Tuesday, November 29

All-time Longest Drive Quiz

Day 38 without playing golf

OK, golf fans. Time for a little golf trivia.

What was the longest-ever drive in a professional golf tournament?

A. 409 yards
B. 441 yards
C. 476 yards
D. 515 yards

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 28

Florida and California, Here I Come (I Wish)

Day 37 without playing golf

After lamenting the local weather last week, two readers of this blog reminded me where I could play a comfortable round of golf in late November and during the winter -- Florida and California.

Sounds good to me fellas! Can you put me up for a few days?

My fantasy is to winter in a sunny, warm place. But that won't happen for quite a while since I have two elementary school age kids. In the meantime, I'll live vicariously through you lucky sons of guns who make your homes in golf friendly climes.

The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, November 22

Golf Prospects Look Especially Bleak

Day 31 without playing golf

I don’t know where you live, but here in the Blue Ridge Mountains we’re having snow flurries today.

I had hoped that I would get out on the course at least once more this year. (I’ve only played twice.) But with the weather turning cold and various weekend plans and obligations, another golf outing in 2005 is extremely doubtful.

Pitiful, I know. But hey, that’s what makes this the Armchair Golf Blog.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 18

Still the Same David Duval

Day 27 without playing golf

I don't know how David Duval will finish this weekend, but he's placed himself on a golf leaderboard for the first time in a long time. He has good company in Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods.

The thing I love about David Duval is the way he carries himself.

David never seemed to get too full of himself when he was #1 in the late 90s. He felt uncomfortable in the media glare, something that the fans didn't always understand. And he obviously wasn't one to tie his self-worth to big-time golf, which helps explain how he's handled the slew of injuries and horrific slump so gracefully.

Obviously, it would be great for Duval (and golf) if he could win. At 729th in the world rankings, he has a long way to go to recapture his previous form. (Although Duval is ahead of a former U.S. Open champion -- Scott Simpson is ranked 730.)

I know I'm not the only one rooting for David Duval.

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, November 16

Be Nice -- Or Else

Day 25 without playing golf

Did you know that you can be disqualified for poor golf etiquette? It's true.

"In the case of a serious breach of etiquette, the Committee may disqualify a player under Rule 33-7," writes the USGA on its Web site.

Shhhhhhhhh.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 14

Jones' Grand Slam: All-time Greatest Golf Feat?

Day 23 without playing golf

Bobby Jones, an amateur who played in an era of hickory shafts and match play events, won all four majors in 1930. Jim McCabe of the Boston Globe opines that Jones' accomplishment beats all.

"His Grand Slam conquest -- victories in the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur -- remains the greatest feat in golf history," wrote McCabe on NBCSports.com.

Do you agree?

The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, November 13

Quigley Gives Back

Day 22 without playing golf

Dana Quigley probably never dreamed he would have a year in golf like this one. Quigley has won twice, had five runner-up finishes and earned over $2 million on the Champions Tour.

Success was a long time coming for Quigley. He struggled on and off the PGA Tour -- and with the bottle. Then as he approached 50, Quigley got his life (and golf) turned around.

Dana Quigley is a truly grateful man.

And he showed it last week by donating all of his Charles Schwab Cup earnings -- $500,000 -- to several charities.

I tip my cap to him.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 11

Let's Get Silly

Day 20 without playing golf

Let's hear it for the silly season. (OK, let's not.) Like it or not, the silly season is here.

Jason Gore and Fred Funk have the first-round lead in the (yawn) Franklin Templeton Shootout. Does anyone care?

In a few weeks, the funky one will tee it up in the Skins Game in sunny California. That makes two Freds who will play in the Thanksgiving weekend invitational.

Fred Couples has made a nice living during the silly season. For someone with a bad back who hardly practices and seldom plays, he gets a whole lot out of his game -- especially in the Skins Game.

Watch out Tiger and Annika, the Freds may just steal the show.

The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, November 10

How to Putt with a Driver

Day 19 without playing golf

You've been putting like John Daly. After missing your fourth putt inside of three feet, you snap your putter in two. Besides having an anger management problem, you also have seven holes to play.

According to The WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbook: Golf, here's how to putt with a driver:

1. Choke up on the grip.
2. Keep your feet close together.
3. Move your hands close to your body and slant the club forward.
4. Position your eyes over the target line.
5. Do not hit the sweet spot.
6. Hit smoothly.

The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, November 8

Survivor: Golf Edition

Day 17 without playing golf

If there was a reality golf show, it would look a lot like Q-school. You start with hundreds of desperate-looking young (and not-so-young) men hoping to pass through three gut-wrenching stages to earn playing privileges on golf's ultimate gravy train -- the PGA Tour.

There are only 30 survivors. It doesn't take a math whiz to understand that those are very bad odds.

Sure, there are probably a few bums out there who are in way over their heads. But most of these guys can flat play and just need a hot putter at the right time to get their card.

Look who's trying to grab one of those 30 spots:

David Frost (10 Tour wins)
Bill Glasson (7 Tour wins)
Dan Forsman (5 Tour wins)
Jim Gallagher ( 5 Tour wins)

Also, Larry Mize (Masters winner) and David Edwards.

Unfortunately, their names and wins don't mean anything at Q-school. Like everyone else, they're just trying to survive.

The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, November 6

Some Guy Named Bart Wins Stare Down with Tiger and Retief

Day 15 without playing golf

On Thursday I had Bart Bryant winning the Tour Championship. Yeah, right.

Who in the name of Jack Fleck is Bart Bryant?

Talk about coming out of nowhere. Literally. This guy has been toiling away on the mini-tours and big tour for, what, 18 years? Today he wins more money ($1.17 million) than the whole rest of his career. Hey, you gotta love that.

But he didn't just win a big check. He went toe to toe with The Man, Retief and a cast of PGA Tour all-stars and ho-hummed his way to a six-shot victory. Choking on Bart's dust, Tiger managed a second-place finish.

Admit it, we all thought Bart was going to gag. Sometimes there's great pleasure in being wrong.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 4

Hokies and Hurricanes

Day 13 without playing golf

Excuse me while I take a golf timeout.

The buzz around my parts is the Virginia Tech-Miami college football matchup this Saturday. It’s being played at Virginia Tech. The Hokies are undefeated and ranked #3. The Hurricanes have lost once and are ranked #6. The game will be televised on ESPN at 7:45 EST.

I’ve never cared much for Miami’s swagger. And now that I live close to Blacksburg, I’m an unabashed Virginia Tech fan.

Who do you like in this one?

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, November 2

Trick or Treat? Mickelson Stays Home

Day 11 without playing golf

Lefty is sitting out the Tour Championship. According to an AP story, Phil didn't want to miss Halloween with his kids.

That's cool -- unless you're Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner. The Tour Championship is supposed to be more important than a candy run.

Can't blame Phil -- kids grow up fast. And apparently it's common knowledge that he doesn't like to play late in the year. Don't expect to see Mickelson on a golf course again until the Bob Hope Desert Classic next February.

The Armchair Golfer