Friday, December 31, 2010

The 10 Coolest Videos of 2010

Everyone does lists, and I like to roll with the crowds, so I'm doing one as well. Here are my favorite golf videos of 2010, so enjoy them, and pass them along. Happy New Years everyone! (Also, Ed. Note, the Ben Crane workout video has been pulled from YouTube, thus the reason it wasn't 1, 2, and 3.)

10. It didn't happen in 2010, but it was very relevant this year ... Yes, Dear, a television show that I'm sure is good (or not?), predicted the Tiger Woods affair ... in 2005!

9. Chris Couch hit his second shot into the 18th green at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It landed on the green. But not before it hit about seven rocks, bouncing around like a pinball. If Couch was trying this, that might be part of the reason he finished 109th on the money list.

8. A lady at a golf course was standing near Charl Schwartzel's ball when he missed the fairway ... and then decided to pick it up. The struggle between her and husband is priceless.

7. 300-yards out, trash can, nothing but net.

6. You know those shots when you're standing off-balance, and are always scared you're going to take a spill? Well, meet Keith Ohr, at the PGA Championship.

5. Alex Miceli goes crazy on The Golf Channel during the Accenture, ripping Tiger Woods, calling him "gutless." It really was the "George W. Bush hates black people" moment for golfers.


3. The clay pigeon video was one of my favorite, and most creative, EVER, so it has to make the list.

2. If you drive a remote control car on a green when old people are putting, they might not love it.

1. 77-year-old lady has a putt for $10,000 ... and she makes it. I love watching her reaction.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My 10 Favorite Golf Photos of 2010

Everyone does lists, and I like to roll with the crowds, so I'm doing one as well. These are MY favorite pictures of 2010, and I'm sure you'll see exactly zero of them (sans number two) on any of the other lists around the Internet. Enjoy!

10. The Tiger Woods Mardi Gras float.

9. Doug Sanders in an all-pink suit at St. Andrews.

8. Hey, the first of two Monty pictures ... this one is going to turn you on, so make sure nobody is around.

7. Ryan Moore is, umm, I don't know, trying a new "poop-and-chip" swing? It's worth the click, trust me.

6. Miguel Angel Jimenez looks like George Washington.

5. Colin Montgomerie. A hoe (the garden tool). An asian lady. A tree. Like you won't look at this one.

4. Phil Mickelson sticking his tongue out in a the creepiest way possible.

3. Obligatory.

2. Arnold Palmer looking at Cristie Kerr's boobs. Seriously.

1. Me and the nephew playing some golf. Okay, this is one of MY favorites, but it's my blog, so yeah.

Tiger Woods Made $48 Million Less in 2010

You know what cheating on your wife (and the general public) will get ya? Well, a $48 million drop in pay for one.

That's what Tiger Woods lost last year, making "only" $74.2 million buckaroos in 2010 compared to, *ahem*, $121.9 million in '09 (Ed. Note: Holy hell).

Yep, the news breaking in last Thanksgiving cost Tiger a lot in endorsements (h/t Golf Digest), but he still beat out Phil Mickelson for most earnings in golf. Lefty made $40.2 million last season, which is pretty impressive considering who he is and what he brings to the table (white, male, pretty successful all his life).

Michelle Wie, who was supposed to be the Tiger of the LPGA, made the last name on the list at number 50, earning $4.8 million, which isn't so bad for a college kiddo.

So, yeah, Tiger is still rich. Hope it didn't hurt when you fell out of your chair.

Getty Images

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The New TaylorMade R11 Is Awesome

Here is the new TaylorMade R11 driver. It is awesome. More to come on this thing, but thoughts?

The 10 Dumbest Things of 2010

A lot of dumb stuff happens in the game of golf each season. Here are the top-10 dumbest, and if you disagree, well, I'm sorry, but my memory is really bad.

10. R.W. Eaks, at the first of the year, tried to get a guy disqualified that Monday qualified for the Sony Open because he thought his grooves were illegal, because, as we all know, 57-year-olds are infamous for being able to eye groove depths.

9. PETA made this sign ... and, well, it isn't dumb, but I had to put in something about the Tiger sex thing, right?

8. One of the most in depth discoveries in DTCC history, Chris Berman wears the same golf outfit for every. single. tournament.

7. Some guy wondered if playing Tiger Woods on the Wii would actually mess up his golf swing.

6. That Dana White guy that runs UFC made the golf analogy equivalent to "bloggers work in their mom's basement." After I read this I immediately did 30 push-ups.

5. Ian Poulter missed out on a pro-am because of an insect bite. Man, those English are tough!

4. Charlie Rymer of The Golf Channel suggested that to make golf more fun, the hole should be 10-inches, and that's the hardest I've had to avoid being childish in probably 12 years.

