Saturday, October 30, 2010

Golf's 'Other' Rules

Recently a very useless piece of golf literary paraphernalia has been brought to my attention. It is a survey piece on that delves into Golf's 'Other' Rules. These are not the sacrosanct rules of the game so meticulously elaborated by the USGA and the R&A. Rather these are the nuances of etiquette that we encounter everyday at every golf courses.

For instance, does your favorite course allow denim? How about collarless shirts? What about the combination of both. Survey says ...

THOUGHT: Frankly, if you want to wear bluejeans and a tee shirt and play golf, find an empty framer's field and have a go.

And here's another etiquette gem in our modern golf world: cell phone usage. Survey says ...
18% of all courses that allow cell phones forbid their use on the golf course.

THOUGHT: If you really need to use your cell-phone, stay off the golf course.

And last, but not least in the survey ...

THOUGHT: If a golf course informs you that carts are mandatory, you know that course does not have the game of golf at heart (nevermind your own heart-health). You'll know it's all profit motive. Find another track for your ball.

There's more in the survey, so have a read. It's fun but it will also stir your interest.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Mr Hogan, The Man I Knew

(Reviewed by Dave & Ellie Marrandette)

There have been a countless number of books and articles written about Ben Hogan, several of which are sitting on our shelves. Most deal with the technicalities of his golf swing (with a few asserting to have discovered his “secret”), or they are biographical in nature claiming to let us know Ben Hogan the man. But, regardless of the biographical slant, all but a couple are able to capture the real Ben Hogan. Some relate the famous Hogan stories with which all avid golf fans are familiar, but no book on Hogan reveals the caring, human side of the man the way that Kris Tschetter does.

What makes this book so appealing and captivating is its warmhearted look at Hogan through a most unexpected friendship. In a perfect blending of graciousness, insight, and sports history, Tschetter has humanized the golf legend through her first work of non-fiction, Mr. Hogan, The Man I Knew. Tschetter has played on the LPGA Tour since 1988 and she joined with author Steve Eubanks for this book.

With an unpretentious eye she has given us a unique and inside perspective into the soul of a larger than life golf icon. Through her eyes we find that Ben Hogan was not the cold and uncaring persona that the sports world proclaimed him to be, but a caring individual who respected the regimented and disciplined actions of a young girl striving for perfection and reached out to help. As seemingly different as two souls could be, they became kindred spirits in their quest for precision in the game of golf. How she met Mr. Hogan, how he helped her game and how she respectfully sets the record straight on a few so-called “facts” of the game is the charm of this book. While it is in part biographical, it is a heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest golfers who ever graced the fairways.

Tschetter also did some digging through her pictorial archives to provide us with a few personal and priceless photos. Most interesting is a four page photo spread of Hogan's swing which Tschetter believes is the last time his swing was filmed.

Mr Hogan is a gentle and brisk read uncomplicated by golf lingo and technicalities. It is a relationship story that would almost seem like great fiction if you didn't know it was true. Gentlemen golfers, give this to your wife. Lady golfers, make sure your husband reads this to see that golf is more than swinging a club at a ball.

Mr. Hogan, The Man I Knew is one of my top five golf books of the year – an absolute must for all golfers to read.

(Mr. Hogan, The Man I Knew is due to be released by Gotham Books on October 14, 2010.)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A few notes from the Ryder Cup

Here are a few immediate thoughts from the Ryder Cup with more to come later.

With the two weather delays and the change in format it was difficult to determine who was doing what to whom especially during session three with two foursome matches and four four-ball matches. Then to complicate the matter a couple of groups played through slower groups. And I fear NBC didn’t have a total grasp of the situation either.

Speaking of NBC, they truly lived up to their moniker – Nothing But Commercials. Using Arizona time as a reference (the same as Pacific Time now), from 6:00 AM to 7:00AM Sunday morning, NBC put in eleven commercial breaks. That’s eleven as in 1 -1. It really got old hearing the announcers say, “While we were away…”

The time difference, at least from the location of our easy chair, made the event less than enjoyable. Now I realize that there’s nothing that can be done about that, but it still had an effect on our enjoyment.

Best Answer to a Question: Graeme McDowell when asked to compare the pressure of contending in a U.S. Open versus playing in the Ryder Cup. In summary he said in the U.S. Open you’re all alone out there but in the Ryder Cup you’ve got your teammates and thousands of fans routing for you.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

More rain in Wales

Play is just resuming at the Ryder Cup. There was more rain in Wales. I'm shocked.

With this additional delay it is impossible for the event to finish and Sunday afternoon. The time there should be about 1:30 PM. There are still six matches yet to complete play – two foursomes and four four-ball. That should suck most of the daylight out of the day with perhaps just a couple hours remaining to start the singles. Perhaps it would be best to play all of the singles matches tomorrow. At least that move would put a little drama back into the event. With all of the delays, jagged starts and stops of the matches, a confused television schedule this event needs some kind of drama. The most it has had is the USA rain-suit controversy.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Saturday at the Ryder Cup equals lots of golf

Okay, so, like, whatever. Corey and Colin have figured out a new and revised schedule for the waterlogged Ryder Cup. (You must admit that it takes so powerful foresight to schedule a major golf event in an area of the world that experiences on the average 152+” of rain at this time of year.)

When the four four-ball matches finish this morning (or whatever time of day it is wherever you are), then and only then will play commence involving six foursomes matches. This will involve all twelve players. The next session, which they are calling session three, which will commence when all the matches of session two are finished, will then contain two foursome and four four-ball matches again using all twelve players of each side. The final session will feature the twelve singles matches hopefully finishing sometime on Sunday.

The good news is that it get late early in Wales this time of year (my apologies to Yogi), so playing time is limited. My inside sources have informed me that the PGA's of USA and Europe tried to convince a young Welshman named Joshua to affect the sun for twenty-four hours but he declined claiming that the previous occurrence was a one-time thing.

The experts seems to think that this revised schedule gives an edge to the Europeans because they have twelve men on their squad but the U.S. has just twelve on their squad.

We'll see.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Up early for a weather delay at Ryder Cup

A collection early morning thoughts as we wait for the rain to stop in Wales...

So I'm having a little identification issue with this Ryder Cup thing being held in Wales. You see, I rose early in the morning to catch a little of the action live. (Well, that's not the only reason I rose early, but further explanation involves too much detail.) I would really prefer to watch the action as it unfolds in real time as opposed to being at the mercy of NBC and their selective editing and broadcasting of Nothing But Commercials. You see, the live action issue is really not a time problem but really a space problem. There happens to be eight hours of space between Arizona and Wales. Apparently it's time-space problem.

