Tiger Will Own 2011

He may not win in 2010, but watch out in 2011 as Tiger will come roaring back.

Thrash TalkI’m glad to hear that it’s “okay to root for Tiger Woods again” because, if nothing else, it signals a return to stories about Tiger being about golf and not about his marriage, his kids, his infidelity, his temper tantrums on the course, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t really care about.

We recently asked people in the forum to predict Tiger’s 2011 season, and as I write this 25% of people think Tiger will continue his major-less streak in 2011. 43% think he’ll win a lone major, and 23% think he’ll win two or more. In regular PGA Tour events, only 9% think he’ll go winless, while 40% think he’ll win one to three and another 25% think he’ll win four or more.

My votes? I picked two majors and 4-6 regular PGA Tour wins, and here’s why. In 2011, Tiger Woods will have the emotional wreckage of his broken infidelity and subsequent divorce behind him, he’ll have incorporated enough of new instructor Sean Foley’s methods to get his swing back, and he’ll be eager to prove that he can still be dominant. Let’s look at each of these.

Volume Two Hundred Forty Six

A Monday qualifier makes good, the rules of golf come under fire, and is Stevie on the way out?

Hittin' the LinksHello again golf fans, and welcome again to Hittin’ the Links. Well, it’s been a tough week to be a USGA rule book, just about every yahoo who has ever swung a golf club has chimed in on the Dustin Johnson snafu. Personally, I think people should leave the rules alone. The rules of golf are one of the main reasons this is called a gentlemen’s game. Instead of trying to change them, maybe these people should pick up a rule book and learn them instead!

In this newest volume we begin with a look at the Stevie-Tiger rumors, investigate some waning country club memberships, and look at how Dustin Johnson is moving on. Also, we check out some tough choices for Monty, investigate this week’s rule infraction, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

That Damn Phone To His Ear

Communications at a PGA Tour event is crazy and essential.

Wyndham ChampionshipThis week I was fortunate to do double-duty at the Wyndham Championship: working as a Headquarters Chairman as well as a part-time media guy (thanks to Erik at The Sand Trap and to Rob Goodman at the Wyndham). I hear a lot and see a lot that happens backstage at a PGA Tour event. It probably isn’t a stretch to say that keeping track of everything requires a tenuous dance of thousands of people around the ropes that enclose our friendly neighborhood touring professionals.

The PGA Tour’s Effect on the Piedmont Triad

It makes the daily routine a little different!

Wyndham ChampionshipSedgefield Country Club (SCC), the site of the Wyndham Championship, is not like most other golf courses on the PGA Tour rotation. It is situated in a very small residential community that was established as far back as 1926. Roads in this area are very narrow and there is a unique juxtaposition of average, small houses and multi-million dollar mansions almost side-by-side in this area. When the Tour rolls into SCC every August, the Piedmont Triad comes out in force to watch, but what about the members and the residents of this area? How does this event impact their lives?

Birdies, Blunders Create Year’s Best Tourney: PGA 2010

On a course that’s hard to love, the players put on a show that even a German robot champion couldn’t ruin. Dustin’s debacle only added to the spectacle at Whistling Straits.

Thrash TalkYou won’t hear me saying the PGA is the forgotten major ever again, not after the 2010 rendition served up the most exciting tournament of the season. From the breaking news before play even began to the statement made by a crop of young soon-to-be superstars, there was so much to love even before you add in the biggest rules blunder of our generation.

A sensational course setup that encouraged risk-reward golf proved that a links-style design that looks about as authentic as a Disney World jungle can still provide the stage for exciting, compelling, nail-biting golf.

Whistling Straits and the PGA of America put on such a memorable tournament, even the bland as white bread champion couldn’t spoil the week.

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat, Part II

Even though fall will be arriving before we know it, there are still quite a few rounds to be played in the sweltering heat. So why let them go to waste? Though we covered some clothes for your top half, we couldn’t leave you hanging without recommending some shorts and shoes!

Bag DropThough we took a break from the summer-centric topic of ways to help cope with the heat in order to look at some of PING’s new clubs (in case you missed it, here and here), this week, we’re back on the topic of apparel that can help you stay cool and comfortable.

In addition to the shirts and caps we looked at a few weeks ago, comfortable, lightweight shorts and shoes can also go a long way to helping you be as cool and comfortable on and off the course as possible. The downside to the late summer months is that the blazing heat can turn into pouring rain in the blink of an eye. As the summer showers quickly roll away, the heat always seems to be amplified quite a bit. By that, I mean it gets nearly unbearable. The upside to that problem is that tour players face the same issues we do in that regard. Luckily, their equipment and clothing sponsors have designed some great performance apparel that satisfies the standards of tour players, and yet is available to us amateurs.

With the Pros Come the Putters

I spent the day on the practice putting green watching the reps go about their work.

Wyndham ChampionshipWhat a difference a day makes! The putting green is now a sea of color and vibrant activity. The pros, their wives and girlfriends (decked out in the latest fashions), agents, caddies, police, volunteers, PGA Tour staff, and Sedgefield Country Club personnel are all here and running around trying to get business done.

It seems like the putting green is like the bat at old Yankee Stadium – the place to meet. In the past few hours I have seen all sorts of deals getting done. Agents for companies welcoming new signed players into their corporate stable, children being herded off by their nannies, players talking about the best places to eat dinner, and the guys trying to move equipment.

Wyndham on Monday

Talking with the guys who actually understand microclimate…

Wyndham ChampionshipIt is very dark at 0530 at Sedgefield Country Club and the place is extremely busy. I opened the Tournament HQ and simply watched the activity. Across the street, the greenskeepers are working to reset the pin locations for today’s practice pro-am.

Volume Two Hundred Forty Five

Overton sets a speed record, Johnson breaks the rules, and Germany is celebrating

Hittin' the LinksHello there golf fans and welcome to the latest edition of Hittin’ the Links. Hey what a finish to the 2010 PGA Championship. It went right down to the wire, the best finish to a major this year by far. Congratulations to Martin Kaymer, 2010 PGA Champion.

In this volume of HTL we begin with a look at the automatic qualifiers to this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, then turn our attention to the latest scandal, and find out what record Jeff Overton set at the PGA Championship. Also, we investigate the Pavin-Gray fight, look at Dustin Johnson’s controversial penalty, and do a wrap-up of some of the weekends events. Read on!