Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 4)

Giving Thanks in 2017

Being able to play in the desert is always worth giving thanks.

Being able to play in the desert is always worth giving thanks.

It’s been a few weeks since I updated my blog; after returning from the desert a few weeks ago, things have been less than ideal on several levels.  I’ll spare you the details, but it’s been the things that nobody should ever have to endure.  If you’d have told me on October 25th after getting up and down for a 79 that I wouldn’t touch a club at all in November I’d have thought you were crazy (I guess it’s for the best that the weather has been uncooperative).

So it’s from there that I wanted to pause for a moment and offer up some holiday thanks (since this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US; if you’re curious She Who Is Really In Charge and I will be having a quiet dinner) to some people in the golf world who deserve it.

To the LPGA, thanks for providing a blueprint on how to grow the game and engage fans.  It’s a travesty that all four rounds of their Tour Championship this past weekend weren’t being shown live on TV (bump it to USA Network or MSNBC if needed; surely a bunch of USA Network reruns of NCIS and whatever “Prison Lockup” show MSNBC is showing could be bumped to show live golf).

To the USGA and the R&A, thank you for making progress towards simplifying the rules.  I still argue that bifurcation is the way forward with the rules (and equipment) but you’re making an effort.

To all of the local maintenance staffs, superintendents, starters and people who work at golf courses, thank you.  Profusely.  While it’s all good and well to thank the local teaching professionals (and they do great work), if you didn’t have maintenance people doing what they do at zero dark hour things wouldn’t be that much fun for us.  They get next to no credit and blamed for pretty much anything and everything.  Yes, putting on punched greens isn’t fun but it’s punching them that keeps them in great shape.

To Golf Channel, thanks for ensuring I never go more than a week or so without a rerun of the Golf Movie Trinity (Caddyshack, Tin Cup, Bagger Vance).  Can you maybe air the unedited/non-condensed versions after 11pm?  Just a request (and while we’re at it, could you possibly acquire the rights to Dead Solid Perfect which remains the greatest golf movie nobody’s ever seen).

To Alan Shipnuck, thanks for writing a terribly-sourced piece of click-bait on the supposed impending dominance of the Americans in the Ryder Cup.  A US team that has exactly one win on European soil in 35 years (I distinctly remember reading about how the Americans were going to be dominant with Tiger as their anchor; didn’t quite work out that way) should probably avoid talk of a dynasty just yet.  I’m not saying the US doesn’t have what could potentially be a great core of the team, but things happen (Anthony Kim anyone?).  Call me old fashioned but i prefer to actually WIN before pounding my chest.  And while it’s all good and well to point out what a folly it was to have Tom Watson captain the 2014 side I remember reading dozens of pieces about how he’d be the steady hand on the tiller (didn’t quite work out that way).  I also read stories galore about US dominance before the 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012 matches.

Thanks to the PGA Tour for doing your dead-level best to ensure the DMV doesn’t have a tour stop anytime soon.  The level of support the events here get despite every attempt to let them fail is nothing short of amazing.  The weather issues this event has dealt with (going back to the old Kemper Open days) look like end-of-days stuff.  And yet, people come out in droves to volunteer, buy tickets, attend events, and watch with amazement.

Thanks to our local golf retailers for continuing to fail to stock my size in clothing and footwear and saving me from having to fight traffic in hopes of finding something.  When you wonder “why is retail dying?” see me quietly buying stuff online because I literally don’t have any other options.  When the inevitable fail happens, a lot of good and decent people will lose their jobs as a result.  Please start catering to a wider audience.  Or don’t.  I can literally update my blog and buy a pair of shoes at the same time while enjoying a couple scotches.

To my friend Real Name Redacted, thanks for putting up with my admitted insanity and more-than-occasional OCD behavior (I could write 500 words about tee colour, towel usage and why #2 balls are bad luck and that’s not even my top 5) as we trek all over the DMV to play golf (I may seem normal, but I’m most decidedly not).  It’s been fun seeing you go from curious enthusiast to full-blown addict and putting a unique spin on the Circle of Trust.

