Thursday, August 28, 2008

European Tour to Mandate All Members Speak European

In a stunning response to the LPGA's new policy about enforced proficiency of the English language for its players, the European Tour has announced that all of its members must be able to speak conversational European by 2011.

Meeting before a large group of reporters, Tour CEO and fluent European speaker George O'Grady began, "Good morning, danke schoen, bon jour, -ello, hola..." O'Grady had planned on detailing the specifics of the policy, but after spending thirteen minutes just welcoming reporters in various languages, he had used up his allotted time and was called away to another appointment.

Back in America, certain players remain worried that the PGA Tour may implement a policy of their own. Chief among those fretting the move is Boo Weekley, who isn't sure he would pass an English proficiency test despite the fact he's a native of the United States.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fore Right's RYDER CUP Solutions...

With one week to go before Paul Azinger makes his four Captain's picks for next month's Ryder Cup team, I figured I'd help. Forget finding the "hottest" golfers. After not having the cup since 1999, the U.S. needs the most intimidating men in the world of American golf.

I offer up the following suggestsions:

1) Thomas Shaulis: Two nights ago a 47-year-old man was jogging in eastern Pennsylvania when, unprovoked, Shaulis reportedly walked up to the man and hit him in the shoulder with an iron. Shaulis has a long police record and regularly tussles with police.

Perfect For: Singles match against Sergio Garcia.

2) Scott Cole: The 43-year-old was driving his golf cart while heavily intoxicated down a Michigan street on June 14th (clearly celebrating Tiger's 12-foot birdie putt to force a Monday playoff at the US Open) when a police sergeant tried to stop him. He ran over him, saying he didn't realize he was a police officer.

Perfect For: "Accidentally" running over Henrik Stenson's wrap-around sunglasses.

3) Raymond Yi: This isn't a recent story, which is good becaue it means Yi is most likely out of prison by now. Three years ago, Yi, a reserve deputy in the sheriff's department, allegedly pulled out his badge and brandished his gun in an effort to get the foursome in front of him to speed up. This came after hitting multiple balls into the slow group. Said a worker at the course: "You're allowed 14 clubs and a gun isn't one of them."

Perfect For: This one should be obvious. Put him in the group behind Padraig Harrington.

4) Name Currently Withheld by Police: This 19-year-old was held and then released by authorities in Hawaii earlier this month on suspicion of making and setting off explosives on Windward O'ahu golf course. Who's to say it all wasn't just an homage to Carl Spackler?

Perfect For: Well, it's always good to have some youth on the team, but this teen's best asset will be rendering a European victory null and void by blowing up the 18th hole at Valhalla before the final point can be won.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two Months Off...

The last time I played a round of golf was June 25th. I did go to a golf shop and hit three balls into a net last week, but my two-year-old son covered his ears and said, "Stop! It's too loud!" For people on the East Coast, going so long without playing is typical in the winter, but as a Californian, this is a first for me. How do you snow-dwellers deal with this?

With the 3rd draft of the book almost done, I will hopefully venture out late next week and see what happens. My hope is that my muscle memory has suffered amnesia and has reset my swing to 1994 when I was still good.

**A late congrats to Carl Pettttttttterssssson for the win in Greensboro last week. Anyone catch that bizarre accent of his? Carl was born in Sweden, but moved to South Carolina in high school. The result is best classified as Euro-Twang.

**On Geoff Shackelford's always busy site, he is running a caption contest from a few days back when Phil Mickelson rang the opening bell on Wall Street. My favorite entry so far is: "Of course there's a closing bell, Phil. But we, uh, we just assumed this one was, um, a better fit..."

**I feel some obligation to mention the FedEx Cup, but can't muster the interest. Maybe by Saturday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is Dave Pelz Really Emperor Pelz?

A recent piece by Golf World's John Hawkins (coupled with Phil Mickelson's performance in the 4 majors) has me wondering if it's time for the world #2 to cut ties with Dave Pelz before he loses complete control over his game. In Hawkins' words, Pelz "has some strange control over Mickelson's psyche, an ability to push his buttons without noticing the destructive consequences." How can Pelz not notice it?

Phil has always been a wonky guy when it comes to equipment, but with Pelz and his obsession with statistics, it seems Mickelson has only slipped further away from the feel player that made him so magical over his career. Among Phil's nutty moments in 2008: no driver at the U.S. Open... claiming the insert on his putter is too soft because he changed to a softer ball... even saying that he is an inch taller than he was two years ago.

Pelz must be stopped before Phil, like Vader, completely succumbs to mechanics.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Are Oakland Hill's Par-3's Too Long?

I have tried and failed to find anything to make fun of about today's 1st Round at the PGA Championship (although who says golf without Tiger is boring -- Ken Duke is in 4th place!)

Anyway, I just feel compelled to say that I don't understand the gnashing of teeth by Tour pros over Oakland Hill's 9th hole: 257 yards and 17th hole: 238 yards. Lee Westwood, who was a favorite this week, shot 77 and when asked about the 17th, said:

"If the wind gets up you won't get there. I hit a three-iron and Zach Johnson hit five wood on 17. I sound as if I am moaning which I am but it is a great shame as it is a fantastic golf course, they are great greens and they are playable but there is no need to play it as it is."

He's upset because he had to hit a 3-iron? Or is it because he shot 77? Or perhaps it's because he failed to make the U.S. Open playoff by a stroke and failed to catch Vijay last week at Firestone even though Vijay putted like Frankenstein.

The par-3's are long, the course is probably set up a little too penal and the graduated rough should have been employed here too, but at this point, so what? It is what it is. Get your ball into the hole in the fewest strokes that you can.

Book Announcement...

Hello there, remember me? I just turned in my last full draft of Follow The Roar. The next week or so will be a few last small changes, but the bulk of the work is done. I look forward to cluing back in to the world of professional golf. What tournament is this week, anyway?

Thanks for your patience.