Random Musings

This week, a bag of mismatched irons.

Trap Five LogoThis week’s Trap Five is a little like the set of clubs I had as a kid. At first, I only had the odd-numbered irons, and some old persimmons that looked like they might come apart on any swing. Eventually, someone gave me some even-numbered irons made by a different company. To complete the set, my dad brought home a women’s 7-iron. (That club was my favorite for years, but that’s another story.) Suffice to say that I had one motley, mismatched, mutt-faced set of clubs.

Like that first set of mine, this Trap Five features mismatched items. Usually a Trap Five follows a theme, but this week we visit the Island of Misfit Trap Five Topics.

Number Five: Golf on Twitter
Want to get tournament updates, golf lessons, and more on your computer or mobile phone? Twitter is a great way to get 140 characters or less on your favorite sport at a time.

Get leaderboard updates

Why 140 characters? Because each Tweet (that’s what Twitter calls each micro-blog entry) is limited to 140 characters. The original idea was to have people state what they were doing during the day. The Tweet window simply asks “What are you doing?”

People tend to write more about what they just did or what someone else did.

I know, it sounds kind of boring. But a lot of links to useful, interesting, and funny things are shared on Twitter. You can search for posts on golf or any subject you like, and follow those posters that provide the most interesting tidbits. Give it a shot; you might like it.

Number Four: If It Works, It Works
Earlier, I mentioned the ladies’ 7-iron I had as a kid. It was a half inch shorter than my eight iron at the time. It had a blue grip that didn’t match anything else in my bag. Aside from my putter at the time, it was the only golf club I owned that had been manufactured in the last 15 years.

What's in the bag?

That seven was my go-to club from 125 yards and in. While it was in the bag, I probably hit more shots with it than with any other club outside of my putter. I hit it from the rough (a lot), chipped with it, used it to get out of the woods, and even occasionally played it from the fairway (sometimes even the one I was supposed to be in).

That club stayed in my bag until I finally bought a matching set of clubs in college. Even then, it sat in the corner of my bedroom for several years, just in case. It was my old reliable. I knew if everything else broke down, I could hit that 7-iron. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what a club looks like, or how much ribbing you take from your golfing bodies. If a club performs and you have confidence in it, even a ladies’ 7-iron can help you play better golf.

Number Three: Think Tiger’s Intimidating?
He doesn’t have anything on this guy.

Number Two: All the Glitters
Here’s my issue with the Golf Digest Hot List: why does “Demand” figure into how good a club or ball is? Demand is a pretty fickle criteria. A number of factors play a role in creating demand: when the club is released, how much money the company has spent on advertising, how popular the brand’s products were the year before (and the year before that)…

Personally, I’m more interested in the “Performance,” “Technology,” and “Look/Sound/Feel” categories than demand. If a club or ball excels in these playability categories, that means a lot more to me than if people are talking about the it. How can equipment that earns a perfect (or nearly perfect) score in these important categories, get a silver medal from the magazine instead of a gold based solely on demand?

As I learned on Sesame Street a very long time ago: one of these things is not like the others.

Number One: Don’t Cry for Kenny
I keep seeing this columns about how people are feeling so bad for Kenny Perry after he failed to win the Masters. Kenny finished the Masters bogey-bogey (after birdie-birdie on the preceding two holes) to open the door for Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell to tie him, leading to his eventual loss in a playoff.

Kenny will win againI very much wanted Kenny to win. I think Kenny’s a genuinely nice guy. I didn’t agree with his decisions to skip the U.S. Open and the British Open last year, but his plan worked out. At age 48, he is showing no signs of losing his competitive edge. He’s won 10 times since 2000 and 13 times overall. It’s amazing that he can keep up with the younger guys on tour.

Yes, I wanted to see Kenny win a green jacket in Augusta. I always like to see him win.

But I don’t feel sorry for Kenny Perry.

Perry is a multi-millionaire who gets to play golf for a living. He made more in the last two years than I’ll probably make in my lifetime (unless that Mega Millions ticket comes through). He hasn’t won a major, but he has managed to build a comfortable life for himself and his family.

Not winning the Masters has to be a huge disappointment for Kenny, but he’ll be all right. He’s been down this road before when he bogeyed the last hole of the 1996 PGA Championship, giving the win to Mark Brooks. That took two or three years to get over according to Perry. While this loss will hurt for a long time, Perry will land on his feet, as long as he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. And I think he has the experience now to see the loss as what it was, one loss, and not a reflection on his entire career or (worse) on him as a person.

No, I expect Kenny will win again this year or, at the very least, continue to get into the mix on Sundays (at the moment, he’s just three shots back after the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans). And who knows, he may still get his major… I hear there are three more this year.

6 thoughts on “Random Musings”

  1. Completely agree about the “demand” factor. Why is that even a category?

    IMO, the only thing that matters is “performance”.

  2. Demand=reason to keep the club manufacturers (magazine advertisers) happy. Simple as that. It has no legitimate purpose or meaning to a club rating.

  3. Great column.

    Too true, re: Perry. You bogey 71 and 72, you don’t deserve pity or for people to feel too bad for you. But his demonstration on how to lose gracefully had Norman in ’96 all over it. Classy guy.

    As far as the hotlist, it has about as much credibility as GD’s course rankings…

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