Thursday, April 29, 2010

Marriott Golf and Bag Boy push Golfers To Walk for Health and the Environment

Bag Boy Golf Express Auto Push CartIn an alliance with Bag Boy, Marriott Golf is now placing eco-friendly Express Auto three-wheel walking carts in ten of its U.S. Resorts "pushing" golfers to walk for their own health and helping to better the environment!

Combined with their free, family fun initiative, Marriott Golf is working overtime to return the sport to its purest form!

Experts all agree that the way to stay healthy is to exercise and, in my opinion, there is no better way than to walk a golf course on a beautiful, sunny day! Not only is walking the course good for your health but it also keeps the golf course in optimum condition.

How many people play "military golf"...left, right, left right...using their golf carts to drive willy-nilly on the fairways (directly opposing good golf etiquette 90 degree's on wet days and path-only rules?).

Although the "cooler" on the electric cart may be more to your liking, you'll burn only about 800 calories sitting around in a golf cart as opposed to approximately 1,400 calories walking the a course (probably more if you carry your golf bag.)

Come to think of it, I've seen mostly guys riding around the publinks lately while many of the women walk the course.

“Research shows that golfers who walk are also less prone to lower back, shoulder, and ankle injuries than golfers who carry their clubs,” said Craig Ramsbottom, President of the Bag Boy Company.  “Our innovative walking carts are ergonomically correct and easy to maneuver so golfers that visit a Marriott resort can now experience a cool, fun and healthy way to navigate the course.”
 
Each participating property will be outfitted with Bag Boy’s popular three-wheel push carts, providing resort golfers with a fun and healthy way to navigate the course, as well as support environmental consciousness.

“This partnership directly supports Marriott International’s unwavering commitment to promote wellness and healthy living, as the health and exercise benefits of walking and pushing your clubs around a golf course are immeasurable,” said William Nault, Vice President, Marriott Golf.  “We anticipate a very positive response from our resort golfers for this Walk For Health initiative, and our intention is to roll out the program at more Marriott Golf properties throughout the year.”

Bag Boy Express Auto walking carts will be available for guest play at the following resort destinations:

Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, Calif.; JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Ariz.; JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, Tucson, Ariz.; Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami, Fla.; Marriott’s Grande Vista Resort, Orlando, Fla.; Grande Pines Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.; Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Naples, Fla.; Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort, Oak Brook, Ill and The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Tucson, Ariz.

The best part about the walking initiative is that each property above holds the distinction of being a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, which indicates that Marriott Golf has gone to the greatest lengths possible to protect the environment by enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats. 

The new Walk For Health program gives golfers the ability to support environmental consciousness while enjoying nature and a good walk on a spectacular golf course!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ladies Playing Through. How women are changing the face of golf in Westchester.

There has been much Twitter buzz on the state of Women's golf and so I have reprinted an article I wrote for Westchester Magazine.


By Stacy Solomon, Golf for Beginners

Golf may or may not be growing nationwide, but here in Westchester one big segment of the game is robustly rockin’ and rollin’ along.  It is golf played by women, and literally thousands of them are smacking the little white ball all over the county’s public and private courses—more of them than you think right down the middle of the fairway.

Why?  As marketing executive Sherry Bruck, owner of The Harquin Group observed, "In what other sport can you take a sixteen year old, a twenty year old, a forty year old and an eighty year old and go out together and have such a blast?"

Nearly two-thirds of all new golfers across the country are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.  Local organizations reports high participation, too.  The Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association (WMGA) has about 800 Westchester/Fairfield members.  The Metropolitan Golf Association reports TKTK women maintain handicaps and play at private clubs, with an unknown additional number playing without handicaps. Peter Tartaglia, spokesman for the Westchester Parks Department, says about 5,500 golfers on the county's six public courses are women.  That’s a lot of ladies chasing par.

As you would expect, there are both similarities and differences in the way men and women play the game.  Golf provides the same challenges and satisfactions for women as it does for men.  "Creativity is needed as well as control over your emotions," according to Alice Odorico, a thirteen-handicapper at Bonnie Briar in Scarsdale.  She adds that golf is not just a physical sport but requires mental toughness as well. Once a private banker, Odorico now has more time to dedicate to competition and plays in interclub matches around the region, although she says, “I love golf as a hobby, not a career."

