Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can You Play By Yourself During a Competition?

We have an interesting situation at my golf club going on. On Thursday, we played the first of a two-day tournament. On the first day, the score for the team is the best net ball of two teammates. On the second day, the best net score for each hole from both days is taken for the team's score.

On the first day, several people noticed a team was playing alone, i.e. there was no marker playing with them to ensure their score was correct. (See Rule 6-6 a.) We've questioned the pro shop as to why they were allowed to play, without a marker, especially given the history of the particular two-some. We're awaiting the resolution.

If you should happen to play in a competition, and for some reason find that you're playing by yourself, you have to ask for a marker. If you play your best and shoot a low score, your score will look suspect because you didn't have a marker, a witness to your great playing. (See Decisions on the Rules 6-6a/1 and 6-6a/2.) If you don't have a marker, you will be disqualified and your great playing will be for naught.

By the way, the two-some shot a net 59, 14 under 73 par. It's too bad they didn't play with a marker, so there would be no doubt as to the legitimacy of their score.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Painful Finish to The Open

I was so hoping that the first TW from Stanford could sink that 10 footer on 18 for the victory, but it had no chance. Such a disappointment and such a let down.

Then, to watch the four-hole playoff was even more painful as Cink sank pars and another birdie on 18 while Watson had bogeys and worse. Just not a way for Watson to finish a tournament that should have been his on 18.

Can't take anything away from Cink though as he birdied 18 to take the clubhouse lead and force a playoff. Congratulations, Stewart Cink, on your first Major and what a memorable one it will be!

I liked Watson's talk of spirituality during his press conferences over the weekend. He felt that something else helping him during this tournament, and was willing to admit it. Whether it was his long-time caddy or whomever, he had a guiding hand with him from afar. I'd hope we've all had that feeling. Don't know where it comes from and it's hard to describe, but you have that sense things will go your way that day on the course. Congratulations, Tom, on showing golfers that youth isn't everything in golf, and maturity in life will always serve you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do you have golf rage?

Have you been a victim of golf rage? Yes, like road rage, it's where someone on the golf course, perhaps even a playing partner, gets enraged at something you said or did and that person gets physical (or threatens doing so) with you.

According to a NY Times article, incidents of golf rage are becoming more common.

Those folks need to take a deep breath and focus on why they're playing the game -- for the fun of it. That's the f-word that I use when talking about golf. I know it can be frustrating, but if it's not fun any longer, then that's when I need to take a break from it.

As we've been reminded this last week with several celebrity deaths, life is short. So, whether playing for business or just recreation, have FUN with golf!

BTW: No one chose Lucas Glover as the winner of the U.S. Open. Congrats, Lucas! On Thursday, the Open Championship starts. Here's the t.v. schedule. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Women's U.S. Open Starts Today

Today is the first round of the US Women's Open. Unfortunately because of the existing qualifying process, both Natalie Gulbis and Michelle Wie won't be playing in it. They're two of the most popular women in the LPGA, but are not on the course this weekend.

This week's tournament is being played on the Old Course of Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, PA. I played there last year with the Lehigh University's women's golf coach when my niece was considering attending Lehigh. It's a beautiful traditional golf course with ties to Bethlehem Steel. Its founder started Saucon Valley and it's a sad to see the empty high rise of the former company.

Check out the Women's Open this weekend, especially during some tumultuous times at the LPGA. Several top players sent a letter to the LPGA asking that Commissioner Carolyn Bivens resign. Commissioner Bivens and the LPGA are discussing a buyout of her two years remaining on her contract. She made few friends with questionable edits involving the press, long-time sponsors of the LPGA, and Korean players. With the economy and loss of additional tournaments, the top players decided a change was needed.

Here's the t.v. schedule:

Today and tomorrow: ESPN 2-6 p.m. ET
Weekend: NBC 3-6 p.m. ET


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Two Friends and Two Victories with a Pond Between

I awoke early this Sunday morning to watch Wimbeldon's Men's Championship between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Torn between wanting Andy, the American underdog and comeback kid, and Roger going for his 15th record-setting Grand Slam victory, I just wanted a close match. It wasn't just close, it was epic with the fifth and deciding match going to 16-14 games. Amazing tennis!

I had a 10:36 a.m. tee time at my club and wasn't sure if I'd make it to watch the finish. I set two VCRs to make sure I didn't miss the finish. I was thrilled to be able to see the finish at our Pro Shop with Federer victorious.

As I teed off, my foursome was still talking about the match. My Dad is soon to be 81 and has never played tennis, but he watched as much of Wimbeldon as he could. He teed off first and suddenly I was thinking golf. Before I left my home, I also set the VCR to record the final round of Tiger's tournament and wondered if Tiger knew his friend won today. If so, I knew it would spur on Tiger.

After my round, I went into the Clubhouse and found Tiger was chipping on 16, and sunk his birdie to take a one-shot lead. It was no surprise to see Tiger also victorious today.

I can only imagine the text messages between Roger Federer and Tiger Woods! Congratulations, Roger and Tiger!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Final day Sunday is going to be an exciting onoe with Tiger and Anthony Kim tied at the top of Tiger's tournament.

I loved seeing the American flag on flagsticks today. I don't recall seeing that in past tournaments on this day.

I always learn a golf tip when watching a pro tournament. During today's broadcast was talking about your golf swing and your putting stroke are the same tempo. He was commenting about a player having a hard time with his swing, and that one's swing shows up identically on that person's putting stroke. It reminded me of the importance of staying positive and confident when playing golf. And, not giving short shrift to one's mental game.

Stay positive and stay well!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tiger's Tournament Blasts Off

Tiger is hosting the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, which started today. He hopes to be a "greedy host" and take the trophy home this week, which would be fun to see.

“Hopefully people come out, not only to watch the players, but also to say thank you to all of the servicemen and women who are coming out here,” Woods said. “If it wasn’t for them, what they are doing overseas, things might be different here.”

I have always admired Tiger's support of our troops and the military. I love the symbolism of holding the tourney during the 4th of July weekend and in Bethesda, MD, near our country's capital. When asked to speak at the Inauguration, I wondered if he'd use it as an opportunity to talk about how he and Obama were of mixed race and their respective accomplishments. Instead, Tiger made a speech about his admiration of the military.

Perhaps his father's influence includes imparting the love of not just golf, but of the military and our country. Or maybe he's traveled the world and he sees no other country that gives us the freedoms that we have, which includes a guy being able to earn nearly a billion dollars because he can sink a little white ball into a hole with fewer strokes than others.

I hope the press touts Tiger and his salute to the troops with this tourney, especially those wounded in action, since they have talked down golf recently. The press seems to like to promote divisions, whether black versus white, pro- or anti-military, or high- versus low-income. They have a chance now to talk about how golf brings people together to strengthen relationships and raise money or donations for good causes. I hope they take it.

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!