Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ai Miyazato wins Safeway Classic, leaps to No. 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - Ai Miyazato reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings, winning the LPGA Safeway Classic on Sunday for her fifth victory of the year.

The Japanese star closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 11 under, two strokes in front of Cristie Kerr, ranked No. 1 going into the event, and Na Yeon Choi.


The Safeway Classic, in its second year at Pumpkin Ridge, was marred Saturday when veteran Juli Inkster, in strong position to contend in the final round, was disqualified.

The 50-year-old Hall of Famer was used a weighted training aid on her club to stay loose while waiting for 30 minutes to make the turn at the 10th hole. That broke rule 14-3, which meant disqualification.

Inkster had finished in a three-way tie for second at 8 under with Kim and Choi after two rounds. But that was erased when she used the "doughnut" training aid to practice her swing before making the backed-up turn, and the image flashed on television.

LPGA Director of Tournament Competitions Sue Witters said a viewer watching the broadcast brought the violation to the attention of tournament officials via email. By that time, Inkster was almost done with her round.

"I had a 30-minute wait and I needed to loosen up," Inkster said in a statement. "It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I'm very disappointed."

I freaking HATE people that call in from watching on TV to report rules violations . . . I mean . . . it's a Gentleman (and Gentlewoman's) game, or idn't?
Read more:
14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment
The United States Golf Association (USGA) reserves the right, at any time, to change the Rules relating to artificial devices, unusual equipment and the unusual use of equipment, and make or change the interpretations relating to these Rules.
A player in doubt as to whether use of an item would constitute a breach of Rule 14-3 should consult the USGA.
A manufacturer should submit to the USGA a sample of an item to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether its use during a stipulated round would cause a player to be in breach of Rule 14-3. The sample becomes the property of the USGA for reference purposes. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample or, having submitted a sample, fails to await a ruling before manufacturing and/or marketing the item, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that use of the item would be contrary to the Rules.
Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:
a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; orb. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; orc. That might assist him in gripping the club, except that:
(i) plain gloves may be worn;(ii) resin, powder and drying or moisturizing agents may be used; and(iii) a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip.
1. A player is not in breach of this Rule if (a) the equipment or device is designed for or has the effect of alleviating a medical condition, (b) the player has a legitimate medical reason to use the equipment or device, and (c) the Committee is satisfied that its use does not give the player any undue advantage over other players.
2. A player is not in breach of this Rule if he uses equipment in a traditionally accepted manner.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 14-3: Disqualification.
Note: The Committee may make a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure or gauge distance only.

Birdie on GCP #8

after a double handful of missed birdie putts -- makeable birdie putts on #8 at Golf Club Praha, I finally got one to go in . . . took all of my experience with that particular green . . .broke about 3 foot over 7 feet . . . total speed putt.
last tournament, I was on the other side of this same pin position (mine is the closer) -- 2 fantastic tee shots, these are, of mine, last time and this time, if you see what I mean -- which is a much easier putt, from 3 - 4 feet, uphill . . . and left it short . . .

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At the Dentist

A man and his wife walked into a dentist's office.


The man said to the dentist, "Doc, I'm in one heck of a hurry.  I have two

buddies sitting out in my car waiting for us to go play golf, so forget

about the anesthetic, I don't have time for the gums to get numb. I just

want you to pull the tooth, and be done with it!  We have a 10:00 AM tee

time at the best golf course in town and it's 9:30 already... I don't have

time to wait for the anesthetic to work!"


The dentist thought to himself, "My goodness, this is surely a very brave

man asking to have his tooth pulled without using anything to kill the pain."


So the dentist asks him, "Which tooth is it sir?"


The man turned to his wife and said, "Open your mouth Honey, and show him.

The Parrot Died

At dawn the telephone rings . . .


"Hello, Senor Rod?" This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your lake house in Bella Vista."


"Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?"


"Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead."


"My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?"


