Ah what a time of year. Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas on the horizon… Golf season has concluded, except for those who live in warmer climates than I do. The best part of this time of year though, is that I get to put together my annual Hooked On Golf Blog Turkey of the Year awards. The Turkey of the Year awards recognizes the biggest boneheads in golf for the past year. Previous winners include John Daly for, well, being John Daly. Sergio Garcia for spitting in the cup and then denying doing it despite watching it on video, Tiger Woods for, you know…
This year was a little bit of a slower year for boneheads and blunders. Nothing huge. Not too many scandals. I thought of even awarding myself a TOY award for making two doubles and a triple in the city amateur, and still taking 2nd place a mere three shots behind the winner…
Enough pillow talk. Let’s get down and dirty. Here are the 2014 golf Turkeys of the Year, and a little ranting to go along with them!
Drum roll… the envelope please…
Talk about “blowing” the season. Dustin Johnson took a self imposed leave of absence from the PGA Tour to work on “personal issues” which he did not care to discuss. The rest of the golf world knew what was up. It would seem that DJ had to take the leave because of failing drug tests, one allegedly for pot and two others for cocaine.
Along with the drug issues, many stories floated around about DJ having affairs with more than one wife of fellow PGA Tour members. Not sure when those alleged affairs took place, but it would be puzzling to think that this may have happened while he was with Paulina Gretzky. Despite having plenty of gourmet food, it is tough to resist an all-you-can-eat buffet.
To cap it all off, Dustin Johnson and Paulia Gretzky announced that she was pregnant.
Johnson was in very good position with regards to FeEx Cup points, and playing well. He had a very good shot at the $10,000,000 first prize. Had. For “blowing” that opportunity, DJ earns a Turkey of the Year award.
Many theorized the Tour gave DJ an ultimatum, take a leave of absence or be kicked off the tour for six months. The PGA Tour would not discuss Dustin Johnson’s situation to confirm or deny that. But when media outlets started postulating what was going on, the Tour then decided to clarify what they were not going to discuss. For that, the PGA Tour gets a Turkey Award.
15 inch golf holes and other changes to the core of the game were ideas from the newly formed organization “Hack Golf.” Hack Golf was a child of now former CEO of TaylorMade, Mark King. Hack Golf’s goal seemed to be an honorable one, “grow the game.” The reality was they knew their driver sales were dropping faster than a tour groupie drops her panties. Hack Golf was a bad attempt at bastardizing a great game with the hopes that it would grow their bottom line, not the game itself.
Speaking of hacking, Greg Norman nearly hacked his arm off with a chainsaw. There are many interesting angles to this story. First Greg tweeted seconds before about doing the job himself and showed a picture of himself with the chainsaw. The next photo was him n the hospital.
The real reason he tried to hack his arm off? He had lunch AND dinner with me the day before. Apparently nothing tops meeting me. Nothing more in life to accomplish. Not worth living at that point. I’m glad that Greg made a full recovery.
Along the “grow the game” line of things is another boneheaded idea which earns a Turkey of the Year: Foot Golf. Foot Golf is played on a golf course with large holes and soccer balls. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Foot Golf does not grow golf. Courses who introduce Foot Golf will lose their golf patrons. Footgolf produces no equipment sales, no lesson revenue, no range revenue.
Equipment Release Cycles
2014 may go down as the year golfers finally rebelled against TaylorMade and Callaway and their ridiculous equipment release cycles. Each company has released NINETEEN drivers since 2010! NINETEEN. 19. I find it amazing too that the marketing campaign for each driver always seems to guarantee gaining more yards. If that’s the case why am I not hitting my drives 500 yards now? WTF? False advertising!!
TaylorMade’s sales tanked in 2014. Golfers stopped believing the hype and realized that all the knobs, sliders, weights, and other “technology” wasn’t giving them more yardage or lowering their scores. It was only lowering their bank account.
For causing more damage than good to the golf industry through overzealous product release cycles, the likes of TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike and Cobra all get Turkey of the Year awards.
2014 was statistically the worst year Tiger Woods has ever had as a professional golfer. Tiger’s best finish in calendar year 2014 was the WGC Cadillac Championship, a non-cut event where he tied for 25th. In the other six starts for 2014 he was cut twice, withdrew twice, placed 69th at the Open Championship and tied for 80th place at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Total winnings on Tour for 2014 was barely over $108,000, probably not enough to keep the private jet or yacht fueled for a week.
At the end of the season Tiger announced the change of swing coaches to unknown Chris Como. I can’t wait for another year of watching his swing change and hearing him say “its a process.” What will be even worse is how the media will lap it up like a starving cat lapping up a cup of milk.
USA Ryder Cup Team
A Turkey of the Year leg goes to the USA Ryder Cup team. Every RC it amazes me that a team with so much individual talent can manage to lose so dramatically. But that’s the point, they’re all individuals who are not used to, or interested in playing as a team. They’re all independent contractors.
