Thursday, February 7
Armchair Q&A: Lorne Rubenstein
Mike Weir is mentally tough says Lorne Rubenstein.
Lorne Rubenstein is a veteran golf journalist and author who writes a regular column for The Globe and Mail. Lorne co-authored A Disorderly Compendium of Golf with Jeff Neuman, a 2006 book for “golf obsessives” I recently received as a birthday gift. Last month he answered my questions in an e-interview.
ARMCHAIR GOLF: I enjoyed A Disorderly Compendium of Golf. Who came up with the idea and how did you and Jeff divide the writing?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: Jeff Neuman and I were playing golf a couple of hours from Toronto when we started talking about all sorts of arcane bits and pieces about the game during the drive back. The drive took two hours and we weren’t even close to exhausting the subject. One subject led to another. We figured we had a book. We divided the work based upon our interests. I like the ins and outs of instruction, and everything that goes with it, and Jeff likes stats and equipment, so I did the sections to do with the former and he with the latter. That’s the way it worked for most of the segments. We also collaborated by sending material back and forth, adding, subtracting, etc.
AG: Are you working on another book?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: I’m putting together my second anthology, which will include pieces I’ve written in the Globe and Canadian and American magazines over the last 15 years. I last did an anthology in 1993, called Touring Prose. I’m writing an introduction and prefaces and afterwords to some of the pieces. The book will be published in 2009.
AG: Do you think the Tour’s new drug policy will be a help or distraction for pro golf?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: It’s necessary to nip any potential problems in the bud. It will probably take time to get it all sorted out — medical exemptions, for instance — and it could be a distraction should a player make a mistake. Players certainly need to educate themselves on the policy. The Tour is making efforts to ensure that happens.
AG: You’ve covered golf for a number of years. What still excites you about covering the game?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: I love watching golf played a high level, whether it’s the U.S. Open or Canadian Amateur. The game is all about bringing out your best stuff when it matters most. Not many players can do that. There’s nothing quite like the tension of a tournament down the last few holes when it’s all on the line. Meanwhile, it’s also exciting to watch golfers such as Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam or Lorena Ochoa dominate fields when they do. They’re masters of their craft. I also enjoy learning about and following young players, and, of course, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the game with the people who play it best.
AG: What are you looking forward to covering in 2008?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: I look forward to watching young players such as Anthony Kim and Jason Day. I look forward to seeing how Mike Weir, Stephen Ames and Jon Mills fare this year, and to seeing how David Hearn and Ian Leggatt and other Canadians do on the Nationwide as they try to return to the PGA Tour. Will Lorie Kane and Alena Sharp have good years? What about an amateur such as Kira Meixner? How will the Ryder Cup go? Will Tiger win the Masters and increase the anticipation of a possible, if unlikely, Grand Slam? Will Annika return to form and challenge Lorena Ochoa? Will Michelle Wie recover her form? There’s no end to what I’m looking forward to watching.
AG: Any predictions?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: I learned long ago not to make any in this game.
AG: How is Mike Weir doing? What do you expect from him this year?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: I think Mike will play really well in places, as long as he holes putts. He’s so tough mentally that he’ll continue to contend in majors, and perhaps win another. He’s certainly capable of it.
AG: How’s your golf game? How often do you get to play?
LORNE RUBENSTEIN: My game is improving after a few years in the doldrums. My index is 7.8. I play in bursts. I’ll play three or four times one week, and then not play for a couple of weeks. I particularly enjoy hitting balls and working on my game, although I’ve had way too much instruction over the years. But I enjoy keeping up on what people are teaching, so that’s a problem I’ve willingly accepted.
The Armchair Golfer