3. Tiger Woods joins Twitter, and it just isn't going to work.

2. Rick Reilly spoke (so he obviously made this list).

1. Bunkergate.

Getty Images

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nephew, I Apologize Now

So for the holidays, I was home in Texas, and I spent an afternoon with my nephew, Jackson, to try and get him to fall in love with the game of golf.

What two things did I learn? First, 6-year-olds aren't the easiest to teach anything to, and second, I've got a longer way to go as an instructor than he ever will have as a golfer (he actually hit it fairly decent once we got him set up).

So, I'm sharing these pictures to give you the confidence as the New Year rolls on to take the kiddos out, give them a golf club, and teach them the most frustrating, hated, annoying and somehow beautiful game there is in existence.

Jack, many more bright days ahead, kiddo.

Australian Golfer Suspended For California Cornflakes

Cocaine and golf just seem like two things that don't go together, and I think Australian golfer Wayne Perske would agree, because he just landed an 18 month prison sentence and three year suspension by a Japanese court for being caught with blow.

Perske on Monday received a sentence of “one year and six months in prison, suspended for three years,” a Chiba District Court official said, adding that an amount of cocaine had also been confiscated.

Perske had admitted to having the drug, according to Japanese media.

The Mainichi daily on its website quoted judge Yasunobu Hosoya as saying in the ruling: “Professional sports players must tolerate the loneliness of being unable to see their families and the pressure of competing abroad.

Yeah, that's it. Cocaine is one of those drugs that reallllly helps with "loneliness" and "pressure." I hear all the time about my friends railing lines at their homes, alone, with nobody around to laugh at or first pump towards. Normally when people do coke, they just relax on a couch and NEVER go out searching for a party, or for more blow.

That's the case, Japan. Way to go.

via WL

Monday, December 27, 2010

Man Played 600 Rounds of Golf in 2010, Likes Golf More Than Us

Face it, most golfers need some time away from the game. We get sick of the grind or the way we're swinging or just failing to accomplish our goals, and need a week or two away.

Well, we aren't Richard Lewis, a 64-year-old from Dallas, Texas, who apparently broke the Guinness Book of World Records number for rounds played in one year. Lewis played, gulp, 600 rounds this year!

That's 1.64 rounds per day, or 29.59 holes per day! This guy is insane!

"Did you ever think I would get to 600 rounds?" Lewis smiled as he celebrated his golfing accomplishment before a few dozen people late Sunday.

"I thought 400 was tough and 500 was a stretch, but 600 was what I had in mind all the time," he said. "It's a huge relief and sense of accomplishment."

In fact, Lewis felt he was slacking off on Sunday only doing 18 holes. He played 36 on Christmas Eve in cold rain and 36 more on Christmas day. "I can't remember the last time I did only 18 in a day," he said after carding an 86 in cold conditions.

The funny thing is, and I'm sure you'd all agree, is the first thing I thought was, "Damn, this dude must be single." Impressively, he isn't, and his girlfriend said it was cool, even playing some rounds with Richard.

Yo, Rich, come over here for a second. *whispers* okay dude, let me tell you something, don't ever screw it up with this lady. ever. there are millions of men around the world that get in trouble for playing nine holes per week instead of coming home, so the fact that you found a girl chill enough for this is incredible. buy her earrings. send her to a resort for a week's massage. cook her dinner for a week. whatever you do, don't lose her. i'm telling you.

Okay, so, yeah, this guy played 600 rounds, streamers and champagne for everyone. I'm officially impressed.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gillette Razor Burns Tiger

There are moments in this world when you realize that athletes really don't have much say about anything when it comes to sponsors. Sure, they can be told they're ideas are in the fray, but really, nobody is listening to them, and advertisers will do anything to push an extra product or two.

This has never been more apparent than the Gillette commercial that is linked above. Tiger Woods, along with Derek Jeter and Roger Federer, put together one of the best 60 seconds of unintentional comedy in commercial history. Everything, from the fact that they got Tiger to wear golf shoes ("HE'S A GOLFER, HE SHOULD HAVE ON SADDLEBAGS!!!") and actually look at them in the mirror, to the first bump and final gun shot by Federer, it is hilariously embarrassing.

It shows me that maybe these athletes aren't that cool to begin with, because if a sponsor came to me after I was worth $400 million, I would be hard pressed to toss on that "Jersey Shore" style outfit.

But bad news ... we won't ever get a Gillette commercial like that. The razor company has dropped Tiger as a front man, joining AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade.

So, yes, remember this ad, and when kids ask how Tiger was off the golf course in 200 years, I hope people can pull up this YouTube clip, and may all the kids chuckle to themselves.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays From DTCC!