Photo from GNNstore.com

Somebody’s Christmas gift available at gnnstore.com

To my putters who’ve endured unspeakable insults and threats, thank you for not rising up in the middle of the night to attack me.  If having conversations with my putters and giving them rum and cigars is wrong, then maybe I don’t want to be right.  Worked for Cerrano in ‘Major League’ so why not, I say.

This may or may not be me before I tee off, trying to wake up my putter.

This may or may not be me before I tee off, trying to wake up my putter.

To all the people who are on Golfchat on Twitter on Tuesday nights, thanks for sharing your insights, opinions, and perspectives.  It’s interesting to hear from other people and learn from their experiences on this game we all love.  We may not agree on every issue but it from hearing each other, maybe we learn something we didn’t fully understand prior.

Best wishes for an enjoyable Thanksgiving if that’s your thing; otherwise thanks as always for reading.

SONG OF THE DAY

For a lot of reasons, this song always brings me back to a happier place.  I’ll pause from my current state of affairs to give thanks, and one small reason is this song which brings a lot of happy memories.

 

Self Inflicted Wounds and other Tales

Ready to go this morning. More on my round tomorrow.

Ready to go this morning. More on my round tomorrow.

The news that JC Penney is closing stores shouldn’t be news to anyone, given the sorry state of brick and mortar retail.  It’s bad enough if you’re a regular sized person, but being the exceptional man that I am, retailers are particularly good at giving me the middle finger, which is why I shop online.  Department stores don’t even try to cater to me, and Destination XL (who purportedly caters to big & tall men) is like playing the lottery (every successful trip means several unsuccessful trips).

Golf stores are equally bad.  Golf Galaxy doesn’t sell “big and tall” sizes either in store or online, and Howard County doesn’t have a Golfsmith or a PGA Tour Superstore (not that these stores sell big and tall sizes either).  Golf Galaxy does have a nice online ordering kiosk but if you’re not going to carry extended sizes then I’m not really sure what the point is (I can’t be the only plus-size-or-whatever-the-hell-you-call-me golfer in the area).  I have a couple trusted online stores I buy my golf apparel from (Cutter & Buck’s online store or Westport Big & Tall who carry Callaway, Cutter & Buck and Peter Millar in big & tall sizes).

I’m weird in that I don’t mind paying for quality.  I’d rather spend $70-$80 on a shirt that I know will hold up for several years rather than spend $40-$50 and have it fall apart after 1-2 seasons (the Cutter & Buck stuff holds up very well; I routinely will get 5-6 years out of a shirt).

Being blessed (cursed actually) with wide feet, shopping for golf shoes is equally dire.  I went into Golf Galaxy to look for shoes (the New Balance shoes I bought 2 years ago are breaking down on me and if I’m honest I need something a bit more structured given my ample proportions).  My beloved Footjoy XPS-1 shoes were laid to rest after 3 long seasons (loved those shoes), and while I don’t hate the New Balance shoes, I’m not sure I’d buy them again (they aren’t breathable and they’re breaking down faster than I would have liked).

So it was with hope and optimism that I strolled into Golf Galaxy in hopes of finding something.  I’d like to say I was successful but I came out empty handed because they don’t carry anything in the wide width that I need and ordering them at their online kiosk was to no avail.

I know Footjoy makes shoes in the width I need, so why retailers make things near on impossible is beyond me (luckily Footjoy has an online store where I can buy them directly at the same price they have them at in-store).  I’m trying to support a Howard County store…seriously (however, I’m pleased to report that She Who Is Really In Charge and I did go to Perfect Pour and buy several bottles of wine).

