Friday, September 30, 2011

Man Tries to Impersonate Happy Gilmore, Becomes Worst Person Ever

I nearly didn't write this story because it is so ridiculous and sad, but I figured I'd allow you all to produce some extra hate on this Friday afternoon.

A 20-year-old by the name of Samuel Mulley hit a 5-year-old in the throat with a driver, later pleading that he was impersonating "Happy Gilmore" by doing so. Just in case you were wondering, Mulley is currently in jail for two years, thank the lord.

Details ...

Mulley had been drinking for 24 hours, taken ecstasy and LSD and was smashing a parked car with a club when he came across Mr Channells and his two sons as they walked out of the driving range’s clubhouse.

 Mr Channels said Mulley swung the driver at Blake without warning, hitting him in the jaw and throat.

Umm, is there deleted scenes of "Happy Gilmore" where Adam Sandler acts like a deranged lunatic, because if so, I missed them.

A few things here ...

-- Drugs are bad. They are. And they make you do dumb shit that gets you in jail for two years which probably should be longer since you nearly killed someone because you are a complete moron.

-- Movies are movies for a reason. Also in that movie, Happy hits a drive 400-yards that hits a girl in the head, forcing her to fall forward out of a window and into a bush. Yeah, it's not real life.

-- I'm never really a big "eye for an eye" guy, but shouldn't the dad of this kid be allowed a few swings on Mr. Mulley like he's a piñata? Is there anyone that would protest this?

The report doesn't mention the state of the 5-year-old, but here's hoping he's okay, and man, how much do you hate this guy that you just learned about 25 seconds ago?

Of Course Bubba Played With Bieber

Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly in that golf cart? What in the WORLD would these two have had to talk about? Awwwkward.

via @bubbawatson

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sophie Gustafson Wins 2011

You know what is tougher than playing for your country? Trying to speak in front of people when you can't get the words out. That's Sophie Gustafson, who has always taken to the shadows so she didn't have to deal with the fact that she had a stutter. No more for Sophie, who took it head on, and killed it. This took a ton of courage, and I think we can all be proud of Sophie for doing it.

Michelle Wie Is Cute

And no, not in any way that makes me creepy, but just her personality in ads like this make her appealing. Even the line she delivers is great.

Also, you're welcome McDonalds!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Airlines Are Not Big Fans of Lee Janzen

Well, at least they weren't the other day. These photos, courtesy of GolfWRX, show what happens when a golf bag gets dragged behind a luggage cart, especially a bag of a PGA Tour professional and former major winner.

The clubs are ruined, but at least they have that cool "just dragged" finish to them.

Check out the rest of the photos over at GolfWRX.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tiger Woods Announces New Caddie In Most Tiger Woods Way Possible

Sometimes I'll complete a post about Tiger Woods, read over it, and feel a little bad. Not really because of what I actually said (I believe all that I write over here), but more the impression that it gives off. I'm not a Tiger hater by any means, but I know sometimes it comes off that way.

With that said, I'd like to let you all know, I won't feel bad about this. Sunday marked one of the most dramatic days of golf that I can remember. Honestly, help me think of a time that this many cool things happened in one day? It started with a Solheim Cup that golf fans won't soon forget. Sure, it's easy this time of year to forget about women's golf, but this tournament wouldn't let you. It kept giving us moment after moment, starting with a questionable rooking making a splash on the first day, and ending with the Europeans basically saying "We will not let you take this Cup home again," and snatching bag Solheim as the Americans had five fingers wrapped around it. I'm on a semi-vacation, and couldn't help but stay in the hotel and watch the action. It was that good.

Then came the FedEx Cup, an event that I've never loved that much, but proved it's weight in gold (literally, $10 million of it) this Sunday when two guys that hadn't won a tournament all season were in a playoff for eight figures. No, Haas-Mahan isn't really The Duel in the Sun, but when Haas hit that second shot out of the water to save par on the second playoff hole, the entire sports world stopped for a second to regain their composure (it was so good that I simply tweeted "Wow" and had multiple people retweet those three simple characters).

But what stole the headlines in the golf world? Tiger Woods, announcing that he has found his new caddie, and that would be Joe LaCava, the man that Dustin Johnson had hired this year after LaCava and Fred Couples ended a lengthy relationship.

Understand this; I'm not mad that Tiger went out and got a caddie that was already working with another top-notched player. Sure, Johnson's camp said they were surprised by the announcement, but that's the meat and potatoes of this business. Good caddies are few and far between and if you can find one you think will improve you as a golfer, you offer him whatever you can to get him in your camp.

