Saturday, October 31, 2009

Well, That Looks Friendly

As you know, Anthony Kim and Robert Allenby played each other on Saturday (today, but it was in Europe, and I'm told the time is different or something ... I don't really get it. Who am I, Hans Wilsdorf?) in something called the Volvo World Match Play Championships.

The photo above is one of their exchanges, taken completely out of context because there are actual pictures of them shaking hands and smiling but this wouldn't be a real, true, mean spirited blog (I said "spirit" ... DRINK!) if I gave you actual facts.

I'm basically like that Apple Rumors website. You think they're going to dog Steve Jobs? Hellllll no.

Anyway, Kim smoked Allenby's ass again, and this time completely and utterly sober. Good job, Robert. Thanks for playing.

Richard Heathcote, Getty Images

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Viking Classic Is Going Well

Good news for all those competing in the Viking Classic this week ... Everyone made it to the weekend and everyone is tied for first place! Free food for everyone!!

Dave Martin, the Getty Images photographer set to cover the Viking Classic, is probably as bored with the rainout as, well, the six fans at the event are, and luckily, Dave has a camera and a lot of random ass pictures to take.

Here are some of my favorites.


The Armchair Golfer put together a list of the spookiest shots in the game of golf. Don't look, but the s-word made the list!! [Armchair Golf Blog]

(Also, how f-ing cute is this dog? Man, he is awesome. Not only do I want to play 18 holes with the dog, but I want to ask him what stocks I should invest in for some reason. He looks so knowledgeable!)

Was It Good For You?

The debate goes back to the 1500s, when golf was being invented and some people would just walk around, randomly having sex with strangers during golf*.

Sex or golf? Golf or sex?

The geniuses at Callaway Golf finally decided to put the two together for an ad. Sounds entertaining, right? Sadly, the ad was premature, failing to pleasure even the friskiest of golf fans.

Evidence is below. You tell me if you laughed or not.

* = possibly not true

Boy band high five to Waggle and Devil

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Natalie Gulbis Would Wear a Short Skirt on Pluto

I checked out this story over at Golf Spelled Backwards about Natalie Gulbis wearing a rather short skirt to an event that turned out to be rather chilly.

Gulbis was with Chris DiMarco (if you're wondering who that is, he was relevant on the golf scene about four years ago) and Zach Johnson for an outing at Pinehurst, that I'm sure had thousands people attend to catch a glimpse of Johnson or DiMarco. I'm kidding of course. If you weren't going to see Gulbis, you basically are either blind or work in some sort of mineshaft that doesn't allow you to be exposed to humans for months at a time, and any interaction is great.

The photo above is at the event in question, but just a little story of when I caddied on the LPGA earlier this year.

At Papago, it was literally sub-50 and windy one day, and I showed up with rain gear to the nines. The entire field was in similar outfits, except for Gulbis, who had a purple skirt on and was putting on the practice green.

Honestly, you couldn't have paid me five figures to rock shorts that day, and she was in a short skirt, just knocking in five-footers.

Hey, can't fault her for knowing what the people want.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The First Annual DTCC Guide To Conducting Yourself on a Golf Course

It kills me. Absolutely tears my little soul apart. You get to the first tee, you're excited to play 18 holes and get away from work, the Blackberry and the real world for a few hours. You drive your little E-Z-Go up to the first hole and get paired with a dickhead. Or a jerk. Or one of those guys with a golf gizmo already attached to their arm, a la Rene Russo.

The first thought hits you -- "Man, I'd rather be in the office than paired with this loony." Well, it has happened to me enough times. I'm throwing down the Gauntlet. This is my first annual "Dogs That Chase Cars Guide to Conducting Yourself On a Golf Course." It has nothing to do with your game. It has everything to do with the other people in your group. I will admit before diving in that I have broken some of my own rules, so I'm not above the law, but as I grow older I try and avoid any, if not all, of these things and I hope you do as well. So, here goes, in no particular order ...

1. Don't Play From the Wrong Tees -- I'm not a bad golfer. I enjoy my driver and have had a decent relationship with it over the years and find myself, at times, creeping past the 300-yard mark. Because of these things I was lucky enough to be gifted with, I always play the tips. It's what I do. I play the tips because they suit my game the best. (For instance: Shorter tees might take driver out of my hand and I don't want that ... I like the option. If it didn't matter, I might play up. Who knows.)