First, sorry for the lack of posting, but when you travel home to where I travel home to, it's like going to Australia via a paddle boat. I am home though, and with family, and for that, a Happy Holidays to all!

The next year looks to be full of changes around these parts, with a new design (cross fingers) and some different looks and added content. It should be fun, but for now, just a quick thanks for being a loyal reader, and a hope that your Christmas is as excellent as your short game.

Now, back to wrapping presents.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Golf + Clay Pigeon = Awesome

You ready for another cool video from those folks over at the European Tour? No need to keep blabbering here, just watch professionals head out in a desert at Dubai, and hit golf balls at clay pigeons.

Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

Cheating Scandal Big News in Europe

There isn't a lot golfers disapprove of (we are known to be the worst of people at times), but if you cheat at the game, that label will never, ever be bucked.

That's why Elliot Saltman of Scotland is fighting so hard to clear his name. At the Russian Challenge Cup, an event put on by the Challenge Tour (Nationwide of the European Tour), Saltman was accused of incorrectly marking his ball, and was kicked out of the event for doing so after both playing partners turned him in.

Incorrectly marking your ball means that a golfer is setting his ball down in a different spot than where the mark is. While recreational golfers do this all the time, mostly because they're lazy or don't really know it's a big deal anyway, at a professional level, every inch means a lot, so moving your ball slightly to get a better lie on the green could mean the difference in thousands of dollars one way or the other.

But Saltman knows what the label of cheat carries, and is trying his damnedest to clear his name.

"It affects not only me but my family," Saltman told The Scotsman. "Not one player has come up to me and asked me my side of the story. I don't want to be labelled as a cheat. Nobody wants that reputation. The sooner this gets sorted out the better. I thought it was dead and buried but I am 100 percent positive that we will get this resolved."

This is one of those things that takes a lot of trust to believe. If he was incorrectly marking his ball, you have to ask why, and that could bring about a lot of bad mojo. If it was just a misunderstanding, Saltman is doing exactly what he should do right now because if he doesn't, everyone will know his name.

Caddying on the LPGA this year, I heard a lot from players about certain ladies that bent the rules, and every player knew about it. On a tour where you're battling each other for your livelihood, you have a much better chance of being appreciated and liked if you cheat on your spouse than if you cheat on the game.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rafael Cabrera-Bello Loses All His Golf Balls, Reminds Me of Some Movie

You ever been playing a round of golf, dig through your bag after losing yet another Penta, and realize, "Shit, i'm out of golf balls!" That is usually the moment you drudge around looking for an errant range ball, or sneak a couple of dirty balls out of your partner's bag. That is fine recreationally, not so much if you're playing a European Tour event.

That's why we introduce to you 26-year-old Rafael Cabrera-Bello, a man that lost 11 golf balls in the second round of the South African Open was forced to disqualify himself for this. How bad did the round get? He shot 46 on the front nine with an 8 and 10 on two holes (that's the type of 18 you don't want to finish in the golf world).

No word yet from Cabrera-Bello, but I'm assuming he isn't going to be taking a lot of good things back from this round of golf.

It also reminded me of a great story I had from back in my youth. Playing in a Houston Golf Association tournament as a teenager, I stood on the 18th hole at one of the Kingwood courses (interestingly enough, where they filmed Tin Cup), and continued to hack it around for the day. I hit my second shot in the water, and as I searched through my Ping Hoofer, I had a horrifying realization - I was out of golf balls. So, obviously the round was well out of hand, but it's a pride thing to finish tournaments, no matter how terrible you're playing. Slumped over and embarrassed, I picked up my golf bag to walk over to my playing partner and relay the news, and as I lifted the bag, I heard a rattle. There was a ball in the clubs area of my golf bag! Now, in the middle of the fairway in the middle of a tournament, I am taking all the clubs out of my golf bag, and dumping it, upside down, to get the Titleist that had been rolling around the bottom for who knows how long. I pitched it down the fairway, back on the green, and putted out. What did I do when I picked the ball out of the cup? Silently tossed the blackened golf ball into the water.

Cabrera-Bello, I feel your pain.

h/t Sobel

Getty Images

Friday, December 17, 2010

Obligatory - Charlie Kautz, I Hate You

If you're one that follows this website closely, you know that hole-in-one stories usually get me fired up (well, at least tongue in cheek, fired up).

Why? Because I've never made an ace. Ever. E-V-E-R. I'm not a mathematician of sorts, but I'd estimate that I've played about 4.6 million golf holes in my life (approx.), and none of those holes have ended with me writing "1" on my a scorecard.

The only saving grace? I've never played with anyone that made an ace either. To me, a hole-in-one is a myth, much like the second gunman or the fact that real people actually can look like Mila Kunis (call me!). I've never seen one, so like a beautiful unicorn glistening in the sun, they don't really happen.

