Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Second Coming Revisited -- John Harris Lives!

I'm not one to say "I told you so" to my buddies when they miss a putt or shank one into the trees. No not me, I'm too much of an adult to behave in such an immature manner. Nor do I question a player's judgment when they pull the wrong club from their bag and hit the ball into a tree on the last hole (okay, maybe sometimes I do).

Yet, this time, I must shout "I told you so!!!" -- to all the naysayers that doubted John Harris -- the best amateur golfer to come from Minnesota, the hockey standout, the successful businessman and the latest winner on the Champions Tour. Readers familiar with this column will probably note that I exclaimed in March that you would see "The Second Coming of John Harris".

Well here it is. Only three months later. Can you say Nostradamus?

On Sunday, Mr. Harris won $225,000 on the first hole of a playoff in the Commerce Bank Championship in East Meadow, New York. With this victory he now assures himself a likely slot in all of the Champions Tour events during 2007 as well as a probably appearance at this year’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup in Senoma, California. He also accomplishes something that he’s pursued since 1976 – a tournament victory as a professional.

Quoted in our local Star Tribune newspaper, Harris stated "Nobody has given up on me, when by all rights they could have. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, as long as I kept doing the things I was doing."

Unlike his business partner's daughter, Hillary Lunke who won the women's U.S. Open in 2003 for her only tour victory and then disappeared off the planet, look for Mr. Harris to make contending for a title a frequent occurrence.

It makes one feel good knowing that they were right. See, I told you so.

Nah, nah, nah. Adult of me isn't it?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Golf Gear News - Podcast #17 6/19/06

Click CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #17 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch says there is a winner of the GOLF GEAR DADDY GIVE-A-WAY. He also reports on THE NEWSTAND with a US Open Odds Review, Pros Using Testing Labs, Golf Stocks Stinking, and Scottish Tee Times For Children.

In THE PERFECT FIT the Guru discusses some interesting Realities of the Golf Industry. The GURU COMMENTARY highlights the controversy he's stirred up about The Exploitation of Michelle Wie.

In SHE GOLF'S TOO learn about What's Going on at LPGA Headquarters. In the COMPONENT CORNER learn about the upcoming Changes With Your Trusty Fairway Woods and a new segment called GOLF JOKES is introduced.

In CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG we report on a Hawaii Court's Rule On Errant Golf Balls and at GOLF OF THE WEIRD we find A Lot Of Things Left in a Golf Cart.

In WEBSITE SPOTLIGHT sign up today to become a member of the Golf Nut Society.

As always, our show is sponsored by Golfknockoff.com.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Royal Precision Shafts Won't Be Dead for Long

In my last podcast (#16) I reported that Royal Precision Shafts, loved by tour players and better golfers, was expected to close operations after years of losses. Knowledgeable golfers and clubbuilders alike know Royal Precision as the ones they put into their irons if they want high-quality, frequency matched shafts. Yet, in spite of their popularity on the tour, they couldn't make any money. Perhaps the recent introduction of the True Temper Black Gold shafts finally did them in.

So it was announced a few days ago that Royal Precision Shafts, will be purchased by the big daddy of steel shaft manufacturing, True Temper (anyone surprised?). It appears that True Temper is buying the patents, trademarks and brand names along with the technology and manufacturing equipment. The Rifle, Project X and other steel shafts will be produced in True Temper's Mississippi manufacturing facility.

Expect to see the reincarnated Royal Precision shafts on the market again later this year. I guess you can’t keep a good product off the market for long.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Exploitation of Michelle Wie

Back in January I made a blog entry entitled "Michelle Wie – Give it a Rest". I’d like to address the Michelle Wie phenomenon again.

What really set me off this time is that the hype hasn't stopped. In fact, it's getting worse. I reference an article by AP Sport Columnist Tim Dahlberg from June 6th who said "Michelle Wie could one day become one of the greatest women golfers ever. If she does, it will be largely because she dared to play against men." Oh give me a break! He, a professional journalist, should know better.

The "…greatest women golfers ever". What about Annika Sorenstam with 67 victories and 9 majors. What about Kathy Whitworth with 88 career victories? What about Babe Diedrickson Zacharias with 31 golf wins, two Olympic gold medals, and four track and field world records? She also died at only 42.

Declaring that Ms. Wie could be the greatest female golfer ever before this woman has won anything of consequence is absolutely ludicrous. It's likening it to say that Milli Vanilli, with one top-10 hit, is in the same league as The Beatles, Elton John or Madonna. Someone’s been drinking way too much Kool Aid.

What bothers me even more is that the LPGA is allowing exploitation of female golfers to go on to such a degree that the game is getting lost because of all the promotion. For instance: pinup calendars. What does showing partial nude pictures of one's body have to do with golf? I'm sure Tiger looks great with his shirt off, but I don't see him in a pinup calendar.

And shame on B.J. Wie for exploiting his daughter to this degree. It appears that all he's interested in is making fast cash. Take the money and run seems to be his motto. Why should his daughter play 10-20 years on the tour when soon she’s gonna have all the money she'll ever need? Who cares about winning an LPGA major when she can finish tied for 56th at the men's US Open. The sponsors will love it.

Admittedly, since she turned pro, she's attracted sponsors to the tune of $10 million. Today, her name is golden. Yes, she gets attention wherever she goes, but unless she actually wins something, the "Wie Warriors" as well as her sponsors will soon find someone else to cheer for. Nike is ultimately in this to make money and they will quickly find a way to dump her when the time comes too.

Think Anna Kournikova. Did she win anything....no. Yet, she was once the most popular topics on the Internet. What about Britney? She was the hottest female singer on the planet. Now, the only attention she gets is when she drops her baby.

Let's say that Ms. Wie does play in a future men's US Open. Good for her. So what? I’m sure her sponsors like Nike and Omega enjoys all the attention she gets, but in the end, being considered one of "the greatest women golfers ever" is based on success over a long career, not qualifying for or even winning a men’s tournament.

Movie stars, rock stars, even golf stars are just "flashes in the pan" unless they have longevity. Public opinion quickly moves on to what’s new, hot and cool.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Golf Gear News - Podcast #16 6/5/06

Click CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #16 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch says its the last show for the GOLF GEAR DADDY GIVE-A-WAY. He also reports on THE NEWSTAND with LPGA's Rarick Having A Drinking Binge, World Robot Golf Tournament, and Two Major Leaguers Teaming Up To Play Some Golf.

In THE PERFECT FIT the Guru discusses a very informative article on Golf Club Casting. In SHE GOLF'S TOO learn about the LPGA's Big Sisters Program.

In the COMPONENT CORNER learn about the Titleist Suing Chicago Wholesaler on Counterfeit Golf Balls, and Royal Precision Going Broke.

GOLF AROUND THE WORLD brings you to an exotic golf course Deep in Namibia's Skeleton Coast. In CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG we report on a Police Officer Who Runs Down Criminal with Golf Cart and Drugs Being Found Inside Golf Clubs.

At GOLF OF THE WEIRD we find that John Daly is Endorsing a New Wine and a Caddie Drops His Paternity Suit.

In WEBSITE SPOTLIGHT shop at Minnesota-based Golfgods.

As always, our show is sponsored by Golfknockoff.com.

It's your FINAL CHANCE to win the GOLF GEAR DADDY GIVE-A-WAY at contest@golfgearnews.net.