TheSandTrap.com  ›  Blog  ›  Tap-Ins  ›  Tigerless Torrey Tidbits 

Tigerless Torrey Tidbits

Jan. 30, 2010     By     Comments (15)

Boring? The PGA Tour season has been anything but. Well, except for the actual tournaments…

And they said that the golf season would be boring without Tiger Woods. Why, just this week, at Tiger's first tournament, we have controversy and quitting with two of the bigger names on Tour.

First Up, John Daly
John Daly retires in the parking lot after shooting 79-71 to miss the cut by a mile.



Of course, 12 hours later, John's already backing off the comments with phrases like "I never said 'retirement'." Okay, John. If you say so. He's also saying he may not have enough money to continue to play on the PGA Tour.

The few sponsors that I have are great, but it's not getting me through these times. Maybe my mind may change down the road, but right now I don't have the money to be on the TOUR. My game has never been the same since my rib injury during The Honda Classic in 2007.

John Daly

His rib injury from 2007? Earlier in the week, John told Golf Channel he was hitting the ball great, but just needed to make some more putts. He said something like "my game is as good as it's ever been, just my putting needs fixing."

My advice to John: go away. For your own good. You're right - you are embarrassing yourself. Go away, work on your game. Do your corporate outings (you'll earn more doing that than MCing every week) to earn some money to pay your cadre of ex-wives, and if you actually return to a level that can compete, come back. The few fans you have left will likely welcome you back with open arms.

Phil Mickelson, Cheater
He's not. And I think once you get into arguments about "the spirit of the rules" you've already lost the argument, so I don't really care about that. The rules are what they are, and Phil is following them.

That said, I do find it funny that two guys (Scott McCarron, Rocco Mediate) who use long putters - a piece of equipment others have long said violate these mythical "spirit" of the rules - are leading the charge against Phil. It's not technically ironic, but it is… more than a bit silly.

But what's sillier is Phil Mickelson doing this to begin with. At the end of last year, Phil was near the top of the "pros this rule change helps" lists. The tougher you make golf, the more skill rises to the top, and nobody would deny that Phil has a lot of short-game skill.

What's dumber is that Phil - right now the de facto best player in the world - is getting involved with the grooves rule at all. WHY? What does Phil possibly stand to gain by "taking a stand" against the "ridiculous" rules change? By all accounts, Phil's still supremely pissed about the "conforming, but not approved" grooves he and Callaway submitted last year.

The golfing public has always been split on Phil Mickelson. Some percentage see him as fantastic and another percentage as a phony. The "phony" guys aren't being won over by this, and a good portion of the "fantastic" guys are now seriously considering their allegiance to a possible "cheater." How can "the people's champion" and the "fan favorite" care more about the millions of dollars Callaway spent researching the new grooves?

Phil had a great opportunity here to work hard on his game, win some tournaments, take a run at #1, and become the King. Instead, he's turning into the court jester.

Original Blame
Read over this summary of the PING Eye2 settlement and answer this for me: why is PING escaping blame? It seems to me that they understood the rules, intentionally circumvented them without alerting the USGA, and then sued when the USGA found that the clubs violated the Rules of Golf after PING had already sold thousands of sets of irons.

PING pointed out that the USGA used a different means of measurement - measuring from the edge of the radius instead of the center of the groove - in ruling the Eye2 grooves illegal. But I still side with the USGA here: no previous clubs had required a different form of measurement, including the clubs PING had approved by the USGA before they rounded the corner radius to stop shredding golf balls.

As part of the settlement PING released conforming grooves in their Ping Eye2+ irons, and that reads like an admission of guilt. Now look, it was 20 years ago, so I really don't care about assigning blame, but let's not assign blame to the USGA and completely excuse PING. That doesn't make any sense to me.

Performance
As for whether the Eye2 grooves actually provide more spin than current conforming grooves, the jury's still out. I've read quotes from TaylorMade researchers and vice presidents that say they do not. The USGA was forced to say "it's not about performance" in the settlement. Phil's only carrying one wedge, and it's his 64° model because those sharp edges "catch" the ball in ways "new" grooves can't, he says. Very few people play high-lofted wedges. And let's not forget the wedges are 20 years old. It's not like PING kept hundreds of thousands of Eye2 irons in a hermetically sealed, climate-controlled vault.

