Saturday, February 28

Paula Creamer Leads in Thailand

Paula Creamer (dnkbdotcom/Flickr)

AFTER CARDING A 67 on Saturday, Paula Creamer holds a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

“I played well today,” Paula told AFP. “I started off with a birdie on the first hole, which is always a good start.”

Chasing Creamer are women’s world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and Brittany Lang.

Ogilvy and Casey in Final


Australian Geoff Ogilvy and Englishman Paul Casey will meet in the 36-hole final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Ogilvy is looking for his second title of the year. Casey has yet to win on the PGA Tour.

−The Armchair Golfer

King of Golf Cartoons: ‘Grass’


Copyright © Jerry King. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

I think Big Shooter is on to something here. Recently, we kicked around the subject of carpet putting during the winter months. But, I ask you, why not grass?

−The Armchair Golfer

Jerry King is an award-winning cartoonist whose credits and clients include Golf Digest, United States Golf Association and Disney. His golf cartoons are featured weekly at ARMCHAIR GOLF.

Friday, February 27

Free Drawing for Tiger Book, ‘FOLLOW THE ROAR’

IF YOU’RE SUFFERING with the Tiger Lost Blues, maybe I can help.

Enter the free drawing (at right) for an autographed hardcover edition of FOLLOW THE ROAR: Tailing Tiger for All 604 Holes of His Most Spectacular Season by Bob Smiley.

Bob, a TV writer and ESPN.com contributor, has written a funny and insightful “outside the ropes” account of Tiger’s short but thrilling 2008 season. And he was good enough to autograph an extra copy of FOLLOW THE ROAR and invest $2.58 (postage) to get it to me, and, ultimately, to one of you. So I like Bob.

When Bob returns from Arizona after watching the Tiger Comeback Circus − and has time to answer some questions − I’ll have him at the ARMCHAIR GOLF BLOG. If you have a question for Bob that you would like to be considered, email me at armchairgolfer@gmail.com.

−The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, February 26

PGA Tour Press Tent: Tiger Heads to Airport


The only sign of Tiger this weekend will be the ads. (ATIS547/Flickr)

RANDOM RESULTS AND QUOTES from the second round of the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Tim Clark beat Tiger Woods 4 and 2. NBC announced new layoffs. (Not really.) The quotes:

Q. Where do you go from here?

TIGER WOODS: Go to the airport.
(Laughter.)

Q. Did you think Tiger was firing on all cylinders today, or is he maybe not quite there yet?

TIM CLARK: Again, I would hate to comment on that. I don’t want to get him angry for the next time I play him, so I’m going to leave that one alone (laughter).

Rory McILroy defeated Hunter Mahan 1-up. He will now face Clark. The quote:

Q. How disappointed are you that Tiger didn’t win?

RORY McILROY: I’m not (laughing).

Stewart Cink defeated Lee Westwood in 23 holes. The quote:

Q. Have you seen the bracket? Who have you got next round?

STEWART CINK: I got Mickelson.

Ian Poulter defeated Charl Schwartzel 1-up. Next up, Sean O’Hair. The quote:

Q. Do you have much knowledge of your opponent tomorrow?

IAN POULTER: Well he’s a good golfer. Anybody in the top 64 is going to be a tough game.

−The Armchair Golfer


(Quotes courtesy of ASAP Sports)

2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship TV Schedule and Brackets

The 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is underway at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona.

Purse: $8.25 million
Winner’s share: $1.35 million
Defending champion: Tiger Woods

Brackets: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (printable PDF)


2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Leaderboard

TV SCHEDULE

More than 27 hours of TV coverage are on tap for 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

GOLF CHANNEL

Wed., Feb. 25: 2-6 p.m. ET
Thu., Feb. 26: 2-6 p.m. ET
Fri., Feb. 27: 2-6 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 28: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ET
Sun., March 1: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET

NBC
Sat., Feb. 28: 2-6 p.m. ET
Sun., March 1: 2-6 p.m. ET

PGA Tour radio coverage

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, February 25

Tough Road to Finals for Stewart Cink


Stewart Cink at Torrey Pines. (Dirk/Flickr)

LAST YEAR’S RUNNER-UP to Tiger Woods at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Stewart Cink opened play today with a win over South African Richard Sterne at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. It wasn’t easy. The match went extra holes before “Stewie” knocked in a birdie with his long putter to win 1-up.

“Nice to make a bomb on the 19th hole of any match!” Stewart said on Twitter. “But it doesn't get any easier from here on out.”

He’s right. The road back to the finals will be challenging to say the least. In the next match, Cink will face Lee Westwood in the loaded Ben Hogan bracket, which includes Vijay Singh (currently down in his match), Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Steve Stricker.

Cink will need accurate approaches with his irons, but ultimately the flatstick will dictate the way his week goes.

“Went out for a practice round at the new Ritz Carlton course for the Accenture Match Play,” Stewart said on Monday. “Pretty decent but the greens are outrageous.”

By “outrageous” Cink might have meant the undulations since he added, “Too many humps to be fast, so they are only rolling around 10 on the Stimpmeter.”

Stewart hopes to build on a solid year in 2008 in which he recorded seven top 10 finishes, including one win, two seconds and two thirds. He also played on the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team.

His interests outside of golf include sushi, skiing, hiking and ice hockey.

Cink File

Turned pro: 1995
Birthplace: Huntsville, Alabama
College: Georgia Tech
World ranking: 23
PGA Tour wins: 5
Major wins: 0
Equipment: PING

−The Armchair Golfer

Brought to you by The World of Golf and ARMCHAIR GOLF STORE.

Tuesday, February 24

Jim McLean Instruction: Grip and Grip Pressure

By Jim McLean
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF


IT’S A GREAT IDEA during the winter to work on your grip. It involves very little time and can be done while sitting on the couch watching television. There are two things to focus on while working on your grip through the winter: technique and grip pressure.

