5 Head-Turning Moments in Recent Golf News
We are to the point that, even in the world of golf, nothing should surprise us anymore. But things still do.
Whether it’s the technological advances, the distances players are hitting the ball or just some of the wacky things they do, some things just don't make sense.
Here are five things that happened recently that, at the very least, will turn your head.
Helping out Nothing New on PGA Tour
Steve Stricker helped Tiger Woods with his putting on a Wednesday. Tiger went on to win that week, and Stricker finished second.
The next week, K.J. Choi gave young John Huh an afternoon’s worth of tips on bunker play.
Neither of those was head-turning by any means. That came about with the gross overreaction that took place afterward, especially in the Stricker-Woods instance.
Columns were written, talk shows debated the legality of such a thing and conflict-of-interest issues were raised.
Professional golfers have been giving each other tips for decades, maybe even since the beginning of the game itself.
There was an undertone that might have suggested some shenanigans with the Stricker-Woods situation.
Um, putting is just part of the game.
Tiger could have easily hit his driver all over the lot that week and not been anywhere near the lead.
The reactionaries of the (golf) world need to chill out.
Boys Will Be Boys
In this new world of social media, communicating is much easier than it ever was.
Congratulating after a win or consoling after a tough loss used to be done in a letter, in person or the next time two golfers met.
Today, that can be done quickly with a few click, click, clicks on a cell phone.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, as part of their world-class rivalry and friendship, talk on the phone, text and generally seem to enjoy each other’s company.
But then came the news that Woods, after his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, had texted McIlroy and told him in a colorful way to win the Shell Houston Open so the two of them could go into the Masters as No. 1 and 2 in the world.
Shocking, isn’t it?
Grown men playing a game and an inappropriate word might be said?
Rory McIlroy Hits the Muni Range
Rory McIlroy was in the Miami area last week to watch his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki play in a tournament.
He decided to go hit some balls one afternoon, and instead of going to an upscale club somewhere to do so, he hit a nearby municipal course and headed out to the range amidst 16-and-above handicappers and got in some work by himself.
Now that’s a head-turning moment.
You can probably count on one hand the number of PGA Tour pros who would dare dirty their clubs on a municipal practice range.
Way to go, Rory!
Phil Mickelson Can't Find Consistency
This one is almost not a head-turner anymore, but because of his recent success, it still qualifies.
Phil Mickelson won spectacularly at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, tied for 60th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, tied for 21st at the Northern Trust Open, tied for third at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Through two rounds at Shell Houston Open, Mickelson has put up four bogeys and two double bogeys in his warmup event for the Masters in two weeks.
His driver is, as usual, the leading culprit in his game.
He’s 175th on tour in driving accuracy and 75th in distance at 288 yards.
The man has logged more hours on a rollercoaster than any enthusiast who’s ever lived.
PGA Tour a Little Late to the Dance
The PGA Tour announced this week that it’s going to conduct a year-long study of the issue of slow play, not just in its own ranks but in the game generally.
First of all, didn’t the USGA announce in February it was going to develop initiatives regarding slow play?
Yes, it did, and the next question is why the PGA Tour needs a study on the subject.
The folks in Ponte Vedra Beach have all the evidence they need every time a tournament begins to know that they have a problem.
And for them to be looking into all parts of the game?
The tour pros are the reason the game is so slow at every level of the game because amateurs emulate everything the pros do.
Clean up your own house, PGA Tour.