Harrington, Howell to Hong Kong

Padraig Harrington and David Howell headline the players at this week’s Omega Hong Kong Open.

After two successful 2004 seasons, Padraig Harrington and David Howell turn to the Omega Hong Kong Open close out their 2004 golf seasons.

Harrington looks to defend his 2003 victory in Hong Kong and make a start at building the foundation for a season better than last year’s second-place European Tour season. After deciding to play on the PGA Tour in 2005, Harrington hopes to defend his first career title with a win in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Ryder Cup star David Howell will be joining Padraig in Hong Kong. Howell is coming off an excellent showing at the Ryder Cup, but will be joined at the event by fellow Ryder Cup teammates Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez, as well as the likes of Nick Faldo and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The Omega Hong Kong Open starts Thursday at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling, Hong Kong.


Forums are coming, forums are coming!

We’re working on adding some forums to the site. If you’re interested in getting in early and helping us shake out some bugs, email us, post a comment on this entry, or IM me on AIM (iacas).

It should be exciting! The forum is looking good and, unlike some other forums out there, we’re not a bunch of over-sensitive hippies.

The creation of this forum was pushed forward by forum member #2: Aaron White, aka “Mister Slice.” He said just yesterday:

The game of golf has a new challenge: the Internet. While many sports have seen a huge increase to their following on the Internet, it seems that golf is lagging far behind. There is a very drastic shortage of golf-related web material compared to football, baseball, basketball and college athletics.

The Sand Trap .com to the rescue, Aaron!

Ultimate Golf Fitness Guide

The Sand Trap takes a look at Ultimate Golf Fitness Guide by Mike Pedersen. At $47, this eBook tips the “expensive” scales a bit, but it’s worth it in the end.

Golf FitnessSnow is not a golfer’s friend. In fact, sitting around on your couch, watching football, and eating pizza is not a golfer’s friend either.

Golf is a game of precision, flexibility, and power. I live in Pennsylvania, so to say our golf season is “shortened by winter” is an understatement. It’s difficult to hit balls when there are three feet of snow on the ground, but despite that, I’ll be improving my golf game this winter. How?

Using Mike Pedersen’s Ultimate Golf Fitness Guide. Pedersen’s eBook is priced at $47 and aims to offer a range of stretches, exercises, and dietary tips that will help you improve and maintain your golf game.

Confidence Begets Confidence

Given two players of equal skills, the one who believes in himself more will win more than not.

BrainThe next ten “Tip of the Day”s are being taken from an article by Dr. Bob Rotella for Golf Digest, titled “Inside the Golfer’s Mind.” We’re paraphrasing, changing the language a little, and condensing his typical three to four paragraphs into one or two. This is tip six of ten: confidence begets confidence.

Confident golfers think about what they want to happen on a golf course. Golfers lacking confidence often think about things they don’t want to happen. We’re not talking about over-the-top bravado, but a quiet confidence and the ability to picture a good result and focus on positive outcomes over negatives. “I’ll put this up by the pin” instead of “I hope I don’t leave it short.”

Given two players of equal skills, the one who believes in himself more will win more than not. Even different clubs or shots inspire different levels of confidence: a favorite putter, your trusted 7-iron, or hitting a draw off the 7th tee at your home course.

Skins Snore

Wasn’t the Skins Game fun at one point in the not-too-distant past?

skins_game_logo.gifWatching the Skins Game this weekend, I couldn’t fight the feeling that something’s changed about the Skins Game. Maybe I’m completely off or remembering something else, but this year’s Skins Game – highlighted by four golfers who barely spoke, playing for a significant chunk of change in a somewhat charity event – didn’t have the feel of Skins Games of old.

Or, maybe I’m just getting old…

Killing the Old Courses

With Phil shooting a 59 in Hawaii, is it time to revisit the older courses, or are they destined to end up as quaint, low-scoring footnotes in golf history?

low_scores.jpgLast week at the Grand Slam of Golf, Phil Mickelson shot a thirteen-under 59 in Hawaii. This adds his name to the list of the Under 60 club: Duval, Chip Beck, Al Geiberger, Annika Sorenstam and Phil Mickelson. (As an aside, Shigeki Maruyama shot a 58 in the US Open qualifying rounds in 2000, but neither his 58 nor Phil’s 59 will count in the ‘official’ record books since neither event was an ‘official’ PGA event. Whatever.)

Regardless of whether Phil’s 59 will count, it’s an amazing achievement. But, is it the start of a trend where the young players and longer technologies combine to shatter old records and leave old courses hurting from an onslaught of double-digit sub-par rounds?

In other words, is the ‘perfect’ 18-under round of 54 that far off?

Janzen and Stewart in Father-Son Challenge

Lee Janzen and Aaron Stewart will play the Father-Son Challenge together.

Aaron Stewart, the 15-year-old son of the late Payne Stewart, will tee it up with Lee Janzen in the annual Father-Son Challenge for major champions and their sons to be played December 2-5 at ChampionsGate in Orlando, FL. Tournament organizers were more than willing to bend the rules for Janzen.

“It struck me that Aaron would be playing with his dad if Payne were still alive,” Janzen said. “I thought he was missing out on something special. So I called my manager about playing with Aaron.”

Janzen and Stewart were close friends and Stewart was the runner-up both times Janzen won the U.S. Open.

Hawaii, Oak Hill On Tap for 2005

The LPGA returns to Hawaii with South Korea’s help, and the Champions Tour taps Oak Hill again for the SBC Championship.

lpga_champs_combo_logo.jpgIn yet another sign of the increasing importance of the Asian population to the LPGA’s popularity, South Korea’s SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) will be sponsoring the LPGA’s return to Hawaii in 2005. The LPGA announced that it will hold a $1,000,000 event at Arnold Palmer’s course at Turtle Bay resort in February, marking the LPGA’s first Hawaiian event in nearly three years.

Meanwhile, the Champions Tour announced that it was planning on keeping the SBC Championship at Oak Hill. Since its move from the Dominion Country Club in 2002, the SBC Championship at Oak Hill has “truly been one of our players’ favorite courses”, said Rick “Screw ‘Em If They Can’t Walk” George.

The SBC Championship will be held in October, 2005.

Creamer Has Options

Paula Creamer qualifies for the Futures Tour, and works at earning her LPGA card – decisions, decisions…

paula_creamer.jpgPaula Creamer’s world is starting to open up, and she has an important decision to make: turn pro or not.

After ending up tied with Michelle Wie in the US Women’s Open earlier in the year, she decided to remain an amateur and keep her options open for Q-School.

Now, she’s sharing the medalist honors at the Futures Tour Q-School with soon-to-be pro Brittany Lincicome. Lincicome has already decided to turn pro, but Creamer is still keeping her options open after helping the United States team finish second (and personally finish seventh overall) in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championships in October.

Just 18-years-old, Creamer is currently in the LPGA qualifying finals, which start Wednesday. If she doesn’t get her LPGA card however, she still has the option of joining the Futures Tour. Saving that, she could always go to college and remain an amateur. Oddly enough, if she remains an amateur she could still compete in the Futures Tour as an amateur, and doesn’t necessarily have to turn pro.