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October 17, 2002
Volume I, Issue 12
Fringe Clippings
... and a smile
Associated Press - The PGA Tour will be having the proverbial Coke and a smile this fall. Coke saved the Tour Championship by becoming the presenting sponsor for this year's event and and will be the bubbly of choice at least through 2005. As a result of the sponsorship, Coca-Cola will become the official soft drink of the PGA Tour, Senior Tour and Buy.com Tour as well as having significant sponsorship in the First Tee Program.
Ya get any gum with those packs?
Associated Press - Four regular "Joes" got to watch Tiger play golf, not from the Upper Deck, but from with in his group. Upper Deck, the trading card series, sponsored a sweepstakes promotion that awarded the four winners a round of golf with Tiger. Not to mention it was at Tiger's home course, the ultra-exclusive, Isleworth Country Club.
And the verdict is ...
Associated Press - Bethpage Black, will be hosting the 2009 U.S Open. It seems that the golf course, television ratings and outcome were exactly what the PGA liked to see! In related news, driver manufacturers are installing rocket launchers into club-faces and will lobby for conforming acceptance prior to the 2009 tee-off.
Black knight yard sale
GaryPlayer.com - Gary Player has commissioned the private sale of his trophy, medal and memorabilia collection, to Christie's London. The collection comprises nearly 300 items won, received and acquired throughout the world over a period of fifty years as a professional golfer. There is no indication that Player is doing this out of financial necessity.
Paralysis by Analysis
Cart path, best ball and a bit more

There are a lot of terms thrown around in the golf world. Those in the industry sometimes assume the general public knows exactly what they are talking about. Unfortunately for the golf consumer, one of the characteristics to being an elitist (oops I was only supposed to think that) is to develop lingo in the interest of: (A) appearing superior, (B) maintaining an aura of exclusivity, (C) further intimidating the new golfer, or (D) other.

Not here, not now.

It's time for enlightenment. Like a modern day Socrates, I will help inform the masses! I will pass along golf trivia and insight you never dreamed possible, in bi-weekly installments — in the interest of keeping things short and easy to comprehend. And if you already know all of this then just pretend you are watching Jeopardy and start each answer with, "What is?".

Let's begin:
  1. Best Ball Format vs. Scramble Format — It is often thought that "Best Ball" means each team member hits their shot, chooses the best one of those shots and then the rest of the team hits from the chosen shot. Survey says: "BUZZ!" This is the format known as a "Scramble". Best Ball is the format of team play where each player in the team plays his or her own ball for the entire hole until completion. The team then records the score of the person whose score was lowest for that hole.
  2. Cart Path Only vs. 90 Degrees — Pay attention! Cart Path means one thing and one thing only. Keep the cart on the path all the time. The rule of 90 degrees means that you are entitled to drive along the cart path until you are at a 90-degree angle (perpendicular) to your ball. Then you may drive in a straight line to your ball along the grass. After you hit your shot, you are to travel back along the same path that you took to get to your ball. (Remember this rule and you will make friends with Rangers everywhere)
I encourage you to re-read this as pop-quizzes may be forthcoming!
Reading the Line
The new (and somewhat louder) breed
The incessant clamoring to quiet down galleries at golf tournaments has been a recurring theme this year. While I agree there have been some instances where such an argument can be made for out of hand fans, on the whole I find it refreshing to hear people get excited about watching a golf tournament!

"You da man!" is certainly one of the most annoying catch phrases overheard preceding a John Daly tee shot, but it's really a small price to pay for the electricity such enthusiasm fosters. Speaking of "Foster's" it has been argued that alcohol is the culpable party responsible for much of this behavior. DUH! Don't think that it will be going anywhere anytime soon. Beer and liquor distributors have deeper pockets than most of the sponsors on tour, and Sows will be flying in Hades before their revenue is restricted.

Much like a parent must take responsibility for their children and teach them the "proper" and "not-so-proper" ways of the world, we must also gently mold new golf fans as to proper decorum at an event. For those that get out of hand, worry not. The PGA Tour will eject these patrons with great expedience. It's not an epidemic, but it should not be ignored. Do your part, and I will do mine. Please do not discourage anyone from cheering with vigor. Encourage enthusiasm, chastise obnoxiousness. There is a difference. Bethpage was a well-deserved shot for the game.

Cheer loudly and proudly! Maybe you could pretend you're at an N*Sync concert. Never mind — the squealing would be distracting.
Let's take this outside
Where are you? The golfing public is speaking quite loudly these days and the deafening silence is beginning to overwhelm courses everywhere. Augusta National notwithstanding, most golf courses really want your play.

The national average is down 2.1 percent through August of this year according to Golf Data Tech. That number should be going up each year with the proliferation of new golf courses opening their doors. It's a scary scenario to be honest. The game must be played for it to grow. In what has been a banner year for professional golf tournaments and spectators, the heart and soul of the game (golfers playing on courses) is slowly eroding.

Here is what I am getting at. Go play! Right now! No, wait — finish reading first! It's time for a little R&R for everyone. Shine up the sticks and knock the dust of those spikes. Swing. Swing with all your might and don't leave anything on that tee box. This game is meant to be played! If G.O.L.F. stands for Game Of Life First, then start living yours on the course and support your local area courses. Operators are standing by.

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