While I’m on the subject, I can’t recommend Perfect Pour enough.  Brian (their wine guy) knows more about wine than my very good friend and fellow degenerate Kevin Last Name Classified (which is saying something).  Their beer selection is outstanding (and full of regionally brewed products) as is their distilled spirits.   It’s everything you want a locally run retail store to be.  Full of knowledgeable people (and friendly), great selection, and easy to do business with.  The county is better for having them with us.

ON TOUR

The hot-take level bullshit being served up over Pat Perez’s comments (and subsequent walk-back and inevitable claim about being misquoted) about Tiger Woods serve as a reminder why sports talk radio and these ESPN and FS1 ‘talk’ shows should be permanently consigned to the waste-bin.  Uninformed rubes screaming about a sport they know nothing about…what could possibly go wrong (beyond everything)?  Normally we have to wait until the majors for this to come up, but now we’re being treated to an early dose.  As I’ve said several times, the easiest way for Woods to put this behind him is to finish multiple tournaments in a row.  Or keep missing cuts and going WD, and open yourself up to speculation and the like.

Update on GolfTec Ellicott City

Good news; in short, Golftec Ellicott City is open.   Stopped at Coal Fire for pizza during lunch (I do enjoy their pies), and after we finished I popped over to see that they’re open (doors open, people inside).  They’re open 7 days a week as well (I’m not paid to endorse but I’m happy to see Howard County finally get a dedicated indoor facility specializing in lessons and club-fitting).

Photo from The Golfers Academy

This could be you!

Not for anything, but Golfweek has Golftec lesson packages in their 2016 Holiday Gift Guide (sort of like Oprah’s Favorite Things but for golfers) which, if you’re asking, is a far better gift idea for the discerning golfer than a sweater or some godforsaken golf-themed gift that will serve no purpose beyond dust collection.

As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, another fantastic gift for that discerning golfer is a dozen of their favorite balls.  Simple, and you can be assured they’ll get used.

 

 

It’s Been a Year But He’s Still Missed By Everyone

Note: This is a non-golf post that is non-political.  Trust me. I can’t wait to get back to doing course and equipment reviews. I wouldn’t wish the last 12 months of my life on anyone. It’s been uniformly horrific. So indulge me a bit more.  Thanks, SGIC.

I still miss this little guy every day. We should all strive to be more like you.

I still miss this little guy every day. We should all strive to be more like you.

It was a year ago today that we said goodbye to Molson, our oldest greyhound (seen above), sending him over what greyhound people refer to as the rainbow bridge.  I’d like to say that in 365 days I’ve moved on, and to some extent I suppose we have, but in a lot of ways, I never will.  It’s said that dogs pick their humans and not the other way around.  Molson was that dog who literally found us in a store at an event.  He decided that he was going home with us and in many ways was the true ruler of our house for the 9+ years we had him.

Wise beyond his years.

Wise beyond his years.

He wasn’t the swiftest (he wasn’t much of a racer) or the most energetic but he was, and remains, the sweetest.  He wanted to be everyone’s friend, be they 5, 95 or any age in between.  If our friends’ twins got in his crate with him, he didn’t care (he was just happy they were petting him).  Don’t tell me was “just a dog” because that says you never met him.  Every day was a gift, every ear rub or pink belly was the best thing ever.  Every toy he had was the best toy ever.  My request?  Be more like Molson.  Be kind to each other.  Take naps.  Be sweet and charming.   Run if you feel like it.  Make every day awesome.  Cheer someone up for no reason whatsoever.   Run in the snow just because.  And sometimes, just be a huge goofball for no reason at all.

Expect that whatever is behind that door will probably be wonderful.

Expect that whatever is behind that door will probably be wonderful.

 

 

Yes to LA in 2024

With the 2016 Summer Olympics at the midway point in Rio (and the men’s golf event nearing its conclusion), I thought I’d take a moment to share my experience of having lived through having an Olympics in my backyard and why Los Angeles is better equipped than any US city to host a summer Olympics.