At the school we like to teach our students a neutral grip. The grip is key to returning the clubface to a square impact position. The best way to prepare a successful grip is to hold the club at eye level in the right hand. Next, slide the left hand down the shaft keeping the shaft along your middle knuckles. After reaching the end of the club, close the hand over the top of the club keeping the club in the fingers. Now slide the right hand down the shaft in the same manner keeping the shaft on the middle knuckle. Close the right hand over the top of the left thumb, compressing it along the lifeline of your right hand.

The club should always be held in the fingers. As a self check, double check that the “V” is formed by your left thumb and forefinger points towards your right shoulder. The “V” formed by your right thumb and right forefinger should point towards your left shoulder.

It’s important that the hands work as one throughout the swing. To do this, we unify them using one of the following three setups:

1. Baseball Grip: This grip involves all ten fingers fitting on the grip. This grip is best used by women, juniors, and individuals who have trouble closing the face of the club through impact.

2. Overlap Grip: The overlap grip involves placing the right pinky over/between the left index and middle finger so that it sits in the crease comfortably.

3. Interlock Grip: The interlock grip is formed by hooking the right pinky under the left index finger.

Next week: Grip pressure

Jim McLean is the instruction editor for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, and an author of numerous, top-selling golf instruction books. For a free intro DVD to his new Building Block Approach, visit Jim McLean Golf School.

Copyright © Jim McLean. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Exclusive Interview with Tiger’s Left Knee

Tiger’s Left Knee in action.
(Phelps/Flickr)














IN A TELEPHONE INTERVIEW, Tiger’s Left Knee updated ARMCHAIR GOLF on the most ballyhooed golf comeback since Ben Hogan limped to the first tee at Riviera in the 1950 Los Angeles Open.

Q: Thanks for taking a few minutes. It’s good to have you back.


LEFT KNEE:
Sure. It’s good to be here.

Q: Straight up, what can you tell us about Tiger?

LEFT KNEE: Tiger will be returning to golf this week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona …

Q: LK?

LEFT KNEE: He has enjoyed the time with his family, including the birth of his son Charlie Axel Woods …

Q: Um, LK?


LEFT KNEE: … and is now ready to compete again on the PGA Tour …

Q: LK! Are you reading this?


LEFT KNEE:
Maybe.

Q: Is everything OK?


LEFT KNEE: Sure. It’s all good.

Q: Why the statement? We’ve always kept it real in the past.

LEFT KNEE: I’ve got to keep things inside the camp. You know, I can’t say too much. It’s not the way we operate. Look at Stevie.

Q: Can we talk about you?

LEFT KNEE: What do you want to know?

Q: How do you feel?

LEFT KNEE:
I’m feeling good, overall. Rosey [Dr. Thomas Rosenberg] says everything looks real solid.

Q: Any pain?

LEFT KNEE:
Not really. I have some stiffness. But after sitting around for weeks, that’s expected. We’ve also been working out pretty hard lately.

Q: Lee Trevino said Tiger needs to change his swing, that he can’t continue to swing so hard with you locked.

LEFT KNEE: If I got a buck for every time someone had swing advice for Tiger over the years, I could bail out the economy by myself (laughing).

Q: So you’re not concerned?


LEFT KNEE: We played hurt for years and now I’m reconstructed. I’m ready to go.

Q: How about the motivation? Are you ready for tournament golf?


LEFT KNEE: I watched Follow the Sun, Hogan’s comeback movie, about 20 times during the layoff. Cried every time. One time I woke the baby. Elin didn’t like that. Anyway, believe me, I’m inspired. Hogan’s mangled legs showed incredible courage, and I intend to follow in their footsteps. Um, so to speak.

Q: What do you know about Brendan Jones?


LEFT KNEE:
He’s No. 64 in the world. We always open up against No. 64, if you know what I mean.

Q: I do. Thanks for taking the time, and good luck this week.

LEFT KNEE: You got it.

−The Armchair Golfer

Related:
An interview with Tiger’s Left Knee
Tiger’s Left Knee speaks on U.S. Open prep
Q&A: Tiger’s Left Knee Discusses ACL Surgery

(This is an ARMCHAIR GOLF spoof.)

Monday, February 23

Comeback Week: Why Tiger Has No Equal



−The Armchair Golfer

Renowned Teacher Jim McLean Coming to ARMCHAIR GOLF

BEGINNING ON WEDNESDAY, ARMCHAIR GOLF will feature a weekly tip from internationally regarded PGA teaching professional Jim McLean. Jim is the instruction editor for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, and an author of numerous, top-selling golf instruction books. He also heads the Jim McLean Golf School at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Doral, Florida.

I’m pleased to welcome Jim, and we hope the weekly tip series will provide some helpful guidance for your golf game. Jim will start with some winter drills, or, put another way, “Ready for Spring” tips.

−The Armchair Golfer

‘Lighthorse’ Harry Cooper: First L.A. Open Winner

Editor’s note: While Phil Mickelson has now won twice in Los Angeles − back-to-back Northern Trust Open titles − so did “Lighthorse” Harry Cooper more than 70 years ago. In fact, Cooper won the first Los Angeles Open in 1926 and also claimed the trophy in 1937. This is his story.

By John Coyne
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF

HARRY COOPER IS IN MANY WAYS the forgotten man of professional golf. He never won the Masters, the PGA Championship or the U.S. Open.

But for three decades, beginning in the Twenties, he played some of the best, and fastest, rounds of golf on the PGA Tour, winning more than 30 tournaments, culminating in 1937, when he won nine times and was both the leading money winner ($14,000) and winner of the Vardon Trophy for the best scoring average.

Born in England in 1904, he moved when he was a child with his father, a golf pro, to Texas where he grew up to win the Texas PGA Championship in 1922 and 1923. His first big win, however, was the inaugural Los Angeles Open in 1926. (Cooper won it again in 1937.) It was here that he was nicknamed “Lighthorse” by the famous journalist and short story writer, Damon Runyon.

Damon wrote that he needed a racehorse to keep up with Harry Cooper. Runyon, and 5,000 other spectators, raced after Harry and George Von Elm in the final round. It was a round that took just two and a half hours to play.

