Friday, January 30, 2009

An Important random thought

Hey, it's Superbowl Sunday this weekend. WHO GIVES A SHIT!?!?

I'm quite sure that half of the bozo's who host/throw idiot Super Bowl parties are marginal NFL fans at best. However, given the chance to throw a sausage fest of a party with beer, nachos and completely un-skilled poker who wouldn't jump at the chance?

Go Ryan Moore!

2009 Canadian Course Reviews - Part 3

#9 St. Georges Golf & Country Club

February is almost here. You know what that means? Only two more months until we'll be out there with no timing, feel or swing for that matter. I can't wait. In this installment of my course reviews I decided to review the Top three courses on the Score Golf's Top 100 list. Although they are pretty tough to get onto unless you know someone, I suggest you try your best. In my opinion these really are the best golf experiences our country has to offer.

Hamilton Golf and Country Club - Since 1894 Hamilton has been one of the very best private clubs in the country. Re-located and re-designed by Harry Colt in 1914 Hamilton re-opened in 1916 and hasn't looked back since. Construction on a new nine holes began in 1973 and was completed a year later. With the addition of the "new nine" some changes were made to the old course and the courses were renamed for playing purposes, East, West and South. Hamilton has held a variety of major events recently hosting the 2003 Canadian Open. The course received rave reviews by the players, and for good reason. It's one of the very best Parkland style golf course you'll ever play.

St. Georges Golf and Country Club - St. Georges is my favorite course in the country. I've played hundreds, and it still is the one I most enjoy. Opened in 1929 St. Georges has been host to the Canadian Open four times, and the LPGA Classic five. The Canadian Open will again be held at St. Georges again in 2010. I'm positive it will receive similar reviews from the players like those from Hamilton. It's a simply stunning Golf course, on a simply stunning piece of property. Playing 7025 yards from the tips at a par of 71, you're sure to be challenged here no matter your skill level. It's impossible for me to even pick a favorite hole as they're all so good. It's no wonder there is a seven year waiting list for a golf membership there. I'm often a fan of Stanley Thompson designs, but this one is pure genius. I'd rank it number one every year if I had a vote, though it being in the top three pretty much every year should tell you something. I've never met someone who didn't enjoy this track.

The National Golf Club of Canada - If you enjoy punishment, then you'll enjoy your round here. The National is one of the toughest courses I've ever played, period. True I played it from the back, but it just wears you down. Everything is placed exactly where it should be. Bunkers are in perfect spots. The greens are as true as anything I've ever putt on, and the condition of the course is always spectacular. Yes, it's difficult to get onto, but worth trying to just once. I don't think I'd have the stomach to play this course every day. Anyone who loves golf though, will appreciate this piece of land.

There's a reason these three gems are always at the top of the rankings. You can't find better courses anywhere in the country. There are dozens of amazing clubs, but these stand head and shoulders above the rest. If you haven't already, make the trip and see for yourself.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's the weekend to be from Arizona

The Cardianals are in the Superbowl and the FBR kicks off today for what is sure to be one crazy weekend down in the desert. What a time to be from the Zona. I wonder if the Cardinals in the big game will affect the attendance of the FBR? If I was a betting man, I'd say there isn't even a chance. So before you head out to the LCBO or wherever you purchase your adult beverages, make sure you check out the following:

The Golf Girl and "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" Montgomerie hook up in France circa 2007.
Jason Logan shares his views on Nick Faldo among other things over at the Score.
Reporters with nothing at all to do get ripped on over at Ghostrunner.
Toronto sports and insight above and beyond with eyebleaf at sports and the city.

The 16th at the FBR is now entirely enclosed by bleachers with capacity for over 20,000 fans. All they need to do now is put a roof over it, add a jumbotron at one end and we'll be set. Do yourself a favour come Sunday. Everytime someone misses the green on 16, drink a beer. It's the only time of year it's allowed, expected and awesome.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are all the points across the Pond?

Many people probably hadn't heard the name Alvaro Quiros prior to his Qatar Masters win last weekend, but with his jump from #74 to #28 in the World rankings following the victory they'll be hearing it more. By winning he assured himself a place in the next couple of WGC events and a likely appearence at Augusta this Spring.

