Friday, May 14, 2010

Rice DQ-ed

Jerry Rice was disqualified today because his caddie used a rangefinder. I'm disappointed for him and am not surprised at his comments. He took ownership for the error, "a rookie mistake that I made." I'm glad he didn't blame it on his caddie or say his caddie should have known better.

It also sounds like he's no longer going to play on the Nationwide Tour. "Because I can't commit to golf the way I want to, this is probably my last Nationwide Tour event," Rice said. "These guys, they're working their butts off and they deserve to be out here."

I worked with his agent for three months to find time to do our interview. I knew where each of them were by following their Twitter posts. During that time, he was going to the Super Bowl, going to a DeBartolo wedding, getting inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, doing an event for Gillette, practicing for his first tournament, and I'm sure many other events that I didn't know about. I certainly understand why he doesn't have the time to commit to the game.

And he was well aware that he was taking another pro player's spot in the field. He wanted to do well because of it. As I said yesterday, I have no doubt if he had the time to commit to golf, he'd make the cut on the Nationwide Tour at some point. Remember that this is the guy that dropped so many balls in his rookie year and was seen crying in front of his bench after a game. He works hard and after speaking with him, I can see why he broke so many records on the NFL.

Jerry, I hope you finish this weekend and play as a celebrity.

Pebble Beach is Ready for the US Open

The US Open is going to be played at Pebble Beach on June 14-20th. I've played Pebble twice and look forward to seeing the course and all of its changes. Check out the changes and the beautiful pics:

Are you going to Pebble to watch the tournament? I have gone to Pebble and Olympic to watch the big tournaments. Everyone should see the pros hit balls live... it's so different than on t.v.. You get to hear the sound of a sweet shot and see how fast the ball comes off the clubface. But it's hard to follow your favorite player and get a good view. There's an excitement in the air though that's like no other. Can only imagine what it's like at The Masters.

Mark your calendars!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jerry Rice's Woes on the Course

Living in the Bay Area, I was a fan of Jerry Rice's when he played for both the 49ers and the Raiders. He was amazing to watch as he caught balls and then ran for more yards after the catch than any other receiver. Some say he's the best football player ever and who can argue with that? In August, he's going to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility.

Jerry has gone pro as a golfer. He played locally in the Fresh Express Classic, a Nationwide Tournament, and finished second to last. This weekend he's playing in South Carolina, and shot a 92 in the opening round of the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

He's gotten some criticism about taking a burgeoning, hard-working pro's spot in tournaments. When I spoke to him for my latest product, he was aware that people might feel that way, and was sincere in his desire to make the cut. A friend played with him at the Fresh Express Pro-Am, and said he can work the ball, hits shots pretty pure, but his putter isn't quite at the pro level.

After talking with him, I have no doubt that he'll make the cut of a pro tournament eventually. He's on a steep learning curve; yet with his dedication, work ethic, determination, and pure love of the game, I know he can do it.

If you're wondering how it was to talk with him, there was not an ounce of ego or arrogance. We met a few weeks after we talked, and he gave me a kiss and a hug at the Pairings Party. He's a gentleman and a self-avowed addict of the game! Keep positive, Jerry!

Tips to Avoid Slow Play

I found an article about how to speed up your play. Check it out at:

I have a couple of additional tips. First, limit your practice swings to 1-2. I've stood and watched people take 3-4 practice swings and I'm sure one of those would have been a better shot than their actual (and eventual) swing.

Second, don't stand over the ball at address for too long. I played behind a guy who stood over the ball and took the term "address" to a whole other level. My playing partners started counting how long his address was and it was 20-30 seconds before he hit the ball. You're familiar with that saying, "Paralysis by analysis." It doesn't help you stay relaxed and have a smooth swing, if you're standing like a statue before you take your swing.

Slow play is very detrimental to the game. When people complain they don't have time to play golf, slow play is a contributing factor. It's unnecessary and you really don't make friends with your playing partners if you play slowly and hold your group up.

I'm not saying you have to run through the course, but if you follow these tips, you should speed up your play. Play well and play more!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life Plays Out on the Course

My handicap index has been the highest its been in a long time. I was at a low of 9.9 after last year's season, and I'm starting this season at 13.0. I've been busy with my latest project and distracted by working with vendors (some great and some horrible). And, my life has showed up on the golf course. Scoring higher, hitting poor shots, and just distracted with everything that was going on. Since the project has been completed, I can thankfully say my game is back to normal more or less.

Look at what's been going on with Tiger. If you watched Tiger in his last two tournaments, you've seen shots that we've never seen before from him--pop ups with a 3-wood, missing 2 footers, and even not making the cut. He's obviously very distracted with his life right now. The latest being his bulging disk in his neck (which I can empathize with him because I have one too) and his long-time swing coach, Hank Haney, resigned today.

The lesson I'm learning from my poor play these last few months is I need to be not so hard on myself when I'm not playing well. Besides weather and wet conditions being a factor with some high scores, I was also not focused on my golf game. Now that things have calmed, I'm swinging more smoothly and slower, and suddenly hitting the ball well again.

So if you've got stuff going on in your life, and your game isn't its usual best right now, be understanding and look forward to the days of playing well again when things settle down.

Play well and play often!