Greg Norman to PGA Tour: Show Me the Books!

The Norman-Finchem fight enters round number, uhhh, we lost track when it hit 50 last year. This time, Norman wants to see the PGA Tour’s “financials.”

Greg NormanGreg Norman wants to see the the PGA Tour’s books. As Tim Rosaforte says in his article, the request is not new. However, this may be the first request from a player with as high a profile as Greg Norman.

Norman is so serious about seeing the books that he’s hired high-powered attorney Leonard Decof, last seen representing Ping against the PGA Tour over the issue of square grooves. Though a lawsuit over the PGA Tour’s books has not yet been filed, it has certainly been threatened.

Rosaforte says “Norman’s view is that as a tour member, he’s entitled to see the financials and the minutes of all its meetings.” PGA Tour Co-COO Ed Moorhouse told Golf World “We’ve offered to sit down and answer any specific questions. To this point he has not availed himself of that, but we are ready to sit down and discuss any questions he has.”

Bay Hill Invitational Preview

The 2007 event will be called the Arnold Palmer Invitational but could easily be called the Tiger Woods Invitational as he goes for his fifth win here.

Bay Hill InvitationalFor over two decades the Bay Hill Club & Lodge and Bay Hill Invitational have been under the control of Arnold Palmer and his family so it’s only fitting that the event be named the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2007. I’m happy for Mr. Palmer and he is thrilled as well.

It’s been a matter of great pride for me when my name has been placed on an entity of one sort or another over the years,” Palmer said Tuesday. “But I can’t think of anything that brings me more pleasure and satisfaction than having it on the tournament that has meant so much to me for so long.

Jeff Smith Swing Analysis

Jeff Smith, then a 24-handicapper, puts himself in front of the looking glass (and video camera) for his Swing Check.

Swing CheckStaff member Jeff Smith was a 24-handicap golfer who has only really gotten serious about his golf game last year (2005). Jeff is a strong golfer who fits an over-the-top move that, combined with his tremendous clubhead speed, leads to even more tremendous slices.

Jeff mistakenly ordered regular flex shafts in his clubs, and with a driver swing speed of 100 MPH, suffice to say he’s playing the wrong shafts. The regular flex shafts alone probably account for 50% of his troubles off the tee and a smaller fraction of his troubles with the irons. But that’s not what this column is about, so let’s give Jeff a Swing Check!

Disappearance of the Big Five

Last year was all about the Big Five, but that’s definitely not the case so far in 2006.

Thrash TalkI hope everyone had nice weather this past weekend like I did in Oklahoma. On Saturday, the wind was non-existant and temperatures were in the 80s. On top of that, I broke 80 for only the fourth time in my golfing career. That doesn’t really have anything to do with this week’s Thrash Talk, but it is definitely worth mentioning. Now that my personal golf story of the week is out of the way, I’ll get into this week’s article.

Last year at this time, the golf media was going crazy over the “Big Five.” That group included Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen. Through the Honda Classic last season, this group had combined for five wins, four runner-up finishes, and five third-place finishes on the PGA Tour. All of the “Big Five” were playing great, and it really made things interesting.

Titleist Refreshes Forged Irons Lineup

If you’ve been waiting for Titleist to drop some new forged irons, your wait is over.

Bag DropLast week, Titleist finally officially announced the long-awaited 905R driver. At the same time, the company let the cat out of the bag on some new irons as well.

While Titleist still hasn’t officially announced the new irons, information on the 660, 695MB, 695CB and 775.CB forged irons is available on the company’s website. Let’s take a quick look at these new irons, which join the 735.CM irons in this year’s irons lineup from Titleist.

Volume Fifty

Everyone knows about the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, and even the European and Champions Tours. But what about the Asian Tour, the Hooters Tour, or the A. G. Spanos Tour? No?

Hittin' the LinksGreetings to all! I hope you had a great weekend of fun and excitement. I feel like I’ve been reborn, personally. I was able to get out and play nine holes for the first time since November. So, you’ll have to excuse my unbridled (and renewed) enthusiasm for golf.

This week’s Hittin’ The Links is dedicated to the pro golf tours. Many avid golf enthusiasts are aware of the major tours such as the PGA Tour, European Tour, Champions Tour etc, etc. However, I’ve decided to peruse the information superhighway and see what else is out there for an aspiring golf professional. If my tone seems somewhat overtly boisterous, I beg your pardon, but I’ve recently purchased a 12 pack of Samuel Adams White Ale. It’s superb to say the least.

Donald and Sorenstam Each Seal the Deal

Donald now owns his first four-round PGA victory and Sorenstam defends her title.

Luke DonaldLuke Donald won his first PGA Tour event after only three rounds, thanks to two days of rain showers. Now he’s doubled both his career PGA victories and added to the number of rounds it took to win each of them. The Blonde Briton shot a final-round 69 (-3) with a clutch birdie on the 72nd after he stuck his approach to four feet and increased his lead to two. Donald believes this is just one step toward his goal, “I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Anytime you can win, especially out here on the PGA Tour, it’s a huge boost of confidence. Hopefully this will just keep the momentum going.”

Donald’s 72-67-68-69 was good enough to hold off Australian Geoff Ogilvy by a two-stroke margin. Ogilvy, who carded 15 birdies, three eagles, and one double-eagle, played three rounds of excellent golf, but brought home four bogies in the final round to finish outright in second place.

Episode 016

Tiger Woods, Camilo Villegas, and Natalie Gulbis in a swimsuit. What more could you want?

PodcastTiger goes seemingly unchallenged in winning at Doral again, the Ohio Golf Association challenges players with a “tournament ball,” and we challenge listeners to share their spring golf rituals with us. Also, Vijay Singh takes a week off (gasp!), Camilo Villegas may be better than Sergio Garcia, and he’s part of the Cobra brand resurgence, Rory Sabbatini is player of the month while Natalie Gulbis puts in a bit for Playmate of the Month (not really), and Pebble Beach wins a lawsuit over a “replica” course. This and a whole lot more in this week’s Golf Talk Podcast.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 016 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

Why Camilo Villegas Is The Man

My simple explanation on why Camilo Villegas will enjoy enormous success in the PGA Tour.

Camilo VillegasRecently there’s been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2’s in his first six tour events, Camilo has shown that he’s got the game to compete with the big boys. I started watching Camilo play golf about two years ago, when he put himself in contention week in and week out, never to seal the deal. In the following few paragraphs I’m going to outline why I so firmly believe that Villegas will make a big mark on tour.

Stellar College Career
Camilo attended The University of Florida and was the only freshman to be named as an All-American in the 2001 season, he would go on to win the honor the rest of his college career. That same freshman year he set a course record with a 64 at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Richmond, Virginia. The University of Florida consistently produces excellent PGA tour golfers, such as Dudley Hart and, more notably, Chris DiMarco.