Volume Three Hundred Sixty-Three

Brandel Chamblee… Spineless.

Hittin' the LinksWhen you are a major outlet reporter, with a major outlet following, and a major outlet paycheck, perhaps when you call the biggest-figure-in-the-game a cheater you should be prepared to stand by your words… for at least a week or two.

Just days after calling golf’s brightest star a cheater, Brandel Chamblee has retracted his statement. Essentially saying, “That’s not what I meant.” BS. Chamblee is supposedly a professional. Maybe it’s just me but for Brandel to equate Tiger’s 2013 rules infractions/controversies to his own admitted cheating in grade school, and then pretend that he didn’t mean to compare the two, is laughable. Anyone in his position, even a former golf pro, should know enough, or have people in place, to correct such a gaff before it gets to publication. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that didn’t happen.

I think Chamblee’s accusations would have made an interesting discussion through the winter. I really don’t think Tiger was purposely cheating, but I do think that his lack of attention this year to the rules that he’s known his entire career does make you wonder what’s up. Is his swing distracting him? Is it Lindsey? What exactly is going on in one of the most celebrated, and inscrutable, brains in golf?

Decide what you will about Tiger. Here is that story and several other interesting tidbits from the week that was.

PING Introduces New Irons and Putters

PING unveils the new S55 irons while also expanding the Scottsdale TR putter line up.

Bag DropPING golf knows a good thing when the see one; and that is exactly what they had in thier S56 irons. Those clubs have been used in more than 30 tour wins since they debuted including one at the Open Championship. That is why the company wasn’t out to overhaul its lineup or start from scratch. However, what the company did do was listen carefully to the pros that it has on staff and make a few changes here and there that improved workability, control and forgiveness to the point that a vast majority of their players have made the switch to PING’s new S55 irons.

Volume Three Hundred Sixty-Two

Chamblee calls Woods a cheater, playoffs-a-plenty, caiman may invade the Olympics, and the government shutdown meant no golf for POTUS.

Hittin' the LinksSomething weird was in the air this week. Brandel Chamblee came right out and accused Tiger of cheating. Three events on the big tours went to playoffs, while on the PGA TOUR Webb Simpson ran away and hid. The U.S. Government got back to work, and so did Obama (on his game). And can you believe that Brazilian wildlife may find it’s way onto the Olympic golf course in Rio?

Here’s a quick tour in links around the world of golf, including a sighting of Michelle Wie’s game, more playoffs than you can shake a 3-iron at, and one more reason to keep your ball in the fairway. Let’s hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Sixty-One

Did you notice that the Frys.com Open meant a little more this year?

Hittin' the Links2014 started this week, at least according to the PGA TOUR. European Tour players just can’t quite shoot that magic number. Sneds says PEDs are no problem on the PGA TOUR. And an 18-year-old wins (again)!

The calendar still says 2013, but FedExCup points earned at this week’s Frys.com Open count in the 2014 points race. In all, six events of what we used to call “the silly season” are now the start of the 2013-2014 PGA TOUR season. With the matter of tour cards already decided for next year, players can get on with the business of amassing points in the race toward the playoffs. While the biggest names will likely continue to skip these events, the new system should attract many others looking to get a leg up in the points race, resulting in improved fields, more viewers, and higher ad revenues. At least, that’s the plan.

Here’s a quick tour in links around golf, including those tours on the 2014 calendar and those still on 2013.

Volume Three Hundred Sixty

Who is Leatherlips and what does he have against Jack Nicklaus?

Hittin' the LinksThe U.S. team, with laid-back Freddie Couples at the helm, won the tenth edition of the Presidents Cup over Nick Price’s International Team, but the golf was at times upstaged by the weather. Why? Perhaps it was The Curse.

The (sub)urban legend around Dublin is that the Muirfield Village Golf Club is built on land that contains a Native American burial ground. These rumored burial grounds may or may not host the remains of Shateyaronyah, a real-life Wyandot chief known by the unlikely moniker Leatherlips. According to the legend, the fact that wealthy non-natives now smack a little white ball around on this sacred ground has angered the Wyandot spirits who express their rage by bringing rains down on the Memorial Tournament more years than not and now on the Presidents Cup, as well. Whether it was the “Curse of Leatherlips” or a simple meteorological aberration, the Presidents Cup and Muirfield Village got hit with nearly 2″ of rain this weekend.

While those of us looking forward to seeing the pros play a firm and fast Muirfield course (for once) were deprived of that spectacle, those who like birdies certainly got a great show as the soft conditions and the lift/clean/place rule let the players shoot right at the pins. This week, HtL looks at the Presidents Cup that was and other happenings in golf.