Thursday, December 25, 2008

Don’t Cancel The Gym Membership Yet!

A fitness expert from Denver has recently concluded, after an extensive study that golf IS A SPORT, due to the calories burned while swinging the club and walking the course.

I did a little more of a background check on this story, figuring it for a joke. The name Dr. Neal Wolkodoff seemed like a play on words (Walkodoff = Walk-It-Off) and the website for the Rose Center for Health & Sport Sciences seemed eerily sterile of creativity. But it looked legit enough.

I hope I’m still not being fooled. Checking Snopes.com…. still no sign of a hoax.

Needless to say, part of the study concluded that golfers who carried their clubs burned more calories than golfers who rode in carts.

Dr. Walk-It-Off, here’s your prize: a pack of year-old chewing gum and a Chinese yo-yo. Please tell us something we don’t know.

Not to totally disrespect Dr. Wolkodoff. He’s not trying to advertise the game of golf as high-impact exercise, nor does he say that golf, in and of itself, will keep one fit. However, for as many calories are burned during the round… the 19th hole will generously provide it back to you in the form of beer and hot dogs.

Leave the calorie burning to the gym and worry about making par at the golf course.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dear President-Elect Obama:

Having voted for you in this year’s election, I wanted to wish you a hearty congratulation on your presidential victory. As a Chicago resident, I am also suffering through the beginnings of what will certainly be a snowy winter, envious of your recent round at the Olomana Golf Links on the island of Oahu. I probably should have guessed that you were a golfer, being that your formative years were spent living in Hawaii.

But I wanted to let you in on a little secret. What I am about to tell you Mr. President, is perhaps the most valuable non-classified piece of information you’ll ever receive during your administration (that goes for anything you receive from CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, FBI, et. al).

You’ll live longer and guarantee yourself 8 years in the White House if you install a GOLF SIMULATOR in the White House and NOT, I repeat, NOT a basketball court. I don't think I need to extol the virtues of the Royal and Ancient game, for much of golf's principles are analogous to our own human endeavors. Not to mention, it's a lot less physical on the body than hoops (I've heard you play some tenacious defense during pickup games, that can always come back to haunt you).

But that’s just my opinion.

I’m looking forward to the inauguration and wishing you the happiest of holidays to you and your family.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey L. Goodman (Goods)

PS: Can a cabinet position be created for golf reservations? Or does that stuff get thrown to your under-secretary?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fannie Mae is Messin' With Texas

The term 'oversight' is a more sugar-coated version of term 'f*** up', and you can certainly argue that the Fannie Mae office in Dallas achieved a big oversight recently. A $6000 golf outing took place for 14 Fannie execs in early November, 22 days after the Federal government took over the beleaguered mortgage institution.

"We regret that oversight, we were highly embarrassed by it, and we took immediate action to prevent a recurrence," said current Fannie Mae CEO, Herbert M. Allison Jr.

Some of the gifts in the outing 'goodie' bag:

- 24-karat solid gold Titleist Pro-V1
- bag of 100 cedar-wood golf tees
- coupon for $1000 off of golf lesson w/Hank Haney
- Chinchilla-fur hybrid head cover
- $500 in fresh, unmarked $20 bills

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yup! The Story Is Still Daly.

The rules for spectators are specific at the Australian Open. As Willy Wonka would say, “It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal!”

NO CAMERA, VIDEO OR AUDIO EQUIPMENTS IS ALLOWED ON COURSE.

You could argue that John Daly was simply being a good patron of the tournament and enforcing the rules, after smashing a spectator’s camera to bits. This is, of course, after Daly shot a 6-over 78 in the opening round.

A fan had tried to snap a photograph of Daly, who had just made an errant shot into the rough off the tee. Daly snatched the camera from golf fan Brad Clegg and proceeded to smash the device into a tree trunk claiming, “you want it back, I’ll buy you a new one.”

Clegg isn’t seeking money for the damaged camera. Moreover, the situation died down a bit.

Daly found his ball and not only had a shot to the green, but was only 20 feet from the Foster’s Lager tent.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coincidence???

A recent rash of inane injuries has been occurring throughout professional sports. It’s not that weird accidents are anything new, but the connection between Plaxico Burress and his handgun, Derrick Rose and an apple and now Adam Scott and his surfboard, is all too eerie.

Just to give the scenario some perspective, here’s some other weird and wimpy sports injuries to for comparison. These injuries are stupid, but I will not cast the first stone.

For I have, like Sammy Sosa, tweaked my back while expelling a large sneeze.

Like Gus Frerotte, I have banged helmets (with a fellow teammate, instead of the wall) and ultimately concussed myself.

Like Nolan Ryan, I have been bitten by a coyote.


OK, it was the neighbor's cat when I lived in Tucson, Arizona. But that's close enough, right?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jeev M. Singh Moves Up WGC Ladder, Man Crush Continues

Back in March, I touted a certain Indian golfer who as of right now ranks 36th on the World Golf list and is consistently raising his stock.