Chad Campbell tied for eighth at the Hope and actually fell four spots from #64 to #68. Runner-up in Qatar Louis Oosthuizen, Anders Hansen, who was T12 in Qatar and Hope winner Pat Perez all passed him. So even after a top 10 finish at the PGA stop, Campbell will now be hard pressed to make the top 64 for the Accenture Match Play. All this shuffling has fueled talk that the European Tour is the place to vault up the World Rankings.

In the past two weeks the European Tour has offered a substantially larger number of World Ranking points. For instance, Quiros received 54 points for his Qatar win, while Perez received 32 for this victory at the Hope.

Really this speculation is a mirage. Over the course of the entire season a victory on the PGA Tour will garner a player an average of 50.17 points while a victory across the pond will get you an average of 40.65 points. The strongest fields from last season were the four majors, the three WCG events and the Players. After those a dozen more PGA tour events were also stronger. The Strength of field is determined by a combination of the players ranking and their position on the money list for that tour. This recent swing on the European tour is really an anomaly and that's it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What makes them the best?

What is it that truly seperates the good, the great and the very best? Why is it that the same names are consistently at the top of the leaderboard? Is it a coindidence? What makes them so much different than the rest? A huge amount of talent is needed to rise to the top of any sport. A drive to be the best and the willingness to put in whatever it takes to get there is something else common among all great athletes.

There are hundreds and hundreds of amazing golfers. Many of the guys slumming it on the mini tours have just as much talent as many of the guys on the PGA Tour. For whatever reason, they just can't keep it together for four rounds, don't have the mental toughness or can't handle the pressure like others. The same can be said for many of the guys on the PGA tour. They're great players, some of the most talented in the World but even they struggle to keep their cards every year. Playing a great round of golf can be done. Hell, I've done it. You've probably done it also. Try doing it for four rounds in a row, with thousands watching you, on tougher courses than you'll probably ever see with your livelihood depending on just how well you play. Then, it becomes different. Of all the great players on all the tours across the World, there are but a few who have what it takes to be the very best. To be able to grind it out, week after week, tournament after tournament, when things aren't going well there are but a handful who have the thing that the best in every other sport share, grit.

Think of the very best players of all time. Those guys had true grit. It didn't matter how many shots back they were, how many they were ahead by or how good or bad the round was going. They always dug deep, deeper than you thought was even possible, and somehow pulled together a memorable performance. Just think of Tiger's 2008 performance at Torrey Pines. If that wasn't on of the grittiest performances you've ever seen. Then you're clearly lost. Or how about Ben Hogan's victory at the 1950 U.S. Open just over a year after a car accident that almost killed him. That, was pure grit. It's what seperates the great from the best. Look at any other sports and it's greats. Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Gordie Howe, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player...the list goes on, but I'm sure you get it.

If you don't have grit, all the talent in the world is useless.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Craziest place in Golf

Thanks Steve Stricker. Thanks for totally collapsing yesterday and allowing my favorite PGA Tour personality Pat "I'm a Jackass" Perez to walk away with the Hope crown. That quadruple bogey on ten really summed up your round yesterday. I was especially impressed by the snare into the water after blocking the first ball out of bounds right.

Thanks Vaughn Taylor. Appreciate the Sunday collapse yet again. What is it about Sunday's that make you unable to properly swing a golf club. How you were ever on the President's Cup team is confusing and scary. I'm making a promise to myself right now to never pick you in a golf pool again no matter how much value I think there may be in your price. Chop.

Let's move on though. The Tour stop this weekend just happens to house the most electric hole in all of golf. #16 at TPC Scottsdale will make those with the steeliest of nerves crumble. Evidently there will be just around 20,000 people on that hole alone each day. You know what that is, awesome. The only thing that would make it better is if they actually allowed happy hour. Things would be out of control.

