Sunday, November 30

Who Is Your Favorite Pro Golfer?

Lorena Ochoa (Keith Allison/Flickr)


A GOLF BLOGGER SENT ME an invitation to FanIQ, which included a form to complete. One of the questions: Who is your favorite golfer?

I had to choose from a limited list that included Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and more. I was stumped. I admire many, even like some, but favorite?

There was just one woman golfer on the list − Annika Sorenstam. So I picked Annika. (I had to pick someone to get through the form.)

But I would have picked Lorena Ochoa had she been on the list. I think Lorena is an outstanding golfer and terrific person, a great ambassador for the women's game. None of the men inspire that kind of allegiance or likeability for me (although I do follow the men's game much more than the women's game).

Who is your favorite pro golfer? And why?

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 28

Phil Mickelson: ‘I Won’t Answer That Directly’

Phil Mickelson

I DON’T PRETEND TO UNDERSTAND the inner workings of the world golf rankings. But I do know that Sergio Garcia recently supplanted Phil Mickelson as world No. 2.

During the 2008 season, Sergio won The Players Championship and had three runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour, as well as two victories on the European Tour. Lefty won twice on tour this year. Neither player won a major.

Phil was asked if Sergio deserved the No. 2 ranking.

“I won't answer that directly,” Mickelson was quoted as saying. “But I think that he's played some wonderful golf this year. I haven't played to the level that I want as far as wins. I'll be looking to improve on that.”

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, November 25

Is the Skins Game a Silly Season Major?

I REMEMBER WATCHING THE FIRST Skins Game when Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player divvied up the loot. I thought it was pretty cool. Nothing against football, but I liked the idea of watching the biggest names in golf stand over humongous money putts on Thanksgiving weekend in the Southern California desert.

The novelty has long since worn off. Now, 25 years later, the format is more than a little tired. I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched the Skins Game.

If there was such a thing as Silly Season majors, would the Skins Game be on the list? I figure Tiger’s tournament would be a shoo-in for Silly Season major status. Does anybody − even hard-core golf fans − care about any of the others?

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 24

Tiger Will Turn in His Buick Keys

MY GRANDFATHER ALWAYS DROVE Buicks. I remember visiting my grandparents when they lived in Shelbyville, Indiana. He had a Buick Special similar to the one pictured, except it was yellow and white. My grandmother, on the other hand, drove an Oldsmobile 88.

Later they drove a succession of Buick LeSabres. My grandparents liked GM products and never strayed into Ford country, although gramps did buy a Pontiac late in his life, which was a bit of a shock after so many Buicks had sat in his driveway.

Buick man Tiger Woods will end his association with the car maker at the end of this year. Buick is trying to cut expenses and Tiger’s endorsement deal is worth an estimated $7 million per year, a jaw-dropping sum to many.

I know it would be to my gramps, who bought all his cars new (with cash) and drove them for about eight years because, well, you could do that in those days.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, November 22

The 25,000 Mile Man

HALE IRWIN IS A POSTER BOY for longevity. Irwin turned pro forty years ago and won his first of 87 professional titles in 1971. His most recent win came last year, 36 years after his initial victory.

Irwin has won three U.S. Opens, in 1974, 1979 and that amazing playoff victory at age 45 in 1990.

There’s another way to measure Hale’s endurance: miles walked.

“Since joining the PGA Tour in 1968, Hale Irwin has walked more than 25,000 miles at PGA Tour and Champions Tour events,” wrote Dave Lancer at PGATour.com. “That's enough to circle the globe at the equator − a distance of 24,901 miles.”

Irwin has played on five Ryder Cup teams and was ranked as the 19th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, November 21

Teen Won’t Turn Pro After Making Hong Kong Open Cut

Action at the Hong Kong Open.
(Alyson Hau/Flickr)


JASON HAK IS NOW the youngest player to make a cut on the European Tour. The 14-year-old shot a pair of 70s at the Hong Kong Open to make the cut on the number.

Previously Sergio Garcia was the youngest player to make a European Tour cut. Garcia was just 15 when he broke through 13 years ago at the Turespana Open Mediterrania in Spain.

Hak isn’t letting the feat go to his head.

“I have no ideas of turning pro because it's only one tournament here,” Hak told the AP. “It doesn't really tell the whole story.”

Good decision, Jason.

−The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, November 20

Ben Curtis Is Mr. Two Putt


Whether or not you like his visor, this man can putt.
(Mike Davis/Flickr)


HERE’S A 2008 TOUR STAT to chew on: Ben Curtis went 347 consecutive holes without a three-putt green. (That was 347, in case you thought it was a typo.)