He has PGA Tour experience and played well at both the Masters and PGA Championship in 2008, finishing in ties for 9th and 25th respectively.

Jeev Milkha Singh has just wrapped up a nice stint on the Asian PGA Tour, which included the Order Of Merit (Money List) title, thanks in part to his victories at the Barclay’s Singapore Open and Nagashima Shigeo Invitational. However, with his victory this past weekend at the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, Singh had a little more on his mind.

Earlier in the week, Singh’s wife, Kudrat, delivered a stillborn baby at a hospital in Japan. Saddened by the unfortunate event, Jeev M. wanted to withdraw from the tournament. Kudrat urged her husband to stay entered at the tournment and he obliged. Playing with a heavy heart, Singh fired a 4-under 66 in the final round to win the JT Cup for the second time in his career.

In 10 events, Singh has amassed over $1.4 million (USD), an Asian PGA Tour record for winnings. In Between 18 has had their eyes on Sir Jeev for a while now. The man can play. A Major championship may not be too far down the road.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Even In Oz, Daly Is The Story

After shooting a 9-under at the Australian PGA Championship today, Jarrod Lyle has every reason to think he’s the story going into Saturday. But for some odd reason (one that I admittedly contribute to myself), the story here is still John Daly.

As one of 5 Americans playing in the tournament, Daly hardly made a dent in the leaderboard. He’s tied for 96th at 4-over par and will certainly miss the cut.

However, there’s a certain romanticism to it all; one that reeks of Jack Daniels and a country ballad over speakers from ’74 Chevy on cinder blocks. For the man that who once sang “All My Exes Wear Rolex-es” is also responsible for an increase in gate receipts. I am, by all accounts, a Daly fan. But I’m not sure what I’m a fan of. I’m torn between two John Daly’s. I’m a fan of the 2-time Majors winner who at any given time can be victorious, as much as I am a fan of the flawed, self-destructive Daly.

The Majors-winning Daly makes us realize how dreams really can come true and the flawed, drunken Daly makes us realize how those dreams can fade due to addiction and self-medication.

A likeable character, perhaps. But more like a walking public-service announcement.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Golf From The Throne

You may be stretched too thin on ideas for holiday gifts. However, if you’re buying for the golfer in your life, the options are truly endless. From personalized golf balls to cute and fuzzy clubhead covers, the golf industry is never at a shortage for practical, affordable gifts.

Take for example the Potty Putter. That’s right people! You can now practice your putts while taking your morning glory in the privacy of your bathroom, right from the toilet!. Complete with custom-shaped green, putter, 2 golf balls and a little sign for the doorknob, the Potty Putter is perfect for the golfer who suffers from both constipation and bad putting.

The only drawback to this gift is that your posture may take on a whole new meaning once you actually get back out on the golf course. The last thing any golfer wants is to look like they’re crapping their pants during their address. And g-d forbid if a golfer has to take their pants down in order to putt … your partners may never play with you again.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dimples Are For Dipsticks



Leave it to some dorks with a crapload of time on their hands to figure out how the dimples on a golf ball can be designed to, “lower the risk of a hook or a slice.”

At least that’s what Kyle Squires believes. A Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University, Squires is part of a group studying how airflow affects a golf ball’s speed and trajectory, but they’re not using a real golf ball. Instead, a computer generates a golf ball’s surface and then simulates the movement of the ball through the air, measuring the flow across billions of points on the ball’s surface.

“What we’re looking at is an application in flow control,” Squires said. “That’s an interesting problem in airplanes, gas turbines and other things. Being able to manipulate flow in a device is a common problem, and in some of those areas, changing the pattern on the surface could be very useful.”

So perhaps technology is still not done with breaking distance barriers and manipulating an object’s path through space. But lets keep it confined to the airplanes and gas turbines of the world, Poindexter. The last thing the industry needs right now is another b.s. excuse of a marketing ploy. Our forefathers used some pretty crappy golf balls back in the day, and they still shot sub-80 rounds.

Remember, it’s not the ball that sucks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

GM Lets The Tail Go


Tiger Woods will have a little less pocket change, as General Motors will not be renewing Woods’ endorsement contract, believed to be worth about $7 to $8 million per year. Moreover, GM will take a more limited approach to its marketing on the PGA Tour and reduce their exposure at certain events.

This move by General Motors is an obvious sign of the times, as American automakers (perhaps anticipating their eventual bailout from the Federal government… wink, wink, nudge nudge) must prudently trim their expenditures.

In terms of Woods’ endorsement portfolio (Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, Tag Heuer), it always seemed that Buick was a not-so-obvious fit. It ranks right up there with MJ endorsing Ball Park Hot Dogs. I’m sure Buick had a heyday back when Edsels were still the joke. But lets face it; analogizing Tiger’s excellence to an American-made car is like comparing a diamond to a booger.

But Buick isn’t totally lost. The 2009 Wildcat Gran Sport will only set you back around $60,000, has a real retro-sleek look to it and perhaps something that Tiger would actually keep in his garage.

