Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PEBBLE BEACH

The first and only time I've played golf in California, I was fortunate enough to play Pebble Beach. I played with three of my friends in early December and we were lucky enough for the weather to be about 70 degrees and sunny.

The course layout and views were unbelievable and I was able to picture shots I had seen in highlights on television throughout the years. There were many great holes and I can't even imagine how difficult the course would have been had the rough been really high or if the wind was blowing hard.

The four holes that really stood out were numbers seven, eight, seventeen, and eighteen.


Number seven, pictured above, is a short downhill par three surrounded by bunkers and the pacific ocean on three sides. This hole is not very difficult if the weather is calm, however, if a strong wind is blowing, it could be a nightmare.



Number eight, pictured above, is probably the most difficult par four I've ever played. This is a dog leg right in which you have to hit a very good uphill tee shot to set yourself up for a very difficult second shot. Your second shot will be hit over a cliff and the ocean to a very small green surrounded by bunkers. I would imagine there is at least one million golf balls in the ocean near this hole.


Number seventeen, the famous hole where Jack Nicklaus hit the pin with his 1 iron at the 1972 U.S. Open is another fantastic hole. This is a long par three to one of the most narrow greens you will ever see.


Number eighteen, pictured above, is one of the most famous par fives in the world. As you can see, the pacific ocean is along the entire left side of the hole as you play to the green. Depending on how much risk you want to take on the tee shot, you can play it safe out to the right or try and cut the corner over the ocean.

Course information:

18 Holes
Par: 72

Black Rating (US Open Championship): 74.3/Slope 144; Yardage - 6,828
Blue Rating: 73.8/Slope 142; Yardage - 6,737
Gold Rating: 72.3/Slope 137; Yardage - 6,348
White Rating: 71.2/Slope 134; Yardage - 6,116
Red Rating: 71.8/Slope 129; Yardage - 5,198


PEBBLE BEACH GOLF LINKS
Resort Guests$495 incl. cart
Non-Resort Guests$495 + cart




Overall, playing Pebble Beach was a fantastic experience. The hotel accommodations, resort, and service were excellent. The pro shop was cool and they even have a full spa if you aren't there for the golf. Viewing the sites along 17 mile drive was nice. We had some great caddies for our round who provided good advice and kept us moving along when we started sight seeing for too long.

I highly recommend playing Pebble Beach if you ever have the chance. Although expensive, this is a once in a lifetime experience that you will not forget.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

BOOK REVIEW - THE DOWNHILL LIE



In The Downhill Lie, Carl Hiaasen takes you through his hilarious journey back into golf after a 32 year layoff. He details every step of the way, including his rounds, buying new equipment, taking various lessons, and culminating with his play in a member guest tournament.

When Hiaasen got married and had kids in his twenties, he decided he no longer had time for golf and quit the sport. Many years later, in his fifties, he made a decision to give golf another shot. Obviously, many things about the game had changed and he gives a very amusing account of the trials and tribulations of his return.

The funniest parts in my opinion detail all the various lessons, swing changes, equipment changes, and purchases of various swing improvement gadgets that seemingly provided no improvement whatsoever.

Here is an excerpt from the book one year into his return:

Exactly one year after I purchased those secondhand Nicklaus clubs, my transformation was disturbing. I owned two pairs of golf shoes and a half-dozen vivid shirts in which I wouldn’t have been caught dead twelve months ago. I had four drivers of varying lofts, weight distributions and shaft flexibility, and I couldn’t hit any of them the same way twice. I was trying out a flashy new putter that I was concealing from my wife, and I found myself conversing about gap wedges and fairway hybrids with persons I barely knew. At nights I lay awake reliving the day’s round, shot by shot, in self-lacerating detail.”

If you are interested in a very funny and easy to read book about one man’s pursuit of golf improvement, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Downhill Lie.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MATCH PLAY- BARKLEY VS. WEBBER

This video is from "The Haney Project" and shows a one hole match between Charles Barkley and Chris Webber. Webber's reaction at the end is especially hilarious.


video

Monday, May 18, 2009

AMATEUR WINS IRISH OPEN IN DEBUT

Irish Amateur Shane Lowry won the 2009 Irish Open in his debut on the 3rd playoff hole. This was a huge win for the 22 year old in his home country. Lowry missed a 3 foot putt on the final hole of regulation that would have won it for him but went on to beat Robert Rock of England in the playoff.

Lowry was heavily supported throughout the tournament by his home fans and this video shows a great celebration on the green after he holed his final putt.


video

Saturday, May 16, 2009

CRAZIEST SWINGS OF ALL TIME

This video is a medley of some of the wildest swings of all time, ending with Charles Barkley.


video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GOLF ANNOUNCER GAFFES

Taken from Devil Ball Golf, this article has comments from golf announcers through the years that have landed them in trouble. Some comments are pretty funny and some are just plain stupid.

