Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tiger Woods and Obama go on tour. Sony shaken after dumping Wie, the Gyroscope for muscle-building and Play Golf America!

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Soon after Tiger Woods sat in on a news conference to promote his third year as host of the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, he shuttled off to the White House to take a tour hosted by President Barack Obama.

Light witticisms were bandied about at Congressional with Tiger answering questions about his knowledge of the Swedish language which all boiled down to sayings every man should know like, "clean the house" and "wash dishes": every man that is, except for the billion-dollar variety like Woods!

But what could the President want to know from Tiger Woods? Aside from the obvious golf tips, we wonder what information could have been exchanged during their meeting in the Oval Office. Here are some of our thoughts.

1. Advice on the best golf simulator for the White House basement.

2. Perhaps they were negotiating deals for design and construction of new, upper eschelon golf communitites in Cuba, Venezuela and Iran as gifts to his new "well-wishers".

3. A new golf course in North Korea to Kim Jung-Il as a signing bonus if he stops playing with rockets.

4. Advice on how to turn the economy around since Tiger is obviously the head of his successful business concern.

5. Perhaps an open invitation to fill one of Obama's vacant top treasury positions (an huge cut in pay for Tiger).

Tiger looked as comfortable in the Oval Office as he does out on the golf course.

Golf for Beginners also wonders why Michelle Wie's contract with Sony was not renewed. Was it due to an obvious flagging performance or did it have something to do with the $97 million shelled out to cover a messy malpractice lawsuit over the "vibration feedback" technology in its Dual Shock controllers?

We also discuss ten ways to get the most out of free lesson month, courtesy of PGA of America and Play Golf America and challenge the TourGrip Gyro Trainer to improve our golf swing. If it helps to condition astronauts in space, it should fly with us!






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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"

This podcast is supported by OrlandoGolf.com, 866-443-8566.

Photo Credit: © The White House Blog: Meeting Tiger Woods

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do you have to be great to get the Big Break? The big snub from the Big Wiesy, the 50-yard sand shot, Shaft Skinz review

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For the average golfer who dreams of one day getting a big break and playing on tour, consider the "fantasy tour" instead unless you come equipped with a low handicap, solid-looking swing and a glowing camera presence.

The golfers from season-one of the Big Break (2003) were chosen by open audition with the main prerequisities being "scratch" handicap and demonstrative proficiency with various types of shots. Personality, of course, also had to be "engaging" to the viewer as Jay Kossoff, Senior Producer of the Golf Channel, once said, "positively or negatively".

Eleven seasons later, the Big Break: Prince Edward Island premieres with a similar premise but, according to the Golf Channel Big Break forum, BB Moose states that now you have to be "very good, be yourself and be able to execute at an audition". Add to the mix a great look and the group of possible auditioners just got smaller. How many golfers really have that "Survivor" look?

Out of the thousands that apply, only two handfuls get the go-ahead. BB Moose's advice to get a shot at the Big Break? "Apply and hope!"

From a former Marine who once played a match with Tiger Woods to competitive Irish dancer Brenda McLarnon who claims, "people will probably hate me, but that’s their problem," (shades of Danielle Aimee?) the entertainment value is going to have to match the $100,000 prize that is being dangled in front of the contestants. Get ready for the "wow" factor and "do not try this at home" stunts beginning tonight (April 20th, 9pm EST) on the Golf Channel.

We also discuss yet another faux pas by Michelle Wie, this time on the KLPGA Tour where she decided to practice instead of play in the pro-am, because she couldn't use her own caddy.

With Wiesy's downward spiral in her quality of play and the nonchalant way she's been treating her sponsors, e.g. KLPGA, Michelle may find herself auditioning for the next Big Break!

The fifty-yards between the sand and the green can be one of the most daunting shots in golf. We offer up our opinion on how to get the ball to the hole without using your wedge and review Shaft Skinz, a decorative and protective heat-shrink cover for your shafts.


Can Blair O'Neal get you to watch Big Break XI?


Can Blair O'Neal help capture your interest on Big Break XI: Prince Edward Island?


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Send your golf questions and comments to golfforbeginners@aol.com.

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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"

This podcast is supported by OrlandoGolf.com, 866-443-8566.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tiger Woods, Mickelson pairing ignites sparks, Michelle Wie goes to Korea-will there be rockets? Also Ruletwentyone golf towel and the longshot

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"You've got to focus through the ficus" and "concentrate on being great!"

Although these "Woods of Wisdom" are rhythmically repeated during the new Tiger Gatorade Focus commercial, it didn't seem as if TW took the advice as he could barely control his "band-aid swing" for much of the Sunday Masters rally against Phil Mickelson.

Still, the finale averaged a 6.9 rating/12 share with CBS thanking it's lucky stars that Phil and Tiger tied in the third round and that Masters officials were smart enough to realize that the pairing would exude fireworks.

Eight years later and the two top golfers in the world did not disappoint with Mickelson firing a record-tying front nine '30' and Tiger playing "catch-up" until the end. Both players lost steam by the eighteenth, called it quits and hastily departed Augusta National before the green jacket was awarded.

The question is, what incentive did viewers have to stick around for the bittersweet climax?

Many were watching anxiously to see if 48-year-old Kenny Perry could redeem himself after his 1996 PGA Championship loss in his own home state of Kentucky which he believed took three years to overcome. Some fans waited to see if Angel Cabrera could muster up enough strength to win another major title after a virtual disappearing act after the 2007 U.S. Open. Finally, there were those who were wishing that Chad Campbell would persevere after his close call at the 2003 PGA Championship.