Tiger Drives The Wildcat. Ring that one up the flagpole!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Augusta Ch-ch-changes... again!

Augusta National President Billy Payne wants to "provide greater flexibility in the event of adverse weather conditions." This will be most notable on the 1st tee, which has been moved up to help "ease gallery flow." Greens # 1, 5, & 7 have also been renovated with new heating/cooling systems. Although the tee boxes have been lengthened, the home course for the Masters has been shortened by a grand total of 10 yards.


What is seemingly worrying Payne is the notion of a tournament suffering from lackluster scores due to inclement weather, the most notable of which is Zach Johnson's windy, cold 2007 victory, the highest winning score in Masters history. It is this notion of attempting to control adverse weather conditions that is irksome.

Not that Payne's changes to the course will automatically lower scores, but this golf and not Golden Tee. Part of the fun of watching professionals playing in tough weather is that they become more like us: mistake-prone, rattled...HUMAN!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What can the Majors learn from J.P. Hayes?

In an act that speaks volumes about the person and league he represents, J.P. Hayes was honest enough to turn himself in, knowing fully that the chance at winning millions of dollars on the PGA Tour would most certainly be in jeopardy.

By using an illegal prototype golf ball during a ‘Q-School’ round, Hayes subjected himself to full disqualification from the tournament and ultimately, a spot on the Tour. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Hayes admitted, “It was my mistake. I had no choice but to take my medicine."

“I would say everybody out here [on the PGA Tour] would have done the same thing,"

The notion that Hayes and ‘everyone else’ are adhering to the rules may be shocking to some, even regarded as stupid. After all, if you’re not cheating then you’re not trying to win, right? Moreover, Hayes infraction seems benign compared with the punishment to which he subjected himself. Hayes honesty even may seem audacious, but the principle remains.

To take the risk of being regarded as a ‘cheat’ is not worth price of a spot on the Tour. Honesty, in this case, is the far greater virtue.

A virtue, to which no other major sport can rightfully claim, but is not out of the realm of possibility.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Golf Etiquette... GET SOME!!!

Rick Pipal gets it.

Who is Rick Pipal you may ask?

For those who have always wanted to take up the game, but are afraid of embarrassing themselves on the course, Rick Pipal wants to provide you with an invaluable service. As the Creator/Owner of Duffy Mac Golf, Mr. Pipal wishes to influence people of all ages to take up the game of golf, but not without neglecting what he terms as the “essential components of the game.”

Thanks to Mr. Pipal’s workshops and his manual “The Golf Course”, the Royal and Ancient game has someone committed to informing all players about decorum and conduct on the golf course. The Duffy Mac workshops are great for groups, especially for beginners who may be going to their first corporate outing. “The Golf Course” manual is probably more suited for the hacks and ignoramuses who need a little detention session to read over what they’re doing wrong.


Duffy Mac Golf won’t help you lower your handicap, but it may very well keep you from pissing off your playing partners. Feel free to log onto his website http://www.duffymacgolf.com for information about workshops, the manual and other nice promo items.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Hitter and Good Putter, the Llama

The maestro behind Llamas Handmade Greens, Mark Legenza, mixes craftsmanship and functionality behind his rustic wood-lined putting greens. The 8- and 10-foot designs are perfect for practicing those short money putts and the choice of up to 8 types of wood makes it easy for coordinating with your indoor furnishings.

He admits heartily, “I’ve never seen anything like it.” And he may very well be right.

He was able to put his handiwork on display in the Pro Shop at his local golf club (where he works as an Assistant PGA Professional) and the comments came flowing in. “It was just such a great feeling to see players come in the shop and take interest.” Legenza says.

Did I mention these were handmade? You can find out more regarding Mark’s delightfully deliberately-designed dance floors at http://www.llamasgreens.com/

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dispelling Distance

I came across this nice little e-article from Titleist, giving notice to those who place value on club speed and distance off the tee.

Of course, Dick Rugge, Senior Technical Director for the USGA knows better, as his job is to regulate the tools a golfer can use so that “skill remains the most important tenant of the sport.”

Rugge’s use of the word ‘tenant’ in this instance refers to a lessee. Hence ‘skill’ is now a paying customer of the game as opposed to a tenet, which refers to a rule or ideology. Where was the editor on this piece?

Anyway, what Honorable Rugge proposes is right. Faster swing speeds do not equate to greater distance off the tee. Longer hitters on tour don’t necessarily win more money. Accuracy off the tee is not the indicator of success as it was over 20 years ago. My point? Read the article and recall it again after you bomb your drive over 290 yards, only to 3-putt from 8 feet in.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Golf Warm or Die!

Midwesterners have felt the chill everywhere. Football has started, you've begun to see your breath in the air, the leaves fall... BUT ALAS!

The golf bug is still inside of you.

No worry, says I.

Without question, warmth and protection from moisture are of the utmost importance.

(the author here puts on his nametag and best coat-hanger smile for the customer)

Let me first introduce you to the godfathers, or should I say Gore-fathers of protective weather gear. Gore-Tex's Sunice Ultimate Jacket for $400.