For getting their asses kicked in the 2014 Ryder Cup, then throwing captain Tom Watson under the bus after the loss, the USA Ryder Cup Team wins a Turkey of the Year award.
Ryder Cup Task Force
A big bonehead of the year goes to the “Ryder Cup Task Force.” The whole idea is really dumb. No task force is needed. Here’s the what the USA Team has to do to win the Ryder Cup, and I’m giving this advice away free:
Ted Bishop -Former President of the PGA of America
While I can’t say I disagree with Ted Bishop’s assessment of Ian Poulter and his sniveling about Nick Faldo in Poulter’s autobiography, it was not something the PGA of America president should have said. Still, hats off to him for saying it. Unfortunately we do not live in a world where one can be that candid anymore, without offending someone.
His comments? “Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” I’m surprised this was thought of as offensive and sexist against girls. I would have thought that little girls would have been more offended being compared to Ian Poulter.
I must admit, I need a barf bag at the ready whenever I see anything produced by the Back9Network. Their attempt at mixing lifestyle with golf is off-the-charts-bad. Obviously in desperation the “network” has dumbed down to simply posting pictures of slutty, scantily clad women who don’t necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with golf. Some of their “articles” are twitter and instagram streams of Amanda Dufner. I swear if Amanda Dufner left the limelight B9N might have to close permanently.
I’m especially not fond of their series, “The Caddy Girls.” This is where they post a picture of some slut in a bunker or bending over a on a golf cart. Nice job. You can’t even spell “caddie” correctly you morons.
I prefer the name “Trash9Network.”
Is this photo about golf or Paulina Gretzky’s boobs? You be the judge.
Golf.com, Golf Digest, Sexist Photo Galleries
Speaking of scantily clad women, sluts, and bad golf journalism, I’m very disappointed to see the direction that Golf.com and Golf Digest are heading. They’ve dumbed down to Back9Network levels by posting slutty pictures of Paulina Gretzky, Amanda Dufner, “Hot tour wives” or whatever they call them.
Oh, but this is about “fitness” isn’t it? No. To be candid, it is about tits and ass and the traffic they generate.
Um, where’s the golf journalism? I’ll tell you where… It is gone. These slutty pictures are simple link-bait so they can report to their advertisers that they have X number of hits and page-views per month. Posting Natalie Gulbis’s nude body paint photos or Paulina Gretzky in a G-String generates traffic; much more than the millionth “fix your slice” article.
Doesn’t it seem hypocritical that the golf media went nuts over Ted Bishop’s little girl comment about Poulter, calling that sexist? In the meantime they’re posting the latest slutty photos of some “model” or hot tour wife?
There are a lot of boneheads and turkeys for 2014. Nothing stands out to me as a clear winner above the rest. They’re all bad. I lean toward the hypocrisy and sexist ways golf “journalism” has gone. Am I against looking at pictures of hot women? Hell no. But not under the guise of golf journalism. Are you a soft porn site or golf site?
Will Tiger Break Jack’s record? I might break your jaw if you ask that question one more time…
Tiger Woods has parted ways with his swing coach Sean Foley. The golf internet will now blow up with pundits who will pontificate endlessly about whether or not this was a good decision, or that it should have been done long ago. Surely we will see plenty of “return to Butch Harmon” discussion. Here’s the official statement from Tiger Woods below.
Tiger Woods said today he will no longer be working with Sean Foley.
“I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship,” Woods said. “Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him. With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship.”
“My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together,” Foley said. “It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport. I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.”
“Presently, I do not have a coach, and there is no timetable for hiring one,” added Woods.
Every golf social network and website known to man will now endlessly post the following topics of discussion below. 1…2…3.. GO!
1. Was Tiger Woods leaving Sean Foley a good decision?
2. Should Tiger Woods have left Sean Foley sooner?
3. Should Tiger Woods go back to Butch Harmon?
I don’t have a TV right now (surely there’s rant/blog coming about that soon). Therefore I missed the chance to watch Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show last night. In case you missed it like me, here’s a video clip below.
Official carries the wiener off the 7th green…
I don’t do a lot of Tiger Woods posts. There are billions of other sites regurgitating every bit of news they can find about Tiger, even covering his empty parking spots or his entry into the porta potty. My favorite is when he blows a big snot out of his nose and they show it in super slo-mo on the Konica Minolta Tiger Booger Vision Camera. With the Ryder Cup coming up I feel Tiger is worthy of some commentary here.
Tiger Woods has withdrawn from consideration as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup. Here’s his post regarding his withdrawal:
I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They’ve advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.
I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I took myself out of consideration. The U.S. team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best. I’ll be cheering for the U.S. team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.
I plan to return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 1-7. It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again.
