Episode 015

Geoff Ogilvy, ‘Steve’ Pate, Mark Hensby, Kirk Triplett? Don’t worry, we’ve got a fair share of Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Greg Norman, Davis Love III, and even Bill Clinton to tide you over this week.

PodcastGeoff Ogilvy wins in a yawner at the World Golf Championships/Accenture Match Play, yet we want more match play events each year? Sure! A new showdown at Doral, Michelle Wie moves into the #2 spot after a third-place finish at the Fields, and Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are upset with the changes at Augusta National. Also this week, guest Bruce Hardie from Australia joins us to talk about the state of golf down under. This and a whole lot more in this week’s Golf Talk Podcast.

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

MyTPI Personal Fitness Review

MyTPI: all the benefits of a personal physical trainer without someone screaming “ONE MORE TIME!” in your ear.

MyTPITiger Woods sparked a lot of trends when he joined the PGA Tour ten years ago, but one of the most resounding of those was golf fitness. The old jokes about how anyone could win at golf – and with folks named “Lumpy” winning tournaments, they were true – faded away in the face of Tiger’s workout regimen. Professional golfers became athletes – fine-tuned machines built for flexibility, strength, and speed capable of delivering a clubhead to a ball faster and with more strength than ever before.

Nine Holes With Scott Verplank

While not the flashiest, Verplank is one of the Tour’s steadiest players who’s gotten off to another great start to the 2006 season. Look for his work ethic and solid game to continue to deliver high finishes for years to come.

ProFilesScott Verplank is another player we amateurs would do well to emulate. Hitting more than his share of fairways, putting like a man possessed, and doing it a most nonchalant fashion is what makes Verplank a dark horse in any tournament. Recipient of the 2002 Ben Hogan Award, Verplank has proven that he’s a fighter. Given by the Golf Writer Association of America, the Ben Hogan Award recognizes athletes who have remained active golfers despite a physical handicap or illness.

Palmer, Nicklaus Speak Out Against Augusta Alterations

Arnie and The Golden Bear finally speak out against Hootie’s Augusta renovations.

Following retirement from the world of competitive golf after winning The Grand Slam, Bobby Jones entertained the idea of starting a private golf club. We all know that Bobby eventually decided to build the course that would become Augusta National Golf Club. Bobby worked intimately with legendary course architect Alister Mackenzie to create his “ideal” golf course.

Bob firmly believed that the game of golf revolved around the second shot – evidenced by the fact that when Augusta National debuted, it featured over eighty acres of fairway (more than twice as much as the average course of the day). Also notable was the fact that Jones demanded to design the course so that it would remain playable for both highly skilled golfers and those less gifted.

Eight Winners by the Numbers

We’ve had eight winners on tour so far and they have been a variety of players… some long, some short. Some people have focused in on one type of player and ignored the rest. The numbers of all eight show us that things really haven’t changed.

The Numbers GameEight tournaments up and eight tournaments down. We’ve had a long hitter (JB Holmes) win at the FBR and a few not-so-long hitters (David Toms, Arron Obelholser) win at Waialae and Pebble Beach. Another thing we’ve also had is a lot of talk, discussion and consternation in our forums and from an old friend.

I’ve taken each winner’s numbers and see if they agree with one side or the other… or even both. Read on to see what it says.

Technology, Tradition, and ‘The Facts’

If you want to get people riled up, try using “technology” and “tradition” in the same golf conversation.

TitleistLast week, Titleist posted an opinion piece on the brand’s website on the ever-contentious subject of technology vs. tradition. Geoff Shackelford responded with point-by-point dissent, which touched off a flame war of comments, and another story on sportsfanmagazine.com has covered some of the same ground.

Shackelford’s piece and the companion piece on sportsfanmagazine.com both claim to be rooted in “the facts.” There are plenty of opinions in both, but actual facts are hard to come by. Let’s take a closer look.

2006 Ford Championship at Doral Preview

Will 2006 bring as much fireworks and ratings as 2005 did? With the top seven players in the world duking it out at The Blue Monster, we can only hope.

Ford Championship at DoralWow, how time flies! Last year’s Ford Championship at Doral made numerous headlines, from the IMG memo, Tiger and Phil going head to head, Tiger setting the 72-hole tournament record with a 24-under par 264 and Tiger regaining his number one position in the World Golf Rankings.

The fans are anticipating another great event and they shouldn’t be disappointed. The event is treated almost major like by the players and fans for the degree of difficulty in the course and the quality of the field. In fact, this is the first stroke-play event this year that we get to see the top seven players in the world in the same field.