That being said, understand this -- just because someone is playing back, does not mean you have to. It doesn't. Play the tees you were planning on playing when you arrived at the golf course. Play the tees that will make it the most enjoyable for number one (Read: You). Play the tees that will make it the most enjoyable for EVERYONE AROUND YOU. Hitting a 200-yard banana off every tee isn't going to be fun for ANYONE if the tees you're playing from are north of about 6,500 yards.

It's your day. Pick your tees. I promise you the people playing the backs don't mind. We actually endorse it.

2. It Isn't a Tournament -- I get frustrated, you get frustrated, we all get frustrated. It's golf. The damn game is near impossible. On any given day you could go out and fire a number that would make your handicap look like a pipe dream. It happens.

That being said, just enjoy the day. You aren't at the office. Your kid isn't crying or throwing up on your new tie. Your wife isn't bitching at you (currently). It's a break from life. It is very, very rare that people get paired up with the same abilities, so if you aren't as good as someone, don't worry about it. Play your game, have some fun, and try to remember that it ain't the Masters.

3. NO GOLF CLICHES -- I'm left-handed. I have no idea why. I wish I wasn't. No, it isn't because it's tougher to find equipment, it's because it would save me the god-awful expression, "Hey, you're hitting from the wrong side of the ball" "jokes" I get EVERY TIME I TEE IT UP! How is that even funny? No, I'm hitting from the RIGHT side of the ball, ZING!

Jeez. These are the types of things that make me wish I could play alone. Avoid anything that you've heard before. No "never up never in." Don't ever say, "I'd rather be lucky than good." Please avoid both, "nice putt, Alice" or "Wow, does your husband play." They aren't funny. At all. They're the opposite of funny. Complete opposite.

If you insist on saying something that you find funny, at least be original. Trust me, if you have a golf cliche you think is clever, we've all heard it ... a lot. Just talk like a normal person and things will go a lot smoother.

4. Be a Good-Bad Golfer, not a Bad-Bad Golfer -- You know what one of my favorite things is when I go play randomly? When I get paired with someone who sucks but gets it.

It's fun, because you can help them out and possibly give them some tips and maybe it will make a difference.

What is the difference between a good-bad golfer and a bad-bad golfer? A good-bad golfer gets that their not great but enjoys the game and wants to improve. They also have some respect for others around them, and understand when it's time to pick up on the hole and just be a passenger. It's a courtesy that allows others to finish the hole without being interrupted, and it's a nice gesture.

A bad-bad golfer is the guy that takes it too seriously even though they're horrible. They play out every shot, no matter if it's their eighth of 11th. They search for lost balls way to long, and trust me, they have a lot of lost balls. They bitch about their game even though they don't really have much of one. Basically, they make the round miserable for everyone in the group.

The way to change is just to be aware of your surroundings. If you've hit two out-of-bounds, another in the water and everyone is still waiting on you to play up, maybe it's time to sit this one out. You can get 'em next hole. That, or you can just drop up by the green, chip up and work on the short game. If you have a shot you can't pull off, don't try it. It ain't happening. One of my best friends in the world insists he can hit a 3-wood longer than he actually can, and always tries is no matter the carnage ahead.

5. Don't Hit on the Cart Girl ... Just Don't -- They've heard it all. They've heard it ALL! I promise you they have. No matter how attractive you are or how much money you've got or what your handicap is or if your visor is hot magenta, it isn't working.

Cart Girls are basically like clothed strippers -- they're going to tell you what you want to hear, they're going to be cute and flirty, but they don't give a shit about you, and most likely, probably hate you. They are driving around, hoping the next group buys hard alcohol so either, A.) You get drunker and spend more or B.) Tip more because the bill is higher.

That's IT! Being a cart girl isn't their dream job, they just make decent to good money and it's something to do. Be nice, chat with them if you'd like, but hitting on them isn't going to work and you will absolutely be talked about in the cart barn when they go to refill their beer supply. 100 percent.

6. Rake The Bunkers -- I can't believe I have to say this, but it's become such a problem at courses I feel it's worth bringing up again. Rake the damn bunkers. Just do it. It takes 20 seconds. Seriously.