I was never great at math, but I can divide on my handy little desk calculator. Let’s see, 18 into 347 equals 19.28. OK, so that’s 19 rounds without a three-putt green. As the saying goes, “… putt for dough.” Curtis made $2,615,798 this year, his best ever money grab.

CORRECTION: It was 374 holes. Told you I was bad with numbers.

While we’re on putting stats, Steve Marino made the most putts over 25 feet in the ’08 season. How many? 35.

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, November 19

ARMCHAIR GOLF Briefs

(As a service to readers, following are golf events, products, services and more. Endorsement is not implied.)

Kodak and the PGA Tour have announced the Kodak Challenge holes that will make up the Kodak Challenge, a first of its kind competition, teeing off on the PGA Tour in January.

The holes are featured on KodakChallenge.com, where fans can view photos of each hole and watch a video of the Advisory Board's selection of each hole.

Briefly

TrueThinker (TrueThinker.com) is a new knowledge networking site for golfers … Play Golf America (PlayGolfAmerica.com) is celebrating its five-year anniversary … Devant Sport Towels (DevantSportTowels.com) has introduced the The Putter Towel™ … the World Golf Tour (wgt.com) is a free HD-quality online golf game … the November issue of Travel & Leisure Golf features 18 great 18th holes in American golf, sponsored by The Macallan.

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, November 18

WHACK! 10 Longest Drives on 2008 PGA Tour

Ryuji Imada




HERE ARE THIS YEAR’S kings of the long ball:


1. Tim Petrovic, 439 yards (The Honda Classic)

2. Bob Heintz, 435 yards (Legends-Reno Tahoe Open)

3. Kyle Thompson, 433 yards (RBC Canadian Open)

4. J.L. Lewis, 429 yards, Texas Valero Open

5. Steve Marino, 424 yards (Texas Valero Open)

6. Ryuji Imada, 414 yards (Buick Invitational)

7. Pat Perez, 412 yards (Texas Valero Open)

8. Jason Day, 407 yards (Texas Valero Open)

9. Dustin Johnson, 405 yards (Texas Valero Open)

10. Pat Perez, 403 yards (Texas Valero Open)

How about Imada? A 414-yarder at Torrey Pines for a guy listed at 150 lbs. Way to put the hit on it, Ryuji.

Maybe we should appeal the drives at the Texas Valero Open. Six of the 10 seems excessive. (Were they fairways or green concrete?)

−The Armchair Golfer

(Source: PGA Tour)

Monday, November 17

U.S. Ryder Cup Team Drops By Oval Office

DID JIM FURYK ROLL some putts across the presidential seal? Did Boo Weekley tell the president any colorful jokes? Did Phil Mickelson slap one of his patented flop shots from behind the president’s desk?

(Actually, Lefty and four other Ryder Cup teammates didn’t make it.)

(Image: Clint L/Flickr)

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger, assistant captain Raymond Floyd and seven Ryder Cup team members stopped by the White House on Monday for a photo op with President George W. Bush. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an avid golfer, was also on hand.

The team presented President Bush with a personalized Ryder Cup golf bag, a Sunday red golf shirt and sweater vest worn by the team and a Ryder Cup money clip.

That’s cool. Now why I didn’t think about inviting them to my office?

−The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, November 16

Adam Scott Is Hurting


Tough year for Adam Scott. ((bubblesandbugs/Flickr)

MOVIE STAR LOOKS, a Tiger-like golf swing and youth doesn’t guarantee success in the fickle game of golf.

Adam Scott knows this all too well after a 2008 season during which he fell from third to 17th in the world rankings. The 28-year-old Australian has suffered from recurring bouts of tonsillitis as well as a break above the little finger of his right hand in May.

A two-time champion, Scott recently missed the cut at the Singapore Open after playing “miserable” and saying he “did not know where the ball was going.”

“I just need to get away and get ready for next year and sort things out,” Scott was quoted as saying in The Straits Times.

Scott said, on the advice of doctors, he would cut back on his travel in 2009 to avoid further health problems.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, November 15

Oops! ARMCHAIR GOLF Misquotes Warren Buffet


“You only have to do a very few things right in golf so long as you don't do too many things wrong.”
(not said by) Warren Buffet


Biographical note: Warren Buffet is an American investor, businessman and philanthropist.

This misquote brought to you by The Armchair Golfer.
Getting it wrong for the love of the game.