But what happens on Thursday at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif.? Charlie Kautz, a public relations coordinator for TaylorMade, crushes my dreams. Yep, Kautz, a good golfer and funny dude, knocked it in for an ace on the par-3 6th hole, crushing any hope that aces weren't a real thing.

So, Mr. Kautz, I must let you know -- I officially hate you. You can join all these people if you'd like.

Davis Love III Will be 2012 Ryder Cup Captain

You're not going to meet a lot of people that hate Davis Love III. He's an older golfer, that still has some game, and has played professionally since 1985. Along with that, he has won 20 PGA Tour events in three decades, and still thinks he's the type of guy that can play for a team instead of captain it.

But realistically, he makes the most sense to be in charge of the Americans in 2012, and it appears that is the case. is reporting that Love will be the guy, and that the PGA of America will announce the decision in the next few months.

How has Love done at the Ryder Cup over the years? Well, about as well as any of the other Americans. He sports a 9-12-5 record in six matches, and was on the losing side as an assistant captain this season in Wales. The thing is, you must look at the Americans as a whole since 1999. They haven't won a lot, and most of the guys wearing red, white and blue have a bad record.

So, yes, Love will be in charge in 2012. I couldn't think of something I'd want more doing the job, could you?

Getty Images

Tiger Woods' Life Named Sports Story of the Year

Although a lot of the early news on Tiger Woods and his personal life happened in 2009, the Associated Press has named the Tiger drama the story of the year in sports, beating out the Saints winning the Super Bowl and LeBron James becoming the least popular person ever.

What does this mean? Well, first, it shouldn't surprise you. This is the story of 2010, no matter if you like it or not, which is sad. We are talking about sports stories, and the top one of the entire 12 months has little to do with actual sport. It has more to do with an image, a perception, and how all that was broken because of a wrong turn with a Cadillac.

Tiger dominated the news in 2010, and we wrote about anything he did, but as a sportsman, he wasn't much of anything. He never won, he hardly competed after the Masters and U.S. Open, and if not for the Chevron World Challenge, and exhibition event by most standards, we would have barely caught a glimpse of the famed red shirt that Tiger rocks on Sundays.

What was the most telling moment of Tiger's 2010, in my opinion? That came on Saturday at Pebble Beach, when Woods was roaring up the leaderboard, something we were used to seeing in the past but not so much this season. Tiger birdied 16 and 17, and stood in the fairway on the famed 18th with a wood in hand. Tiger smashed it, started walking after it, screaming at the ball to be right. It was, and Tiger had an eagle putt for 65. As you remember, he didn't make it, posting a 66, and then fading on Sunday with a disappointing 75. To me, that was his season. He was there, and at times he was really there, but it wasn't Tiger Woods golfing, it was a being that looked like him, and swung like him, but just wasn't him.

His story was the most popular, I'd agree with that, but it wasn't anything about his game. It would be nice if he could change that a little when the season kicks off next month.

Getty Images

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Steve Williams Dispels Any Rumors He Won't Be On The Bag

Last year, when the news broke about Tiger Woods and his transgressions, Rick Reilly famously went on ESPN and ranted about TIger. Since moving to ESPN, Reilly has worked hard to find a voice that just isn't there, and this was probably the pinnacle moment of all this. Reilly said, "I think he’s got to fire his caddie, I think he’s got to fire his agent, his PR guy anybody that his wife no longer trusts, rightly or wrongly, has to go if he wants to stay with his wife."

Obviously the first line of that was strange, but it got people talking. Should Steve Williams really be let go?

By now we all know that wouldn't happen. Williams, who is arguably the best caddie in existence, stayed with Tiger through the toughest season of his life, ending the year by ruffling some feathers when he took off his caddie bib before Graeme McDowell even hit his regulation birdie putt that he needed to make to extend the Chevron World Challenge to a playoff.

But he isn't going anywhere, folks, so don't be thinking you can bring your cameras to the tournaments in 2011.

"The speculation is incredible, how many people thought I would be fired or that I would retire," he said. "People just make up these stories. Look, I work as a golf caddy. It’s all I’ve ever done. I’m working for arguably one of the greatest players who ever played, who is fully committed to breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record. Why would I quit in midstream?"

It's a great point, actually. Stevie has one of the best jobs in the world, and even when Tiger isn't winning, he's still making astronomical money. Along with that, if he likes working for Tiger, why the hell would he leave?

Hopefully Reilly can cope with this, as he sits in his mansion built on Indian burial grounds, and thinks of ways to steal money from the Red Cross.