7. Be Attentive -- Here are some things you need to make sure you're doing on the course ...

-- Keeping your cart out of the line of the people you're playing with
-- Not parking too close to someone's ball
-- Not pulling the pin when someone is too far away to see the hole
-- Making a note of where everyone is on the green so you don't step in their line
-- When tending the flag, don't have your shadow cover the hole
-- Speaking of shadows, make sure yours isn't in your playing partners line
-- If you are first to putt out, grab the flag
-- If you're playing with someone older than you, and you already putted out, grab their other clubs for them

8. Girlfriends -- There is no problem with bringing your significant other out to play 18 holes with you. It's actually a pretty cute activity if the girl doesn't mind it. That being said, give her the basic rules. Don't talk when someone is hitting. Don't drive the cart when someone is hitting. Avoid areas restricting golf carts. Turn your ringer on silent. No lovey-dovey shit all day long (sigh). Explain to her that men will be peeing in front of her, most likely. Also, if play is slow, there is absolutely no problem with letting the girl hit a shot, but don't do it on every hole. Actually, twice is the limit. Unless she brought her clubs, obviously.

9. Keep Personal Golf Stories to a Minimum -- Golfers love to tell their stories, and that is part of the game, but a few throughout the round should suffice. Most people aren't going to care about how your friend made a birdie off the cart girl's tire or how you once almost had an eagle from 140-yards. Again, some are fine, but don't tell everyone you got. People are going to start parking their golf carts further and further away.

10. Tip the Cart Guys -- Five bucks a cart (per two people).

If you have anything I missed, please add it in the comments.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This is Chris Stroud, working his way around the Greyhawk Golf Course in what appears to be part of Balloon Boy's device covering his head.

Seriously, how can you swing with that thing on (and not blow away)?

Christian Petersen, Getty Images

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Your Brains Convinces You to See

I was checking my Google Reader this morning, probably a little too early on a Saturday (nerd alert!), and came across this headline.

Yep, I read it "Everyone shoots 63 to lead Nationwide Tour finale." I guess if that was the case, they wouldn't be visiting that course again next year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Easy to Forget ...

So, I was going through Getty Images to find a photo of Payne Stewart, for my story on the 10th anniversary of his death, and came across this photo, above, of Phil Mickelson.

I mean, the guy weighed 140 soaking wet, right? At what point did he just say, "Fuck it, bring on the beef!" I know he's worked on losing weight and he's done a good job and I think he looks as good as he has in ten years, but man, he used to be so skinny it was sickening. Kinda makes me worried. Getting old sucks. Oh, and on that note, Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How The Groove Policy Will Affect Mini Tours

I get so much bullshit e-mail in my inbox that when I get something delightful, it almost makes my day.

Today, I was lucky enough to be sent the Gateway Tour's, a mini tour sprawled out across the country, groove policy for 2009, and like the PGA Tour, it is mandatory, with less spin.

Effective immediately upon the start of the 2010 season, all players must use grooves conforming to the USGA's newly set standards for all clubs with 45 degrees or more of loft. The Gateway Tour will comply with the USGA's standards with all clubs 25 degrees or higher beginning with the start of the 2011 season.
"Every decision we make with our policies is based on helping our players prepare to play the PGA TOUR," said the Tour's VP of Operations, Ryan Pray. "Many of our players will be working to qualify for Nationwide and PGA tour events and know they need to be fully compliant with USGA standards for 2010, but we also serve a large number of players that are working to reach tour quality that the new standards might deter them because of the financial cost. These players don't have the same availability to switch out all of their clubs for conforming ones as those who have relationships with club manufacturers. We think this policy change will best serve our tour and it's players and provide for tournament competitions where grooves will have a minimal effect."

So, what does this mean for the mini tour slums (read: my favorite people ever) that hack it around every year for enough money to pay rent and hopefully get themselves into the occasionally Jimmy Buffet concert? It means a few things.

First, they have to go get new wedges. With the economy still reeling from the '08 disaster, club companies aren't willing to hand out the free equipment like they used to. That means mini tour guys and their contracts with club companies. For instances, when I was playing mini tour golf, I had a deal with Titleist that got me a discount on all merchandise, but nothing for free (Except hats). I'm sure the deals like that have lessened, since really it's a hope that a mini tour guy breaks through and Titleist can brand that person. So, guys need to buy new wedges, and do it fast.

