Monday, May 25, 2009
You might love him...
You might even want to take him under your wing and mother him...
But the one thing you will never do is...
Brian Skatell is an unforgettable Big Breaker that brought laughter to our lips, explictives from our mouths, and tears to our eyes during his 'oh so memorable' adventures on Big Break PEI.
Brian was the guy you loved to hate (until you got to know him)....the guy you couldn't believe said the things he said (until you understood the context of his outbursts)...the guy, who against all odds, lasted through, not just numerous Big Break eliminations, but enormous life challenges.
Brian is one of a kind. I, for one, am very sorry to say goodbye to him on this show. He brought fun, frustration and fanatical frenzy to BB PEI that you couldn't buy on eBay. I am sorry he is gone...
But now it's time to hear what the other contestants had to say...
Our numbers are dwindling on this series of interviews, but I guess that's what happens when our interviewees leave the stage. Sigh...
But there are a few of us left, who have opinions ;)
Let's start with the man who, just last week, said he'd had enough of Brian, Michael Michaelides from Big Break X..
Good analysis of Aaron's 13th hole. Lucky for him, his course management didn't catch up to him yet.
Next up, our ever bubbly Irish lass, who always brings a smile to my face, Brenda...
As Brenda said, she was a bit quiet on this week's episode. Last week with Nicole probably tired her out a bit ;) But something tells me we'll be chuckling again over more of Brenda's quips soon.
Now let's hear form the man who probably hit the most incredible shot I've ever seen on any Big Break...
After spending a great day at Seymour Golf Club watching Big Breakers Christina Lecuyer, Courtney Erdman, Susan Choi and Amber Prange, and Highway 18 winner Charlotte Campbell, tee off for the finals of the first CN Canadian Women's Tour in Vancouver, BC, I am back to work on my interviews.
Caught up with Gerina Wed AM, who shared more on the off-camera teasing that went on after Derek's shot and a little on "life after Brian"...
Brian has had a crazy week, but took time out of his hectic schedule this week to chat with me.
Oh, BTW...Brian mentioned that Aaron and he played #18 three times. They both parred the hole twice before Brian, "misread my STUPID range finder at 168 yd when I was really 148 to the pin". Poor Brian - not his day...
I am very pleased that Brian will continue with the weekly interviews. I know many people like me will be dying to know what he's going to say next!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
When I read the article I found myself doing a double take to see if I was accidentally reading the National Enquirer and not a distinguished publication like Time.
In his effort to be witty, the author misrepresented an enterprise of young, talented (and yes, beautiful) athletes as "working girls". Unfortunately, his sense of humor was lost on me. "Spring Break Barmaids?" - give me a break!
These professional "ladies of the links" are not "ladies of the night" and it disppointed me to see Time plant the seed that there may be more going on than golf with these women.
PGD is a business that offers corporations and private events an opportunity to pay for "play" from pro women golfers who can drive the socks off their clients - they play golf, period! They provide a legimate service, not unlike what you would find at a ton of events and charities out there today. The pros that have "made it" now offer these services for free to charities (e.g. Wendy's challenge comes to mind). But for the ladies who haven't had their big break and are trying to make a career of golf, these events are revenue generators and they have every right to charge for their services.
I know of a number of pro women golfers who play in corporate and private events to make money so they can pursue their dream. Why? Because on the women's pre-LPGA tours (Duramed, Cactus, Cdn CN, etc), many golfers have to give up the sport they love because they just can't make ends meet - sponsors are as common as snow in the Sahara and the purses they play for are pathetic.
The women golfers who choose to play for pay are no different than Tiger getting $3M to play in the Australian Masters. They play...they get paid...they go home. Period!
The only thing different with the PGD ladies is that they are marketed professionally by company founder Nisha Sadekar. Now, I'm a marketing consultant by trade and I know sex sells. But that doesn't mean companies who use sex appeal in commercials are selling sex.
Check out Apple's iPod ad here. Every kid in America has an iPod and mommy and daddy aren't boycotting Apple because it is selling sex to minors.
