Saturday, January 31, 2009
Keri said they were a great combination of fashion and function - lots of bling bling too :). She also said that Sweet Spot Golf donates money from the sale of these clubs to the Breast Cancer Foundation. I thought that was really cool. So after the interview, I thought to myself that I should give them a try.
Well, I got my wish a couple of weeks ago and was able play with the "Think Pink" driver, 4 hybrid and putter while I was in San Diego on vacation.
I started on the range to get a feel for the clubs; I wanted to evaluate the driver and hybrid against what I play today. In my bag, I have a men's Taylormade R7 SuperQuad 11 degree driver with a graphite shaft. It's quite a bit heavier than the Sweet Spot driver and I was wondering if a lighter 13 degree club would suit my swing.
So I started with my R7 and hit some balls for a while to loosen up and then switched to the Sweet Spot Think Pink driver. The first thing that came to mind after hitting it was, "This must be what it's like training with one of those Momentus Power hitters." I found that after hitting with my heavy R7, I was able to hit the lighter SS driver farther. That really surprised me. I wasn't expecting that from a higher lofted club. Nice!
The hybrid was also a pleasant suprise. It is much different than my Callaway hybrids - bigger head that is designed for more of a descending blow like an iron. My Callaway hybrids actually work better with more of a sweeping action. Interesting.... I've always wondered about the right way to hit a hybrid because I've been given conflicting information. Now I think it depends on the hybrid - no two are created equal. Anyway, I found myself hitting the 4 Think Pink hybrid farther than my 3 hybrid. Hmmm...wonder what that says? Maybe I should get a new 3 hybrid too ;)
The "Think Pink" clubs are definitely head-turners, especially the driver with its massive head and pink/black triangle design on the top. When I pulled it out on the 1st hole of Steele Canyon Golf Course, one of the gentlemen on the tee with us said, "Wow! That's some club!" He wanted to take a closer look, which I was happy to oblige. I thought the pink might turn him off, but he actually really like it - he said it reminded him of a Tiger with its stripes. He said it looked like "a mean club" - a funny thing to say about pink, but it does have a pretty formidable look to it.
Anyway, I started to get a bit nervous walking up to the tee with this gentleman and his friend watching (they bombed their tee shots off the back tees). All I kept thinking was, "Focus on your pre-shot routine - don't do anything stupid." (Okay, I admit it - sometimes I still feel naked on the first tee). Anyway, I'm happy to report that I hit the ball straight down the middle of the fairway and had only a mid iron to the hole. At that moment, my Sweet Spot Driver was christened, "Tigress!"
I wasn't in a position to play my 4 hybrid as much as I would have liked because I was using my driver and irons most of the time, but the few times I did get to use it, I liked it - especially out of the rough. The club went through the grass like it had been sharpened and popped the ball out nicely.
The putter had a nice feel to it - well balanced and heavy, the way I like my putters. I particularly liked the way it helped me line up my putts with its arrow pattern. I also appreciated the ease in which I could hit my ball when it was up against the fringe. To me a putter is the most personal club in the bag and it needs to instill confidence when you pick it up. I felt confident with this putter and I think it is definitely a club you should consider adding to your putter collection (You can never have just one ;)).
I'm back home now and woke up "feeling in the pink". It was over 40 degrees outside today in Vancouver (balmy ;) and so I headed out to the range to try out Tigress and her little sister for a while. I seem to be getting better with these clubs. I can't wait to try them out again on my favorite Vancouver course soon. I hear it's only going to snow in the higher elevations this week. No problem - I'll just play a little closer to sea level. :)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I've been 'lurking' in all the popular golf forums and blogs looking for what others are saying and it's no surprise that Monty is not the favorite among many. Most talk about how he never won a major and so he's not worthy of the honor. A few downplay his 8 Order of Merit wins because "European golfers aren't as talented as their PGA counterparts" (ouch). And of course, everyone complains about his surliness. But isn't that what makes him so loveable?
