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.