Second, unlike the Tiger Woods or Stewart Cinks of the world, these wedges aren't being sent by the handful to Frank Birdies. Mini Tour players haven't had the ability to practice with the new grooves for the last year or so, like some of the higher professionals with the big club deals. This means a disadvantage next season on Monday qualifiers and the likes. If you were a big guy that didn't make the top 125, you still probably have a big deal with the club manufacturers. If you were some random guy tossing out his money to try and catch lightening on a random Monday, you don't know the wedges as well. Advantage, former PGA Tour pro.

Finally, it just means more things the mini tour guy will have to battle. Which tour requires the new grooves and which don't? How hard will they be checking? Could somebody in my group be cheating the system?

It's just interesting how decisions can ripple down to smaller groups that are trying to do the same thing. The groove policy will be an interesting one over the next year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If a Golfer Wins the Grand Slam of Golf, and Nobody is in the Woods to Hear it, Does it Still Make a Sound

Yes, yes, the answer is yes. That was the longest headline you've ever seen here.

Lucas Glover won the Grand Slam of Golf on Wednesday and he never played a practice round at Port Royal Golf Club in Bermuda. That's taking things serious!!

Getty Images

Friday, October 16, 2009

Making the Hardest Hole Even Harder

I can tell you this from experience, the Road Hole at St. Andrews (#17 for those not lucky enough to play the amazing track) is a beast. It's a beast more for what it gives you around the green than the distance, but it sure doesn't help that you need to play it in a tight fairway that you can't see.

Well, the tough keeps getting tougher, as St. Andrews plans to add 25 yards to the hole, making it play 490 yards at the British Open next year.

My first question is simply, where in the heck are they planning on putting the new tee. The back tee on 17 is basically up against the out of bands fence and road that goes near the driving range, and buddies up to the 16th green. The only thing I can think is they are planning on hugging the road even more, and pushing it back so it's directly next to the 16th.

The R&A wants to put driver in the hands of golfers again, so they'll get that. It will make it tougher though.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Are You Hitting It? Check the Grooves

You've probably never been to my apartment (except for you ... rarr), so you wouldn't totally grasp how golf-y it is. My roommate and I basically have the entire place cluttered with random golf balls, clubs, a practice putting device built in the 1950s, and we do all sorts of stuff when hanging out (chip balls over couches, putt for a while, etc).

I have a few of my old Titleist Vokey wedges laying around, and was dinking around with them this morning only to nice something pretty explanatory of my game.

See, the left wedge in the group was my last lob wedge, when I wasn't playing as much golf and hardly practicing and taking some time away from being serious with it. As you can see, the grooves are fairly warn down on most of the club face, not nearly as focused in the sweet spot as they should be.

The middle groove was when I was really playing a lot, and most of the damage is directly in the center of the club, the "dime" area as they like to call it.

The third wedge, on the right, is my latest wedge that I'm using, and it's hard to tell, but I've been working on my short game a lot lately and it seems to be paying off.

So, basically, this isn't anything more than to say, if you're struggling with certain irons, check the grooves. If most of the damage is on the toe or the heel, you know what you need to work on. If you are all over the place, it's time for a lesson. If you are in the "dime" area, you're good to go. Little things like this are the best way to realize exactly what you're doing wrong.

Okay, back to making fun of people.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Little Love for Anthony Kim

I just wanted to give a little shoutout to Anthony Kim for this whole "out until 4AM when you tee off at 9AM" thing.

No, I'm not giving him credit for getting plastered, no matter if he did or didn't, or how he came back at Robert Allenby for being a prick about the whole thing ("If Robert had that to say," Kim said, "he may need to go practice a little bit more). My credit lies simply with this -- If you're able to go out and booze until 4, come back to the hotel, sleep until 7:30 or 8, go get ready for a match and shoot 6-under, you, like my good friend Mike Gundy once said, are a MAN.

See, here is what you have to factor in. Kim was the first afternoon match out, winning with Jim Furyk over Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. So, he had to wait around for all the other matches to end, and then had to go to a team meeting I'm assuming. Well, who wouldn't want a beer after all that?

So, say he went and hit up the bar scene for a little, and then got some drunk food when the bars closed down and got back to the hotel at 4 AM. Now, he has to wake up to pee/throw up at 6:30 AM, and do the obligatory, "Oh man, I really wish it wasn't 6:30 AM this sucks" clock check that every hungover person does. Now, he gets another hour or so of sleep before Couples is banging on his door. He "snoozes" the captain for a while, and eventually wakes up. Now, he has to do the other obligatory hungover move ... stand in the shower looking at his feet wondering why the hell he drank so much the night before. He does this for 20 minutes, gets out, tosses on the clothes and his iPod, heads out and fires 6-under.