No, none of that bothers me, it's the fact that all this stuff was "leaked" on such a great golfing day. Face it, Tiger can steal golf headlines away from anything. He's that big. But this Sunday didn't belong to Tiger. It belonged to Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew, Bill and Jay Haas. This was a day that golf actually happened, and during the NFL season, if golf steals viewers, that's a big deal, but it didn't matter to Camp Tiger because he had something to say and he understands that his voice is a 24-point font when everyone else in golf is working with 12. It's the biggest problem with Woods to me and it will continue to bother me.

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Video: Bill Haas' Second Shot in Playoff Was Wet

No, I don't mean it was submerged in water, I mean the "wet" like when Ray Allen shoots a three-pointer from the corner, or Tom Brady lets one of those 45-yard bombs leave his hand. Those things are wet and so was FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas when he flipped his second shot on the second playoff hole to a couple of feet from the pond.

Enough of me talking .. just watch the video, courtesy of Devil Ball.

John Daly Seemed Happy

John Daly withdrew this past weekend at the Austrian Open. Why? Because he got in a little tiff with a rules official about a drop. Since you've read stories that start, "John Daly withdraws ..." about 300 times, I figured I'd just drop in the video, courtesy of ESPN.


Other top golf stories
Video: Bill Haas hits unbelievable shot out of water to win FedEx Cup
Tiger Woods announces new caddie in most Tiger Woods way possible

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Solheim Cup Singles Matches Are Out

I figured I'd toss these all in one place so it was easier to read them. Here are the Sunday Solheim Cup tee times, with the Euros first. It's tied 8-8, and should be some great drama on Sunday.

Catriona Matthew v Paula Creamer
Sophie Gustafson v Stacy Lewis
Anna Nordqvist v Morgan Pressel
Laura Davies v Juli Inkster
Melissa Reid v Vicky Hurst
Christel Boeljon v Brittany Lincicome
Sandra Gal v Brittany Lang
Maria Hjorth v Christina Kim
Suzann Pettersen v Michelle Wie
Caroline Hedwall v Ryann O’Toole
Azahara Muñoz v Angela Stanford
Karen Stupples v Cristie Kerr

I gott say, that first match looks really interesting, and so does Reid versus Hurst. Also, it's worth admitting; I've had more fun watching this than any PGA Tour event of the entire year. A LPGA crossover fan? That I am.

Two random notes about the event so far -- first, I think I've finally accepted the fact that I have a mini crush on Paula Creamer. Blame it on the rain pants.

Second, how badass is Ryann O'Toole? I want to follow her on Twitter like yesterday.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Solheim Cup is Tough!

Tough enough to make the U.S. Open's par-4s look petty! 577 yards? Get outta here!

(Somehow the hole info got changed, but the yardage was still up for the second hole. Hey, it's early in Ireland!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greg Norman Doesn't Think Think Woods Will Break Tiger Woods' Major Record

That headline might be a bit confusing, so let me help you out. Tiger Woods has won 14 majors. It's the second most of any player ever. But Greg Norman talked on Tiger this week, and said not only does he not seem breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, but he doesn't seem him breaking that 14 major mark that Tiger has already at. He thinks he's done with major wins for the rest of his career.

From Norman's Golf Magazine interview ...

"Now there are so many distractions, and people are looking for things that are wrong with Tiger now, so he's got to deal with that on a day-to-day basis, like every other mortal has to do, right?" Norman continued. "In our lives, in our business, we all have to be responsible for our actions. It's very hard for him to have that focus. And the more he shuts people off, the worse it gets."

A few funny things here.

First, Greg Norman should never talk about anyone winning or not winning majors. Well, maybe he could talk about the latter, but seriously, I'm not listening to The Shark about majors. Tiger finished, Norman couldn't.

Second, did the 2008 Open Championship completely slip his mind? This is a guy that, at the ripe age of 53 contended and nearly won a major. He finished third. Nicklaus won a major at 46. Tom Watson nearly won a major when he turned 84. It's possible.

I think the best approach we should all have for Tiger's play is that right now is sure doesn't seem like he's capable of competing, but who knows how he will be mentally in five years from now. Then, he might be able to snag a couple more before it's all said and done. Tiger has a lot of years left to contend in the big tournaments, and taking his last two years and plastering them over his entire career isn't really what Floyd Mayweather would call "a fair shake."

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can't We Just Golf In Bee-ace?!

You know what's tough? Golf. You know what's tougher? Golf when you've got something else in the back of your mind. You know what's the toughest? Golfing with something in the back of your mind, and that thing being 60,000 bees swarming around you as you putt.

