Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘penalties’ Category

In between majors, golf on TV can be prosaic. Lack of name players. Tournaments that mean little. Competition from other sports. Decreasing interest in golf throughout the country, except for the majors. I, for one, find it both entertaining and instructional watching golf on TV between majors. I often turn off the sound, read a book or Sunday paper, and occasionally look up to study swings, strategies,attitudes, and scores on the PGA, LPGA, and European tours. First, check out Mike Ritz, announcing for the Euro tour these days.  He’s the Vin Scully of golf: dynamic, exciting, play by play, with great background info. This guy makes Frederick Anderson Hed look interesting. How about more Mike Ritz announcing for the PGA Tour? Then there’s Kevin Na. Other than John Daly, Na is golf’s biggest potential train-wreck. He badly screws up one shot and is guaranteed to screw up the next four, or more. You can see his mind twisting, churning, and gears grinding until metal hits metal and his teeth start gnashing. It’s the pace that showcases the mind. He gets real speedy over three-foot par putts, way out of his routine. For those few moments, he’s given up, the death knell for a professional golfer. Na’s a record holder around this behavior. He made a 16 on one venture into the woods last year at the Texas Open (only JD’s beat him with an 18 once). Take a look at what Na does during these meltdowns, and don’t play that way. Take a deep breath after a poor shot. Get back into your routine, your pace, your rhythm. Re-find your game. This year, Na got to +7 at the Texas Open and withdrew. Here are a few other tips I picked up watching golf (more…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

Golf in the Kingdom, the movie, goes deep into the heart and soul of the game. It’s the first golf movie I’ve ever seen where the main characters actually know how to swing a golf club. And nobody talks in cliches. There’s a realness to the film that stopped me cold and made me think even as I was watching, although I really didn’t want to think given the beauty of the landscape and the moody light of a Scottish links filmed, actually, at Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast. The light and the landscape drew me into the film, while the dialogue held me spellbound. The game of golf was the keystone, of course, but life was the sun that kept it all energized. There  are few mulligans in life, where all strokes, even ones from a wayward waggle, need to be counted and accounted for. The skeptics derisively say, “Golf: it’s not even a sport.” And I reply, “That’s right: It’s a game, the greatest game ever played.”

It’s a game, like life is a game, unfair, cruel at times–it knocks you down, (more…)

Read Full Post »

Americans don’t like rules much. Generally, we follow them but we gripe along the way. They’re usually written in fine print or in legalese or in laws that we didn’t even know existed, so we don’t bother following them to the letter. We look for ways around them, hoping that our infractions are so miniscule that no one will notice. In sports, there are penalties for breaking rules. In football you can lose yards or have touchdowns canceled; in basketball there are foul shots; in baseball you can get thrown out of the game; in soccer there are penalty kicks; in horse-racing you can get disqualified; and in golf there are penalty strokes.

In golf, I’ve seen amateurs, including myself, break the rules in friendly games, like giving oneself a preferred lie on occasion
(more…)

Read Full Post »