Aside from that, this event is usually entertaining and exciting. I don't think J.B. Holmes will make it three of four this year, but it'd be pretty amazing if he did. A few notables are making their 2009 debut this weekend including, Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker & Hunter Mahan. Anthony Kim is also scheduled to play after withdrawing from the Hope due to a sore right shoulder. If he's ready to go, he'll be near the top, but who knows how he's feeling. I'm looking for good weeks from Mahan, Mickelson and Luke Donald, though at the FBR if anything has been learned from past history, it's anyone's event.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I caddied for him

Yep. Sure did, back when he was slumming it on the Canadian Tour which seems like ages ago (because it was) I caddied for Steve Stricker in the Ontario Open at Glenway Country Club. I can't remember the year, it had to be between 1989-1992.

Now he's 33 under after four rounds
at the Bob Hope Classic. It's very likely he took all the advice a 13 year old caddy could give to him and put that shit to good use. You're welcome Steve, I'll take my cut anytime now.

Golf is more interesting to watch when par is a struggle. This birdie barrage down in the desert is kind of boring. Weekend choke artist Vaughn Taylor better put a good round together tomorrow so I vault up the standings in my golf pool. However, seeing as how his bed sheets usually need to be replaced come Sunday, I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Big Three

They've brought the very best players to their knees. They've provided some of the most memorable moments in Tournament golf over the years. They make amateurs shake and second guess themselves and yield scores that make you wonder if they were counting properly. In any and all cases they provide excitement, drama and keep the fan on the edge of their seat. These are my three favorite holes from the PGA Tour over the past decade. Although I've only played two of the thrree, they all stick out in my memory for one reason or another. These are in no particular order, and you're free to debate my praise of them on any and every level.

#16 TPC Scottsdale (FBR Open) - It's but a mere 162 yards. Yet this may be the most unique hole in all of golf. Not because of it's difficulty or it's design. Simply for the fact that it provides the most electrifying environment of any hole all year by far. Bleacher style seating of over 15,000 surrounds the entire hole where roars from the crowd can be heard throughout the entire back nine. It's been said that some players are thinking about this hole even before they tip it up, which I completely understand. Oh, and be prepared to get cut up mercilessly from the crowd should you even think about missing the green. I will never forget the "shot heard around the world" in 1997 provided by none other than the great Eldrick Tiger Woods.

#18 Carnoustie - Scene of perhaps the most epic final hole collapse in major championship history, the 18th at Carnoustie yielded an average score of 4.611 in the 2007 British Open. Who could forget the 1999 Open Championship? Jean Van de Velde was on the cusp of pulling off a huge upset victory, needing only a double bogey on the last to secure the title. It all started when for some crazy reason he decided to hit driver, with a three shot lead. He hit an ugly block, but got lucky and managed to find land. Already lucky once, he decides to peg a butter knife in hopes of reaching the green, rather than laying up. Again, he blocks it into the grandstand right. The ball bounced up and back about 50 yards landing in knee high fescue. He then chunks his third into the burn as if nobody saw it coming. He then crazily thought about trying to hit his shot out of the burn but after much debate decide to take a drop and hacked his fifth into the greenside bunker. He then blasted out of the bunker to about six feet and made the putt for a crowd pleasing seven, which got him into a playoff. I don't think I need to go on. In 2007 Padraig Harrington almost botched the Open as well, hitting it into the burn twice on 18 on his way to a double bogey forcing a playoff, which he ended up winning. Do yourself a favour, if you've never seen the Jean Van de Velde never compromise putter commercial, YouTube that shit.

#17 TPC Sawgrass - How could this hole not be on my list? I've even had the privilege of playing it, and believe it or not, no lie, I made a two. Now granted there were zero fans, no wind, and absolutely nothing on the line. But it was still cool as hell. In any case, this hole is probably in the top five for everyone. I've never seen such an easy golf shot messed up by so many amazing players. It's actually funny to watch. I'm sure I'd be one of them air mailing the green, or coming up yards short, but I'm not out there, they are. Some say the hole is a bit gimmicky, and they may be right, but it's still probably the most exciting hole to watch from a fans perspective. Remember 1998? If you don't it's when a young upstart named Len Mattiace came to the 17th tee just a shot off the lead. He dumped his first shot into the water, and hit his third from the drop area into the greenside bunker. From there it just got worse. He hit his fourth back into the water and went onto make an eight. He ended up in a tie for fifth, four shots behind eventual winner Justin Leonard. I don't have time to list all the amazing moments from the 17th at Sawgrass, but needless to say the majority are, "better than most."