Unable to make a decent living on tour, Harry became a home professional. First in Chicago in the late ‘30s, then Minneapolis, Honolulu at the close of the World War II, and returning to the mainland, at the Lakeside Golf Club in North Hollywood, where he gave lessons to the likes of Bob Hope and Bring Crosby.

Meeting a Legend


I met Harry in 1990. He was teaching part-time at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York, after having been the pro at nearby Metropolis Country Club for 26 years. I was writing Playing With the Pros: Golf Tips from the Senior Tour (with photos by golf’s renowned photographer Jules Alexander) and Harry was kind enough to pen the Introduction for the instructional book.

In the process of talking with him about the Senior Tour book, I picked up a few valuable swing tips. Among them where these basic six:

1. “The golf swing is all about the hands. Your hands alone control the face of the club. If you can control the face of the club, you can control the direction of the ball.”

2. “You don’t hit the ball with the backswing. Accelerate speed as you’re coming down, not going back. Hit from the bottom of the swing, not the top.”

3. “When addressing the ball, first place the club face on the intended line, then take your stance either square to the line or slightly open.”

4. “Don’t worry about keeping your eye on the ball. That doesn’t mean a thing. Learn to keep your head still is the important thing.”

5. “Play for accuracy. I’d rather hit a 5 iron from the fairway than a wedge from the rough.”

6. “Putt cross-handed, with the left hand lower on the shaft. Place two fingers of the right hand overlapping two fingers of the left hand.”

While Harry was famous for playing fast, we had the advantage of having “Lighthorse” around the world of golf for many years. He died on October 17, 2000, at the age of 96, after a long life of smooth fairways and gentle greens. As he famously said about the game of golf: “First, you’ve got to be good, then you’ve got to be lucky.”

For those of us who knew Harry, we were lucky.

John Coyne is the author of
The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan and The Caddie Who Played with Hickory. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

(Photo courtesy of Pebble Beach Golf)

Sunday, February 22

Fred Couples Explains Muffed Approach on 18


Fred Couples came close at Riviera. (Anestad/Flickr)

AS MUCH AS GOLF FANS like and root for Phil Mickelson, a lot of people were pulling for 49-year-old Fred Couples to win the Northern Trust Open today at Riviera. The part-time golfer with a bad back was in contention. Freddie hovered within a couple shots of the lead most of the day.

After a massive drive on the 18th hole, Boom-Boom had a 7-iron from the right edge of the fairway. He needed a birdie to tie Steve Stricker and get in a playoff if Phil bogeyed. Couples swung and the ball squirted right. It looked awful on TV.

What happened?

“You know, I was just trying to hit it right around the tree,” Fred said afterwards. “I didn’t really aim for the green and cut it. And I just hit it right in the tree.”

It looked like a half shank to me, but what do I know? Fred continued.

“You know, if I had hit solid and pushed it, it still may have caught the tree. But I was just trying to go right along with it. It didn’t seem that hard. It was a perfect 7-iron.”

Based on the following, Freddie probably had too much data in his brain.

“And, you know, there’s so much commotion,” he said. “I’m hitting over cameramen because of the angle, and I think I just got a little loose. I hit a bad shot, and I just didn’t give myself a chance.”

Of course, even had Fred birdied, Phil’s par sealed the victory, his 35th PGA Tour title. Couples came close again, an impressive feat at his advanced golf age.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, February 21

Phil Rolls a 62 at Hogan’s Alley


Natural amphitheater: the 18th hole at Riviera. (McCoy/Flickr)

HORSES FOR COURSES. Phil Mickelson likes Riviera. The Poa annua greens and kikuya grass that give other players fits do not unnerve the boy who grew up in Southern California.

Phil fired a 9-under 62 on Saturday at the Northern Trust Open, one stroke off the course record set by Ted Tryba in 1999. This after a first-round 63. Lefty is on a roll at Hogan’s Alley.

Can he hang on to his four-shot advantage in Sunday’s final round?

“Every shot is critical,” Phil said. “But the key for me tomorrow is going to be playing a good, solid round. I need to hit the ball like I did today. I need to roll it like I did today. And if I can shoot a number, I'll be very hard to catch.”

Phil will play with Andres Romero and 49-year-old Fred Couples, who is five shots back and hopes to go low and snag one more win in his last hurrah on the PGA Tour.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, February 20

King of Golf Cartoons: ‘Short Game’


Copyright © Jerry King. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Tiger Woods is returning, Phil Mickelson is leading the Northern Trust Open and spring is coming. There’s hope for golfers and golf enthusiasts.

Are you working on your short game to get ready for the new season? Are you rolling putts across the carpet? No? Me neither. Furthermore, I don’t own a dog (like Big Shooter) and my two cats don’t give a rip about my golf game.

−The Armchair Golfer

Jerry King is an award-winning cartoonist whose credits and clients include Golf Digest, United States Golf Association and Disney. His golf cartoons are featured weekly at ARMCHAIR GOLF.

Thursday, February 19

Tiger’s Return Next Week: Ready or Sleepy?

TIGER WOODS WILL RETURN to golf next week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, an event he has won three times, including last year.

“Elin and our new son Charlie are doing great,” Tiger said at his Web site. “I’ve enjoyed my time at home with the family and appreciate everyone’s support and kind wishes.”

Is Tiger ready?

“I’m now ready to play again,” he said.

OK. There you go.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is also ready.

“We are delighted that Tiger is returning to competition and look forward to watching him compete next week,” Finchem said in a statement.

But maybe Tiger also just needs a good night’s sleep. You know?

−The Armchair Golfer

Related:
Exclusive interview with Tiger's Left Knee
Tiger's Left Knee speaks on U.S. Open prep

(Photo: Roadsidepictures/Flickr)

NEW: Twackle Is for Golf Tweets

OCTAGON, A SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT AGENCY, informed me that it has developed a cool new tool.

“We recently developed a new site called Twackle that aggregates Twitter messages from and about sports teams, players, leagues … ,” wrote Tiffany Chan, Product Manager of Octagon Digital.

It includes aggregating golf tweets. See the Twackle Golf Tweet widget in the right-hand sidebar just below the Subscribe to ARMCHAIR GOLF button. I tried it and it works great, although I accidentally did a double tweet (oops!).