Back to the live action ... Was it live action we got? No sir, Shankopotamus. It's raining in Wales, raining Welsh Corgies and Pole Cats. It's raining so hard that the course is flooded and play has been suspended until the course is playable. Now there's a wager I suspect that the British bookies had not figured on – How many weather delays? The computer live feed showed puddles and a duck – after the obligatory commercial.

Puddles and a duck – that just doesn't compute here in the Arizona desert. That's here in the Arizona desert where the temperature is still over 100 degrees in the daytime. And rain- yeah, sure. Fat chance and slim chance on that. But at least the golf courses are open.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Euro side to win Ryder Cup

It is no secret that the European Team is the heavy favorite to win the 2010 version of the Ryder Cup. If I had a Euro in my pocket, I would surely make the wager. The question is why are the Euros almost guaranteed a victory​?

The answer comes down to a combination of two elements: team composition and course set-up. The U.S. Team is laden with bombers who occasionally visit areas of the golf course generally not intended for normal play. If this were a heavyweight boxing match, it wouldn't last much longer than a Liston-Clay fight. But it's not. SIDEBAR: Golf has no time limit. If you don't believe me just wait until you see the pace of play. END SIDEBAR. On the other hand the players on the European team tend to keep the ball in play.

Hence Captain Montgomerie's decision on course set up – somewhat generous landing areas right about the distance where his team's drives will finish and thick, salad-bar rough waiting if you miss the fairway. Montgomerie has simply taken away the length factor of the U.S. Team and reduced the entire match to approach shots and putting.

Should be a less than dramatic win for the European side.

Monday, August 16, 2010

PGA of America blows the call

What a shame! The final major the year which had excitement equal to a seventh game of the World Series went down in flames with one bad call.

Now golf is an objective sport. There is very little subjectively to the rules of the game – at least that's what the rule makers would like to have us think. And they almost pull it off except for that little, 1200+ page volume they publish every time – The Decisions on the Rules of Golf. That volume puts every rule into subjectivity.

But when the PGA of America rules officials decided to assess Dustin Johnson with a two stroke penalty at the end of play yesterday and eliminate him from a playoff, they stuck by the objectivity of the rule. This particular rule being “the player is not allowed to ground his club in a hazard.” At this point they blew it – plain and simple.

No, they didn't blow the rule, they blew the call. Even Johnson said he knows the rule. But in their own defense the PGA will tell us they published a local rules sheet for the tournament stating that some of the 1,000,000+ bunkers at Whistling Straits may be outside the spectator ropes but they are still to be considered bunkers. Not a problem – if you can identify the area as a bunker. And herein lies the problem. It exists on two levels.

First, why in the world would the PGA allow spectator to tramp and tromp through bunkers that could be potentially in play. And I'm sorry, the argument about getting the spectators closer to the action is a cop out. Yes, and we heard that some of these bunkers were “cosmetic.” Please! If it's a “cosmetic” bunker, then don't treat it like a normal bunker. And as a corollary to this, if you can't identify a sandy patch as a bunker because it has been trampled by the hordes, then how on earth would you expect a player to identify it especially if he is on the last hole of a major championship needing a par to win?

Second, with a major championship on the line, why in the name of Old Tom Morris was there no PGA Rules Official right there with Johnson? And the argument here that the rules officials are not supposed to get involved falls flat. If a rules official had gotten involved, this whole major embarrassment would never have occurred. Having a rules official right on the spot to clarify any confusion would have a most satisfying gesture.

Even the experienced CBS sports crew had no idea.

The sad part of the whole incident is that the PGA could have taken charge of the situation and ruled no penalty simply because Johnson hardly knew he was in a bunker with all of the people standing around him and the fact that the bunker had been virtaully destroyed during the past seven days. The PGA could have done what was right. They chose not to.

Honestly this situation is akin to the building of a mosque near the sight of Ground Zero. Someone may have the right to build such a structure, but it is not the proper thing to do. The PGA had the right to assess the penalty on Johnson, but it was not the proper thing to do.

It's a sad day for the PGA of America.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

aboutGolf PGA Tour Simulator

Okay, now this is fun and I've always wanted one of these. It sort of falls under the category of big boys and their toys. And while this item tends to be on the periphery of the world of golf, we feel it is our duty to pass the information along. And I'm sure someone else wants one of these also.

So, let's examine (with a few pertinent observations) the newest aboutGolf PGA TOUR Compact SimSurround – the 15-foot version.

aboutGolf is the world leader in indoor golf simulator technology and has pioneered the three-screen simulator which allows the player a greater potential for a real world experience. Meaning that very little additional atmosphere is required to give you the total realization. For instance, if you choose to play St. Andrews, all you need is an oversized, high speed fan blowing right into your face (add an artificial downpour if you so desire). Or, if you play a course in the desert, add a couple of high intensity heat lamps for special effects.

The newest model is the 15-foot wide version that is tagged as ideal for residences and indoor golf centers. The total dimensions of this newest golf toy are 15 feet wide by 20 feet long by 10 feet, 6 inches high. Now I don't care if the local indoor golf center has one of these, but if I lived in northern Minnesota in the winter I would surely want one in my basement. I would emerge from the depths of frozen hell in the late springtime with my game ready for the dollar nassau.

It comes complete with PGA TOUR Software for range and course play, 29 standard courses, 3Trak ball-tracking technology and club data, as well as screen, enclosure, computer and turf. That's right, 29 courses at your finger tips and all real (or at least fictitiously conventional) – except one. Remember the Fantasy Holes by artist Loyal H. (Bud) Chapman? Well, with the aboutGolf simulator you can actually play this course. Imagine playing the 291-yard par-4 at St Ludiwg's Golf Club in the shadow of Neuschwanstein Castle? Now that would be fun.

Holy golf ball, Batman, there's a real and a fantasy golf resort right is your basement.

If there is one ultimate golf toy to possess, this is it!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tom Watson: Lessons of a Lifetime

There seems no better occasion than this period between the U.S. Open (Father's Day) and the British Open to discuss Tom Watson: Lessons of a Lifetime. There is nostalgia at both ends. Watson just completed what may be his final appearance in the U.S. Open appropriately at Pebble Beach, site of his momentous 1982 U.S. Open victory. He also just happened to have his son “on the bag” during the tournament. Now he is about to return to the British Open, this year being played at St. Andrews. You will, of course, remember the heart break from last year, losing in a playoff last year at age 59.