There are so many amazing holes in golf that I simply can't keep on going or this would be the longest post ever written. I'm sure you all have your favorites or even holes you despise. Whatever the case may be, we look forward to the Tour Pro's playing them every year, and often imagine what we ourselves would do in their place.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pat Perez is still an Idiot

After scorching the Palmer Private yesterday and the Nicklaus course today Pat Perez came away with not only the lead, but set a new PGA tour 36 hole scoring record in the process at 124. That is correct, 20 under after only two rounds in a 90 hole event. Seems to me 40 under may be a possibility this year with the lack of wind and near perfect scoring conditions. Only 8 of the 128 players in the field aren't under par.

Through all of this it's important that we don't lose perspective on the truth and forget that in the end, Pat Perez is an idiot. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. You're wrong, but it's still fine. Make sure you try and catch his post-round interview from today in case you missed it. A pure jackass as always. Let's hope we see another back nine collapse on Sunday reminiscent of his choke job at the 2002 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That final round 76 was glorious. Man did he ever snare that fairway wood on 18. Who hasn't broken a club over their knee?

A somewhat less Icey Thursday Link Dump

As we're all being held hostage by this angering Canadian winter we've got an infinite amount of time to kill. How you spend your time is completely up to you, and I'd never tell you how I think you should be spending it. So with that in mind, you'd best be spending it at these various locations...

Jason Logan continues to hold it down over at Score Golf.
Ike takes down the PGC and a exclusive one on one with Paula Creamer over at the Armchair.
Jeff Goodman over at In Between 18 gives us some much needed insight into the young Japanese upstart, Ryo Ishikawa.
The Golf Girl indirectly plays TPC Sawgrass and continues to spread her word across the universe.
Lloyd continues the onslaught of awesomeness over at Ghostrunner.
This is redundant, however something this good deserves to be repeated.

Even though I didn't pick him in my pool, it'd be nice to see Mike Weir continue to light it up down in La Quinta. Is it just me, or are the scores always incredibly low at this event? Look for Paul Casey and Adam Scott to continue their solid play over at the Qatar Masters and look for more marginal interweb blathering from yours truly in the days to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Meaning of Tiger Woods

If this isn't one of the greatest things you've ever read than I challenge you to find something better. Even if you do or think you have, I'll strongly dispute it.

S.I. writer Jos Posnanski finds pure gold in this ridiculous piece on Tiger Woods. Like him or not, there isn't much you can argue.

Where did everyone go?

The Bob Hope Classic kicks off today and what used to be a can't miss stop on the PGA tour schedule is now struggling to attract big name talent. Sixteeth ranked Steve Stricker is now the top player in the field after Anthony Kim had to withdraw Tuesday due to a sore shoulder.

The Tournament itself still draws a ton of fans and has donated millions to charity over the past decade, but just isn't drawing top names anymore. Tiger Woods has never played in the five day event, and Phil Mickelson has been on and off again although he's won the event twice.

This year's event is being hosted by Hall of famer Arnold Palmer who mentioned he's more than a little disturbed by the lack of top-notch talent at the event. "It's been good for all of the players, the people who are out here playing, and I would just hope that they would understand that they need to support tournaments as much as they possibly can," is what Arnie quipped about the event." "I know that you can't play every week. But when I hear some of the reasons for not playing, it disturbs me a little. And they do need to get out and support the events. "I used to spread my tournament appearances so that I never missed a tournament more than two years in a row. Tournaments like the Hope, of course, I played every year because I just simply enjoyed being here."

I think Palmer, who has good intentions, is missing the boat on this one. The PGA tour schedule simply isn't what it used to be. There are so many huge events on the PGA Tour in conjunction with huge events on other Tours that make it really tough to always attract the talent you think you should have. It has nothing to do with them skipping the event because they don't believe it has value, it's simply a matter of priorities. For example, five of the top fifteen ranked players in the World are playing the Qatar Masters this week. Why? Because it's a huge event in the Race to Dubai which incidently is worth $10,000,000. There is so much choice, and so many events these days that unfortunately some middle-tier events are going to suffer.