That's what happened at the University of Texas-Arlington's latest golf tournament, when a swarm of bees that were inhabiting a tree near the 18th green took over the final hole, making it unplayable and forcing the tournament to be canceled.

I know that God made everything for a reason, and bees pollinate blah blah blah, but I'm going to have a long conversation when I get through those pearly gates, if I'm invited, with the man upstairs about all these insects he has flying around me all the time. Mosquitos? Bees? Spiders?! These things make my life better?! You've got some 'splainin' to do, sir.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starting Next Year, The Only Thing You May Be Able to Smoke on the Golf Course Is Your Driver

One of my favorite Lewis Black sketches ever is when he talks about how nobody knows if certain food is good or bad for you anymore, and asks the audience, simply,  "Is milk good or bad for you?" The audiences tosses a collection of "yes" and "no's" at Black where he replies, "I rest my case."

But if you ask anyone in the world if cigarettes are bad for you, they'd quickly answer, "Yes." They might even answer, "Yes of course," or even, "are you a complete f-ing moron?" 

Thing is, don't tell that to the World Anti Doping Agency, who might put nicotine on their list of performance enhancing drugs (I'll allow you a second to laugh) in 2012. 

Here is the full quote, via Alex Miceli of Golfweek

“It is not WADA’s intention to target smokers, rather to monitor the effects nicotine can have on performance when taken in oral tobacco products such as snus,” Terence O’Rorke, a spokesman for the WADA, wrote to Golfweek in an email. “The sole purpose (of including nicotine on the monitoring list) is to collect data on the potential abuse of nicotine as a performance enhancer.”

Go read the Golfweek story for quotes from certain players, but I'll let you guess if the smokers/dippers are happy about this.

If nicotine is a performance enhancing drug, the homeless guy that always sits outside my apartment better get him a set of clubs, because he might be the next Arnold Palmer.

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Can Someone Wake up Mike Whan?

As you probably heard, a 16-year-old named Lexi Thompson won her first LPGA event over the weekend, becoming the youngest player by two years to win on the LPGA Tour.

And this is great news to just about everyone it seems, except the suits with the LPGA. Why? Because they still haven't granted Thompson full status on the LPGA Tour. Yep. A current winner in 2011 isn't a full-time member, and won't be, because she's too young and has to go through Q-School.

Again, let me repeat that - a winner on the LPGA Tour that is 16 is being asked to go through Q-School after beating all the big names in a competitive tournament last weekend.

Now, I've met Mike Whan, and I really enjoy him. He's a super nice guy that has done some great things for the LPGA and continues to move the tour forward in the right direction, but even Albert Pujos strikes out, and it seems Whan is with this decision.

I understand the age requirements (well, not really ... the LPGA can use any boost they can get, so why wouldn't they just let anyone try to be a full-time member no matter their age? Isn't any coverage good coverage?), but Lexi won. She won! And she's really, really talented! And despite the numerous examples of young people flaming out, it seems Lexi is the real deal, as real a talent as we've seen at a young age since Michelle Wie (who took much longer to win her first event).

Whan needs to change this. Golf has always been performance based. If you win, you're in, no matter what. Look at Jason Gore. Look at "Tin Cup." Look at just about anyone that has played themselves into a competitive position and succeeded. Lexi might have to go to Q-School after proving herself at the most elite level in women's golf. What more do you want, Mike? For her to make a cut with the boys? I'm pretty sure if you keep shunning her away, that'll be the next place you see her, and all that does is help the image of Lexi Thompson and hurt the image of the LPGA.

Change this, please. I have enough stuff giving me headaches these days.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Tiger Woods Will Be Able to Play in Tiger Woods' Event!

There are plenty of moments over the last two years that have been telling in the fall of Tiger Woods, but the one that nearly happened this weekend would have been probably the worst.

Tiger, who hosts a tournament in December called the Chevron World Challenge, an event he was leading a season ago by four shots heading into Sunday only to lose to Graeme McDowell in a playoff, nearly fell so far down the world rankings that he wasn't allowed in his own event. Nearly.

Tiger has dropped to 49th in the world, and if he would have dropped outside the top-50, he wouldn't have been able to play his own event. It's just Tiger being Tiger!

Via the Associated Press ...

The Chevron World Challenge was allowed two years ago to offer ranking points, provided it have only two sponsor exemptions and both were among the top 50 in the world. Woods was at No. 46 going into the week, and was passed by Geoff Ogilvy, Sergio Garcia and Bill Haas. 

The tournament could have asked the PGA Tour for a change in criteria to allow Woods to play, although it might not have been able to award ranking points.

