Archive for June 16th, 2009

PGA Tour Parents

You have heard of Soccer Moms and Little League Dads, but PGA Tour parents are the worst.

If you fall into this group your choices are hari kari (for those who don’t know, it’s disemboweling yourself with a samurai sword) or cut it out now.

I practice at a public course with a really nice facility. It gives me a chance to be comfortable in t-shirts and cargo shorts.

What I saw yesterday afternoon made me sick because I see it almost every day.

I saw a little boy who couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 getting a chipping lesson, all the while the parent was shouting instructions. I don’t mean basic “here’s how you hold it” stuff, I mean real mechanical perfection type stuff. I had to leave the chipping green and go to the range to get away from this.

Then I went to the range and started hitting balls. There was a teenager about 15 or 16 hitting balls next to me and getting lessons from his dad. I thought the chipping lesson I just witnessed was technical. “Your plane is off 3 frames into the back swing” and “lead more with the left shoulder,” were a few of the beauties I heard. Now is where it gets interesting. It was late in the afternoon and the shadows were long.

“Excuse me, your shadow is bothering my son’s practice.” I practice with music from my Oakley wireless sunglasses on, so I often can’t hear people talking on the range…thank GOD. He then taps me on the shoulder and repeats.

I asked him if he was kidding and if his kid wanted to play on Tour someday, he better get used to distractions worse than this. He then very forcefully told me that his son’s practice was very important and I either needed to move, or make sure my shadow was out of the way when he was hitting.

I couldn’t decide whether to separate this guy from a few of his teeth or embarrass him really bad. Since there is no internet in jail, I obviously chose option two.

I told him I would play he and his son a best ball for any amount of money he wanted.

“Your son looks like a low single digit and by the way you are talking to him, I judge you to be at least a 15, if not a 20. Am I right?”

I got a stunned look from the dad and the kid started to laugh.

“Look, I’ll make you a deal, let me finish warming up and I’ll give you one of two choices. We can play the match for $100 a hole, or you can let your son hit the rest of his balls without your input.”

After I hit my first driver, he sat on the bench and silently motioned to his son to hit the rest of his balls.

The point of this story is not how awesome I think I am and what a jerk I am to people who bother me at the golf course (although both of these things are true), it’s that parents need to leave their kids alone because they don’t know jack **** about golf and how to make their kids better. Let them whack it around and have a good time.

Jim Furyk is ruining the game for all of us

Actually, it’s not all his fault. Ben Crane gets some of the blame too and it’s not all their fault.

There are thousands of dorks out there that think they have to copy whatever the players on the PGA Tour do and it literally only takes one guy taking himself too seriously to create a 5 or 6 hour round for everyone. Walking golf shouldn’t take more than 4 hours and cart golf should take 3 1/2. When I was in junior golf in the 80’s, we were playing for college scholarships and there would be fist fights if it took more than 3 1/2 hours and we were carrying our own bags.

Anyway, Jim addresses the ball, backs off, looks at it again, hikes up his pants, addresses it again, takes a practice stroke, then parks over it for 10 minutes…

Do you know what is being said in the group behind and and by his playing partners?

“HEY JIM, PULL THE TRIGGER!!!!!!!!”

Bad golf is not what causes slow play. Bad and medium golf combined with a 3 minute, scratch, pre-shot routine is what causes slow play.

Golfers have been inundated by information on the Golf Channel and golf publications that make them think they need a long routine, they need to sick to it even over 2 foot putts and they need a 14 step setup and swing checklist.

You’ve seen it. Wait till the group is off the green when the guy in front of you is 240 out. Step off the yardage twice to make sure it’s 242 and not 241. Stand behind it and line up like Nicklaus, march into position, grind on the grip one hand at a time, get the perfect setup, look at the hole…and A PRACTICE SWING with the perfect scratch, PGA Tour, reverse “C” finish and hold!. Then, one foot at a time step into address position, grind on the grip one hand at a time look at the hole, waggle and make a half back swing while watching the club to make sure it is hitting the perfect positions. Look at the hole, waggle, half back swing, look at the hole, waggle, half back swing…then look at the ball, slump the shoulders and freeze. 5 seconds…10 seconds…15 seconds…finally they hit the ball and they top it 23 yards only to start this routine all over again, not forgetting to step off the yardage as it might take a different club to not come close to reaching the green…and this repeats all the way up to grinding on that 18 inch putt for a 9.

This is why rounds of golf at your local course are measured with a calender instead of a clock. My unofficial results are that it is taking an hour longer to play a given course since The Golf Channel came on air in 1995.

My advice to all of the slow golfers out there (and you know who you are) is the more you think and the slower you play, the higher you will shoot and the less fun you will have. All of this grinding is not fun for you, nor is it fun for the hundreds of people playing behind you that want to finish the round before global warming kills us all.

So…

PULL THE TRIGGER!!!!!!!!!!!