Thursday, September 11, 2008

Phoenix and the LPGA

And now for a few words about the LPGA sponsor problem (and it is a problem not a situation) for Phoenix. Last Thursday in the Arizona Republic golf writer John Davis wrote a piece about the LPGA event in the Phoenix area being in limbo. In his informative piece he quoted Tom Maletis, president of Tournament Golf Foundation, Inc., the responsible party for the event the last five years. Maletis seems a bit out of the LPGA (Bivens) loop.

Evidently Bivens has told LPGA players that there will be an event in Phoenix next March. But Bivens hasn’t told Maletis. And neither has Mike Nichols, LPGA vice president of tournament business affair, who apparently has the ball rolling on finding a new sponsor. Whoops! But to Malestis’ credit, he is taking the initiative. He already has a few potential sponsors lined up which led him to say, “We have talked to at least a dozen companies and a lot of them were big hat, no cattle.” And he followed with this, “If the tour could come to the party with $1.5 million, that certainly increases the prospect of funding the tournament…”

Yes, Mr. Maletis. And if you could cut the corporate cliché double-speak, perhaps someone could understand you well enough to sign on as a sponsor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bivens Has an Unplayable Lie

Well, you’ve got to give some credit to Ms. Bivens. Just when nobody – fans & press – is paying any attention to the LPGA, she has the knack of drawing attention to herself, not necessarily the LPGA, and then sucking the air out of the room. She has a rather remarkable history of this behavior since the beginning of her reign. The latest is the Learn English or Play on Some Other Tour Fiasco of the passed couple of weeks.

Now we all know that this entire hubbub is sponsor (or lack of) driven. Sponsors are b….ing because their pro-am guests and participants have problems communicating with many of the LPGA ladies. So why would Mr. & Mrs. Sponsor want to shell out a large part of their advertising budget? That’s a valid question and I think that they deserve to get something out of the time and money they invest in a tournament.

But Ms. Bivens has a greater problem with sponsors. From whence shall they come? All reports indicate that sponsors are dropping faster than your new Pro V1 in a water hazard. As an example Safeway has pulled its sponsorship for the event held in Phoenix every year and now the group that runs the tournament is scrambling to find a new sponsor. (That search is the source of another entry.) Unfortunately, it’s not just here in Phoenix that sponsors are tough to find. It’s true at almost all LPGA stops.

Bivens is now between a rock and a hard place, a virtual unplayable lie, if you will. It will be most interesting to observe how she plays the next shot.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sell Rosetta Stone

Dear Golfing Friends, you remember just ten days ago we here at Eye On Golf attempted to pass on some sound investment advice? (Of course, you do. All well-read golf enthusiasts check in with Eye On Golf for the hottest investments.) Well, now it’s time for more. Sell Rosetta Stone! If you invested a fortune, well, sorry about that. You recall that our original advice was based on the LPGA decision to have all players learn English – or else. Well, just yesterday LPGA Commish Bivens announced that the LPGA is scrapping the “or else” provision.

Why? Too much flack. The interesting point is that a good percentage of the heat came from English speaking journalists. I have a hunch that the foreign journalists had no clue what was happening. And, of course, even a couple of politicians decided to make a name for themselves on this hot button issue. Democratic politicians from California, Sen. Leland Yee from San Francisco and Rep. Mary Hayashi from Hayward, had been investigating the possibility of legislation that could have restricted the tour’s activities in California, where the LPGA plays three events this year. So Bivens acquiesced and did the Democratic flip-flop. Now we’re going to revisit the situation and provide a solution by the end of the year.

The bottom line for all of us – sell Rosetta Stone.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tiger Trumps Cups

Just today with great anticipation I opened my periodic e-mail from GolfWeek entitled Approach Shots. This is a web newsletter that I wait for with breathless anticipation. And here’s the headline/lead-in:

“Smack in the middle of the Tiger-less FedEx Cup and Ryder Cup races, Woods still found a way to make the biggest headline Tuesday. Woods announced on his Web site that his wife, Elin, is pregnant with their second child.”

First, congrats, Tiger.

Second, what did GolfWeek anticipate would be the big story – Ryder Cup selections? That was two days ago and every golf writer on the planet has weighed in with his/her thoughts on how Azinger did. Truth be told, no one will know “how Azinger did” until the Cup has been decided.

And, speaking of Cups, did GolfWeek think the FedEx(lax) Cup was going to generate interest this week? For all intents and purposes, it’s over. Although I did read somewhere, probably in a press release from the PGA Tour, that someone else in the top twelve right now could win if Singh finishes last in the final two “playoff” tournaments and the same player wins both. Honestly, I haven’t done the math on this, but I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find it. Once you find the math, figure the odds and let me know.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

$200+ Putter

How wonderful! We now have another putter on the market that will set you back two bills and a little change. (Try to stuff the putter in the gas tank of your SUV.)

A review/evaluation was recently posted by Kiel Christianson on of the new Sizemore putter. It’s of the mallet variety and, according to Christianson, this will make you sink putts like it’s your last round.

The price for this “miracle” putter - $219. I guess for $200+ the magic must stay with this putter for a longer period of time than it would for, say, a $175 putter.

To the Sizemore Company we must thank them for their contribution to the ever-increasing price of golf. To Mr. Christianson, wait until you have missed a three-footer to seal the deal on a $5 nassau, then we’ll get another assessment.