Getty Images

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pebble in Pictures

For the next few days, I'll be writing from the grandiose Pebble Beach Golf Resort, giving feedback and stories from my first experience on the Monterey Peninsula. The visit is thanks to Lexus, who holds a Champions for Charity event each year at these famed links. Check out more info on the charity event that has raised over $200 million, and continue to come back and read up on the stories that make up ones first trip to the 5th Avenue for golfers.

Alright folks, I'm wrapping up the experience at Pebble Beach with Lexus for Champions for Charity, but it wouldn't be complete without some of the incredible shots from the fine people at Professional Events Images, Inc. Take some time to go through them, because they're well worth it.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the experience. It really was a great time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My final take on the Pebble Beach experience. Check it out, let me know what you think. [Devil Ball Golf]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Pulchritude of Pebble

For the next few days, I'll be writing from the grandiose Pebble Beach Golf Resort, giving feedback and stories from my first experience on the Monterey Peninsula. The visit is thanks to Lexus, who holds a Champions for Charity event each year at these famed links. Check out more info on the charity event that has raised nearly $200 million, and continue to come back and read up on the stories that make up ones first trip to the 5th Avenue for golfers.

There are few things in life that live up to expectations. Being a golfer, I've had a few. Walking up the 18th at St. Andrews with my father was a moment I'll never forget. Teeing off on the 18th at Pebble Beach on Saturday is a whole other. You see, there are golf courses by the ocean, and then there is Pebble. It's a golf course that isn't a golf course, it's an experience.

When you finish up on the 18th green, and drive your golf cart back to the clubhouse, you'll probably forget your score. You won't remember exact golf shots you hit. It will slip your mind of which bunker you got it up and down from, or what hole on the back ended with a fist pump. It's a golf experience, with emphasis landing on that second word. Pictures will forever live on your hard drive and framed in your study, but what you really take from the first time around Pebble is just that ... you played Pebble Beach, and lived to tell about it. (Which, for full disclose, might only be said from us playing. Our caddie, an exquisite gentleman by the name of Josh, went around Spyglass and Spanish Bay with Stephanie and myself the first two days, and it took only three holes before Josh got pegged in the foot from a tee ball, the first time he'd been hit in 11 years on the links. He toughed it out, but I'd bet my shiny laptop that there is a broken bone or two swashing around in his foot.)

The golf course is impossible to beat, really. People can talk up golf holes at Cypress or Monterey Country Club, but when you're on that stretch from the 6th to the 9th, you really don't have time to think. The 7th isn't even fair it's so darn pretty, and on a day like we had on Saturday, with the weather as perfect as it gets in this area, you had to pinch yourself to make sure you weren't watching an AT&T telecast.

As I left Pebble, driving away in my too-quick-and-beautiful Lexus, I stopped at a few of the tourist destinations on 17 Mile Drive, more to just catch my thoughts than anything. I saw the Ghost Tree and the Lone Cypress. I walked out on the sandy beach by Cypress Point and looked out in the ocean. To think that not only were we getting to play a golf course that beautiful, but for a good cause, seemed worthy of a few seconds to catch my breath.

Will Pebble ever feel like it did that first time, when you're roaming the links wide eyed like a freshman taking his first steps on campus? Nope, like a cigarette high, that feeling will be wanted and wanted. Can I wait for the next time I'm invited to slap it around Pebble and try to reach that feeling again? Of course not, the golf course is nearly too pretty to divot-up.

Some Images From Spanish Bay

For the next few days, I'll be writing from the grandiose Pebble Beach Golf Resort, giving feedback and stories from my first experience on the Monterey Peninsula. The visit is thanks to Lexus, who holds a Champions for Charity event each year at these famed links. Check out more info on the charity event that has raised nearly $200 million, and continue to come back and read up on the stories that make up ones first trip to the 5th Avenue for golfers.

Johnny Miller and Peter Jacobsen doing a very entertaining and informative clinic for Lexus.

Stephanie Wei and myself hanging at Spanish Bay.

The closest anyone will ever get to driving a Lexus on a beach.

Myself near the "photo spot" at Spanish Bay.

The bagpiper staying dry in the early morning at Spanish.

One more of Steph and I.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Stint at Spyglass

For the next few days, I'll be writing from the grandiose Pebble Beach Golf Resort, giving feedback and stories from my first experience on the Monterey Peninsula. The visit is thanks to Lexus, who holds a Champions for Charity event each year at these famed links. Check out more info on the charity event that has raised nearly $200 million, and continue to come back and read up on the stories that make up ones first trip to the 5th Avenue for golfers.

The goosebumps don't go away. They just don't. From the first time you set eyes on the many cypress trees to the first time you actually see the words "Pebble Beach," it's mesmerizing.

