July 2009


geese

More proof that Canadian Geese are the most annoying birds on the planet. (Image: Bahman Farzad/Flickr)

I grew up playing a course that was home to a family of Canadian Geese. The geese would poop on the greens, poop in the bunkers, poop on the fairways, and rough up any well-manicured section of the course. So when I read this small piece of news yesterday, I smiled.

The Rochester, Indiana City Council recently approved a measure that would allow goose hunting on the Round Barn Golf Club in Rochester. According the golf pro, about 1,000 Canadian Geese hang out at the course over the winter, causing turf damage and health hazards.

When air horns and starter pistols didn’t work, the golf club took the next logical step: hunting. The approved hunts will include five people and take place when the course is closed.

I’m not a hunter, but if Canadian Geese invade Nashville, I may be the first in line to buy a gun. They are, without question, some of the most annoying birds in the world. The birds poop everywhere and leave footprints wherever they walk.

Happy hunting to the folks at Round Barn Golf Club!

Read more here.

In case you missed it over the weekend, Leif Olson canned one of the most amazing aces you will ever see.

The old bank shot hole-in-one. Minnesota Fats would have been proud.

Thanks to the four of you who have frequented my blog over the last year.

Actually, this has been more successful than I thought it would be. I’m not much of a self-marketer, but the blog has managed to bring in nearly 14,000 hits in the first year—not including my own visits.

For someone who expected about 10 page views a day—all from family and friends—I guess that’s not too terribly bad. But my purpose in writing this blog wasn’t  to attract visitors; my purpose was to write about a game I love.

This is post number 175 since my first post.  I really have no idea how long I will keep this up, but I still enjoy it for now. I’m not sure what year two holds.

In three weeks, I’ll embark on my first competitive golf tournament in about ten years—all while training for a half marathon. It’s just a weekend tournament, but, nonetheless, it’s competitive golf and I’ve always enjoyed that.

I have plenty of pet peeves to still write about. And perhaps I’ll bring back the Chip Shots column in the off-season. Besides all that, we’re still waiting on Tiger to win that first major of 2009. Will it happen at the PGA Championship? We’ll see.

Thanks for checking out Game Under Repair. Keep coming back.

Golfers are on late night shows everywhere!

First, it was Boo Weekley on The Tonight Show. Now, it’s Stewart Cink on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Just a couple of days after his British Open win at Turnberry, Cink appeared on the show to read “The Top Ten Surprising Facts about Stewart Cink.”

Letterman’s Top Ten Lists are hit or miss these days. But I thought this one was pretty funny, especially #6.

Stewart Cink fans—and apparently there are hundreds of thousands of them on Twitter—are probably upset this week because Cink’s win at the British Open seemed overshadowed by the Tom Watson story.

Well, think again Stewart Cink fans. The only thing that overshadowed Stew’s performance at Turnberry was the God-awful neon green Nike shirt and hat he wore on Sunday.

cink

Stewart looks much better sans neon green. (Image: atlas138/Flickr)

Let’s think about this: Cink entered Sunday in contention. Was he likely to win? Probably not, but he was in the mix, and there was a good chance he would get some quality face time on the television broadcast.

Now, if he does win—which he did—his Sunday wardrobe selection will be seen for years to come. From now until birds rule the world, Stewart Cink’s neon green shirt and hat will be seen any time anyone shows any footage of the 2009 British Open.

Considering the unique Tom Watson story in this year’s Open, this tournament is going to be getting a lot of play for a long, long time. And every single time this tournament gets mentioned, you will see that green shirt.

So, the question is: Why, Stewart? Why must you wear a color scheme that looks like a reject from the Nike “Bo Knows” ads in the early 90s? Why? As a perennial major contender, as a British Open champion, can’t you give us something better than neon green?

As the reflection of Stewart’s hideous neon green shirt glimmered off the Firth of Clyde on Sunday, Old Tom Morris probably rolled over in his St. Andrews grave.

Please, Stewart, think about that Sunday wardrobe selection next year. Future generations will thank you.

Previous Golf Pet Peeves:

#3: The Mulligan Golfer

#2: The Shot Jinxer

#1: The Shot-By-Shot Recap Golfer

I’m totally bummed.

As Tom Watson struck his second shot on the 18th hole, as the ball flew on a straight line towards the pin, it seemed, to me, as if I was watching history. Not just the “oh, that’s nice” kind of history. But serious, serious history. Once in a lifetime stuff.

This was Hollywood material. Watson was the Rocky Balboa of the golfing world, the past-his-prime athlete who–just perhaps–had one more great run in him.

But this wasn’t Hollywood and Lee Westwood and Stewart Cink weren’t the ugly Russian or Tommy Morrison. This was the real thing, and Tommy W. was looking to reclaim a crown he had not held in over two decades. The Claret Jug was in his grasp.

watson

(Image: remjr/Flickr)

But Watson’s approach flew five yards too far, rocketed off the hard 18th green, and eventually trickled by the hole and rested at the bottom of the mound surrounding the green.

Get up and down, Tom. Get up and down, and you win. No one wants to see a playoff, no one except Stewart Cink. 

Get up and down, Tom.  That’s all the golf world wanted. He chose a putter for his third shot, though the ball sat down in a thicket of grass. The shot slid about 10 feet past the hole.

Mike Tirico said it perfectly. How ironic it was that Tom Watson, who is known quite well for his shaky short putts in the last 20 years, was left with a 10 footer to win his sixth British Open, his ninth major championship, and become the oldest golfer to win a major. The putt wasn’t even close.

At that point, Stewart Cink had all the momentum–and it showed. Watson seemed like a different golfer in the playoff, spraying shots left and right. He made an incredible up and down on the second playoff hole, but that wasn’t near enough.

Stewart Cink–a great guy and deserving champ in his own right–won the Claret Jug today. But Tom Watson provided the memories. My wife even sat in and watched the heart-wrenching 18th hole with me. And you know it’s important if my wife is watching golf with me.

So, yes, I’m totally bummed. Today was so close to being one of the greatest rounds of golf I’ve ever witnessed. We expect this stuff from Tiger Woods. We expect this stuff from Phil Mickelson. But a 59 year old, no matter how decorated a champion he may be, is not supposed to win one of golf’s major championships. This doesn’t happen.

But, today, Tom Watson came inches from claiming that crown. It was probably the most fun I’ve had watching golf in a long, long time.

Watson was my childhood golfing hero. In the mid 1980s, he had already won all the major championships he would win. So I never got to see Tom win much. I caught him a bit after his prime, when the yips and the shaky putting stroke set in.

So, like millions across the country, I relived the past today. In his press conference this afternoon, Watson said, “It would have been a helluva story.” Yes, it would have. But hopefully Watson realizes that, though he finished second, golfers will talk about this day for years to come.

One of the greatest and classiest golfers of all time gave the golfing world one more unbelievable story to tell.

Thank you, Tom Watson.

As always, you can watch live tournament coverage on PGA.com.

Tom Watson is starting his second round as I write this. Check out all the coverage here.

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