What is so impressive about all of this? He shot 6-under after going out all night!!! Have you ever hit a golf ball super hungover? They might as well force someone to hit a boulder. Everything is stiff, you can't swing as well, you aren't focused and you can't read greens for shit. Kim overcame all of these things and won his match.

So, yeah, from the "if you're hungover, you still better win" camp of thinking, Kim deserves a high five. Or, just don't get slaughtered when the team is counting on you. Either one works.

And Your Quote of the Week Award Goes To ...

... Andy Mill.

Yes, Andy Mill, ex-husband to Chris Evert and longtime best friend of Greg Normans (well, until, you know, he married Chris).

Anyway, Andy talked about the split between Norman and Evert and tossed this jewel to the crowd.

"Divorce is like a golf swing – it always make someone happy."


h/t Shack

Saturday, October 10, 2009


At 1:38 PM ET on Sunday, Tiger Woods will get his change to avenge a loss that nobody ever thought would happen.

Like I pleaded earlier this week, Tiger is paired against Y.E. Yang which is sure to be one of the more interesting Presidents Cup matches since Fred Couples famously asked to play Vijay Singh, and beat him with a lengthy birdie putt on the 18th green.

It is stuff like this that makes me realize how awesome these team matches really are. Yang vs. Woods, for more than just a check and a trophy. This is for a team. This is the damn Presidents Cup (cue cheesy commercial).

Stan Badz, PGA Tour

Video of Tiger Woods' Shot on 18 at the Presidents Cup

You heard about the shot Tiger Woods hit on the 18th hole at the Presidents Cup. Now you can watch it!!

I love the club flip. So awesome.

Tiger Boom

Here is a little play-by-play of the Tiger Woods putt on 17.

I wrote the recap of it right here. Go read it. Now.

Photos courtesy of the great Jeff Chiu at the Associated Press and second photo is from ROBYN BECK, AFP/Getty Images

Friday, October 9, 2009

It Appears Justin Leonard Is F-ing Awesome

What would you do after missing a three-footer in the Presidents Cup to seal the match for your team? I'd want to drink.

Or fake drink.

After spending an hour on the putting green, he stormed into the team room and slammed the door behind him. He headed straight for the bar and downed five shot glasses, then grabbed a beer and guzzled that.

His teammates and their wives were stunned, and knew to keep their distance. Leonard then walked over to them, still glowering, and said in his typically dry fashion, "It was only water."

The beer was real, which makes it even the more awesome. I like Justin Leonard. He's from Texas. He won a British Open. He made that putt in 1999 that I still own the Sports Illustrated dedicated to.

Good play, boy. You're a dude.

ROBYN BECK, AFP/ Getty Images

♫ You Can Tell By the Way I Use My Walk, I'm A Woman's Man, No Time to Talk ... ♫

Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin' alive, Stayin' alive! ♫

Greg and Fred, PLEASE, Make Yang-Woods Happen On Sunday

Thursday morning, as the Presidents Cup was kicking off, I had a conversation with a well known golf blogger about the event ... we both agreed on something -- the story of the week, if it could happen, would be Y.E. Yang playing Tiger Woods in the Sunday singles matches. Or, I guess, Woods playing Yang (hehe).

Why is this a good idea? Well, I'll tell ya (just wait).

Tiger got beat by Yang after holding a 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship, the first time that has ever happened to Woods in a major. It was, basically, a match play event towards the end of the tournament, and Yang came out triumphant. It was an incredible spectacle, highlighted by Yang bench-pressing his TaylorMade bag, one of the funniest and most awkward things I've seen from a golf winner in a while ("Hey I won, better bench my bag!").

If Woods gets up for anything, it's adversity, and match play has an interesting way of igniting Woods. In 2000, Vijay Singh's caddie sported a hat that said, "Tiger Who?", basically asking to be A.) Fired and B.) Beaten in current match. Tiger took down Vijay, and it made most golf fans pretty darn happy.

Back in his U.S. Amateur days, Woods had to come back from substantial deficits in his matches, and would do so almost like he was playing a cat and mouse game with his foe.

And finally, the Stephen Ames 9 and 8 day at the Accenture Match Play. Yeah, talk trash. I dare ya.