"Si, Senor, that's the one."


"Damn! That's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What  did he die from?"


"From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod."

"Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?"


"Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse."


"Dead horse? What dead horse?"


"The thoroughbred, Senor Rod."


"My prize thoroughbred is dead?"


"Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart."


"Are you insane?? What water cart?"


"The one we used to put out the fire, Senor."


"Good Lord!! What fire are you talking about, man??"


"The one that destroyed your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire."


"What the hell?? Are you saying that my house is destroyed because of a candle??!!"


"Yes, Senor Rod."


"But there's electricity at the house!! What was the candle for?"


"For the wake, Senor Rod."




"Your wife's, Senor Rod. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your new Taylor Made Super Quad 460 golf club."




 LONG SILENCE.........



"Ernesto, if you broke that driver, you're in deep shit !



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Dark Art of Putting -

A new stat sheds light on golf's most mystical skill.

By Michael Agger

Monday, August 2, 2010

Moment of Glory by John Feinstein

When I heard about this book, I tho't "Huh, I know just what to say, without even reading it!" But that was when I tho't it was about 2009 . . . nay, it's about 2003 . . . I had to go back and look this up, from wikipedia, natch . . .

yeah, well, I do see it's easier to make a case for 2003 being the Year of the Underdog, rather than 2009 (Angel Cabrerra - well, I mean, yeah!), especially after Tiger had won a Major every year between 2003 & 2009 . . . so what am I looking for in such a review . . . there must be something timeless to say about the ineffable, intractable Nature of Golf that only the Lives of Underdogs can reveal to us, and who better to do that than John Feinstein?

Well, plain and simple, it falls short -- and I'm not saying that was Feinstein's aim, only that I don't know why I would read about these champions in this year, otherwise -- I admit I was confused why it seemed to fall short until I read the Acknowledgements at the end of the book:
  1. He wanted to do different book with Rocco Mediate and "his remarkable US Open experience at Torrey Pines" (a mano a mano with Tiger, in 2009), while it was "hot", and,
  2. He had a septuple bypass (that WILL slow a boy down, won't it . . . 8^0 . . .)
so: the multi-faceted, nuanced story of 4 relative unknowns and the 4 unknown runners-up had to lay up while the more interesting and marketable book and the severe medical problems played thru.

I do not want to give the impression (from information I do not have) that Feinstein did not give this book his best effort. That he finished it at all, years later, with the aforementioned delay rationales shows his professional Journalism.

It's all very workmanlike and "obligated" rather than inspired, and it just felt like 350 pages of "difficult" interviews: defensiveness from the champions mixed with the sort of platitudinous drivel that media conscious public figures rely on to avoid gaffes or faux paux; plaintive optimism from the runners-up, determined not to whine or what-if.

In short, there was a story to be told, events did happen, but from the premise that Tiger's self inflicted machinations left a vacuum filled by these guys, champions and runners-up alike, bless their hearts, it was apparently too difficult to make the story compelling.

Bad Lies: A Field Guide to Lost Balls, Missing Links, and Other Golf Mishaps [Hardcover]

If I may quote from myself, and I do, I will say that duffers are very rarely looking for trouble, but find themselves in trouble often, anyway . . . if you know what I mean . . . so a little book that tells the endlessly interesting story of trouble on the golf course would be welcome . . . from the harmless untruths and exaggerations about such trouble told in the 19th hole to the ribald raconteurterie of the locker room, we, the duffers commiserate with the well told encounter.

And one imagined, starting off with the amusing FOREword from Gary McCord, that the pictures in this book would each relate a 1000 words worth of merriment, but either the author's imagination failed him, or his experience is limited by an over-abundance of skill that inhibits the kinds of adventures that duffers such as myself find interesting.