It's much ado about nothing. And they clearly haven't helped John Daly.

Posted in: Tap-Ins Comments (15)

Discussion

  1. frank says:

    Ok, John Daly has more fans than any other golfer, and him "going away" hurts golf, there's no question about it. Shooting 76-71 isn't embarrassing, it's not like he put up a number in the 80's. Yes, he is an emotional guy and says things that he may not mean but that just makes him more exciting to follow and brings more attention to the tour. You really need to chill out and relax and look at things more objectively before you write things like that about other people.

  2. Scott Hurst says:

    Ok, John Daly has more fans than any other golfer, and him "going away" hurts golf, there's no question about it. Shooting 76-71 isn't embarrassing, it's not like he put up a number in the 80's.

    John Daly has more fans than any other golfer? Wrong. At this point Fred Funk has more fans than John Daly.

    Him going away hurts golf? Wrong.

    79-71 and yet another MC "by a mile" is not embarrassing? Wrong.

    What are you, his caddie, hoping to earn a few more bucks (goodness knows you're not getting a percentage of any winnings!) from dragging a bag around for two rounds each week and still getting to spend weekends with your family?

  3. Carlos says:

    I think this is part of Daly playing to the persona of "John Daly" for his reality show.

    As a golfer it's a shame because he has shown potential but never seemed to have put it together when it counted most, too bad.

  4. Ok, John Daly has more fans than any other golfer, and him "going away" hurts golf, there's no question about it. Shooting 76-71 isn't embarrassing, it's not like he put up a number in the 80's. Yes, he is an emotional guy and says things that he may not mean but that just makes him more exciting to follow and brings more attention to the tour. You really need to chill out and relax and look at things more objectively before you write things like that about other people.

    Sorry man, I gotta disagree with you here. At this point, Daly has become nothing more than a sideshow clown. I do believe he really is a good guy, and has good intentions, and I honestly do hope he gets all his crap straightened out, but personally, I'd much rather watch quality golf instead of his drama.

  5. Matt Long says:

    I too think it is time for Daly to step off the Tour. But, in my opinion, he does still have a lot of fans. If anything, a lot of people still would like to see him succeed. Maybe its just me, but I'd like to see him do well, but if he can't win make the cut, he might need to step away. Again, just my two cents.

  6. frank says:

    I guess all 41,483 twitter followers of JD are fake fans. http://twitter.com/pga_johndaly

  7. shortgame85 says:

    John Daly: just go away (your poorly thought out life has been nothing but an embarrassment to witness for far too long, an amusement for those sadists who enjoy people suffering publicly and a form of affirmation for the dysfunctional among us); Phil Mickelson: why even go there? Instead of us admiring one of the best short games in the business, we're talking about these stupid grooves and whether or not you're cheating! Ping : you require a mention in this whole mess. Correct sentiments in the best column appearing on these pages in quite a while.

    In the meantime, I think I'll just pull for Tom Watson.

  8. Scott Hurst says:

    I guess all 41,483 twitter followers of JD are fake fans. http://twitter.com/pga_johndaly

    41,000? Stewart Cink has him beat five times over… if you take away a million followers from Stewart! Besides, I follow Daly just to see what dumb stuff he says. Like his recent stuff: he's playing at Pebble in two weeks to "honor his commitment." Please.

  9. Ramon says:

    The only thing i can tell you: i prefer watching Big John shooting a 79, than watching "Holy-Phil" shooting a 65. Why? John is for real but Phil is indeed a little bit phony and now even a little cheater too.

    The last days Phil did show us the real secrets of the short game - in using an illegal wedge....

  10. Joe says:

    Waaa Waaa I didn't win my first tourney back. C'mon John, you can't give up that easy. What'd you think you were just gonna come back and take the spot left by Tiger and dominate? It takes a LOT of work to win bro. How many of us shoot 10 over our usual score and FEEL like giving up. But we don't. Most of us don't even vocalize it.. Believe me I know frustration when it comes to golf. I shot a 112 the other day. Am I giving up? No. Did I want to quit at the turn, yes, but I shut up and I played a gentlemans game and I signed for that damned 112 wile my friends shot under 80. Quit your crying, put the work in, come back to your next game and just do better than the last.

  11. John Roethel says:

    I don't think either the USGA or Ping deserves blame in any way. The linked article by Mr. Tutleman is most interesting. [If anyone wants to blame anyone, put the PGA Tour at the top of the list.]