Maybe it's the lack of play lately from Tiger, or just the fact that I don't pay any attention to the world rankings, but how crazy is it that Woods is nearly out of the top-50 in the world?! This is a guy that was ranked number one for as long as one of my nephews has been alive, and now he is falling behind guys like Bill Haas?

Insane, but at least he got in his own event, that will take place in early December.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

No Words.

Being a professional golfer can get boring at times. You travel, stay in forgettable hotels, and try not to lose your mind between golf tournaments in the likes of Alabama and Arkansas.

So you can't help but appreciate Tiffany Joh, who made this video that obviously was meant to make me chuckle. I enjoyed it, and not because two of my favorites on the LPGA, Alison Walshe and Jeehae Lee are in it, riding their putters on the putting green. Who knew University of Arizona girls could shake it that way? Nice work, Walshey.

h/t Wei Under Par

Thursday, September 15, 2011

To Dustin Johnson, A 'Long-Iron' is An 8 or 9-Iron

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to head to Southern California and interview Dustin Johnson about the then-new r11 driver. I met him at the Kingdom, TaylorMade's driving range mecca, as he was pounding r11 after r11 down the fairway at incredible lengths.

To be totally honest, length is one of the few things with pro golfers that doesn't impress me. All those guys can hit it far, and I've played in enough events with dudes that can pound it 340 that I'm basically numb to the idea of a long hitter. But the consistency of Dustin's bombs were something I took away. They all were landing in basically the same area, somewhere upwards of 315 yards down the uphill range. Drive after drive after drive.

But you don't totally get how long certain people are until they say things that make you understand they aren't being arrogant, they're just being honest. Johnson was asked about the controversial course changes at Cog Hill, and he said he was a fan.

And then he said this.

"There's a few long par 4s where I hit a lot of 6-, 7- and 8-irons, 9-irons," he said. "Those are long irons to me."

Funny? Yes. Honest? Well, yes. Think about it. When is the last time Dustin Johnson has hit a 3-iron into a par-4? Or even a 4-iron? This is a long guy that hits his irons even further, and I'm sure it's a shock when he has 8-iron or more into something that isn't a par-3 or par-5.

I like that he says this, because I'm sure he isn't being cocky, just honest. Also, I bet that makes you feel better about yourself. Maybe that Tee It Forward thing had it right all along.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Insanity is Still Talking about Tiger's Race for 18

There are moments when you realize that no matter what happens in the golf world, Tiger Woods will always be the story. The last few weeks have been that. Tiger isn't playing in the FedEx Cup, a host of other great players are trying to make an even bigger name for themselves, but Tiger is still the obvious focus. If it isn't him announcing that he's going to play in a Fall Series event, it's new that he might not qualify for this or his ranking will drop to that.

But the strangest thing of them all is the abundance of stories focusing on Tiger's return to greatness, and how many famous players are stepping up and saying he won't ever get back to where he was. It's the definition of obvious assessments, like a tennis expert spending 10 minutes on air telling us that they don't think Roger Federer is still the best player in tennis, when anyone with the smallest scope on the fuzzy ball knows he isn't what he once was.

Just in the last week alone, Nick Faldo, Nick Price and Luke Donald have mentioned that they don't see Tiger regaining his once-impeccable form, and have noted that they don't see Tiger breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championship wins, something that seems almost too obvious to chat about these days.

When the bad things started hitting Woods, I was one of the first dudes up on the soapbox. I didn't like how Tiger handled anything, was worried about his future in the game and in life, and was nervous that such a blow to what was once the strongest athlete we have ever seen might be too much for him.

People ask me what happened to Tiger all the time, and I always tell them that for the first time in his life, he's been defeated. He's been beat on the golf course, in life, by the media, and more importantly, by society. Tiger isn't the great man he was to a lot of people that once thought he was unbeatable, and we sit here and chat about his faults all the time now. Five years ago? Thinking about "Tiger" and "fault" in the same sentence would have been as likely as "Michael Bay" and "silent film."

But at least once a week now, we get a person of interest in the golf world speaking on Tiger and his future. My take? Who knows. In 2008 I sure didn't see this coming, and every year I expect him to bounce back. He isn't, and it just confuses me all the more.

Of course Tiger isn't on pace to break Jack's record these days. That's obvious. This is a guy that can barely finish in the top-10 anymore, so thinking he has a chance at the golf equivalent of 56 hits is miles away. I just don't understand why people are still getting these questions, and I'm sure Tiger is as well.