The year was 1984, and my family had been living in Southern California for a couple years and watched, with interest, as the local news broadcasts predicted dire consequences due to traffic (if you’ve ever been there or lived there, traffic is a principal point of discussion- they practically invented traffic coverage and certainly made the high-speed police chase into an art form) over the upcoming summer Olympics.   At the time, Los Angeles had no public transportation system of note (they’ve since built a subway which works fairly well) beyond buses.  It was going to be a 24-hour traffic nightmare that would grind the city to a halt.

And it didn’t happen.  People went on vacation, the tourists who came had a wonderful time, the Olympics didn’t leave the city or state in financial ruin, and whatever facilities did get built are still in use today (I discovered handball which is my favourite summer Olympic sport to watch).  Since 1984 Los Angeles has added a decent subway (anyone experiencing the nightmare that WMATA is putting my fellow DMV residents through may not remember what a well-functioning subway is like); car traffic is still bad (based on a visit 2 summers ago) but they’ve also added toll roads.

What does Los Angeles have?  In short, infrastructure, facilities, population, climate, and location.  Off the top of my head, the following facilities that could be re-purposed for an Olympics include the following:

-Staples Center; downtown Los Angeles

-Pauley Pavillion, on UCLA campus (hosted gymnastics in 1984)

-Inglewood Forum, Inglewood (hosted basketball in 1984)

-LA Coliseum (hosted open/closing ceremonies & track/field in 1984)

-USC arena (former LA Sports Arena, hosted boxing in 1984)

-Long Beach State basketball arena

-Long Beach arena (hosted volleyball in 1984)

-Velodrome near CSU-Dominguez Hills

-Home Depot Center (soccer)

-Tennis facility adjacent to Home Depot Center (hosts ATP event every year)

-Rose Bowl (hosted soccer in 1984, men’s World Cup final in 1994, Women’s World Cup final in 1999)

-Anaheim Convention Center (hosted wrestling in 1984)

-Honda Center, Anaheim

-Cal-State Fullerton basketball gym.

-Veterans Stadium, Long Beach

-USC and UCLA both have outdoor swim facilities, baseball and softball facilities

-Dodger Stadium (hosted baseball as demonstration sport in 1984)

-UC Irvine (Orange County) also has a baseball/softball facility, outdoor swim facility, and an indoor arena.

Other than constructing an Athlete’s Village, there would be seemingly no reason to have to build anything other than a canoe/kayak facility, and that’s before a new NFL stadium gets built for the 2017/2018 season that could be used for soccer (you could also use stadia in Northern California and Phoenix (indoor) for soccer that would keep teams from exhaustive travel).

Since this is a golf blog, you have LA Country Club (hosting the 2021 US Open), and Riviera Country Club (host of the Northern Trust Open and hosted PGA Championships in 1983 and 1995) as courses central to Los Angeles that can stand up to the modern game with little effort needed.  The romantic in me would love to see Rancho Park upgraded  and used as the Olympic course.  It’s currently just over 6,800 yards from the tips and would need to be toughened up in order to challenge modern pros, but its history is undeniable.  Industry Hills has been used for the LPGA’s Kia Classic and is a robust test but would need some nips and tucks (at a minimum) to be considered.  Torrey Pines is another great option although it is 2 hours away by car in San Diego.  The hot conditions in Palm Springs (highs of 110 are normal) rules out going to PGA West or similar.

Counting Orange County (John Wayne) and San Diego Airports, you have 5 airports in Southern California (LAX, Long Beach, Ontario, Burbank, John Wayne, and San Diego) which makes getting to and from pretty easy.

In short, a return to Los Angeles wouldn’t leave the state of California with a bunch of white elephant projects.  It’s time.

 

 

 

Random Thoughts For the Day Too Long for Twitter

Could we see this look in the 18th tower anytime in the future?

Could we see this look in the 18th tower anytime in the future?