I see your neck hairs have jumped from your skin. Let's try another model, like this adidas ClimaProof Storm 3-Way jacket for $275.

Still too much? The do what the rest of the hackers (see photo) do when it gets cold and rainy... pretend it's a tailgate and layer-up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekend In Vegas… with Shriners

This weekend, Justin Timberlake hosts his very first PGA Tour event at TPC-Summerlin in Las Vegas. The Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (hurts more to write it out than to say it) is one of the last ditch attempts to raise that position on the money list before being relegated to Q-school.

It’s no wonder some low scores are being posted. Matt Kuchar and Marc Turnesa are tied after 2 rounds, each at 18-under par, with Kuchar firing back-to-back 63s.

SMOKINNNNNN’

Bring on the fat white dudes and their little toy cars.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MR. MEAN SEZ…

Okay all of you douche bags, open your frickin’ ears cuz’ Mr. Mean is here to tell you something about golf.

A rain check means what it means. If you get rained out while playing golf, you can come back to the clubhouse and retain the monetary value of your round per the number of holes you haven’t played.

The key words here being “rained out.” If your back gives out on the 3rd hole, you don’t get a rain check. That means you’re too much of a wuss to be swinging a golf club in the first place.

If you ever ask me to give you a rain check on a sunny day, so help me god… A phone call will be made and an ass will be chock full of boot heels soon after.


Remember, rain checks are doled out ON DAYS WHEN IT RAINS, DICKNOSE!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Holding Up Play...

So I've taken a bit of time off from the baby known as In Between 18. Nothing new or worrisome, of course, until there's an actual baby involved.

As you know, the golf season is dwindling down to its last few days, or whenever the weather cooperates, which can change... just wait 5 minutes or until I hear something from the superintendent. I make no promises, that's for politicians, and we know how empty those can be.


I can just tell you that I'm in a good place and that things are good on all fronts. Although this winter doesn't hold much for Tour coverage or happenings on golf courses, there will still be things to write about... I'll just have to find them, and find myself while I'm at it.


Goods

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We May As Well Put ‘Em On Milk Cartons


I’ve noticed a lot more random golf clubs (wedges, putters, etc…) hanging around the clubhouse where I work. A theory I have is that these golf clubs, as well as other inanimate objects somehow grow legs and leave their owners. However, I am 99% sure that it is the owner who is at fault and will forget to return the club to their golf bag after use.

This makes for sad little clubs and sad little golfers.

Here are a few little friendly reminders to those who have left a club at a course (I have been guilty of this and will most certainly continue to be).

If you should bring a club other than your putter up to the green, leave it somewhere that will be impossible to overlook. I find that leaving the club on the flagstick is a good spot, for you are always going to have to put the flag back into the hole before exiting the green.

Keep a sticker around the shaft with your name, your phone number and/or the name of the club you belong to. This will hopefully expedite getting your club back into your bag, should the finders not be greedy enough to take it for themselves.

Count your clubs before and after you play your round. There’s nothing worse than to find out you’ve lost your club after you’ve played, especially in the car on the way home or at next week’s golf round.

And may the golf gods strike you down should you lose your putter… that is unacceptable.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bringing Work Home With Me.

Here’s something I learned during my job in the Pro-shop these past few months. And now, I pass it onto you. Use in good health.

If you’re ever confused about how your golf glove should fit, remember to trust your knuckles.

If you put on the glove and your knuckles start to hurt while making a fist, then go a size larger. Should the glove be too large, you’ll find that the wrist of the glove rides past the wrist bone and thus can cause grip problems and errant shots. The bottom of your glove should fit over, but come no lower than the bone.

Personally, I find the best golf gloves are the ones that get good tackiness to them with a spit on the leather and a rub in the palm, even when the leather is seemingly dried out and cracked.

For more information, contact your local PGA Professional or visit a tannery.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

North Shore Representin’ in the Pool.

Being a former high-school swimmer, I had to give some props to a local boy who made good at the Beijing Olympics last night.

Matt Grevers, a Lake Forest, IL native and Northwestern University graduate, took the silver medal in 100-Meter Backstroke final. He came in 2nd behind arguably the best backstroker in US Swimming history, Aaron Peirsol.

"I feel like it's gold after Peirsol," Grevers said. "This has been an amazing experience," Grevers said. "A couple of months ago, I don't think anyone thought I was going to make the Olympic team, especially for an individual event.”

Grevers holds 5 Illinois High School state swimming records including, you guessed it, the 100-yard backstroke.

Way to go, Matt!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Paddy and the Putter

Two numbers to remember from this past weekend’s tournament: 25 and 26. That’s how many putts Padraig Harrington had in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively, including 3 one-putts on 16, 17 & 18 in the final round to clinch the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, thus proving to everyone what the most important club in the bag really is.

He’s the 1st foreign-born player to win back-to-back majors since Nick Price (1994, British & PGA) and the 1st European player to win the Wanamaker Cup in 78 years (Tommy Armour-1930).

