first few rounds before you’re considering going back to your old one…

Television announcers will continue to tell you “it’s been an enthralling day’s golf” even if it’s been complete tat…

There you go, my predictions for the season ahead. Pretty sure all of these will come true in '22, but, then again, who knows in this crazy Covid-19 world. As my old English professor, Eric McCormack, used to say when discussing the works of John Donne, George Herbert and other metaphysical poets: "just make it up for yourselves."

#JustSaying: "To get an elementary grasp of the game of golf, a human must learn, by endless practice, a continuous and subtle series of highly unnatural movements, involving about 64 muscles, that result in a seemingly ‘natural’ swing, taking all of two seconds.” Alistair Cooke

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Happy New Year. Hope you and yours had a great holiday period. I did, and have ot admit I'm struggling to get back into blog mode.

Yes, I wrote this before the $10 million announcement – which just proves that Mike Whan and the USGA read my blog...😉

Agree with you: it's great news. I hope it that old saying which says if raise the water in teh pond then all the other boats float higher too. If I had my way, I'd take the purses for the Open Championship and Women's Open, the PGA and LPGA, combine them and split them down the middle 50/50. The top men aren't going to miss either event if that happened, and…


Jan 08, 2022

Great post....but not sure your "Women will fall further behind the men..." will bear out.

I can't speak to the LET, but I believe US Women's Open going to $10 million purse is a harbinger of things to come. I'm guessing that announcement hadn't happened when you wrote this?

Bottom line: Sponsors have found valuable branding in golf for more than a century. But the motivation never was "because they're men". It was more about the golf and allying with a mostly squeaky clean sport and its stars. (Squeaky clean relative to other sports anyway). And there was actual tangible bottom line or client/customer engagement value to many/most of those sponsorships.

But now a growing corporate environment exists where branding…

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