Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wie Update

I just learned that Michelle may have re-injured her wrist today, which is why she withdrew. There is another reason why she might have withdrawn. If you're an LPGA member and you shoot 88 during a tournament, you are not allowed to play in another LPGA tournament for one year. Although Michelle is not a member of the LPGA yet, I wonder if that was another factor in her withdrawing today?

Watch Coverage of the 12th Hole at The Memorial Online

If you're at work and can't watch The Golf Channel's coverage of The Memorial, check it out online. It's available at It is only of the 12th hole, but you can at least watch some of the tournament and hear what's happening.

Wie Withdraws, Too

In her first tournament, since her wrist injury, Michelle Wie played in the Ginn Tribute, an LPGA tournament. With a score of 14 over par, she quit after 16 holes. She announced to an LPGA Official, "We're not going to play anymore." After shaking hands with her playing partners, she rode off the course with her caddie and her parents.

Unless she was injured or sick, I don't understand why she had to leave after 16 holes. She should have had the grace to finish playing 18 holes and not disrupt her playing partners. I'm sure many of us has felt like leaving in the middle of the round because our game is off, but we don't. Although if she was playing that poorly, it might have helped her playing partners for her to leave.

Nonetheless, the most telling is that her parents were hovering around her during the tournament. I've always questioned Michelle's decisions to play in men's tournaments and wondered who was making those decisions. She has always said it was her, and not her parents or manager. You just have to wonder.

I hope this young lady can survive whatever is going on (mentally, emotionally, and physically) and become a champion on the LPGA Tour. It would be shame to have her end up like Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan because of the pressures of her early financial success and notoriety.

Most of us think Hawaii is paradise, but for Michelle, Stanford may be a refuge from all of the pressure!

Mickelson Disappoints at The Memorial

The showdown between the Harmon protege and the Harmon student won't be occurring at The Memorial this weekend. Phil Mickelson had to withdraw because of a wrist injury after 11 holes. We'll have to wait until the U.S. Open to see the duel between those two.

In the meantime, Sean O'Hair is leading and I hope he continues to do well. He's a young man that you can't help but cheer on given what he has had to overcome with an abusive and clearly not legal savvy father. I'm sure Mr. O'Hair was surprised to learn he couldn't enforce a contract that demands 30% of Sean's winnings on Tour when Sean was only 15 when he entered the contract. Some laws are right on and there need to be laws against fathers like his.

Enjoy The Memorial!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wie Starting Early

I was reading an article that Michelle Wie has accepted a sponsor exemption to play in the John Deere Classic in July. My first thought was why is she insisting to play against the men on the PGA Tour, especially since returning from her wrist injury.

Then, I read further in the article that she donated $25,000 to a foundation for a local high school student who became paralyzed after a football tackle last year. It's her second charitable act following a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Golf Hurricane Relief Fund for Hurricane Katrina victims.

I don't agree with her choosing to play against the men when she's not proven herself yet against other women, but I respect her early start in philanthropy as a professional golfer.

Tomorrow is the start of Jack Nicklaus's tournament, The Memorial. The big guns will be there...Tiger, Phil, Ernie, Vijay, Zach Johnson, and more. One notably absent player is Rory Sabbatini, who is physically exhausted after his victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. It's too bad, since it'll be the first time to see Rory and Tiger playing against one another after Rory's "trash talk" about Tiger, which was so uncharacteristic in the golf world.

Enjoy the Memorial and play well!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Golf Cart Dangers

By now you've heard about the California man who took a 75' plunge off a cliff while driving a golf cart. It's no surprise that he didn't survive unfortunately. We all might want to go while on a pristine green of a beautiful course, but certainly not want it his way.

But, this cart event makes me want to share some other thoughts about carts. I drive a BMW and apparently my passengers don't quite enjoy the ride when I'm driving a cart. One playing partner threatened to get out and walk if I didn't slow down. She said she'd be a cripple if she had to sit with me for 18 holes.

So, I obviously take my speed-style driving onto the course and forget the suspension and handling of a golf cart is nothing like the Ultimate Driving Machine. I probably also take out my frustration with my game and drive aggressively to my ball. Needless to say, I'm more aware of my cart driving.

Another thing to be careful of is yelling while in the cart. I've been a passenger when my cart partner decided to yell something to our playing partners who happen to be on my side of the cart. While I may be a speed demon, at least I don't deafen my cart partner for several holes.

Just some thoughts to make it an enjoyable round for you and your partner. Hope you're enjoying daylight savings time and some beautiful weather on the course!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hooked on Golf

I'm honored to announce that I'm a columnist on Hooked on Golf is a radio and television program co-hosted by Mitch Juricich and John Abendroth. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mitch and John start their Saturday mornings between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. PST on KNBR 680/1050 AM talking about the world of golf. If you're out of signal range, you can listen to them online.

This month's article is for beginners who are confused about buying new equipment. Check out Are You in an Equipment Haze?

Hope you're enjoying your game!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Need Help Getting Out of the Rough?

When I played at Medinah last year, I hit into the PGA tournament-ready rough (4") several times and just used a 7-iron to hit out.

Since then, I've purchased a 4 iron-hybrid, that I just love to hit out of the rough and even off the fairway when I need to lay up. If you are having trouble hitting your long irons, then consider buying a hybrid. You won't be as upset when you hit into the rough if you have a hybrid.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Golf and Providence

Golfers can't deny that golf has an element of luck. It's the hole-in-one shot. Or, sadly a bounce left into the water, rather than the perfect shot.

After Scott Verplank's victory at Byron Nelson's tournament on Sunday, I thought of Tiger at the Open after his father died and Ben Crenshaw after Harvey Penick died. Each of these golfers were mourning the recent passing of a very close friend, mentor, and in Tiger's case, his best friend and father.

I don't know what happens to one's mental state when they are in grief--yet trying to win in a competitive individual sport like golf. Do they become more relaxed and are able to be that hard-to-fine zone easier? Perhaps they carry the burden of sadness, while recalling fond memories of their friend that is no longer.

Or, is it like Ben Crenshaw said after his victory at Augusta in 1995, "It was like he had fifteen clubs in his bag," referring to his friend, Harvey Penick who died days before the Masters began?

Whether its being more relaxed, increased concentration, or providence, it's nice to see men (and women) who are touched by a person's loss persevere and end up victorious. I can only imagine how much sweeter that victory is!