What a year it’s been for Paddy. He’s probably already eyeing Augusta for 3 majors in a row. And he’ll be checking Tiger’s knee progress to boot.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Raining On Their Parade


With play suspended for the 3rd round of the PGA Championship, 6 players will have to brave 36 holes of The Monster. It’s not fair, but then again… Have the golf gods even been fair to anybody?

For David Toms, Henrik Stenson, Ben Curtis, Justin Rose, Charlie Wi and J.B. Holmes the golf gods are looking extremely vengeful.

I don’t care who you are: Professional, Amateur, Hacker, etc… 36 holes in one day is not easy. At a certain point, the shoulders and back will feel the effects of swinging a golf club over 140 times and you better have some analgesics in your bag.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Two More Rounds To Glory

Oakland Hills lets nobody off the hook. Even after a weather delay on Thursday made a Friday more attractive with softer greens, only one player remains in the red and perhaps rightfully so, it’s big hitting J.B. Holmes and his 311 yd. Driving Distance avg. that leads at 1-under.

That can all change, depending on the weather and how the course dries out throughout the day. Don’t be surprised if some players make big jumps up and down the leaderboard. Meaning that even guys like Corey Pavin (currently +10), Rocco Mediate (+7) and Ernie Els (+6) still have a chance to make a run to the top.

Talk about a tale of two 9s, South African Charl Schwartzel (who started Friday from the 10th tee) went 4-over on the front and then 4-under on the back, with 4 straight birdies on holes 4 thru 7. It was good enough to make the cut and leave him at +7 for the tournament.

My man-crush on Jeev Milkha Singh continues, even after posting a 4-over 74 yesterday. Currently tied for 7th, he’s still in the hunt. He’s got a nice easy swing and always seems to put up a decent fight in Majors, like the T25 he had back in April at Augusta. Go Sir Jeev!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Who’s To Beat at ‘Glory’s Last Shot’?


There are too many good players in the field this week at the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, and it’s tough to say who can, like Ben Hogan once claimed, ‘tame The Monster’.

It’ll be easy to tame Tiger Woods, he’ll be watching it on his gazillion-inch Hi-Def at home from the confines of his all-in-one La-Z-Boy/Gulfstream Jet/American Standard Toilet w/automatic flush (see the latest Sharper Image catalog).

And if there’s one opening round pairing for him to watch, it would be one teeing off on the 1st Hole, Thursday afternoon at 2:15pm.

Rory Sabbatini aka “Tiger is Beatable” and Ian Poulter aka “Just Me and Tiger” get to chew the fat over how their favorite golfer (read as: the guy they’re gunning for) isn’t around for them to challenge.

Ultimately, just like Ty Webb said to Dr. Beeper, they’ll have to just keep ‘beating themselves’.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Duke University Sued… Again???

We all remember Andrew Giuliani as the apple-cheeked kid misbehaving to a Manhattan crowd during his father’s inauguration as the newly elected Mayor of New York City. Even ‘SNL’ got in on the act with Chris Farley portraying the immature Andrew and his display of over-exuberance reminiscent of a dog humping his master’s leg.

But you won’t see him do that to the golf coach at Duke University, O.D. Vincent III. According to recently filed lawsuit in Durham, NC, hizzoner’s son claims that an‘oral contract’ existed between himself and Vincent, to which a spot on the Duke golf team was promised. Giuliani also claims that Vincent jettisoned him off the team in an attempt to make the team smaller, even though Duke’s previous coaching staff recruited him.

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is the notion of a ‘Lord Of The Flies’ situation, in which current players governed and decided over Giuliani’s fate on the team, even though Giuliani had been cited for poor course etiquette during practice rounds and an altercation with a teammate.

Aside from the obvious reaction one may have as Giuliani portraying his immature, spoiled self yet again, one would have to ask not only if the Duke golf team needs him, but also if Giuliani needs the Duke golf team.

If Giuliani, truly wishes to play at a higher level and ultimately, make it as a professional, he could play in amateur events on his own or enter local contests for money, and not have to be under NCAA sanctions as a ‘scholar/athlete’.

Moreover, if Vincent had ‘promised’ Giuliani a spot on the team, I would have to believe that even daddy Rudy, being of great legal knowledge, would have advised his son to ‘get it in writing’.

The point here is that this whole episode is truly frivolous and if Giuliani is that good, he certainly could find the connections and outlets to make his dream come true.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Want to know what pressure is?

Sinking a 4-foot putt on the 18th green for $1.35 million bucks, with two guys right behind you on the leaderboard, aching for a playoff.

That’s ‘ice-water for blood’ cool, my friends.
Way to go, Vijay on your victory at the Bridgestone Invitational!

Watch Out For That Creek!

Poplar Creek Country Club
1400 Poplar Creek Dr.
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

(847) 781-3681

At 6,300 yards and a course-par of 70, golfers will find Poplar Creek Country Club undemanding of a Driver off the tee box. That doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge. With water reachable on 14 out of 18 holes and heavy tree-lined fairways, Poplar Creek demands a straighter ball over the distance.

