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WGC World Cup of Golf Tees Off

Nov. 17, 2004     By     Comments (3)

The WGC World Cup of Golf starts tomorrow in Seville, Spain.

Playing dual roles of hosts and favorites, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez will tee it up tomorrow in the WGC World Cup of Golf in Seville, Spain. Garcia, an invited player, chose Jimenez as his partner to give themselves a home field advantage. One other advantage the couple has is that the 7,134-yard layout was designed by two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.

Scott Verplank and Bob Tway make up the American contingent. The top ten Americans in the world ranking turned down the invitation to this, the last of the season's four World Golf Championships. Only two top-10 players accepted - Garcia and Ireland's Padraig Harrington.

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LPGA Endorsements

Nov. 17, 2004     By     Comments (4)

Annika Sorenstam has endorsement deals, but does anyone else on the LPGA Tour? Why the disparity?

LPGA LogoThe Sun-Sentinel says that "Annika Sorenstam distorts the picture in women's golf." Quality of play? Tenacity? Training? Ability to close out opponents with a 54-hole lead? No - ad dollars.

Replete in Callaway visors and sleeves, Mercedez-Benz/Cutter & Buck shirt fronts, Kraft collars, ADT bags, and Oakley sunglasses, Sorenstam "…looks like a NASCAR driver," LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw declares proudly.

The article then mentions Hall-of-Famer Beth Daniel, logo-free. Daniel, 48, has won 33 events and is 10th on the money list this year. "I buy… hats myself," Daniel said. "I buy… shirts."

The Best $4 You’ll Ever Spend (on Your Golf Game)

Nov. 17, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Buy a swing weight donut and you won't regret it.

Swing Weight DonutLooking to boost your swing speed? Looking to quickly warm up before a round? Looking to hurl something hard at someone after they hole out from the fairway to win their press and your $20?

The swing weight donut is the best $4 you'll ever spent. Swing weight donuts are small and fit easily in your bag or shoe. They're easier to use as warmup devices than swinging two or three clubs at once. Donuts can serve as targets on chipping greens or your "office putting green." Donuts can keep your towel from blowing away in a breeze. Use them on your putter to help ingrain a smooth stroke. They're versatile, they're lead, and they're red!

Spend the $4. You won't regret it.

International Invasion

Nov. 17, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Foreign-born players captured more than half of 2004's PGA Tour and LPGA Tour victories. Will the trend continue?

World MapForeign-born players captured more than half of 2004's PGA Tour tournaments (26 of 48), thanks in large part to Vijay Singh's nine wins. Meg Mallon pointed out that, in this, the men have long trailed the women: "We're already there. There are good tours in Europe and Japan, but they send their best to the United States. We've been international for over 10 years."

Heading into this weekend's ADT Championship 20 of 31 LGPA events have been won by international players. Annika Sorenstam is responsible for seven of those, and the remaining wins were split among players from South Korea, England, Scotland, Mexico, Australia, and the Philippines.

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Tiger the Only African-American on Tour

Nov. 17, 2004     By     Comments (6)

Charlie Sifford was one of ten African-Americans on the PGA Tour in the 1970s. Today there is only one: Tiger Woods.

Tiger WoodsCharlie Sifford, the first African-American to play regularly on the PGA Tour, is now the only African-American in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Things are looking up for black and African-American players, right? Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods - the top two golfers in the world are black. Right?

Yes and no, according to Ron Sirak at ESPN. Singh and Woods are the only two black players on the PGA Tour, and Woods is the only African-American (Vijay is full Fijian, and even Woods is half Thai).

Sirak wonders why, when during Sifford's days upwards of ten African-Americans played the tour and today only one does, but concludes quickly:

The dilemma is not one of race as much as it is one of class. Despite all efforts, and until recently those efforts have been dubious at best, golf has become more expensive, more time consuming and less welcoming of new players. It is a closed fraternity and the secret handshake has been denied to most.

