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March 25, 2003
Volume II, Issue 6
Fringe Clippings
Callaway wants to try on the blue collar
Callaway Golf has announced that it will begin selling its products — including the Odyssey line — at Gart and Sports Authority retailers. The golf equipment juggernaut has not stated exactly what products will be sold, but executives with Callaway have directly associated the move to competing with Titleist, Nike and Spalding in the golf ball sector.
Ambassador Burke speaks for the country?
Martha Burke recently decided to scale back the size of her Augusta protest, citing the war in the Middle East as her reason for doing so. Here are her exact words: "The tournament is more than a golf match; it is a large corporate party. Liquor and entertainment flows freely throughout the week. These are things I don't think the country is going to want to see happening during a time of national conflict." In related news, Saturday Night Live will be switching to a dramatic format and will no longer be funny.
A 2-ball putter by any other name is still a ...
Callaway Golf, maker of the super popular Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Putter, has finally won something more than a loyal golf following. The Carlsbad, California, club maker announced last week that Japan-based golf-club sellers K.K. Maruzen and K.K. Seima would immediately stop selling the "White Shot New Wave Twin Ball" putter. In addition, the "copycat" manufacturers will be paying Callaway Golf an undisclosed sum of money for trademark infringement. Ouch.
McCormick is the spice, McCormack is the Award
That makes five. Yes, for the fifth straight year Tiger Woods was presented the McCormack Award. You get the award for being No. 1 in the world ranking for the most weeks for the year that just passed. In Tiger's case he held that ranking for all 52 weeks in 2002. For the past 5 years, 260 plus weeks, he has held that ranking more often than anyone else. Geezum, he's been ranked No.1 for the last 187 weeks.
Paralysis by Analysis
Warning: golf hazard. Back away...

As an insufferable insomniac I have combed the aisles of every pharmacy known to man in search of an aid to a restful slumber. In a show of resilience reminiscent of my three-month-old niece's refusal to get a job, my brain simply refuses to turn off. (Incidentally for those of you stewing over the previous cranial reference, rest assured that NASA will not be stealing me away anytime soon.) On we stride, however, eternally in search of my point.

As I sat on the sofa several nights ago, filled with ambitions of what the next day would bring, I tried desperately to allow myself to be consumed by the latest golf movie to come out of Hollywood. A Gentleman's Game, starring Gary Sinise (Forest Gump, Apollo 13) would provide my evening's entertainment. Sinise plays an ex-golf phenom who instructs the town's current prodigy on the Game Of Life First.

The movie meandered through an abandoned nature trail of clichés and overdone life lessons. However, it did provide this viewer with a magic sleeping potion that Johnson and Johnson probably wishes they could bottle. I should have changed into my jammies before starting this flick as I was sleeping like a baby within the hour. The good news is that I didn't have the hangover associated with some sleeping aids.

I realize that this is the portion of the newsletter that reader's count on for morsels of wisdom about how to improve their game, but I must also steer you all clear of golf pratfalls that await your consumption. A Gentleman's Game, while good in its concept, is just plain bad. On the other hand, if you are a fellow ceiling tile counter this movie may come in handy.

For pure golf entertainment I have two suggestions:
  1. March 25th is the release of the new book In Search of Tiger: A Journey through Golf with Tiger Woods by Tom Callahan.
  2. Any David Feherty Column that you have not read. He may be the most creative man in golf.
Reading the Line
As we get closer...
The Augusta National debate rages on, and as anticipated, it just keeps getting less interesting. Here is the latest news to surface, adding to background fog inside The Masters Big Top.

Arnold Palmer is planning a very abbreviated stay in Augusta this year. After the Champions dinner and some other fanfare on Tuesday of tournament week, he will be leaving the city and not even competing in the par three tournament. Wow, The King will not even play in the par three? I can't even find sarcasm here.

In addition, there was a well timed "leak" that perhaps the very first female member will be admitted just before the Tournament starts. This would, of course, diffuse any protest and keep the focus clearly on Augusta National. Speculation has it that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor would be the honoree. Wait... wait.. wait... OK, now that your head has stopped smoking from thinking of all the irony involved with that, smile. It ain't gonna happen!
But she's not an intern...
It seems that Ty Votaw is very happy with his job these days. Not only does being the commissioner of the PGA Tour come with benefits like celebrity, riches, golf privileges and a female exclusive workforce, it now seems that he can date his employees as well! What a great gig!

Actually, what's newsworthy about the fact that Votaw is dating LPGA player Sophie Gustafson is that it drew enough attention to be reviewed by the LPGA Board of Directors for its, "awkwardness." Votaw is currently going through a divorce, and Gustafson is single so there is no impeachment of character at play here. Forgive me for for pointing out the obvious, but haven't we reached a point of hypersensitivity when the Board of Directors needs to review levels of awkwardness? For the record, Votaw is 41, and Gustafson is 29.
As I rub the sleep out of my eyes...
Wow the last few weeks have been the epitome of anti-climactic, have they not? First Adam Scott's missed putt to lose to Tiger. Then sickly David Toms unable to seriously mount a challenge to the striped one the next day and since then it's just had me sawing logs harder than my Uncle Ralph without his "breathe-right" strips. Scott Hoch and his amazingly unsatisfying Monday miracle followed by the inimitable Davis Love nosedive! I am fearful that this week will bring a disappointment of epic proportions. If Tiger and Ernie don't produce this weekend, I may take a coverage hiatus and start reporting on swift rising sport of Topless Lawn Bowling! Don't get too excited though, I have a good feeling about Bay Hill — or maybe it's just the Kava-Kava kicking in.
Just 'cause you won once...
2002 will be remembered as the year of "sharing," the year for unknown golfers to make a name. A total of 18 first time winners of a PGA Tour event emerged. The wealth was shared, excitement was in the air, it was a very cool year for golf. Visions of "just maybe" rattled around in many of our amateur golf brains.

Ouch, 2003 has knocked that out of us. The "Marquee Players" have shut the door. Heck, they have slammed the door. No first time winners have emerged thus far in 2003. Even more striking, none of last year's first time winners have won. The "Big Boys" of the game have become very stingy. Tiger has won 3 of the 4 events he has contested. Els and Weir have won twice. Other winners on tour include Singh, Davis Love III, Hoch, and Leonard. Unlike 2002, all these names are very familiar.

Hey, wouldn't it be great if a certain well-known golfer — who has never won a PGA event — won the Bank of America Colonial (May 22-25). Annika, this Bud's for you. This one could be fun!
God bless our troops
Please join with us in saluting the men and women of our armed forces who are so bravely defending our freedoms. We pray for their swift and safe return.

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