But with PDG, it would seem that people living in glass houses are finding ways to make a legitimate business seem shoddy, as did Mr. Gregory, and sadly Dr. Donna Lopiano, former CEO of the Women's Sports Foundation and current president of Sports Management Resources, "Whenever anyone, including the athletes themselves, chooses to portray female athletes in other than sport-appropriate attire on the golf course, like these two golfers on the fairway, they're selling a sexual stereotype, not a skilled professional golfer. It offends me as a woman and fan of women's professional golf. Even the course superintendent wouldn't allow them on the course — unless it was to aerate the fairways with their spiked heels."
Dr. Lopiano is a highly respected leader in women's sports, but her remark about high heels on the fairways was just "catty". I can't tell you how sad I was to see this quote attributed to her. It added no value and was an "out of bounds" shot that lead to a big double bogey for her in my mnd. Sigh...
Tina Lloyd (nee Miller) from Big Break Ka'anapali and a member of PGD discussed her concerns about the article recently on GolfWRX and through a personal email to her friends and contacts she shared, "It is a shame that further research on the company was not done, such as actually traveling out to a corporate outing with PGD and actually seeing how things are run. We travel all around the country to companies, including "all women" companies, to teach them a bit about the game and for me that is what I can give back to the game that has given me so much."
I think it's time for Mr. Gregory and Dr. Lopiano to apologize to all the ladies of Play Golf Design.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Oh my goodness! What was going on between Brenda and Nicole tonight? We've been through 4 episodes already and everything was hunky dorey between everyone (so it would seem). And then suddenly... POW - Cat fight city! Brenda and Nicole go at each other like two felines in heat.
Hats off, Golf Channel! You really had us going there for a while. Haha! I got an email from Michael Michaelides just before the show began saying, "Can't wait for the drama!" Me too Michael -- Me too!
Now don't forget, Michael was/is friends with Mr. BB X Drama King, David Mobley, so it was no surprise to me to learn that Michael was as interested in the pending drama as I was.
But...tell me, was it a bit anticlimatic to you? The two ladies were certainly "at each other" in their interviews, no doubt about it, but it was over in 10 minutes! I felt like I was watching Aurele "Al" Couture knocking out Ralph Walton in 1946. (Okay, yes I looked up this reference up - I'm not THAT old! ;))
Anyway, here's what Michael had to say about tonight's show...
Brenda was travelling Monday night, but caught the show late so we were able to chat this AM. I think it's obvious what/who we talked about...
Well, Derek watch the whole show for the first time in 5 episodes (he hates watching himself on TV). Besides asking about his great hole-out, I wanted to know what his take was on the Nicole/Brenda battle. Was it started by Brenda teasing them about a fling?
Seems to be a bit of a discrepancy on which hole they played, so I checked. Derek was correct - it was the 10th hole used for the par 5 challenge. 491 yards from the back tees, 461 from the whites. If Brenda's calcuation is correct and the women played 86% of the distance, then Gerina's tee position was 86% of 491 - making it 422 plus change.
Brian joined me this AM to talk about his exhausting day. He also wanted to share with the audience a personal message, which is worth hearing.
I wanted to talk to Blair today about her immunity challenge with Eugene and how rattled she was. It was interesting to hear what she thought of Charlie's comments...
I caught up with Nicole later on Tuesday night. She had a lot she wanted to share about her experience on Big Break PEI and what lead to the rather uncharacteristic behavior/comments we saw from her last night. She also had a number of people to whom she wanted to send a personal message...
Well, I think I have a better understanding now of what Nicole was feeling that night.
Good luck Nicole! Open invitation to you and any of the other Big Breakers who have left the show, but still want to share their thoughts on future episodes here.
Next week...the great wall! Who will flop their shots? Can't wait to watch and find out!
Friday, May 15, 2009
A links-style gorgeous golf course designed by award winning architect Arthur Hills, Legacy is the annual home to the United States Open Qualifying Tournament and the American Junior Golf Association event, and the recipient of a number of well deserved rewards:
- Nevada's ‘Top 10 Courses You Can Play' (Golf Digest)
- Best course in Nevada (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- No. 1 public course in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Business Press)
My husband and I were teamed with a local gentleman, Tom, a good golfer who knew the course well and was indispensible for keeping us out of trouble. And there is definitely some trouble on this course, but that just makes it more fun to play right?
