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67 Million to 1 Odds

Nov. 7, 2004     By     Comments (0)

A 22-handicapper hits two holes-in-one during the same round.

Do you think a hole-in-one would make a bad round great? How about two? At the Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane, WA, Chris Varallo hit a 7-iron on the 143 yard third hole and one-hopped it into the hole for the first hole in one. Eight holes later, took 8-iron 140 yards to again one-hop it for the second hole-in-one of the round.

"The first one was pretty amazing," said Varallo, 31. "But after the second, everyone was in utter disbelief. Other people on the course heard the screaming and were coming over to see what had happened."

"He did fall apart a little more than usual after that second one," said Dave Knutson, a member of his foursome who works with Varallo. "But he's a hack. Even leading up to it, his scorecard read something like 8-7-1-6-7-9 ... I mean, I don't know how it could have happened. Both of them were good-looking shots. In fact, they were almost identical -- same trajectory with a little fade. And both of them were one hop and plunk!"

Varallo, an attorney with a 22 handicap, finished his round at 31 strokes over par for a 101.

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Between Clubs? Land it on the Green.

Nov. 7, 2004     By     Comments (0)

When you're faced with an in-between shot, choose the club that lands the ball on the green.

When you're between your 7I and your 8I, what kind of shot do you play? A soft 7? Punch an 8? Here's some practical advice: take the club that will land the ball on the green. If the pin is in the back, take the 8I. If the pin is in the front, take the 7I. Your "normal shot" will be on the green, leaving you with a putt at a birdie.

Woods, Haas Still Tops at East Lake

Nov. 6, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Jay Haas and Tiger Woods both stand at nine-under par, sharing a four-stroke lead going into the final round of the Tour Championship at storied East Lake Golf Club.

Jay Haas at the Tour ChampionshipGoing into the final round, you have to ask yourself two questions: is Jay Haas really this good, and can Tiger finally convert a win?

There's a reason Haas was on the abysmally-bad US Ryder Cup team: he's a good golfer who has excellent course management skills. At East Lake this week, with the winds swirling and the fairways tight, precise shots and a steady, confident stroke have given Haas a share of the lead at nine-under par.

The other way to win at East Lake is to be long, where Tiger continues to lead the Tour. Tiger stormed ahead today and shot five-under par to give him an equal share of Jay Haas's lead. However, where Haas has shot 67-66-68, Tiger has followed a first-round 72 (E) with rounds of 64 and 65. Obviously if this trend continues, Jay Haas will be three or four strokes back by the end of Sunday.

Still, don't count Jay Haas out just yet. With two second-place finishes on the Champions' Tour and a third-place finish at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Jay's due for a win before the close of the year.

Oh, and Vijay? Unless he shoots somewhere below 60, he's lost his chance to convert his tenth win of the season. Singh sits eleven shots off the lead, at two-over par.

Posted in: PGA Comments (0)

Putt on a Line

Nov. 6, 2004     By     Comments (1)

Most putting teachers, including Dave Pelz, recommend a "straight back, straight through" putting stroke. This tip helps you craft a simple line.

Most putting teachers, including Dave Pelz, recommend a "straight back, straight through" putting stroke. Grooving one is easier said than done: there's no actual line against which you can judge your stroke!

Find yourself some twine or string and a pair of chopsticks. Break the chopsticks in two (so you have two little wooden stakes) and tie the string around the fat portion of each. Find a straight putt and push one stake into the ground behind the hole. Put the other on the straight line about six feet from the hole, keeping the string taut.

The rest is simple: place your ball under the string and both the line on which you want to hit the putt and a line that helps you judge "straight back, straight through" is there for you.

Tiger Battles, Haas Leads Tour Championship

Nov. 5, 2004     By     Comments (0)

After a forgettable first round, Tiger Woods roared back to life Friday with a bogey-free 64 at the Tour Championship, matching his best round of the year.

Tiger Tour ChampionshipTiger woods came roaring back today and Jay Haas not only held onto but extended his first-round lead in the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, GA.

A month shy of his 51st, Jay Haas followed up his first-round 3-under 67 with an even better 4-under 66 to take a two-shot lead over Stephen Ames. Haas is the oldest man to ever qualify for the Tour Championship. "Any time I lead is a great feeling at 20, 30, 40, 50, whatever it is," said Haas. "It's way too early to get too excited about it. But I haven't done it with smoke and mirrors. I've played solid golf, and that gives me encouragement for the weekend."

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Play Catch

Nov. 5, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Practicing distance control doesn't have to be boring: turn it into a fun game of "pitch" and catch.

Practicing distance control doesn't have to be boring: turn it into a fun game of "pitch" and catch. Get your husband, your son, your wife, daughter, friend, nephew, aunt, or buddy to put on a glove and stand some distance from you. Hit ten shots, allowing your friend to move between shots. Count the number of times your friend can make a catch without moving more than one step in any direction.

Then switch and let your partner try to beat your score. Use any club in the bag and play a range of distances from 20 yards to 100 yards. You will want to win, and so you'll quickly locate the distance with which your partner has the most difficulty, encouraging him to practice his weak spots (and he yours).

British Open Ticket Prices Set

Nov. 5, 2004     By     Comments (0)

R&A sets its ticket prices for the 2005 Open Championship at St. Andrews

Get out your checkbooks - the Royal & Ancient Golf Club has set the ticket prices for the 2005 Open Championship to be held at the Old Course in St. Andrews on July 14-17, 2005.

Daily ticket pricing:

Sunday    $9.20 
Monday   $37.00 
Tue/Wed  $46.00 
Thu/Fri  $74.00 
Sat/Sun  $83.00

Weekly passes, before January 31, 2005, will run $240.00 which is a discount of almost half over the regular daily admission fees. Between February 1 and April 30, the weekly passes will run $266.00 and after May 1, they will be $295.00.

With a policy that began back in 1997, the Open Championship admits children under the age of 16 for free. So bring the kids and have some fun.

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Tiger Sues Yacht Builder

Nov. 5, 2004     By     Comments (5)

Tiger Woods sues Christensen Shipyards claiming unauthorized use of his name.

tiger_woods_yacht.jpgTiger Woods has filed suit against Vancouver firm Christensen Shipyards concerning the purchase of the luxury yacht "Privacy". The so-named 155-foot vessel cost Woods $20 million or so. But you'd think spending that much money and calling the darned thing "Privacy", that you'd expect some. In fact, Tiger didn't just expect it, he demanded it with a confidentiality agreement.

Once a Cheater…

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (16)

On cheating, golf's long memory and glass houses. With a little bit of Tiger-post-honeymoon-watch thrown in, just because you can't write a golf article without mentioning Tiger …

cheat_at_golf.jpgGo ahead, you can admit it to me. I won't tell, I promise.

You've used the foot wedge, haven't you? You've taken too many mulligans. Heck, I bet you've hit a few into the woods, teed it back up and didn't take the stroke.

You are a cheater.

And what of it, I say? Yes, you've cheated. I've cheated. I use the foot wedge, and far too liberal winter rules, and take too many mulligans, and countless other rules infractions. Heck, I'm willing to bet that I cheat every single round.

I hurt myself and my golf game; I've probably deflated my handicap by a couple of strokes (and considering my handicap, that's pretty sad) and as a result I don't have a true gauge of my skill. I might've even gloated to my father-in-law over a win that I didn't deserve because he gave me a few strokes too many.

But, I don't play in tournaments. I don't bet on golf. I try to enjoy the game and, if a foot wedge or two helps me enjoy the game, what of it?

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