Use No-Chipping Sign as Target When Practicing Chipping
While at the practice putting green last week I found a golfer there practicing his chipping. After watching him for a few minutes I realized the brilliance of what he was doing. He was using the “no chipping” sign as part of his chipping practice. He positioned his landing spot to be just over the no-chipping sign, and he would try to chip in such a way that the ball would land just over it, then release nicely to the hole.
I highly recommend using the no-chipping sign as a golf training aid when working on chipping. I’ve used the no-chipping sign for my short game drills ever since and I’ve noticed quite an improvement in my short game stats.
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?
As I approach the 10 year anniversary of Hooked On Golf Blog I’m thinking about all the hundreds of crappy golf blogs out there now. When I started HOG in 2004 there was no template. There were only a couple of other golf blogs on the net, one of which is still operating. My format was developing on the fly. HOG was one of the first blogs to “review” golf equipment or golf apparel, or golf courses for that matter. Now “review” articles are cheaper than the latest “golf babe” photos on the Trash9Network.
I should just compile this into a top-10 list, but for now here are a few of the things golf bloggers do to make themselves look like idiots.
When identifying one’s self to others as a golf blogger the reactions are quite interesting and entertaining. Whether those reactions are positive or negative seems to depend on the perspective of that individual, and perhaps a personal experience they may have had with golf bloggers. On many occasion I’ve gotten some very bad reactions from professionals in the industry because a boneheaded blogger had been there before me, and f*!ked it all up.
Case in point was one of my first PGA Tour events with a media credential. When talking to the Tour’s media official in the press room about a photo credential, I got quite a reaction. He thrusted his head back and looked at the ceiling rolling his eyes. Then buried his face in his hands. Then he sighed three or four times. I felt like I’d asked him to cosign on a payday loan or something. Upon further discussion I was briefed on how the “last blogger” was a complete idiot and broke nearly every rule imaginable inside the ropes, like clicking his shutter in Tiger Woods’s backswing or asking him questions during the round. Players, caddies, other press, and even fans had complained about this bonehead.
It then became my job to convince the Tour official that not all bloggers were idiots. He begrudgingly gave me a photo credential.
I never clicked in Tiger’s backswing once. Well, Tiger was not in the field that week, but you get the point.
The rest of that week I’m pretty sure that this Tour official noticed that I was the first one in the press room in the morning and the last one to leave at night. By the end of the week, and at subsequent events, I was no longer judged based on a previous bonehead’s actions.
I type fast. I’m trying to write a blog post quickly before I run off to my tee time. Sometimes I make mistakes and a typo or two may fall through the cracks. We are all human. When I find a mistake like that, I kick the dog and fix it. Well, I kick the neighbor’s yelping poodle, but that is a story for another day.
That said, there are grammar errors I will NOT tolerate when reading an article. If a writer can’t use the proper version of they’re/there/their or two/to/too I leave the article immediately. Throw in your/you’re as well. “They’res” nothing worse than bad grammar, run-on sentences, and blatant misspellings which are not proofread. Get “you’re” crap together.
Speaking of bad grammar, there’s a great new Twitter account to follow called GolfBlogGRR. This person (not sure if male or female) scans golf blogs and points out their boneheaded grammar errors, and their crappy photos (see next items).
And by the way, when you see a misspelled word or bad grammar here PLEASE tell me so I can fix it. As a single independent I proofread as best I can, but sometimes I miss. I appreciate it.
I inherently distrust bloggers/reviewers who use stock or public relations photos for their equipment or apparel “reviews.” This makes me think they’re completely full of manure and are making the whole thing up. Take your iPhone or some cheapo camera and shoot a photo of the golf club. Spend two extra minutes and make your review a tiny bit better and more believable.
On second thought, maybe stock photos are better. Why is it so hard for someone to point a camera at a golf club and shoot a picture? Apparently this is difficult. There are countless crappy review photos out there, where the lighting is bad, the background is in focus (not the subject), or the photo was shot in the reviewer’s kitchen with last night’s dirty lasagna dishes in the background. GolfBlogGRRR (mentioned above) is great at pointing out how nice the “carpet” is on many of these bad golf blogger’s photos. Brilliant.
Class it up a bit and shoot a decent photo. Make sure the subject is in focus. Try not to shoot it in your kitchen. This tiny bit of effort will make the review better.
Regurgitating PR Speak
Golf PR agencies love bloggers. Free publicity! The PR agencies send press releases to them and the bloggers post them. Win/win right? The PR agency gets their word out and the blogger doesn’t have to do a damn thing! This is great for apparel scripts and other worthless drivel golf PR companies come out with… It is nauseating and readers see right through it. So does Google.
Even worse than simply posting press releases (I created a site just for press releases so PR agencies wouldn’t be mad that I didn’t post them here), is bloggers who “write” reviews but 99% of it is the same drivel the PR agencies sent them. We all get these press releases. We know who you are.
Brown-Nosing Golf Companies for Free Stuff
“We get so much free stuff it is sick!” was the first thing I heard at certain golf blogger say to me when we first met at the PGA Show a couple of years ago. The guy had started his blog a short time before that. My first reaction was “we?” Who is this guy?
I started my blog back in 2004 for a love of the game and to document my experience. I never started it with “free gear” in mind. I’ve gotten a much gear as anyone I’m sure but let us be perfectly clear, the stuff is NOT free. It takes a lot of work to keep a decent blog going.
Can you trust a golf equipment reviewer who says Brand A’s driver is the “best I’ve ever hit” this week, and then the following week says the same thing about Brand B’s driver? Did that really happen or is this writer just being a shill? Brand B gets all excited about the review, Tweeting and Facebooking it to their fanbase. If they read five posts later though, they’d realize the shill just said the same “great” comments about their competition.
Lame Web Design or a Cookie Cutter Blogspot Domain
Do you want to be a “real” golf website? Get your own URL and take some pride in designing it or making it original and appealing somehow. If your site is mylamegolfblog.blogspot.com, please leave the web now. And take that green blogger template 50,000 other golf blogs are using with you!
Now to be clear I think a blogspot domain or WordPress domain is great for starting up. Get your feet wet. Gain some experience and make sure this is right for you. Then move up to your own URL.
My putting is great. My fairways hit is about 80%. If I miss a green in regulation though, I’m in trouble. As a current 2.5 handicap I struggle with my short game. When I hit greens I can shoot in the low 70’s or high 60’s. If I miss greens it can be ugly, as my up-and-down percentage, which I track with GolfStats, is about 20-25%. As they say on Twitter: #lame.
I had the opportunity to submit my video to PGA.com for a lesson on their cool new feature, Free Lesson Fridays. FLF is a fun and educational part of PGA.com in which renowned golf teachers help out folks who submit their questions and game issues. My lesson, linked here or by clicking the image below, was quite an eye opener.
Click photo to go to my PGA.com Free Lesson Friday
I didn’t realize I broke my left arm. Shoot. I have the dreaded left arm chicken wing! Somebody kill me now. I also didn’t know that my short game shots were mostly hands and not shoulders. And last I didn’t realize the club head passed my hands. These are all things I know are not good, but didn’t realize I was doing them until a PGA instructor showed me.
I’m thankful for the video lesson, and for PGA.com exposing my weak short game to millions of their readers. Exposing my short game to the public is worse than those naked pictures I accidentally posted online of myself, the ones with the lamp shade. That’s a post for another day…