Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is Tiger Woods in not running out of money...

Mark Steinberg says simply that there is no debt on Woods' Jupiter Island home.

"Tiger remains one of the most popular and visible athletes in the world, demonstrated by television ratings, tournament attendance and various empirical polls," Steinberg says. "His endorsement future is strong and any additional partnerships will be announced at the appropriate time."

For the seventh consecutive year, has compiled a list of the 50 top-earning American athletes by salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees. The average earnings of those on the list have reached an all-time high of $26.2 million (up 11 percent from '09).

In a year in which Tiger Woods' image has been forever tarnished -- costing the perennial No. 1 tens of millions in endorsement dollars -- he still stayed ahead of the curve. Tiger's earnings were down more than $9 million from a year ago, but he still earned nearly $30 million more than the No. 2 athlete, fellow golfer Phil Mickelson.

Tiger WoodsGolf
2010 Year's Rank: 1

Salary/ Earnings $20,508,163
Endorsements $70,000,000
Total: $90,508,163

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Golden Wedge

Well the 2010 Golden Wedge summer match took place over the week of June 20th -26th. This year was a little different from the normal Golden Wedge tournaments. Generally they are one round matches and if you are playing with the holder of the wedge it is up for grabs. This year we decided to do it different It was 3 rounds of golf that would decide the 2010 Golden Wedge winner.

I’ll give you a little back ground on the Golden Wedge to help your understand the significance of holding it. In the late 1990’s my friends and I took up golfing, this included my dad, my brother and a couple of my closest friends. In the beginning we were all just about the same caliber of golfer and the matches were always close and anyone could win on any given day. In order to make the rounds interesting I went out and found an old sand wedge and painted it with golf paint and went to the trophy shop and had them make a name plate for the Golden Wedge. The wedge became a symbol of excellence, or a symbol of “I didn’t plat as bad as everyone else”. It is a piece of golf history, more than just mere bragging rights. The Golden Wedge is symbolic of victory, taking on your rivals and surviving their best shot. As the years have gone by some of us play less or have lost a little bit of our game so there are only a couple of us who legitimately have a shot of holding the wedge. (We may have to start playing with handicaps but that would be a major decision, like added the DH)

Well the last couple of year I have held the Golden Wedge, some would say I had it because of lucky, I would say it was fortunate timing. You see most of the guys live in NY where I grew up and now I live in Georgia. So when I go back home to visit if I win the Wedge I take it back to Georgia and basically have it for the year until I go back. In 2009 I lost it to my brother for a few weeks, he lives in Georgia also. However, he went up to NY and lost the Wedge to Dave who I in turn went and took the wedge from a month later. This is where the controversy begins. Last summer in 2009 I went up to NY for vacation and I played 5 rounds that included Dave. Well Dave won 3 or 4 of the rounds and on the last day before I left I won the final round and took the wedge back to Georgia. That happened like 3 years in a row, fine by me I got to take the wedge with me. So this year I decided it would be fair if we played it as a week long tournament for however many rounds we play and we would do a cumulative score to decide the winner. Well we ended up playing 3 rounds to decide to 2010 Golden Wedge champion and the following are some details to the tournament.

Round 1.
We played round one at Willowbrook Golf course in Lockport, NY. This is a course we grew up playing on and could play blind folded. After weeks of trash talking via text the match had finally began. Dave birdied the first hole and I knew I was going to have to play hard this week to take the wedge home. Well on #2 he missed a 2 ½ foot putt for par and I thought that would help because his psyche I now cracked. The round was pretty uneventful. We both played pretty poor that day with some good holes and bad holes. Dave finished the back 9 with a 37 and salvaged what was going to be a terrible round but at the end or the day I was up two. Me 81, Dave 83.

Round 2.
We played round two at Whirlpool Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Ontario. If you are in the area I would recommend you play this Stanley Thompson design. The course was great how ever the golf wasn’t. We both made some really bad numbers. I started the round with a birdie rolling in a 35ft putt and thought it was going to be a good day, not the case. I ended up losing my two stroke lead for the tournament and ending up being down two. Me 86, Dave 82. I was pissed at the end of the round because I checked out after about 14 holes and I left a couple of shots on the courses. If finished the round like Norman at the 86 Masters….