I know it's a team event and all, but Woods isn't one to get embarrassed and the PGA Championship was a little embarrassing for Tiger (losing to a nobody? YUCK!). If these captains can do one thing right, it's allow Yang and Woods to battle it out. Maybe make it the middle of the pack match so it will still matter, even if the cup has been decided.

I'm excited to see how Tiger will react if he went up against Yang. I want it to happen. Someone ... make this happen.

Timothy A. Clary, AFP

Friday President Cup Pairings

In case you haven't seen, here are the pairings for the Friday matches at the Presidents Cup, with America leading 3.5 - 2.5 against the Internationals (thanks Justin!).

1:55 PM ET -- Retief Goosen and Adam Scott vs. Justin Leonard and Phil Mickelson
2:07 PM ET -- Mike Weir and Ernie Els vs. Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim
2:19 PM ET -- Ryo Ishikawa and Y.E. Yang (Asian Invasion!) vs. Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair
2:31 PM ET -- Vijay Singh and Tim Clark (snore) vs. Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink
2:43 PM ET -- Robert Allenby and Camilo Villegas vs. Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan
2:55 PM ET -- Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera vs. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker

Should be a good time. Follow along with me on Twitter if you dare.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Favorite Image from Presidents Cup, Day 1

Honestly, Barry Bonds? How can you beat that?

Warren Little, Getty Images

The Post Where I Rant About Michael Jordan Being a Presidents Cup Co-Captain

If you've watched any coverage Thursday of the Presidents Cup, you noticed the presence of Michael Jordan, NBA legend and golfer and friend of Fred Couples and Tiger Woods, among others.

At one point, with Sean O'Hair needing to hole a chip shot for eagle on the 17th hole to extend his match, the announcers (don't get me started on the damn announcers) talked about how O'Hair was Jordan's main focus this week. "To up his confidence," they said.

Which brings me to this question. What .... the .... fuck is Michael Jordan going to do to up the 14th ranked player in the world's confidence? Work on his jumpshot? Teach him to play under pressure? The guy has won three PGA Tour tournaments, including the Quail Hollow Championship this year. He's 27. He's really good. His dad used to make him run a mile for every bogey he'd make. The kid knows pressure and all that jazz. Why do we have Jordan out there at all?

Now, I have to admit, I like MJ just as much as any sports fan that lived in the '90s, but I don't get this at all ... I think I'd be insulted, personally, if some coach said I needed to talk to a f-ing basketball player about my golf game.

What is Jordan going to tell me about the focus it takes on the golf course? On the basketball court, sans free throws, the game is played at a pace. It isn't walking and thinking and pondering, "Holy shit I have a six footer to win the Players Championship what if I pull it or push it or leave it short or it lips out and I have to go to a playoff and I don't want to play the 17th and my mind is racing and, oh look, Michael Jordan is here so I can just ask him." That isn't how golf works.

Sure, he can talk about winning all he wants, but there is no need for him to be riding around in a golf cart "boosting morale." These are the greatest golfers on the planet, sans Padraig Harrington (and, fine, Sergio Garcia).

If this was the U.S. Junior President Cup, I'd get it. These are grown men doing something they've always done, and done damn well. No legend is going to teach them something they don't already know.

Chris Condon, PGA Tour

Two Interviews to Check Out

Alright, two interviews you should check out.

First, Stephanie Wei talked to Marty Hackel, a great read that you should check out before you finish that last bite of sandwich (Seriously). [Wei Under Par]

Also, I chatted it up with Hank Haney, swing coach of Tiger Woods. He told me I was the best golfer he'd ever seen*. [Golf FanHouse]

* = possibly not true

And Your Depressing Thursday News

I always love Thursday for a number of reasons. Want to hear them? Sure you do. I love Thursdays because golf starts, there is usually a college football game that night, it's almost Friday, and basically is Friday since nobody does anything on Friday anyway, and if I watched network television, it's when all the good shows come on.

So, it's Thursday, woohoo! Oh, and some lady got hit by a golf ball and died. Oh.

Charity volunteer Janet Llewellyn, who was 66 and lived in Balloch, Dunbartonshire, was injured at Strathendrick Golf Club in Drymen, Stirlingshire, on October 1. She died the day after.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday.

Her son confirmed Mrs Llewellyn was struck on the head by a golf ball which caused an injury.

