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.
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.”
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?
Great piece, Tony! Thanks, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!