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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?

The Honeymoon’s Over

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (0)

The Tour Championship starts today at East Lake Golf Club. Vijay looks for his seventh win in the last nine events, but all anyone's going to talk about is Tiger … or is that Mr. Elin?

Tiger and Vijay at East Lake Okay, so did you actually think I'd be able to start an article about the Tour Championship without the headline being about Tiger's return to the tour after his honeymoon with Elin?

Sure, there are other interesting stories. Take, for example, the Tour's decision to add Padraig Harrington to the roster at the event. Usually, the Tour Championship is for the top thirty money-earners on the Tour. But, had Padraig actually played on the Tour this year, his $2.1 million would have been more than enough to secure him a spot in the tourney. How nice of the Tour to include him; he's decided to return the good will, and join the PGA Tour as a full member in 2005. This is Padraig's first year playing in the Tour Championship.

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Finchem, Els Settle Misunderstanding

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (1)

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem's comments took some steam out of speculation about an imminent showdown with Ernie Els.

Tim FinehcemWe've previously written about Ernie Els and his battle with the PGA Tour here and here. Turns out it really wasn't that big of a deal.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem sees "no problem" with the amount of tournaments Ernie Els plays overseas. Said Finchem "he's playing enough to satisfy his membership requirements on the PGA Tour."

Finchem's comments defused a bomb that was set to explode at this week's Tour Championship. Els said last month that he planned to meet with Finchem at the tournament and was frustrated over having to play more tournaments to obtain overseas releases. "Don't start putting a padlock around me because that's not going to work," Els said during the HSBC in England.

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Geiberger Fined $20,000 for Slow Play

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Brent Geiberger believes he was found guilty by association after the tour introduced a tough penalty structure to combat slow play.

Brent Geiberger is the first player to have been fined $20,000 for slow play. He was put on the clock ten times in one season. "I understand they're trying to do something about slow play and trying to get a system that works," Geiberger said. "But it's not a system that shows you're a slow player."

Last year, the PGA Tour introduced a highly penal system to combat slow play. Some players feared that they would be guilty by association if they were consistently paired with slow players. According to PGA Tour rules, all players in a group are put on the clock if the group is out of position.

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Azinger and Faldo in the Booth

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger will be side-by-side at the Tour Championship, starting their new roles as analysts for ABC Sports.

Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger, far removed from their 1993 Ryder Cup draw, will be side-by-side in the ABC booth at the Tour Championship this week as analysts for ABC. As with Monday Night football, the three-man booth (Azinger, Faldo, and staple Mike Tirico) will be the first this booth has seen (outside of post-round interviews).

"Their personalities were so divergent," ABC golf producer Mark Loomis stated. "But they believed in what they said, and they also listened to others. I thought the two of them together will be terrific."

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Pavin Pacifies Wife, Plays Vietnam

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Former U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin Pavin said his wife's Vietnamese heritage had a lot to do with his decision to play.

VietnamCorey Pavin will tee it up Thursday in Vietnam for the inaugural Carlsberg Vietnam Masters event on the Asian Tour. Played at the Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club, about 50 miles outside the capital of Hanoi, Pavin hopes to best about 140 others to win the tournament because, he says, "my wife told me to." Pavin's (second) wife and caddie is Vietnamese.

"It's always fun for me to go to a new place and many of you know that my wife, Lisa, is a Vietnamese," Pavin told some folks with notepads and pencils. "It's a great opportunity for us to come here and play in this tournament and after this, we'll tour the country for 10 days."

Pavin's wife will caddie for him in this tournament if her luggage arrives. It failed to ask for directions and was lost along the way. Said Pavin, "She doesn't help too much on advice, but it's nice to have her around to just talk." He later added "The sex at the end of the day ain't so bad either."

Vietnamese organizers hope that this event - one in which Corey Pavin is the biggest name - will spur interest in golf. Said Pavin "I'm just hoping that my wife will leave me alone about 'touring her homeland' for another few years."

Of course, much of this report has been made up in an attempt to have some fun with an otherwise boring story. Read the honest truth here.

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Finish Well

Nov. 4, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Your finish is often indicative of your swing: finish well to play well.

Follow ThroughWatch any amateur's finish and you can probably guess what kind of shot they hit. Watch any amateur's finish without laughing and friend, you're a better man than me sometimes! Some folks fall over, step over, and even spin on their spikes!

Though it's true that you can have a crazy backswing (Jim Furyk) or a crazy finish (Jim Thorpe), it's not common. The follow-throughs of most pros are tremendous: weight on their left foot, standing straight, club across the back of their shoulders, hands high. If your finishing position doesn't resemble an ideal one, there are probably errors in your swing. Analyze your follow through to analyze your swing.

P.S. The follow-through to the right? Not ideal. :-)

Loose Impediments

Nov. 3, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Dung is not dung, it's actually a loose impediment…

I own a copy of The Rules of Golf, and let me just say, it is close to impossible for any human (with a life) to know everything packed into this text. Yes, I visit the Rule–a–day website every so often to test my golf acumen, but some of the rules never cease to amaze me.

I know I have to play the ball as it lies, and when to hit a provisional ball, but what I didn't know is that dung is not dung, it's actually a loose impediment.

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Swing Easy for Long Irons

Nov. 3, 2004     By     Comments (0)

As a general rule of thumb, swing your long irons easily.

A lot of people try to cream their long irons. This results in poor contact. When good contact is made, it results in excess spin that balloons the ball in the air (or imparts more sidespin). As a general rule of thumb, swing your long irons easily. You'll make better contact, impart less spin (backspin and sidespin!), and hit more greens or fairways. You rarely see a Tour pro "really go after" a 3I. There's a reason for that.

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