Before we get to the holes that grabbed my attention, here are a few things you should know...
There are houses are the course, which normally I don't like, but some of them are just amazing. I actually didn't have any private properties come into play for me, but my jaw dropped when I saw some of the mansions on this course, especially this one overlooking the green on the par 3, 6th hole. According to Tom, this is the home of Harrah's CEO .
The carts didn't have a GPS (but with Tom's local knowledge and our range finder we were okay). The bottles of water and ice in the cooler were very welcome, but the one wet towel for the two of us ended up in a tug-of-war contest between me and my husband. ;) Not sure if this was an oversight or if they are a bit stingy with their towels.
Speaking of stingy, I think all golf courses should offer unlimited range balls to players, but like many other courses in Vegas we layed, Legacy offered just a small warm up bag. However, that being said, Legacy was better "value for money" than a lot of courses we've played in Nevada with green fees between $75 - $120 depending on the season.
The practice area was good - it had everything we needed - good range with grass tees, chipping, sand and putting practice areas as well. We were surprised at how fast the practice greens were. They gave us a good feel for what we were about to find out the course.
I'm not sure if it is always this way in that area, but boy was it windy! A few times, it almost blew me over. But it was a warm sunny day, so how can one complain about a cooling 30 mph breeze :)
Okay, on with the course itself...
Some of the holes are cart path only (such as the 1st hole), so beware of that on your tee shots. I tend to favor left to right shots anyway, so on the first hole it wasn't a problem to be "cart path friendly". And since the solitary bunker was on the left of the green, it was a good place to be for the approach.
The 3rd hole was the #1 handicap hole - a very long par 4.
There is a large fairway bunker that comes into play for all tee positions and I felt fortunate to walk away with a bogey on this hole.
The 5th hole is the first par 5 on the course. I liked this hole as it wasn't a problem for me to get a GIR, but be careful for the bunkering around the green - brutal!
The 8th hole was a long par 4 dogleg. Trouble abounds on this hole with a fairway bunker to catch you if you try and cut off the corner and water on the right new the green if you go the safe route and take the longer way around. No wonder it is the 3rd hardest hole on the course.
Now the 10th hole is either gimicky or perfect Vegas golf, depending on your point of view. The tee boxes are shaped like the 4 suits in a deck of cards. I thought it was fun - hey, when in Vegas...right?
Now the fun begins...holes 11 - 13 form what is called "The Devi's Triangle".
The 11th hole is a long par 4 with the wind was in your face. You have to carry the ball off the tee, but that wasn't really the problem - it was the bunker that ran along the right side of the fairway.
The 12th and 13th look pretty safe, given their short yardage, but accuracy is critical on these two holes. 12 is a dogleg par 4 that is easy to reach in two, but then you find yourself facing some of the toughest putting on this course - very undulating. 13 is tempting for long drivers, but we heard from Tom that many of them end up in a hidden bunker behind the green. I felt pretty good with bogies on these 3 holes.
The closing hole is a lovely, short par 4 that lets you leave the links with a smile on your face.
I highly recommend you give Legacy Golf Club a try. I loved the rolling fairways, generous, but very fast greens, rugged natural terrain with lava rock, natural grasses, desert flora and mountains in the background.
The course was in fantastic shape in April when we played it, and while we sipped our cocktails in the bar after our round, we were on the phone trying to change our flights to the next day so we could stay and play it again. I guess that means we liked it. :)
Let's put it this way...I'm already checking out the best deals to go back!
Monday, May 11, 2009
- Full of fast paced competition - they squeezed every minute out of that production with 13 different skill contests tonight.
- Full of sand - bunkers were a big part of this show and according to the players, these bunkers were overflowing with very soft sand. I wonder if Rodd Mill River is always like that. I'll know on June 10th as I head off to play 3 rounds in PEI!
- Full of hilarious comments - from Brian's comments about having the hots for Kim and how she and he had so much in common to Eugene's stream of negative (and often comical) "You suck!" self-talk.