Thankfully this announcement puts an end to the nauseating over-posting of the “should Tom Watson pick Tiger for the Ryder Cup team?” questions. Glad that’s over. Seems like every article and every social network feed had about as many of those posts as the “dump ice on your head” ones. By sheer numbers alone, one might conclude that the Ryder Cup team is better of without Tiger Woods, even when he’s healthy. His record in the event is quite poor. Based on recent play I don’t understand how anyone would remotely consider him for the team. They’re just Tiger homers.
I can’t help wondering if Woods should not have played in the Bridgestone and the PGA this past month or so. He was obviously not at his best yet told the media he was 100% and there to win. Is that denial, stubbornness, rust, or was he really 100% only to become injured again during the course of the Bridgestone? I’d have to question his doctors about that, or Woods himself for perhaps ignoring their advice and playing anyway? We will never know.
Now that Woods has bowed out of any competition until at least the first week of December are we going to be subjected to more posts about how Tiger not being around is killing the golf economy? Probably but I sure hope not. Personally I don’t buy gear or book tee times based on whether Tiger Woods is playing and I don’t know anyone else that does either. The Tiger effect hurts the media, but they took too many trips through the Tiger buffett anyway. Sooner or later the Tiger media bubble was going to burst.
I have now watched TV for a third time this year, during the PGA Championship. The first two times were the Masters and the Open Championship. I live a sheltered, golf blogger life I suppose.
I’ve considered the PGA Championship to be the red-headed stepchild of the major tournaments, but the finish this year was more exciting than the other three majors. All that despite a hoaky golf course in Valhalla which seemed to strictly dictate playing strategy on many holes, leaving no room for creativity by the players.
Choo Choo! Hop on the McIlory bandwagon!
Hop aboard the Rory McIlory bandwagon with me! I’m a fan! The McIlroy era has begun. Watch the golf media go all ape gaga over Rory now as Tiger fades. They’ll latch onto him like a baby monkey latches onto its mother. Soon we will be reading all the “will Rory break Jack’s major record?” drivel from the scribes. Quote me on it. Book it. So predictable.
The 2014 PGA Championship was a great major win for Rory because he found himself behind by two shots midway through the round. He found a way to come back and win by two shots. A different win than his previous front-running style wins.
Hard not to like this kid. He is still a kid, but growing up fast. There’s something authentic about Rory. He’s not a mercenary robot like Tiger Woods was. He has a human quality to him and an open, perhaps slightly naive quality to him. This makes him much more likable than Tiger ever was. Time will tell if the endless stupid media questions and taking what he says out of context will sour that likable human aspect. I hope not.
I’ve poked fun at Rickie Fowler for quite some time now. For a few years now, this kid has been more well known for his apparel style than his golf game. That has changed as has my opinion. In EVERY major this year Fowler has been right there, even had a chance to win. I respect that. He’ll get one.
Phil has had a very lackluster season so far. I was pleased to see Phil bring it this past weekend and he produced some great drama, even tying for the lead for a bit. Ironically it was his short game failing him on the 16th hole Sunday, which led to a bogey which put him one back of McIlory.
Henrik Stenson had a share of the lead for a bit. When he three putted I ducked, and I’m 2,000 miles from Valhalla. Stenson is a ticking time bomb and I wonder what he destroyed after yesterday’s round. Still, he’s an amazing player. Just ask his accountant.
I like Lee Westwood. He had the lead after the first round. But I’m not sure he can get over the hump and win a major championship. Maybe he hung around too much with Colin Montgomerie?
I missed much of this. Apparently Bubba Watson had some not-so worthy f-bombs which fell in earshot of not only the TV microphones, but small children. His behavior was enough to warrant many articles and commentary, and an apology on Twitter.
DJ took a leave of absence before the PGA to work out personal issues. Many rumors and articles cited a suspension for drug use but the PGA Tour denied DJ was suspended. Sounds like a self-imposed suspension.
You are a reflection of who you hang out with. ‘Nuff said.
Will Tiger Break Jack’s record? I might break your jaw if you ask that question one more time…
Last but not least Tiger Woods. After withdrawing from the WGC Bridgestone the previous week and almost crawling to his courtesy car, Tiger was back at the PGA and was there to “win.” He did not win. He did not make the cut after shooting consecutive rounds of 74.
Many pundits are theorizing that he came back from back surgery too soon. Tiger insisted he was 100% healthy. Sounds to me like he’s floating down the river of de-Nile.
I’m not sure what to make of Tiger these days. Part of me thinks he should retire now, or at least take the rest of 2014 off and get healthy.
The PGA Championship marks a little bit of a sad day. It is symbolic of the golf season winding down. Summer is more than half over and soon here in northern Utah the snow will be flying and the golf clubs will be shelved for months.
I’ve been thinking of quitting golf lately, but if I’m going to I’d like to do it on my own terms, when I’m pissed off at it!
Right now I’m suffering from a bad case of golfer’s elbow. That injury may bench me before the snow flies.