So, I agree, it's hard to argue with Monty's majorless career and well-publicized temper tantrums. However, I still am happy that he was chosen to lead the Europeans into the 2010 Ryder Cup. Why? Here are my top 10 reasons...
29 Jan 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Okay...so that's old news. Who really cares? Well, it would seem that 582 commentors on that Golfweek story cared, and so now I care.
I felt compelled to dig into the issue a little deeper. I wanted to understand the history of transgenders in sport and the attitudes of those who compete with them. The USGA rules say Lana can compete in golf. So no one can argue with that, but how do the other athletes really feel about a 6' 2", 55 year old (who once was a 245 lb S.W.A.T. cop in Southern California) now competing with them in a power sport?
I decided to call on our good friend from Big Break Michigan, Sally Dee, who was the Long Drive Champion in 2004 and competed with Lana last fall in Nevada for the 2008 title right up to the semi-finals.
Remember now that the semi-finals were set up as a match play event (which seems a bit bizarre to me for a long drive competition - why not let the 4 ladies just belt it out to see who is the longest?). Anyway, Sally didn't compete directly with Lana - Sally competed with Phillis Meti.
Check out the graphic below... Sally and Lana hit the same length of shot in the semi finals. Hard to imagine being that close and not winning. But, unfortunately, Meti hit a bomb and beat out Sally in the semi's, so Sally didn't go club to club with Lawless. But I wonder what would have happened if she had...
In 2004 the International Olympic Committee released a policy allowing transitioned athletes to compete in the Olympics, if they met with a number of requirements.
Later that same year, the Ladies European Tour allowed Mianne Bagger (who had sex reassignment surgery in 1995) to compete on their tour. Closely following that, the Australian LPG Tour removed the ‘'female at birth' clause, which allowed Bagger to compete in the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour.
In 2005, the United States Golf Association announced its new 'gender policy' that allowed transitioned athletes to compete in USGA golf championships.
Now, here's what really interested me...the LPGA has never waived on its stance - In their eyes, a woman must be “born female” to compete on the LPGA. Interesting…don’t you think? Sometimes you have to wonder about the LPGA. They are the first to impose English language requirements on their players and the last to adopt transgender policies that have been around for years. They sure do march to a different drummer than the rest of the sports world.
Well, I just had to ask Sally what she thought about Lana playing in a woman's event and how it directly affected her. Here's what she had to say...
I want to thank Sally for sharing her thoughts on this very controversial topic. It's a complicated issue and I'm just glad I don't have to make the tough decisions on what's right and wrong.
What do you think? I'd love to know.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
What a beautiful bride she is! She and Mike look so happy on their wedding day near her home in Florida. Wow, only 125 guests were invited. Hmmm...I wonder if Tiger was there.
Now most people head off on their honeymoon right after the wedding, but Annika isn't most people. She's busy busy busy hosting the Annika Invitational, attending the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando and finally hosting the Annika Celebration at Ginn Reunion Resort where she'll play a skins game with Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis. I sure hope that gets televised.
Finally, after that she and Mike will be off skiing for their honeymoon.
But my question is...how long do you think it will be until baby #1 is born? I'm guessing less than a year.
Congratulations Annika and Mike. You two look so happy. And you deserve all of it!
Friday, January 9, 2009
LOL! I thought that was pretty funny. But it's true - Sergio seems to have been in his 20's forever! Soon, however, that will all be over - today El Nino turns 29.
29 - the scary age for most women who can't stand the thought of stepping from youth into middle age. Most men I know didn't really care that much about hitting the big 30, but most women I know, dreaded it.
So, I expect this is where Sergio is more "in touch" with his feminine side. Today he (just like many women in their "30th year") is probably thinking about the proverbial ticking clock. But his "baby" is the elusive 1st major he's been struggling for years to capture. Today, Sergio has 7 months to prove he is worthy of the hype awarded him a decade ago when he turned professional. Can he do it? Can he win one or more of the 4 majors this year? I, for one, sure hope so...