Yeah, that just sucks. She's was volunteering and died. Sorry for ruining your Thursday.

Oh, So Tiger Isn't a Billionaire ... Shoot!

You know all those enormous claims that Tiger Woods eclipsed a billion bucks this season because of his $10 million FedEx Cup check, making him the first ten figure athlete ever?

Yeah, not so much. According to Woods himself, he isn't a billionaire, basically pointing out that if journalists suck at one thing, it's math.

Reporter: "This last week, it was announced you hit the billionaire status. What's that like to learn?"

Tiger Woods: [Laughs] "Well, one, I haven't, so I don't know where that number came from."

Oh, Tiger. You modest, modest thing. Just tell us exactly how much money you're worth. Come on, we're all friends. We won't tell anybody, promise.

If you didn't expect this sort of thing from Woods, you haven't ever followed the guy. He is one of the few athletes in the world that can say a lot without really saying anything, a tribute to his upbringing, intelligence, and, umm, hair?

I still think Tiger is a billionaire. He can say whatever he wants, but anytime we hang out, I'm still going to ask him for a loan. He loves when you do that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ian Poulter Goes Blair Witch on Us All

I gave Stewart Cink our Twitter award this year for Best Golf Tweeter, but Ian Poulter is as close as second as they come. He put together a little two minute video that he shared on Twitter, that looks a little like "Blair Witch," only with a full audio track of chewing gum (yo Ian, love ya, but ditch the Big Red next time).

Anyway, he goes through all his new equipment, including a wedge that has more stuff engraved on it than the 10 Commandments.

Enjoy it.

Thursday President Cup Pairings

They just announced the pairings for the Thursday Foursomes.

Here they are ...

International vs. American

Tim Clark and Mike Weir vs. Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson (3:10 PM ET)

Adam Scott and Ernie Els vs. Hunter Mahan and Sean O'Hair (3:22 PM ET)

Vijay Singh and Robert Allenby vs. Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink (3:34 PM ET)

Angel Cabrera and Camilo Villegas vs. Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson (3:46 PM ET)

Geoff Ogilvy and Ryo Ishikawa vs. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker (3:58 PM ET)

Retief Goosen and Y.E. Yang vs. Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard (4:10 PM ET)

You have to admit, the pairings of Mickelson and Kim are a carryover from the Ryder Cup, and I love Stricker playing with Woods.

It's weird to admit this, but the Goosen-Yang pairing looks like the most solid on the International squad.

Thoughts? Prayers? Hopes? Drop it.

The New FTC Regulations and You

As you have probably heard by now, the Federal Trade Commission has decided that starting December 1, bloggers are going to be forced to give information on product reviews and such, for some reason I'm not too sure about.

Here, the skinny ...

The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently.

So, I'm going to do one better for the FTC ... if I review a product on this site, I got it in the mail and was able to use it for an extended amount of time. With that said, I do get stuff in the mail that I don't like, don't enjoy and won't write about, just because I feel the negative press is more damaging to the company than nothing being said at all.

A few products I've received and loved -- The Titleist AP2 Irons with 6.5 Project X Shafts, the TaylorMade Spider putter, the new Titleist ProV1x balls, BlackWidow spikes (which, ironically enough, won their first major this PGA Championship, with Y.E. Yang sporting the suffocating spikes), anything Golf Pride, SkyCaddie SG5, Bushnell Tour V2, Puma golf clothing and basically any book that someone sends me to read and review.

So, yeah, if I'm reviewing something, it's for a purpose, as is the case with almost any website around today. Thanks, FTC! You guys are really helping the world.

Greg Norman Isn't Having the Best Couple of Weeks

First it was the break up, and now the guy is making his way around Harden Park with a damn cast on. If Adam Scott chokes, and it's Greg Norman's pick of the Australian that does him in, it will certainly seem like centuries ago when he was leading that British Open.

Getty Images

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Will the Presidents Cup Always Be Ryder's Step-Sister?

Back in 2003, when the Presidents Cup was being hosted by Gary Player and the country of South Africa, the matches, as you probably know, ended in a tie after all play was complete.

So, Jack Nicklaus and Player decided to pick their best two players, Tiger Woods for America and Ernie Els for the International squad (talk about a dated pick), and the two went toe-to-toe until darkness engulfed the course and the captains decided the pressure was too much. The matches that year ended in a tie, and basically defined the Presidents Cup as we know it.

