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Ty Votaw to Step Down After 2005

Jan. 7, 2005     By     Comments (0)

After seven years, Ty Votaw, president of the LPGA has decided to retire after the 2005 season.

Ty VotawThe commissioner of the LPGA tour, Ty Votaw has announced today that he will resign after the 2005 season. Votaw has been the commissioner of the LPGA tour for the past seven years. During his tenure, the tour has seen unprecedented growth. Before Votaw, the average purse of an LPGA tour event was $840,000 and only 12 tournaments had total purses of over $1 million. Now, the LPGA has 30 tournaments with total purses over $1 million and the average tournament purse has risen to $1.4 million. Votaw's decision came as a surprise to many, considering the popularity of the LPGA with superstars like Annika Sorenstam and no shortage of talent from youngsters like Paula Creamer. Still, Votaw has decided to leave on top, "I feel very much at peace with this decision. I feel very good about having given the LPGA everything I've got, and I feel good about the results."

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Vijay Still Hot at Mercedes

Jan. 7, 2005     By     Comments (2)

Vijay Singh leads by one after the first round of the Mercedes Championships.

Some things never change. Or at least it doesn't look like things are changing yet. After Vijay Singh's record setting year in 2004, he continues his hot play by firing a bogey-free 7-under 66 in the first round at the season-opening Mercedes Championships. After birdies at holes 3 and 5, Vijay shot up the leaderboard thanks to short birdie putts on 10, 11 and 12, then added two more at 15 and 16 to take a one-shot lead over Craig Parry.

Just behind those two standouts lurks groups of people at -5 (Stewart Cink, Tiger Woods, Jonathan Kaye) and an even larger group at -4 (Bart Bryant, Vaughn Taylor, Woody Austin, Steve Flesch, Chad Campbell, Adam Scott, Health Slocum and Ernie Els).

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What Will Phil Do Next? Write a Book!

Jan. 6, 2005     By     Comments (1)

Phil Mickelson has authored a book called One Magical Sunday: But Winning Isn't Everything which will be released April, 2005.

Phil MickelsonDetails are still pretty sketchy right now, but a quick search on for Phil Mickelson turns up a book titled One Magical Sunday: But Winning Isn't Everything. Golf fans shouldn't have to scratch their heads for too long before realizing that the book has something to do with Mickelson's dramatic win at Augusta National. Phil fans will have to wait a few months though, the book is slated to be released on April 4, 2005. The authors are listed as Phil Mickelson and Donald T. Phillips who is famous for his On Leadership series of books which discuss prominent historical figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. Phil already has so many titles under his belt: golfer, Ford pitch-man, wanna-be pitcher. Will he be able to add legitimate author to his resume? We shall see.

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Shape your Swing with your Head

Jan. 6, 2005     By     Comments (0)

Can your shot shape be determined by the eye with which you watch the ball? You bet!

We've all seen Jack Nicklaus tilt his head just before starting his backswing. He'd cock it to the side a little, looking at the ball out of his left eye a little more so than out of his right.

It's a relatively simple trick that can have a massive impact on your game. Looking at the ball out of your left eye (for right-handed golfers) forces the shoulders closed a little. Looking at the ball out of your right eye forces the shoulders open a little. Thus: look out of your left eye for a more inside-to-outside swing (draw or hook) and out of your right eye for an outside-to-in swing path (fade or slice).

I've personally used this drill to affect the shapes of my shots. The changes it makes to your swing are natural and need not be thought about while "the machine is in motion," yielding consistent results. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

Big Break III – Women in Williamsburg

Jan. 6, 2005     By     Comments (3)

BBIII is almost upon us; go over to and learn a bit about the contestants for the Ladies Only installment of our favorite reality game show.