It's too bad, as Bob Hope did so much for the game.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2009 Canadian Course Reviews - Part 2

Part of being a golf junkie is getting out and trying to play as many courses as you possibly can. With hundreds to choose from it's sometimes difficult to know where to spend your money. So I'm making a point to give insight and information on as many courses as I can across the country in the hopes that I can help some of you make the decisione just a little bit easier.

Reviews I post will be of golf course I have played. There are a handful I haven't made it to yet, so I don't think posting a review for those courses would be of benefit to anyone. Needless to say, I've played hundreds and you'll hear about them all over the course of 2009!

Westmount Golf and Country Club - Stanley Thompson is a genius. There aren't too many of his designs I don't enjoy and Westmount is by far one of my very favorites. Located in the Kitchener, ONT region Westmount is consistently in the Top 20 of Canada's best golf facilities. It plays longer from the Back tees than the 6943 yards indicates and is always one the best conditioned golf courses in the Country. If you love Parkland style golf, which I do, you'll simply love this track. If you get the chance to play Westmount, don't pass it up. It's simply awesome.

Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Mount Kidd Course - Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis is simply stunning. It's roughly an hour drive from Calgary or Banff situated in the Kananaskis Valley. The Mount Kidd course is my favorite and incidently the highest ranked in the Canadian Top 100, placing 27th on the Score Golf's list in 2008. If you've never played golf in the mountains, you're in for a treat. The rockies provide one of the more spectacular backdrops you could ever imagine while playing a round of golf. It's kept in fabulous shape for the amount of golf played there and boasts bent grass greens and over 140 bunkers. At $90.00 a round ($70.00 for Alberta residents) you're getting more than you pay for. If you're planning a golf trip out West, you need to make sure you make a stop at Kananaskis.

The Country Club - West Course (Formerly the Toronto Board of Trade CC) - Truly a hidden gem amongst GTA golf courses. It's true Parkland style golf at it's finest. The West Course at the Country club plays only around 6700 yds from the tips, but trust me, plays a heck of a lot longer. The Front nine winds it's way around the Humber River and boasts one of the toughest par 4's in Ontario. The 8th hole a 451 yard par 4, plays tougher than almost any hole I've ever played. You have trouble right off the tee, and OB left. If you're lucky enough to actually find the fairway off the tee, it always seems like you have a long iron, maybe even a hybrid into a green with water left and a creek right. I'd hate to see the membership's scoring average on this hole. With severely sloped greens and fabulous elevation change this course flies under the radar to say the least. Scoring is extremely difficult and if you can walk away with par's, you're best to do so. Advice - Keep the ball below the hole all round unless you want a whack of three putts on your card.

The Winter roles along leaving real golf months away. Hopefully you can gain some insight into a few courses you've yet to play and make note of to get out and try this season.

More to come in the weeks to follow...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who doesn't like Mondays?

As the PGA tour bids farewell to Hawaii once again we're still sitting in four hundred feet of snow this side of the GTA. It's awesome.

Zach Johnson looked like he may have found his 2007 form winning the Sony Open this week by two shots over David Toms & Adam Scott. Johnson pockets $972,000 for the win, his fifth on tour and heads to the West Coast brimming with confidence.

A couple of positives that came out of this past weekend. It was good to see David Toms playing well again. Riddled with injuries over the past couple of seasons, Toms put himself in position on Sunday to win but just came up short. Nonetheless it's surely going to give him the confidence that he can again compete out on Tour in 2009. Also, Tadd Fujikawa became a hometown hero yet again. His sizzling 62 on Saturday gave him a chance to play in the final few groups on Sunday. Had he been able to pull it off he would have been the youngest winner on Tour in it's history. Although it didn't go well for him Sunday, the experience alone is something that not many 18 year olds will ever have.

Let's hope Chad Campbell remembers to check his schedule from here on in, unless he enjoys 10 hour flights to remote pacific islands for no reason whatsoever.