In between all of this Watson has produced Lessons of a Lifetime. There are few who have learned how to play the game like Watson. He always seemed to have just the right shot at the right time. Exhibit A, of course, is the chip-in on the 17th at Pebble Beach in the last round of the 1982 U.S. Open. There is no better player to listen to and learn from concerning how to play the game.

Make no mistake. This is an instructional two-disc set. It runs almost three hours and is neatly divided into two distinct parts. In Disc One Watson focuses on the fundamentals of the game (grip, setup, aim, etc.) and then gets into the golf swing. Disc Two holds the Watson specialty – the short game. In his prime there was no one better. Watson gives us the basics of the short game and also some of the intricacies around the green. This instruction is worth the price.
Fittingly, Watson ends Disc Two with a tribute to his longtime friend and caddie Bruce Edwards. Anyone with a sense of history for the game is aware of the story. Have a hankie ready for this part.

For any golfer, regardless of skill or involvement in the game, Lessons of a Lifetime is a must have. How could anyone pass up a learning experience from one of the greats of the game.

This DVD set is available at, Watson's new website. This is a place you will also want to linger for a while.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Homer Kelley's Golfing Machine

If you are a die-hard golfer, chances are you are obsessed with swing mechanics, always trying to find that one swing key to gain distance and narrow the shot pattern. So if you are in this category, it is likely that you have encountered Homer Kelley's monumental work The Golfing Machine. Kelley's ground breaking and eccentric study of the golf swing became cult-like in the world of golf instruction.

But what would drive a man to spend virtually his entire life in the pursuit of solving the conundrum of the golf swing? The answer lies in the explanation of how a man could play golf for the first time and score 116 and then six months later with no play or practice in between shoot a 77. Kelley's lifelong passion became the 39 stroke difference between those two scores.

Scott Gummer has taken a sensitive and judicious examination of the man and his work in an effort to help us appreciate the genius behind the most comprehensive study of the golf swing. The Golfing Machine is slightly more technical than the NASA Flight Manual but in Kelley's mind all the technicalities were necessary to completely dissect the golf swing. Yet, Gummer does not attempt to explain The Golfing Machine to us but rather reveal the man. He accomplishes this unmistakably. You will come away with a much more acute understanding of how one man, a non-golfer, could accomplish such a task.

Gummer also gives us insight into the book itself which took on a life of its own. Kelley labored for over twenty years before he published the book. When he did, the seeds of The Golfing Machine grew slowly. But Kelley persisted and finally found a teaching disciple in Ben Doyle and eventually playing disciple in Bobby Clampett. Gummer relates this life to us throughout the second part of the book.

If you are a golf swing aficionado, and especially if you are fascinated by The Golfing Machine, Homer Kelley's Golfing Machine is an absolute must read. It gives us greater awareness into the mystery we know as the golf swing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How much are you willing to pay for a round of golf?

So the question for today, my dear golfing friends, is what is public golf access? To put it another way, how much are you willing to pay for a round of golf?
What prompted this reflection is the upcoming U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Pebble Beach, as you know, is open to the public – if you have enough money? The current price is $495 for a round of golf.

For most this is a bit exorbitant, a touch on the high side of the green fee scale. Others will go great extremes to come up with the prescribed fare. For a few classic stories on what it might take for most of us to unfold $495, we recommend Randall Mell’s fun story at

To put all of this is perspective, allow me to relay this short story. We spent the summers of 2005 and 2006 in Buffalo, Wyoming. Now Buffalo has a wonderful, scenic 18-hole golf course. It sits right at the base of the Big Horn Mountains and is appropriately designated as the Buffalo Golf Club. The course is regularly listed in the top five in the state. At the time we were there, the cost of a membership was $450 for a couple to play unlimited golf. (The cost is now $500 per year.) This included only the greens fee. Carts, if you so desired, we an additional charge. Yes, there were a couple of steep climbs from green to tee, but if you sucked in your gut, walking was no problem. My common statement to folks was that you could play a whole season in Buffalo, WY for about the same cost as one round of golf at Pebble Beach.

You make the call.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Straight Down the Middle

Ever since Chevy Chase exhorted us to “be the ball,” golfers have been seeking the elusive “zone,” a place in the time-space continuum where physical ability has been layed aside and the mind conquers. Or perhaps the quest began when a shepherd first struck a rock with a crooked stick. Or perhaps this does not matter.

What does matter is that someone has actually documented that chase, lived (in a keep-your-sanity sort of way) to tell about it, and actually come out on the other side as a golfer more focused on the spirit of the game. Josh Karp's most recent volume Straight Down the Middle: Shivas Irons, Bagger Vance, and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Golf Swing takes us on that journey.

Let’s face it, every golfer is trying in some way, shape or form to lower his or her score. Golfers will try just about anything. They’ll listen to any piece of swing advice from virtually anyone, always searching for the magic that will drop the score even one or two strokes per round. But very seldom do they pay attention to the mental game.

So, is it possible to transform one’s game and lower one’s handicap from the inside-out – increased attention to the mental game – as opposed to the outside-in – give a try to the latest and greatest swing tip?

Karp sums up the thesis of his quest in Chapter 2 when he states, “…that the actual ‘playing’ of a round of golf occurs in roughly 180 seconds… What’s happening the rest of the time, where our mind resides during that time, is something we pay almost no attention to, yet which profoundly impacts our performance.” From this realization the pursuit is on.

He goes from guru, to sensei, to golfing Buddha in an endeavor to find peace of mind in the mind boggling game of golf. As we travel with Karp we discover what seems like an endless number of golf instructors totally focused on the playing the game with just the mind and damn the swing.
Not only does Karp tell us his story – the toils and the triumphs – but he also passes along some useful (at least to him) instruction and drills such as the Jug McSpaden drill (pgs. 61-62). He also presents us with an apt description of the relationship between golf and spirituality, the struggle to make the ball do what you want it to do through only the force of our will.

How did all the senseis, gurus, Zen masters and whatevers help? Well, for one brief two month period beginning on August 8, 2008, Karp found himself in the zone … or whatever Zen golfers choose to call it. Golfing nirvana set in. But just as quickly and suddenly as it arrived, it was taken away by the ever vengeful golf gods.

