Sunday, June 29, 2008
Not since Sam Snead supposedly played 9 holes at Augusta without spikes on has there been so much buzz in the golf world about people playing high-level competitive golf without their feet properly attired. First, Nick Faldo said that Padraig Harrington likes to warm-up without a shoe on just his left foot so that his weight naturally flows that way through his swing. (Come to think of it, I might try that at the range this afternoon. But I digress...) Then I see footage of some guy I've never heard of playing in the Nationwide Tour's Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic this past week in Canada in just sandals. But they weren't just any old sandals mind you, and not even "golf" sandals. They were the kind with the little thing that goes between your first and second toes (I call them flip-flops)--no biggee I guess except the guy also had socks on under those flip-flops, thereby crushing all that cotton between his toes. And he shot 4-under that day! And finally, I read in my Golf Weekly magazine this morning that some guy I've never heard of played the last 6 holes of his recent match in the British Amateur without his shoes because he had such bad blisters on his feet because of them. And he didn't have an extra pair in his bag? This is becoming an epidemic. Everyone remembers the do-do in the Golf Channel's "The Big Break" who played barefoot don't they? Well I don't think that ever caught on, thank goodness. But this is starting to seem like more than just a trend. Maybe people have been doing it with this kind of regularity for quite some time and the media just hasn't paid as much attention to it. I don't know. Whatever the case, rest assured that I'll keep paying attention to the fad and keep reporting on it should it continue to make the news.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The vast majority of my regular golf buddies comment quite frequently that I have great tempo in my golf swing. In fact some of them even insist that I hit before them off many tee boxes so that they can have a fresh visual in their minds of my smooth tempo before they take their turn to hit. Funny this is, though, that the same majority of these buddies of mine who admire my tempo also hit the ball 15-20 yards further than me off the tee and are at least 1 (if not 2) clubs longer than me with their irons. So I ask you, gentle reader, if I've stumbled into some diabolical catch-22 where my tempo makes my swing work, but to attempt to keep up with the Jones' I'd have to swing harder and would likely mishit my shots just that much more resulting in the very same distance as before. What's a once-a-week golfer to do? Help!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I can't decide which kind of golf grass is my favorite--zoyszia, paspalum, or kikuya? They all have such fun names to say. Here in the midwest we only get boring bent grass to play on, unfortunately, and its not much fun to say either. I think for now kikuya is my favorite, but give me some good-old seashore paspalum any day and I'll be happy. If none is available, I'll happy plod along atop a hearty expanse of zoyszia any day of the week.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
For the first time in my life I got really mad playing golf yesterday. My back has been sore lately, actually since the birth of my second child three weeks ago (is it stress?) so I haven't been playing much golf. My wife gave me the green light to go out yesterday because it was, after all, Father's Day Weekend. I was scraping it around for the first six holes, two over par including two lip-outs. I proceeded to bogey the next five holes in a row thanks in part to little or no power off the tee (the back?) and absolutely no confidence in my swing going into the greens. My chipping was mediocre and I continued to narrowly miss putts. After making par at the easy par-5 12th hole I'd hit a decent tee shot on the 13th. With 150 yards left to the flag and facing a stiffening wind, I decided to try and hit a punch-draw 5-iron from a hanging lie in the rough around a tree. Of course I smothered it low and left into the tree, but still I was left with a little 9-iron to the middle of the green. I hurriedly hit the shot well left of the green and could no longer control my temper. I cussed and slammed my club into one of the legs of my stand bag, bending the leg and breaking the pivot mechanism that makes the legs cast open when the bag is set down at a slight forward angle. I'm embarrassed to admit it but I lost my cool. Just two weeks earlier I had played my best round of the year, a 78 that easily could have been a 75, casually strolling around the course and taking what it gave me all the while, standing over each shot simply thinking "I'm just happy to be here." So why couldn't I keep it going? I need to get mentally tougher, of course, but that's the hardest part of improving at this often diabolical game of golf.
Friday, June 6, 2008
God bless Peter Oosterhuis and Nick Faldo for criticizing, nay even ridiculing, Jeff Overton for how incredibly slow he was playing in Thursday's first round of the Stanford St. Jude Classic. If he wasn't tied for the lead at the time I'm sure the Golf Channel would have been nowhere near him with their TV cameras because every time they put him on he would take a full practice swing, back away from the ball, look at the shot again, step up to the ball and take another full practice swing and then finally (finally!) hit the damn thing. Some of his putts he looked at for so long and from so many different directions that I thought he would never actually hit them. While standing over one of them Oosterhuis said "There's 63 more holes to play, son. Pick a line and brush it in." Kudos again for the cameramen spotting a wayward turtle in one of the bunkers and to Faldo for commenting later that the aforespotted turtle was back on the tee waiting to hit as Overton looked at another shot for another painstaking eternity. Good TV, for sure. What's it going to take, seriously, to get the PGA Tour to do something about this epidemic? I'm at a loss.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Seriously, why is the Champions Tour so boring to watch on TV? It's like watching the LPGA if you ask me, only substitute over-the-hill guys for the good looking ladies. I like Jay Haas, I like Fulton Allem, I like D. A. Weibring, I like Fuzzy Zoeller, I like Lanny Wadkins but that's about it. Brad Bryant? Boring. Morris Hatalsky? Please. Allen Doyle? I can't even look at the guy's swing without getting sick to my stomach. Maybe if they'd just call it the Senior Tour again I might get more excited about it but I doubt it. Maybe if they'd play cool, older courses that the length of today's PGA Tour pros have rendered obsolete (see Merion, Seminole, Cypress Point, etc.) I might get excited...but I doubt it. Put it out to pasture, I say. It's just a glorified "Hit And Giggle" that for some reason keeps getting put on television.