Thursday, March 30

New Golf Site:

Day 159 without playing golf

Tony Korologos (aka Mediaguru and publisher of the highly popular Hooked On Golf Blog) has pioneered a new online golf concept:

Think of it as the golf equivalent of myspace. Network with your favorite people -- golfers!

You can include personal profiles, business profiles, photos, golf information and much more. It's all free. If you're a golf enthusiast, hustle over there, take the tour and sign up.

Here's how Tony said it came about:

"A little less than two months ago I was driving down the street when this new Web site idea hit me. The thought blew me away so bad I almost drove off the road. The idea: Build a networking site like myspace for golf. I couldn't get home fast enough..."

Notice he said two months ago? Tony went from concept to launch in very little time (and apparently with very little sleep). Check it out.

The Armchair Golfer

P.S. Read more about at Hooked On Golf Blog.

Tuesday, March 28

Between Shots: Tiger on 60 Minutes

Day 157 without playing golf

I was reading the Houston Chronicle online today and they were bemoaning Ed Bradley's 60 Minutes interview with Tiger Woods. "Bradley tosses Tiger some softballs," they wrote.

Softballs? It was more like tee ball.

I didn't care. I was just interested in seeing golf's main man away from "the office." Just seeing Tiger wear something different than his Nike uniform was interesting to me.

Tiger might have got his nickname from his dad, but he got his killer instinct from his mom. She said you have to kill your opponent. Yes, she used the word "kill." Remind you of anybody?

Bradley asked Tiger what happened when he crossed his mom growing up. Tiger said, let's just say it was hard to sit down.

The Armchair Golfer

Monday, March 27

Ames Lets Clubs Do the Talking

Day 156 without playing golf

No need to talk about Tiger like he did at La Costa several weeks ago. This weekend, Stephen Ames let his clubs do the talking. Boy did they talk. Ames just did the grinning -- all the way around that demon TPC Sawgrass layout.

Ames' final round 67 was nothing short of splendid. Winning by six, the guy was other-worldly. Meanwhile, the rest of the field coughed and wheezed its way to a final round stroke average of 75.

Ames put the 9 and 8 WGC debacle in his rear view mirror. That ca-ching, ca-ching sound is his $1.4 million paycheck. He also bagged some big-time exemptions.

At the trophy ceremony, Ames said he was going to Disney World on a family vacation. I guess.

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, March 22

Anatomy of the Yips

Day 151 without playing golf

I didn't see much of the Bay Hill Invitational last weekend. I was too busy watching March Madness with my cousins in Indiana.

But I did see Greg Owen gag on the 17th green. He missed that three-footer for par and then tried to slam dunk the two-foot come backer.


I always hate to see it, even if I'm rooting against the person who does it. It makes me feel uneasy.

Although I don't play much golf any more, I can relate to standing over those short ones when you have a brain cramp, sweaty palms, dry throat, etc., etc. We've all been there, haven't we?

Play golf a bit and you soon realize you have to learn how to pull the trigger even when your insides are churning.

On the greens, I always wonder if it's better to finish out before you think too much about those short putts, or to slow down, mark and go through a routine. I still don't know the answer.

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, March 17

Golf Rule of the Week

Day 146 without playing golf

Q: If a ball is covered by sand in a bunker, may a clubhead be used in searching?

A: Yes.

The Armchair Golfer

(Source: USGA)

Wednesday, March 15

Golf by the Numbers: Pre Masters Edition

Day 144 without playing golf

Estimated number of times CBS will call Augusta National rough "first cut"

Age at which Jack Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket

Estimated number of times Bobby Jones has rolled over in his grave due to course changes

Number of Masters practice round tickets I applied for

Number of favorites to win this year's Masters

Number of Masters practice round tickets I got

The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, March 14

Masters Madness

Day 143 without playing golf

I don't know about you, but the only thing I'm really looking forward to right now in golf is The Masters. Sure, The Players Championship can have some drama. But let's face it, everything is a warm-up until The Masters.

Should the field just concede to Tiger now? Will someone -- anyone -- rise up and challenge Mr. Woods? I hope so. Golf is pretty boring when one guy after another swerves into the ditch when Tiger is in the rearview mirror.

As great as Jack was, there were several fellows (Trevino, Miller, Watson) who had the Titleists to take him on. I'm so ready to see someone challenge Tiger on the big stages in golf.

Maybe this year, maybe this April. Let's hope.

The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, March 9

The Lady Bombers

Day 138 without playing golf

Note to David Toms: Don’t look now, but the ladies are gaining on you. Check out these driving averages from the 2006 LPGA Tour statistics:

Karin Sjodin: 295.3
Natalie Tucker: 290.7
Brittany Lang: 287.8
Sophie Gustafson: 281.8
Brittany Lincicome: 280.2
Minea Blomqvist: 280.2

"There's no doubt in my mind swing speeds are increasing," David Leadbetter, who coaches Wie and several others on both tours, told USA Today.

"Certainly with the equipment nowadays they can go at the ball a lot harder without fear of going that much off line.

"There's a lot more emphasis placed on torsion and coil and leverage. Basically, the women are being taught very much along the same lines as the men," Leadbetter said.

"You don't have to consider strength as a factor so much. These girls are working out like fiends. It's a trend that's going to continue."

The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, March 8

Between Shots: Toms Peers Into the Future and Sees Yellow Pants

Day 137 without playing golf

“You know, I kept looking at Villegas out there in those yellow pants, about 340 yards down the middle, in front of me every hole,” said David Toms.

“I said to Calcavecchia, ‘Man, that’s the future of our tour.’ These young guys are just bombing it out there and having fun playing golf in front of all these people. More power to them. I wish I could do it.”

The Armchair Golfer

(Source: Golf World, February 10, 2006)

Saturday, March 4

Singing the 'I Only Hit It 290' Blues at the Blue Monster

Day 133 without playing golf

There's unrest in the locker room at Doral. The course is set up for the super power hitters. And some players are reacting like they got sand kicked in their faces.

This excerpt from USA Today:

Exhibit A this week: Doral Resort and Spa's No. 18, a hole that used to epitomize the Blue Monster course and annually rank high on the PGA Tour's list of 50 toughest. With the tee box pushed way back, many players find the landing area unattainable where the water pinches the fairway at the point where the dogleg turns left.

"I just don't think it's fair," said Toms, who shot 6-under-par 66 and was two strokes behind first-round leader Tiger Woods and one behind Villegas. "Why do I have to hit into whatever that little fairway is and a third of the field can just hit it as hard as they want to?"

Joining Toms lament, Lee Janzen noted that this is a weekly issue on Tour. Again, USA Today:

Toms and Lee Janzen said Thursday that locker room chatter has increased on the issue of holes being big-hitter friendly. Janzen broke out his yardage book and showed 289 yards to the water's edge, meaning about a 305-yard carry to a landing area that's at least three times wider.

"Just another example," said Janzen, who opened with an even-par 72. "We see it week after week. The guys who hit it 290 -- and that's not chopped liver -- are getting penalized for not being able to hit it 320."

"Drive for show, putt for dough"? How about, "Drive to survive, putt to thrive"?

The Armchair Golfer

Friday, March 3

Golf Rule of the Week

Day 132 without playing golf

Q: A and B are playing a match on a handicap basis. B has the honor at the first hole. Both players score 5's at the 1st hole but A receives a handicap stroke and therefore has a net 4. Does A take the honor at the 2nd hole?

A: Yes. See Rules 2-1 and 10-1a.

The Armchair Golfer