I don’t have any scoop or knowledge of this happening, but hearing Phil Mickelson’s press conferences (where he’s apt to pretty much tell you whatever is on his mind) makes me think that, quietly, CBS and NBC (or Fox) people must be contemplating how big of a Brinks truck to back up at Stately Mickelson Manor once he retires from the game.  Either that or he becomes one of those Silicon Valley venture capitalists while hosting a weekly gambling podcast.

With so many major championships seemingly decided (or heavily influenced) by weather (seemingly one half of the draw gets a far better deal than the other half), I wonder if a more equitable approach might be re-pairing after the first round (the Masters used to do this), and drawing tee times for the first round out of a hat?  You can pull an A player, B player, and C player out of a hat (much like how FIFA do the final draw for the World Cup), and assign tee times in that order?  Or do the draw for both round 1 and round 2?  I know that the TV people would complain but I don’t like having one half of the draw being given a huge disadvantage because of weather.

Really hoping that slower green speeds at Troon isn’t causing anyone to have a sad or something.

 

Your 2020 PGA Tour Schedule

I can see the 2020 PGA Tour Schedule from here.

I can see the 2020 PGA Tour Schedule from here.

I know that it’s 4 years out, but seeing the raft of players (almost all men) opting out of going to the Olympics, something has to be done to the PGA Tour schedule for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and I am that someone doing something (if by something you mean coming up with a workable solution for the professional tours and the networks that cover them).  The game worked far too hard to get on the Olympic program only to have it removed because of disinterest from the male professional tours.

If the PGA and European Tours don’t do something, the IOC is going to bounce golf off the Olympic program tout de suite (remember bowling and softball?) and the sport is going to lose an opportunity to grow the game that it will never get back.   Compare this with the other sport added for Rio 2016 (rugby sevens) where players from other codes/sports are trying to get on their country’s team for this event.  Something had to be done, and as they say, I was the person to do it.

It took 2 double scotches  (from which genius flowed), 45 minutes, and a spiral-bound notebook of notes, but I’ve come up with a plan that reduces travel for the players, doesn’t overload any point in the year, creates several mini-swings, and gives them a reasonable schedule and a 2-week participation window.  I moved a few things around in order to make this work, but in the end, it adds an event to the LPGA schedule and creates a month-long “season” in Hawaii when you start the Champions Tour with a January tournament the week of Jan 23rd-26th.  I’ve also created a joint PGA-LPGA event where they’re playing 4-ball (or 2-man best ball).

The other thing you do is even out the big events.  By pushing the US PGA Championship to the end of February, you create a reason for players to play those West Coast swing events.  March doesn’t have a major but it does have 2 WGC events with different formats than traditional stroke play.   April has the Masters, May has the Players Championship, June the US Open, July the Open Championship, and August the Olympic tournament.

The other thing you’ll notice is that there is a Stableford event, 2 team events, and a match play event.  It’s designed to hopefully help the US be better prepared for the Olympics and the Ryder Cup.  So on that note, here we go.

2020 PGA Tour Schedule

Jan 2nd-5th: Sony Open. It flips with the other Hawaii event to get a full-field event as the start of the year.

Jan 9th-12th: LPGA/PGA Tour 4-ball championship in Hawaii (1st LPGA full field event will be Jan 16th-19th in Hawaii (the following week)- moving up from April date).  Event can be aired in prime time in the US and gives the LPGA a nice shop window.  Have 2-player teams (1 man, 1 woman); with daylight an issue I’d limit it to no more than 30 teams.  You could either have a “fantasy” draft (mine involves a bottle of Glenlivet 25 year, 2 rocks glasses and Christina Hendricks but that’s not important), or randomly draw teams.  Teams play alternate shot on Thursdays and Saturdays, and foursomes (2-player best ball) on Fridays and Sundays.

Jan 16th-19th: Phoenix Open (flipping for this year only).

Jan 23rd-26th: Torrey Pines/Farmers Insurance Open

Jan 29th-Feb 1st: Career Builder/Palm Springs (Wed-Sat to avoid the Super Bowl on 2/2).

