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September 05, 2002
Volume I, Issue 9
Fringe Clippings
King of all
GolfWorld Business - Arnold Palmer proved once again that it's not solely the trophy mantle that establishes our sports heroes. For the third straight year, Mr. Palmer won golf's biggest popularity contest, GolfWorld Business' Personality Index. The poll measures familiarity, likability and credibility. Tiger finished second, and Jack Nicklaus was third.
Showing no major concern
Associated Press - Hootie Johnson continues to make statements without speaking. The chairman of The Master's Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club has contacted his sponsors and told them that the Masters will not be soliciting them for sponsorships in 2003. The Masters is known for its limited commercial time — 4 minutes per hour — and this coming year it will be commercial-free. This, of course, is in response to the ongoing battle with Martha Burke and the NCWO.
No mo' mono
Associated Press - Ty Tryon will be back on the links next weekend at the Buy.com Tour's Utah Classic. The teenage phenom has been sidelined for the better part of this year by mononucleosis. Doctors say he was probably in the early stages of the illness last year during qualifying school.
There are good stories
GolfWorld - PGA Tour Wives will be conducting a "Walk to Remember" through Valley Forge National Historical Park to raise money for the Pennsylvania Red Cross and to pay tribute to the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. For more information contact the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org).
Paralysis by Analysis
Dress Code

Before we start, let's get one thing straight. Off the Fringe couldn't care less if your clothes match or if you pull your "Vinny Barbarino" socks all the way to the knees! As long as you follow the code!

So here we go. It's time we all learned how to dress on the golf course and respect some of the traditions of the game. Hey the plaid pants identity took a long time to establish itself; we don't want to see it thrown away like so many off-the-deck Mickelson drivers!

Here are the basics for everyone to understand:
  • No Denim - Jeans, cut-off or otherwise
  • No T-Shirts - It does not matter if it's a $300 Prada
  • Collared shirts always - both ladies and men
  • Sleeveless shirts are allowed for ladies, not for men
  • For men, Bermuda shorts or slacks are allowed
  • For ladies, Bermuda shorts, skirt or slacks are permitted
  • For most courses and conditions, soft spikes are sufficient
Follow these rules, and you will never have a problem. If you don't follow them, you should expect some resistance. Clubs pros are in the business because they respect the game and its history. That includes plus-fours and wingtips. Besides, if the members of the club who own houses along the course see a golfer who is out of dress code they will complain about it and the pro will get the kibosh! Yeah, sometimes it seems silly, we know. But hey, we didn't make the rules.

Styles and designs change enough to let any person feel comfortable wearing the proper attire on the course.
Reading the Line
It just won't die!
Commercial free Masters? I'm all for it! More personal interest stories about how Tiger grew up tracking Jack's records! More Phil Mickelson perspectives on why he doesn't care about winning majors. We certainly don't have enough of those, do we? There really is something just a bit more imperative to understand about The Masters Tournament and its resistance to the NCWO, and it has to do with truth and common sense.

The truth is that Augusta is private and does not ever have to admit a female member if it chooses not to. Truth is, The Masters is a tournament run by Augusta National, not played by its members. Truth is the NCWO is looking to cash in on the media feeding frenzy that has been born of this controversy, damn the right or wrong of their position.

However, we must be reasonable. Common sense tells us that this would go away if they simply admitted one female member. Common sense says, it would all go away if Hootie publicly apologized for taking such a harsh stance and saying he would not be "bullied." Common sense also says that Augusta would probably come out smelling like Azaleas, if they donated a portion of their take at the gate to female-oriented junior golf programs.

But this is the 21st century where boy bands are now in bed with NASA and Bud Selig is a hero for his 11th hour saving of baseball. As one of my favorite observationalists, Earl Pitts, puts it, "Wake up, America!" Truth and common sense can co-exist; it just takes a little thought. We will lose the Masters Tournament as a major if our complacency to accept such actions continues. It is as much my responsibility as a member of the media to make you the consumer aware of what is going on, as it is your responsibility as the consumer to tell Augusta and the NCWO what you really think of the current situation.

I am truly concerned about the future of golf's greatest individual championship. Perhaps you are, too.
The Jury is still out
Lanny Wadkins has replaced the much-beloved Ken Venturi alongside Jim Nantz as golf's premier color commentator. There may be no one as annoyed by this factoid as the author of this newsletter, but hey, personal experiences should not weigh into evaluations of a man's job. Lanny has done a fine job of calling it like he sees it. Then again it doesn't take much to say, "Did you see that Jim? So did I. Back to you!"

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