MasterCard Classic Tournament

Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb are ready to tee off their LPGA seasons in Mexico at the inaugural MasterCard Classic.

lorena_ochoa.jpgAfter making its debut in Hawaii, the LPGA will jetset down to Mexico for the first ever MasterCard Classic. This tournament goes hand-in-hand with the Open de Mexico Femenil, a golf event played in January 2005 in Mexico. The idea of the Open was to select up to six Amateur Mexican Female Golfers to participate and contend with the best players in the LPGA.

By far the biggest draw for the tournament will be Annika Sorenstam who makes her first start in 2005 as she attempts to defend her four straight money titles. The tournament will also be the debut of Australian Karrie Webb, a sure fire candidate for the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame. Webb needs just nine more starts this year to fulfill the eligibility requirement of 10-years active membership on the LPGA. While these two will be very popular, look for hometown hero Lorena Ochoa to garner quite a bit of attention throughout the tournament.

Ford Championship Preview

An all-star lineup, big prize money, and the Blue Monster. They can only mean one thing: The Ford Championships at Doral.

Ford ChampionshipNow that the West Coast Swing has finished up, the PGA Tour turns its attention to the Sunshine State. The first tournament in Florida: The Ford Championships held at the famous Blue Monster Course at Doral Resort. The big news for the 2005 tournament is big names. This year boasts one of the strongest fields in the event’s history. Tiger Woods passed on big time appearance money from the Dubai Desert Classic to tee it up at Doral. However, winning will not be easy. Woods will be competing in a field with names like Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen, and Vijay Singh. A total of 11 of the top 12 players in the world will compete at Doral including David Toms, fresh off his domination at the Match Play Championships.

Dubai Desert Classic Preview

Ernie Els and Mark O’Meara headline the Dubai Desert Classic which has drawn another strong field to compete for one of the richest purses in golf.

Mark O'MearaDoral isn’t the only must-watch tournament this week. The European Tour makes its yearly stop in the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai Desert Classic. This is the 16th year the tournament will be played at Emirates Golf Club, a course known as the “Desert Miracle” for its lush fairways and greens amidst the arid desert conditions.

Defending champion Mark O’Meara is the tournament’s oldest winner at 47 and will defend his title this year. However, the favorite again is sure to be World #3 Ernie Els. Before the season, many were predicting this would be Els’ breakout year. However, The Big Easy is the only player in the top four of the World Rankings without a win in 2005. Dubai will be a good place to rectify that. Els has won the event twice (1994, 2002) and holds the course record of 61.

Build Your Own 8′ x 8′ Indoor Putting Green (Cheaply!)

Build your own 8′ x 8′ putting green for less than $250! Illustrated, step-by-step instructions.

PuttingYou can build your own outdoor putting green or you can have one built for you if you’ve got $5000 (or more) to spare. You can buy a typical roll-out indoor putting “carpet” for $20-$50. You can’t build your own 8′ x 8′ indoor putting green for less than $250. Or can you?

I live in Pennsylvania, making “winter golf” a matter of either visiting the nearby golf dome or playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour on my GameCube. Eager to maintain my putting stroke during the snowy months, I sought to build an indoor putting green that would adjust to provide adjustable break and putts up to about 10 feet in length. Perhaps it could even allow some gentle chipping from a nearby mat.

The journey – and the project – is documented here.

A Twosie Doozie: Woosie and Faldo In as Captains

Ian Woosnam in 2006 and Nick Faldo in 2008. But the real question remains: can the US squad beat any European team, regardless of the captain?

Ian WoosnamAs many suspected, Ian Woosnam will be the next European Ryder Cup captain and Faldo will follow in 2008. The double appointment – yet to be done in Ryder Cup history – was reached by unanimous decision. Said European Tour Executive Director George O’Grady, “We have rewarded two great champions.”

Woosnam received an early present on this, his 47th birthday. A former Masters champion (1991) and an eight-time Ryder Cup player, Woosnam served as assistant to Sam Torrance in 2002. Said the wee Woosie, “I’m going to be captain and I’m not going to be a playing captain. That decision is made now.” Not that his game is in any shape to make the team as a playing member…

Sweep off the Pine Straw

Pine straw is an infuriating hazard, but if you play it like a fairway bunker shot, you’ll be out – easily!

Pine StrawHaving just experienced the wonder that is pine straw in North Carolina’s Pinehurst area, I come to you with a tip for hitting off of the stuff should your drives wander wayward.

First, bear in mind one thing: you can move and brush away any pine straw you like and ground your club. However, doing so is quite likely to cause your ball to move, and that’s a penalty. So, we recommend not doing either. Pine straw is incredibly interconnected, like pick-up stix, and moving a few strands will often have a surprising effect.