Peter Cowen
Peter Cowen has six players, whom he works with, in the field at this weeks PGA Championship in Tulsa. Image Credit: Supplied

Tulsa: In golf Major history since 1860, there have been 459 golf Majors and only 21 champions have chosen not to defend their title, usually for illness or even a clash of tournament dates.

Is it really 12 months since Phil Mickelson won the 2021 US PGA in such style at Kiawah Island, to become the oldest Major champion in golf at 50 years of age.

The previous champion of any tournament and any Major, is invariably the poster boy for, especially the US PGA Championship.

Ceremonial duties

Golf clinics, media engagements and numerous ceremonial duties are all on the defending champion’s itinerary these days!

Not this year!

Mickelson’s absence is certainly still a talk on the range, along with the price of water and refreshments at the public refreshment stands this week and, of course, Tiger Woods.

Woods is a previous USPGA champion at Southern Hills in 2007, where he won his 13th Major Championship.

This is his first tournament since his 47th place finish in The Masters 38 days ago. He says he is feeling so much better and stronger.

The talk prior to tournaments these days seems to be more and more away from the week in hand, but when the first ball is struck on Thursday morning it will only be about birdies and bogeys at this week’s USPGA Championship.

A nice story this week is that Mark Brooks, the 1996 US PGA Championship at Valhalla, came up to to me for a chat today (Tuesday).

Teaching methods

He wants to come over to Dubai with his teaching Pros, as soon as possible, to meet me and my Pros to discuss my teaching methods. I will update you all on how this develops.

I have the following players in the field this week; Matt Fitzpatrick (along with Mike Walker), Padraig Harrington, Brooks Koepka, Tom Pieters, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood,

Of those six, Harrington, Poulter and Westwood all played in the 2007 edition of the US PGA and since then, there has been an updating of the golf course by Gil Hanse, the designer of Trump International Golf Club, Dubai.

In 2007 the US PGA was then held in its old date in the calendar in August and it used to be so hot.

Humidity factor

Here in May it is still hot and humid and health and stamina will be a factor this week.

The golf course is long and difficult, at 7,556 yards and a par 70, and it will take some very good golf to win around here and to lift the Wannamaker Trophy on Sunday night.

Finally, news on my own personal fitness: my knee is on the road to recovery.

Enjoy the golf this week, it will be a tough examination paper for all 156 players in the field.

— Peter Cowen, 71, A Dubai Golden Visa Awardee, is recognised as one of the leading golf coaches in the world of golf. A former DP World Tour Professional he has his Peter Cowen Academies in Dubai, at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates. Peter lives in England and headquarters his Peter Cowen Academies in Rotherham.