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Archive for the ‘Jack’ Category

I was watching the first couple of tournaments recently and was astounded at how lackluster the field was. I would guess the ratings were in the tank, as the only things that would draw viewers were the warm venues. Personally, I tuned into the match between Sam Snead and Bob Hope instead of seeking out David Toms and Mark Wilson. Over at the Champions Tour, there was Brad Bryant apologizing for his 65, more surprised than anyone that he chipped and putted his way to the top of the leaderboard. Tiger hadn’t started his season yet, flying off to Dubai for a huge appearance fee and a joust with the crackerjacks of the European Tour. This blog has predicted he will win just about everything this year, and has advised him to do so then quit competitive golf and concentrate on his foundation. Bobby Jones did this, as did Byron Nelson, and they had no sex scandals to face down. Whether Tiger stays or goes, professional golf goes downhill. He could stay and dominate, or he could go and fade away. Either way, golf suffers. The current crop in their late 20s and early 30s are not strong enough to hold up the high bar of professional golf on all levels of accomplishment. Woods was the last of the lot, and look at the bloody mess he left behind, an irreparable heap of emotional horsecrap laying by the side of the road. And please, don’t feed me all the sanctimonious BS about Tiger haters. I don’t hate Tiger. I’m angry at him for taking himself down along with the game he built up.

Golf requires what the Buddhists call impeccability, which is (more…)

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There are two Tiger Woods. One is Tournament Tiger with the game face, with the head down, determined, focused, take no prisoners attitude, give no succor, defeat all comers, Sir Lanciliger who will even dally with whores to satisfy his desires. This Tiger ignores his fans, speaks only to his caddy, gives clipped interviews, considers no others, will go to any means to win, answers no questions, is in a state of recalcitrance. The other is Twitter Tiger, kicking back, smiling, one of the boys, joking, hanging, easy, cool, cap on backwards, T and shorts, playing with his kids, watching TV on a Saturday night by himself, helping Notah with his foundation, helping thousands, if not millions, of kids with his own foundation. Yes, despite the scandals and obnoxious behavior on and off the course, Tiger has continued to help children succeed and gain confidence with his very effective foundation. Let’s not forget that. He does not profit from this work, as far as I know. It is a self-less giving to the community that his father, Earl, and he started in 1996.

Woods is proud of his foundation, and rightly so. You can see it in his face when he is pictured with some of the kids he’s helped or leading a clinic. It’s that old Tiger smile, relaxed yet energized, humble yet excited for what he has accomplished, impassioned.

Here’s my advice to Tiger Woods, for what it’s worth, on this second day of 2012. As did Bobby Jones, set yourself the task of winning the Grand Slam this year. Upon succeeding and having a ticker tape parade in New York, retire from competitive golf, as did Jones, tied at 18 majors with Jack Nicklaus, and devote the rest of your life to the Tiger Woods Foundation. Judging from your last two tournaments, you could accomplish this. You’ve got your mojo back. Your name would be immortalized in the annals of golf for you would have done a noble deed, sharing the podium with Jack, and leaving the game a hero, as did Jones and Nelson before you. They decided enough was enough, putting ambition aside, assuming an emeritus role in golf’s highest echelons. Even if you didn’t achieve the Grand Slam, even if you fell short of Jack’s record, such an action would tell the world you are a man with a higher purpose than just to win golf tournaments. Your Foundation, and the children it helps, would still prosper, perhaps more so than now. And most of all, you would know and feel the spirit of your father smiling down upon you. Wishing you well in the New Year, Tiger. Thanks for helping all those children.

And you, dear reader, a very happy, healthy New Year. May this game of ours bring you continued pleasure and joy.

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I take exception to golfers referring to their evangelical announcements about how the Lord is so intently interested in their winning golf tournaments. The Lord has enough on his or her hands to waste time helping so and so play a game. And why would the Lord (a euphemism for Jesus Christ) pick out one born again golfer over another born again? I cringe every time I hear a pro praise the Lord for guiding his winning ways. Please, keep your religion to yourselves, boys. It has no place in championship golf as it has no place in the affairs of the government.