Follow ARMCHAIR GOLF
Please also consider this your invitation to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/armchairgolfer

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, February 18

ARMCHAIR GOLF Briefs

(Annais/Flickr)

A bevy of golf products, services, events, news and more. Endorsement is not implied.



PGA Merchandise Show
• Ian Poulter introduced his new Ian Poulter Design Collections.
• Golf in 2016 received more than 1700 votes at the show.
• Dr. Joe Parent previewed layouts of his new book, Golf: The Art of the Mental Game.
• James Symons of Delaware discovered the first iPod Touch in Phoenix Environmental Care’s “Touch This And Win!” promotion and was the lucky winner of an iPod Touch.
• Ocean Waves Golf featured the new Jack Nicklaus Signature Sunglass Series.
• SkyGolf introduced IntelliGreen Pro and Hole View technologies designed for the SkyCaddie SG5 and entire family of SkyGolf Rangefinders.
• The Mexican Tourism Board featured Mexico’s premier golf destinations and events, including the PGA Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Mayas’ El Camaleon Golf Club; the Tres Marias LPGA Tour’s Corona Morelia Championship, at the Residential Golf Club in Morelia Michoacán.
• Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer has teamed with renowned golf instructor Hank Haney.
• Paul Azinger is using the Bionic Glove, and is the first tour player to have a glove-only deal.
• Gogie Girl is a stylish and sporty headwear line designed exclusively for women by women.
• GPSI unveiled the Inforemer® Management Solutions system HD/MAX and more of its product line.
• Slotline® has brought back its popular Inertial putter.
• FiZGOLF introduced the FiZ DT Combination Divot Tool/Golf Ball Cleaner.

Other
• The Transitions Championship For Healthy Sight on the PGA TOUR, which takes place March 16-22, 2009 at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, is looking for volunteers to assist with the event.
• James Symons of Delaware discovered the first iPod Touch in Phoenix Environmental Care’s “Touch This And Win!” promotion and was the lucky winner of an iPod Touch.
• The second printing of Golf’s Red Zone Challenge written by Charlie King, the Director of Instruction at the Reynolds Golf Academy, and Rob Akins will be released in April.
• Fujikura was the winning driver at the FBR Open and Dubai Desert Classic.
• Forte Promotion offers promotional items such as an All-in-One Golfer's Caddy, Keyring with Divot Tool, Golf Bag Water Cooler, and a BALLZEE Golf Ball Cleaner.
• Izzo Golf has launched an affordable SWAMI GPS.
• YES! Golf has introduced two new putters, the Tracy III Plus and Lizzy Plus, featuring Interchangeable Hosel System.
• The Sabona Q-Link bracelet, which combines Q-Link’s proprietary SRT-3 technology with the elegant Sabona design, is available in both a men’s and women’s model.
• MVP Textile and Daymond Willis Holdings have announced an alliance with to expand green products to the Green Grass Golf Market.
• Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine named The Cliffs No. 5 among America's Top 100 Places to Live.
• Orlando’s Rose Shingle Creek Golf Club is offering the “Stay and Play, Dine and Unwind” Package. The club also offers a special rate for military personnel.

−The Armchair Golfer

2009 Northern Trust Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

The 2009 Northern Trust Open gets underway on Thursday at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

Purse: $6.3 million
Winner’s share: $1.13 million
Defending champion: Phil Mickelson

Inside the field
Inside the course
PGATour.com picks

2009 Northern Trust Open Leaderboard

TV SCHEDULE

More than 12 hours of TV coverage are on tap for the 2009 Northern Trust Open.

Thu, 2/19:
GOLF 3p - 6p ET

Fri, 2/20:
GOLF 3p - 6p ET

Sat, 2/21:
CBS 3p - 6p ET

Sun, 2/22:
CBS 3p - 6:30p ET

Radio coverage

−The Armchair Golfer

Golf Writer Art Spander Wins PGA Lifetime Achievement Award

ART SPANDER HAS BEEN NAMED the recipient of the 2009 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, the 20th individual to receive the honor.

Spander has covered 120 major golf championships in a sportswriting career that spans nearly 50 years. Beginning his career in Los Angeles, he has worked for the United Press International (UPI), Santa Monica Outlook, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner. Spander has been on hand for the last 42 Masters.

“It’s a great group of people who have preceded me in receiving this award, and when I view the list of honorees on a wall at a PGA Championship, all I can say is ‘wow!’ To me this is our profession’s hall of fame,” Spander said.

Spander will be honored April 8 at the 37th Golf Writers Association of America's Annual Spring Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta, Ga.

PGA Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Recipients

1991 Dick Taylor
1992 Herbert Warren Wind
1993 Jim Murray
1994 Frank Chirkinian/Bob Green
1995 Dan Jenkins
1996 Furman Bisher
1997 Jack Whitaker
1998 Dave Anderson
2000 Jim McKay
2001 Kaye Kessler
2002 Nick Seitz
2003 Renton Laidlaw
2004 Bob Verdi
2005 Al Barkow
2006 Ron Green Sr.
2007 Jack Berry
2008 Marino Parascenzo
2009 Art Spander

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, February 17

LPGA Star Angela Stanford Is a Spoiler

ANGELA STANFORD IS A NICE PERSON. Really. But that hasn’t prevented her from being a spoiler on the LPGA Tour.

Late last season Angela battled and defeated sentimental favorite Annika Sorenstam down the stretch at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. On Sunday at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, the victim was LPGA Tour rookie and Hawaiian native Michelle Wie.

“Only a mom could say this,” Angela said. “She said I spoiled Annika’s last tournament and I kind of spoiled Michelle’s first one. So I’m use to wearing the black hat, so it’s OK.”

Angela had a stellar amateur career in high school and college. As a junior golfer, she won the 1996 PING Texas State Junior Championship. As a collegiate golfer at Texas Christian University, she won nine tournaments and was a four-time All-American.

A solid performer on the LPGA Tour, Angela’s three wins in her last seven starts have vaulted her to No. 6 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

For her most recent win, Angela credited her putter.

