Tuesday, November 21

3 Golf Things I'm Thankful for

1. Golf club membership.
This was the year I joined Great Oaks Country Club after being on the waiting list for a year and a half. My years of golf drought have ended.

2. Living in the Tiger Woods era.
Rob at Bad Golf mentioned this a while back in a comment to one of my posts. He said we ought to be grateful that we're witnessing what very well may be the greatest golfer ever. I haven't always given Tiger his due, probably because I grew up in the Nicklaus era. Jack was my idol. But I'd be a fool to deny Tiger's total tion of the golf world and assault on the record books. "Tiger, you da man!"

3. The Ryder Cup.
Despite the Americans not being very competitive since the 20th century, the Ryder Cup has become the Super Bowl of golf. It's not about the money or the individual. It's about team and how to choke less than your opponent. They're playing to win a trophy. I like that.

Finally, since it's Thanksgiving week I thought it would be fitting to inaugurate the Turkey Award.

Turkey Award: Phil Mickelson
Phil: About the family thing -- I get it. But you're a major winner now. Can't you come out and play the PGA Grand Slam? There's only one "Lefty," and it's not Mike Weir. You could have brought the family and made it a vacation (or an extension of the vacation you're already on). Somewhere Tim Finchem is gnashing his teeth. Again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 20

Golf Aberration: Tiger Woods Loses Lead and Playoff

What's this? Tiger Woods loses a three-shot lead in the final round of the Dunlop Phoenix and loses the playoff? Am I dreaming? Can someone splash some cold water on my face?

The giant slayer was none other than Irishman Padraig Harrington. And it wasn't even March 17.

"The fact that I've beaten Tiger in a playoff makes me no different a golfer than when I came here this week," Harrington told the Associated Press. "It may change what people think about me, but in my own eyes I'm the same golfer."

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, November 15

Let the Golf Clubs Search Begin

After 19 years with the same set of irons, it's time (boy is it ever!) for me to invest in some new golf equipment.

I am in no hurry. My dad, who follows golf club technology pretty closely, told me to take up to a year. I just might.

Now that I've joined a club and am starting to play semi-regularly again, getting new sticks definitely makes sense. I already bought some new golf shoes for my birthday. My pair of Nikes had been around since the early 90s. I know. That's pathetic.

Some of you are quite expert in this area, so please chime in on equipment preferences and why.

I'm a tall guy (6'4") with short arms, so I've always played with irons that are an inch over. I'll probably get fitted instead of buying off the shelf. As far as brand and club style, I'm a blank slate.

I'm a decent golfer, shooting in the high 70s and low 80s most of the time. I played numbers two and three on my high school and community college golf teams. I sure wouldn't mind getting my game back. For me, that would be a single-digit handicap in the 5-7 range. (I probably play to about a 10 now.) Physically, I'm in pretty good shape. No big limitations.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts, please comment or feel free to email me at armchairgolfer@hotmail.com.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 13

Grades for Top 10 Golfers in World Ranking

SI.com golf columnist Alan Shipnuck has issued the following year-end grades for the world's top ten players:

1. Tiger Woods: A-plus
2. Jim Furyk: A-minus
3. Phil Mickelson: B
4. Adam Scott: B-minus
5. Vijay Singh: C
6. Retief Goosen: D
7. Luke Donald: B-plus
8. Ernie Els: F
9. Sergio Garcia: D-minus
10. Geoff Ogilvy: A

More here.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 10

Golf Rule of the Week: Can You Play Out of a Clubhouse Window?

Q: A competitor hit a ball into a clubhouse which was not out of bounds and had not been declared an integral part of the course. In order to play it out, he opened a window, claiming that it was a movable (or partially movable) obstruction. Was this permissible?

A: Yes. The clubhouse was an immovable obstruction. However, any part of it designed to be movable, such as a window or door, may be moved to any position if this can be done without undue delay. The same principle would apply if the clubhouse had been declared an integral part of the course.

The Armchair Golfer

(Source: USGA)

Wednesday, November 8

John Daly: 'Nothing Has Gone Right'

John Daly has more new song material.

Daly's wife has left him after doing time for a federal conviction, he injured his back, hip and pinky, and he took a free fall down the Tour money list. No reports on whether Daly's dog has died.

"It's been a tough one, with injuries and everything else going on," Daly told the Associated Press. "It's tough to play the game of golf when your family is not with you, and the injuries. It's one of those years when nothing has gone right."

JD has lost his exempt status on Tour but can look forward to one early season start: the Nissan Open has granted Daly a spot in the field at Riviera.

What does it all mean? "It's just going to make me play harder," John said.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 6

A Rave from a Reader

Who doesn't like to get some positive feedback? Especially on a Monday.

A gentleman named Bob wrote me to say this:

"Just wanted you to know that I recently ordered three personalized golf gloves from mygolfgloves.com (from a link provided by your site) and both the gloves and the service were superb. I highly recommend them and the service they provide.

"Let me also add that I enjoy your blog and check it daily. I sometimes comment under the screen name 'Lancer.'"

Thanks, Bob! And thanks to all of you who read this blog. I appreciate you.

If you ever want to write me without commenting (publicly) on a blog post, email me at armchairgolfer@hotmail.com. Feel free to send along your comments and suggestions, including suggested topics.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 3

Golf Blogger Debuts Golf Blog Search Engine

Golf Blogger has created a golf blog search engine that searches 40 top golf blogs. The Armchair Golf Blog is proud to have made the list.

"It works just like a regular search engine," writes Golf Blogger. "In fact, it runs on Google. But it searches only the 40 golf blogs that I have elected to include in the system." (Although he is open to suggestions.)

I tried it out and can vouch for its effectiveness. For example, I typed "Henry Picard," a PGA Tour pro of yesteryear I blogged about earlier this year, and up popped nine results that included the Armchair Golf Blog and Golf Blogger.

Check it out here.

The Armchair Golfer

P.S. If you want to limit your search to the Armchair Golf Blog, scroll down to the bottom right-hand side of this blog and enter your search item.

Wednesday, November 1

How to Shoot Par and Get Waxed in the Club Championship

I played golf today with a guy who told me about the club championship this past summer. I knew who won but I didn't know the details.

The young guy who won the club championship just graduated college and nearly qualified for the U.S. Open. (He was first alternate.) He plans to turn pro and is looking for sponsors.

His opponent in the club championship final was a middle-aged guy who played #1 for Clemson. The final was 36 holes. (Everything is scratch, no strokes given.)

"Clemson" shot even par in the opening round, a tidy 72. He was 11 down. That's right, you read 11 DOWN.

"Young guy who plans to turn pro" fired an opening round 61. It was over about six holes into the second 18.

I think if "young guy" decides to play next year we should just hand him the trophy.

The Armchair Golfer