This one’s for the Yipper

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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The big travel retail event here in Dubai is just days away and expectations and tension are equally high. Some of the industry’s top names will be on show and some animated dialogue is expected.

The MEDFA conference? No – the Dubai Duty Free World Golf Cup, by popular acclaim the best social event in the travel retail industry calendar.

This year the Cup, currently held by Revlon ace Art Miller, is played after the MEDFA conference, a sequence that is allowing The Moodie Report to enter the event for the first time in several years. Until now commitments to preparing and moderating the MEDFA conference have kept us from participating. This year that’s all changed and Miller is known to be worried about this unlikely challenge to his supremacy.

However, work always comes first at The Moodie Report. While other industry executives are arriving in town early to practice, we need to a) prepare the conference and b) produce the weekly edition of The Moodie Report which needs to go out a day earlier than usual due to the conference beginning Thursday.

How then to get the necessary practice in to ensure a full Revlon makeover and ensure Dubai Duty Free supremo Colm McLoughlin hands over the Cup to antipodean hands for the first time? Simple – set up a putting green in the hotel room at the Al Bustan Rotana, the temporary UAE bureau of The Moodie Report this week.

Alas our intrepidly, truly handicapped Publisher suffers from a condition called the yips, a psycho-neuromuscular problem that often occurs in golf (especially during chipping or putting) when the golfer experiences freezing, jerking, or a tremor prior to attempting a stroke. The ailment is estimated to afflict at least 3 million golfers worldwide. Others to suffer the condition include dentists and concert pianists. In both instances they should be avoided, especially in the respective cases of root canal treatment or renditions of Mozart’s Requiem.

According to leading golf website Anyone for Tee famous golf players to have been affected include Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Tommy Armour (who invented the name ‘yips’), Tom Watson and Bernhard Langer.

The Publisher’s plight is worsened by the fact that he also suffers horribly from the chipping yips. A round at his local pitch and putt earlier this year took 17 hours – and that was only because he gave up after the second hole.

So rather than damage the already fragile confidence by taking aim at a small golf hole-size target, our man lined up the room’s generously shaped rubbish bin. Even a yipper couldn’t miss that from 6 feet, right?

Wrong. As our photograph shows, a tricky left to right, then right to left, break in the Al Bustan carpet, allied to another premature burst of the yips, left each putt well wide of the rubbish bin.

The odds on an upset, as they say, are lengthening. And if the yips spread to the Publisher’s typing skills, that edition of The Moodie Report could be a couple of years away…

Note: For news of what at the time seemed like a remarkable new ‘cure’ for the Publisher’s Yips (sadly the condition has since resurfaced), click here.

[Watch this space for further news on the Dubai Duty Free World Golf Cup]

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