“I think overall I controlled my speed very well with the wind and … the different conditions, rain here and there, so I think putting was the key.”

Despite spoiling the debut of Wie, Angela had encouraging words for her young rival.

“I think I would tell her you are playing the hardest game in the world,” Angela said, “so … you’re going to have to have a little patience and know that you’re one of the most talented players to come along in a long time. So just keep putting yourself in contention because it’s going to happen.”

Stanford File
Turned pro: 2000
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas
College: Texas Christian University
World ranking: 6
LPGA Tour wins: 4
Major wins: 0
Equipment: PING

−The Armchair Golfer

Brought to you by The World of Golf and ARMCHAIR GOLF STORE.

(Quotes courtesy of ASAP Sports FastScripts; LPGA Tour photo)

Monday, February 16

ARMCHAIR GOLF Roundtable: Hogan, Snead and Nelson

Editor’s note: These are real quotes and comments. The questions are made up. Welcome to the ARMCHAIR GOLF roundtable.

At the roundtable:
Ben Hogan – 64 PGA Tour wins, 9 majors
Sam Snead – 82 PGA Tour wins, 7 majors
Byron Nelson – 52 PGA Tour wins, 5 majors

Q: Gentlemen, welcome to the roundtable. Ben, let’s start with you. After all the rounds and practice sessions, tell us something you have learned about this game.


BEN HOGAN:
Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.

Q: Byron, how about you? What about the game comes to mind?


BYRON NELSON:
Golf is a lot like life. When you make a decision, stick with it.

Q: Sam?

SAM SNEAD: Playing golf is like eating.

Q: Eating?

SAM SNEAD: It’s something that has to come naturally.

Q: Ben, it didn’t come naturally for you. You constantly worked at your game.

BEN HOGAN: Very few times in my life I laid off two to three days. It seemed like it took me a month to three months to get back those three days when I took a rest. It’s a tough situation. I had to practice all the time.

Q: Byron, were you a natural like Sam or did you have to work hard on your swing?

SAM SNEAD: When I swing at a golf ball right, my mind is blank and my body is loose as a goose.

Q: Thanks, Sam. Byron, any swing secret?

BYRON NELSON: Swing the club as though you were driving 60 miles an hour on the freeway. Not too fast, but not deathly slow. Once in a while, if the risk isn’t great, you can push your swing to 70, but never go faster than that.

Q: Ben, it’s well known that putting was not your favorite part of the game.


BEN HOGAN: There shouldn’t be any cups, just flagsticks. And then the man who hit the most fairways and greens and got the closest to the pins would be the tournament winner.

Q: Sam, are you with Ben on this?


SAM SNEAD: I shot a wild elephant in Africa thirty yards from me, and it didn’t hit the ground until it was right at my feet. I wasn’t a bit scared. But a four-foot putt scares me to death.

Q: How about you, Byron?


BYRON NELSON:
Putting affects the nerves more than anything. I would actually get nauseated over three-footers.

Q: You all had humble beginnings. Talk about that.

SAM SNEAD:
People think growing up in the hills was a handicap I had to overcome. In a lot of ways it gave me an advantage that has lasted me to this day. Just like with that stick, I’d have to overcompensate for just about everything.

Q: Anybody else?

LEE TREVINO: My family was so poor they couldn’t afford any kids. The lady next door had me.

Q: Lee? I didn’t see you come in. Any final thoughts, gentlemen?


LEE TREVINO:
I used to go to the bar when I finished a round. The kids today go back and practice.

SAM SNEAD:
The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.

BYRON NELSON: I tried to give my best to golf.

BEN HOGAN:
Don’t ever get old.

LEE TREVINO: The older I get, the better I used to be!

Q: Thanks Ben, Sam, Byron and, um, Lee.


−The Armchair Golfer

(Source: The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations, published by Skyhorse Publishing.)

Dustin Johnson Bags Rain-Shortened Pebble Beach Event


DUSTIN JOHNSON, shown above at the U.S. Open, was declared the winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Monday when rain wiped out the final round. It was Johnson’s second PGA Tour win in 36 starts.

−The Armchair Golfer


(Photo: The Gordons/Flickr)

Sunday, February 15

Rainy Days and Monday Finishes Always Get Me Down


The 18th hole at Pebble Beach on a nice day. (Swang/Flickr)

I FLIPPED ON CBS late this afternoon and Phil Mickelson was leading the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Wait a second. What happened to Dustin “Long Ball” Johnson?

Weather delay. They were showing a replay of Lefty’s 2007 victory at Pebble.

“Rains are expected to continue Monday, but the key element will be the strength of the winds, which were the decisive factor in wiping out Sunday's play,” reported PGATour.com. “Wind gusts up to 60 mph caused dangerous situations for players and spectators, prompting tournament officials to try again Monday.”

In fact, they might not get it in, which would make it the first rain-shortened Pebble event since 1999 when the late Payne Stewart won.

No “W” for Wie. Michelle Wie was in the driver’s seat at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay until she knocked her tee shot into a water hazard on the 11th hole. Things unraveled from there, and Angela Stanford raced past the Hawaiian to claim her third LPGA title in her last seven starts.

P.S. CBS just wrapped its coverage, and Phil Mickelson is still the 2007 winner.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, February 14

Betty Jameson Was an LPGA Pioneer

I CAN’T SAY I KNEW of Hall of Fame golfer Betty Jameson until Don Van Natta brought her to my attention today in an email. Jameson was one of 13 women who founded the LPGA in 1950. Others included Patty Berg, Louise Suggs and Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

Jameson died a week ago in Florida. She was 89.

Don called Jameson “one of the game’s first glamour girls,” and had the good fortune to interview her for his upcoming book on Zaharias.

“Betty gave me an amazing interview for Wonder Girl in south Florida in late 2004, and I stayed in touch with her a bit,” Don told me. “She won the 1947 U.S Women's Open in Greensboro, N.C. − she shot a seven-over par 295, the first time a woman had broken 300 in a 72-hole tournament.”

The LPGA began with 14 tournaments and less than $50,000 in prize money. This year the women will play in 30 tournaments in 10 countries for nearly $55 million. Jameson helped make it possible.