Feb 6th-9th: LA Open/Riviera (2 hour drive from Palm Springs)

Feb 13th-16th: AT&T Pebble Beach Open

Feb 20th-23rd: US PGA Championship (already confirmed to be held at Harding Park in San Francisco)- it’s 2 hours by car from Pebble Beach.  If you look carefully, you’ll see a five-week California swing that culminates in a major championship (the first of the year which puts a nice end to the West Coast swing.

Feb 27th-March 1st: Honda Classic/PGA National

March 5th-8th: WGC Team Championship at Streamsong Resort (take 2-man teams by country).  Yes- Doral is no longer being used as the PGA Tour has opted to move the event to Mexico (this is for one year only). Streamsong is an hour from Orlando and similar to Torrey Pines, has 2 (soon to be 3) courses.  Take 48 2-man teams by country; cut to 28 teams after 2 days for final 2 rounds.

March 12th-15th: Bay Hill Event (Orlando). This allows pros a “home stand” since many live in Orlando area.

March 19th-22nd: Valspar @ Copperhead/Tampa (Tampa is 2 hours from Orlando.

March 25th-29th: WGC Matchplay at Seminole GC (extend Florida swing, easier travel for players).  Several players are already members.  You have the Tour in Central Florida 4 weeks running which will cut down on travel for many of the players based out of this area.  If not Seminole, there are several tracks in the Orlando area who could host events (Windermere for one).

April 2nd-5th: New Orleans (hopefully better weather than what they’ve had the last few years)

April 9th-12th: Masters Tournament (falls over Easter weekend- they’ll manage)

April 16th-19th: Hilton Head/Heritage

April 23rd-26th: Charlotte/Wells Fargo Championship

(April then becomes a southern swing of sorts)

April 29th-May 3rd: Players Championship (a week earlier for this year only)

May 7th-10th: Houston Open (for giving up the pre-Masters slot, they’ll get Mothers Day weekend and be the start of the Texas Swing).

May 14th-17th: San Antonio/Valero

May 21st-24th: Dallas

May 28th-31st: Fort Worth

(With four events over consecutive weeks in Texas, the tour can and should market this as the Texas Swing).  Ideally, the winner of the Texas swing would get an additional exemption year.

June 4th-7th: Columbus OH/Memorial Tournament

June 11th-14th: FedEx/Memphis St. Jude

June 18th-21st: US Open (Winged Foot; NY)

June 25th-28th: Travelers (Hartford/Cromwell CT)-moved this event up since it’s only 2 hours by car from Winged Foot to cut down on travel.

July 2nd-5th: John Deere Classic (giving them a July 4th spot but keeping their “week before the Open” slot).

July 9th-12th: Open Championship (British Open). Moving the Open Championship up a week.

July 16th-19th: Wyndham Championship (moving them up in the order for this year to try to separate the Canadian Open).

July 23rd-26th:  Greenbrier

July 30th-August 2nd: Canadian Open (Vancouver). Cutoff for the 2020 Olympic tournament. By having the event in Vancouver (and not Toronto/Glen Abbey), it’s an easier flight to Tokyo for the players going to the Olympics and will enable players to over and participate in the Opening Ceremony.  West Coast means that the tournament can have a prime time (east coast) finish.  Ideally, the IOC will charter a plane for players and caddies.  I would move the women’s Canadian Open to Vancouver as well (Shaughnessy G&CC can host over consecutive weeks and has already hosted the men’s Canadian Open).   Vancouver has a heavy Asian-pacific influence so there’s plenty of marketing that can be done.  It’s a temperate climate and gives Vancouver time to promote the event (they did a great job with the 2010 Olympics).

August 6-9, August 13-16: 2020 Olympics (if the sport is going to be serious they can’t run events concurrent with the Olympic tournament proper.  The dates show golf as August 11-14 so there can be no other pro tours running concurrently).  I’ll go with what others have said; it needs to be a 2-man best ball competition.  Allow up to 2 teams per country.