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Bubba Watson Looks Very Bubba Watson-y at Georgia Game

This past weekend, Bubba Watson was at the University of Georgia game against South Carolina, a game that just slipped away from them in the end.

I found this picture from the great folks at Getty Images, and for some reason, it is just oh so Bubba. The backwards cap, the sunglasses on his cap, the strange look, and the fact that he's holding a football despite being on the sidelines, presumably just to hold onto a football.

Sidelines of NFL games are strange. I remember once standing on the sidelines at a Nebraska-USC game back in my ESPN days only to have some guy screaming in my ear for about two straight minutes. Turned out it was Larry the Cable Guy, and when I shot him a mean look he later apologized. This was just weeks after I had a good minute or two conversation with LeBron James and then still Longhorn Daniel Gibson on the sidelines of the Ohio State-Texas game. Yes, that was some serious namedropping, but it shows just what type of people want to attend football games, and feel like they're "part of the action." I'm assuming that's why Bubba has a football here.

Webb Simpson Says Ta-Ta to Twitter

Twitter is good for a lot of things. It's great for breaking news, incredible to get to know certain celebrities and athletes, and allows you to connect to people you otherwise wouldn't be able to "communicate" with (and I put communicate in quotes because no matter how much you think you know someone, you really only are seeing their end of it unless you're getting the re-follow, which hardly ever happens with big names on the site).

But the one negative thing about Twitter is the hate. Man, people HATE on that site. They hate you for what you say, who you are, what you do, and just about anything that you post. The more people you get to follow you, the more you see that hate seep through, and it's ugly.

And while little people like me see it occasionally, the big names, like Webb Simpson, probably get it hourly. That's why the FedEx Cup points leader is ditching out on the social networking site. He's done, at least for now, because he said he's done seeing all the negativity.

From Sobel's report ...

“My main reason I signed on was just kind of to read what other people said,” he explained. “I loved hearing what other athletes say or other people I like to follow. But at the same time, getting in contention, I get more followers; I win, I get more followers, and there's a lot of negativity there, people saying really mean things. “So last week I deleted it on my phone. I still have the account, but it was just kind of - it's hard not to read what people say. 

Don't get me wrong, 90 percent of the people were very complimentary, but you still have people out there that they want to share their opinion any way possible. I'm signed off currently right now.”

Honestly, how can you blame the guy? He definitely isn't the first athlete or celebrity to kick Twitter to the curb, and definitely won't be the last. For all I can tell, Simpson comes off as a very genuine guy that loves Jesus and proclaims it anytime he can. I'm sure a lot of the hate comes about because of his faith, and for that, ditching Twitter isn't a terrible idea.

Honestly, who hasn't wanted to delete their Twitter or Facebook account lately? It seems that the more these things catch on, the more the trolls sneak around trying to ruin your day. They aren't nearly as fun as they used to be, and really make me understand why people hate when bands go mainstream. Sure, it's good for the band, but it's a lot more fun when you can go watch your favorite trio sing in some basement bar with 100 of your best friends. The more popular something becomes, the less exciting it is.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dustin Johnson Has a Pretty Cool Life

Dustin Johnson got to golf at Wrigley Field this past weekend. Why? Because his life is way more awesome than yours. Yep, not only did he get to hit some golf shots at Wrigley, but he got to do so while hanging with Ernie Banks.

I'm not totally sure what this is for, and I'm not totally sure I care, but it must be pretty cool to do something like this.

Now, let me get back to washing my own laundry and trying to connect to my neighbor's Internet while Dustin gets his golf clubs scrubbed by Mark Grace.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Phil Mickelson Is About to Be in the Hall of Fame

The World Golf Hall of Fame has put out their annual list of potential inductees, and guess who is on the list ... Mr. Phil Mickelson himself!! We rib Lefty a lot, but he's an obvious member here with three majors and a ton of PGA Tour victories. Who else made the list? Look below ...

Miller Barber
Fred Couples
Jim Furyk
Don January
Tony Lema
Davis Love III
Harold (Jug) McSpaden
Phil Mickelson
Mark O'Meara
Loren Roberts
Macdonald Smith
Dave Stockton
Ken Venturi
Fuzzy Zoeller
Peter Alliss
Darren Clarke
Max Faulkner
Retief Goosen
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Sandy Lyle
Graham Marsh
Colin Montgomerie
Norman Von Nida
Ian Woosnam

Looks like a good list to me! Can they all get in? That would be fantastic.

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The Playoffs Are Back!

Whew! Thank goodness for that week off so the golfers could catch their breath, but golf is back, and so are we.