Here is the link:

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/blog/devil_ball_golf/post/Feherty-s-gaffe-the-latest-in-a-long-line-of-gol?urn=golf,162851

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

COMEBACKS: TIGER VS. JORDAN




In comparing the comeback of Tiger Woods and the first comeback of Michael Jordan, I see a lot of similarities and feel things will play out the same way.

When Jordan returned to basketball after his 1st retirement he was rusty but showed flashes of brilliance. In his second game back, he scored 55 points against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He wasn't the same MJ as before the retirement, and he only played about 20 regular season games before making a costly mistake against the Orlando Magic as his team lost in the playoffs.

However, the following year, he lead the Bulls to an all time record 72 wins during the 95-96 season and they went on to win three straight Championships. He also won the scoring title and the finals MVP for those three seasons.

As we have been watching Tiger's return to competition, he has definitely struggled but shown flashes of brilliance just like Jordan did. He did come from behind to win at Bay Hill on the final hole but he still didn't have his complete "A" game for the tournament. He also shot a flawless 65 during the first round at Quail Hollow before ending up in 4th place.

I think most people would have to agree that it will be just a matter of time before Tiger puts it all together. He has said he doesn't expect his knee to be 100% until year 2. He will be working with Haney to fix the current flaw in his swing and his putting will only be down for so long.

It is really funny how many articles have been written about Tiger's latest struggles. It is true he is not on the top of his game, but he has finished in the top ten at the Masters, Quail Hollow, and the Players.

As Michael Jordan took a little while to regain form and completely dominate, Tiger Woods will be doing the same thing soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

THE 20TH HOLE GOLF BOOK SERIES BLOG

I've decided to start a new site strictly to provide excerpts and reviews of my book "The 20th Hole - Stat Book and Log for Golfers" which is now available as well as the "Golf Record Book" which is coming soon.

Doing it this way will ensure I'm not annoying people with constant promotions while at the same time providing people who are interested in these products a full chance to review them.

The link for this site is http://the20tholegolfbookseries.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 4, 2009

SEAN O'HAIR - NO NORMAL STORY

Sean O'Hair won at Quail Hollow yesterday for a one stroke victory on one of the most demanding courses the tour has faced all year. This was a great win for the 26 year old and should help him get over his tough loss to Tiger Woods at Bay Hill a few weeks ago. Sean O'Hair is one of the best young players on tour but does not however, have the typical PGA tour players background.

Here are a few excerpts from two articles: http://www.gastongazette.com/sports/hair-33446-father-tournament.html

http://www.thegolfchannel.com/tour-insider/ohairs-father-releases-contracts-17076/

O'Hair, for those of you not familiar, was raised by a bit of an overbearing father, Marc, who viewed his son as a bit of cash cow when he was younger. While growing up he'd chauffer his son to tournaments across the country, making him run a mile for each bogey he made after the tournament and eventually forcing him to sign a contract paying his father 10 percent of his earnings.

Sean began every day at 5 a.m., running and lifting weights. He was forced to run a mile for every stroke he finished a round over par. Fellow players remembered Marc verbally abusing his son on and off the course.

He was forced to turn pro and wasn't allowed to go college because his father, as he put it in a 17-page release to the media back in 2005, didn't want him "drinking and whoring around."

"The thing about my dad is that, in his own twisted way, he did the best he could for me," O'Hair said in a 2005 Golf World story that appeared shortly after he earned his PGA Tour card. "But anyone who has the right perspective thinks he's crazy."

O'Hair's life changed when he met his wife Jackie Lucas, whom he married in 2002.

Her father-in-law, Steve, became his de facto father. Jackie caddied for Sean on various mini-tours when he turned pro and they used their wedding-gift money to pay for tournament entry fees, playing each week just to earn food money. Back in the day when the O'Hairs had no money, Sean's grandfather bought the couple a 40-foot three-slide Fleetwood Discovery motor home they drove from tournament to tournament.

Eventually he earned the money to pay back his grandfather, who has since passed away. Now he has enough money to buy an entire fleet of motor homes. O'Hair has earned nearly $10 million now on the PGA Tour, including $1.17 million Sunday with his victory at the Quail Hollow Championship. He and his wife now have three kids, and a home in Texas, and life is a little more normal.

Here is a link of Sean's father giving a statement to the media releasing Sean from the contract: http://www.thegolfchannel.com/tour-insider/marc-ohairs-faxed-statement-17079/

This is a pretty crazy story and it's great O' Hair has been able to become so successful. I hope he takes down the Player's Championship this week as well.

Saturday, May 2, 2009