“She was very funny and had an interesting love-hate relationship with Babe,” added Don.

Jameson won 10 events on the tour and made about $90,000, good money in those early years. Famed golf writer Herbert Warren Wind was so impressed by her accuracy that he compared her to Ben Hogan.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, February 13

King of Golf Cartoons: ‘Thaw’


Copyright © Jerry King. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

DO TV IMAGES OF TORREY PINES and Pebble Beach drive you golf crazy in the winter months? Or are you someone who, like Big Shooter, plays no matter what?

I haven't played golf since early fall, although I could have comfortably played this week with temperatures reaching near 60 degrees in the Mid Atlantic.

−The Armchair Golfer

Jerry King is an award-winning cartoonist whose credits and clients include Golf Digest, United States Golf Association and Disney. His golf cartoons are featured weekly at ARMCHAIR GOLF.

Thursday, February 12

Free Admission to 17 PGA Tour Events (Including Pebble Beach)

FREE ONE-DAY ADMISSION to 17 PGA Tour events is in the bag. The Datrek golf bag, that is.

“Datrek® … is now offering free tickets to PGA Tour events around the country, with the introduction of the Datrek 2009 PGA Tour Season Pass Promotion,” the company announced in a news release.

“The promotion enables golfers, who purchase specially marked Datrek golf bags at select retail locations nationwide, to receive a PGA Tour Season Pass, providing a free one-day admission to 17 selected PGA Tour events.”

Following are the events, dates and locations:

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Feb. 9-15, 2009
Pebble Beach, CA

Mayakoba Golf Classic
Feb. 23-Mar. 1, 2009
Cancun, Mexico

The Honda Classic
Mar. 2-8, 2009
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

WGC-CA Championship
Mar. 9-15, 2009
Doral, FL

Puerto Rico Open
Mar. 9-15, 2009
Puerto Rico

Shell Houston Open
Mar. 30-Apr. 5, 2009
Houston, TX

Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Apr. 20-26, 2009
New Orleans, LA

THE PLAYERS Championship*
May 4-10, 2009
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Valero Texas Open
May 11-17, 2009
San Antonio, TX

Stanford St. Jude Championship
June 8-14, 2009
Memphis, TN

John Deere Classic
July 6-12, 2009
Silvis, IL

Buick Open
July 27-Aug. 2, 2009
Grand Blanc, MI

Legends Reno-Tahoe Open
Aug. 3-9, 2009
Reno, NV

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Aug. 3-9, 2009
Akron, OH

The Barclays
Aug. 24-30, 2009
Jersey City, NJ

THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola*
Sept. 21-27, 2009
Atlanta, GA

Viking Classic
Oct. 26-Nov.1, 2009
Madison, MS

*Practice rounds only

−The Armchair Golfer

2009 SBS Open at Turtle Bay TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

The 2009 SBS Open at Turtle Bay started today at Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii.

Purse: $1.2 million
Defending champion: Annika Sorenstam

Tournament preview
Complete field
Course information

2009 SBS Open at Turtle Bay Leaderboard

TV SCHEDULE

Seven hours of TV coverage are on tap for the 2009 SBS Open at Turtle Bay.

• Feb 12 : GOLF
6:30-8:30 PM ET

• Feb 13 : GOLF
6:30-8:30 PM ET

• Feb 14 : GOLF
6:30-9:30 PM ET

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, February 11

Watch ‘Uneven Fairways’

AT THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW, I enjoyed a special treat: a preview screening of Uneven Fairways, a Golf Channel documentary about the Negro leagues of professional golf.

(Lee Elder)

The program profiles the African-American golfers who were not allowed to compete on the PGA Tour due to the Caucasian-only clause (finally removed in 1961). So the men started their own tour, the United Golf Association (UGA).

The show consists mostly of interviews with players such as Charlie Sifford, Pete Brown, Jim Thorpe, Calvin Peete and a few others (James Black, for instance) who you probably have never heard of (and won’t soon forget). There’s also historic footage, including film of the legendary Ted Rhodes and Bill Spiller.

Three of golf’s giants − Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods − also pay tribute to golf’s African-American pioneers. Samuel Jackson is the host and narrator.

After the preview screening, I shook the hand of Pete McDaniel, who co-wrote Uneven Fairways, and is the author of Uneven Lies and a Golf Digest columnist. Well done, I said. Maybe you’ll agree. But first you have to watch.

“Uneven Fairways” airs tonight (Wednesday, February 11) at 9 p.m. on the Golf Channel.


View trailer

−The Armchair Golfer

2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

The 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am gets underway on Thursday at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills and Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

Purse: $6 million
Winner’s share: $1.08 million
Defending champion: Steve Lowery

In-depth look at field
PGATour.com picks
Course information
Celebrity list

2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Leaderboard

TV SCHEDULE

More than 12 hours of TV coverage are on tap for the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Thu, 2/12:
GOLF 3p - 6p ET

Fri, 2/13:
GOLF 3p - 6p ET

Sat, 2/14:
CBS 3p - 6p ET

Sun, 2/15:
CBS 3p - 6:30p ET

Radio coverage

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, February 10

The Telecast That Changed Golf

By John Coyne
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF

THE FIRST TELECAST of a golf tournament came in 1947, when the U.S. Open was transmitted to a local audience in St. Louis. George May at Tam O’Shanter would go nationwide with his telecast in August of 1953.

I had been at Tam earlier that Sunday as a spectator on the final day of the renamed World Championship of Golf, and had just returned home in time to catch the final half hour of the tournament on television. Television then produced only a grainy black-and-white image and there wasn’t really much to see of the event.

May had placed a single television camera atop the grandstand at the 18th hole. Harry Wismer, I’ve learned from research, was the announcer up in the tower and he had just turned over the microphone to a guest, who happened to be Jimmy Demaret.

They were watching Lew Worsham (pictured above on Golfing) coming down the final fairway. Worsham needed a birdie three to get into a playoff with Chandler Harper for the $25,000 first prize − at the time the biggest payoff in golf. Worsham hit a perfect tee shot into the middle of the 18th fairway. He had 120 left to the green. The green was elevated, fronted by a small creek, and well guarded by old oaks.

