AT this time of the year, which can be as quiet as a Trappist monk with a sair throat, articles featuring reviews of this, reflections on that and ruminations about the other tend to get trotted out in wild abundance. We promise, this is the last one.

The 2020 golfing year is already underway in Hawaii this week and a new decade is upon us.

The 2010s certainly were not short of moments, magic and memories were they?


The National:

Who’s a naughty boy then? Tiger Woods, that’s who.

As a list of mistresses as long as Woods’, er, roll of honour queued up to regale the world with tales of sordid shenanigans, tawdry trysts and racy rendezvous, the embattled Tiger began the decade with a squirming, grovelling televised apology in front of an enraptured global audience.


The National:

When Rory McIlroy led the 2011 Masters by four shots with 18 holes to play and crashed to a harrowing 80, it was one of the biggest deflations since the Hindenburg went down.

McIlroy soothed the wounds in imperious style just two months later, though, with a mesmerising eight-shot romp in the US Open as he sprinted off with his first Major crown.


The National:

Even to this day, there are still dents in the Medinah turf caused by the sheer volume of jaws dropping to the floor in gobsmacked giddiness at this colossal Ryder Cup conquest of 2012.

At one stage on the Saturday, Europe were 10-4 down but, inspired by Ian Poulter’s eye-popping charge, got it back to 10-6 and gave themselves a lifeline.

It was a turning of the tide which led to a singles tsunami as Europe won eight of the 12 ties to complete one of the greatest comebacks in sport.


The National:

The passing of the great Seve Ballesteros in 2011 left a huge void in the world of golf.

Amid the torrent of tributes about his pioneering, swashbuckling spirit, his brother, Baldomero, delivered this touching line: “What is leaving us is more than a brother, a son, or a father; what is leaving us is glory.”

In 2016, we said a fond farewell to Arnold Palmer. With a dashing sense of daring adventure which appealed to the masses, The King would haul the game into fresh commercial territory.

He was the people’s champion who would transcend golf and the generations.


The National:

Goodness knows what the hand-wringing, healthy-eating zealots would have made of Inbee Park.

“I love British breakfasts where there are sausages and bacon,” drooled this all-conquering force of the women’s game when she arrived in Scotland for the 2013 Women’s British Open.

Park’s appetite for success was insatiable. She won the first three Majors of 2013 and, while she could not make it four in a row in that St Andrews showpiece, her place in the pantheon of greats was already assured.

Park would go on to complete a career grand slam while adding an Olympic gold to her sparkling roll of honour during a dominant decade.


The National:

Like Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus down the coast at Turnberry in 1977, Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson produced an epic duel for the ages in the 2016 Open at Royal Troon.

Stenson closed with a magical 63 for a 20-under tally. Mickelson blasted a 65 and still finished three shots behind. As for the man in third place? Well, JB Holmes was 11 shots further adrift and so far back he may as well have been playing in the 144th championship let alone the 145th.

Stenson and Mickelson had served up one of golf’s greatest days.


The National:

With a forensic approach that was so meticulous it made Quincy look slap dash, Paul McGinley masterminded a European Ryder Cup win at Gleneagles in 2014 that caused so much internal chaos in the USA camp, the country ended up with Trump as president. Or something like that. The public filleting of US skipper Tom Watson by Mickelson in the grim post-mortem was one of the most excruciating moments of the golfing decade.

Suzann Pettersen’s all-or-nothing putt to win the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, meanwhile, was one of the most memorable. It completed an absorbing duel in the glen that will go down as a shimmering jewel in golf's history.


The National:

The winds of change were a-blowing through golf during the 2010s and you half expected The Beaufort Scale to become an official partner of the game’s governing bodies.

Hitherto bastions of male dominance slowly creaked open as Augusta National, The Royal & Ancient and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – at the second attempt – accepted female members at various points during the decade.


The National:

Woods started the decade with that humbling atonement. He ended it with a triumphant statement as he won his 15th Major in the 2019 Masters.

In between times, of course, Woods had endured the kind of painful fall from grace that would have made Icarus wince.

His physical ravages, and the effects of multiple surgeries, left him incapacitated to the point where he had to “roll myself out of bed and take a p*** in a bucket”.

His ultimate act of redemption at Augusta completed an astonishing recovery. By his absence and his presence, Woods defined a golfing decade.