Look how excited Sergio is about it?!!? Anyway, check back for the rest of the week with golf updates, per usual, as the playoffs roll on ahead.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

A New Feature: Name That LPGA Player!

Alright, it's a slow week, so I figured we'd start a new feature called "Name that LPGA player!" You have to guess who it is before you jump, and then see if you got it right! Okay, so, name the LPGA player above ...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Michelle Wie's New Hair, Because There is Literally Nothing Else Going On

Here is a photo of Michelle Wie's new red hair. She tweeted a picture of it. That's literally all there is to say about it, besides maybe to quote one of my favorite websites in the world, WWTDD, about girls that dye their hair red - "Girls with red hair are the absolute best. The only thing better than a hot girl with red hair is two hot girls with red hair." So yes, I'm a fan. Good job, Michelle. That's all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10 Things To Do This Weekend Without Golf Around

As we all know, two weeks of golf can be grueling, so thank goodness those touring pros get this week away from the playoffs to recoup and get their legs back under them. Yes, dead week is upon us, meaning no golf until next Thursday, when the playoffs resume. But what does that mean for us? Here are 10 things you can do to pass the time until next week.

10. Do a rain dance for the East Texas area -- Yes, I grew up in East Texas, and yes, it needs rain more than the GOP needs a star, so do whatever sashay you can to get the clouds to open up over my hometown, and stop these horrible fires from consuming even more pine trees.

9. Spend the weekend being happy you're here -- A lot of people are depressed, but must we remember, as the ten year reunion of 9/11 is upon us, life could be worse. Smile, take some time alone, and just be thankful that things aren't as bad as they could be. As terrible as we seem to have it, remember, most of our complaints are #whitegirlproblems, and should be remembered as such. Now, about this stupid computer charger that won't work!!! Ughhh.

8. Take someone to the range that has never hit a golf ball before -- Spreading the game is a great thing, but it shouldn't just be for the kids in your life. Take a girl friend or an aunt or a buddy that has never got into golf and show them the beauty and power of hitting that one shot solid. It really is a feeling that resonates in your loins, to quote the great Roy McAvoy.

7. Root for the University of Arizona on Thursday night -- Okay, fine, you don't have to, but I'd really appreciate it!

6. Go raid the used golf club bucket at your local golf shop -- It's insane how many hidden gems are in those buckets, and who knows, you might find a bullseye putter or an old metal wood that might just change your game, and even if it doesn't, it'll get you excited about your next tee time.

5. Post a comment below to my friend Wes about how much you hate him for making two hole-in-ones in 2011 and not leaving any out for the rest of us -- Doesn't he know we all want one?!

4. Go to the range and don't bring any woods -- Seriously, just go with your wedges and irons. Trust me, it'll help. A lot.

3. Rent "Win, Win" -- Seriously, might be one of my favorite movies of the year.

2. Go play 18 holes -- Why wouldn't you? The weather in most parts of this country is actually starting to turn, and this is the time you should take full advantage.

1. Watch NFL -- As if you didn't already plan on doing that.

That Hole-In-One Story Just Got a Whole Lot Shistier

You might remember just over a week ago, a story I posted about a young man that made a hole-in-one that was worth $5,000. The people in charge of the tournament never paid him, claiming the official watching the hole, "did not sign the required affidavit."

Turns out, our man Andrew Vold wasn't the only one that didn't get paid. The story goes much deeper, according to NBC's KARE, who did some great reporting. Not only did they talk to John W. Schierman, the man in charge of the company that won't pay Vold, but they also found out who the official was watching the hole, and she had some interesting things to say about the deal.

Via their report ...

"He made the hole-in-one," said Amanda Herman. Herman was working for Par 3 Fun Stop that day. 

She says Andrew's shot was the real deal. "I was freaking out with the whole family. I was very excited for him. It was very cooll. I've never seen anybody hit a hole-in-one before, so it was cool," said Herman.

So if Herman, the person that Schierman said didn't sign the affidavit, saw it go in, why isn't Vold getting his money?

Turns out, the whole Par-3 Fun Stop might be a scam. When KARE went back to talk to Schierman after an employee said there were other unpaid hole-in-ones pending, the man in "charge" finally broke down, admitting that not only did he not have hole-in-one insurance, but the whole affidavit thing was a scam to buy some time so he could find the money.

And on top of all that, Schierman said he'd do an interview with the Minneapolis-St. Paul affiliate only to no-show on them the day of the interview.

The only silver lining in this whole thing? Schierman has contacted Vold, who plans to use the money to pay for his college, and told him he'd try to get him the money by October 15, but as of now, we know his word only goes so far.