"Growing up" has been tough for the fiesty Spaniard. His volatile nature and zest for life have resulted in behaviors and comments that many found "inappropriate" for a professional golfer. Certainly spitting in the cup, shoe throwing and divot smashing are not antics you'd see from the likes of Tiger Woods. But then again, Tiger was "trained" not to do those things, not to say the wrong things in front of the camera, not to whine. Sergio wasn't "trained" by the great Earl Woods or disciplined by Tida, who carried the big stick in the Woods family.
No...Sergio had to learn maturity the hard way - by making mistakes, lots of mistakes (hey...just like rest of us). Tiger doesn't seem to make mistakes, not on the golf course and definitely not in front of the media. Whereas many have said that Tiger isn't quite human - Sergio is as human as they get.
Who knows why he's taking a bit longer to mature. Maybe he's a late bloomer. Maybe his parents were too easy on him. Maybe they were so amazed by his talent, they just spoiled him rotten. I sure see a lot of that with some junior golfers I know. I wish I could smack their parents when I see how they let their kids "rule".
I'm not trying to make excuses for Sergio, but I do think his whining and tantrums have been blown out of proportion by media looking for something - anything - that could add a bit of drama to a sport that has so little. In any other sport, Sergio would be considered tame.
Anyway...next week Sergio enters his first 2009 event in Abu Dhabi and I hope he wins. I hope it gives himself that extra bit of confidence that he needs to close the deal at a major this year.
Happy Birthday El Nino! Here's to winning the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship next week and The Open at Turnberry in July.
This is your year - now go out and make the most of it!
ps: Check out this story below where Sergio is compared to Greg Norman - I found it an interesting comparison...
09 Jan 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Well, that's what one of the world's sexiest golfers is doing - Camilo Villegas turned 27 today and he's looking for a birthday gift from the golf gods - winning the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
Although Tiger's not in the field (nor is Phil or Jim Furyk or even Sergio), Spiderman still has his hands full trying to win the first PGA Tour event of the season with the likes of Singh and Kim in the field. But I think he can do it and I'm putting my money on the Columbian Stallion!
But as is usually the case, I'm not in the majority. When I watched the Golf Channel the other night, they were predicting Vijay and AK would be the favorites. And the 10 "experts" on PGA Tour seemed to agree with them, (Mark Spoor was the only one who picked Villegas as the winner - Mark, your my man!). So I'm sticking to my guns. Camilo Villegas is my pick.
Why you ask? Well, he's hot in more ways than one ;) and he ended the season with a bang with two wins and a bunch of top 5's. He's the 2nd highest ranked player in the field (# 7 in the world rankings) and yet he's not expected to win, so the pressure's off. And did I mention he's hot?
The only person in the field with a higher ranking than Camilo is Vijay. Certainly Vijay's always a favorite, and he's won before, but he's had some injuries this year and we know he's scheduled for knee surgery right after the championship - is his knee strong enough to walk those fairways? Have you ever walked the Plantation Course? It's definitely NOT a stroll in the park.
No, I don't think Vijay will win this year. He'll contend, but I don't think he'll win. Age just might catch up to him.
As for Anthony Kim...he's good - really good. But I wonder how he'll perform in the wind? When I watched him "tee it up with Tiger" on that Nike sponsored show in the fall, I didn't get the impression that he had a "plan" for every shot in his bag.
Perhaps he was being funny, but it really surprised me to hear him say, he doesn't really know how he hits certain shots - he just hits it. The thing that I worry about with him is the wind - he missed the cut in Houston this year (windy Texas) and didn't play in the Sony or Valero events where wind can also be a big factor.
At The Open last summer, Kim finished bogey, bogey, bogey - wind was not his friend. Now, I am not an expert on Kim and his game, but something tells me that Hawaii might come as a bit of a surprise.
Anyway, for me it's Villegas all the way! And if I can't have him, I'll take Els for sentimental reasons.
So Spiderman, to celebrate your 27th birthday, I recommend you follow Jason Giambi's advice: "Party like a rock star, hammer like a porn star, hit like an All-Star."