On Thursday, I, along with nearly 180 other charitable Lexus members, set out at Spyglass Hill Golf Club, ranked 50th in the latest Golf Digest list of great courses in the United States, to see exactly what these 18 holes had in store for me. It was, to sum it up very simply, beautiful.

Nothing really can teach you about Monterey golf, you just have to cruise in your Lexus courtesy car around 17 Mile Drive and see just how much golf there is. If St. Andrews holds the record for most famous golf courses on one plot of land, Monterey must hold the record for most famous golf courses that you can see from one another. Pebble. Spyglass. Spanish Bay. The impossibly exclusive Cypress Point. And that's just naming the ones you've heard of.

Each year, Lexus puts on something they call the Champions for Charity, an accumulation of people that played in charity events all across the country, "stuck" here for a weekend of golf, luxury and, foremost, philanthropy. Everyone is here doing their part to make something that needs it better. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the March of Dimes, the YMCA and hundreds of other charities benefit from this event, and the events that take place around the country leading up to this. One of the things I noticed within the first few hours of arriving at Pebble? My thoughts that everyone would be snotty was completely off target. Everyone here is happy. They're happy to be here, happy to be helping out, and happy to be given the chance to do something for someone else, while enjoying something for themselves.

Spyglass was full of groups of people cheering on whatever hole they were playing, just embracing what was presented to them. Myself? I walked around the golf course like a kid not just in a candy store, but in a candy store without an employee to slap your hand away. This is the golf destination for men that have ever picked up a 6-iron and tried to smack a Penta on a green, and now here I am, for a good cause (Think this place isn't great? As I'm typing this a bagpiper is walking by my room, playing some rendition of some song that makes me want to abandon this column, snag a Guinness and chum it up with anyone and everyone sitting around a fireplace in the nearest pub).

What more is to come? A lot more, but for now, it's just what Lexus and everyone here has done. More to report after I try to conquer Spanish Bay on Friday. One thing I noticed while admiring the situation I was in on Thursday? Being taken back and amazed at the situation sure can disrupt your short game.

The Official DTCC 2010 Holiday Golf Guide

Hey all, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a soon-to-be Happy New Year! It's the holidays, and you people need to get some gifts for people. What do you have in mind? Well, jump right in, shall we.

TaylorMade Rossa Ghost Putter -- Listen, I only endorse golf products I actually stand by, and I am in LOVE with this putter. I've had it in the bag for about two months, and have really been getting the ball in the hole better from 6-10 feet. It's pretty, it's white, and it is really easy to line up. Also, good for all handicappers. Last week, three of four people in my group were using this thing.

"Swinging From My Heels", by Christina Kim with Alan Shipnuck -- All golfers need golf books, or what would they read on their way to the next golf adventure? Kim's book is entertaining as hell, and it is a good purchase for both the man and the woman in the family.

The SkyCaddie SGX -- Face it, the older we get, the better these GPS systems get. Just years ago we had to rely on golf courses having the satellite technology in the golf carts, but the new SkyCaddie is basically that in your hand. It's in color ... it's better with everything, and if you are going to get a system, wouldn't you rather have one that gives you the lay of the land over just the ability to find out the pin? Face it, you aren't shooting at pins anyway.

Photo Ball Markers -- It's a simple idea, but cute and fun. Basically, you can put whatever picture you want on a ball marker. Seems like a fun stocking stuffer for the dad with two kids, so he can remember while throwing that tantrum after his fifth 7 in a row that there are more important things in life than your handicap.

The Ecco Golf Street Premiere -- A year into these shoes, and they're still as hot as ever. I have a pair and love them, and already bought a pair for someone I know that very much enjoys comfort when playing.

Cigar Guy T-Shirt! -- Still don't have enough Cigar Guy in your life? Well, might as well get a shirt with his face.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

If You Have Five Minutes Today ...

... read Alan Shipnuck's story on the entire Erica Blasberg saga. Obviously a story close to me, I thought Alan did a really good job presenting everything that happened. He tapped into the family, the friends and let everyone generalize what they wanted to themselves. I chatted with Shipnuck, a friend at this point, about it, and it just seemed he as a golf fan was as confused by the whole thing as everyone else was.

So, yes, check it out. I'm on my way to Pebble, but I urge you to read it if you still have questions about the whole thing, and when you finish it, hopefully you can let the Blasberg story go forever.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To Pebble Beach I Go, I Go

It's strange the random opportunities you encounter in this job. A moment to chat with Tom Watson on the phone. A trip to Bandon Dunes with adidas/Taylor Made. And on Wednesday? A flight to Pebble Beach, to spend four days at the heart of the golf world in the United States.