It's a crappy story that just got worse, but at least there are some answers now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Get In My Belly, Phil Edition

Here is a photo of Phil Mickelson using the belly putter. Our pal Ryan Ballengee has a good breakdown of how the belly putter worked for Phil through three rounds last week in Boston, and his stats were very mediocre with the pool cue this past week.

Will he continue to use it? No word yet, but I'm assuming we will see it now and then in his golf bag, but for now, that image will be your post-Labor Day dessert. Hope it's yummy!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

That Was a Decent Shot

Making a hole-in-one on a par-3 isn't cool. You know what's cool? Making a hole-in-one on a par-4. Rahil Gangjee knows what I'm talking about!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

European Golf Tour Prefers It Short

Yep, that's the word from the Gecko EuroPro Tour (yes, that's really something), who has banned long and belly putters, citing the "anchoring" maneuver as the main reason they're not allowing them around.

Here is the official word on the deal ...

Director of golf Paul Netherton said “With the anchoring of the putter into a players midriff, we feel this gives a player an unfair advantage over the rest of the competitors in the field, which goes against the ethos and spirit of the game. “ Paul went onto say, I have no problem with the development of equipment, especially for amateur golfers to progress and enjoy the game, but I feel at the top of the game the professionals, shouldn’t need gimmicks to compete.”

Humm. I mean, I agree with all the things he said, and like that a smaller tour decided to be the first to make this move, but honestly, aren't most of the pros in Europe using long putters? The only thing more controversial than this across the pond is if they banned those electric push carts. (Note: I played in the British Open qualifier this past summer, and I was the ONLY PLAYER that didn't have one of those electric push carts. The only one. Seriously, people looked at me carrying my bag like I had four arms and a 1-iron in the bag.) 

I think long putters are a little cheating, but I also think that putting is 100 percent mental, and as long as you have some sort of motion that gets the ball going in the same area every time, you're only going to make the putts if you think you'll make the putts. 

But whatever. Maybe other tours will follow and maybe they won't. I don't expect it to be a huge thing.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Phil Mickelson's Jeans Win This Time

Phil Mickelson took batting practice on Thursday before the Yankees-Red Sox game. It isn't the first time Lefty has tossed himself into the baseball ring, once throwing BP before a Padres game and nearly bought the team before pulling out of it.

I mean, what more do you want from Phil? The guy is rocking some stone-washed jeans from the Abercrombie collection in '02 (not the first pro golfer to sport A&F, I might add), and the face below is probably my favorite picture of Mickelson ever, and will never be replaced.

Thank you, Phil, for being you, all the time.

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The Slow, Slow Return to Golf, and How It Relates to Tiger Woods

On Friday of this year's Memorial Day, I did what I always do during the week. Dragged my ass down the street to my local LA Fitness to workout and then play an hour or so of basketball with the nooner clan that always arrives to run before the afternoon grind at their desk jobs.

I had a weird feeling heading to the gym, but did what I always do. I hustled, I grabbed rebounds and I tried to burn a couple of unnecessary calories gained for the previous night's pizza and beer. But a strange thing happened in the final game before I was set to play nine holes with my friends; I drove to the hoop, went up for a game winning floater, got hit in the air and pushed off my mark, only to find the top of some clueless man's Nike.

Broken foot, out for three months, thanks a lot.

During those three months, all I dreamed about was getting out on the golf course. For all the trash I talk about this stupid sport, it's really like a 30-year-old marriage between a Greek couple; much trash talking, but behind that is a serious love for one another.

But the return has been slow. Slow slow slow. Like a snail trying to run up the wrong side of an escalator slow. At first it was just the basics. Take it back, take it through, try to hit the ball somewhere near the sweet spot and not worry too much about the result. It was Golf 101, but with a sore foot and an even more sore ego. My golf game wasn't what it used to be.

It's been frustrating to the point that I actually canceled an invitation from my two best friends for golf over the holiday weekend, mainly because I am hitting the ball like a 15 handicap (and again, no knock to 15 handicaps, I just haven't been there for a while). My dad used to be a single digit handicap. On Sunday, I flew to Las Vegas to play a few holes with him while he was on a business trip. I quickly landed in the worst slump I've been in since my return, and recited something to him that he once told me when I asked why he doesn't like to play as much anymore. He once told me, "This game sucks when you can't do what you used to be able to do," and as much as that resonates with me, it must resonate with a guy like Tiger Woods more.