Big Break III's Danielle AimeeWith Big Break II wrapped and finished, The Golf Channel is preparing to air the next round of challenges and episodes of the Big Break series: Big Break III. After watching the season premier of Alias (mmm… Jennifer Garner…) last night, this is the perfect time to catch my attention with a photo montage of the BBIII contestants over at

And, best of all BBIII was filmed in Williamsburg at Kingsmill Resort; as much as I can, I'll try to provide some local insight into the course and the area. Kingsmill also hosts the Michelob Ultra Open, where the winner of BBIII will earn an exemption.

The Big Break III: Ladies Only premiers on February 8 on The Golf Channel.

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Free Two-Week TOUR Pass

Jan. 6, 2005     By     Comments (0)

TOURCast is offering a two-week special promotion. We think…

TOURCastI'm a TOUR Pass subscriber (hey, it was on sale!), and today I got an email that says:

For the next two weeks, PGATOUR.COM will be running an early-season free access promotion of TOUR Pass.

Currently, the TOURCast site mentions the 20% off annual pass ($59.95 down to $47.95), but no mention of the free pass. If you can find the two-week free trial, well, congratulations.

For those of you on Mac OS X, TOURCast runs only in Internet Explorer. Safari, Firefox, iCab, OmniWeb, and Camino all fail. Some pop up an empty window, others load empty regular TOURCast pages, and all manner of anomalies. Only Internet Explorer - a browser that has not been substantially updated within the last four or five years - works.

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Justin Leonard Signs with Nike

Jan. 5, 2005     By     Comments (6)

Nike announced today that they have signed Justin Leonard to their tour staff.

Justin LeonardNike Golf announced today that they have signed Justin Leonard to their tour staff. Although specific numbers were not in the press release, Nike quantified it as an, "exclusive multi-year relationship." Leonard adds another big name to the Nike camp which has worked hard to sign new stars such as Paul Casey to complement their headliners like Tiger Woods, Grace Park, and David Duval.

Leonard's first start on the PGA tour season is scheduled to be the Buick Invitational on January 20, 2005. Leonard will be playing with Nike's 410CC Ignite driver, Forged Blade irons, Forged Pro Combo wedges, and One Black ball. He will also sport Nike Dri-Fit apparel and should be working with Nike to help design eye-wear in the future.

Posted in: Clubs Comments (6)

Natalie Gulbis and Big Ben, Sittin’ in a Tree

Jan. 5, 2005     By     Comments (20)

Big Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is dating one of the hottest LPGA players?

Natalie GulbisThe Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie Ben Roethlisberger has won thirteen straight games. And now he's apparently won the heart of one very hot, hot LPGA Tour player: Natalie Gulbis. ESPN has the story.

Gulbis, soon-to-be 22 years old and called "The Anna Kournikova of Golf" (it's true: neither Kournikova nor Gulbis has won much of anything professionally, and both are blondes, and both have their own calendars), has been dating Roethlisberger for five weeks or so. She may fly to Pittsburgh this weekend to hang out with Ben, but she'll "definitely" be there the weekend after that.

And that's all there is to that. But hey, because we can, here's another Gulbis shot:

Natalie Gulbis Swimsuit

Posted in: LPGA Comments (20)

Those “Swing Change” Years

Jan. 5, 2005     By     Comments (1)

A comparison of Tiger's 1998 and 2004 stats leads to some interesting conclusions.

Tiger Woods fans, we've heard your worries. "When will he win again?" "Will he be able to catch Jack now?" Last year's Japan win and Target Challenge victory may have assuaged your anguish somewhat, but you know those weren't your typical full-field PGA Tour event. We know you know they weren't Majors.

Tiger Woods

Well, here's our attempt to make you feel better: a comparison between Tiger's 1998 and 2000 seasons:

            1998     2004
Events        20       19
Wins           1        1
Top-5          8        9
Earnings     4th      4th
Driving    67.9%    56.1%
GIR        67.6%    66.9%
Scoring    69.21    69.04

How's that? If that doesn't settle you down just a wee bit, well, I suppose only a Tiger victory in the Masters will calm you down. Here's to that!

Posted in: PGA Comments (1)
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