See you on the West Coast...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Harrowing Tale of Survival

Last November my golf course closed for the season and I suddenly realized my golf season was over. With a mediocre indoor facility at the club, and little golf of importance on television I suddenly became terrified. As the temperature reached an unfathomable -30 degrees and over two feet of snow lay on the ground I found myself pacing back and forth at home, wondering what I should do. Hell hath no fury like a golf addict enduring a brutal Canadian winter. There are roughly 12-13 weeks until course will begin to open...

Day One

In the morning the Weather Channel indicated there was a cold-advisory for the GTA and surrounding regions. Between my neighbour's house and mine there is a five foot snow drift blocking access to the backyard. I take stock of my supplies fearing the worst. All I seem to have are PVR'd U.S. Open highlight from last season, an instructional DVD by Butch Harmon and an old Ping Anser putter that I have no idea how I got. The Silly Season should provide me some relief, but seriously what type of enjoyment can I derive from watching that. Fearing I'll miss much of it because of that fact, I begin to panic.

Day Eight

Using the Ping Asner putter, along with an empty box of Pro V1 golf balls and some lead tape I create a mechanism that will allow me to collect rain water out of the second story window. I suddenly realize that drinking water can actually be obtained without much problem during golf's off-season. I go to my fridge and get a Strawberry-Banana Vitamin Water. It is my first victory during these trying times and I rejoice.

Day Thirteen

As a massive snowstorm reminding that there will be no golf in my near future pounds the GTA I decide to try and clean my house. It starts well, but I then find a used golf ball I'd given to my cat as a toy after shooting a 68 with it this past season. It's too much for me to bear, and I breakdown.

Day Twenty

I seriously consider jumping from the roof of my house as I find out somehow my 2008 U.S. Open highlights were deleted from my PVR. With so little to sustain me during this trying period I try and stream video clips from However my wireless network goes down and I lose all access to the internet. If this is considered living, I welcome death.

Day Thirty-One

I'm informed of a couple possible alternatives. Evidently there are two Professional Sports Franchises that operate out of Toronto that may sustain me until the season begins. One is the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team, the other a basketball team referred to as the Raptors. Since watching hockey will only further remind me of the season I'm enduring, I triumphantly decide that'll I'll watch a Raptor game that evening. The game began and roughly 7 minutes into it the Raptors had turned the ball over 13 times, Joey Graham had fouled out, Chris Bosh broke his ankle and they were down 26-5 vs. the Clippers. I'm moved to tears by this awful display and vow never to watch a basketball game ever again.

Day Fourty-Four

To fill this horrible golfing void, I turn on my TV and Playstation deciding to give the Tour a run in Tiger Woods Golf 2008 with the Fed Ex Cup in my sights.

Day Fourty-Six

After four regular season event the player I've created is so lacking in the necessary skills to play the game I've missed every cut and have a scoring average of 86.5.

Day Fifty-Nine

Well this is certainly becoming unbearable. I wonder how many others are suffering as I am. I attempt to create a mini putt course in my house to get some practice and much needed relief from the pain. Shortly after I begin an errant putt goes down the stairs and into the basement. As I am alone and scared to death of going into my basement. The game is quickly over leaving me so very unfulfilled.

Day Sevety-One

I survive these days by visiting dozens of time an hour and practicing my posture in my bedroom mirror. I shake often, but am certain that come the beginning of the season I'll have the best spine angle of anyone at my club.

Day Eighty

Today I make an incredibly shocking discovery. I am not alone! In another room in the house I stumble across a woman who refers to herself as my "wife". She tells me a harrowing tale, having survived this entire time by doing something called "yoga" and focusing quite a bit on her job. It's at this point there is nothing I can do for her and I slowly back out of the room quietly.

Day Ninety-Four

I decide I can simply no longer endure this suffering and construct a life raft out of staff bags, headcovers and empty shoe boxes. I'm fairly sure that Global warming will soon cause the sea levels to rise to the point I'll be able to float away and possibly end up on a tropical island that surely has a golf course. I'll tell you, it sure does feel good to finally have a somewhat sensible plan.

Maybe I should just move to Florida...

An Icey Thursday Link Dump

Yes it's true. You've heard correctly. It's currently -31 degrees right now with the windchill. With actual golf seeming eons away and me being too damn cold to do just about anything, why not try killing some time somewhere a little warmer than here.

