Peter Cowen column: Big British Masters field signals summer in Europe on its way

Firstly, some personal health news from my end. Last week, I had my long awaited knee operation and after a few days of rest with my feet up, not a favourite pastime of mine, everything seems to be on track. I only wish I had done it ages agos.

Thanks to all the wellwishers who have been in touch.

This week, I am at The Belfry with the DP World Tour’s first tournament of the year in the UK, with the £1,850,000 Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett which starts tomorrow (Thursday).

I was driven down the 90 miles from Sheffield to Birmingham earlier in the week by a friend, only one hour and 30 minutes from home via the M1 and A38.

This week, there is a field of 156 players, always a sign that summer in Europe is on its way.

My players this week include tournament host Danny Willett and Lee Westwood. Danny will have a lot of media commitments and other hosting and sponsor responsibilities. I personally believe this tournament hosting model by pros is the way forward for professional golf tournaments around the world, as we have seen, especially on the Legends Tour in Europe.

Players get to see more of what a tournament, behind the scenes, is all about, and that cannot be a bad thing. Lee has not played since The Masters and has been skiing on holiday during this time.

He may be a bit rusty with his game, but Lee has been around a long time, winning his first tournament on the DP World Tour in 1996, the Volvo Scandinavian Masters, so he knows what he is doing.

Statistic of the week is that 49-year-old Lee Westwood had already won 14 tournaments on the DP World Tour before two of his fellow competitors this week, the Danish twins Rasmus and Nicolai Hojgaard (Den), were born.

Second major coming up

Talk on the range includes conversations about the forthcoming revision of the Official World Golf Rankings coming into effect in August. Like most things, not too many of us know all the details, and let’s wait and see how it all works and who perhaps benefits and who may not from the changes, before any of us make any comments.

The second major of the year, the US PGA Championship, is just around the corner: May 19-22, 2022, at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I plan to be there, fitness permitting, with all my players.

I am still finding it hard to digest that in just 74 days, all four majors on the 2022 golfing calendar will be completed and we are then looking forward to 2023. Really!

Stay healthy, fit and happy golfing!

- Peter Cowen is arguably one of the world’s leading coaches with Peter Cowen Academies in Dubai - at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates as well as headquartered in Rotherham. He is also a Dubai Golden Visa awardee.

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