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.