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December 13, 2002
Volume I, Issue 15
Fringe Clippings
Judy or Wapner please
London Associated Press — A pro golfer on the European tour has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the owner of a dog who bit his finger seven years ago. Andrew Raitt was bitten by a dog and contends that the injury has gotten progressively worse over the past seven years. Raitt is currently ranked No. 320 — on the European Tour!
Liquid, as in fluid
Associated Press — The tenth annual Technology and Innovation Awards Program put on by Industry Week Magazine was held last week. Liquid Metal Technologies was honored as one of the seven technologies of the year. Liquid Metal drivers are still available for purchase but have gone out of production.
Augusta's polar opposite
Golf Magazine — Suzy Whaley, the winner of Connecticut's PGA Section tournament last year has decided to play in next year's Greater Hartford Open. This will make Suzy the first woman ever to play in a PGA Tour event. Whaley said of her decision, "I have a chance to make history — that's huge. Any time someone can be the first at something it's special."
In unrelated news...
Former CBS chief executive Thomas Wyman became the first member of the Augusta National Golf Club to resign in protest over the club's refusal to admit a woman member. Apparently, Wyman was upset with Chairman Hootie Johnson's "pigheaded" attitude toward the whole debate.
Paralysis by Analysis
Repair the course, of course!

In recognition of the divot-ridden fairways at golf courses around the world, we dedicate this instruction article to our good friends in the maintenance shed! They are up at three o'clock every morning trying to keep our fairways lush and inviting (not that we ever use the fairway).

"If I have told you once, I have told you a million times: replace your divots!" Does this sound like anyone you know?

Well, they may be a loud mouth but at least he/she knows how to take care of the course. It's relatively simple course etiquette. It takes just a few moments to adjust the real estate you have marred.

Here are some simple tips for you to remember. (For those with a tendency to forget, write them down!)
  1. After striking your ball off the tee or ground, be sure to:
    • Replace the divot you chunked up
    • Pick up your tee
  2. After striking a shot out of the fairway, rough, hazard or other solid ground on which your shot may have fallen, replace your divot with the sand provided, and using your foot, firm up said sand and flatten it to level ground.
  3. When hitting from a sand trap, bring the rake out of your cart, use the rake in the bunker or at the very least brush the sand even with your spikes. Bad karma will come back to haunt you if don't live cleanly!
  4. Put a divot tool in your pocket before each round. If you don't have one, then borrow one. Your marks on the green, should you hit it, are the most virus-prone part of the golf course. They will also interrupt putts and increase greens fees should you leave them and force the golf course staff to deal with them.
Of course, these little tips are not the beginning and end of golf course maintenance, but if you have these down pat while you are on the course, then at least you're a leg up on Joe Duffer. Don't forget, though, that your responsibility is not limited to you but extends to every golfer in your group. So when you start to shake your head because someone has not raked a bunker, bring the rake to your partner! If he refuses, express your disgust and rake the stinking bunker for him. Then, when he is not looking, loosen his bag from the accommodating straps on the back of your cart so his clubs can fall in peril on the next inclined path.

Perhaps the guilty party will get the hint. If not, they are probably too brain dead to waste your time explaining it to them. Next time play with a woman. An informal survey of golf pros reveals that women seem to care and acknowledge these little nuggets of wisdom better than men, on the whole.
Reading the Line
Just close your eyes...
And pretend its not really happening. The silly season has truly gotten underway in golf, and the Skins Game is really the only thing worth watching and well — truth be told I was watching Michael Vick most of the day. There just really isn't much impetus to keep tuning in to a sport with no consequence nor real competition. However, there are reasons to be happy about the off season.

No Martha on Golf Channel. No majors for Phil to lose. Daly gets time to shop for a new putter. Tiger hosts a tourney — i.e., Elin Nordegren sighting. Colin will have time to develop another injury. Steve Williams has some underwater camera diving to do; and, of course, golf pundits everywhere will have time to justify not making Annika the player of the year. Is there a better time for small ball? I think not!
Just go away
Having grown up in the 80's as a fan of Billy Joel, Kool and the Gang and Men at Work, I don't have very fond memories of hair bands! But for some reason I can't get the group Motley Crue out of my head, especially one particular song that topped the charts: "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)." You know the tune, don't you?

Well, perhaps it's time Mrs. Burke of the NCWO took a listen to this little ditty. While she's at it she can have her new publicity crony Thomas Wyman give an ear to the Crue's, "Girls Girls Girls." (Do your own analysis on that one, faithful.) And to wrap up our long distance dedication hour, I am throwing one out for my beloved here within the friendly confines of Off the Fringe. How about cranking up a little Twisted Sister, "We're Not Gonna Take It." Because I have flat out gotten sick of these crusaders and their thinly veiled attempts at demonstrating how prejudice exists in this world. DUH! Now pick a fight that matters!
The reflective perspective
Much like my golf game is in need of great improvement, I am also not a perfect analyst. However, there have been some events this year in golf that Off the Fringe has taken a stance on, and we are hoping that each of you has done the same. It is all too often as a community that we do not think about those things that are important to us. Family, friends, politics and our material loves. Although I would never put golf above my family or friends, it is something that I love and as such have strong feelings about. As a reader of this publication, it may very well be that you do too.

Most of the time, I speak very directly about issues affecting the game. Although not everyone agrees with me, you certainly can say that you know where I stand. And now you all can have the opportunity to let everyone know your position. While I appreciate all your comments and insight as they help to shape my perspective, thus far you have only been able to write directly to me. Starting today you will be able to visit the Off the Fringe web site at www.OffTheFringe.com and speak your mind in your Fringe Forum.

Thank you and please keep telling me how much you love me — well, some of you anyway!

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