And how does it all end for Karp? Let’s just say he is at peace with his golf game.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

To Win and Die in Dixie

One of the marvelous aspects of golf is the rich history that it contains. And the most fascinating element of that history is the characters that the game has embraced. Tournaments come and go year by year, but it is the great characters that make the game come alive.

It is easy to recognize the more famous characters – Vardon, Jones, Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus and a host of others. But is it a real discovery when a virtually unknown personality from the past is spiritually resurrected and brought to our attention. Such is the accomplishment of Steve Eubanks in bringing to us the story of J. Douglas Edgar in his latest book To Win and Die in Dixie: The Birth of the Modern Golf Swing the the Mysterious Death of Its Creator.

I must admit, even though I consider myself an enthusiastic student of golf history, I had never heard of J. Douglas Edgar. Yet when I had completed the book, I wondered how I had ever overlooked him. It is perhaps that his life was tragically cut short and that he never reached his full playing and teaching potential.

It is this story that Eubanks has uncovered for us. It is a biography of Edgar revealed through the investigation of his death by a determined Atlanta Constitution reporter Comer Howell. It is a story that contains all the elements of a great fictional murder mystery with one exception – it is not fiction; it is real life.

Eubanks has certainly done his research on the charismatic life and mysterious death of Edgar. The book is filled with detailed narrative. He has seemingly omitted no detail. But this great detail leads us to some fascinating stories. We learn a bit about Margaret Mitchell and how she drew her fiction from real life stories. We are also treated to a fun story concerning Alexa Sterling (pg. 98) revealing how greatly the times have changed in just over 100 years.

But as involved as we might get in the life and death of J. Douglas Edgar, we cannot forget his contribution to golf – the fundamentals of the modern golf swing. Chapter 7 gives us a good description of what is known as the Edgar Movement.

For students of the golf swing and golf history To Win and Die in Dixie is a must read; to those who enjoy a real life, enticing murder-mystery, it is a must read; and to those who would like to pick up some historical trivia, it is a must read.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nancy Scranton captures inaugural Women's Senior National Invitational

Florida resident Nancy Scranton, just one day short of her birthday, gave herself a special present by winning the inaugural Women's Senior National Invitational. This was Scranton's first individual title on the Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA. Scranton captured first place with a 4-under 69 over the Catalina Course of the Tucson Omni National Resort. Her 69 was good enough for a three strroke victory over four other players - Rosie Jones, Kris Tschetter, Patty Sheehan, and Sherri Turner.

Scranton's round featured six birdies highlighted by four in a row from holes 9-12, all a result of great shotmaking and a fine tuned putting stroke. Her putting method is a bit unorthodox. She does not look at the ball while making her stroke, but rather fstares down the hole. This technique helps the player focus less on the mechanics of the stroke and more on the feel. It worked to perfection yesterday.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

LPGA skips Phoenix in 2010, but ...

Do you know the way from San Jose? Or, do you know what this is? Sure you do. This is a picture of how close the LPGA came to Phoenix (and Casa Grande) this year. FYI this photo was taken on Monday, April 5 at 7:05 AM, the day after the Dinah Shore Kraft-Nabisco was completed.

As every golf fan in the greater Phoenix area should know, the LPGA was unable to secure a tournament in the Phoenix area for the first time since Patty Berg laced up her spikes. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but it sure seems like the LPGA has been visiting the Valley of the Sun forever. Now there is nothing except the back end of this fitness truck which went traveling by us halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.

Nevertheless, take heart. A bit of the LPGA is coming to Tucson this weekend. It's the LPGA Legends Tour and the competitors are true legends of the game. Actually it's a bit of a golfing deja vu. If you click on this link - - you'll get complete information on the event.

Here's just a teaser. Among the competitors will be three LPGA Hall of Famers and a combined 27 LPGA major championships.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dream On

One of the most difficult goals in golf is to set a challenging target score and then shoot that number or lower. Do you think you could do it? Each year hundreds of aspiring PGA professionals attempt that same task, play 36 holes and try to match or beat a certain number. Most fail. It's not so much the physical strain but more the mental discipline that must be maintained.

But what if you were a self-proclaimed duffer or say no better than a bogey golfer who took on the challenge to equal or better par within a year? Is it possible to get down to scratch – for at least one round – in just one year? Consider what the Las Vegas odds would be. To get a sense of the Herculean task at hand consider the case of Charles Barkley. Even Tiger's current man could not help and he is considered one of the top teachers in the world.

Nevertheless less, undaunted, that’s exactly the quest and burden that John Richardson took on.

Dream On reveals Richardson’s trials and tribulations as he goes through a full year of practice and preparation to reach the goal of matching par. Throughout his year long journey we become a confidant to his physical and mental conquests and setbacks as he desperately attempts to deal with his golf game. Yet it is not just his golf game for which Richardson must adjust his daily routine. Fortunately he realizes from the start that achieving this goal will involve commitment from not only himself but also from his family and business. As he journey down the road toward par, we are privy to the obstacles within these relationships as well.

Richardson tells his story well. Dream On is lighthearted and enjoyable read. He allows us to observe his emotions as well as the physical challenges as he tackles a nearly impossible task. You will particularly enjoy his encounter with a young Rory McIlroy. Be sure to read this carefully.

About midway through the book he evaluates the condition of his game and realized the weakest part is course management, an aspect of the game every player neglects. His reflections here are valuable to all who struggles with the mental challenge of the game. And in his chapter on The 'Harrington' Moment, he provides an informative discussion about the importance of a viable pre-shot routine.

Yet this is more than just a golf story about one man's personal pilgrimage to conquer a game, it is a simple lesson for life- as most of golf is. Set your goal high and stop at nothing to achieve them.

Oh, and if you think we will reveal the conclusion, Dream On.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Observations from the Masters

Here are a few thoughts and observations from the Masters.

Okay, let us have our moment of smug satisfaction and then be done with it. We picked Phil as our Sentimental Favorite before the tournament started and then zeroed in on him as our choice before the final two rounds. It was a good gut feeling by the Eye On Golf staff. It's an even better feeling to see him win.

Tiger contended as we expected, but his game was way off. His swing was all over the place. There is no consistency to his swing plane and tempo. That’s what happens when you have no confidence in your game.

For everyone trying to improve his golf score, the value of a stellar short game should be glaringly evident. Mickelson hit 54 of 72 greens and got the ball up and down 14 times. That’s a remarkable 77.78%. And that’s why he won.

