Barnsey, beating down the Bear.

In the 1975 matches, Jack Nicklaus was imperious and USA were giving GB&I their routine thrashing. Then along came enigmatic Brian Barnes. This is his story... I didn’t think the team stood a chance going into the 1975 Ryder Cup at Laurel Valley. We didn’t have any strength in depth. In those days, the closest we came to winning was in 1969, the famous tie at Royal Birkdale. Another point and we would have beaten them, but I lost every single one of my three matches! The Americans had great depth and could allow people to have rests. Of course, in those days there were six rounds. We had the two single rounds on the last day as well. It finished up with people like myself playing all six rounds and when Sunday afternoon came around, we were knackered. Arnold (Palmer) had gone to Bernard Hunt the night before and said, “who have you got in your side who might give Jack a game?” Bernard replied, “I know Jack and Barnesy have fished together and played a few tournaments together so maybe he is not so much in awe as the other guys would be.” I agreed; I thought that because I had known Jack for so many years, I wouldn’t have been affected by him standing on the 1st tee. Of course, I was s******g myself when the time came round, but not as badly as some of the other guys would have been. So we played together and I won 4&2. Very nice indeed. I felt comfortable because I have always been a good driver of the golf ball and not a bad putter. I knew full well I could keep up with Jack off the tee; there was no difficulty there. I was a good iron player so I didn’t miss too many greens and I didn’t have to rely on somebody else. It was just me against Jack – that was it. Although I played the fourballs and foursomes and lost, the singles is a different game. So I didn’t even think or worry about being beaten 5&4 again, the score which Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf had defeated myself and Bernard Gallacher by in the Friday foursomes. Jack was always friendly. The one thing Jack would never do was gamesmanship. He believed that the only way you beat anybody is with your game. Walking round the golf course, the only thing we talked about was fishing. He did a lot of fly fishing just like I did. It was just a friendly round of golf. When we went to the press tent after the morning round everybody acted as if I’d beaten Jesus Christ. He was Jesus Christ as far as golf was concerned, but he was still beatable. The Yanks only needed one or two more points to win and while I was still continuing with the interviews, Jack had gone to Arnold and said, “look, there is only one match the punters want to see, and that’s Barnesy and I.” That was the only time in the history of the Ryder Cup that the match order was changed at that late stage. While that was going on, I was asked “would you like the opportunity to play ‘The Bear’ again this afternoon?” I replied, “well, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.” Jack walked onto the 1st tee for the afternoon singles with a beaming smile on his face and said, “Barnesy, well done this morning but there is no way you are going to beat me this afternoon.” He started birdie, birdie but as luck would have it, he went off the boil and I beat him 2&1. Poor old Jack got it in the neck and when Arnold was making his speech, he said he didn’t realise the Europeans had a 13-man team; inferring that Jack was on our side, rather than theirs. Jack’s a sportsman; he knew what it was all about. I’m more than capable of shooting a 65. Not as many times as him but on that day, I needed pars in the morning round on the last two holes we didn’t play for a 68 and a birdie on the last hole in the afternoon for a 67. So I was playing pretty good golf on a wet golf course. Eighteen holes of matchplay is a sudden-death situation, it’s like Russian roulette. If you hole a couple of putts at the right time, you can beat anybody and that was the situation. He never showed his disappointment publicly. He is a wonderful sportsman and a gentleman. Jack realised the most important thing were the spectators who were there. The most important thing at the Ryder Cup in those days was making sure the spectators stayed and enjoyed it. But there was a partition between the America side and ours in the locker room and I was sitting there with a couple of beers and I hear this ‘bang’ the other side of the partition so I look over and there’s Jack with his locker open having just thrown his shoe into it. He was just about to throw his second shoe, so I said, “hey Jack, is there anything wrong?” He looks at me and then we went and had a beer. I was lucky enough to play the greatest golfer that ever lived and beat him twice in one day. The only reason everybody is still interested in it is because of the s**t we played as a team. We lost 21-11. In those days, we didn’t have the team to be able to beat them. If it was now, people wouldn’t be talking about it. The best thing that came out of it was when I went over to the States to play on the Champions Tour I got a lot of invitations due to the fact I’d beaten Jack twice in one day. But I also got a lot of invitations because I played golf with Arnold and Jack and they got me invitations. They also felt that I would enhance the tournaments reasonably well because of the sort of guy I am; a fairly gregarious individual! The day I beat Jack... Twice in one day.                                                                                     Extract from Todays Golfer Sept 2012

In the 1975 matches, Jack Nicklaus was imperious and USA were giving GB&I their routine thrashing. Then along came enigmatic Brian Barnes. This is his story...

I didn’t think the team stood a chance going into the 1975 Ryder Cup at Laurel Valley. We didn’t have any strength in depth. In those days, the closest we came to winning was in 1969, the famous tie at Royal Birkdale. Another point and we would have beaten them, but I lost every single one of my three matches! The Americans had great depth and could allow people to have rests. Of course, in those days there were six rounds. We had the two single rounds on the last day as well. It finished up with people like myself playing all six rounds and when Sunday afternoon came around, we were knackered.

Arnold (Palmer) had gone to Bernard Hunt the night before and said, “who have you got in your side who might give Jack a game?” Bernard replied, “I know Jack and Barnesy have fished together and played a few tournaments together so maybe he is not so much in awe as the other guys would be.”

I agreed; I thought that because I had known Jack for so many years, I wouldn’t have been affected by him standing on the 1st tee. Of course, I was s******g myself when the time came round, but not as badly as some of the other guys would have been. So we played together and I won 4&2. Very nice indeed.

