Umbrellas Come out at Bay Hill

The Bay Hill lived up to its name as it filled with water Thursday, leaving some players stranded on the practice tee and yet to hit a shot in the tournament.

Arnold Palmer UmbrellaArnold Palmer’s famous umbrella came out once again, but this time the man beneath it was not smiling. No, sir, the first round of Arnold’s tournament was rained out.

Storms dropped two inches of rain on the Bay Hill Invitational Wenesday and Thursday, and first-round play is scheduled to resume at 7:15am Friday morning. The tournament got in three hours of play Thursday, but not all had teed off, and nobody completed 18 holes.

Want More Golf? Turn Up Your Radio

“Golf on the radio” used to sound about as exciting as “watching paint dry.” But thanks to XM radio’s new golf plans, there are some interesting new developments over the airwaves.

XM RadioYou’ve probably read about the recent flurry of sports-related signings by the two big satellite radio networks. XM has Major League Baseball, but is going to lose NASCAR to its rival Sirius, which already has the NFL and NBA. How has XM hit back? By adding golf to its menu. So when you’re done getting crunked up with Lil Jon, you can get your groove on with PGA Tour-sanctioned radio, 24-7 style.

The PGA Tour’s Stock is Rising

Everyone’s heard the PGA’s slogan “These guys are good,” but with the NHL locked out and NBA ratings falling, just how far can the PGA go?

PGA TourThanks to the NHL’s unfortunate lockout, more and more people seem to be tuning into golf fans and several sources are preditciting golf will pass the NHL and become the fourth most popular sport after football, baseball, and basketball. Just why is golf becoming so popular these days? People who play the game well are obviously going to give professional golf quite a bit of attention. However, between 70-90% of golfers will never break 100, so why do golfers love the game so much despite their bitter struggles?

Bay Hill Invitational Preview

Nine of the top 12 players in the world are playing at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational, and the World #1 is once again up for grabs.

Bay Hill InvitationalTiger Woods regained the top spot in the world two weeks ago and bested Phil Mickelson at Doral, the current world #2 couldn’t convert from two feet, two-putting to finish second at the Honda Classic, and Ernie Els has won two tournaments in a row. The interesting thing about this week’s Bay Hill Invitational may not be who wins, but who sits atop the World Golf Rankings when all is said and done: Woods, Singh, and Els all have a shot at it.

Sorenstam Defends Win at Safeway International

Annika Sorenstam, already on top of the 2005 ADT Official Money list, defends her title this week at Superstition Mountain.

Safeway InternationalAnnika Sorenstam will defend her title this week at the 2005 Safeway International from Superstition Mountain, Arizona. This will be one of eight title defenses for Sorenstam who won her first tournament of 2005 at the Mastercard Classic Tournament. Sorenstam plays exceptionally well at this event. Last year, Annika boasted a four-shot win over Cristie Kerr. And, in 2001, Annika became the first woman to card a 59 during the second round of the tournament. Perhaps being a graduate of the University of Arizona makes her feel comfortable when she is playing at this event.

Cristie Kerr is among the players looking to dethrone Annika. Last week, Cristie tied for third place after leading through to the final round of the tournament. With a second place finish at the LPGA opener, the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, Kerr is only $18,000 short of first place on the 2005 ADT Official Money List.

Toshiba Classic Preview

Tom Purtzer looks to defend his title against an impressive field at the Champions Tour Toshiba Classic.

champ_tour_logo.gifThe Champions Tour heads to the Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, California for the Toshiba Classic. The field boasts some of the Tour’s hottest and most consistent players. Last year’s winner, Tom Purtzer, heads a field that includes Fuzzy Zoeller, Ben Crenshaw, Gary McCord, Curtis Strange and a slew of others.

Thrifty Style

Learn how to save money on your wardrobe so you can spend more on your equipment.

thrift_store.jpgI’ve always had the philosophy that even if you play badly on the course, you still need to look good. Many famous golfers can be identified by the way they “dress the part.” There was Payne Stewart and his knickers, Gary Player’s black shirts, Jasper Parnevik’s hat and, of course, Tiger Woods and his Sunday red shirt. The cost of dressing the part can be expensive. Seeing as I’m not a wealthy man (yet! I’m banking on The Sand Trap becoming an international success!), I began to look for ways to stretch my money further. I headed to thrift stores to see what I could find.

A Putting Drill for Increased Pressure

The around the world drill is great for improving your putting under pressure, but increasing the distance after each putt will build pressure faster.

putting_drill_2.jpgIt’s often suggested that a great drill to improve one’s putting is to roll in as many consecutive putts from several “stations” in a circle around a hole as possible. There are variations, but the theme is the same, miss one and you start over from the beginning. Not only are you improving your stroke (hopefully) but you are also simulating pressure as you get closer and closer to the end of the drill. It’s a good drill, but I’d like to suggest a slightly different one.

Find a level stretch of putting surface extending fifteen to twenty feet from the hole (with permission from the pro shop, you can take chalk string from a hardware store and mark the straight line). Next, place a ball three feet from the cup on the level line that you found and knock the putt in. Now, place the ball five feet from the cup and knock that putt in. Then seven feet, etc., continuing in this manner, getting further and further away from the hole until you miss, at which point you start over again from three feet. The object of the drill is to see how far away you can get from the cup, always attempting to beat your personal best.

Men and Women in Modern Times

St Andrews is considering allowing women to play in the 2006 Open. Could this be the beginning of a new era in golf?

Annika and TigerRewriting history is a big step. It appears that golf is trying to adjust to modern times, although still steeped in its old traditions. Gone are the days of plaid pants, wooden drivers and hushed galleries. Today, cheering fans, fist pumps and the interest for women to compete in men’s tournaments have thrown golf into turmoil.

Peter Dawson, secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews is considering rewriting the entry form for the Open Championship starting with the 2006 championship (the 2005 forms have already been printed) to grant women golfers entry to the oldest running golf tournament in the world.