This may have possibly been the best weekend ever for spectacular golf. We try not to do the “best ever” stuff too much, but, if you watched, you cannot disagree. What we can conclude from all this is that finally the course has returned to a state where great play rewards with great scores (and thus excitement for the fans), but the errant shot will still be punished.

Phil’s victory is the shot in the arm that golf needed this year. All the talk and print has been about Tiger this year and he hadn’t hit a ball in competition until Thursday. In a very unscientific survey, we talk with local golfers who to a man said that all they wanted to hear about Tiger wasthe quality of his play on the golf course. Maybe now we can get back to golf.

As always there is only one man who can win the Grand Slam in 2010. Will he? Your thoughts, please.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Updating the Masters picks with gloating and apology

Well, we're halfway through the 2010 edition of the Masters, so it's a perfect time to check our prognostications.

However, if you took advantage of your i Phone Ap (We're sure there is one.) and contacted your “agent” to place a wager, we do need to offer one big apology. That would be the “No Chance in Heck” selection of K.J. and Matt. Choi is tied for third at 6 under just two strokes of the lead and Kuchar is at 1 under. However, if you had the inclination to totally ignore this misguided augury, congratulations and good luck over the weekend.

For the rest of our selections we need no apology. Even the duofectas still have a chance although it is a slim one thanks to Michael Campbell not breaking 80 and Chris Wood making a “snowman” and two 6's during round one.
So now you would most naturally ask the great Eye On Golf soothsayer, “What about the weekend?”

After much rubbing of the crystal golf ball(s), we see it this way. There are but seven who really have a chance – Poulter, Westwood, Mickelson, Kim, Woods, Choi and Yang. Each one has his own particular strengths and weaknesses. And from this point, you're guess is as good as anyone's. You're on your own.

But, wait! We cannot leave you hanging. Go for the sentimental pick.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Picks for the Masters

Anyone and everyone that can swing a golf club wants to predict the winner of the Masters. Good luck! If you saw last year’s ceremony at which the 2008 winner placed the coveted Green Jacket on the 2009 winner, you know that it’s a giant crap shoot. Remember who it was? In case you don’t it was Zach Johnson slipping the Green Jacket over the shoulders of Angel Cabrera. That should a clue concerning the difficulty of selecting the winner.

But we just cannot resist the temptation. So here goes, the Eye On Golf picks.

Best Pick: Ernie Els – Finally rejuvenated, Ernie won his last two and has his game in shape, but can his new found putting prowess stand up?

Of Course Pick: Tiger Woods - Despite his recent tabloid troubles, Tiger Woods is still Tiger Woods. Expect him to be there when the Masters really begins, on the back nine of Sunday.

Sentimental Pick: Phil Mickelson – Let’s admit it; we would all love to see Phil win again at Augusta.

British Pick: Ian Poulter – Even if he isn’t close, we want to see what he’s wearing.

No Chance in Heck: K. J. Choi & Matt Kuchar – They’re paired with Tiger in rounds 1 & 2. Enough said.

Old Guys Pick #1: Fred Couples – He’s winning everything on the Champions Tour and has the Augusta National Golf Gods behind him.

Old Guys Pick #2: Tom Watson – After last year’s British Open, do you believe in miracles?

Rookie Pick: Nathan Green – Come on, Green at Augusta.

Increase your odds with the bookies. Try one of these duofectas.

Pick #1: Campbell & Campbell, Michael and Chad – A former British Open champ and one of last year’s playoff losers.

Pick #2: Wood & Woods – Well, you can’t go wrong with Tiger and you can include the tall, lanky Englishman Chris Wood who looks like he should play basketball for Butler.

And you can take these to the bank!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Golf Courses of the World 365 Days

If you're a fan of golf literature containing lavish photographs and light reading, Robert Sidorsky's latest volume Golf Courses of the World: 365 Days will have great appeal. And, if this title may has a familiar ring, your right. Sidorksy did a similar version with the same title published in 2005. The 2010 version is revised and updated and includes over 200 new courses many of which have opened since the original version was published.

Working on the assumption that you are familiar with Abrams Books, the leader in dynamic, visually appealing golf volumes, and Robert Sidorsky, you can fully expect that this latest volume will be a picturesque edition to your library. Sidorsky has also written Golf 365 Days: A History and Golf's Greatest Moments (title self explanatory). The book is designed as a “golf devotional” – 365 days of the year each one separately dedicated to a golf course. In fact each page has a date assigned to a golf course. That's one of the entertaining elements of the volume; you don't have to attempt a complete reading in a short period of time. One day at a time will get you through the entire book in a year. In fact, if you want to find a particular golf course, you must go to the index which refers you to a date, not a page number.

For a little fun go to February 14 featuring the Green Monkey Golf course at the Sandy Lane Hotel – Barbados and look at the accompanying picture. You'll know why it's call the Green Monkey.

My only complaint with books of this ilk is that they all contain the same core golf courses. Yes, there are a few that you may have not seen before, but you can make a safe wager that a large selection of someone's top 100 courses or famous courses will be included. We still waiting for a book of golf courses that does not include Pebble Beach or St. Andrews.

Golf Courses of the World: 365 Days is an enjoyable read and needs to be in the library of every golf enthusiast who must get his golf fix every day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Get a look at these new putters – and the price

Golf has added its own axiom to the cliché “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And a putter's worth ... well, somewhere between $200-$400.

Just click this link to Jim Achenbach's recent piece with GolfWeek. You'll find some of the latest and greatest new flatsticks for use on the dance floor. (Did you ever wonder how this lingo came to pass? I've never known anyone to use a flatstick on the dance floor.)

Without considering cost my personal favorite is the Yar GX1. After some detailed research we have learned that the name – Yar GX1 – was originally to be given to the first manned space vehice to land on Mars. However, since the Prez has scraped NASA, thousands of scientists have taken to putter design. You can go here to see how this little wonderstick is created.

Unfortunately these scientists are expected to be compensated quite handsomely for the efforts into the world of golf with out of this world prices. That's why these dollar amounts on these putter is so high. There can be no other reason.

The manufacturers are asking you the important question: What's a putter worth?

What do you think? How do you decide on a putter?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Course Called Ireland

There is no coincidence that we have chosen to review A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee on this date. What could be more appropriate?

