Monday Thoughts

Help!  Am I missing something or did Grantland leave a sentence or two out of the opening anecdote of this Bryan Curtis article?  I read it ten times, and I can’t make sense of it.  It’s like they left out a sentence such, “At this point, his agent insisted Jordan leave the stage.”  Maybe an overactive editor?


Best. Day. Ever.  Was yesterday the best day ever for professional golf?  It started with a European Open win by Thongchai Jaidee — one of infamous Euro Seven mocked by jalnichols.  (FYI: PGA Tour start Hunter Mahan missed the cut.)  Then we had Spieth winning the Fed Ex Cup, as everyone knows.  Then Esteban Toledo won the Senior Tour event.  If you had let me choose the winners on Saturday night, those are the three names I would have picked.

ALERT!!!  Geoff Shackelford will be on Morning Drive — in studio! — all week.  A tryout for a permanent spot?

The Return of Loupe: I just caught the end of a replay of yesterday’s event.  Andrew Loupe won and regained his PGA Tour card.  Asked what he had learned since his last try on the PGA Tour, he responded, “I learned a lot the past two years through failure.”  Andrew Loupe then broke into a true and uncontrollable laughter.  A moment later, he choked up when he mentioned it was his dad’s birthday and that this win was dedicated to him.

The Real World III:  They also mentioned at the end of that replay that Harold Varner III would be driving five hours after the tournament to spend the night at his parent’s house, then driving six hours the next day to the next tournament site in Jacksonville.  Very illustrative of life on tour for the vast majority of players.

Calling My Shot:  Golf Channel just teased a segment on Best or Most Memorable Shot of 2015.  Off the cuff, I’m going with Spieth’s flop shot on the 54th hole at Augusta.

Shackelford Swings and Misses:  Overall, Shack is doing fine.  If nothing else, he’s putting the pressure on Rymer and Williams to up their games.  However, when Williams brought up Woods’s 2000 season when “he won by 15 shots,” Shack said nothing about the Rock Ishii ball.  Shack is one of the top crusaders for rolling back the ball, so it’s depressing that he struck out on this one.  I said “swings and misses,” but the truth is he stood there with the bat on his shoulders.

Speaking of 2000:  Tiger Woods did for golf what Barry Bonds did for baseball: They both eclipsed meaningful sports records by unfair advantage.  Knowing that, it’s funny to read the New York Times report of Woods’s first Rock Ishii-ball major.

It was the largest victory margin in a major championship, surpassing the 13-stroke margin by Old Tom Morris at the 1862 British Open. The winning margin also broke the United States Open record that had stood for 101 years, surpassing the 11-stroke victory by Willie Smith in 1899.

And not a word about the advantage of the Rock Ishii ball.

As Woods walked to the green, he removed his hat to acknowledge the roaring gallery, and some fans dropped to their knees and bowed repeatedly.

Fans unaware of the Rock Ishii ball, of course.

Asleep At The Wheel:  Nothing bores me more than Morning Drive’s tedious how-to-putt or how-to-drive or how-to-chip segments.  They destroy the momentum of the program.  Golf Channel has full-hour shows for instruction; we want information about the professional tournaments on Morning Drive.  Can you imagine turning on ESPN or NFL Network after a full slate of weekend games and seeing segments on the best tee to use for kicking off, or how to grip a football for distance, or the mechanics of tackling?  You want Mike and Mike to show you how to throw a slider?

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12 Responses to Monday Thoughts

  1. Ken says:

    That’s a good call for shot of the year. Most people probably won’t think of that. That was huge and kept his lead secure going into the final round.

  2. Ken says:

    I love how they keep damning Jordan with faint praise. The “he doesn’t do anything particularly well” line of argument.

    Really? What do they call his wedge play? How about his putting? I’d say that he does those thing particularly well. They just look at ball striking, as though that’s all there is to golf.

    IMO, touch with putting and wedges is innate. He’s got that, and nothing is more important in golf. Ball striking is learned. As Spieth keeps playing, the ball striking will get better and better. The sky is the limit here.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, it’s weird. I think they invested so much in the “distance is king” narrative that Spieth’s success makes look a little silly.

    • HennyB says:

      I find those comments particular interesting because Tiger was never a good ball striker. Somehow when it comes to him that fact is always over looked. Every time the guy hit a driver nobody really knew where it was going. If you watch old tournament footage, the guy was all over the lot. His success was due to his magnificent short game. The guy could chip and putt incredibly well back then. The talking heads always bring up Tiger’s ability to “hole that crucial putt or get up and down for the win”. Precisely my point. He put himself in those satiations due to his mediocre ball striking. I for one believe the putter is the most important club in the bag. You can be the greatest ball striker in the world but if you can’t get the ball into the whole, it’s not worth a hill of beans.

      • Ken says:

        Woods wasn’t a particularly accurate driver. He was a great iron player though. I think that overall he was a good ball striker.

        It seems like in the past, the the big hitters (with exceptions like Nicklaus) were kind of like power hitters in baseball. They hit the long ball, but also struck out a lot. Mickelson and Woods both pounded it off the tee but could be very wild; they had the confidence and ability to recover from any bad drive. Now in this new era you have guys like Day, McIlroy, and DJ who just pound the hell out of the ball and hit it right in the middle of narrow fairways. Woods and Mickelson can only dream of being that precise.

  3. HennyB says:

    Good point. The baseball analogy makes a lot of sense. Do you think that has to do with skill or the technology the new driver’s have? In my prior comment I was referring to GC and the talking heads, they seemed to overlook Tiger’s inaccuracy in the past.

    • Ken says:

      That’s really a good question. My first thought was that it was technology with precise computerized club fitting and matching the perfect ball with the perfect club, but then why doesn’t that technology benefit Woods and Mickelson as well? They certainly have access to everything; Mickelson is practically on staff at Callaway.

      Perhaps some of the new guys like Day and McIlroy are just that darn good. Athletes do seem to improve over time.

  4. HennyB says:

    That’s what I was thinking. The tour players all seem to be on the same level as far as equipment is concerned. Even with all the technology you still have to put the club on the ball properly.

  5. Ken says:

    Poorly edited article. I found it confusing back in August.

    There’s the part that you mentioned. Also when the author asked him why he doesn’t play lefthanded. I suppose you could infer that Spieth is a lefty but that sort of came out of the blue. I thought that the author was being snarky and suggesting that Jordan play lefthanded to give others a chance.

    I actually did not know that he was a lefty until an XM talk show today. Sam Snead and Johnny Miller are also lefthanders.

    • lannyh says:

      I only read that first part. I bookmarked it for later reading. Do you think it is worth the time?

    • Kris says:

      Jordan writes right handed but throws left handed. Sergio Garcia is the same way. Cross dominance is fairly common. My brother is cross dominant in the opposite direction.

      I think the article was lazily edited. It’s good, but there are a couple parts with some vital information missing.

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