See, watching that playoff was exciting, but it wasn't "sit on the edge of your seat, scream at the top of your lungs for Justin Leonard's putt to hit the back of the hole on my god it went in HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!" exciting. It was the Presidents Cup. It pits the United States against vanilla characters like Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Mike Weir, K.J. Choi, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen (honest to god, when I started to type out the vanilla characters for the International team, I intended to list two or three, but they kept coming out ... that is how intimidating and interesting these guys are).

The question is, will it ever gain the steam the Ryder Cup has? The players, no matter their obvious push for payments ever year, want to beat the hell out of the other side when those matches roll around. For a week, Americans hate Sergio Garcia more than they normally do, and Europeans poke fun of Phil Mickelson. It is the international competition that makes our world so great. It has the history and the moments to go with it, and just breaths better than the Presidents.

Yep, golf fans will be huddled around their televisions this weekend, watching the top players in the world, sans Europe, try and take out the other team. It'll be fun, because watching a different type of golf is always fun (also why I think the PGA Championship should be match play). But, it will never be the Ryder Cup, and that's disappointing. No matter how hard the PGA pushes for it, we will always look at this event as something highlighted by a hat of a caddie. "Tiger Who?" If Colin Montgomerie's caddie had sported that on American soil, we might have seen our first ever golf brawl.

Stringer, AFP

Rickie Fowler Joins Puma, Is 'Edgy'

If you didn't hear by now, Ricky Fowler, the 20-year-old that can beat us all at golf, went pro and signed a deal with Puma Golf, joining a handful of pros that sport the Puma label (hey Erica!).

When he signed with Puma, they made him some monster truck golf cart, and gave it to him at the Nationwide Event he was playing that week. I heard the greenskeeper was really a fan of the cart. I think someone even overheard him saying, "Man, I hope he drives that thing on the greens!"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wait, What Is Going On?

I've attached the following photo to this story for a multitude of reasons, most being the facial expressions of both parties.

See, Greg Norman and Chris Everet (I'll avoid the journalist gush here on combined majors, as assigned by AP Style Guide 11.0) decided to separate 15 months after getting hitched, a pretty surprising conclusion since anytime you'd see these two people they were smiling like Seal every morning when he realizes who he conned into marrying him.

In a statement, the couple said only, ``We will remain friends and supportive of one another's family.'' The statement said they requested privacy for them and their families.

I love when they release these types of statements. I really wish when normal humans broke up, they could release similar things to the public. Like, when me and my ex broke up, it would have been great to read something like, "Jane Doe says, through spokespeople, that although she once cared and loved for Shane Bacon, she hopes that he, quietly, dies and curls up into a vat of smelling worms."

I really hope Drew Carrey is the host of this show when it becomes big. "How Real Humans Break Up."

Wait, where were we? Oh, yeah, I just thought it was strange that Evert and Norman broke up. Hey, at least that's one less person Greg has to tote to the Presidents Cup this week. More wine on Norman Air!

Andrew Redington, Getty Images

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This Isn't Confusing At All

As you probably know, the Presidents Cup kicks off next week at Harding Park, the municipal jewel in the middle of beautiful San Francisco. What you may not have heard of is that the greens got scorched during the summer because one of the men fertilizing isn't so good at fertilizing.

Now, this news comes out ... the course the players will face isn't really what you'd play if you went to tee it up with some buddies.

The first order of business in preparing to watch 24 of the world's finest players roam our little municipal track: Forget the customary order of holes. PGA Tour officials, in an effort to increase the odds that matches reach Harding's signature closing stretch, have rerouted the course for the Presidents Cup. So the event will feature the following sequence of holes.

Front nine: 10-11-12-13-4-5-6-2-3

Back nine: 14-8-15-16-17-18-1-7-9

Honestly, did they just toss a bunch of numbers in a hat and draw them out randomly? I think that might not be a bad move for 2010 so people can stop thinking golf isn't a sport.

I don't see why they stop here. Maybe just each hole at a different golf course. They could play Harden Park's first hole, the Olympic Club Ocean Course number two and maybe the Lakes third. Then, drive down to Pasatiempo to play the fourth and maybe the fifth could be the game I play daily, called "try and chip the ball over the couch and stop it before it goes into the kitchen." I'm not gonna lie, I'm tough to beat on that hole.