Walking a golf course is not unusual, well, perhaps a bit more unusual in 2010 than say 50 years ago. But thinking an entire country is a golf course and walking around it creates a completely new perception. Tom Coyne’s adventure as he walked through Ireland determined to play each and every golf course in his path and dive into every pub that he stumbled across is a gem from start to finish. A Course Called Ireland is less of a golf travelogue and more of a historical and geographical stroll across Ireland with golf courses luring the magnetic point of the compass.Yes, there are tales of the courses he plays, but it is also a human interest saga and a cultural odyssey. Occasionally Coyne blends the golf and the cultural and cleverly instructs us on the missing element in American golf. This is readily seen when he relays to us a pub scene where,”Kids came into the bar and bought Cokes..., heading out to play twilight golf in their sneakers with a handful of clubs between them. He tackles this subject again on page 79 with this precise statement, “While greatness for an American golf course was granted according to how many people you could keep off it, a course's quality in Europe was determined by how many people wanted on.”
As he begins his hike from the southeast coast in a counterclockwise route, we learn of his personal physical struggles to walk the entire coast of Ireland and one man’s search for his Irish roots. The characters, the countryside and the politics are all here.

Coyne is the author of two previous books A Gentleman's Game and Paper Tiger, both volumes intimately involved with golf. His style is easy to read and incorporates a humorous self-deprecating sense of humor. A Course Called Ireland was originally published in hardcover in February 2009 and had now just been released in paperback.

Golfers will find this book interesting and non-golfers will read with fascination of Coyne’s encounters with all that Ireland has to offer. It will make golfers want to book the next flight to Ireland and set out on their own Irish golf odyssey. It will compel non-golfers to discover the rich cultural phenomenon that is Ireland.

Editor's Note: And on this St. Patrick's Day for another great Irish golf adventure you might consider Ancestral Links by John Garrity reviewed here or here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

PGA Tour commish surely has his head up...

By now you have surely heard that on Friday at 11AM EST Tiger Woods will be making his first public statement since he drove his SUV (not a Toyota) into a tree and then his wife discovered he was having a good time on the side.
And if you didn't expect this to be a totally controlled environment, you might also have your head ... well, never mind.

Tiger will make a statement from, of all places, the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, home of the PGA Tour. This is an invitation-only event which includes reporters from three media services and a small pool of reporters representative of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA).

Now there are a couple of facts here that you might find curious. First, why conduct this spin session on Friday right in the middle of the Accenture World Match Play Championship? Is he taking a little jab at the sponsor Accenture who dumped his butt following the sex scandal?

At this point you might ask yourself what the hell has Tiger been thinking through all of this or perhaps what was he thinking even before his antics came to light? But the answer to those questions is for another discussion. The real question that needs an answer is what the hell is PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem thinking? Finchem stated that the fact that Tiger will be speaking from Florida on Friday was not going to undermine the World Golf Championship event.

Really!? What planet is he from? Perhaps we should Finchem on the final space shuttle shot and leave him on the space station.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Golf in America

As we have stated in the past golf literature takes us down many paths. One of those magical, mystery tours is the history of the game. Often, when we think of the history of the game, we are drawn to the players and the tournaments. A quick glance at the history books in our library reveals such titles as The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost and The Majors by John Feinstein. Both are historical works that focus on the players and the tournaments.

But there are many exits off the history highway. And recently a historical volume has been published that approaches the history of the game from a different angle – Golf in America by George B. Kirsch. Kirsch is a professor of history at Manhattan College and the author of several other historical sports book. This present volume focuses directly on the development of the game in the United States from 1888 to the present. If we were to more accurately title this book, it would be The Story of Golf in America for it is a history of the game but not in the sense of name, dates and tournament results. There is biographical information and there is tournament information, but it is woven into the text when it is applicable to the period being discussed. Golf in America is primarily a socio-economic history of golf in the U.S. with the proper infusion of human interest. Kirsch gives us just enough human interest information to peak our interest for further research.

It is not the purpose of this book to provide total in depth fact and analysis on the growth of the game we love in the United States. Rather, by reading Golf in America you will come to understand why the game has become so popular despite economic downturns and various forms of segregation. Kirsch helps us to understand how golf survived two major wars and the Great Depression and how it became the game of the business world. The volume is all encompassing of the game including the development of public golf courses, African-American and female involvement in the game. Beginning of page 79 the author provides an excellent six-page expository on the development of golf in the African-American community.

Kirsch's chapter on “The Americanization of Golf” is well documented and makes for fascinating reading as he traces the growth of the game at the turn of the 20th century and the reasons for it. We also learn how golf course construction provided vast unemployment relief early in the Great Depression.

Despite the fact that this volume barely touches the surface of golf's impact on the American society, there is much to learn from a careful reading. Serious students of the game will also enjoy Kirsch's detailed Bibliography. We highly recommend that any golfer with a sense of history for the game, read Golf in America.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The world of golf is having a bad 90 days

I thought I would write this short entry in a hurry. After all, really, if we're going to comment on the last 90 days in golf, why would we want to think out what we're going to say (or do). Obviously Tiger didn't. Obviously Phil didn't. Obviously the USGA and the PGA Tour didn't.
So why should we not just put out a few words with little or no thought behind them?

Take the Tiger state of affairs. Well, never mind, everyone else has spewed forth opinion. Let's just say that if you Google “tiger,” the first result will not be a picture of a fuzzy little cat with stripes. In fact we just did that and here is number one.

Enough said.

And then poor Phil. With Tiger not anywhere near the teeing ground, Phil's at the top of the leader board – well, perhaps not score wise. At least he's trying to get to the top - by using Ping wedges that are 20+ years old. (Bear in mind he's not the only one using them.) It's really okay though despite the fact that the grooves no longer meet specifications, but actually they do because of a court ruling that happened 20+ years ago. Got it?

Then the soap opera continued. Scott McCarron accused Phil of cheating or at least not playing within the spirit of the rules. Phil took offense and Scott backed down and apologized. Tim Finchem, the ivory tower honcho of the PGA Tour, has no clue what to do. Well, he did say, in a masterful political sidestep, “We have options.”

So, with all this going on in the world of golf, can you answer this question without having to “Google” the answer: The PGA Tour has played four events so far this year. Can you name two of the four winners? Or, question number two: Can you provide the names of two of Tiger's female liaisons?

Do you understand why the world of golf is having a bad 90 days?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thoughts on attending a PGA/USGA Rules Workshop

A couple of questions have been raised concerning the PGA/USGA Rules Workshop. So here are a couple more thoughts.

Should an everyday, recreational golfer attend one of these workshops? Well, yes and we are 70-30 on that answer. If you have a love for the game, which would naturally include a knowledge of the rules and a desire to play by the rules, then the answer is definitively YES! If you play with a few buddies only occasionally and do it solely so you can say you play golf, don't bother.