Women also use golf as a business aid just like their male counterparts.  Avril Dawkins, an account manager at Aetna, says “I try to incorporate golf into every opportunity I get.  If we have an outing, I'll bring clients or consultants.”  Although she took lessons and practiced on the range, Dawkins was hesitant to play on a golf course until she joined the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA). The plucky Mount Vernon resident now confidently drills her shots accurately down the fairway.  Dawkins cautions that when she plays with male business partners, it can be unnerving because they evidently feel they have to prove their manhood: "They pull out the driver even when they know they have no business hitting that club!"

All too often, a woman is still greeted with a sneer and a guffaw until she has proven herself on the tee because tolerance doesn’t come easy for some men. Beginner Karen Clark, a school teacher who plays at Maple Moor, says, "Initially, when you're out there and paired with men, they look at you like 'oh god...there goes my game.’ Then they see you can hit the ball and their jaws drop."

Cara Vietri, an analyst for Mastercard who averages 27 holes per week, points out that there are some basic differences between the way men and women approach the game.  "A guy who plays once a year will hit it 220 yards into the trees and spend ten minutes looking for it!" she says, whereas women are more sensitive to golfers behind them and will pick up golf balls during a blow-up hole.  “Men have that hunter-gatherer instinct. It's not hard-wired into women to search until we die!"

Bruck points out, men have always complained about the pace of play by women on the course even though, she asserts, "You'll actually find women play faster than men because women are so self-conscious about it."

Just like men, women are involved in the game at many levels, from hard-nosed formal tournament play to casual chase-it-around-the-pasture rounds with a weekly foursome.  On the competitive scene, the WMGA holds thirty hotly-contested events for golfers with an 21.0 or better handicap index.  "It's very intense," says WMGA Director of Operations Nancy Early. “The women can't wait to challenge other clubs to see how they're doing."

The EWGA, on the other hand, welcomes rank beginners as well as serious competitors.

"We offer women the opportunity to play the game for business and for life," says Westchester chapter President Sherri Wilson of Hawthorne, who adds that her day job as a manager of shopping center properties fuels her passion for golf as a getaway. She reports that the local group has 174 members, 34 of which are new members.

At Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, Assistant Pro Reid Johnson says a core group of twenty to thirty women still gathers on Wednesdays for regulation events and compete in WMGA-sponsored interclub team matches.  He adds that a new group of about twenty "niners" (who play only nine holes) has developed on Thursdays.  Different events such as seniors versus baby boomers and a new Ryder Cup format, where teams (the "Wings" versus the "Feet") compete in alternate shot and individual matches, add diversity to the weekly games.

Organized events at public venues have faithful followings and players must sign up early in the season to reserve a space.  One of the more competitive EWGA nine-hole twilight leagues takes place at Doral Arrowwood while other groups form weekly at Maple Moor and Sprain Lake.

As vibrant as the Westchester women’s golf scene seems to be, there may be clouds on the horizon.  Former Leewood Country Club member Bruck complained about her daughter’s lack of interest.  "Its hard to get her out on the golf course, and then she goes out and hits the ball like, a mile," Bruck says.  “When I ask her why she doesn't want to play, she says it takes a lot of time, its expensive, and her friends don't play."

Troy Tingberg, teaching professional at Bonnie Briar, points out, “I see lots of kids from five to ten years of age running around hitting balls and practicing in clinics" but there aren't any formal leagues at most country clubs for them.

"One of the problems is that we lose a lot of girls to other sports,” Westchester Country Club's Monique Thoresz adds.  “If a girl is athletic or strong or shows lots of promise, all the coaches from other sports want them too. So field hockey, lacrosse, softball and all the other sports compete with golf for players." The teaching professional pointed out that girls can and do compete on women’s interclub teams but none currently exist just for them.

That may change as more women become active in the sport, which will in turn create more role models for younger players and create more demand for instruction and structured competitions for youngsters.  Who knows, the growing number of women golfers might even force men to play faster.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dave Stockton helps Taylor Made and Rossa create easy Corza Ghost putter

Taylor Made, with the help of putting instructor Dave Stockton, has created a good looking, supposedly easy-to-use putter called the "Corza Ghost".