Friday, November 14

Six Enter World Golf Hall of Fame

Hall inductee Denny Shute
won three majors in the 1930s.


WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU, here are the six people who were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday, November 10.



Craig Wood
(PGA Tour Ballot)
Wood was the first player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year. He also won 21 PGA Tour titles, which makes me wonder why it took so long for Wood to get in. Jack Fleck named his only son Craig in honor of Wood.

Bob Charles
(Veterans Category)
The original “Lefty,” Charles won six events on the PGA Tour, including the 1963 British Open. All total, including international and seniors titles, Charles collected 66 wins. He is the first New Zealander in the Hall.

Denny Shute
(Veterans Category)
A 1930s era player, Shute won 16 tour events and three majors. Shute also played on three Ryder Cup teams.

Herbert Warren Wind

(Lifetime Achievement)
An illustrious golf writer who wrote for Sports Illustrated and penned Hogan’s popular instruction book, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. Wind also coined the term “Amen Corner” at the 1958 Masters.

Pete Dye
(Lifetime Achievement)
The famed designer of more than 120 golf courses, Dye is the fourth golf course architect to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Carole Semple Thompson

(Lifetime Achievement)
Thompson was an amateur who won seven USGA championships and took part in 14 Curtis Cup matches. She is the sixth woman to be inducted.

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, November 12

PGA Tour Explores Cost-Cutting Measures

(JimmysAwards.com)

FACING THE REALITIES of the economic crisis head on, the PGA Tour is considering and implementing a number of belt-tightening moves for the 2009 season. A tour insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity, previewed several things the tour and players are doing.

Those giant winner’s checks and ostentatious trophies are out. The tour has new partners that will be supplying such things as trophies, hospitality supplies and courtesy cars (at right).

“Look, it’s about winning out here, not the ornamentation,” said the tour insider. “I think the players would agree.”

There is one new measure that’s highly unpopular with the players, he confessed.

“We anticipated the uproar over the use of mats,” he said. “But the majority of events will still have grass tees, with mats confined to the practice area.”

Despite a potential sponsorship crisis, new tournaments will be added to replace events falling off the PGA Tour schedule.

“The PGA Tour will now be in communities such as Muncie, Dodge City and Fairbanks,” he remarked. “The players are excited about the new venues.”

Players are getting into the savings act. Rory Sabbatini, for instance, has updated his belt buckle collection (example at right). And many players have said they plan to use family members as caddies or tote their own clubs to save on caddie fees.

Even the richest tour pros are attempting to cut expenses. Some of the top-tier players are considering plane pooling, although negotiations reportedly broke off in one instance when a player wanted to collect a baggage surcharge fee.

The cost-saving moves can have unintended consequences, though. One unnamed player was penalized when he failed to find his ball mark during a recent tournament.

“Pennies tend to blend into the putting surfaces,” he explained.

“I made the ball mark switch when I started throwing all my nickels, dimes and quarters into a change jar to supplement my retirement.”

−The Armchair Golfer

(This is an ARMCHAIR GOLF spoof.)

(Additional Flickr photo credits: Biblicone, Vandys, Tofutti Break.)

Tuesday, November 11

Patriot Golf Day Raised $1.7 Million

Remember veterans today.
(J Colman/Flickr)





A SPECIAL THANK YOU on this Veterans Day to all veterans for their sacrifices. It’s also the perfect time to alert you about a successful Patriot Golf Day.

“The second annual event, which was held over Labor Day weekend at 3,800 golf facilities nationwide, has produced donations to date of more than $1.7 million,” Tammy Boclair wrote me in an email. “Patriot Golf Day benefits the Folds of Honor Foundation in helping provide scholarships for dependents and spouses of service members who have been killed or disabled as a result of their military service.”

Patriot Golf Day was originated by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 pilot, PGA Professional and USGA member from Broken Arrow, Okla., who this month returned from his third tour of duty in Iraq.

Two veterans I wish to recognize are my dad who served stateside in the Navy during World War II and my recently deceased uncle who served as an Army medic in Vietnam.

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, November 10

Credit Crunch Dooms Indian Masters

THE LADIES' EUROPEAN TOUR IS A VICTIM of the credit crunch. The Indian Masters, the second-to-last event on the 2008 schedule, has been canceled.

“We did all we could to ensure the event is held on schedule, but sadly we were unable to do so,” Tour executive director Alexandra Armas was quoted as saying.

“We look forward to the possibility of returning to India next year.”