Here is a litmus test of sorts although it is not 100% foolproof. Let's examine the word “mulligan.” When you play do take a mulligan every now and then? Do you know which rule addresses the taking of mulligans? Most importantly, do you care?

Take about five minutes to think about all of this and then make a decision. But consider a couple of other points ...

The Rules Workshop is intense – three days of eight hours per day covering virtually every word in the Rules of Golf. It does not seem long. If you're paying attention, time flies. There is an optional fourth day which involves testing.

The cost can be a bit steep $300 for the entire Workshop. If you attendance requires travel, lodging, meals and incidentals, that should be factored into the decision.

You will not learn “How” to study the rules. You will get a very healthy dose of the rules and learn how to maneuver your way through the Rules and Decisions. And, if you choose to attend, we would suggest you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the rules. Perhaps the best preparation would be to study the Definitions. That should prepare you sufficiently.

Any other questions or thoughts, please leave a comment.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

999 Questions on the Rules of Golf

So how much fun can learning the Rules of Golf be? If you have played just a little bit of golf, surely someone has ungraciously shoved the Rule Book in front of your face and with proper golf snobbery and exclaimed, “You need to read this!” You faithfully march into the Golf Shop, plop down your two bucks for the USGA's The Rules of Golf and head onto the patio for a beer and a little light reading. At first glance the task of reading through this somewhat diminutive book (182 pages) does not seem so daunting. But after you get past the section on Etiquette (pages 1-4) and begin to go through the pages on Definitions your suspicions begin to be aroused that this may not be the most reader-friendly book you have ever encountered.

You quickly discover that just reading through this book will not gain you a working knowledge of the rules. There must be another way. Surely golfers know some trick to attaining a knowledge of the rules that are actually applicable on the golf course.

Well, there's good news and bad news.

First the bad news: there is no gimmick. The book that contains the Rules of Golf is a conundrum, the ultimate brain-teaser. You learn by study and experience.

Now the good news: Eye On Golf is able to recommend one of the best volumes on the Rules of Golf – 999 Questions On the Rules of Golf by Barry Rhodes – for your rules meditative pleasure. We know the title will not make you think it's a page turner. It's hard to make the title of any rules book sound dynamic or exciting. But once you open this gem you will have some fun with the rules.

Mr. Rhodes has divided his book into three sections of 333 questions (hence the number 999 in the title) separated primarily by difficulty. Each of the three sections contains a mix of True/False, Open Answer and Multiple Choice. The structure of this volume makes the learning easy. Each of the 999 questions is followed immediately by the answer AND a note of explanation which reinforces the correct ruling and enhances the learning experience.

As you might expect, when you move from section to section, the questions become more difficult. Section 1 contains simple questions that should be general knowledge for every golfer. In Section 2 the questions become a bit more involved and difficult. Mr. Rhodes calls these “...questions relevant to both casual golfers and Golf Club members. The final section hits you with the big rules hammer – questions for those seeking to expand their knowledge of the Rules. These questions will not only have you reaching for that Rules of Golf, but also the gigantic Decisions of the Rules of Golf.

Rhodes is a trained accountant who has become a rules junkie. He is the first person to attain a score of 100% on the public Advanced Rules of Golf Course exam sponsored by the European PGA. Mr. Rhodes addiction to the rules of our game has become our blessing.

Get this one and put a little fun into learning the Rules of Golf.

For copies of this book visit his website –

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Impressions of a golf rules workshop

If you have read a couple of the past entries, you know that we attended a PGA/USGA Rules Workshop last weekend in Scottsdale. We thought we would pass along a few of our impressions.

It was intensive. The workshop consisted of three eight-hours days totally immersed in the Rules of Golf and the Decisions. (There was a fourth day which consisted of an optional test.) Word-by-word we were guided through each of the 34 rules and a multitude of applicable decisions. Each rule was dissected and explained. There were slides and videos to aid in the explanation and understanding of certain rule situations. As you can imagine there was no time to let your focus wander.

The plan of attack on dissecting the rules was simple – rule by rule, word by word. However, it was not Rule 1 through 34 in chronological order. Rather, there was a fair amount of jumping around to accommodate the learning sequence. The next time you decide to study the rule book cover to cover, try this sequence Definitions, 1-3, 9 34, 4-6, 33, 7, 8, 20, 10-19, 21-32.

If you think you have a good working knowledge of the rules, think again! Those who were attending one of these sessions for the first time (about 40) quickly discovered that our knowledge was actually rudimentary. There is always something to learn about the rules. The majority of the attendees were there for a repeat performance.

There was one overriding point that the instructors tried to drive home: It’s all about the Definitions, stupid. Everything in the rules is predicated on the Definitions. If you do not know the Definitions, you will never be able to make a proper judgment.

What did we learn? Well, here’s our take. We are certain we learned a lot, we’re just not sure how much we know – yet. One skill we did enhance was the ability to manipulate in, around and through the Rules Book and the Decisions. Even if you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules, you can still get to a proper conclusion for any situation if you know you way around the Rules Book.

Stay tuned for more thoughts on the rules.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rules of Golf Workshop: Day Two

In summary Day Two was fact-filled and fun-packed. It involved two of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood rules 13 and 20 and the seasoning was provided by Rule 15. Just for fun, look up these three rules, study them for a while and then go to the USGA website and take a practice test or two. That'll make your day.

Short on time for today, but in the days to come we'll share more of our experience – the experience of a life time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rules of golf workshop – day one

Yesterday was the beginning of the PGA/USGA Workshop n the Rules of Golf. The PGA and USGA have been conducting these workshops since 1975 so you can imagine that they are pretty good at it. Of course, a good workshop or seminar depends on the instructor and the mechanics of presentation – primarily on the instructor. And when it comes to the instructor it comes down to two factors: how well does he/she know the material and what is the quality of the presentation. Our lecturers are Jeff Hall of the USGA and Larry Startzel of the PGA. Quite frankly, they get an A on both counts. The sessions are lively and both of these gentlemen have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Rules of Golf. Hall is the Director of Rules and Competition Standards for the USGA and Startzel is the chief rules official for the PGA.