Yes, it really is all white as opposed to metallic (hence the name), and it even has a hole in the back as if an eye was eerily staring up at you but the new Rossa putter is hardly spooky.

The intent was to come up with an exceptionally easy to aim easy to use putter to roll your golf ball down its intended line.

Rossa senior director, Bill Price said, "We started with the intention of designing a putter that's easier to aim than any other. That led us to experiment with a white finish. We consulted Dr. Steven A. Hitzeman, a professor at the Indiana School of Optometry and he felt we were onto something."

Why consult with an Optometrist? Can an eye doctor unlock the key to correct putting?

"The high contrast between white and green maximizes stimulation to the retina and highlights the head's shape and features. The contrast would be lower if the putter were black or gray because these colors are closer in luminance to the color of the putting green than white," said Dr. Hitzeman, who is also a past president of the Indiana Optometric Association and a past chairman of the American Optometric Association's Sports Vision Section.

"White creates the biggest difference in luminance, hence maximizing contrast and promoting focus. Many golfers use the leading edge of the putter as part of their alignment strategy (by positioning the edge perpendicular to the imagined target line). This high contrast for the leading edge gives the golfer the best chance of squaring up the putter face at address. Also, the lines on the top of the putter are painted black to achieve maximum contrast against the white surface of the putter. All of these high-contrast alignment elements give the golfer the best possible chance of accurately aiming the putter."

Jack Nicklaus won the 1967 U.S. Open with the Bullseye "white fang" putter making eight birdies in his final round. He said it was to reduce glare from the sun.

Rossa engineers also placed "three black alignment lines on the crown and a circular hole in the back of the putterhead, offering several different options to focus on to lock in your aim. 

"You can focus on the topline to aim Ghost," said Bret Wahl, senior director of iron, wedge and putter development, "or you can focus on the alignment lines to visually connect the circular hole and your ball to lock in your aim. The point is that you've got options, each one highly effective."




 No More "Hot Spots"

Hot spots occur when sunlight hits the top of the putter and distracts a golfer's focus away from the putterhead, the alignment system, and aiming the putter squarely down the target-line. The white finish turns the putter into a ghostly image that keeps hot spots from glaring into your eyes.

Rossa's tour-proven AGSI®+ (Anti-skid Groove System Insert) Technology. is built right into the Corza Ghost.

AGSI+ features 14 polymer-filled grooves in the face that "hold" the ball briefly at impact to promote forward spin for a smoother roll and more accurate results. The AGSI+ insert, in concert with the putterhead's extremely high MOI, also delivers superior consistency in forward roll on off-center hits, something not shown in tests of other popular putters.

This model is a mallet, a forgiving putter feature and two more Rossa Corza shapes are due out this spring. With a retail price of $159, it seems only fair to give this new putter technology a chance. Of course, it is usually not the putter but the golfer behind the stick that determines his or her game. With that in mind and with the wealth of putters currently on the market, putting is purely derived of comfort and, if you roll in a few good putts you might give it a place it in your bag this season.

For more information on the Rossa Corza Ghost putters, visit Taylor Made.

Also, check out the Adidas adiPURE Golf Shoes now tooted by Sir Nick Faldo!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Should the public send a "just stop it" message to Nike?

Nike is swooshingly gaining a notorious reputation for standing by celebrity athletes who womanize; Ben Roethlisberger and Tiger Woods, to name a few.

Should the public continue to buy goods from Nike or send a message loud and clear forcing the sports retailer to become more family-friendly?

Tiger Woods has finally come clean, probably because of the buzzing in his ears from sponsors that doing so limits the damages he incurs over time. He still needs to break Jack Nicklaus' records, right?

No one has to like Ben Roethlisberger off the field except for, maybe, Missy Peregrym and accused still means innocent until proven guilty. But, with Andrea McNulty also claiming sexual misconduct, Nike should consider putting the brakes on before being forced to do so.

Nike does have its limits; cruelty to animals, for example. Michael Vicks was quickly dropped from the Nike roster after pleading guilty to running a dog-fighting ring punishable by prison time.

