Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why Daly is a Fan Favorite

John Daly is playing in the final round of the BMW PGA Championship in England today. The good news is he's attempting to make a comeback. He's lost forty pounds and has a sponsor for those loud pants that he wears.

Today though he's wearing pink trousers in honor of Amy Mickelson and her battle with breast cancer. It's a sweet gesture from a guy who has a lot of demons of his own to fight. Keep up the great work, John!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fred Astaire--Dancing and Swinging

A friend sent me this YouTube clip and it's amazing to watch Fred Astaire dance and hit balls at the same time. You can fast forward to 1:22 when he takes clubs into his hands.

He's supposed to have been a 22 handicap. He certainly makes it looks effortless for him to dance and hit the ball at the same time.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is This Statistically Possible?

I played in a Ladies Invitational today, and I'm hoping someone can run the numbers on this for me. I'm not a poor loser when I lose to a plausible score. But I have to question how a team can shoot 106 for two best net balls when par is 144. That's 38 strokes under par, or 19 strokes under per each side! Somehow this team shot two net birdies for eight holes, and on the other hole, the team shot one net birdie and one net eagle. They had to do this, or the equivalent, on both sides!

You must be thinking this must be a team comprised of four scratch golfers. In fact, they're not. Lowest handicap index is 8.1, the highest is 26.6, and the other two are about 14.5. They also only took 95% of our handicap, so the number of strokes we all received were even less.

Perhaps, there was a mathematical error and it should have been 116. Or, they played a different format than the rest of us. In any case, I find it hard to believe this score is correct.

If you're wondering, the second place team shot 118 and the rest were in the 120's. If you crank out the probability of a team shooting this score, please let me know.

On a much more serious note, it was reported today that Amy Mickelson has breast cancer, and Phil is on a layoff indefinitely from the Tour. My best wishes to her and her family as she fights this awful disease.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Golf and Banks

I had a conversation this morning with a gentleman who was involved with an investment bank that used to host an outing at the Masters. Given these days of criticism for banks involved with golf, this obviously occurred in the past.

In any case, the bank invited 40-60 guests for a very expensive outing at the Masters. It was extravagant, but it was worth it to the bank. The bank knew when those guests had to decide on a bank to finance a future transaction that interest points wouldn't be the make-or-break factor.

The bank knew that future deals would be made on likability, trust, relationship, service, and the like. The non-quantifiables that an invite to a memorable Masters outing would bring.

For that bank, it was a fruitful business expense because one deal out of the 40-60 guests would pay 30 to 40-fold the cost of outing. The CEO of Goldman Sachs says it best,"[T]here's a business purpose for the round of golf; it's not as if people within Goldman Sachs are playing with each other when they should be laboring at their desks. We're engaging with our clients in a context in which people can be more friendly, share more information, become closer — all with a commercial purpose, which is in the best interest of our shareholders. There was nothing wrong with it then, but it does have a different feel in the context of so much distress."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Steady Stenson

The last time I wrote about Henrik Stenson was when he stripped to his shorts to hit a shot in a water hazard. Today though he was flawless and victorious at The Players.

Stenson explained he was hitting the ball well, and he managed himself well. Commentators talked about his hot temper. In 2001, while playing in a tournament, he walked off the course at the 9th hole. He's obviously matured.

Tiger on the other hand has exposed himself in another way. I don't recall seeing him miss so many shots that we're so used to watching him hit. He claims that he knows what the problem is with his swing, but he can't do it yet. Given his nine months off and a new knee, it's understandable, even for the Tiger, to have this inconsistency. The good news for him though is he can play two weeks in a row without his knee being in pain.

Congratulations, Henrik! The U.S. Open will be exciting in six weeks indeed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Phil's Memories on TPC Sawgrass #10

During lunch, I watched The Players and saw Phil Mickelson chipping across the 10th green. Although a downhill chip, it was pretty surprising to see his chip roll across the green into the rough on the other side. Brandel Chamblee talked about Phil not doing well on this hole in the past; in particular, Phil had a five putt on that green!

I've never had a five-putt. And, I would have guessed Phil hadn't either until I heard Chamblee's comments. I'm pretty certain Phil wasn't thinking about his five-putts when he hit his chip shot, but it still makes you wonder.

The leaderboard is surprising thus far. I'd love to play that course, especially #17. I'm sure there will be some great golf in the next few days! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sergio and The Players

Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel was talking about how Sergio Garcia, the defending champion of this weekend's tournament, The Players, has lost the joy of playing golf. He observed that Garcia seems to take his close losses, especially in the Majors, too much to heart. He said Sergio has forgotten that he's playing a game that he loves, and he should go out and have fun again.

Then, he mentioned a sports psychology statistic that I thought you might find helpful when thinking about your golf game. He said it takes eleven positive thoughts to overcome one negative thought. So, for every bad shot that you can't forget, you have to have eleven positive shots that you can recall.

From now on, I'll have to discipline myself to remember only my positive shots on any given hole, as I go through my pre-shot routine.

To watch The Players this weekend, here's the t.v. schedule, which starts on Thursday. By the way, do you wonder why The Players is often referred to as the "Fifth Major"? It isn't an official Major (like the Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open, and the PGA Championship) because it's not considered an official event on the European Tour, while the other four are considered as such.