Webb Simpson is the latest in the line of evangelicals who uses his wins as a soapbox for how he couldn’t have pulled it off unless the Lord hadn’t helped him, implying the Lord knew the difference between a nine iron and a putter. Did the Lord help Gene Sarazen make that double eagle or invent the sand wedge? No, and The Squire (more…)

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In winning the 2011 U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy broke 12 records, the most significant of which was the number of strokes he took to do it: 268. The previous best: 272 by Jack Nicklaus. That is a monumental achievement. And this is the most endearing character in golf since Wee Bobby Jones. This man has talent, guts, and class. He looks the camera in the eye and answers whatever question put before him with honesty, sincerity, and wit. He is truly the real deal.

I expect he will win a fair share of majors. Is he the next Tiger Woods? No. He is Rory McIlroy, a man of much more integrity than Woods. Not only did Woods fail off the course, I suspect he used steroids to accomplish his feats on the course. Rory will have none of that nor any suspicion of that. This lad from Northern Ireland just loves golf, and shows it (more…)

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Honestly, I don’t know much about swing planes. Recently I saw Michael Breed on Golf Channel devote his show on the subject and my head started hurting. The subject baffles me. I know if my address and posture are right, I will swing on plane. And if the results are good, i.e. accurate and solid, I again have an indicator I was swinging on plane. We need these indicators for you can’t see or feel if you’re on plane. It’s all happening too fast. And golf is more a game of feel than technique. I know all the teaching pros will be angry at me for saying this, but the game is being made too daunting for most people to stomach, hence the marked decrease of players nationwide. The number of golfers in the U.S. has dropped by about 3 million since 2005, totaling now a bit over 27 million. And the National Golf Foundation, which represents 4,000 courses nationwide, states that the golf industry “has lost 100 clubs a year for the past four years.”

There are many reasons for these distressing trends, (more…)

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John Hawkins, the bad boy golf writer and commentator, said the other day that he didn’t want to live in the past,  commenting on Johnny Miller’s remarks that there were more players who could close the deal on Sunday back in the day, namely his day.  Hawkins didn’t want to  look back at golf history (“I’m tired of living in the past,” he barked), but golf is all about history. Present day players perform with the past shadowing them, and those who ignore the past strip their game of perspective and inspiration. One of the greatest icons of golf history is still with us: The King, Arnold Palmer. When I was a kid there was a phenomenon known as Arnie’s Army: The King’s Army. Fans couldn’t get enough of this guy who hit it a mile, not caring particularly where it went. He’d then dig it out of whatever dirt he landed and pull off shots only Hollywood could dream of. Arnie twisted his head, tugged at his pants, and flexed his artillery arms like Rocky Marciano going for the kill. In 1960, seven shots behind Mike Souchak at Cherry Hills starting the final round of the U.S. Open, Arnie, with his Army close behind, drove the green on the 346 yard first hole (more…)

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Tiger Woods is currently on a slippery slope. The “greatest golfer of all time” is in danger of becoming an asterisk within a parentheses. This self-professed Buddhist is doing things that no true Buddhist or any spiritually evolved person would do. Spitting on greens. Playing mind games during competition with Sergio Garcia. Throwing clubs. Ignoring fans. Rejecting TV interviews. Not trying when the tournament seems lost. Behavior unbecoming of a professional athlete…or of a conscious human being. His personal life is in an apparent shambles, perpetrator of a volatile and embarrassing sex scandal which has led to estrangement, divorce, and child custody discomfort for his kids. “I wasn’t thinking,” he said after apologizing for the spitting incidents, which led to a fine by the European Tour. Swing change or no, winning or losing, that about sums up Tiger Woods these days. A conscious human being of 35 years does think, and thinks clearly with (more…)

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