Could this mean that Nike considers infractions to women a more palatable offense than to dogs? Nah, couldn't be. Most likely it just the fact that Nike backs off when an athlete is found guilty without first admitting blame.

Nike's product is still moving off the shelves so perhaps "creepy cred" as Timothy Egan puts it is good for business. And, as Hollie Shaw mentioned, "Love it or Hate it, Nike's ad got noticed."

Bottom line comes from "data from U.S.based market research firm TNS suggesting that while the athlete (Tiger Woods in this case) may have hurt his personal reputation in the scandal, that harm did not extend to the brands he endorses."

With reasoning being that any press is good press, who will Nike sign on next?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marriott Golf Promotes Free Family Golf Festival

Marriott Golf, one of the world’s premier golf operators, is once again reaching out to families all over the world promoting “togetherness in golf.”

Announcing the third annual International Family Golf Festival program, Marriott golf will host a year-long series of one-day family golf events taking place at thirty of their leading managed destinations throughout the world.

Commencing on May 1st, the Marriott International Family Golf Festival, which encourages parents and children to learn and play the game together, invites families to Marriott Golf properties for an afternoon of FREE golf instruction, clinics, fun activities, interactive golf games, family golf programs, chances to win a variety of prizes, and more. Last year, it was estimated that more than 5,000 family participants took part in this exciting program.

In addition, after 3 p.m., families and children can play golf for free as part of Marriott Golf’s “Kids Golf-4-Free” program in which an estimated 10,000 parents and children participate each year.  The 2010 Family Golf Festival will take place at designated Marriott Golf properties, from May through November:


Marriott Golf Property
Location
Date of Event
La Iguana Golf Club
Herradura Bay, Costa Rica
May 1, 2010
Shadow Ridge Golf Club
Palm Desert, CA
May 22, 2010
Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ
May 23, 2010
Crane’s Landing Golf Club
Lincolnshire, IL
May 23, 2010
Hawk’s Landing Golf Club
Orlando, FL
May 29, 2010
Cattails At MeadowView
Kingsport, TN
June 6, 2010
Son Antem Golf Club
Mallorca, Spain
June 12, 2010
Dalmahoy Country Club
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
June 20, 2010
Sprowston Manor, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Norwich, Norfolk, UK
June 20, 2010
The Rookery at Marco
Naples, FL
June 26, 2010
Breadsall Priory, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Nr. Derby, Derbyshire, UK
June 27, 2010
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club
Lihue, HI
July, 10, 2010
Faldo Golf Institute
Orlando, FL
July 17, 2010
Grande Pines Golf Club
Orlando, FL
July 17, 2010
Hollins Hall Country Club
Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
July 17, 2010
Meon Valley Country Club
Nr. Southampton, Hampshire, UK
August 8, 2010
Griffin Gate Golf Club
Lexington, KY
August 14, 2010
Westfields Golf Club
Clifton, VA
August 22, 2010
Forest of Arden, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Meriden, Warwickshire, UK
August 28 & 29, 2010
Worsley Park Country Club
Worsley Park, Manchester, UK
August 28 & 29, 2010
St. Pierre, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Monmouthshire, Wales, UK
August 29, 2010
Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club
St. Petersburg, FL
September 5, 2010
Royal St. Kitts Golf Club
Basseterre, St. Kitts
September 11, 2010
Wildfire Golf Club
Phoenix, AZ
September 12, 2010
Desert Springs Golf Resort
Palm Desert, CA
September 12, 2010
Tudor Park Country Club
Maidstone, Kent, UK
September 18, 2010
Willow Crest Golf Club
Oak Brook, IL
September 19, 2010
Stone Mountain Golf Club
Stone Mountain, GA
September 26, 2010
Doral Golf Resort & Spa
Miami, FL
October 30, 2010
Starr Pass Country Club
Tucson, AZ
November 21, 2010



The Marriott International Family Golf Festival is another effort by Marriott to promote family golf.  In 2005, Marriott Golf launched “Kids Golf-4-Free,” a first-of-its-kind program that enables kids up to 15 years old to golf for free when accompanied by a full paying adult after 3 p.m.  In addition, Marriott Golf also offers free lessons anytime to kids up to 15 years old when accompanied by an adult who is taking a fully paid lesson from a Marriott Golf instructor.  This program, which is available at some of Marriott Golf’s most prestigious resort destinations worldwide, was complemented in 2007 by the “Kids Rent-4-Free” program, which provides kids 15 years old and under with a free rental set of Accu-Length clubs when they participate in the “Kids Golf-4-Free” program.

