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January 25, 2006
Volume V, Issue 2
 
Fringe Clippings
 
Like hey man, it's between Guadeloupe and Trinidad, why you ask?
 
Donald Trump, real estate tycoon and "Apprentice'' star, is also an avid golfer. He owns several posh courses and now has put together the Trump Million Dollar Invitational, a $1.5-million tournament open to golfers who are not members of any of the world's major tours. It will be played in May at Trump's resort in The Grenadines. The goal is to attract 100 golfers, male or female, who will pay a $15,000 entry fee. A 54-hole stroke play qualifier will be followed by a nine-hole shootout, with $1-million going to the winner. Sounds like glorified gambling for a bunch of sandbaggers, but no doubt TV will help make it interesting.
 
So what's the story here, man shoots 11 under his handicap, or...
 
Gary Cruickshank is a 10-handicap golfer from Fife, Scotland who recently played in his first amateur tournament of the year at Aberdour Golf Club. The course is unique in that its first two holes are par-3s. What did Cruickshank do? He aced them both and would up shooting 71. "I just wanted off the course so I could phone everybody,'' he said.
 
You can get anything you want at...
 
The annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando this week / weekend is always a "kid in the candy store'' type of experience for anyone who visits the massive Orange County Convention Center. It is hard not to get caught up in the seemingly endless stream of golf equipment, some of it new, some of it old, all of it intriguing to the golfer. Unfortunately, the show is not open to consumers, but only to those in the golf business. A good bit of wheeling and dealing occurs, although golf companies no longer wait for the show to unveil their new stuff. If you are one who likes to use what the pros use -- and who doesn't? -- it might be interesting to note that two drivers have been the most popular so far on the PGA Tour. Titleist's prototype 905R was quite popular at the recent Sony Open, as was Taylormade's r7 425. The most popular in play was TaylorMade's r7 quad.
 
Now she can drive like the big boys...
 
Michelle Wie has not won as a pro. She has not made the cut in a PGA Tour event. But she at least has her driver's license. The 16-year-old from Hawaii was awarded the coveted license from the Honolulu Department of Motor Vehicles recently. Now she just needs a car. Wonder what a teenager with $10-million worth of endorsement contracts will get? On a side note, last year, Wie competed in eight LPGA events and totaled three second-place finishes and a tie for third.
 
Yah, it should be anutter fine year...
 
With a combined 79 LPGA Tour victories between them, Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann used their winning experience to give Sweden a three-stroke victory at the Women's World Cup of Golf, an unofficial LPGA event, at the Gary Player Country Club in South Africa. Sorenstam, who won 10 times on the LPGA Tour in 2005, is poised for another exciting season. Commenting on the win, she said, "This is the first win of 2006. It's great to start the year this way. Hopefully it's a sign that this will be a good year."
 
 
Paralysis by Analysis
 
Proper Instruction
 
Taking golf lessons, finally, it was one of your New Year's resolutions, right?

Face it, improving your game at some point will involve instruction, make no mistake about it. However, it is a myth to think that any certified pro can be an instructor. It's almost like saying that anyone who gets an 'A' in Algebra can teach Math. It's just not that simple.

To find an instructor that is right for you, you must first start by doing a little self-evaluation. Ask yourself these questions before seeking the help of a professional!
  1. What level of golfer am I? (beginner, intermediate, aspiring pro)
  2. Do I need to become more disciplined or do I need someone to help me ease up?
  3. Do I respond better to playing while I learn or simply listening and watching?
By addressing these issues in your game, you will be able to select an instructor that is the best fit for you. Once you have gotten the answers to these questions start asking your golfing partners who they think would best suit your needs. Call the local driving ranges and golf courses to find out how many instructors they have. If they have more than one instructor, ask them who they would recommend for a beginner, for an intermediate and for an advanced golfer. Make your choice accordingly. If they recommend several, ask how many lessons, on average, each gives per week. If they are all full time, opt for the one who does the most instruction. There is a good reason they teach more than anyone else. Take advantage of local knowledge and pick your instructor accordingly.

Remember, however, that keeping one instructor for life, while comforting, can greatly impede your game. Just like a weightlifter in the gym switches up their routine to get better results, you need to get new and different views on your swing and how it can be improved.

We hope you find the right instructor for your game and if not, just keep chili dipping it around all eighteen and enjoy the scenery.
 
 
Reading the Line
 
Oh Canada, Oh Canada, is it because you speak French...
 
There was a time when the Canadian Open was played in the heart of the summer and having the trophy meant nearly as much as having one from a major championship. After all, it is the national championship of Canada. It's not the British Open or the U.S. Open, but it has been around for nearly as long.

Unfortunately, the tournament in recent years has slipped to an also-ran status among PGA Tour events. A good date is everything in golf, and the Canadian Open's September slot was not much of a help. So at least now the venerable tournament will be returning to the summer -- although that's not necessarily a good thing. Someone must have lost the coin toss. When the 2007 schedule was announced last week, there was the Canadian Open, a week after the British Open, a week before a World Golf Championship event, the Bridgestone Invitational, and two weeks before the PGA Championship.

In other words, it's a death sentence. Pass a Molson please.
 
Come back David, come back...
 
David Duval is playing for his golfing life this year. His exemption for winning the 2001 British Open will expire after this season. Can it be that long ago? Duval has not won on the PGA Tour since 2001 and has been stymied by injuries and indifference. When Duval won that British Open, it was his 13th PGA Tour title. He made just one cut in 20 tournaments last year, only three in nine tries in 2004, only four out of 20 in 2003. It has been a long time since Duval, now 34, has played great golf.

But he showed signs recently. Duval shot a 7-under-par 63 during the final round of the Sony Open. It was his best score in three years and the timing could not have been better heading into the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. The score helped Duval finish in a tie for 31st, his best since tying for 13th at the 2004 Deutsche Bank Championship. The 63 was his best since he shot 62 in the second round of the FBR Capital Open in 2003. One round, one tournament does not make a season. But it was a start. And he extended it with another made cut at the Bob Hope. If he stages a major comeback, Kevin Costner will no doubt play him in the movie. Heck, and I was rooting for him until the Costner thought.
 
 
 

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