AIA (apologies in advance), I am going to quote from myself again . . . unpardonable, but I have spent all my vitriol on duffers that don't rake traps, fill divots, repair ballmarks, or hit into the group ahead of them, and since I don't do any of those things, by the time I get to my own sins, I find I must be forgiving instead, so lookit:
So my 3wood wasn't gonna reach the green, I knew that, but I never figgered for trouble like this. Maybe I'll link this to my review of the book Bad Lies, and vice versa . . . 8^) . . .

I chipped it with a 7iron one handed, my left hand holding the tree like a lady . . . I hadn't practiced that . . . it came out ok, but long, and it took 3 more to get down. Bogey, to make 5 6s in a row. Ouch.

Maybe it's not Shakespear, nor Wind nor Darwin nor Updike, nor Jenkins, neither -- but here is my point, it IS a bad lie, and not

  • a picture of the backsides of some gallery at a golf tournament, nor

  • some stagey, fakey looking picture, nor

  • a apparently unrelated picture of Paula Creamer in the fairway or Natalie Gulbis on a green (and don't get me wrong . . . I am fully in favor of as many pictures of the beautiful and talented ladies of the LPGA being made as widely available as possible -- just -- this is where I am questioning the judgement? what is being said about these good young woment in a book about trouble where they're not in Golf Trouble? Pictures of puchritudinous young women in a book called Bad Lies is just asking for a locker room joist, if you see what I mean.)
I had oughtta say that the picture of the duffer looking for his ball in the fescue was a good 'un. A book of those would have been good . . . but dude -- Drop a Ball and move on!

Well, one last carp and then I'll sum up: I can't believe the best picture of a golf ball in a saguaro available is the one he published . . . any duffer that's played in AZ has seen better examples, and me and Mr Science played every course in the valley of the sun we could get on . . . from the early days on the Kokopelli Golf Stance you might find a better picture, but I know after a while it just wudn't funny no more.

Bottom line, if you're thinking of buying this for the duffer in your  family, don't do it . . . 5 minutes and onto the shelf for good . . . if you're thinking of buying it for yourself, back off and restart your pre-purchase routine again . . . look at it again from both sides of the hole, if you see what I mean, Before . . . .

An Interview with Sweet Woods Golf Club Maker

1)  What is your business model (in very general terms)? How do you see your business growing in the future? How do you see your business in alignment with the future of Golf you foresee?

Sweet Wood Golf Company was founded in 2006 by several golf enthusiasts, historians and collectors. In response to the oversaturation of the golf market with high-tech clubs, gadgets and paraphernalia which essentially takes the “golfer” out of the equation. The partners at Sweet Wood Golf Company decided to develop a luxury line of handmade clubs, leather goods and apparel which emphasized craftsmanship and high quality traditional components and materials.

By restoring elements of traditional golf products in a very modern way we feel as though we are regenerating an interest in “FEEL BASED or SENSORY GOLF”. The sensory experience and club/shaft responsiveness a golfer could expect by using hickory clubs with leather grips and forged steel heads is unparalleled with today’s high tech equipment. So the idea came about to try to take the best of both the traditional & the high tech and fuse them together to create modern/traditional equipment.

2)  These clubs are undeniably beautiful . . . and you say they are high-tech – suitable for modern courses . . . could you talk about that briefly, how you achieve that?

Probably our greatest compliment/insult we get is that our products are “too beautiful to play with” or use. However, folks are always SHOCKED at how well our clubs hit. We spent almost 2 years of R&D to make sure they were weighted/balanced correctly and were fully playable. Most folks state that they hit just as good (if not better) than the stiff steel shafted clubs they currently own. As far as responsiveness these clubs “talk to you”. This is because we use 8620 Soft Carbon Steel Heads, 100% Hickory Wood Shafts and Leather Performance Grips where we suggest to NOT use a golf glove. In this way, the clubs becoming a tuning fork for good and badly stuck shots. You hit is well, you know. You it it badly, the club really lets you know as well. In this way, our clubs serve as good training aids to many golfers.

3)  Do you ever conceive these clubs being used by professionals, er, professionally?