- Full of surprises - top picks go to Caroline's rollercoaster bunker play or Gerina's duckhook - which one surprised you the most?
But isn't that what makes Big Break's so much fun to watch? Armchair golf - ain't nothing better than a good glass of red wine, spicy pizza and lots of Big Break suspence!
When I saw Aaron's eyes in his interviews early in the show, I was sure he must be the one going home. Certainly he looked like he'd been crying (although he doesn't look like someone who gets emotional).
But it was Caroline's bunker play that was her detriment today- Or was it? I was thinking that maybe it was her slow play during the glass breaking. Her team started out ahead with Brenda breaking the glass first, but it came to a grinding stop when Caroline got up to hit her ball. I guess she forgot it was a race. It was like watching the tortoise and the hare, but this time, the hare won.
Should be interesting next week - Brenda looks like she's in the middle of some drama. Haha...why does that not surprise me? ;)
I also wondered what the distance was on those glass breaking shots - they did look a lot closer than the ones I remember on the other Big Breaks. I'll have to ask Derek...he was there, but unfortunately (or fortunately) the "Think Green Guy" didn't get to break the glass this week after winning immunity...
Nicole was full of commentary today about last night's show, which I always love. She certainly has been underrated by the other players, but as we heard last night, "Those Wall Street people are tough!".
Well, it looks like Nicole and Brenda are headed for a confrontation soon. Never any winners in these situations, but they do make for good TV ;)
Blair has certainly done well in these first 4 episodes. I wanted to find out how she felt being the winning captain and what her strategy was for the glass breaking competition.
It was a long, full and tiring day for Gerina on this episode. Considered one of the best players on the show, this week was no cakewalk for her, but she came through!
Brian wraps up this week's interviews. I really wanted to tease him about his Kim comment - now I know what they have in common :)
I hope we see more of the banter between Derek and Brian next week - that was fun.
Well, we're back to even-steven, men versus women. I wonder if we'll see things flip now that the men have worked themselves back to all square. Poor Eugene, it must have been tough for him - two eliminations in 4 days. No wonder he's talking to himself.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Chemistry "allegedly" between Derek and Nicole, self-inflicted nerves by Kim and good old Irish humor from "Ms. Feherty" (AKA Brenda McLarnon).
I guess the guys were feeling a bit better after this show, given they lost two of their own the first two weeks, but I was sad to see Kim come up short on her approach shots.
I try so hard to stop my ball on the green with my irons and they just roll right through. To see her nail her shots on the green and have them stop dead made me both jealous of her and sad for her at the same time. I wanted to yell at her, "Just take one more club!" everytime she went for the green.
Oh well, every week, I seem to be yelling at someone on the TV, but this week I did more laughing than yelling. Brenda kept me in stitches the whole night.
Well, you won't have to think too hard to figure out what I wanted to ask Derek "Dreamboat" Gillespie about last night's show...
Haha...Derek is a good sport taking all the teasing. I guess it all came down to "injury loves company" ;)
Next up, Brian shares what he was going through during a very rollercoaster emtional ride last night...
Don't forget to check out Brian's new website that will be up soon: http://www.brianskatellgolf.com/.
I caught up with Nicole later today and asked her as well about the "rumour mill" and her answer matched Derek's. Darn! I thought we had something thing.
Haha, imagine her sitting and watching last night's show with her new boyfriend. I can only imagine what he was thinking - too funny!
Gerina had such a great night last night, smashing that ball down the grid. I had to ask her how it felt beating all the boys...
And last, but certainly not least, the star of last night's episode, the woman who nailed her first shot only 5 feet from the hole, Blair O'Neal...
Is it me, or are these contestants just waaaay too nice to each other. Haha...Not sure if that's a good or bad thing ;)
I caught up with Mike from BB X later this week while he was chopping food for a BBQ with his team.
Som interesting observations about the elimination challenge I hadn't thought about before. I wonder what would have happened if Brian and Kim had putted out that last hole. Hmmm....
Anyway, it's glass breaking time next week. This is always one of my favorite contests and adding the school yard antics to it should be a lot of fun.