The Dubai Ladies Masters follows the canceled Indian Masters on the schedule and will feature Annika Sorenstam in her last tournament before retiring.

Garcia Is No. 2 in World


Sergio Garcia’s second victory in recent weeks moved the Spaniard to No. 2 in the world rankings, nosing ahead of Phil Mickelson. Garcia beat Englishman Oliver Wilson in a sudden-death playoff to win the HSBC Champions tournament in China.

−The Armchair Golfer


(Source: BBC SPORT)

Sunday, November 9

Love Triumphs

(Erik Anestad/Flickr)


IT WAS THE WIN of a lifetime. Sort of.

By notching his 20th career win today at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, Davis Love earned a lifetime exemption on the PGA Tour. Lifetime. That’s got to be sweet for an established player who has been struggling recently just to hang on to his tour card.

After 54 holes, however, Davis was focused on just one thing.

“I just want to play to win,” he said. “I'm not playing for any exemption.”

Love’s first title in more than two years was a one-shot victory over Tommy Gainey. He shot 64-64 on the weekend and will pocket $828,000.

Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson are the only active players to have won more than 20 PGA Tour events.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, November 8

Oops! ARMCHAIR GOLF Misquotes John McCain

(Chris Dunn/Flickr)


“Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of golf.”
(not said by) John McCain


Biographical note: John McCain is a U.S. Senator from Arizona and was the Republican candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.

This misquote brought to you by The Armchair Golfer.
Getting it wrong for the love of the game.

Friday, November 7

Winless Champions on Champions Tour

Nick Price is still looking for
his first title on the Champions Tour. (Hart/Flickr)








I SAW THIS AT GOLF DIGEST’S Local Knowledge blog. Nick Price, who won 18 PGA Tour titles, including three majors, has yet to win on the Champions Tour. I’m sure he’s befuddled.

But Price is not alone. Look at a few of the other prominent names on the list:

Nick Price: 0 for 32
Mark O’Meara: 0 for 32
Curtis Strange: 0 for 75
Ben Crenshaw: 0 for 129

I’m not surprised about Strange. He lost his game and it’s probably a considerable achievement for him just to be back out on a pro tour. Price and O’Meara haven’t played that many events (32 each). There’s still time.

But Crenshaw? You would think that Ben would have gotten a win or two with that velvet putting stroke.

−The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, November 6

Q&A: Bob Harig of ESPN.com

A FORMER SPORTSWRITER for the St. Petersburg Times, Bob Harig covers the PGA Tour and pro golf for ESPN.com. I met Bob at the BMW Championship in St. Louis, the third of four FedEx Cup playoff events. Last week we talked by phone about various PGA Tour subjects, including the return of Tiger Woods.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: As you look back on this PGA Tour season, what's on your highlight reel?

BOB HARIG: Certainly the U.S. Open and the way Tiger won would have to be right up there, especially when you know what he was going through. But even so he hadn't played for two months. He was obviously not at his best. He somehow found a way to make a birdie on the 72nd hole. And then did it again in the playoff to prolong it. The year he had, playing in just six tournaments, was remarkable. Kenny Perry’s great play at age 48, Padraig Harrington winning two majors, especially the way he won them –- those would probably be second and third after Tiger.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Speaking of Harrington, who is your player of the year?


BOB HARIG:
That's a really tough call because certainly Tiger won four times and nobody else won four. But, of course, he only played half the year. Do you take that away from him or not? It's a tough decision. I think if I had to be pressed on it I would have to go with Harrington because it was over the course of the full year. Granted, he only won two times, but they were two majors and we tend to look at majors as a big deal. So I would give the nod to him but with a little trepidation because it's not an easy decision.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: What are your thoughts on the FedEx Cup?


BOB HARIG: They definitely need to do something. You can't have it be decided going into the last event. That would be like giving the Super Bowl to the Patriots before the game. Or the World Series would have been played by the Cubs and the Angels because they had the best records during the year. I have not been one to criticize the FedEx cup. I think what we have, even though it's not perfect, is far better than what we used to have. I think having four events at the end of the year with great fields is a huge step.

After the PGA nobody cared about golf. So I applaud what they’ve been trying to do. They just need to make it a little bit better. My hope is that they come up with a system whereby more people have a chance going into the Tour Championship. Perhaps they do something after the four rounds of the tournament. Maybe they take the top four or eight guys remaining in the FedEx Cup and let them play one day for the big prize. They could play an 18-hole round with the winner getting $10 million and second place gets $3 million and on down. That would be very compelling. I think they're going to figure out something and we'll see how it plays out.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Pretend for a moment you’re Tim Finchem, and you're not just looking at the FedEx Cup but you’re evaluating the PGA Tour. What would you do to enhance the tour product?