Most definitely…These clubs play like any other clubs and from a sensory standpoint many golfers feel ours are even better than their current clubs. Our putters, irons, leather goods and apparel are all made to play a modern game and this includes for amateurs & professionals alike.  

4)  If you can talk about it, how are your wooden shafts lathed? Are you using modern custom precision tools or antique tools?

All of our shafts for our clubs are 100% Hickory Wood which originates from Tennessee or Maine. The shafts are cut with the grain to add strength and not from the Heart of the tree. The shafts are MACHINE lathed with modern equipment for consistency and are stained & treated with a 3 weeks water tested lacquer which is scratch resistant. As far as our exotic wood heads we use a variety of hardwood from all over the world. These include Bolivian Pau Ferro, West African Zebra-Wood, Rhodesian Teak, Brazilian Cherry and Birdseye Maple to name only a few… 

5)  If you can disclose it, how are the wooden shafts connected to your custom club heads (for strength and durability)?

We utilize 100% Hickory wood shafts which are hand fashioned to our Putters & Hickory Irons through precise dimension hosels. We utilize time honored techniques in our craftsmanship blended with the highest levels of modern technology. The produces beautiful and durable products for golfers to fully enjoy for a lifetime.

6)  Will you eventually produce spoons and baffys?

We may produce a line of WOODS in the future but they will not be in the style of the old spoons & baffys. Rather we may look to emulate some of the master persimmon club makers designs such as Kenneth Smith & Stan Thompson of the 1940-1970 period.

7)  Can you maintain product consistency with wood as well as graphite / steel?

Flex of Hickory of our Hickory shafts used on our Irons falls neatly in FLEX between that of Steel and Graphite, and is a perfect compromise as far as vibration dampening is concerned due to the naturally complex cellular matrix of Hickory Wood. That is why Hickory is used in Hammers & Axe Handles as it is resilient and dampens vibration.

Even steel & graphite shafted clubs break today. We have demonstrated durability on our side in that there are millions of Hickory Shafted clubs & Leather bags/products from the early 1900’s that are still very useable today almost 100+ years later. This is because good craftsmanship and high quality materials create durable products. That is our philosophy and we are very passionate about it. 

8)  Are your clubs custom fitted for different heights and body types? Can the lie of the club be adjusted? Can the grips be oversized? Do standard grips fit and can they be changed as on standard clubs?

The beauty of our products, their uniqueness, the overall high quality & materials and without a doubt our abilities to FULLY customize of products from the ground up. In this way we take a philosophy similar to the Kenneth Smith company who had the slogan “Handmade for You”.

9)  Are your putters better in some ways than the long-handled, shovel-sized modern putters now in use?

We believe so…but honestly it is not a matter of style. It is really a matter of the traditional components that we use. By using Hickory shafts, Exotic Wood heads and Leather grips golfers get a sensory experience or “feel” they just can’t get with modern counterparts.

10)            Will you expand to bricks-and-mortar store-fronts, or stay as an internet vendor?

Developing our own storefronts has always been an idea for the future. Currently we are penetrating the golf course/country club market and are enjoying having the freedom the Internet Economy. Even if we do open storefronts in the future, they will be very small and represent a luxury boutique atmosphere.

11)            And anything else you want to express?

           Currently we are working on a Nationwide Initiative which includes an Exclusive “Preferred Vendor Program” for select Country Clubs/Resorts/Courses to carry our line. This will only be available to 3-5% of the market and will be very exclusive. As well, we are planning on producing a “Luxury Golf Tour” which will be a multi-day luxury experience for high net worth & celebrity clientele. It will be an all inclusive event with 5 Star Hotels & Restaurants, Luxury Seminars/Showcases and culminating in  a unique Modern Clubs/Hickory Club golf scramble. In short, Sweet Wood Golf Company’s goal is to push “Luxury Golf” out to the golf industry in our own creative way.