Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are You Reading Golf Magazines Too Carefully?

Do you enjoy reading golf magazines and all of the newest swing tips?

I do as well, but be careful. You might get overloaded with new swing thoughts and make a mess of your swing. If you read a tip that really seems to make sense to you, try that one and only tip on the driving range to see if it works for you. Don't try to incorporate more than one or two tips at a time. You'll only get confused and frustrated.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Never Again Another Tiger in Golf

I saw Tiger's interview after he defeated the rest of the field at Medinah Country Club to win his third PGA Championship. The rest were playing their own tournament of who would finish second. Like Mike Weir in 2000, Luke Donald, folded during the final round with Tiger. Is it the "Tiger Mystique" that causes his competitors to play mediocre, if not poorly, when they're in contention against Tiger? Absolutely.

The interview revealed to me how Tiger has developed the Tiger Mystique. First and foremost it's the unique characteristics of his mother and father who raised him with complete unconditional love. His father and best friend, Earl, was 42 when Tiger was born. He already had had three children with his first wife and he probably learned how to be a better father by the time Tiger was raised.

Tiger said he could score 1,000 in a round and his father would not have chided him, be disappointed in him, or love him any less. How many junior athletes now can say that about their father? Unfortunately I think few as the parents of this generation seem to live more through their children's successes on the field, and sadly some want it even more than their children. Most junior athletes today don't have the luxury to try different shots or swings like Tiger did without the fear of disappointing their parent or losing their love.

Earl Woods also was retired military where he likely learned discipline, commitment, and focus, without worrying about having to prove anything because of his race. Who else could have instilled those traits along with Tiger's ferocious work ethic, determination, and maturity? A silly question asked of Tiger was what he could tell his opponents to do when they are paired with him on a Sunday, so they could beat him. Tiger swatted that question away as if it were an annoying gnat by simply replying, with a grin, that he wouldn't say.

Why would he? But, more importantly, how could he? His opponents weren't raised by Earl and Kultida Woods, and later mentored on how to handle success by one of the most successful athletes in the world, Michael Jordan. I believe Tiger credits his mother as much for his success with her spiritual grounding.

Without the fear of looking sentimental, Tiger uses a head cover that his mother gave him. Written in Thai, it says she's always with him. Tiger beams his pearly whites as he describes how he looks at that head cover and feels his mother's presence out on the course. Tiger ever consider wearing a blue shirt on a Sunday of a Major? Never. It would mean the death (of course, figuratively) of Tiger at the hands of his mother. His fondness of red is because it's a power color and blue will never do.

Will Tiger smash Nicklaus's Major records of 18? Barring an injury, or surprising loss of interest by Tiger in golf, definitely. In 10 years, he's already two-thirds of the way there. A golf-focused, healthy Tiger will set new records of golf that won't be broken in my lifetime, if ever.

Simply said, they don't make them like they used to. There won't be another combination of parents that will raise another Tiger.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Golf is a Game of Integrity!

Recently I played in a match play tournament and my opponent played the match to a higher handicap than she actually was. She claims to have told me that she was the lower handicap, but I somehow agreed to "give" her an extra stroke.

Considering the golf slump that I've been in for the last several months, I wouldn't give her or anyone else right now an extra stroke. Instead of disqualifying herself for playing our match with a higher handicap, we're still waiting for a ruling from the tournament committee. Regardless of the ruling, I don't look forward to playing with this woman again (and certainly hope to never have to do business with her).

I'll keep you posted on the ruling about my match!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Playing Out of Your Mind

Today was the last round of my Club's Ladies Championship. I'm not the Champ, but I'm pleased with the way I played.

We started our Championship last Thursday, and I started to feel ill on Wednesday. Sore neck, scratchy throat. The second round on Saturday was worse with feelings of nausea and wanting to throw up. Today, I've practically lost my voice.

I started last week hoping to contend, but realistic since I was sick and in one of the worst golf slumps I've ever been in. Shooting 93 was a small victory for me because I didn't totally embarrass myself and come in dead last.

On Saturday, holding my stomach after nearly every shot and shooting 87 was a huge victory. Today, after shooting 10 on a par-4 on the fourth hole, I shot 90. I was so out of it on 4 that I said out loud, "Am I right-handed or left-handed?" as I looked at the ball in the weeds, debating whether to take an unplayable from there or putt the provisional that I hit.

I ended up finishing First Low Net and winning a beautiful silver bangle bracelet. It's not Club Champ, but considering how I was feeling for the entire tournament, I'm pleased that I could pull it together. I also think I didn't try to play well or hit those perfect shots. Instead I was trying to survive out there. I got my mind out of the way of what my body naturally knows what to do.

I hope to take that attitude to the course the next time I play!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wie Fires Caddie

It comes as no surprise that Michelle Wie has fired her caddie Greg Johnston. The chemistry between the two never looked very good. She was disqualified for an incorrect drop that he thought she did correctly. He also never helped her read putts, which Michelle's father has been rumored to have required. If true, that wouldn't make sense, since Johnston was a veteran caddie. She's young and will eventually find a caddie that fits her style and personality. Until then, we'll wait to see who she picks as her new caddie.