Demaret, as I recall, did the announcing as Worsham studied the shot, selected a wedge, settled into his address, and was ready to swing. Then Demaret and everyone in the crowded grandstand behind the hole fell silent. Across America it would later be estimated two million people watched Worsham play his shot.

Lew hit a low, driving wedge − I didn’t see it in the air, but caught sight of the ball as it came up and across the narrow creek. It hit into the front edge of the green well short of the pin. Then it began to roll. It rolled for nearly sixty feet − raced across the green − and dropped straight into the hole for an eagle two and an outright win.

There were perhaps 10 seconds of dead quiet as the camera followed the flight of that ball, its long roll, and then the TV silence was broken by Jimmy Demaret’s first golf color comment on live television: “Well, I’ll be God damned, he sank it!”

With that eagle, everything changed for golf as television casted its electronic glow across the fairways of the professional tour. A year later the U.S. Open would be on TV, and in 1955, the first Masters telecast.

Many who follow golf remember Tiger Wood’s chip at the 16th at the Masters and the anguishing slow roll of his Nike ball into the cup for a birdie.

There have been holes-in-ones, and amazing approaches and putts to snatch victory at the most unlikely of times. But those of us who have been around a few years will always first recall Lew Worsham’s amazing eagle at Tam O’Shanter in the summer of ’53.

John Coyne is the author of
The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan and The Caddie Who Played with Hickory. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Monday, February 9

My Wife Breaks Tiger Baby News to Me


The proud father. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

HOW DID YOU HEAR about the birth of Charlie Axel Woods? My wife told me. That’s right, my wife. It’s a perfect reminder of the enormity of Tiger Woods.

“Oh,” she said this morning while I was sipping my first cup of coffee. “Did you hear that Tiger and his wife had their baby? It’s a boy.”

My wife knows a few things about golf through ARMCHAIR GOLF osmosis, but most of it escapes her like a bad slice in a crossing wind. But she knew about the birth of Tiger’s second child. Before me. (Not that I have a problem with that.)

It does makes me wonder how many people on the planet who know little or nothing about golf know that Tiger Woods is now the proud father of a baby boy. I’m going to take a wild stab and say 3.1 billion.

The legend just keeps growing.

−The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, February 8

Nick Watney Wins at Tiger Pines


Nick Watney. (Photo courtesy of Lexus)

IF RIVIERA IS HOGAN’S ALLEY, then I dub Torrey Pines “Tiger Pines” since Tiger Woods has won seven of 12 events in La Jolla, six Buick Invitationals and one epic U.S. Open.

Of course, with Tiger sidelined someone else had a chance to win on his turf. That someone turned out to be the opportunistic Nick Watney as third-round leader John Rollins hiccuped down the stretch.

I felt badly for Rollins, but Watney, aided by solid tee shots and a strong putter, hung around. For example, Watney made an amazing right-to-left breaker on the par-3 16th hole for a birdie. When Rollins made a messy bogey for a two-shot swing, it was game on. Rollins and Watney were suddenly tied and Camilo Villegas was just one back.

At the reachable par-5 18th hole, Watney safely found the green in two with a hybrid. Rollins, however, yanked his approach, leaving himself a nasty short-side bunker shot that rolled 12 feet past the hole. Rollins missed, and Watney two-putted for the win.

Watney File
Turned pro: 2003
Birthplace: Sacramento, CA
College: Fresno State University
World ranking: 180 (before Buick Invitational)
PGA Tour wins: 2
2009 PGA Tour earnings: $1,108,093
Equipment: Titleist

−The Armchair Golfer

Brought to you by The World of Golf and ARMCHAIR GOLF STORE.

Saturday, February 7

Separation at the Buick Invitational



WITH THE THIRD ROUND UNDERWAY, Camilo Villegas and John Rollins have separated themselves from the pack at the Buick Invitational. Both players currently stand at 11-under par, five shots clear of Nick Watney and Paul Goydos.

Villegas hit only four fairways in the second round, but a hot putter kept him at the top of the leaderboard. The Colombian is bidding for his third PGA Tour win.

Tournament notes.
The cut mark was 146, two-over par. Phil Mickelson made it with four shots to spare.

David Duval watch.
Several people have stopped by in search of information on David Duval. David missed the cut in his first two 2009 starts at the Bob Hope Classic and FBR Open, although he did card three 68s and a 70 at the Hope. Unfortunately, his 14-under total fell short of the 72-hole cut in the 90-hole event. His next scheduled event is the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, February 6

King of Golf Cartoons: ‘Longest Course’


Copyright © Jerry King. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

WHAT’S THE LONGEST COURSE you’ve ever played? How about the longest course you’ve ever walked?

I remember a golf course in Victorville, California, when I played on the high school golf team. A hilly layout in spots, the Green Tree Country Club wove through high-desert neighborhoods. The walks from green to tee were long expeditions across asphalt and between stucco suburban houses. It was a test of endurance, even at age 17.

If I remember correctly, there was also lots of OB, not good for someone with a shaky driver.

−The Armchair Golfer

Jerry King is an award-winning cartoonist whose credits and clients include Golf Digest, United States Golf Association and Disney. His golf cartoons are featured weekly at ARMCHAIR GOLF.

Thursday, February 5

Q&A: No. 1 Ball in Golf at PGA Merchandise Show

LAST WEEK TITLEIST RETURNED to the PGA Merchandise Show for the first time since 2003. In a telephone interview, ARMCHAIR GOLF talked with the Titleist Pro V1® about its appearance at the show and outlook for the new season.

Q: How was the show for you?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
Spending all that time indoors on those synthetic surfaces is always kind of weird, but I do the promotional work without complaint. It’s part of the deal. I accept it.

Q: Any highlights?

TITLEIST PRO V1: Paula Creamer.

Q: Lowlights?


TITLEIST PRO V1: Cuts to the expense account.

Q: Talk about your outlook for this season. Are you concerned about the economy?


TITLEIST PRO V1: Not really.