Don’t let the ‘Country Club’ moniker fool you either. Poplar Creek is a ‘Muni’, owned and operated by the Hoffman Estates Park District, which means that it’s subject to every last etiquette-ignorant hacker in the area. This was most noticeable on the greens, which looked like nobody had fixed a ball mark since the Clinton administration.

However, the author can attest to their outing and banquet services as being friendly, courteous and accommodating, with a large ballroom on the upper-level as a good venue large parties.

The golf carts have an accurate GPS system and the beverage carts were well-stocked and ever present on a hot and humid day, during one of those 5-hour outings we’ve become accustomed to trudging through.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

See With Your Eyes And Your Hands (if needed)

Again, we come to some simple course etiquette that needs to be addressed with some of you hackers out there.

On one occasion yesterday, while playing with my good friend and golf partner, David, we had trouble finding his ball, which we believed found an adjacent fairway after a errant, sliced drive. Although we cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, we do know that a group playing on said adjacent fairway most likely hit David’s ball in error.

It takes all of three seconds (five seconds perhaps if you are over the age of 55 and/or have cataracts or macular degeneration) to bend downward and take a look. If the logo or marking is hidden and you are still unsure, pick the ball up and determine if it is the ball you are currently playing.

Bottom line: Do not address and hit the ball until you are positive that it is YOUR ball.

There is nothing worse than losing a Titleist Pro-V1 to some blind jerk playing a Precept Laddie.

And in Tour News... The Bridgestone Invitational starts tomorrow at Firestone in Akron, OH. Super-Long story short, it’s 7,400 yards from the tips and has only one par-4 measuring less than 400 yards (Hole #1 and it’s only 399 yards from the box). Advantage: J.B. Holmes

Monday, July 28, 2008

Links-Style On The Prairie

Prairie Landing Golf Club
2325 Longest Drive
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 208-7600

About an hour west of the city of Chicago, between the soaring cornstalks and a propeller's-hum earshot from the DuPage County Municipal Airport is Prairie Landing Golf Club.

This Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed Scottish-links style 18-hole gem has a full practice area as well as two par-four ‘practice’ holes, making it not only a challenge for the seasoned golfer, but a well-integrated facility for the hacker trying to learn how to shake the jitters and break 100.

The nearby air-traffic, namely single-props, puddle jumpers and the occasional WWII fighter can be a little nerve-racking, but pleasant to the eyes nonetheless. The course can and will get windy over the links, with plenty of shaggy rough and fescue surrounding the wide, negotiable fairways. There are 5 sets of tees to choose from, with the forward-most tee boxes (Red) measuring at a distance of less than 5,000 yards, an un-intimidating distance for those beginners who are just learning how to play the game.

City dwellers may balk at the long drive from the city, but Prairie Landing is well worth it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

You Wouldn't Argue With Arnie... Would You?

I’ve included a link to an article I read in this month’s Golf Digest that was written by one of the legends of the game, Arnold Palmer.

The article discusses ‘Course Etiquette’, but it’s the First rule that caught my eye, which was: “Don’t Be The Slowest Player In Your Group”.

Remember people, a course has a “Pace Of Play” to ensure that on more crowded days, the players adhere to the pace. That doesn’t mean that the “Pace” is always what’s posted at the course or on the scorecard. That is simply a guideline.

The “Pace” is essentially whatever is set by the first group and thereafter by the other groups following. This means that a course’s posted “Pace” of 4 hours and 15 minutes is nullified should the pace be actually running under 4 hours or less.

If you are holding up groups behind you with one or more open holes in front of you, you are slow…. PERIOD. I don’t care if you feel rushed. I don’t care if you’re trying to enjoy your day because invariably, all of us are. PLAY READY GOLF!!!
Or as my father would say, "If you're going to play bad... play bad fast." If you play slow, you’re ultimately pissing off the people behind you and the others in your group.
Here endeth the lesson.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Damn You, Greg Norman!!!

You must have had a lot of free time on Monday when I put forth the suggestion on the “Golfers On Golf” radio show that you and David Duval had no business being at the The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

I believe I even used the phrase “didn’t deserve to be there.”

Norman, you wine-making, rainbow shark of a newlywed… you couldn’t make a PGA Tour tournament cut to save your life in the last the 3 years and only made 2 in the last 5.

Not only have you made the cut, but you're one shot off the lead, shooting Even-par in dreadful conditions on two consecutive days!

And you! David Duval! You Oakley sunglasses-wearing on a gray day bespectacled gimp. You’ve made over $16 million as a tour professional, but your last five years look like the average salary doled out to college professors at a liberal arts school in Wyoming.

You are tied for 4th with 6 other players including last year’s champion Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk and Rocco Mediate.

All I gotta say to the both of you is… keep proving me wrong, you jerks!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

THE Open And A Longshot

Just a brief note regarding IB18’s debut on radio last night. It went very well and I had lots of fun. If you missed it, I’m sure you’ll be able to hear the recorded show on their website once it is posted at http://www.golfersongolf.com/

You will also be able to find their link on my blogroll, as I have added them.