Sirak then goes on to point out that The First Tee, founded in 1997, has already reached 395,000 children and created 178 facilities nationwide. Golf outreach programs are involving hundreds of thousands of children. Greens fees have risen, but municipal course rates have actually trailed the inflation rate. Tiger Woods alone has involved more youth in the sport than we saw any group of people doing 30 years ago, including caddie programs - which ESPN cites as the primary reason for the lack of African-Americans on tour today.

Epoch Tees

Nov. 17, 2004     By     Comments (10)

Can tees really improve your golf game? Perhaps sometimes it's just the confidence.

Epoch Pure LaunchWe've previously written about the epoch-3 tees from Evolve Golf here at The Sand Trap .com in an article titled "Tees Me." We've even reviewed another kind of tee, the Brush-T. What is up with all of these tee reviews? Tees are just a peg? You put your ball on them, then you hit the ball hard. Simple, right?

Not so, says Evolve Golf (and the Brush-T folks). When a ball is struck from a standard wooden tee, friction between the tee and the ball at the moment of impact can have a dramatic effect on both the distance and accuracy of your drives. This is true of deflection as well: the relatively hard lip of a standard wooden tee can redirect your ball slightly, imparting spin and sending it in the wrong direction. The Brush-T, for example, can grant you up to an extra four yards and 3% better accuracy! The epoch-3 was independently tested to deliver an extra 1.81 yards in distance and 2.34 yards more accuracy.

Breezy Easy

Nov. 16, 2004     By     Comments (0)

When it's breezy, swing easy

"When it's breezy, swing easy." You've heard this before, but what has made this one hold up for so long? Two reasons, really:

  1. Smooth swings increase the likelihood that solid contact will be made, creating a penetrating ball flight.
  2. If you make solid contact swinging hard, more backspin is created and the ball is likely to balloon up. Less spin = more penetrating ball flight.

Discipline yourself to take an extra club or two and to swing easy and you'll have a lot more putts for birdie than your playing partners.

A Lifetime of Achievement

Nov. 16, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Charlie Sifford was inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in the Lifetime Achievement category.

charlie_sifford.jpgAs mentioned earlier, Charlie Sifford was among those inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame this past Monday, almost fifty years after becoming the first African-American on the PGA Tour. Sifford, despite a warning from black baseball player Jackie Robinson that he would face taunts and threats, fought the PGA Tour over its Caucasian-only clause until he became its first black member in 1960. It wasn't a complete win, however, as Sifford couldn't stay in hotels at some of the tournaments he played.

Charlie Sifford only won two PGA Tour victories, the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open. However, he wasn't even given the chance to compete at the Masters as he was never invited. Still, many believe Sifford's election through the Lifetime Achievement category was overdue.

"Charlie won tournaments, but more important, he broke a barrier," Jack Nicklaus said. "I think what Charlie Sifford has brought to this game has been monumental. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame… I think it's about time."

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Montgomerie Beats Woods in South Korea

Nov. 16, 2004     By     Comments (0)

In a one-day Skins Game this past Sunday at Raon Golf Club on the island of Jeju, Colin Montgomerie won nine skins worth $75,000 while Tiger Woods and K.J. Choi both collected $51,000. South Korea's Se Ri Pak ended up with no skins. Five of Montgomerie's skins were collected on the par-5 10th hole when […]

In a one-day Skins Game this past Sunday at Raon Golf Club on the island of Jeju, Colin Montgomerie won nine skins worth $75,000 while Tiger Woods and K.J. Choi both collected $51,000. South Korea's Se Ri Pak ended up with no skins. Five of Montgomerie's skins were collected on the par-5 10th hole when he sank a 30-foot birdie putt. He started the day by taking the first skin on the par-4 first hole. Tiger took the second hole and earned a total of five skins with a birdie putt on the 12th and another at the 14th.

All of the money won went to charity.

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