Anyone besides me tred of all the math lectures at the Players Championship this week? This point system is the craziest and most unfair model anyone could come up with. Also, as mentioned in my earlier posts, there is a real chance for players to unfairly influence who the winner is, by jockeying their final points totals by missing shots deliberately.
Here’s my proposal: Keep the existing points system up until the Players Championship. At the players, change to a system whereby the top five point getters are awarded 0 strokes. The next five get 1 stroke added to their score; the next five get 2 strokes, etc, until the last five players get 5 strokes added.
After that, whoever wins the tournament wins the FEDEX Cup!!
I’ve had so many requests for my US Open pick that it’s filling my inbox. OK, here goes…… I pick Rory McIlroy to win it this year. I know, I may be a bit late to the party, but I was seriously (honestly) considering him for the title as long ago as last week. I hope he does win, and when Tiger comes back later in the summer we’ll see some head-to-head matchups, like the days of Jack and Arnie.
One more thought on handicaps. Over the last 20 years, I’ve played in two different groups at Brookside GC in Pasadena, CA. The first group, a bunch of actors and Hollywood workers, alway has a standing medal bet of $10 to the low net winner, in addition to any number of match play bets. The second group is composed of other Pasadena residents, who never play a medal bet…..all bets are match play.
The difference in play is that the second group “gives” many more putts….if you’re playing a medal bet, every putt counts, so fewer putts are given. I estimate that the difference in recorded scores between the groups is at least two strokes per round per player.
Thus, any group that bets on medal scores will have much higher indexes than a group which only has match bets.
SandBagging….Is There Such a Thing? I’m not so sure. In my experience, golfers prefer the bragging rights associated with a lower-than-actual handicap to the monetary and hardware rewards of a higher-than-actual handicap. In the (male) golf groups I’ve been involved in, the social pecking order has usually been set by handicap index….the lower the index, the higher the caste of the player.
How many bad rounds are not recorded because under the 10 out of 20 rule “they’re not going to count” anyway? This common practice quickly leads to a lower index.
In male golf groups, most of the handicaps are lower than they should be. All you really need to do to have an advantage is record all your scores, and your (actual) handicap will give you a slight advantage over others’ too-low handicaps.
Does this happen in women’s groups? I wonder.
Here’s my free advice to Tiger; I hope he will take it.
1) Drop Foley. It obviously isn’t working.
2) Relax and enjoy your life for awhile. Read the Dalai Lama. Spend more time with your kids.
3) Research players, both past and present, that use a swing that creates the least amount of stress on the left leg and knee.
4) Find a coach that teaches that swing.
5) Trust your inherent athletic talent to learn that swing.
6) Go forth and win.
How about Bubba’s golf swing? It’s got more moving parts than the New York Philharmonic! I especially like the little skip/hop at the end……like watching an Olympic gymnast trying to “stick” their landing. I love seeing him hit those big fades and little hooks. I wonder how he has been able to keep that swing all his career….you just know that a myriad of teachers and coaches have tried to “fix” it. Do you think it can last?
7:30 AM: Prior to 3rd round of Masters.
It was fun to watch McIlroy, Fowler, and Day play yesterday. They, along with Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Kaymer, Kim, and others make up what is shaping up to be a great new generation of golfers. If any of them want to be amongst the greatest golfers ever, however, they should hope that Tiger wins again.
Why? Look at two different scenarios:
1) Tiger never wins again
If Tiger fades away at this point, and one of these young players becomes the dominant player on tour, the likelihood that he will even approach Tiger’s record is pretty slim. That player will forever live in the shadow of “the Tiger in the room,” if you will.
2) Tiger wins another major
If Tiger comes back, the young knights will have a dragon to slay.
Tiger never had a real dragon ….. as Nicklaus had Palmer and Watson had Nicklaus….. Tiger’s dragon was Nicklaus’s record, and I believe he will slay it.
Imagine the fun of watching a revived Tiger take them on, one by one or in groups….eventually one or two will emerge as real successors to the throne, and eventually Tiger’s age will catch up with him …….long after he has surpassed Nicklaus’s record.
I think that Johnny Miller is the best golf commentator ever. How many of you while standing over an iron to the green ever thought to yourself….”green light situation here?” In contrast, I never got a positive swing thought from Ken Venturi. The Venturi quote that sticks in my mind is “Unless you’ve been there, you don’t know what it’s like.” Not very inspiring.
Johnny’s commentary brings you into the action; Venturi’s always reminded you that you were on the outside looking in.
Tiger is struggling, no doubt about it, but as of now, I believe he will get back on top. The reason I say that is that I see no diminishment in his desire to win, and that desire will overcome his present difficulties. That desire is what separates him from the field; it’s as if he was born to play the game, and certainly his upbringing by his father reinforced that destiny.
That intensity of desire is also what makes Tiger such a tragic figure. His fits of temper and general grumpiness show that unless he is winning, he is a very unhappy guy. His pain is visible for all the world to see, and sometimes it’s hard to watch. I’d like to think that he can change and find some peace in his life, but until he does, he’ll drive himself to win. When we see him “mellow out”, then maybe he’ll be done on the course, but right now I don’t see it.
Unlike Jack or anyone else who’s played the game (except maybe Hogan??) it’s hard to imagine Tiger without golf, and I don’t want to imagine golf without Tiger.
The new version of GolfBookie is now operational! We have added several new features to make the site more user-friendly and have also added new betting options. Now you can keep track of Tournament Winnings. You can record tournament results for tournaments that have as many as six winners. With the new “Control Panel” you can further customize your GolfBookie experience.