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December, 2004

Tiger’s 2000 Season Still the Best

Dec. 19, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Tiger and VijayVijay Singh became the PGA tour's first ten million dollar man in 2004, setting a new record for winnings in a season and becoming only the fourth player since 1960 to win at least eight tournaments in a year. Few can dispute the fact that his 2004 season was great, but it still pales in comparison with Tiger Woods' 2000 season.

Singh himself said in a story on PGA.com, "Tiger won three majors in 2000. You can't beat three majors. It's so much more difficult to win major events than normal tournaments. I'm just going to try to enjoy my own good season."

Posted in: PGA Comments (1)

Jesse Joins Jones

Dec. 19, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Jones Fairway WoodRemember those Orlimar "TriMetal" golf clubs from the late 1990s? The man behind the clubs - Jesse Ortiz - is back. He's found a job with Bobby Jones Golf Equipment Company. The company features two lines of men's equipment - "Collection" and "Players" - and a line of women's gear. All three will be on display at next month's PGA Merchandise show in Orlando.

Ortiz comes from a line of clubmakers. His dad, Lou, made clubs for some folks you may have heard of: Ken Venture and Johnny Miller. The TriMetal was such a success that the relatively small Orlimar couldn't control its success. Orlimar took on investors and eventually succumbed to a problem perhaps best described as "too many cooks in the kitchen." The company floundered under a sea of debt and empty promises.

In June, and with the permission of the Jones estate, Ortiz and a business partner started the Bobby Jones Equipment Company to expand the Bobby Jones brand beyond the apparel line.

Posted in: Clubs Comments (1)

Mind Your Angles

Dec. 18, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Uphill Downhill PitchYou've got a 20-yard pitch to a tight pin over a little bunker. You reach for your lob wedge, give it a good swing, and advance the ball 10 yards into the bunker.

Why?

Because you were pitching from an upslope, which added loft to your 60° club, launching the ball nearly straight up in the air. From an upslope, a PW, 9I, or even an 8I might have the same effective loft - 60° or so - as a lob wedge.

The opposite is true on downlopes, of course: your pitching wedge may have the loft of a 7I. Take a loftier club to counter the negative effect of the slope.

Monty Sidesteps Ryder Cup Captaincy

Dec. 18, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Colin MontgomerieIn a surprising move, Colin Montgomerie has pulled his name from consideration for the 2006 European Ryder Cup captaincy. Citing age as his primary reason, though not old age, but rather that he's too young, Monty has declared that it is time to step up his game and get back into the top 25 of the world rankings. After slipping from 41st to 80th in the rankings just this past year, it's hard not to agree with him. He needs a new spark and his shining performance this past year at Oakland Hills, as he sank the winning putt, may just be what the doctor ordered.

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Callaway Initiates CEO Search

Dec. 18, 2004     By     Comments (0)

callaway_logo.jpgCallaway Golf has announced that they will begin the search process to find a Chief Executive Officer to replace Bill Baker, who has served in the position only since August 2nd. No mention was given for how long it would take to name a new CEO, but Callaway said that its Board has determined "this is the appropriate time" to start the search. Bill Baker will head the process.

Mr. Baker stated, "As the current CEO, one of my most important responsibilities is the identification and training of my successor. With the overall review of the Company's business and strategic plans well underway, I believe that now is the time to begin this search."

What's interesting to note here is that all successors to Ely Callaway, the company's founder, have been forced out. They include Donald Dye, who had been Callaway's legal counsel, former TaylorMade President Chuck Yash and Ron Drapeau. So is Baker on his way out on his own accord or is he being pushed?

Posted in: Clubs Comments (0)

Betting Games and Tournament Formats

Dec. 17, 2004     By     Comments (0)

MoneyLooking to spice up your next foursome? Give "sixes" a try. Playing a round in San Francisco? Perhaps "Criss Cross" will suit your taste. In Sin City? Give "Las Vegas" a whirl.

Perhaps your wife or girlfriend golfs? See if you can talk her into playing "Threesomes."

You can find the rules to these betting games and tournament formats - over 100 in all - at golf.about.com.

Posted in: Tap-Ins Comments (0)

BBs

Dec. 17, 2004     By     Comments (0)

BBsIf you're looking to improve your hand-eye coordination, spend $24.99 on 15,000 green plastic BBs and a few bucks on a wooden broom handle. Visit a nearby field, toss the BBs up in the air one at a time, and hit them with the broomstick. A baseball swing is fine - but you'll probably want to start with very short swings until you can make contact reliably.

Of course, there are other ways to increase your hand-eye coordination. Bounce a golf ball off your clubface. Then try bouncing it off your grip. Got an old club? Try to hit golf balls with the grip end. Invent other games, such as playing darts with your golf swing - just throw the dart underhanded. A quick word of warning here, though: you may want to clear the room until you can get reasonably close to the dart board every time.

These tip come from a Chuck "The Hit Man" Hiter segment I just watched on The Golf Channel.

Grip, Grasp, and Ground

Dec. 16, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Golfers rely on their equipment, and in no other sport is precision as important as in golf. An eight of an inch here or a quarter of an inch there, and you're hitting three from the tee.

Why then do so many golfers neglect these three areas:

  • Grip
  • Glove
  • Spikes

These three things affect your grip and grasp of the club and the ground. If your grip is worn down, you won't have a solid grasp of the club. The same holds true of gloves - and I've seen some ratty looking gloves. Worn down cleats? You can't get a firm grasp of the only stationary object in the golf swing: the earth.

Check your grip, your gloves, and your spikes for wear. Replacing any of them is fairly inexpensive, and well worth the cost. You'll see - and feel - the results immediately.

Blonde Ambition: Big Break II Finale

Dec. 15, 2004     By     Comments (3)

Big Break IIKip Henley III drew the ace and won the Big Break II in a 20-hole playoff against Don "Ninja Turtle" Donatello. Here's the recap.

Kip, hitting first, split the first fairway with his 2I. Don struggled to get his nerves in check, but also split the fairway. Driving to his ball, Don says of Kip "Our friendship is over, and when we get finished our friendship will be back." Each hit their approach to about 18 feet: Don left, Kip below. Kip leaves his putt short and Don pushes his putt low.

On the second hole, Kip misses wide right and Don "flails away", hitting a toe-draw to the middle of the fairway. 250 from the hole, uphill, Don hits what he describes as an "absolutley perfect shot." It "hit perfect" and then kicked into the bunker. HA! Kip pitches back into the fairway and then hits to 15 feet from 94 yards. Don complains about a rake mark and blasts the ball thin over the green. He takes a drop off the cartpath when he would have been better off playing it and finds himself in soft sand. He then "tried to hit a perfect shot" but fluffed it. Thinking "I can still make the shot" he chips to six feet. Don makes Kip putt, though he lies 5 and Kip lies three, and Kip putts it to a foot. Don then forces Kip to sink his one-foot putt. This is only the first of many "Don is a selfish jackass competitor" moments.

Kip goes to one up.

Posted in: TV/Media Comments (3)
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