Family Membership at the Club

Should golf clubs grant same-sex couples the same membership rights as heterosexual families?

One of the best ways to enjoy the game of golf is to join a club. Without a doubt, having regular access to a course, a driving range, a pro and regular playing partners is the best way to have the opportunities to both enjoy the game of golf and improve your play.

Golf clubs can also stir up controversy; just look at the hullabaloo that Hootie (this Hootie, not that Hootie) stirred up when he and Augusta National stood firm on their policy restricting women as members.

It is with this in mind that I bring your attention to the Bernardo Heights Country Club, and an emerging question at golf courses around the country:

What is a golfing family?

Beware the Injured Golfer

Who are we to question Tiger Woods’ word?

Tiger Woods shot -4 (68, T7) in the first round of the WGC AmEx Championship in Kilkenny, Ireland. He did so while battling a stinging pain between his shoulder blades. The pain was so great at times that Woods was visibly hurting, hunching over, and wincing in pain. Particularly on his first nine and on iron shots, one of the game’s greatest players had to bend over and “granny smithed” his ball from the hole after making putts.

There’s been some speculation that Woods was faking it or “whining.” Why, when Woods has played through pain before, would some be so quick to cry wolf when Tiger cries “owwwww?” Still others have bemoaned the “charter jet” lifestyle, saying “If Woods thinks charter jets are rough, he should try coach!” This misses the point. Woods has not whined. He’s played through pain in the past and today, played through even more to shoot, let’s not forget, a 68.

I can’t help but think that the negative reaction to his announcement that he may have to withdraw may have unnecessarily kept him in the tournament. Risking injury just to shut up a few people who really don’t deserve to be passing judgment may not be a sound move, but I’ve gained nothing but respect and admiration for a man who has shown that he can speak his mind honestly and plainly and play through pain. I, like many, hold Tiger to a high standard. I doubt he’d have it any other way. However, taking cheap shots at Tiger doesn’t make Woods look cheap. It only makes those taking the shots look cheap.

Besides, it’s not like he switched equipment companies after a record-setting year and a week before the Ryder Cup, right? 🙂

Grip it Good

Get a good grip before you even consider stepping onto the tee or you’ll be compensating all day long.

A golfer can swing incorrectly and get away with it by compensating. The more fundamental the flaw, the more exaggerated the compensation. Save yourself some trouble by getting the most basic (and easiest) fundamental correct: your grip.

One way to check your grip is as follows: While taking your grip, place a tee between your hands, positioned so that it’s pressed between the bottom of the fleshy pad beneath your right thumb and on top of your left thumb. Take the club back to the top of a normal backswing: the tee should still be in place.

If the tee has fallen out, your hands are separating during the swing. Separated hands let the club wiggle quite a bit at the top of the swing, changing both the angle of the clubface and the swing path.

Tiger, Buick and all that Jazz

I’ve always found Tiger Woods array of sponsors a bit peculiar…

I’ve always found Tiger Woods‘ array of sponsors a bit peculiar. One the one hand, you have sexy companies like Nike and Tag Heuer shelling out mega cash to lock up the superstar for a few years. These seem a natural fit to me. Then you have American Express, Target, and everyone’s favorite carmaker Buick. BUICK?! Yes Buick. To me, this seems like such an odd pairing. Before they introduced the Rainier, does anyone really think Tiger would be caught dead carting Elin around Isleworth in a Buick Century?

Now, don’t get me wrong, Buicks are very nice American vehicles, but it just seems like a forced fit. Do I believe Tiger would use these products if Buick weren’t paying him a cool $40 million? Uhh, No. When I think of Tiger, I think Benz or Bimmer, not LeSabre for God’s sakes! Buick executives have recently announced that they want to “jazz up” the ads featuring Tiger. I’m sure that the fifty year-olds everywhere are doing cartwheels.

2004 84 Lumber Classic: Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh used Cleveland, Callaway, TaylorMade, Never Compromise, and Titleist equipment en route to his fifth victory in six starts.

vijay_singh_pic.jpgVijay Singh used this gear to win the 2004 84 Lumber Classic:

Driver TaylorMade r7 quad 10.5°
3 Wood Cleveland Launcher 13°
9 Wood Callaway Steelhead 18° bent 7 degrees open to a 7-wood loft
Irons (3-PW) Cleveland TA1
Wedges (SW, LW) Cleveland 900 Gunmetal 54°, 60°
Putter Never Compromise Milled Series Prototype
Ball Titleist Pro V1x

Taylor Made on eBay

You can pick up some Taylor Made Tour stuff on eBay for cheap.

Taylor Made last year dropped some clubs onto eBay, and it seems they’re doing it again this year. If you’re quick, you can snag some Taylor Made Tour clubs by searching for, of all things, “Taylor Made tour.” Bear in mind that a Tour driver may not suit your game. Retail clubs and Tour clubs are different beasts altogether. Tour clubs generally have square to open faces and heavier heads. Tour clubs aren’t covered by a warrantee, and their lofts may be off due to tweaking.

Still, if you’re looking for a deal, this may be the ticket!

Putt with Your Wedge

Practice putting with your wedge to groove a steady stroke.

Practice putting with your wedge. Putting with a wedge will force you to remain quite still in order to make solid contact at or just above the equator of the ball. Good putters putt just as well with their wedges as they do with their putters.

Besides, learning to putt with your wedge will allow you to tape those two-footers in after great chip and pitch shots. <grin>

Other Golf Blogs

We know of a few other golf blogs, and here they are!

We’re not the only golf blog out there. Below, we’ve listed some of the others. If you’ve got any additions, add a comment and let others know!

Big Break II Premieres Tonight

The Big Break II premieres this evening at 9pm on The Golf Channel.

BBIIThe Golf Channel’s original production The Big Break II begins its season tonight at 9pm on – duh – The Golf Channel.

The stakes for a chance to play big-time professional golf just got higher. The Golf Channel’s hit reality show – The Big Break – is back and heading for the bright lights and hot golf of Las Vegas for a new 11-week season.

The Big Break II pits 10 players against each other in challenges that test their golf skills and mental toughness. The last man standing wins an invitation to play four Nationwide Tour events in 2005, a 2005 Ford Five Hundred luxury sedan, and $10,000 from Nationwide.

My only real thought is this: couldn’t they just give the guy a Nationwide Tour card? Seriously. Four events? What would it really hurt? Anyway, the Big Break II is on in… about an hour. Don’t miss it. 🙂