BOB HARIG: It's strange to say but I think they have too many good events. You have majors, The Players, the FedEx Cup events at the end, and you have three world golf events. You add that up and you have about 12 events that everybody plays. If a guy plays 18 or 20 events, that doesn't leave very many others for him to pick and choose from. The rank-and-file events, the backbone of the tour, really get hurt. Places like New Orleans and Houston, the Honda Classic, Memphis, San Antonio –- they don't ever get to see a lot of the top guys.

I wish they would find a way to dissolve those world events. They could move one of them to the first tournament. The season kick-off in golf is very weak. There might be no sport that has a weaker intro than golf. The opening of every other season is celebrated. With golf it's like no one even notices. The Mercedes tournament in Hawaii has a limited field and a lot of guys don't even play in it. Maybe that should be a world golf event. That would help. Going forward, I think they need to look out a little more for their rank-and-file tournaments because without them there is no tour. The tour isn’t just about the stars; it's about 200 guys. If those smaller events don't survive, then where are we?

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Let's talk about Tiger. What do you expect from him when he comes back?

BOB HARIG:
I think we have to give him a little time. We have to expect some rust. It's one thing to will yourself to victory like he did at the U.S. Open after taking two months off. He is going to go at least six months without swinging a club. Even for him, don't we have to expect that there is going to be a little bit of difficulty in coming back? I'm not talking about the injury. I think he will be fine physically. I think he's going to be stronger than ever. And having two good legs and a knee that's been repaired and is fully strengthened will be great for him, long term. But I think in the short term we have to expect there are going to be some kinks to work out. His swing is not going to be perfect. Tiger works like crazy on his short game; he's not going to have done that. I think when he first comes back we have to cut him a little slack. By the middle or end of the year, I wouldn't be surprised if he’s back in top form.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Long term, do you think we’re going to see a better Tiger than we've seen?


BOB HARIG:
I don't think there is any question. He has been playing on a bad knee for a long time. He’s going to come back better than ever. It's going to take a little longer to get his swing back. But in a way this is good because he has gotten away from it for a little while. He will be hungrier and he will be healthier.

ARMCHAIR GOLFER: Any up-and-coming players that we haven’t heard a lot about yet?


BOB HARIG:
Good question. There are so many guys. Just some of these guys recently who have won fighting for their cards are really good players. This guy who just had an emergency appendectomy -- Jeff Overton -- he has been knocking on the door a lot lately. There’s a guy who could break through and not too many people have heard about him. But he's a really good young player. I probably could name 10 guys like that. The competition is intense. Sometimes it's just a matter of guys breaking through like Kim and Villegas. They've been hanging around and finally this year they won and showed just how good they are.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: You have to play really well just to hang on to your card.


BOB HARIG: It's hard to believe that you could win $600,000 and not keep your card. You've got to put up a big total. That's what these events at the end of the year are meant for. It gives these guys a chance to play without loaded fields.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: One of the latest casualties in the golf writing ranks was Thomas Bonk of the L.A. Times. Where do you see this thing heading as a golf writer?

BOB HARIG:
It's bleak right now. I think it's bad for the sport that so many print people are no longer covering it. Newspapers still have tremendous reach and they have all decided that they don't need to cover golf. Their attitude is people can get the information elsewhere. Well then, you're telling them to go elsewhere -- or forcing them to. If you don't cover it with your own guy, human nature says that you're going to give it less attention. So there is a medium that's not getting covered. I don't think it's good for the sport at all. I think they want as many voices and as many publications covering them as possible. You also have probably the most popular athlete in any sport and they choose to ignore it except for getting by with the bare minimum.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: What's the biggest challenge for you in covering pro golf?


BOB HARIG:
It's probably access. You've got to be able to talk to people to write about them. The stars in this sport are very sheltered. You're only going to get them for a few minutes here and there at tournaments. This is a sport where you don't have any home games. As a writer, you’re not going to be in front of them all the time. That makes it very difficult. A star player in football or baseball is exposed to the media every day, whether it’s practice or games. That's not the case in golf. The biggest challenge is to get the time you need to talk to these guys.

In the old days the guys needed the publicity. They don't need it so much anymore. They’re publicized so much on TV, have their own Web sites and such. So getting written about is probably just not as big a priority to them anymore. That works against us.