Q: At the merchandise show, Lorena Ochoa said players need to commit to make an extra effort in the current economic environment.

TITLEIST PRO V1:
Who?

Q: Lorena Ochoa.

TITLEIST PRO V1:
Oh, Ochoa. Nice kid. But she doesn’t play me, a real shame.

Q: Do you think you also need to make an extra effort?

TITLEIST PRO V1: You’re joking, right? I go to the merchandise show, do all the commercials, compete and win on worldwide tours week in and week out. You want me to do more? I can’t believe my agent agreed to this. I’m the No. 1 ball in golf. I think that speaks for itself.

Q: Just asking the question. Maybe we should switch gears. What’s your favorite grass?

TITLEIST PRO V1: Bentgrass. Nothing feels better.

Q: What about Bermuda? I know you spend a lot of time in Florida, especially in the winter.


TITLEIST PRO V1: I’m allergic to Bermuda. I love Florida, though.

Q: Really? That’s kind of odd, isn’t it? A golf ball allergic to Bermuda grass.

TITLEIST PRO V1:
I don’t have any control over how I’m made or what goes on at the factory. All I can tell you is Bermuda makes me itch like a Cub Scout with a bad case of poison ivy.

Q: How are you able to compete in all those tournaments played on Bermuda?

TITLEIST PRO V1: I take something for it. Are we about done?

Q: Last question: What can you tell us about Rory McIlroy?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
He won at Dubai, of course. Great kid, great talent and he plays me, so he has a bright future.

Q: Thanks.

TITLEIST PRO V1:
You’re welcome.

−The Armchair Golfer


Related:
Q&A: The No. 1 Ball in Golf

Wednesday, February 4

Award-Winning Cartoonist Jerry King Coming to ARMCHAIR GOLF

Jerry King with singer Amy Grant. (Photo courtesy of Jerry King)











JERRY KING IS ONE of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today. Jerry’s work has appeared in thousands of greeting cards, magazines, Web sites, books, newspapers, newsletters and children's books.

Jerry’s credits and clients include Better Homes and Gardens, Golf Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, National Enquirer, Woman’s World, United States Golf Association (USGA), Disney and American Greetings.

I’m pleased to tell you a Jerry King golf cartoon series is coming to ARMCHAIR GOLF. Starting on Friday, follow the hilarious golf adventures of “Big Shooter,” a new weekly feature at ARMCHAIR GOLF.

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, February 3

Private Golf Clubs Lower Age Requirements


(Dan Perry/Flickr)

IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT to bolster revenue, private golf clubs are taking extraordinary steps to recruit new members and golfers. Many, in fact, are revising their membership criteria, including the abandonment of long-held age requirements.

One thing that hasn’t changed is locker room trash talking, even from the youngest new members:

Exhibit A

The times we live in.

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, February 2

A Fourth Wedge and New Putter for Lorena Ochoa


Lorena Ochoa’s aggressive move requires special neck exercises.
(Keith Allison/Flickr)


ON FRIDAY AT THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW, Lorena Ochoa demonstrated and talked equipment while PING representatives (including CEO John Solheim) basked in her glow. I had a front-row seat at the PGA Equipment Forum Stage, just a short distance from where the world’s No. 1 woman golfer whacked 7-iron, driver and hybrid shots into a net.

“I’m a little bit nervous,” Lorena said with a grin.

Wearing a fuchsia Lacoste polo, brown slacks, and white golf shoes and cap, Lorena flew her first 7-iron shot so high into the net that she wondered if she might clear it on subsequent swings. She is definitely a high-ball hitter. (The loft of her driver is 7.5 degrees and she still manages to hit towering drives.)

According to PING’s nFlight clubfitting system, Lorena’s clubhead speed was 110 m.p.h. Her yardages: 7-iron, 148 yards; driver, 238 yards (shorter than I expected, but maybe she didn’t “catch” it). Lorena also struck a hybrid that traveled 200 yards, bringing a smile to her face. Lorena told the audience her coach wants her to hit the hybrid 200. She did it!

Lorena got her start in golf at age 5. As a PING representative happily pointed out, she began playing with PING clubs around age 10 and has been using them ever since, including in all 24 professional victories.

Equipment Changes


Lorena said she makes all equipment decisions in the offseason so she can fully concentrate on tournament golf during the season. Lorena has made some significant equipment changes for the 2009 season. For one, she will take her 5-wood out of the bag to add a fourth wedge.

It’s very important to have different shots around the green, Lorena said. She is an aggressive player who plans to be even more aggressive in 2009. That means going for more par-5s in two in search of easy birdies. When Lorena misses the green with her long approaches and finds all types of lies, that fourth wedge will come in handy.

Another significant change is a new PING putter, a Piper model. When asked about the difference, Lorena said, “This one, I’m going to make more putts.” (Audience laughter.)

Lorena went on to say the Piper has a bigger head and is easier to keep on line. Her goal is to be more solid on the six-to-seven footers that are crucial for adding birdies to her scorecard.

‘I Hit It Hard’


Not particularly tall and definitely slender, Lorena is one of the longer hitters on the LPGA Tour. “I hit it hard,” she said.

How does she generate so much clubhead speed? Both a PING rep and Lorena chimed in. One, she is athletic, and two, she has very quick hip movement, which creates more speed.

Lorena talked at length about fitness. “Being strong and in good shape is more important than people think,” she said. She runs, lifts weights and does many golf-related exercises. “Medicine balls are good,” Lorena noted.

Pro Golf and Economy


Lorena was asked about her thoughts on the economy and its impact on golf. She said it was important to “commit to make an extra effort to work with sponsors and promote the game as players.” We must do our best and not complain, she added.

Case in point: Lorena traveled all the way from Guadalajara, Mexico, just to attend the event. Of course, she didn’t mention that fact. PING did.

More Tidbits

• Lorena plays PING S57 irons.
• Being a role model for Mexico is a “big responsibility.”
• Lorena’s fiancĂ© doesn’t play much golf and “isn’t very good.”
• PING is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

−The Armchair Golfer

Brought to you by The World of Golf and ARMCHAIR GOLF STORE.