Yep, myself, and another golf writer you might know, are heading to the Lexus Champions for Charity event at Pebble Beach to write some stories from a worthwhile cause. How worthwhile? Well, the event has raised $135 million for different charities since 1989, and will add to that total this week as golfers retreat to the famed Pebble Beach Links for some golf, some fun, and a good cause.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that for the next few days, you will be hearing a lot of fun stories from California. My goal? To flesh out some stories that hit home with the reader. I want to dig up some stories about people that have a real reason to be making this trip, and donating this money. It's Christmastime, and I feel that it is time I step away from my usual bit to give you a little perspective. Life? It can be tough, but there are a ton of good people and things in this world to make it better for us all, and as we approach December 25, we should remember that, because it sure is easy to forget.

Along with stories here, I'll be posting on Devil Ball, and on Twitter (don't follow me? First, what the heck, and second, go there and follow @shanebacon), with the hashtag #lexusc4c.

I hope you're as excited as I. Holler back when I'm at Pebble, picking my jaw up from the ground.


Okay, one more, because I just can't help myself (♫I need you and nobody else, dum dum da dum ♫).

This one comes from Kevin Christiani, and these are serious golfers. Here, I'll even do a little Jon Gruden for ya ... "See the golfer right there on the left? That's real commitment right there. This isn't some pansy golf round, these are SERIOUS golfers playing a SERIOUS game. Look right there? That's a downright good swing, in downright blizzard conditions. You just don't see this type of stuff usually on a municipal golfing course. It's impressive."

More Cool Snow Golf Pictures

So, it appears people love golf courses in the snow. I don't, because that means you can't golf, but they sure are purrddyyy.

Reader Joe sent in a picture from 2008 at Sedona's Seven Canyons on a "golf trip" as he calls it. Obviously there wasn't a ton of golf, but wow, how awesome is this photo?

Keep them coming if you have them.

Great Golf Holes in the Snow

The one thing good about the winter besides the flu? Snow, and me not being around snow. See, snow is one of those things that you love when you don't have to deal with it. It's all white and beautiful and great in pictures, because that isn't me out shoveling that stuff while my feet freeze and my hands won't warm up until April.

So, I give you two pictures of snow on some great golf courses. The first, via Andrew Cotter, is Royal Troon in Scotland. I played that course this summer, and I seriously think it might be my favorite links course next to the Old. It was incredible, interesting and imaginative. Oh, and it's snowy!

The second photo from James Crawford is of Royal County Down in Ireland. That pic is great.

Alright, and since we are tossing in pictures of snow on famous golf courses, here is one from the fine folks at the Braeside Inn from a few years ago that they e-mailed me. It's St. Andrews!

Okay, now off to put some shorts on and ride my bike over to the local coffee shop.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Graeme McDowell Takes Down Tiger Woods

I can list a dozen names that had a chance to beat Tiger Woods and couldn't do it. Bob May. Chris DiMarco. Steve Scott. Sergio Garcia. Rocco Mediate. Matt Gogel, and that is just a few off the top of my head.

But the 2009 PGA Championship changed a lot of it for people playing against Tiger. When Y.E. Yang stared down the once incredibly closer and beat him at his OWN game, it seemed the weight was lifted for PGA Tour members. "We can beat this guy," people started to think.

Then, as you well know, Thanksgiving happened, and all that was lost behind his persona life. It really was bad timing, because it would have been great to have 2010 be a regular season, and see how players responded with Woods on the ropes in another way (the Yang way, not the wang way).

Sunday at the Chevron World Challenge was a great example of where Tiger is right now; with his game, with his mental stability, with his competitors and with his fans. People LOVE to watch Tiger Woods play golf. That will never, ever change. People speak of the "it" factor, and in my lifetime, nobody has possessed that like Woods. Not Jordan, not LeBron, not Jeter, and not Federer. Tiger can make people care about golf that have never swung a 7-iron.

That was Sherwood. People were switching away from playoff-important football to watch Woods battle McDowell. The unknown from a year ago is now a major winner and a Ryder Cup hero. He has now won four events this season, including the Chevron, where he calmly rolled in birdie putts that nobody has EVER made on Tiger Woods (If you think back, Yang missed a short putt on the 71st hole at Hazeltine before making birdie on the 72nd, when par would have been good enough for victory).

It ended Tiger's season without a win. He took to Twitter and talked about how much he hates to lose. It was different, but fairly regular at this point.

As I noted over at Devil Ball, I don't think Tiger will ever be dominate again. Do I think he will win again? Of course, he is too talented not to win (much like I think David Duval will claim another PGA Tour title before he's done, I think Tiger will win a few more majors).

But Sunday was just an example of the PGA Tour, PI (post-intimidation). These guys aren't scared of Woods anymore, and anytime they're paired against him, they relish in the challenge. McDowell was the better golfer on Sunday. Nothing Tiger can do about that.