I also wanted to thank Mike Munro of White Pines Golf Club and Bill Berger of the IPGA for having me on their show. It was loads of fun, a comfortable atmosphere and a great golf lover’s forum. I hope I can make it back sometime soon.

And now, for those interested in the British Open (aka The Open Championship) I’ll give you a longshot for those looking for some long time money or for those simply willing to throw their money to the wind. Or perhaps laying big money on the field (usually around 3-1 or greater) is another way to increase your odds of winning.

Now that I think about, am I breaking the law by offering on-line odds without a license?

Oh, well.

If there is a guy that I like to come in under the radar and take the Claret Jug, it’s Ryuji Imada.

He’s quietly having a great year on the PGA Tour as he is currently 9th on the Money List and 7th on the FedEx Cup list. With a victory at the AT&T Classic back in May and Two-2nd place finishes (Buick, PODS) he’s ready and raring to make an impact on a much larger stage at Royal Birkdale.

Moreover, his stat numbers aren’t too shabby. He’s 11th on the PGA Tour in Putting (1.75/hole) and his Final Round Scoring Average is good for 3rd at 69.33, meaning that he could make a good thrust up the leaderboard, should he make it past Friday.

The one stat that also sticks out for me is his Scrambling (9th on PGA Tour). When he misses a GIR, he makes par or better 63% of the time. With Birkdale’s swirling winds, bumpy, mound-ridden fairways and a rough that can eat your ball up, knowing how to save par comes at a premium and Imada has shown he can do such a thing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Do I Have A Face For Radio?

I'm going to test my radio chops tomorrow as a guest on a little show called "Golfers On Golf". You can find out more about the show by clicking the link below.



Needless to say, I am excited to talk about golf and hopefully, if allowed, to plug my blog.

Be sure you listen to WJJG (1530 AM) around 6:05pm, which is when I should be on. The "Golfers On Golf" radio show runs from 6pm-7pm.


Damn... Now I need some material. I'm off to do my research. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

floG emoS ylaP ste’L

The attached picture suggests something "backwards", which will be the focus of this post. Notice how it looks like his butt is on the front of his body?

So let me get to the point...

Not that you’d want to ignore over 400 years of the game’s ancestral principles. Nor would any respectable golf course let you try.

But my wife, JP, (I’m now married, folks) came up with a novel idea the other day.

What if golf was played in reverse? That is, players would have to “tee off” with their putter from the green and try to make it to the tee box in as fewest strokes as possible?

Instead of putting the ball into the hole for a score on the hole, a player would have to land their ball on the designated grass tee box and cross the imaginary line of their respective tees. However, in order to achieve a final score on the hole, players must cross the line from the front of the tee box and not from behind.

For example, if I were playing from the tips (black tees) or in this case, “TO” the tips, I would have cross the plane of the black tees from the front end and not from behind the tee box.

The benefits of this newly discovered “Reverse Golf” or what I’ll term… FLOG.

You wouldn’t necessarily have to keep a driver in your bag and you would have to be more reliant on your long irons as well as your short game. However, the size of the putter’s head would probably get larger and evolve into something akin to the 460cc drivers of today

The game would be more environmentally friendly because wooden golf tees would be obsolete, opening the game to a new clientele of preservationists and tree huggers.

You decide… am I onto something? Or just on something? If you would like to see a diagram of this new game called Flog, let me know and I will send you the document.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Grab a #2 pencil, eyes on your own paper


My good friend Grant Hamilton (who's first & last name you can find on two pieces of U.S. currency) passed along a little quiz that you can do at home and/or work. It's not dirty and totally educational.

http://www.cincinnati.com/golf/golfquiz/html/brand.htm

And yes, its about golf. Here are the rules:

This is multiple choice. If you select a wrong answer, the ball moves only so far down the fairway and stops and you are charged with one stroke. Keep selecting the answers that you think are correct and the ball moves down the fairway until you get the right answer and the ball goes in the hole. If you have the correct answer right away, the ball goes directly in the hole - a hole in one.

Here's the link again:
http://www.cincinnati.com/golf/golfquiz/html/brand.htm

Enjoy!

PS: Grant Hamilton scored 7-under par, whereas I scored only 6-under par.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Better With Age?

After 3 rounds, Daniel Chopra (who’s Swedish and of no relation to happiness guru, Deepak Chopra… or is he?) leads the Buick Open by 2 shots over Bubba Watson. Chopra will be going for his second tour victory this season, after winning the Mercedes-Benz Championship this past January.

Two victories in the same season, for any tour professional, are very impressive. But there’s something I noticed on the leaderboard, which struck me as even more impressive.

Out of the top 20 players currently on the board, 6 are at least 44 years of age and older. They are Paul Goydos, Scott Verplank, Woody Austin, Bob Tway, Kenny Perry and Corey Pavin, who will turn 50 in November.