Round 3.
We played at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, NY. This was our final round of the day. I was the underdog at this course with Dave know it like the back of his hand. I have played the course about 15-20 times so I know it also but not like Dave. I knew I had to make up 2 shots and it was going to tough. The round started out as a battle, trading leads all day and I wasn’t able to make up and ground through the first 8 holes. I made up a stoke on 9 and I was feeling pretty good. The next few holes were a blur; Dave had a few really bad holes and all of the sudden I was up 4 strokes on the round and two for the tournament. I had 5 holes to go and I just need to make 5 pars and get out of there and head back to Georgia with the wedge. Well number 15 I lose a stoke, number 16 I lose a stroke and we are back to even for the tournament. On #17 I am on the green and Dave is over the green. He can’t get up and down for par and makes a bogey, I gift wrap him a present and 3 putt for bogie. We head to # 18 and I am pin high 12 ft away for birdie. Dave is dead in a bunker with a down hill lie to a pin that is running away from him. The match his over, Dave is looking at best to make bogie, but then he hit the most clutch shot he has ever hit. The ball come flying out of the bunker right at the hole, I am thinking its straight down hill its going to run 30 feet by. Boy was I wrong, they ball check and grab and almost went in the hole, it stopped about 8 ft away and Dave made a clutch par putt to put the match into a playoff. We finished the last round: Me 81, Dave 83. Tied after three rounds.

The Playoff was pretty tense. We decided on a 3-hole aggregate playoff. We tied the 1st holes, tied the 2nd hole and get to the 3rd playoff hole. This is kind of where I black out, all I remember was I channeled Jean Van de Velde. I topped a 3 wood on my second, hit a tree with my 3rd, on my 4th used my range finder and got the tree and not the pin and hit it 30 yards long. Needless to say I did not win the playoff. Dave may your stock par and I butchered my way to a 7 or 8 I can’t remember. It was an ugly site to see but there is always next year.

The Golden Wedge will reside in Western, NY this year but it will be back on Georgia next year, that’s a promise.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Need a foursome, umm maybe not.....

Be careful what you ask for…..

I ran into a situation last Friday where I wanted to get out and play on Saturday morning, but all of the guys I usually play with were unavailable to get out. The weather was supposed to be great so there is no way I was not going to get out and play. I work in a pretty big office so I figure there has to be someone who is available to play this weekend. I ask around and I get a lot of “no’s” and a couple of “I’d like to but I can’t maybe in a couple of weeks”. Well I need to play this weekend and I already had the tee time booked. So I have one more guy to ask we will call him “Steve”. I know Steve is somewhat athletic plays competitive tennis and is pretty good from what I hear. I occasionally hear him talking about golf and recently got into a conversation about golf with him and he seemed to know what he was talking about.

Steve said sure and took me up on my offer…. Great now I have a partner for Saturday!

Remember, I have never played with Steve before so I don’t know what to expect. He said hasn’t played much this year because of tennis and he has only played 4 rounds this year. He warns me "not real good, been shooting in the high 90's". I was kind of relieved I figured if he is in the 90's he can get the ball around the course at least so no big deal..... I think you know where this is going. He showed up with no golf shoes, a skeleton bag of clubs with two broken shafts stuck in his bag, about 8 Initech golf balls. He shot a VERY generous 61 on the front (more like 70-75 in you included drops, penalties, deciding he is just going to drop at the 150 marker in the middle of the FW, and picking up and saying... give me a 7) I will admit he shot a little better on the back he actually made a legit par and a legit bogey. On the 14th hole he hits one out of bounds deep into the woods; he has a worried look on his face. I say just hit another one, in a nervous/embarrassed voice he says “that’s alright; I didn’t realize I was running so low on balls”. Low???? Low has a different meaning for me, usually means only a few left….. HE WAS OUT OF BALLS!! I say to him “well I have some you can have don’t worry”. He says “Hey don’t give me any of your good ones” (yeah no kidding). So I give him a couple shag balls I had in my bag and he takes it right to the 150 marker and drops it in the fairway. His back 9 score on the card was a 52 (more like 60-65) When we tallied up his score it was 113 (eeerrr ... 130-140) and he says "man 113 that’s rough, at least I started coming around at the end" pheewhhhh!!! That was a lot more than I bargained for!

Three good things did come from this experience. 1.) I appreciate that he was willing to go and tee it up with me at last minutes notice 2.) It was nice to see someone who is struggling pick up his ball and not hold up play 3.) I learned that no matter how much golf balls cost I will never buy an Initech…

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Open Letter to my Putter

Dear Putter,

Hopefully this letter finds you doing well. It has been a few years now since we have had a good relationship and I am reaching out to you to extend an olive branch in hopes of rekindling the fond days of yesteryear.