Getty Images

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ehhhh, That Was Alright

Pish. Come on Bubba Watson, do something impressive. 283 yards out, par-5, double-eagle? Boooooring.

What, couldn't have holed that with a five-wood? Needed that wimpy four-wood?!? I'm disappointed, Watson. You're better than this.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Camilo Villegas' Caddie Is For Real

Remember last week, when we were writing about Camilo Villegas' caddie, and how he was basically flying around the world in between PGA Tour Q-Schools, yet made it to final stage?

Well, it seems Brett Waldman doesn't want the story to end there. After the first round of PGA Tour Q-School Final Stage, Waldman sits well within the top-25 it takes to earn full status on the PGA Tour next season, posting a 3-under 68 on Wednesday.

Waldman had one of those Q-school-like scorecards to get himself in the hunt after the first of six rounds, making three birdies, two bogeys, a double-bogey and two eagles.

So, yeah, the story continues, and it's a great one. For more information on the first round of Q-School, click right here.

Getty Images

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hey Lee Janzen, Is Q-School Fun?

Well, glad we cleared that up. Janzen shot a 3-over 74 in the first round of PGA Tour Q-School.

Tiger Woods and Twitter, A Strange, Confusing Tango

So, I decided something on Tuesday. After Tiger Woods spent about a hour and a half replying to random people in the Twitter-verse, sending out 22 tweets in that span, a revelation hit me. All our golf-writing lives, all we've wanted was more Tiger. We wanted more interviews, more insight, more answers, more everything; as fans get with people of fame, the thing we longed for was more. That's the reason we have things like the paparazzi and Perez Hilton and long-lenses cameras. All of this is to help the average Joe find out more about the famous ones. "What are they really like?"

Last Thanksgiving gave us all a large glimpse into the life of Tiger, and professional athletes in general. We spend a ton of time trying to figure out who these people are. During NFL and NBA games we see videos of players helping out the general public with building homes or visiting hospitals. The PGA Tour boasts yearly about how much they donate to charity. All of this is fantastic, don't get me wrong, and I'm proud that our athletes (or the committees they represent) have realized that giving back is a big part of being a big deal, and making a large amount of money. But, nobody really knows. Nobody knew Kobe Bryant was doing what he was doing behind the scenes when the story came out of Colorado. Nobody really thought Ben Roethlisberger was the type of guy to take a girl in a bathroom and do whatever the hell happened. And of COURSE nobody knew about Michael Vick and his antics.

But, after Thanksgiving, we figured out that Tiger wasn't as polished, and it made us want even more. He granted interviews, but said very little. He spoke of change but entered the stage with that same, bland costume. For nearly all of 2010, he was "Tiger Woods, the former," before trying to magically change in the span of a month.

He went on a radio show, and joined a social networking site, and wrote a piece for a fairly popular magazine, if there is even such a thing anymore.

But Tuesday showed me something. As Tiger was answering questions on Twitter, to whoever the hell it was that was sending them in all over the world, it donned on me. Tiger Woods can't give us interesting, because he isn't really that interesting.

People have said he's funny, and sure, he probably does tell dirty jokes, but so do a lot of boring people. He laughs with golfers around the world on the course, but I'm sure most of that is because the other golfer is sitting there thinking, "Tiger made a joke, I BETTER LAUGH AT IT!"

Here are some of Tiger's responses on Tuesday:

Basketball. RT: @WeberN @TigerWoods if you could play any other sport, what would it be?

More majors than the other. RT: @FMinorLP U and Roger Federer are competing to see who wins the most majors, what does the winner get?

St. Andrews. RT: @Justin_PRGuy @TigerWoods what's your favorite course and why?

Read RT: @davejemm Cant believe TW is on Twitter! The fact that you may read this Tiger fills me with excitement ! Absolutely love you man !

Steak and baked potato. RT: @Padgoi what did you eat after your foundation meeting?

Is any of that really interesting, and beyond that, can it be interesting? Can Tiger give us anything on a site that restricts answers, or this the forum great for him because he can say as little as possible? As the great Associated Press writer Doug Ferguson joked on Tuesday, Tiger's answers were short even for Twitter.

It just seems that he's, I don't know, vanilla. All our lives we thought there were so many layers to the man that is Tiger Woods, and the more and more this year has progressed, the more and more it seems we were fooling ourselves into believing he was some being that trumped a homosapien, and really, he's just a golfer, and golfers are normally pretty boring.

His favorite course is St. Andrews, but why? I don't know. He eats steak and baked potatoes after meetings. Awesome. He likes basketball. Great.

I guess the problem really lies with us. We, as golf fans and writers and bloggers, wanted so much to learn more about Woods and send it out to the public, when really, there wasn't much to send.

Oh well, I guess. That's probably for the best.