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, November 5

Barack Obama and the Golf Question



WHILE OTHERS PONDER the historic nature of a Barack Obama presidency, ARMCHAIR GOLF wonders about important things such as the state of Obama’s golf game.

Specifically, where does Barack Obama stand on golf?

I know this much: The President-elect stands on the Phil Mickelson side of the ball. Yes, Obama is a southpaw, a lefty.

I’ve heard about Obama’s plans for the economy, health care, energy and education, but what about his short game? Does he hit a long ball? Can he sink a four-footer?

The Obama golf video is inconclusive. Even though one player said Obama was good, I can’t endorse him as a golfer. I need to know more. (I’d pick him for my hoops team, though.)

By the way, John McCain is also a southpaw. So our next First Golfer was destined to be a lefty. Sounds historic to me.

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, November 4

Election Day Golf Drill

These voters could be working on their golf swings.
(Boxercab/Flickr)








DUE TO MASSIVE VOTER TURNOUT, some of you may be stuck in long lines at the polls. I'm here to help. I found a golf swing drill you can do while waiting in line. And you don't need a club!
This golf swing drill, simply put, is just practicing your golf swing without using a golf club. Consequently, you’ll be able to concentrate on the feeling of your muscles coiling up and releasing without being confused or distracted by the movement of your arms.

This is also a good opportunity to practice keeping your feet on the ground. Practice having your front foot roll inward on the golf back swing and memorize that feeling.
Here's the kicker:
Another upside to this drill is that you can practice it anywhere or anytime.
(That includes the polls.)

Remember: Just because it's election day doesn't mean you have to neglect golf.

−The Armchair Golfer


(Source: 1st Beginners Golf Swing Tips)

Monday, November 3

Houston Golfer Wins ‘The Right Sticks’ Drawing

CONGRATULATIONS TO GREG BARTZ, winner of my free drawing for The Right Sticks, a myth-busting book by golf club designer Tom Wishon.

“Oh my!” Greg wrote me in an email when he learned he was the winner.

“I'm a 43-year-old dad of two. I started playing golf about three years ago and currently play two to three times per week. My current index is 11.29.”

In Greg’s bag:
Bridgestone J33 combos 2-gw (D300S shafts)
Eidolon 56 and 60 with Rifle Spinner shafts
Bridgstone J33R Driver with 65g Purple Ice stiff+ pured
Bridgestone J33 3W Stock Aldila stiff shaft
Bridgestone J33 5W Stock Aldila stiff shaft
Bridgestone Airmuscle 3-iron Stock Aldila stiff shaft
Never Compromise TDP 5.2 34 inch putter

Greg also maintains a golf blog.

Thanks to all who entered. There will be more free drawings in the near future, so keep coming back.

−The Armchair Golfer

Related:

‘The Right Sticks’ by Tom Wishon

Sunday, November 2

Annika and Retief Get Long-Awaited Wins

Retief Goosen ended drought.
(Cory Voglesonger/Flickr)





ANNIKA SORENSTAM AND RETIEF GOOSEN both rallied with hot final rounds on Sunday to get their first wins in a while (especially Goosen).

The soon-to-be-retired Sorenstam captured her fourth title of the year with a playoff victory at the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China. Annika shot a seven-under-par 65 to tie Ye Liying and then beat Ye on the second playoff hole.

South African Goosen ended a nearly two-year drought with a come-from-behind win at the $500,000 Iskandar Johor Open on the Asian Tour. Goosen closed with a six-under-par 66 to erase a four-shot deficit.

“It means a lot.” Retief was quoted as saying. “Coming down the stretch, you haven't won for a while, so it's nice to finish it off with some good shots and I got the job done. It's great to win again.”

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, November 1

Catching Up with Bob Harig of ESPN.com

BOB HARIG COVERS GOLF for ESPN.com. I met him in the media center lunch room at the BMW Championship in August. It was fun talking to a national golf writer who follows the PGA Tour from city to city. And as a bonus, Bob is a nice guy, approachable and helpful. That’s always refreshing.

Yesterday we hooked up again by phone. I asked Bob if we could do a Q&A and he obliged. We discussed the 2008 season, player of the year, the FedEx Cup, Tiger’s return, Bob’s biggest reporting challenge, and more. I plan to bring that conversation to you soon.

Also, on Monday or Tuesday, I’ll announce the winner of the free drawing for The Right Sticks, a book by acclaimed golf club designer Tom Wishon.

−The Armchair Golfer