My lower back is spasming again. This is the 2nd time since December. The December one was one of the worst and most painful ever. This one isn’t as bad, but bad enough that I can’t sleep, or stand in an upright position, or lift much of anything, or put my shoes and socks on easily.
I need to do something about the back pain. I guess it’s time to hit the gym, or the doctor, or the shaman or something.
Doesn’t look like I’ll be making my noon tee time Sunday to see an old buddy. Not cool.
Happy 12th blogiversary to the rock solid golf blogger known as… well… Golf Blogger. About eight months before Hooked on Golf Blog was founded John Retzer (Golf Blogger) founded GolfBlogger.com. GolfBlogger.com is likely the longest running independent golf blog in existence, and certainly one of, if not the best golf blog in the universe. It always has been. That’s because John has passion and dedication to golf blogging, he knows how to spell, and he loves golf. The spelling part is a really big deal to me. I know as well as anyone that running a serious blog in any category isn’t easy and running one at the quality level and frequency of John’s posts only happens about 1% of the time or less.
When I started HOG I looked up to Golf Blogger in admiration and with inspiration. There were a couple of other golf blogs which started in 2004 too, which are now long gone. There are many hundreds, if not thousands of golf blogs which were started and abandoned over the last 12 years. The net is a blog graveyard of people who thought they could do it with little to no effort.
I’ve said many times that the absolute best, and unexpected part of running this blog has been the fantastic people I’ve met and become friends with. John and I have played many rounds of golf together and have established a great friendship. In fact, we’re golf blog brothers.
I’ll forever be tailgating Golf Blogger as one of the first kids on the block. I know he and I will be around for many years to come because we do it for the love of the game and to express ourselves, not for the big money that bloggers make. Yeah, right.
Hats off to you John. I look forward to another 12 years from you buddy. FORE!
I’m probably going to tick a few people off with my following comments but you can’t fix what isn’t broken. I stumbled across a Twitter discussion the other day that got the two of the three brain cells in my cranium activated. The reason only two cells is because the 3rd is in charge of keeping my heart beating and lungs pumping air, but I digress. The question:
“How can we golf fix the wage gap between the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour?”
LPGA star Stacey Lewis in a recent Golf.com piece laments the pay gap:
“It’s pretty frustrating to still see the huge gap in what the guys are paid and we are paid, you know. When really we are doing the same thing and the only difference is the TV numbers and the TV ratings. That’s really it. We’re probably actually hitting more fairways than the guys and more greens than the guys, you know. There’s certain parts of the game we actually do better. Um, you know when I play with the guys a lot they’re like ‘do you ever miss a fairway?’ That’s usually what they say to me so, I mean, our games are pretty comparable so it’s just the exposure.”
My first reaction to the stats argument is that I know a guy who golfs every day and is 80 years old. He’s practically deaf and can barely see. I’ve NEVER seen this guy miss a fairway. He hits his driver about 100 yards and dead straight every time. He should be making $10 million a year! Think back to when Tiger Woods was dominating professional golf. His driving accuracy was terrible, barring a few stretches where it was just mediocre. But he could hit recovery shots nobody else could. He made the putts when he had to at the most dramatic times. It was golf entertainment at a level which had probably never been higher and may never be again.
How does TaylorMade market their drivers? The number one thing they’ll hit potential buyers with is distance. Sure they’ll mention accuracy as a side note but really, the buyer doesn’t seem to care that much. It’s about distance, power… It’s not about fairways hit or who hits the most greens in regulation. Otherwise Fred Funk would have been Tiger Woods. From a fan standpoint it’s about entertainment. All due respect to Fred Funk, I’d rather watch Tiger or Rory McIlory, Jason Day. That said, when Fred Funk won THE PLAYERS (always spell that in ALL CAPS. It’s what they do), his funky chicken dance was very entertaining.
Lewis says that if the women simply got more exposure they would become as popular as the men. Uh, no. I rarely watch professional golf anymore, but if I do, I want to watch the best, most exciting golfers on the planet. Those golfers are Rory McIlory, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth… You get it. Sure the LPGA players are talented and such, I’m not arguing that point.
When it boils down to nuts and bolts the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour are forms of entertainment, just like the NBA. The salaries of professional golfers are paid by the fans who either support the advertisers for events, or support the players’ sponsors. The players who draw the most attention naturally are the ones who can draw the biggest paychecks in the form of prize money and endorsements, like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlory, and so on. The men are obviously more entertaining to the general public than the women are, and therefore draw more revenue. The general public doesn’t care about fairway percentage or greens in regulation or the LPGA Tour would have surpassed the PGA Tour in viewership long ago.
Pro golf is not an industry like my day job doing web development. If I have a set of specific web development skills which are the same as a female web developer then it is certainly unfair that on average she would make 78 cents compared to every dollar I make. That is completely unfair and not right. But pro golf isn’t web development. It’s not managing a Subway. It’s not asset management or working at a bank or doing sales or flying an airplane. It’s an entertainment industry. In such an industry the money is driven by viewers.
Arguing for gender equity in professional golf is an argument that will never win. If the LPGA was truly as entertaining as the PGA Tour, it would have already established itself as an equal in viewership and sponsor dollars. It’s not and it never will be.
Last week I was happy to play my first round of 2016 at one of my home courses and favorites, Bonneville Golf Course. Bonneville is the most popular golf course in the state, home of some of the best greens around.
Last season they switched from manual/hand watering and installed a controversial automated irrigation system. That’s all done now and a byproduct of said irrigation system is a change on the first hole. The first is a very reachable par-5. I’m usually approaching this green with anything from 9-iron to a 5-iron depending on conditions. Just short of the green is a very steep slope which historically has had very deep grass. That deep grass typically ate balls up, keeping them from bouncing up to the green. It also made chipping a challenge.
Shot taken with my phone, so not the best quality. This is the slope which is now cut short.
That long grass is gone now. Apparently one of the reasons for the long grass was a watering issue. Now that there is a better irrigation system, that grass can be, and is cut short like the fairway. I’m not sure how this will play out yet. It could mean many more 2nd shots will bounce up onto the green. It could also mean that short shots and bad chips which don’t make the green may roll back anywhere from 10-30 yards.
It’s going to be interesting to track the scoring and analyze my approaches on #1 this coming season and see how what seems to be a minor change affects the outcome.
I’ve finally put a TaylorMade driver into play. No it isn’t the TaylorMade M1, or M2 or M5 (wait, that was Star Trek)… It’s a Tour Preferred 8.5 degree midsize System2 driver. This thing is a beast. Nope, it’s not adjustable. Can’t tweak the loft or the lie or adjust the compass on the bottom to north. All this driver does is open beer bottles and boy does it do a fantastic job. I’ve really tested this golf driver head bottle opener hard.
One can’t be too safe when it comes to golf accessories this important. A solid backup is a must. That’s why I have the Wilson Patty Berg Autograph persimmon driver, below.
This great use of old golf clubs is courtesy of a long time friend of the blog named Scott Jesse. Scott is a veteran and former golf pro who has a history of making some neat golf accessories.
These bottle openers can be purchased for a mere $15 plus shipping through the Elmjay Antiques and Up Cycle Facebook page. That beats the hell out of buying a $500 driver that will be obsolete and $24.99 in the used bin at the golf store before you reach the top of your backswing.
Think of Father’s Day, Christmas, birthdays for golfers… So many great applications. How about these being the default openers at your golf club?