Saturday, April 28, 2007

Michelle Wie’s Return to the LPGA is a Non-Event

Michelle Wie's announcment that she will return on May 28th to play in Annika Sorenstam's Ginn Tribute leaves me cold. Maybe in the past I didn’t express it in these exact words, but Michelle Wie is a circus act that is going nowhere. Yes, she has talent. Yes, she can hit the ball 300 yards. Yes, she is reasonably attractive. All these I accept.

What I don't buy is the circus act that has been created around her. She's accomplished nothing on the LPGA and even less on the PGA and I predict that she never will. Her return, which will be trumpeted by the media as the return of the female wunderkind and the savior of ladies golf, will be a non-event. She'll make the cut, place somewhere in the top twenty, and say things like "the layoff has set me back and I’m just now starting to get my swing" or “I was feeling pretty good out there, but just missed a few putts that would have kept me right up there."

The wrist problem she's been experiencing is just an easy way to get her out of the limelight because each time she is in it, especially when playing on the men's tour, she does nothing to help herself or women’s golf. Giving her a break from the tour may have been the first smart thing that "Wie, Incorporated" has done in a long time.

To play whenever it works in her schedule will never accomplish anything. Tiger is constantly tweaking his game. VJ Singh practices 8 hours a day. Phil is always wondering how to make his game better, even after his wins a major. Playing 10 times a year and practicing when it is convenient will never make Ms. Wie a consistent contender. Lorena Ochoa, Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer all play the tour full-time and you are starting to see that these ladies are the future of the LPGA. Natural talent only takes you so far. You earn your place on the leaderboard each week. Not when it’s convenient.

Back on June, 2006 in my post "The Exploitation of Michelle Wie", I took Michelle Wie's father, BJ to task because all it seemed that he was interested in was the money. He, being his daughter's manager, seemed to want to push her far faster than she was able to handle. Somehow he thinks that she can be both a major LPGA star and a normal Stanford college student. It ain't gonna happen my friend. Ask Britney how well living a normal life as an uber-celebrity has worked.

"Wie Incorporated" and the LPGA, are starting to look like laughing stocks in a similar way that John Daly is starting to look like a caricature. The PGA Tour is rightly distancing itself from Mr. Daly because of his book revelations, he sordid past, his bad decisions and his lousy play. For different reasons, the LPGA appears to be distancing itself from Ms. Wie because of her age, limited playing schedule, poor showings on the LPGA Tour, and the embarrassing outings she’s had on the PGA Tour.

Don't get your hopes up that Michelle Wie will win the upcoming tournament or many after that. Yes, she'll get all the attention. Yes, she'll be the lead story into all the media coverage and yes, all the Wie Warriors will be predicting victory. Once reality sets in on Sunday, someone that we barely know like Birdie Kim will probably be victorious and Michelle Wie will have a new set of excuses why she didn't do as well as advertised.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why Bowling is Better than Golf

After an absolutely horrible round of golf. After you have thrown your clubs in the pond and stomped off the course vowing never to play the stupid game again. You can alway pick up another ball, hit the lanes and bowl. Why not? It's got a lot of advantages:

-you don’t have to bring your own ball
-you don’t need 14 different clubs
-you don’t lose your ball in the woods
-you don’t need Sudafed because you’re allergic to cut grass
-you don’t have to wait for the beer cart girl
-one game costs $4 not $40
-you don’t need to pee behind a tree
-with bumpers you’ll never miss your target
-the higher your score the BETTER you did
-you get to wear cool shoes that only cost $2 to rent
-you don’t even have to keep score, it’s done for you
-a gutter ball is part of the game, and out-of-bounds is not
-you don’t have to get up early to get a good lane
-you don’t have to talk quietly when someone is bowling
-its okay to wear matching shirts
-you can have nicknames on your shirt like: Fats, Shorty or Tiny
-there are no club memberships to pay
-it never claims to be a form of exercise
-there is no dress code, as long as you wear shoes
-you can still play when it rains
-you don’t have to watch it on TV when you should be playing

According to the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), in 2006, at 44.8 million, Bowling ranks as the 4th most popular participatory sport and Golf, at 24.4 million, is ranked #16. Embarrasingly, golf lags behind sports like Fishing (#6), Weight Lifting (#10) and Billiards (#11).