I felt comfortable because I have always been a good driver of the golf ball and not a bad putter. I knew full well I could keep up with Jack off the tee; there was no difficulty there. I was a good iron player so I didn’t miss too many greens and I didn’t have to rely on somebody else. It was just me against Jack – that was it. Although I played the fourballs and foursomes and lost, the singles is a different game. So I didn’t even think or worry about being beaten 5&4 again, the score which Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf had defeated myself and Bernard Gallacher by in the Friday foursomes.

Jack was always friendly. The one thing Jack would never do was gamesmanship. He believed that the only way you beat anybody is with your game. Walking round the golf course, the only thing we talked about was fishing. He did a lot of fly fishing just like I did. It was just a friendly round of golf.

When we went to the press tent after the morning round everybody acted as if I’d beaten Jesus Christ. He was Jesus Christ as far as golf was concerned, but he was still beatable. The Yanks only needed one or two more points to win and while I was still continuing with the interviews, Jack had gone to Arnold and said, “look, there is only one match the punters want to see, and that’s Barnesy and I.”

That was the only time in the history of the Ryder Cup that the match order was changed at that late stage. While that was going on, I was asked “would you like the opportunity to play ‘The Bear’ again this afternoon?” I replied, “well, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.”

Jack walked onto the 1st tee for the afternoon singles with a beaming smile on his face and said, “Barnesy, well done this morning but there is no way you are going to beat me this afternoon.” He started birdie, birdie but as luck would have it, he went off the boil and I beat him 2&1. Poor old Jack got it in the neck and when Arnold was making his speech, he said he didn’t realise the Europeans had a 13-man team; inferring that Jack was on our side, rather than theirs.

Jack’s a sportsman; he knew what it was all about. I’m more than capable of shooting a 65. Not as many times as him but on that day, I needed pars in the morning round on the last two holes we didn’t play for a 68 and a birdie on the last hole in the afternoon for a 67. So I was playing pretty good golf on a wet golf course. Eighteen holes of matchplay is a sudden-death situation, it’s like Russian roulette. If you hole a couple of putts at the right time, you can beat anybody and that was the situation.

He never showed his disappointment publicly. He is a wonderful sportsman and a gentleman. Jack realised the most important thing were the spectators who were there. The most important thing at the Ryder Cup in those days was making sure the spectators stayed and enjoyed it. But there was a partition between the America side and ours in the locker room and I was sitting there with a couple of beers and I hear this ‘bang’ the other side of the partition so I look over and there’s Jack with his locker open having just thrown his shoe into it. He was just about to throw his second shoe, so I said, “hey Jack, is there anything wrong?” He looks at me and then we went and had a beer.

I was lucky enough to play the greatest golfer that ever lived and beat him twice in one day. The only reason everybody is still interested in it is because of the s**t we played as a team. We lost 21-11. In those days, we didn’t have the team to be able to beat them. If it was now, people wouldn’t be talking about it.

The best thing that came out of it was when I went over to the States to play on the Champions Tour I got a lot of invitations due to the fact I’d beaten Jack twice in one day. But I also got a lot of invitations because I played golf with Arnold and Jack and they got me invitations. They also felt that I would enhance the tournaments reasonably well because of the sort of guy I am; a fairly gregarious individual!

The day I beat Jack... Twice in one day.                                                                                     Extract from Todays Golfer Sept 2012

[play with shapes]

GOWF Pattern

The Gowf branding is a simple play with shapes. Every time you strike a ball into motion it produces a shape. You are playing with shapes, creating a reaction towards a target, you are playing with your golf balls flight. For the committed few, through hard work and dedication, you soon begin to see a pattern emerge. Learn to embrace your pattern and you will soon be enjoying the game of your life. 

Play with shapes, create a pattern, then go express it.

Improvisation

Bitches Brew Cover

The extreme volume of the group] referred to the passions that were involved—which I’m an advocate for, to this day. This smooth-jazz is not jazz to me, because I grew up listening to men with really deep passions. Without the depth of the passion, you’re missing the blood and the guts in the music. Because it’s not just notes—it’s like, what are you saying when you play? What can anyone talk about when they improvise? The only thing they can talk about is their life and how strongly they feel about the people around them and themselves—their whole relationship with everything. Those days were sociologically in upheaval, and we all felt that a better world was coming

 

- John McLaughlin

Pattern & Repetition

What kind of behind the scenes mental gymnastics is the brain doing to help us understand what we're seeing when we recognise a pattern?

When we see pretty much any scene - natural or otherwise - we're getting an overwhelming amount of visual information in order to navigate our way around the world. So our minds unconsciously make a best guess. This means, for example, that we assume that there's continuity even when we can't actually see it - that the airplane that disappeared into a cloud is the same one that came out the other side, and that it travelled in a straight line in between. This sounds trivially obvious, but we have to do a lot of it - not least because our view of some objects is always partial, blocked by bits of others. Our brains very quickly learn rules for grouping objects together in our visual field. These rules were deduced in the early 20th century by a group of psychologists in Vienna who were called the Gestalt psychologists. They found that we group objects if they are the same shape, or the same colour, or close together, or the same size. It's in this way that we see a series of stripes, not just as "one stripe...and another one....uh, and another..." but as a "striped pattern."  

 

- Science writer Philip Ball

KINFOLK MAG

Absorbed in action

How many times does a motif have to repeat for the eye to recognise it as a pattern?

This is a fundamental question for science. How many times does something have to recur before we suspect that we're seeing a law of nature and not just a coincidence? There's no definitive answer to the question because it has to do with our intuition about what we see- the impression that there's some order to the world around us. That intuition is so strong that we're prone to seeing pattern even when there is none. And we can discern genuine order even in shapes that have no repeating pattern at all, like a tree. It may look sort of random, but I suspect we sense the deeper regularity whereby the same basic form repeats at increasingly smaller scales as we go from trunk to branch tip.

 

Philip Ball

KINFOLK vol.22