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  • John Cockayne

A letter from the editor

BGM Issue 4 Vol 2: Editor’s Letter

Despite the efforts of humankind to make other news overshadow its increasing effect, and I refer to such ‘items’ as the war in Ukraine, the FBI raiding Donald Trump’s residence, and the continuing and escalating levels in the face-off between the World’s professional golf tours - the weather continues to grab its share of column inches.

The fact that climate activists in France, which is having its hottest, driest and most fiery summer on record, decided that as a protest, they would fill up the holes, on a golf course’s greens, with cement is ‘interesting’.

The actions, ‘protest’ might be a better term, were in response to the golf courses being given a special dispensation to water their putting greens.

What is also interesting, is that the ‘terms’ of this dispensation were pretty constrained i.e., watering only allowed during the night, for very limited time period, etc.

The indignation of the protesters, was then countered by some very reactive, and quite frankly feeble responses, from ‘golf’ in the area, which went on about the potential loss of the greens and the costs involved, the numbers of people employed by the industry, etc. - yeah right - that is certainly going to elicit sympathy and support from non-golfing people, who are getting drinking water from water trucks, and or who have been forced out of their homes by raging forest fires.

One has to ask, where the comments about how many jobs golf creates, how water wise the industry now is, etc., have been before this?

Conspicuous by their absence, is the only real conclusion we can make.

It is also concerning that the protesters believed that the courses were using tap water to irrigate the golf courses - I shudder at the thought that this could have been the case!

Alistair Collier’s recent remarks about golf needing to ‘own’ this problem, and to be proactive before the government forces us to, has real resonance in circumstances like these!

As a ‘media person’, and a consultant, I would add what I always tell my clients: if it is your story, then get out in front of it, and own it - don’t wait for someone else to tell it!

The analogy I often use is one of a hosepipe - quite apt given the circumstances in the UK, France and indeed most of the rest of Europe, in this hottest and now driest of summers.

The idea being that news is like a stream of water coming out of a hosepipe. If you own the story, you can control the pressure of the water, its flow and direction.

Leave it on and unattended, and the hosepipe will seemingly take on a life of its own, and thrash around, in a manner that kids, from a bygone era, would have loved - an era when there were no mobile phones, or X-Boxes, and the internet, and children used to play outside, and also knew what to do in the great outdoors!

On the subject of the weather - our international discussion series in ‘Club Life’ continues in the form of a Q&A with Steven Shearer, who is the GM of The Australian Golf Club near Sydney.

The international flavour extends into ‘From the Fringes’, with 2 interesting tales about Scotland - one involving the 150th edition of the Open Championship, and the other about a unique use of technology - from a submarine no less - at Elie golf course in Fife.

Enjoy the read!

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