Which sport ranks in last place (#41)???

Ice Hockey.

At least we still have another sport to kick around.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Golf Gear News #35: Verizon Windstorm, Lopez Back, US Pro Tour Dies, Holy Man Not So Holy and Blending Your Balls

CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #35 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch reports at The Newstand a Special Report from the Verizon Windstorm, In the Shadow of Zach Johnson, and Nancy Lopez's Return is Going Poorly.

In the State of the Game we read about the Death of the U.S. Pro Tour and She Golfs Too discovers Rachel Ray - The Golfer and the Sorenstam Isn't Returning Soon.

We travel in Golf Around the World to The Perfect Scotland Golf Trip and find The PGA Tour is coming to Puerto Rico.

In Can't We All Get Along a Man of the Cloth Isn't Very Holy and Golf of The Weird learns how to Blend Your Golf Balls.

Finally, at Website Spotlight, check out the World Golf Hall of Fame.

As always, our show is sponsored by

Check out our new Media Kit.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Idiocy of Movable Weights and Draw Drivers

On the Chinese calendar, 2007 is the Year of the Pig, but in golf, it is the year of the Draw. The first major equipment company to the "Draw-ing" table was TaylorMade with their r7 Draw. Then Callaway added to their FT line and its innovative square head, but couldn’t help themselves and now offers a FT-5 in three flavors: draw, neutral and fade.

In 2004-06, we saw the introduction of moveable weight drivers. Then they expanded the concept to irons, hybrids and putters. Now we can move weight around on everything in our bag except maybe our ball retriever.

Lately, to gain a market edge, TaylorMade and Callaway have been trying to undermine each other's credibility in the media. Creating a controversy of moveable weights versus square heads. This public fight may be good for equipment sales, but it does nothing for the average golfer. Neither of these product innovations will improve a 15-handicapper's game.

You have just blasphemed!! May the legal departments of these companies smite you.**

Not hardly. Changing the configuration of your driver by throwing weight around a club is not going to make a difference to any golfer unless we have a REPEATABLE SWING. If we can't do the same thing two consecutive times, what difference does it make if we can put weight in the toe, heel or anywhere else?

Every golfer wants to improve their game. It's one of those great truths in the universe. Short of outright cheating (a little rule-bending is okay), we are all looking for the next golf magazine tip or Zen moment when everything is right with the golfing world and we shoot that elusive par round.

We are being taken for an expensive ride my friends. Buying that $499 driver isn't going to mean a hill of beans to your game if you can't do the same thing twice. Save your money and buy some lessons. That and your old trusty 360cc driver will help lower your score faster than any of the fancy new drivers on the market today.

**Insert “cover-your-ass” legal babble here.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 02, 2007

Golf Gear News #34: Love the Masters, Fired Female Caddies, Lopez Returneth, 2nd Swing Rises Again

CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #34 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch reports at The Newstand that there is no news better than the start of the Masters.

The Guru Commentary adds a new intro and talks about Minnesota Golfers Emerging from their Hibernation.

The Perfect Fit asks the question: What is 2nd Swing Up to Now!!! She Golfs Too learns about The Firing of Female Caddies in South Korea and the Return of Nancy Lopez to the LPGA.

In Golf of the Weird hear about The Golf Video that Has Been Downloaded 900 MILLION Times. View Video Here.

Finally, at Website Spotlight, check out the National Hole-In-One Association.

As always, our show is sponsored by

Check out our new Media Kit.

Labels: , , , , ,