About Marriott Golf
Marriott Golf manages 58 golf courses at 42 locations in 12 countries, offering more than 1,000 holes of championship golf.  Marriott has been managing golf operations since 1970 and is one of the world’s premier golf operators.  Marriott provides golf management and consulting services to a variety of operational environments including resort, private club, daily fee, golf school and franchises.  For more information, visit www.marriottgolf.com.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Golf.com Q&A with Dave Pelz and Golf4Beginners

Dave Pelz hosted a special question and answer session today on the Golf.com website and I just had to ask the short game expert for a few tips and drills!


Stacy Solomon Golf4beginners
Golf4beginners said... 
 
Hi Dave,

I have a 56 and 60 degree wedge in my bag. When I practice at the range, I try to use both clubs (not at the same time) to hit a 60-yard target.

Is it good practice to vary ball position or backswing in order to gain proper distance? Is it important to practice with a few different clubs like 8-iron to get better feel?

Any good drills for distance control?

Thank you!


Dave Pelz
Dave Pelz said in reply to Golf4beginners... 
 
Greetings Golf4beginners!

For wedges, distance control is best accomplished by varying the length of your backswing. Don't change your ball position in your stance. The ball should be centered between your ankles (not toes) and your backswing should always be shorter than your follow-through.

And yes, it is important to practice with all different clubs in your bag - for example, on today's practice range session, practice your even-numbered clubs (4, 6, 8, PW), and for your next session, practice your odd-numbered clubs (5, 7, 9, SW).

Have fun! dp


Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/top100/2010/04/live-chat-with-dave-pelz-submit-your-questions-now.html#tpe-action-resize-278#ixzz0lI1NahUW


It's important to know proper practice techniques!

Can Adidas adiPURE Golf Shoes Provide a Good Fit for Nick Faldo?

Nick Faldo, in days of yore a carpet fitter and now Knighted by the Queen and afforded the title of "Sir" has been tapped to be a delegate of sophistication for Adidas Golf footwear.

About fifty years ago Adidas first entered the sports marketplace producing shoes for soccer and running, hardly a brand for the jet-set. Endorsement deals combining world-class athletes with "street cred" has helped Adidas to improve their visibility revitalizing the brand for both lifestyle and leisure activites as well as remaining a brand for "everyman".

The Faldo-Adidas connection surely makes a good "fit".

Nick Faldo wearing Adidas adiPURE golf shoes

With a unique upscale and trendy look, adidas may have a winner with the adiPURE golf shoe opting for the combination of form and function. And, at this time in his career Faldo concludes, "I think it fits my stages in golf and my position in television," adding that the adiPURE line suits him because of trendy yet traditional appeal.

"The adiPURE premium apparel and footwear line speaks to the sophisticated golfer. The adiPURE line has infinite elegance and superior performance with clean designs, contemporary styling and groundbreaking technologies, built to anticipate the needs of the competitive purist."

Patricia Dahan, Senior Director of Global Apparel conveyed, "The product is timeless. It features styling that is well-tailored and incorporates all of the core technologies, but with fabrications that have a very luxurious and sophisticated feel giving the line a modern look."

Timeless elegance, top-shelf craftsmanship and eye-catching designs are important but now it's time for the comfort test. If the new adiPURE by Adidas can combine style and performance with a wide enough berth for extra wide feet, Adidas will have a winner!

Of course, the most important question for a golf gal is, "When will Adidas extend the line to include women golf apparel?" The stylish adidas Festuca shoe by Stella McCartney is a good start...

Visit Golf for Beginners for more great blogs

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Global Golf Re-Think to be tackled in Turkey?