There are approximately 150 attendees, the largest number ever for any workshop. They have come from virtually very part of the country - New York, Alaska, Minnesota, and several other states of the Midwest. Their positions within the world of golf are as varied as the architecture of golf courses – club professionals, state golf association members and the like. At least twenty have attended ten or more of these rules laboratories. Yes, you read that correctly; they are in double digits on attendance. Rules junkies! But if you're running a golf tournament of sitting in your office as a club professional, you will be bombarded with questions on the rules. It's the nature of the job and you had better be prepared.

The format is quite simple – you go through The Rules of Golf with assistance from the Decision Book and learn the meaning of each and every rule. Tedious – of course, necessary – most definitely. There are a few classroom rules: no talking; no questions until question time (and you're allowed just three questions per day); don't ask what you already know; and, try not to bother the instructors during break time. No one really keeps count of questions and Jeff and Larry while answer any question during break.

Going through the Rules one-by-one may seem a bit unimaginative or uncreative, but, frankly, there is no other way to do it. That's they way you would have to look them up in the book, so it's way to learn them. With that said, the method is not chronological order and then the Appendices. While the order of the rules has been carefully thought out, the rules require constant cross referencing. In application here's the order it went yesterday: the Definitions, Rule 1, 2, 3, 9, 34, 4, 5, 6, 33, 7. If you spend just a few minutes examining these rules, you will understand the logic behind the sequence.

More tomorrow on Day Two.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The mystery of the rules of golf

“Study the rules so that you won’t beat yourself by not knowing something.” Babe Zaharias

How well do you know the Rules of Golf? We all know that all we need to know (well, almost all) about the rules is contained in a small 4”x6” book that contains 34 rules in 182 pages. How arduous can the task be?

Excluding the Bible no other book has been subject to so much misunderstanding and mystery. Is it one stroke or two? Is it one clublength or two? Do I drop it or place it? Do I drop it here? Or here?

If you play in any kind of competition, and almost everyone does, knowledge of the rules is paramount. As the above quote by Babe Zaharias states, a limited or non-existent knowledge of the rules can get the better of you.

Today begins a four-day PGA/USGA rules workshop in Scottsdale. This is one of several that are conducted every year around the country. It’s an intensive course covering the entire Rule Book and the Decisions.

We mention this solely because Eye On Golf will be attending and we are excited. We’ll keep you appraised.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dave Pelz's Damage Control

When we play the game, the game we love so much, yet tortures us unmercifully, we manage (albeit unintentionally) to get our ball into trouble, some of us more than others. No doubt it is a bit disheartening to put the ball into unintended and precarious situations, but the real frustration comes when we are unable to extricate the little white object back to safety. Thus begins the slog toward the green and ultimately a disastrous score for the hole.

Fortunately the solution for that disastrous hole or two that many of us encounter each round may have arrived. Short game guru Dave Pelz has a new offering for our golfing dilemma – Dave Pelz's Damage Control: How to eliminate up to 5 shots per round using all-new, scientifically proven techniques for playing out of trouble lies. (we're going with Damage Control as the title.) It is 328 pages of text, pictures and diagrams on how to escape from trouble after an errant shot has landed you butt-deep in a vexatious situation.

Pelz, as you may know, is a former NASA scientist who turned his statistical and analytical talents to golf. He has written two of the premier instruction books on the short game – the Short Game Bible and the Putting Bible. He has dedicated his life to improving the world's short game through scientific research and an analysis of statistics and has become the short game guru to the stars. Now he has ventured into the realm of helping us get out of trouble.

Are you not familiar with Damage Control? Pelz answers the question in his introduction, “'s new. We just covered and named it.” Well maybe. But you will learn all you need to know about how to get out of dire straits. And why do we need Damage Control? He argues the following: Should we learn to hit the ball better so we can avoid trouble? No! “The inadequacies in our normal game are the reason we need Damage Control.”

Pelz categorizes the process of Damage Control into five skills – Setupology, Swing Shaping, Hand-Fire Feel, Red-Flag Touch, Damage Control Mentality - and dedicates a detailed and thorough chapter to each one. In typical Pelz style the book is filled with wonderful, full-color photos of situations and techniques. He concludes the volume with a 50-page chapter on drills that will assist you on accomplishing the goal. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

Overall I am a big fan Pelz. He has done marvelous research in this area in particular tracking thousands of rounds from the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Championship. The statistical analysis of all these numbers led to his system of Damage Control. If you are truly committed to lowering your score, then a dedicated adherence to this book will certainly be of great assistance. It is not a volume to read through and put back on the shelf. It must be studied and practiced and get dogeared and dirty. I highly recommend this for instructors and low handicappers.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Leftist golf media taking their shots

The times they have changed. (My apologies to Bob Dylan) We have entered an electronic age in which experts on virtually every subject known to mankind are making their sentiments publicly known. Some are kind and gentle and some appear to be kind and gentle but have in reality escaped from the bowels of literary hell.

The world of golf is no exception. The blogosphere is filled with “golf experts” who are unafraid to present their opinions on a particular point of minutia. Golf is a multifaceted game. There are more story lines than stars in the sky. And the most dominate story line in the golf world, especially in the absence of tournaments, has been the Tiger Woods saga. Every writer has weighed in on Tiger’s situation.

Perhaps the most weight has been thrown around by author and golf blogger Geoff Shackelford on his website In general Shackelford’s website tracks the world of golf and directs patrons to articles of interest usually with a short, snarky comment of his own. In fairness, his website is one of the most popular in the world of golf. He is a pied piper of sorts.

Naturally he has been tracking the saga of Tiger since the day it began – almost all Tiger, almost all the time. Until three or four days ago he has been doing his usual thing. But on January 3 Shackelford decided to open a political can of worms on his blog when he stated, “… in yet another sign this story has hit rock bottom, windbag extraordinaire Brit Hume weighs in on how Tiger can rehab his life and image.” His commentary is emphatically political. Using descriptions “rock bottom” and “windbag extraordinaire” is a dead give away to his political leaning – left.
Talk about hitting rock bottom and being a windbag extraordinaire! Shackelford has duplicated the very faculty he is objecting to. But why should he care. His loyal following is heavily slanted to his opinion. You can check it our for yourself on his website which is living off of the Tiger mess and now the Hume slamming.

And, of course, there had to be more. Windbag extraordinaire Tom Shales, style columnist for the Washington Post, decided to take on Mr. Hume’s comments. The observations of Mr. Shales are, as you might expect, hardly fair and balanced. Of course, Shackelford references the comments of Shales on his website – birds of a feather, if you will.

We can only conclude that the new rock bottom has been hit by Shackelford and Shales.