Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Golfers as AP Athletes of the Year

Golfers got a boost as athletes this week. Tiger was named AP Male Athlete of the Year and Lorena Ochoa was named AP Female Athlete of the Year.

It's been 16 years since both athletes came from the same sport and 61 years since both came from golf. While Tiger captures his fourth award, Ochoa unseeds Annika who has won it for the last three years.

The AP writers pick their selections, male and female, from every sport. They base their choice on the athletes' contributions to the game, their performance within their chosen sport and their off field activities.

Congratulations to Tiger and Lorena!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Roof Surfing Not Allowed

NASCAR Champ, Jimmie Johnson, decided to be bold and surf on top of his golf cart while playing in a tournament. His cart partner drove over a berm and he was thrown off the roof of the cart several feet and broke his left hand.

While he can drive within an enclosed machine traveling nearly 175 mph, he would be certainly safer inside of a golf cart, even sans roll bar, helmet, and other safety equipment.

Moral of the story: Sit in the golf cart; don't sprawl across the roof of one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pace of Play Formula

The USGA has announced a formula for pace of play that works. In the ten national amateur championships it had a major effect in speeding up play. On average, the threesomes sped up by 30 minutes in their stroke-play events.

Here's how it works: Each group has to hit four checkpoints -- the fourth, ninth, thirteenth, and eighteenth holes -- in a certain allotted time, depending on the course, or stay within 14 minutes of the group in front of them once the flagstick is put back into the hole.

The first breach is a warning and then a Rules official will monitor the players in the group to see if the culprit is one player or if the entire group is the problem. If the problem is the group, then the second infraction is a one-stroke penalty for each player.

How I wished this policy was implemented at most courses, or at least during tournaments.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Big Easy Just Isn't So

In a rare moment of losing his composure, Ernie Els threw his club while playing in the Nedbank Challenge in his home country of South Africa. Els was fined the equivalent of $138, which he paid after the tournament.

I was disappointed to see the video. He threw the club end-over-end at least ten feet. And, then grabbed a club out of his tour bag, which was standing nearby, so vigorously that the bag fell to the ground.

I haven't read his comments about the incident, but it's not a good showing of etiquette and sportsmanship. I know he's just human and frustrated as he makes his comeback from his knee injury.

A pro who makes his living with every shot, I am more willing to excuse his club throwing tantrum. But if I was playing with a client who did the same, I'd have to question whether I'd want to continue doing business with this person. How would he or she react if there was a problem in our business together?