With the June issue sent to press and the post-Masters hangovers now shaken off, there’s been something of a quiet mood in the Golf Monthly office of late.

During what has been a perfect week for golf, editor Mike Harris has now returned following his seven-day round trip taking in The R&A’s media day at Turnberry as well as a forum meet at Hoylake.

Further afield, equipment and instruction gurus Neil Tappin and Paul O’Hagan have been sunning it up in Tenerife for this year’s instruction shoot. I don’t know about you, but it really does feel like the season is here, and everyone at GM Towers senses it’s going to be a great one.

Following wins for Scott Strange and Brian Gay in the European PGA tours respectively, the big news of the week came with the development and course lengthening of the famous Ailsa track, which will welcome the Open Championship for the fourth time in July.

With the addition of 20 new bunkers and an extra 250 yards, the Ailsa is sure to continue The R&A’s trend of posing further questions to the world’s players to counter the power and growing advances in the game.

There can be little doubt that when the wind howls in from the sea, Turnberry can be as difficult as any course in the British Isles. But throw in bright sunshine and corking conditions, and the Ayrshire links can be, shall we shall, slightly less daunting from start to finish. We’re all for the changes to be honest. After all, there has to be limit to players running away into 20-under territory…

Elsewhere, Europe is gearing up for the invasion of John ‘Wild Thing’ Daly at the Spanish Open next week. The big-hitting two-time Major winner is returning to competitive action following his six-month ban for his off-course debauchery.

Whatever your opinion of the troubled American, you can’t deny that he brings a bit of the X-Factor to golf. And it’s good to see he hasn’t given up hope of a return to the big time, even though most in the know believe this is a step too far. “I can come back,” said Daly. “I’ve come back from anything.” Not sure about that one…

It was sad to see GM’s Graeme McDowell struggle in the defence of his Ballantines Championships crown. A Friday 73 means the Ulsterman missed the cut…

Don’t forget to keep on top of all the latest equipment releases for the new season, as well as Golf Monthly’s regular equipment blogs.

The Team have today competed in the fourth Order of Merit Major of the season at Kingswood. GM Snapper Kevin Murray took the title with 34 points at the delightful Surrey course. Tough greens and some daunting drives.

Have a great weekend, from the GM Team…