Keep in mind, once a tour player turns 50, they must move aside and make their living on the Champions Tour, so as to open up space for younger players wishing to make the PGA Tour. For players in their early 50s, the Champions Tour has a relatively easier route to the top of the leaderboard considering all the other old fogeys in field.

However, the purses on the Senior circuit are smaller and don’t think Pavin has this in mind today as he guns for Chopra and a potentially bigger payday.

Kenny Perry was and still is a money player. He won the Memorial this year and has 5 tour victories over the last 5 years. He’s currently 5th on the FedEx Cup list, meaning that he will be seeing a lot more tournaments and money down the stretch. He’ll turn 48 in August.

I’m sure most people tend to forget that Bob Tway won the PGA Championship back in 1986 and his stock this year is down with only 4 cuts made out of 9 entries. But hey, you can’t take away the fact that he’s got a major championship to his credit, which is one more major than Sergio Garcia has.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Maybe You Need A Refresher Course


At the golf course where I work, people have a hard time grasping the concept of a tee time.

For those douchebags that don’t understand, let Goods, aka the reservation Nazi, remind you…

For example:

A 9:00am tee time means that you are in the tee box at 9:00am, putting a peg under the ball and addressing your drive.

This means that you arrive at the course WELL BEFORE 9am so that you can practice, pay for your greens fees, call work, take a piss or do whatever you have to do BEFORE YOU TEE OFF.

Be at the tee box 5-10 minutes prior to your tee time, so you don’t screw it up for the rest of the people who are on time and ready to play.

For those douchebags that still don’t understand, may the golf gods strike you down during your birdie putt.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Buick Without Tiger? Fine.

I’m sure Rocco Mediate will have a little easier time this week out in Grand Blanc, Michigan after taking a gimp-kneed Tiger Woods the distance at Torrey Pines. Woods’ season is now over and will not be in any field for the remainder of the 2008 season.

Even though Rocco lost to Woods in sudden death, he will try and ride some of that momentum into the Buick Open, a tournament he won back in 2000.

Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club lays out as a narrow track with tall trees lining the rough, meaning that players will be forced to be straight off the tee and will have to scramble a bit to avoid losing strokes.

So who are the guys to watch? I’ll give you two of them.

Heath Slocum (who’s real first name is Tyler, but Heath sounds a lot cooler), has 4 top-10 finishes in his last 7 starts and is coming off a 4th place finish at last week’s Travelers Championship. His keeps his ball in the fairway on 74% of his drives, making him 9th in Driving Accuracy on the PGA Tour.

Briny Baird is a guy that wouldn’t necessarily be pegged for a victory on the tour because he's never won anything. But he’s having a very good season as he is currently 39th on FedEx Cup standings and 29th on the Money List). He’s already surpassed his last year’s money total by over $400,000 and has reached the $1 million mark for the first time since 2004.

Moreover, the guy can save himself strokes. In 67 rounds this year, Baird makes par or better on 62.15% of his holes after missing the prox (14th in Scrambling on the PGA Tour). 10 top-25 finishes and a 4th place at this year’s Players Championship also shows he can make his run at the money.

Oh, and one of Briny's best finishes? He tied for 2nd place at the Buick Open in 2003.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where Is My Mind???


Sometimes we lose focus or have to focus on issues in our lives that take significance over the seemingly insignificant.

For example, a recently engaged bachelor focuses their attention (read as: gets anxious) about an upcoming marriage and as a result, finds that not only is there still so much work to do, but the pride that he once had in his writing is slowly dwindling.

And this, above everything, scares me.

What am I trying to say here?

I am coming back, bit by bit, to the baby once known as In Between 18.

I’ve done this on countless occasions before. Having devoted my efforts to my creative side, I find that it doesn’t pay in dollars but perhaps in clarity and catharsis and ultimately, I have a hard time determining which is more valuable… the money or my mind.

To catch everyone up, I have a day job at a golf course, which I will leave unnamed for now. It keeps me busy 5 days a week and there is room for advancement, so as a new married man who will be filing a joint return… this is a good thing.

And most of all, if I’m going to have a legion of readers, I need to keep writing and posting. I thank everyone who visits this page and my family and friends for reminding me just how talented I am and the potential I possess.
~Goods

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Missed It By A Week

Leave it to my guy, Justin Leonard, to come out firing darts a week after he was my pick at Augusta. His 5-under 66 at the Verizon Heritage (hosted by the scenic Harbour Town Golf Links) was highlighted by a birdie 3 at the scenic, but treacherous 18th.

D.J. Trahan has been relatively quiet since his victory at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic back in January. 3 missed cuts in 8 events and his best finish was a T-22nd at the Northern Trust Open. Trahan’s round 1 card may be indicative of his erratic year, 6 birdies on the front nine, 3 bogies on the back for a 3-under 68.

And our old pal Tim ‘Lumpy’ Herron can get rosy cheeked about his T-2nd on the leaderboard. His best finish so far this season is a T-34 at the AT&T. Always a fan favorite, Lumpy last won in 2006 at the Bank of America Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.

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