We used to walk hand in hand on the putting green. We were a team, nobody could stop us. We were confident and fearless, we could handle any conditions. No matter if the greens were fast, slow, smooth, bumpy, wet, dried out, aerated, uphill, downhill, Bent, Bermuda or Poa Annua we knew the ball was going into the hole. Nothing got in our way; not a spike mark, old pitch mark or a poorly cut cup we were invincible.

Those days seem light years away; with each day that passes the memories grow fainter. I just want to what I did wrong? I have treated you well. I never have thrown or kicked you, I bought you’re a nice little hat to wear, I treated you with kid gloves and made sure you were kept in mint condition, I only grace your face with the sweetest feeling Urethane Elastomer cover golf balls, I have provided you with a place to stay in the high-end subdivision where the Driver lives, I just gave you a new grip, what else can I give you?

You have treated me like a putter scorned and your devastating revenge of the missed short putts; terrible lag putts and the dreaded 3 putts are tearing our relationship apart. I know I left you in the bag as I stepped away from the game for a few years but I promise there was nobody else.

Hopefully we can rekindle the flame of the days gone by. I am just asking for one more chance.


Me and my 38 putts

Friday, August 14, 2009

Extreme Putter Makeover

I was pretty sick of looking at my old Scotty Cameron putter that started to look old with some chipped paint and just an overall worn look.

I figured I would give it a makeover, here are the results.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where have all the grinder gone??

Where have all the grinders gone??

One of my pet peeves on a golf course is when a guy you are playing with “quits”. You know what I mean; he has had a few bad holes early and knows it’s probably going to be tough to post a good number and basically mails in the round. I find this so distracting and a bit disrespectful to the other guys in the group. Even if you think you are a mentally tough player it is pretty distracting to have a guy out there who is rushing through everything, not making a full effort on his swings. You know what happens, this guy doesn’t focus and hits bad tee shots, doesn’t watch where they go, spends 5 minutes trying to find it and it is a distraction.

What is even worse is when you are playing in a match; sometimes a small wager on the line but mostly bragging rights and your opponent starts off bad and packs it in. The reason they are doing this is so when the round is over and they have lost it doesn’t appear that they were playing there best game. I can’t stand this; maybe it is because I have been a grinder since I started playing golf. I think I was forced to be a grinder because I was never the best tee-to-green player but I usually was able to find a way to get the ball in the hole. No better feeling than turning 5 into a 4 by grinding. Its super easy to go out there and give up and go through the motions but if that’s the case then why are you even out there?

To be a grinder means to never give up on the shot, hole, round etc. I particularly like to think of grinding as something you do on a specific hole, I mean you could grind out a lot of holes in one round but hopefully you will mix in a few holes where you don’t have to grind.

Take this situation, you spay the ball to the right off the tee, now you have trees in the way no good shot at the green. You could be starring a bogey or double right in the face. Instead you find the opening that will allow you to put the ball in the best place to give you a chance at an up and down. You don’t take the hero shot that will cause you to make double or triple that’s not what a grinder does. A grinder plays every shot with full effort; they would hit that shot up near the green to allow them a chip and a chance to 1 putt for par. A grinder never quits, a grinder is a guy who’s scores is always a few strokes better than you thought it would be.

Grinders aren’t just your regular mid to high handicap golfers, a lot of grinders are low handicap golfer because they “know how to score”. Some pro golfers are grinders so its nothing to be ashamed of!! Padrig Harrington and Vijay Singh are world class grinders. Perhaps the best grinder in the world is Tiger Woods; even on his worst day of ball striking he can post a round under par because he will grind out every shot and knows how to get the ball in the hole.

This blog post goes out to honor all of the grinders who can put bad shots behind them and continue to work to get the ball in the hole.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hey! That's my parking spot...move!

So it’s that time of year again. Most clubs are getting ready to have their club championships and it is a weird time of year. We all want that coveted parking spot, but really only a few will ever really have a chance at it.. You run into all types of people at club championship, especially if you home course is a public course. You can usually break the club championship golfers into 4 types. I will break them down for you.