    Mr. Tutelman’s recap of the square groove litigation has more detail of the controversy.

    I find it interesting that the whole thing started because in the 1980’s it was difficult to cast irons (as opposed to forging irons) with V-shaped grooves. This lead to the approval of U-shaped grooves, which damaged the balata balls, which then caused Ping to round the grooves to minimize the ball damage.

    The groove design was not an attempt to increase spin, but rather an attempt to make cast irons which cost less to make than forged irons.

    In my opinion, there was a conspiracy among the other club makers against Ping. My evidence for this conspiracy is that the PGA Tour previously did not approve golf clubs.

    As noted by Tutelman, Ping did not believe it needed another round of approval when it rounded the groove edge. The current USGA Appendix II did not exist then and Ping believed there was no performance difference between the sharp edge and the rounded edge.

    Why the other club makers didn’t make U-shaped grooves is unknown to me. Perhaps there were some patent issues that have not been mentioned in the articles I have read.

    Nevertheless, the USGA first settled with Ping by grandfathering the Ping Eye 2’s. Eventually, the PGA Tour did likewise and withdraw from club approval (which is more evidence to me that a conspiracy had existed behind the scenes.) Both settlements made business sense to avoid possible large damage awards and equally large attorney fees.

    Who woulda thunk that the settlement 20 years ago would still be an issue today?

  12. Scott says:

    Plain and simple... if tour players can't use a 2010 model wedge with square grooves because it doesn't conform to the rules, then they shouldnt be allowed to use a 1980's model for the same reasons.

    Whats more irritating is the lack of attention the PGA is giving this... and I'm talking about the attention to correcting THEIR mistake. They obviously know they screwed up in not addressing the square groove issue with PING on the front end. They owe it to the players to fix the rule... either allow all previous grooves (basically go back to the way it was), or inforce a V-groove only rule. Why is that so hard??

    Another interesting thing about this new groove rule is the way the public has percieved it. Me for example... I could care less if a guy uses a belly putter, and I really dont see it as controversial. Thats more of a personal preference, and to each his own. But this groove issue, I have a serious problem with. Its not the fact that they changed the rule, that I'm ok with. What I'm upset about is that the PGA did a piss poor job of containing/fixing the issue once it blew up. I think it could be a great rule, but if the they aren't going to fix it properly then why even have it??

    You said it best... why is Phil involved in this mess anyway?? In his defense, he is not cheating and should've never been put in that catagory. However, he stands to gain more from a rule change like this than anyone. IMO, his true colors are shining through. The media's perfect little candidate has now shown himself to be nothing more than childish.

  13. Whats more irritating is the lack of attention the PGA is giving this... and I'm talking about the attention to correcting THEIR mistake. They obviously know they screwed up in not addressing the square groove issue with PING on the front end. They owe it to the players to fix the rule... either allow all previous grooves (basically go back to the way it was), or inforce a V-groove only rule. Why is that so hard??

    What I'm upset about is that the PGA did a piss poor job of containing/fixing the issue once it blew up. I think it could be a great rule, but if the they aren't going to fix it properly then why even have it??

    Scott, if you care at all about this issue - and you do enough to comment, clearly - you owe it to yourself to check into some facts here.

    Square grooves are still allowed - they just have to have slightly less volume and have slightly duller edges. The PGA Tour agreed long ago to follow USGA rules, and the USGA is not the PGA Tour, neither of which are the "PGA." And a few other things… really, go read up on things.

  14. Scott says:

    Scott, if you care at all about this issue - and you do enough to comment, clearly - you owe it to yourself to check into some facts here.
    Square grooves are still allowed - they just have to have slightly less volume and have slightly duller edges. The PGA Tour agreed long ago to follow USGA rules, and the USGA is not the PGA Tour, neither of which are the "PGA." And a few other things… really, go read up on things.

    Can club makers put a 2010 wedge in a PGA tour pro's hands that have the same gooves as a PING EYE 2 wedge and still be within the rules? If so then why is there even an issue?

  15. Can club makers put a 2010 wedge in a PGA tour pro's hands that have the same gooves as a PING EYE 2 wedge and still be within the rules? If so then why is there even an issue?

    No, they cannot. Again, do some basic reading on the subject.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.