September 2009


golfetail_logoFor, you, my faithful Game Under Repair readers…all two of you.

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The Details:

Coupon Code: REPAIR09

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4. All eBay, Amazon, or Overstock orders are excluded.
5. Sale ends at 11:59PM ET on October 1.
6. Offer is meant for personal use only; quantities may be limited.

Thanks to Neil over at Armchair Golf for featuring my article about the PGA Tour’s season-ending popularity struggles.

Armchair Golf is one of the best and most popular golf blogs on the net. Neil does a great job of updating and maintaining his blog–much better than I do!

Anyway, check out my article here, or read my previous feature on his blog. While you’re there, spend some time browsing the rest of the site. Great, great golf blog.

nfl

Thanks to the NFL, the Tour Championship will probably have slim ratings.

Will you be watching?

Despite immense rain and flooding in Atlanta during the last week, the Tour Championship at East Lake is expected to carry on.  Though the PGA Tour has done a lot to make this event more dramatic–even tweaking the Fed Ex Cup points to avoid a situation like last year’s Tour Championship–I’m not sensing a lot of buzz around this event.

The problem being, as I will discuss in an upcoming blog post for the Armchair Golf Blog, is that the PGA Tour has an identity issue. The Tour Championship is supposed to be “the big one,” but it’s stuck in the middle of college and professional football—the top two draws in the American sporting world.

Even so, there should be plenty of drama: Woods, Stricker, Furyk, Zach Johnson, Slocum will win the Fed Ex Playoffs if they win this event. Countless others also have slimmer chances of winning—but chances nonetheless.

I’ll watch this Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but I won’t be tuned in to the Tour Championship like I would if it had occurred a month ago.

The PGA Tour season needs a swift kick in the butt. More to come.

I’ve talked about this topic before:

One shot for one million bucks.

Back in the ’90s, PGA Tour pro Jason Bohn–who was playing for the University of Alabama at the time–canned a 1 million dollar shot.

This week, Jason Hargett–a restaurant manager from Provo, Utah–accomplished the same feat.

At the Mark Eaton Celebrity Classic in Utah, Hargett used a borrrowed 9-iron to change his life. The shot landed about 10 feet past the hole, spun back, and found the dead center of the cup at a perfect pace. He then promptly sprinted down the fairway and went berserk. Who wouldn’t?

As Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf commented, this season Tiger Woods made about $9,300 per hole. That’s child’s play compared to Hargett’s 1 million dollar hole.

My favorite part of this video is watching him get tackled in the fairway. I can’t imagine the adrenaline he must have felt at that point. Unbelievable.

romano

How bad does Ray Romano suck at golf? We'll find out next spring. (Image: simplisticdesigns /Flickr)

Last winter, Tiger Woods’ teacher took on the project of a lifetime: Charles Barkley.

I covered The Haney Project fairly extensively on this blog. It seemed Hank helped Charles quite a bit at times. And, at other times, well it seemed as if Chuck still had no clue.

All that to say that Haney has a new project: Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano. I really know very little about Romano’s game. But if the Barkley show is any indication, Haney loves a good challenge. So my guess is that Ray’s swing needs quite a bit of work.

The program is slated to air in March.

Read more on Golf Magazine‘s website.

tiger

Image: scubaeddie32/Flickr

Woods picked up his sixth win on Tour this past weekend, reclaiming the top spot in the Fed Ex Playoffs with one tournament left to play, next weekend’s Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

So much for my Steve Stricker hype last week, huh? But don’t count Stricker out yet. He could very easily win next weekend. But if Woods is on his game again, I’m not sure that anyone has a chance.

I’m always amazed at the alarmists who claim Tiger is in a slump, his skills are declining, or he’s “not into it” anymore, simply because he has an off-week of putting or ball-striking. Are you kidding me?

The guy has won six tournaments this year! That’s a great career for most Tour pros, but it’s a six-month stretch for Tiger. Six wins! As good as he is, even Tiger can’t win every major.

Tiger Woods will miss putts. He will mis-hit shots. He will have bad tournaments. But all that means is that the guy is human—just like Michael Jordan when he had 16 point games, Albert Pujols when he has 0-for-5ers, and Brett Favre when he throws 3 interceptions. Wait a minute, Favre does that all the time.

But I digress. The point is that every other Tour pro would kill to have “off days” like Tiger Woods—you know, those terrible second and third-place finishes. The sports talk radio guys, the “controversial” journalists—these are the idiots who run their mouths about Tiger slumps whenever he misses one five-foot putt.

Six wins in one season? Wow. What a year.

So Steve Stricker is now number one in the Fed Ex Standings.

stricker

You want some of this, Tiger? (Image: atlas 138/Flickr)

Two tournaments left, and old Stricker is ahead of you-know-who.

In sum, you have one of the most popular athletes in all of sports, one of the most widely-recognized names in the civilized world, chasing after the quiet and steady Steve Stricker—a seven-time winner on Tour (three of which have occurred this year).

For years, Stricker was just one of the names you heard if you followed golf. He played in a lot of tournaments, usually played pretty well, but he wasn’t winning much.

So he stayed out of the news—a D.A. Weibring of sorts. He won twice in 1996 (Kemper and Western Opens), once in 2001 (Accenture Match Play) and once in 2007 (The Barclays), before tearing the Tour up this season.

But the last few years Stricker has become one of the best players on Tour—and in the world. He’s just an average Joe professional. He looks the part. He has a nice “dead-handed” swing, according to Johnny Miller. He seems like a guy who would be easy to sit down and discuss politics and religion over a beverage.

But he’s probably not a “meter mover” in the golf sense. In other words, I don’t think the golf ratings guys—whoever they might be—are flipping their lids over Stricker being in the top spot. They would much prefer Mickelson and Woods, Garcia and Woods, or Els and Woods. But Stricker?

Therein lies the beauty of golf. You earn your way. No contracts here. No guaranteed money. Steve Stricker busted it to get to this point, and now he’s just two tournaments away from winning 10 million, earning PGA Tour Player of the Year, and telling Tiger to keep practicing with the flatstick.

You’ve got to love golf.

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