August 6-9: Opposite field event (top 5 get spots in the Barclays/FedEx Cup playoffs)/Reno.

August 13-16: NO EVENT

August 20-23: WGC Stableford (moved to Cherry Creek in Denver).  I chose Denver because it’s easier for travel purposes, and it’ll be a slightly shorter flight coming back from Tokyo.  Cherry Creek has hosted the BMW Championship and major championships.  See next week.

August 27-30: Barclays @ Firestone GC (FedEx Cup Playoffs week 1). For giving up their spot which would have fallen around the Olympics, Firestone takes the FedEx Cup Playoffs week 1 spot.  The New York area got the US Open so they aren’t being shut out.  With the additional spots being allocated, the first week will go from 125 to 135 players, but the cut after the Barclays will still be to the top 70.

September 4-7: Deutche Bank/Boston (Week 2). No change; they keep their Labor Day slot.

September 10-13: BMW Championship (Congressional) Week 3. You’ll notice that I didn’t have a spot for the Quicken Loans event.  For them giving up their slot, they will get the BMW Championship.  It gets the tournament out of the meat of the DC summer and for Congressional, their club isn’t being torn to bits in the middle of summer and doesn’t force the members to lose access over the summer.  If they don’t want it, I’d look at Caves Valley, RTJ, or TPC Potomac (in that order).

September 17-20: Tour Championship (Atlanta).

September 24-27: BYE

October 2-4: Ryder Cup (Whistling Straits/WI)

What you see is a workable schedule that is practical, cuts down on the workload and travel, and won’t alienate sponsors.  It creates a window for the Olympics and ensures that golf will be able to stay on the Olympic program.  As for 2024, I might be biased but the one city that is probably best suited to host it (and has hosted it successfully) is Los Angeles.  They have facilities already built along with infrastructure, and a climate that is suitable (and for golf, they’ve a host of options).  I lived in Southern California during the 1984 Olympics…people went on vacations and left town, and it worked out great.

When It Happens To You

If you’re like me, you’ve probably chuckled when you hear about pro athletes injuring themselves doing garden variety things.  From walking to making coffee to eating pancakes, we’ve seen it all and heard it all.  We laugh, and think “surely that would never happen to us” because we’re not that silly.

And then it happens to you.

Twice in 7 days I’ve had slip/fall accidents at home.  Once from a rug that gave out from underneath my foot, and the other time from hitting hardwood floors with wet shoe soles.  Both left me fairly bruised and in a bit of discomfort, because landing on hardwood floors with no padding doesn’t tickle, especially on already damaged limbs.  So now I’m walking around stately SGIC manor like an old man, hoping that I don’t have to reset the “this home has gone X days without a slip/fall accident” counter to 0.

LOCAL GOLF NEWS

In speaking with one of my trusted sources, I learned that while Fairway Hills is open, it only has 9 holes open because of an issue with bridge re-construction on the 12th hole (short par 3 over water) that was never approved by the county.  Hobbits Glen is open but their much-ballyhooed Coho Grill is doing terrible (apparently people don’t really like the idea of overpriced bar food with terrible service).  Fairway Hills is hoping to have all 18 holes open by next week (when we’re supposed to be chilly again).   Also, I learned that Turf Valley has had issues of late with people getting sick at their banquet facility which caused them to cancel an event this past Saturday.   If you do play at Fairway Hills or Hobbits Glen and wonder why the fairways are brown, it’s because the Bermuda grass goes dormant (brown) in cold weather (the good news is that it’s much more heat-tolerant than other turf-grasses).  Timbers at Troy is open but no word yet on the condition of the course.  I learned that they get a fixed amount of money from the county for maintenance, and when it’s gone, it’s gone (bunkers especially are known to get in terrible shape). A simple solution would be to eliminate some of them and simply grass them over but of course not.   Compass Pointe is worth a follow on Facebook (I’m not on Facebook) if that’s your thing (I’m more of a Twitter/Instagram person).  Course is open but haven’t heard anything about playing conditions.  Tickets are on sale for the 2016 Quicken Loans National which returns to Congressional CC from June 20-26 (this year it’s held the week after the US Open; Oakmont CC is only 4 hours by car from DC so it’s not an arduous hike for players who want to play in it).  With the last 3 majors being held in June-July, my fear is that you’re going to see a less-than-stellar field (I know that it’s Tiger’s tournament, but who knows if he’ll play and with 3 majors over 7 weeks you have to think that you’ll see the elite players skip it).