The ARMCHAIR Golfer will enlighten you with some political madness and something to look forward to.
Get the Average Golfer's perspective on this week's Sony Open and some thoughts reflecting Draconian Law.
What would a frigid Thursday be without the Golf Chick?
Jason Logan is back to blogging over at the Score, something worth checking out.
What would a Link Dump really be without throwing the barber into the mix?

Maybe you'll here from me later. However, frostbite is imminent and I suppose I should try and get some work done.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 Canadian Course Reviews - Part 1

As a C.P.G.A. Golf Professional I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to play many of the amazing courses the country has to offer. Many of them are pretigious courses that all of you have heard of. However, some aren't. Either way, there are hundreds of golf courses that given the chance everyone should try and get out to if they have the chance.

I'll be posting reviews througout the season to try and give as much feedback as I possibly can to better inform people about some of the better properties out there. Here are the first few you should consider in 2009:

Coppinwood - Located in Uxbridge ONT, this Tom Fazio design quickly became one of my favorite courses in Ontario. Right when you drive onto the property you become aware that Coppinwood isn't just your average run of the mill Golf Club. The Clubhouse resembles a castle inside and out. The practice facility is second to none with a large near perfect range, short game area and even includes three practice holes. Golfers of any skill level will enjoy this course as it included five sets of tees with the yardage ranging from 5126 yards to an incredible 7536 from the Championship tees. The course is always in immacluate condition and never very busy as it's a pretty exclusive place. Getting onto Coppinwood may prove difficult because of it's exclusivity, however those keen enough will likely find a way to get on. You won't be disappointed you did.

Devil's Pulpit - Consistently in the Top ten courses in Canada, Devil's Pulpit was created from the minds who brought us the famous board game, Trivial Pursuit, Scott Abbott and Chris Haney. The Pulpit was named Canada's best new course in 1991 and had gained an immense amount of noteriety every year since. Right when you step onto the first tee, a 478 yard par 4 from an elevated tee to a double fairway, you know you're in for something special. It's modern design and immaginative features will surely blow you away. Even their, "Pulpit's Horn Bar" will surprise you with it's amazing view. Not to mention it has the longest bar of any Golf Club in Canada. Yes, the Pulpit is private as well, but again if you really want to get out there, you'll find a way.

Eagles Nest Golf Club - This Doug Carrick design just north of Toronto is a unique and challenging experience to say the least. Sod walled bunkers and a whole lot of fescue grass will make even the best golfers scratch their heads from time to time. Built on top of an old land fill, Eagles nest is one of the better links-style courses in the GTA. It's huge elevation changes and length make it one of the tougher courses I've played, but fun nonetheless. Although a bit pricey every golfer should try and get out there just once for the experience. Make sure you get one of their ridiculous hot dogs at the turn. Those things alone are worth the price of admission.

I know we've still got a few months to go here until we tee it up, but that doesn't mean we can't start to plan all the ridiculous places we're going to waste our money this season.

Look for more kick ass reviews in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Golf Pool Value

You've only got X amount of money to work with, and picking Tiger just simply won't work for two reasons. No one knows just for sure when he's coming back, and assuming he's pro-rated, which he most likely is, will he play enough events to give you a big ROI?

With this and many other choices in mind, here are some players that may be a bargain this season, and some I believe you should avoid.

My Top Five:

Hunter Mahan $2,208,855 - Although he didn't win last season, he came close and posted three top 10's in his last five starts in 2008. I think the Ryder Cup gave him an added boost of confidence and he's close to breaking out. I wouldn't be surprised if he won a couple of times in 2009.

Davis Love III $1,695,237 - How can you not pick him. He finished 2008 with a T6, T3 and the victory in the season's final event. He looked solid at the Mercedes tying for second and seems to have that old confidence back along with the game to go with it. I can't see how you won't get a return with him on your team.

Anthony Kim $4,656,265 - Sure his price tag is hefty, but this kid is just getting better. A major may not be out of the question this season and as long as this shoulder thing doesn't turn into something big, he's simply too hot to not pick in my opinion.