Greg Norman and Annika Sorenstam have set themselves apart from the average professional golfer through exploration and success within the business landscape. From course design to clothing lines, these two entrepreneurs are ringing up millions in sales outside of the realm of golf, offering them name recognition to those who have never even picked up a golf club.

Both Norman and Sorenstam will be guest speakers during the seventh annual Golf Business Forum sponsored by KPMG. Held in Belek, Turkey, this conference is far from where the average golfer would have considered trekking for a few rounds and a glass of Raki but now appears to be making an international splash.

Why Turkey?

It seems that Turkey is becoming golf's new Portugal with the Turkish Golf Federation ambitiously planning about a hundred new courses within the next fifteen years. The mild weather and central location for Europeans are particularly attractive and the real estate is currently a great value.

Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo have already designed courses in Turkey and Hilton Hotels designated Turkey as one of it's key development regions recently adding their first luxury resort and spa in Dalaman on the south west coast.

The Golf Business Forum's theme of 'Rethink, Redesign, Reposition the Global Golf Industry' will tackle the future of golf and real estate, the impact of golf in the Olympics, environmental and sustainability issues as well as Turkey and China's ambitions as emerging markets.

Here is a look into the Golf Business Forum agenda:

Standing out from the Crowd: Developers on Marketing, Positioning and Branding. Communicating their thoughts on the issue will be Mario Natarelli, CEO of global branding consultancy FutureBrand, with leading developers from Turkey, Greece and Middle East.

How does the future look for professional golf? After years of sustained growth, fuelled by broadcaster and sponsorship demand, has professional golf run out of steam? Greg Norman plus Ernie Els’ agent, Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler, join the debate.

Here come the girls. With increasing numbers of women in the workplace and with more money to spend, can women play in a man’s world and break down barriers? Annika Sorenstam as well as Alex Armas, CEO of Ladies European Tour, think so and both will be taking center stage to explain.

Discover Turkey and its wealth of opportunity.  It is already one of the hottest new destinations for golf tourism with plans to build many more courses, but is Turkey the new Spain or Portugal?

Maximizing profits through design and operations. A practical, workshop style session, focused on golf operations, business management, sales and marketing, procurement, agronomy, food and beverage as well as optimizing the design of your clubhouse.

The environment – guidelines to environmental best practice. Find out why the environment is fast becoming golf’s greatest challenge and potentially it’s greatest asset.

The 2010 Golf Business Forum will be held at Gloria Hotels and Resorts, arguably one of the most exclusive complexes on the Turkish Riviera.

Set within the glorious Mediterranean landscape, Gloria Resort has everything I look for when I travel; two championship golf courses, private beach, pools with water slides, three five star luxury hotels within the complex with a select number of villas and suites.

If you involved in golf tourism or with international golf course development, consider further investigation into the 2010 Golf Business Forum.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tiger Woods still has the game but should Mickelson get the glory?

Cheering on Phil Mickelson at the Masters this weekend was easy to do. His charisma emanated from all corners of Augusta National Golf Club; the world could feel his warmth. Lefty pulled the golf fans into his world, making sure to smile and greet all as he walked through Amen Corner and down the home stretch.

After sinking a birdie at eighteen to place his name among three-time winners such as Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret, Mickelson greeted his wife Amy and their children with honesty and passion that most women would have swooned over. There was probably not a dry eye in the entire viewing audience.

In stark contrast, Tiger Woods' dissatisfaction with his fourth place finish was barely gracious. There was no mention of how K.J. Choi kept pace over four grueling days at Augusta, no positive reinforcements about his own game and certainly not the Tiger Woods who grew up in front of our eyes.

With cursing and apologies becoming more frequent and Woods literally falling to pieces in front of our eyes, the old Tiger is gone and the new Woods is far from warm and fuzzy.

Golf has always tried to maintain a positive, wholesome image. With Tiger Woods' shift from family man to player, could Phil Mickelson be the new genuine image and front man of the sport?

Whereas Woods was swearing on the course and "coming across as a little petulant -- not terribly gracious in defeat," said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director for Baker Street Advertising, Mickelson's family man image was seen as a role model and could make advertisers take notice.

