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November 18, 2004
Volume III, Issue 17
Fringe Clippings
Another build the game initiative goes sour...
Give the managers at Hidden Valley Golf Club in Norco, California an A for initiative and an F for common sense. The boys at Hidden Valley hosted what has been called the "girlie tournaments" in the Spring of 2002. The problem, you ask? The tournament featured more than a dozen prostitutes and strippers who set up tents and advertised their "services" at two course tournaments. Sheriff's deputies raided the second tournament, detaining golfers, course employees and 17 alleged strippers and prostitutes. The two course managers and the tournament director were sentenced to 125 days house arrest after pleading guilty this July to felony conspiracy to corrupt public morals. Not that there were not willing participants. About 160 golfers paid $200 apiece to play, although police said some showed up at Hidden Valley Golf Club without golf clubs.
And what does P-R-I-V-A-C-Y spell?
Tiger Woods spent a pretty penny — well, about 22-hundred million of them — to have a 155-foot yacht built. And he did so with the stipulation that the world wouldn't be let in on what "Privacy" was all about. Well, so much for that agreement, which is why Woods is suing the shipbuilder for big bucks. Apparently Christensen Shipyards made photos of "Privacy" available to the media and used Woods' name and image at a Fort Lauderdale boat show. Lawyers for Woods filed a suit in federal court, and a judge granted a preliminary injunction barring the builder from disclosing info about the yacht or using Woods' name or likeness for any purpose.
Yeah, but did he hitch up his trousers and swing from the heels?
Sam Saunders has frequently been on the bag for his famous grandfather, Arnold Palmer. But the 17-year-old Saunders is quite a player himself, as evidenced by his recent victory at the Florida high school Class A Championship. He won the competition at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie by five strokes. Saunders, who is also a Bay Hill Club champion — Arnie owns the place in Orlando — shot 8-under-par 136 in winning the high school title.
Seeing as how it's only been done twice in the past 54 years...
Reflecting on a year that saw him win nine times and win nearly $11-million, Vijay Singh sighed and said, "No matter how hard I try, it might be almost an impossible thing to do again. You never know, we'll try again next year and see what happens." He must know that anything near that kind of success would be a lot to ask. In fact, it might not happen again, ever, for anyone. Tiger Woods won nine times in 2000 and he and Singh are the only players to do so since Sam Snead won 11 tournaments in 1950.
Paralysis by Analysis
Try real hard to relax!
My goodness, how many times have you been told to relax on the golf course? If you had a way to measure this advice and how often it is dispensed your brilliance as a mathematician would be greatly sought after by NASA.

There is no need to have uptight golfers filling the courses, but I do think that trying to relax is a tad on the oxymoronic side! Golf is not and never will be Yoga or Tantra. It requires focus, concentration, physical agility and controlled aggression. Relaxing requires beach sand and a frozen umbrella drink.

Here is a different thought to carry in your bag the next time you tee it up: Be at ease. This was the advice of the late, great Harvey Penick. He felt that if you tried to relax too much, you would either become very tense trying to relax or fall over from drowsiness.

The idea of golf is to be at ease. Although there are some exceptions to this rule, not many people play good golf when they are not at ease. Again, golf is a game of controlled aggression. We are striking a ball and sending it screaming through the air at great speeds and it must drop from very high altitudes! This is not a relaxing act. It can be manipulated to a certain extent, however, through being at ease with yourself and your game.

Here are some tips to help play at-ease golf:
  • Stretch for at least ten minutes before teeing off.

  • Try not to consume caffeinated beverages before or during a round.

  • If you had a very bad day at work, just hit balls for a while to clear your mind before teeing off and help get you in golf mode.

  • Do not play for money if you cannot keep your mind off the bet.

  • If you hit a bad shot, think of the best things (spouse, kids, car, really great smoker in your back yard!) in your life to get you smiling again.

  • Play with people you like!
Each golfer will vary to some degree in figuring out what it takes to put them at ease. As long as no laws are broken and you still enjoy the game, do what you need to do to prepare to play at-ease golf.
Reading the Line
Come on family, he can get bad press on his own...
John Daly is one of our favorite golfers. Not only can he cream the ball a mile, he is the larger than life "bad boy" of golf who seems somewhat more in place in a Babe Ruth world than a Vijay world. Just when he seems to be getting back on track here comes bad news. His wife, Sherrie Miller Daly has pleaded guilty to a federal money laundering charge. She and her parents were indicted on charges stemming from what authorities said was a drug ring and an illegal gambling operation. Interestingly, John is number 21 on this year's money list with winnings of $2,359,507. Add to that some endorsement money and golly gee, you would think the Dalys could manage to get by even if they had to live a somewhat modest life style. Sherrie's actions may explain a part of John's previously unexplained demons. Prosecutors said the two-time major champion didn't know about his wife's activities, which took place between 1996 and 2002. Daly met Sherrie, his fourth wife, at a tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2001 and married her seven weeks later. Here's hoping that all the Dalys get on track at the same time and enjoy the legal bounty that is theirs.
Thought you said we could control this guy...
PGA of America officials had to gulp hard when they heard their newly-named U.S. Ryder Cup team captain say he'd love to qualify for the squad in 2006. Nowadays, the captain is sort of expected to put his career on hold while preparing for the matches, but Tom Lehman said he'd be thrilled if he were playing well enough to qualify, then step aside and pick someone else. "For me, the ultimate would be to be playing well enough to make the team," said Lehman, 45, who has played in three Ryder Cups and three President's Cups. But Lehman said he would prefer to make the team because he is winning and would not like to "sneak" onto the team by finishing among the top 10. Behind the scenes, Lehman will try to get the PGA of American to change its qualifying criteria to put more emphasis on winning rather than top-10s. But if he does make the team, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to change things up. The last U.S. playing captain was Arnold Palmer in 1963, back when the Americans used to romp.
My theory: kryptonite on PGA TOUR courses...
When Tiger Woods was holing the final putt of the 2004 season, it was tough to comprehend that it meant so little. It wasn't a putt to wrap up a victory, or money title or player of the year. All it meant was another second-place finish, and it has to be a pretty hollow feeling. Woods concluded the season at the Tour Championship finishing second to Retief Goosen, blowing a third-round lead for just the third time in his career. Previously, he had converted 30 of 32 54-hole leads. The last time he failed to do so was in 2000 at the Tour Championship. The only other time was in 1996 — the first time he ever took a lead into the final round. More jaw-droppers: for the first time in six years, Woods won't win the PGA Tour's player of the year award. He failed to capture the money title for the second straight year. He relinquished the No. 1 spot in the world to Vijay Singh, and for a time fell behind Ernie Els. Eight players won more tournaments than Woods, who made more headlines for his October wedding than he did for his play on the course. Will that change in 2005?
She just keeps going and going and going and...
Annika Sorenstam won her fourth straight Mizuno Classic in Shiga, Japan. Her four victories tied the LPGA record for consecutive wins at a single event venue set by Laura Davies in 1994-97 at the Standard Register Ping. But look at how Annika dominated, she is a total of 74 under par in her four victories at the 54-hole Mizuno Classic tournament for a stroke average of 65.9. Davies was 49 under par in her four wins at the 72-hole Standard Register Ping for a stroke average of 69.

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