Aaron Oberholser $850,000 - I wouldn't call him a sleeper as he's proven he can play with the best in the past, but coming off an injury riddled 2008 has many questioning how well he'll play in 2009. After not playing for basically 4 months he posted a T4 in his second event back at the open. With his cost being as low as it is, and his previous experience he could give you a huge return. He just needs to stay healthy. A gamble? Maybe, but one I'd be willing to take.
(Anyone outside the top 125 from 2008 costs $850,000 in my pool)

Tiger Woods $Pro-Rated at $8,500,000 in my pool - Ignore anything I may have said at the beginning of this post. He's Tiger Woods. You don't need any other reason to expect him to produce in 2009

Don't be fooled:

Kenny Perry $4,663,794 - I don't want to take anything away from Kenny's 2008 season as it was amazing. He accomplished what he set out to do, and made the Ryder Cup team. He has 13 career wins on the PGA tour and has recently said he'd like to get to 20 in his career. It may be possible, I don't believe it is. If you really think he's going to top what he made last year, by all means take him. I for one don't think you'll get much return with this pick.

Charles Howell III $1,449,232 - He gave me absolutely no reason to think he's going to get any better in 2009. In 31 starts last season he posted only one top five and four top ten's. He earned a third of his money after the playoff's and was cut in 3 of the 4 majors, finishing T47 in the PGA. If you think you're getting value here, you're likely wrong.

Vaughn Taylor $1,053,423 - Taylor proved last season he simply can't play on the weekends. I can't remember how many times he opened strong only to fade away on Saturday or Sunday. Unless he can mentally figure out how to get around the course on the weekend, I can't see much out of him this season.

Vijay Singh $6,601,094 - Singh is crazy good. He'll win this season, and make a boat load of money no doubt. However, with his pending knee surgery and high cost, it's likely not the greatest pick. It's unlikely he'll earn more than he did last season, which means even if he does get to let's say $5,000,000 you're still losing.

Jason Day $850,000 - Don't believe the hype.

Remember, the Race for Dubai is really going to affect the number of PGA tour events some Europeans play this season, and possibly even some PGA tour regulars who may choose to split time. Generally trying to pick players who play a heavy PGA tour schedule is the best option, but catching lightning in a bottle doesn't hurt either.

Sure there are other potential winners and misses but as with any pool, you're just going to have to figure that out. Boo Weekley although not in my top five, didn't miss by much.

Best of luck in your Pools this season.

Useless Junk for all

In the first event of the 09 PGA Tour season, Geoff Ogilvy walked away with the victory without much of a challenge from anyone. Sure, Anthony Kim hit what can only be described as an obscene fairway wood into eighteen on Sunday, but other than that Ogilvy was head and shoulders above the rest.

Surprising to some? Shouldn't be. Ogilvy was coming off a busy few weeks in Australia winning his last start, where many of the other players were coming off layoff's. Take nothing away from Ogilvy though who deserved to win regardless of how everyone else was playing.

Don't look for a repeat at Sony this weekend from K.J. as there has only been one repeat winner here in the last 21 years (Ernie Els 2003 & 04 respectively). Speaking of Els, he could be one to watch this weekend. He played well at the Mercedes last weekend, and has a great track record here. Other notables I'd look out for include, J.B. Holmes, Sean O'Hair, Boo Weekly & Davis Love. As for a dark horse, look for Aaron Oberholser if anyone. He missed most of last season with a wrist injury, however a T-4 in his last start has him moving in the right direction.


Taylor Made is in the news again. Look for the launch of their new Driver, the R9 sometime in March. I guess it seems about time doesn't it? What has it been, a few month since their last release? Is it just me or is this getting a bit out of control. The market place is simply being flooded with new products every quarter making your last purchase seem like a waste. Rarely are the new products that much different than the last except for cosmetic changes. I guess it's fine though since each new release is "Their best performing, and longest Driver ever." Pretty soon we're going to have a Driver that is so straight, and so long, the game will be so easy, no one will play.

To all Manufacturers, try actually IMPROVING the technology rather than just CHANGING it. You're all a bunch of marketing clowns completely uninterested in
acutally improving anyone's game.