The last couple of weeks have made me realize what Tiger must be going through. Am I comparing myself to someone like him? Of course not, that guy has more talent in a single softspike than I will ever have in my entire body, but to a lesser extent, I get it. My swing isn't the same. My results are way different. My misses are worse. The putts aren't dropping. I am sitting over golf shots I used to be able to pull off on a regular basis and I'm hitting them like Roy McAvoy just handed me a golf bag full of baseball bats and shovels.

I don't like it. Not one bit. I don't like having to hit irons off the tees on par-5s because I can't find the fairway with my driver. I don't like standing over a stock 7-iron and pulling it right of Lake Mead. I don't like knowing the three-footer I have for par has no way of finding the hole.

In the coming weeks I'll go see my swing coach and try to figure out what's going on. I'll go out on the golf course and pull off one or two more shots around than I did the week before. And eventually, hopefully, I'll find the game I used to actually brag about. But for now, I'll sit at home understanding why Tiger isn't that excited to be out on the golf course. When you can't pull off the golf shots you used to be able to pull off, it sure isn't the same game, and it sure loses it's luster.

Now if anyone could find that guy that bumped me on the basketball court, I have a few choice words for him.

Golf is Dumb, Nick Dougherty Edition

In 1998, Justin Rose was just a kid. Barely old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes, Rose was playing some incredible golf at the Open Championship, and concluded his impressive week as an amateur with a hole-out on the 72nd hole for birdie to jump all the way to fourth place. His was charismatic, talented and looked to be a solid pro at such a young age.

But something strange happens when you turn professional. Rose went pro shortly after his great play at Royal Birkdale and proceeded to miss 21 straight cuts. It was ugly, it was sad and it was really tough to watch. But we all know the history of Rose. The now 31-year-old Rose has two PGA Tour wins and four European Tour titles and has been a very solid player over his career. Sure, he hasn't really found that magic that he had at Birkdale when he actually took headlines away from the eventual champion Mark O'Meara, but he's been fine.

Cue fellow Englishman Nick Dougherty. The 29-year-old never had expectations like Rose, but people thought he'd be great. He has won three European Tour events, and finished tied for seven at the at the '07 U.S. Open. But since November, Dougherty hasn't made a cut. Not a single one. He's gone 21 straight tournaments without seeing the green-side of a Friday night, but golf is a ridiculously insane sport, so why wouldn't it be that Nick is now leading the first tournament he could see the weekend at in 2011?

That's the case. Dougherty shot a Thursday 63 to take a two-shot lead at the Omega European Masters, and while it is simply the first round, it's great stuff from a guy that seemed destined for doom this season. Will he make the cut come Friday evening? I sure hope so, because it would take a massive "Utopia" style meltdown not to happen, but for now we can just all smile at the fact that a guy that couldn't have found a fairway with a wedge is now on top at a big-time event. Keep it up, Dougherty.

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Phil Mickelson ... Belly Putter ... Seriously

That above picture is Phil Mickelson trying out the belly putter during the Deutsche Bank pro-am this week. Action starts today, so we will see if that thing is in the bag.

I just wanted to take a moment to say RIP to some of my favorite things in golf; the talenter-ers. I call them that because Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods (Davis Love III also makes this group) always stuck to the old school equipment. Tiger used to use a steel-shafted driver. He loves his 2-iron. He hits blades.

Phil was the same way. He played Ping-Eye 2 wedges when the grooves thing came out. He uses old school putter-types. He forward presses. He plays well because he has incredible touch and feel. Now this. It would be like Tiger putting a hybrid in his bag, or David Love making fun of people still using 1-irons.

This is the death of the old schoolers, and somewhere, Ben Hogan is rolling around in his grave. Can someone please make these long putters illegal before it's too late!?

Rory McIlroy Confirms What We Were All Thinking

Last month, at the year's final PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy went for a shot in the first round that nearly ended his season, and definitely ended his run at a second major championship.

It was on the 3rd hole, and McIlroy smoked a root trying to punch an errant drive back into the fairway, forcing him to wince and ice his wrist throughout the rest of the round, never really being the same guy. When he did it, just about everyone thought it was a stupid move, and now the man that hit the second is even saying it wasn't very smart.

Via Rory's blog ... "Looking back on it now it was a stupid shot to play on the 3rd, at the time I thought I could get away with it, but obviously I didn’t and it put paid to my chances of a second major this year."

Yes, it wasn't your smartest, but I must admit, even now I thought it was ballsy to try it, and actually showed what Rory had talked about after winning the U.S. Open.

McIlroy said he needed to be more confident on the golf course, and attempting a shot like that shows that you really think you're invincible on the course, so mission accomplished. But, next time I pick you to win a major, you best not be going for broke in the first friggin' round, McIlroy.

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