1. Non-Conference Schedule Golfer (Sand Bagger)- this is your typical “A” Golfer playing the ‘B” flight. His chances of competing in the “A” flight with the 1-3 handicappers are very slim so near the end of the season he gradually starts “sand bagging” his 6.4 handicap and works it up to a 10.1 just to make the cutoff line to qualify for the “B” Flight. Now this guy can go out and post a 75-77 any day of the week so going up against a bunch of 10+ handicappers he should win pretty easily. Most legitimate “B” flight golfers don’t stand a chance. So typically in the first round he will go out and shoot a 78 or 79 and be right at the top of the leader board. He is feeling good about himself knowing he has a good shot to win. Most guys at the club despise him knowing that all year long he played in the low handicapper’s skins game on Saturday mornings and faired pretty well. So second round of the tournament comes, the are a couple guys who shot around 80, needless to say that’s a pretty good tournament round for most “B” flight golfers. Most of them however can’t post back to back round like that so the scores start coming in 85, 86, 83, 88, etc… Well wouldn’t you know the Non-Conference Golfer shoots a smooth 77 to win the tournament by 7-10 stokes!! It is like in football when Alabama goes out and beats Louisiana-Monroe, nobody cares we all knew they were going to win. At the trophy ceremony they call his name, hardly anyone claps and he accepts the trophy and pro-shop certificates like he just went out and beat Tiger and Phil… These guys don’t make it for too long at one club before they know they aren’t welcome, then off to a new club they go.

2. Leave Me Alone it’s a Major Golfer – (This is where I would probably fall if I had to place myself, pretty pathetic) This is the golfer who waits all year for the club championship, about 2 – 3 weeks before the tournament he starts going out and putting in extra hours on his short game, hits the range a bit more than usual, some how thinks he can begin to “mentally prepare”. This guy is borderline loser/mental no matter how much he practices in those 2-3 weeks he is going to shoot the same score but he is still trying to “peak” for the championship. Then you have the actual tournament….. He has every brand new ball marked perfectly with his personal marking. He plays very methodical on the course (eerrr…SLOW), looks at putts from every angle and then has to take one more look. All of the sudden he now feels the need to carry a yardage book for a course he has play 500 times. What used to be a no-brainer 9-iron he has to walk it off and says I have 144 and a ½ to the front pin, hmmm, tosses some grass in the air, looks at the tree tops, grabs an 8 & 9 iron, looks back at the tree tops, for some reason looks back at the tee box, goes back to his bag grabs his PW and goes to his ball, now he backs out throws some more grass in the air and switches to the 9-iron before he finally hits the shot he has it over 500 times….. He is grinding, leaving no stone unturned, has his wet towel he takes to the green to make sure his ball is perfectly clean before he can grace it with his putter… You can even see the USGA rule book sticking out of his bag. Another thing He does is walk…. even though his bag is on the cart he walks by himself while his playing partner rides alone. He doesn’t want to talk to the guys in his group because that’s what Tiger does; beside this is “His” major….

3. The Old-Timer - These are the guys that every club has, they are like clock work. They go out and post the same scores they post all year consistent as ever, it’s because they don’t get all worked up for these tournament. The old-timers have been in so many club championships that they don’t get the jitters. They usually don’t win the championship but they are always in the money. You don’t see huge blow up holes from them. Same routine hit a couple balls on the range (maybe) whack a few putts and get to the first tee. They know they probably aren’t going to win so they don’t work themselves into a tizzy about it and they are able to play their regular game, beating guys who are better than them but can’t handle the pressure of their club championship… it happens everywhere.

4. Enron Guy – This is the guy who cooked the books all year by posting scores lower than he really shot so he could walk around saying he was a 2 handicap. Most of his rounds we by himself or his best round were at away courses with “some other guys”. He never played in any of the other tournaments throughout the year because he doesn’t want to shoot 82 in a tournament being a 2 handicap. Guys at the club aren’t really sure what to think about him because he doesn’t seem to want to play in the regular weekend games. He has been seen playing two shots in his casual rounds with 5 foot gimmes and playing winter rules all year round. Well round one of the tournament is “Handicap Accounting Auditing Time” it becomes very evident on the front nine that Enron is not a 2 handicap when he makes the turn at 44. The entire round is the same, way too many miss hits for a 2 handicap, more in-line with a 10. Bad short game, spraying the ball off the tee, finishes the back nine with a smooth 41 and post an 85 for the day, this puts him right near last place for the “A” flight. Most times Enron doesn’t even come back for the next round. Sometime he does and if he does he usually fairs about 2-3 strokes better and still finishes near last place. You usually won’t see them again until the club championship next year or sometimes they don’t come back at all.

Let me know if you run into other "that" guys at your club.....

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