Extras  Members  Newsletter 
August 08, 2002
Volume I, Issue 7
Fringe Clippings
Tiny fingers make great shoes!
Golf Week - Regarding their free speech case, Nike executives said they will appeal a California Supreme Court ruling that said the company's advertisements, which defend their labor practices, are commercial and not free speech. Nike is appealing the ruling.
There goes my Evian stock
Associated Press - Residents and environmentalists in the greater San Antonio area have managed to defeat a proposed PGA Village Resort. The resort would have included three courses, amenities, and 3000 homes on 2,861 acres. The concern involved the city's sole water source, Edwards Aquifer, which could have been contaminated from runoff from the courses.
Associated Press - And they all did! The PGA Championship, which starts August 16, will feature all 100 top players in the world! This will be the first time that the top 100 ranked golfers will have competed in a major, making this the strongest major field ever.
I, too, am shocked but appreciative
Associated Press - The LPGA is making a big push to become more marketable. LPGA brass hosted a seminar attended by more than 60 players. According to the LPGA website, the seminar was designed to help players "create, build upon and capitalize on their own unique style." On an interesting note, tour professional Lori Kane was reported to have inquired how to "de-emphasize" an ample bosom. The answer, "more cleavage." Kane responded, "I'm shocked but appreciative."
Paralysis by Analysis
The power struggle

The mantra of most instructors these days is "Swing easy and keep it in the fairway." When's the last time you heard someone say "I'm not going left of trees, I'm not going right of the trees, I'm going over the trees with a little draw." (Roy McAvoy, Tin Cup)

Have you ever seen Tiger swing his driver easy? Me neither.

So this week let's discuss how to hit the ball far and not leave anything in the bag.

For starters, forget the notion of hitting 325-yard drives. "Not gonna happen." While we're throwing that out the window, let's also toss out the idea of out-driving your fellow golfing companions. These two thoughts alone are directly related to your inability to hit the long ball. The key word here is tension.

"What? I thought we were discussing how to hit it far?" We are. In case you haven't learned yet, golf is game of opposites. You swing left, the ball goes right. You swing down, the ball goes up. Does it not fit into this game of opposites that not trying to hit the ball far is how you do it? Follow along; I am about to share some insider tips that would make Martha Stewart perk up.

Follow these instructions carefully and unlock the beast within!
  1. Loosen your grip. This will allow you the pliability your hands need to properly un-cock themselves at impact. Watch Sergio Garcia, he is a little guy who generates tremendous power with his hands. All you white-knucklers out there, ease up will ya!
  2. Take a three-quarters swing. Most amateurs over-swing. Attempting to load too much power in the back swing does this. By consciously limiting your swing length, you will be enhancing the compact nature of your swing and creating a square club face at impact. Why does Tiger's ball go far? Because his club face is square!
  3. Let the Ball get in the way. The golf swing is all about the club. Not the ball. Do not try to hit the ball hard. Do not even try to hit the ball. Let the ball get in the way of a perfect set-up and swing and it will go far! Think about that perfect practice swing you take. You just know if you could put that swing on the ball — Look out! Well then, just step up and pretend the ball is not even there. A fluid motion like that will allow you to swing through the ball, not at it.
With these tiny nuggets of knowledge you may not be able to carry that last bunker at your home course from the tips, but you might just find yourself setting up to hit an 8 iron from the fairway and not a four iron from behind a tree.
Reading the Line
Marketing 101
Ty Votaw and the top executives with the LPGA tour have finally stepped to the plate and taken a swing at truly marketing a phenomenal inventory of product. One of the basic concepts taught in a marketing class is to make your product attractive to your customer base. The idea of creating sizzle appeal (not sex appeal as the LPGA will be quick to correct) is a widely accepted form of marketing. Let's face it, these aren't the best golfers in the world, the PGA has that distinction. So, how does Ty get people to watch? Anyone still confused about the answer to this conundrum need look no further than the quick tips marketing pamphlet for the WTA (Women's Tennis Association).
C'mon now...
In a recent study done by Golf magazine, 2,000 golfers were polled and asked various questions regarding the game. The one that miffed me most - only 37 percent said they would trade places with Tiger Woods. That's not the craziest part though; 45 percent said they would trade places with the player ranked 200th on the PGA Tour money list. Yeah and if asked, probably 98 percent would have said they have never taken a gimme putt in their life? So much for polls!
Addressing a real concern
Traditional golfers have been speaking out in disgust of the new breed of golf fan in the gallery. "Beer-swilling, Happy Gilmore marks, who have no respect for the traditions of the game and don't deserve to stand among us" seems to be the common thread at work amongst followers of the game. As a traditionalist first and foremost I could not agree more. However, it is our job as "educated" golfers to provide a working knowledge to the incoming fan base about how to behave at an event. If our game is to grow, then it must teach.

We have come to a crossroads. The traditionalists of the game must protect the courteous traditions and decorum that are hallmarks of our sport. Is there enough introspection within our own populace as a golfing community to accomplish this, or will we allow our game to go the way of basketball, football and other sports, which encourage antagonistic behavior to sell? Don't always assume the worst of people as they begin to appreciate our game. Understand that they are learning, just the same as we did once upon a time. Teach them well.
Fight the important fights
Editor's Note: We don't always include comments from our readers, but this letter was particularly insightful. It was sent in response to an article regarding the debate to allow women membership at Augusta.

I am a career businesswoman, working in an industry which is predominately male. I also golf. I think it's sad that we are discussing whether women should be allowed to join a private men's club. There are many more critical and crucial issues facing women in today's world than if they can join a boy's club and play golf...Baby girls in China are abandoned because they are not as worthy as boys. Until recently, women in Afghanistan weren't allowed out of their houses without male relative escorts... Every day, women in the United States are called upon to be caregivers to elderly parents as well as run their families and make money. These are issues on which women's groups should be expending their energy, publicity, intelligence, and influence.

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