One problem with Mickelson as a leading man is that he is not as recognizable as Woods. Phil hasn't gained the facial or name recognition and a person like him needs wins and that center stage in publicity to keep him in the public eye," concludes John Antil, Professor of Marketing at the University of Delaware.

That lack of visibility could change with wins and only if Mickelson decides that the spotlight is what he truly wants.

Of course being in the spotlight has it's own disadvantages. With rumors now circulating about a fling between Amy Mickelson and Michael Jordan and a love child from Phil, perhaps it is better if Mickelson keeps his head down?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Great Masters Moments from Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh

Being that Masters week is in full swing, I selected a few great moments in golf to get viewers ready for the first major event of the season.

The first video is a Tiger Woods classic chip shot at Augusta National and remains one of the most recognizable shots in golf. The second video is of Phil Mickelson and an amateur skipping golf balls across the water at the 16th hole, a tradition before the Masters.

Finally, Vijay Singh shows us how to get a hole-in-one in a most exciting fashion.

Enjoy!













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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bizarre Headlines from Tiger Woods to John Daly Cheapen Masters Ambience

Each year during Masters week, the game of golf has been reflected upon in its purest form. Golfers of days gone by were revered, statistics and quotes of incredible shots were remembered and everyone was deciding on the "right" way to make a pimento cheese sandwich.

Do a Google search this week for "Masters" and a more bizarre and less "Southern" feeling emerges.

John Daly has set up his RV directly across the street from the Augusta National parking lot conducting his own business by selling and signing memorabilia to fans. Daly was not invited to Augusta National as a guest but decided to show up anyway, hoping to make more money in sales than from an appearance fee.

There is more Tiger Woods chat than you can shake a stick at since he is the big draw this week and the reason for an 82-person security detail. Partnering with Woods will be K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar. The big scoop, however, is that former(?) mistress Joslyn James will be headlining her own act in nearby Atlanta.

James is making a special appearance at the Pink Pony strip club during Masters week. The Pink Pony is playing up the Tiger Woods/Joslyn James scenario by offering directions from Augusta National to (another good ole boys) Club and the tag line, "The former porn star will be dancing on the bars while Tiger is hitting pars!"

Two greats of the game are also making their appearance in the news, Fred Couples and Raymond Floyd. Couples thinks he still has a chance to win and Floyd realizes that it's the end of the line and is calling it quits after 45 Masters Tournaments. Couples should consider sticking with the Champions Tour because even though he has won three times this year and placed second, no fifty-year old golfer has ever won The Masters.

This year at Augusta National will certainly NOT be your father's Masters!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Ernie Els' Caddie Switch Before Masters May Hand Green Jacket to Tiger Woods

Ernie Els' arrangement with former NHL player Dan Quinn to carry his bag at this week's Masters Tournament may very well be his downfall allowing a grimacing, unshaven Tiger Woods to don yet another green jacket.

Els' plan to give both caddies a chance, and a stake, in his career is not a bad one but choosing a beginner over a veteran for a major event could pose trouble for Ernie.

Roberts, eighteen-year veteran on Els' bag, has helped Ernie to win all three major championships and fifty-seven victories whereas Quinn has been on Ernie's bag for seven events with this being his first Masters event. 

Els doesn't seem convinced that either caddie will make a difference in the way he will play golf at the Masters.

"I don't think anybody can tell me anything more about Augusta than I already know. I've had local caddies take me through there. I've had everybody take me through there. So I know exactly where everything goes," mentioned an overly confident Els this week.

Could this self-assurance be Els' undoing at the Masters or is he correct that the final decision at the bag is really only his to make?

Roberts was on the bag when The Big Easy made those back-to-back wins but as Els' manager Chubby Chandler said, "Dan being an athlete is very positive. It's a new perspective. Ricci comes back and is fresher. It has worked out marvelously."

Shane Bacon of Devil Ball Golf points out that "the caddie isn't there just to give you course advice. They're the person that calms you and understands you and handles your nerves and remembers your strengths and weaknesses."

The question as to whether or not Ernie Els believes this mantra will soon be answered at the Masters. If Els wins, both caddies will understand that they serve a minimal function for him.

If he loses, Els will have an unfortunate as well as expensive learning experience.