20 days until The Masters.

 

 

 

Short Subjects

It’s always weird writing about golf in the dead of winter, but the snow from Snowmageddon has melted, and a groundhog says we’ll have an early spring, so if that’s not optimism I don’t know what is.

While watching the West Coast swing on the PGA Tour (I’ve had the pleasure of playing the TPC Stadium Course back in 2013; I was happy to see it return to the rota of courses they use for the Palm Springs/Palm Desert event), the European Tour announced that players could wear shorts during practice rounds.

To that, I say this- why not let them wear shorts whenever they want to?

Phil Mickelson wearing shorts. Hopefully this doesn't qualify as being NSFW.

Phil Mickelson wearing shorts. Hopefully this doesn’t qualify as being NSFW.

I wear shorts whenever I play (even when it’s cold, and that’s down to the fact that I’m an idiot) because it’s my choice.  Why not let the players make the choice for themselves?  Seems to me we had this discussion years ago with caddies (who until the late 1990’s had to wear long pants) before the USGA, and finally the PGA Tour relented and allowed caddies to wear shorts.  So why not extend players the same courtesy?

This might be the least garish thing Ian Poulter has worn.  And look how happy he is.

This might be the least garish thing Ian Poulter has worn. And look how happy he is.

There’s no practical reason for the PGA Tour (or the European Tour) to have these outdated rules about long pants v. shorts.  Players aren’t under contract to the tours (they’re independent contractors), and no player is going to embarrass their sponsors by looking ridiculous at a tournament.  During the summer they routinely play in 90F temperatures or higher.  Let them wear shorts. If you look at Mickelson, Poulter, and Els (below), you’ll notice they’re wearing shorts that you’d see at just about every golf course on a summer weekend.  Limit the length to X inches above the knee, and we’re fine.

Think of yourself…especially here in the DMV during the summer.  Do you know anyone who wears long pants in June or July (much less August)?  Unfortunately I see these people, and universally they look miserable (they usually walk and think 6 hour rounds are acceptable).  Don’t be that guy!  Wear shorts?

Admittedly, my legs are hideously ugly tree stump looking things, pockmarked with various scars that tell of various poor decisions I’ve made.  But I wear shorts, because I’m more comfortable playing in shorts.

Ernie Els in shorts.  Oh the humanity!  Where's my faintin' sofa?

Ernie Els in shorts. Oh the humanity! Where’s my faintin’ sofa?

If you took a confidential poll of players I’m sure a majority would want to wear shorts.  If you want a comparative, the LPGA already permits their players to wear shorts.  When it’s warm they wear shorts (some players choose to wear long pants) if they want.  If it’s cold like yesterday at their stop in Florida, most will opt for long pants.  So if we’re being equal, then the men should be able to choose long pants or shorts.

And if the IOC hasn’t done so, please let players in the Olympics wear shorts if they choose (although the Outbreak suits may be more appropriate).

Just leaked- the alternate uniforms that Team USA will be wearing for the golf competition at the Rio Olympics.

Just leaked- the alternate uniforms that Team USA will be wearing for the golf competition at the Rio Olympics.

So let them wear shorts I say!

 

 

 

 

Happy Festivus Everybody!

If you haven’t seen it, the Festivus episode of Seinfeld remains a magnum opus of satire.  Enjoy.

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