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June 26, 2003
Volume II, Issue 11
Fringe Clippings
Attention Wal-Mart billing department...
The Russell Athletic Company has recently purchased Spalding sporting goods equipment brands. Formerly called Spalding Sports Worldwide, the company will now be called, The Top-Flite Golf Company. The Top-Flite Golf Company will have two main brands to market: Top-Flite and Ben Hogan. Look for a new line of Top-Flite golf balls this week.
Finally compromised
Cash poor, Never Compromise has been completely acquired by the Cleveland Golf Company. Cleveland purchased Never Compromise's assets, including its trademarks, patents, designs, logos and inventory. The original principals will not remain with the company. Cleveland Golf has long wanted to complete its equipment combo and the addition of a top notch putter gives Cleveland the ability to compete with the full complement of woods, irons, wedges and putters.
He makes news all sorts of ways
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to reject the claim by Tiger Woods' licensing agent, ETW Corp., against Jireh Publishing Inc. The claim came after Jireh published a painting of Woods' 1997 Masters victory. The court ruled by saying, "We hold that, as a general rule, a person's image or likeness cannot function as a trademark." Spokespeople from Jireh were quoted as saying, "Whew!"
Now, this might be a little much
Jan Stephenson, of LPGA and Playboy fame, may be playing in a Champions Tour event this year. In an attempt to capitalize on the latest media craze in golf — women on the men's tour — Stephenson is maneuvering to play in this year's Turtle Bay Championship October 3-6. It was made quite clear by Stephenson's spokespeople that this is not an attempt to prove her quality as a player but rather to bring attention to both the men's and the women's senior circuit.
Paralysis by Analysis
Dude, where's my par?
Limitless are the boundaries of the mind. Endeavor to be your own man, on your own terms. Never settle for second best. And lest we never forget, par for the course is still only par.

What in the name of Moe Norman were "they" thinking when they decided it would be a good idea to measure all golfers by the average number of strokes a professional requires to complete a hole? I suppose those capable of linear thought will suggest that there must be a standard to measure by, but I submit to keeping score by expletives (not to mention I am not sure I am capable of linear thought). I realize that the non-swearing variety out there believe I should be able to maintain a handicap index without swearing, but phrases like "Fudge" and "Cheese and Rice" just don't work for me.

Par is the standard and always will be. But how do we achieve par? Furthermore, how do we get past the mental stumbling block of assuming it is achievable for us Average Joes nursing a single malt morning haze?

The answer is really much more simple than one would think. Use your noggin, my fellow challengers of the links. You have a handicap (or an average score) by which to judge yourself for each game. If you regularly fire a score between 85 and 92, then you know you will probably make a few pars, some more bogeys and the occasional "Frosty." Par is a panacea for you; it is very much not the norm. By knowing and being comfortable that you do not have to make par on every hole to achieve success in your round, you have eliminated a great mental foe.

For your next round try playing a game within your game. Decide how many pars you will score, how many bogeys you will score and how many "slide rule assisted" scores you will allow yourself. Like the book says, "Golf is not a game of perfect." (Did Yoda write that?) At any rate, the success or lack thereof that you achieve will reflect a better distinction of what your "par for the course" truly is.

Good luck with this advice and remember, when all else fails there will always be Baywatch reruns to cheer you up.
Reading the Line
I say there old boy, poor form
Colin has done it again. Not only does he draw the ire of American fans and the general public at large, but now he has managed to agitate a colleague as well. In a move that can only be described as classless as ducking underneath the sneeze guard to cough at a buffet, Mr. Montgomerie hired a caddy away from another tour player, Stephen Leaney. Yes, that same Stephen Leany who placed second at the US Open. Bright move, huh? It's not the hiring that is classless but rather the fact that he did so with out contacting the Australian golfer before he stole away his course mate. C'mon, we know the caddy would have left the little known Leaney for the substantially more lucrative life as Mrs. Doubtfire's bag toter, but in a game supposedly steeped in gentlemanly behavior — the European tour moreover — that kind of act stinks of diaper disposal receptacles.
Tiger tales
I have endured criticism of epic volume concerning my Tiger commentary in relation to his dynamic effect on television ratings. As they say in the sandbox at recess, "Nanny-nanny Boo-boo!" Tiger is a captivating icon of American culture and a 40% drop in final round viewer-ship for Sunday at the US Open etched this fact in stone. Not everyone enjoys having to watch every shot that Tiger hits. But enough people like seeing him swing a golf club enough times on Sunday for it to make a difference. And for you finger wagers who think he is in a funk, your suspicions have been confirmed. Tiger is in a funk. I wish I could get in a funk that paid that well.
Rethinking traditions
In the mostly conservative world of golf there are very few moments of respite for those who live on the wild side. Perhaps it is time we embraced some of the traditions that go along with other sporting events. I am, of course, referring to the streaker that attempted to court Jim Furyk with the rose during the final round at Olympia Fields. It certainly was one of the few interesting, and more importantly, unpredictable moments on Sunday. I mean, maybe naked people and golf don't really go hand in hand, but tell me what in the world an octopus has to do with hockey! OK, so we can't have topless women running through fairways — I am not an ignoramus. I do know that kids are watching, and it was uncalled for. But if we think together maybe can come up with something! I will get the ball rolling. How about if we went with something like, for a double bogey you must change from spikes into high heels. If you record a birdie you get to do a keg stand with the frat boys, who must then paint your name on their bellies! And for winning the tournament you get first shot at Johnny Miller in the Pie Face Booth. I am sure that those with more creative (read twisted and disturbed) can suggest some more. Until next time, Fringe Faithful, keep your shirts on!
Wishes and prayers
Davis Love III and his family are enduring a tragedy of epic proportions. Davis's brother in law was being investigated for alleged misappropriation of Davis Love's earnings. The pressure of the investigation may have been a contributing factor to his brother-in-law's suicide. Davis Love III is an amazingly value oriented gentlemen of the game, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

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