But Campbell was the first man out and, comparing his two second-place finishes smirked, "Neither of them (major memories) are very good. I'm probably a little more disappointed this time."

Where tears welled in the eyes of Kenny Perry as he probably wondered how long it would take to shake off this defeat, Cabrera was excitedly trying on his new green jacket.

Since the Argentinian has his only two PGA Tour wins in the majors, could Cabrera's next victory bring him even closer to an "Angel-Slam" or was this just the magic of Augusta?

Golf for Beginners also mentions the big South Korean welcome for Michelle Wie as she adds a little "Seoul" to the KLPGA charity event this week. The Ruletwentyone waterproof golf towel is evaluated and how can a golfer come back from a large deficit?

Also, what would you pay for your very own wax Tiger?




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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"

This podcast is supported by ResortsGolfandSpa.com, 866-643-6078.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sergio Garcia salivates for one Masters jacket while Woods and Mickelson look to add more green to their wardrobe. Play aerated greens/beat the block

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Will Tiger Woods have any identifiable adversaries at this years Masters Tournament? Gazing into the PGA Tour crystal ball and deciding which golfers could make a move against Woods lead one to believe that Tiger is on par to win his fifth green jacket at Augusta!

In all fairness, any one golfer could disrupt Tiger's equilibrium long enough to gain ground. In 2007 relative unknown Zach Johnson "just tried to maintain my focus, maintain my game plan" in order to effectively tame Tiger at the Masters.

Trevor Immelman emerged victorious in 2008, leaving Tiger in a second place finish at the Masters for the second year in a row. Immelman and Johnson each had a solo PGA Tour victory prior to their Masters victories.

At this year's Shell Houston Open "tune-up" to the Masters, it was interesting to see who was in top form, which player could use more work and if the winner lurked somewhere in the field.

Fred Couples ate a heaping serving of Humble Pie at the SHO as cheers followed him from his own collegiate turf. After the 72nd hole Fred muttered tiredly that he was "finished", running out of gas and coming in third once again this season.

Although Phil Mickelson has twice been a winner in 2009, this week he missed the cut by ten strokes, finishing fourth from last place! Does this portend disaster for Phil or will he think back to his two glorious wins at Augusta and use that memory to fuel his appetite?

Sergio Garcia could be found at the bottom of the leaderboard this week, right above the names of players who missed the cut. He has never won a major and hasn't made it to the weekend in the last two Masters events. Enough said.

What excuses can be made for Vijay Singh? He may have three previous SHO wins and have a green jacket in the closet from a 2000 Masters win but with his physical ailments, Vijay is an unknown. An M/C this week certainly didn't help his confidence and, as Singh recently stated about Augusta, "I think it's the toughest golf course day in and day out in the world that we play."

Padraig Harrington has a chance to win a third major tournament in a row and set up for a "Paddy-Slam". This could be a positive or negative, depending on how Padraig sees it.

He played solidly through three rounds at the SHO but erupted in the end. Tiger Woods voted for Padraig to win the Player of the Year award but, on the flip side, Harrington won his two majors without Tiger in the field. Harrington looks to "peak at the majors". I place him contention at the Masters because Padraig stated, "I'm totally focused on my mental game at the moment. I'm not trying to fix anything. I'm totally focused on getting my head in the right place."

Finally, what about Tiger Woods? To ask if he has a "shot" at victory this week would be like asking if a man could win the U.S. Open with a bum leg. After nearly a year's layoff, it took Woods only three events to shake off his 'vacation' and fire back with gusto. For obvious reasons he is the favorite and although Woods mentions that it "was nice to take that break", Sergio Garcia said it best. "You always compare to one guy, and it's kind of unfair for the rest because he's extraordinary."

This week we discuss the Masters Tournament, some of our picks and pans and "how-to's" on playing aerated greens and fixing the dreaded blocked shot.




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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"

This podcast is supported by Arizona Golf Packages, 1-866-444-0992.


Photo Credit: © BBC Sport, Getty Images, Wall Street Journal

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Can Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia take number-one status from Tiger Woods?

One possible way for Phil Mickelson to become the number one PGA Tour golfer in the world, toppling Tiger Woods, is closely tied in to his finish at this weekend's Shell Houston Open. In order to turn his dreams into reality, Mickelson is going to have to sharpen his putting skills.

According to his website, Mickelson has improved in all areas of his game except in putts per round. Out of six events, Phil now has two 2009 victories so it appears that the only way Mickelson can lose is if his mental game shatters, which it has been prone to do.

Greg Norman believes that Lefty is not as strong as Tiger Woods when it comes to clutch putting and, when it comes PGA Tour dominance, "Tiger's got him on the mental edge and Tiger has got him outside nine feet." Let's not forget that last week's big finale at the Arnold Palmer Invitational came down to Woods' lengthy putt at the seventy-second hole.

Although this may appear to be the "Phil and Tiger Show" on the PGA Tour, Sergio Garcia has been close in the world rankings but struggles to close the door behind him. Garcia may claim that "being No. 1 would be nice," but in reality, his "main goal is to win a major." Sergio has even changed his schedule to accomodate the Shell Houston Open, citing that the course is prepared very much the same way with "really quick putts like you're going to get at Augusta."

How does Tiger Woods feel about the threat to his position atop the world standings? Ask him and he'll say that he expects to win every time he plays. "It's just about being there and timing it right and making putts at the right time and pulling off shots at the right time." Woods continued, "We're all trying to do it. Some guys put themselves in contention more times than others but still, we're all trying to win tournaments."

Still, why is it more of a struggle for guys like Sergio and Phil to climb to number-one status than it is for Tiger Woods to maintain it, even after a year's layoff?





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