Ron Romanik 
Is it time for a U.S. Shamateur?
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
By Ron Romanik

The "Hungover Caddie" column in Golf Digest is less than two years old, but it has elicited some strong reactions from the magazine’s readership. An Editor’s Blog by Bob Carney on the Golf Digest website provides a sampling of the responses.


In the blog, Carney admits that some attempts at humor are not for everyone, and that those who just don’t "get it" should choose to refrain from reading future columns. The column has a head shot picture but no byline, suggesting a bit of anonymity for the eponymous caddie. Carney notes, though, that Staff Writer Max Adler is "responsible" for the column each month, indicating more than a modicum of editorial oversight.


There are two reasons for bringing up the Hungover Caddie on this blog. First, the column is an ambitious attempt at mixing commentary and fiction, etiquette advice and humor, honesty and attitude that often leaves one pondering a formerly taken-for-granted belief or attitude. It is unapologetically frank, edgy, and funny.


Secondly, one recent column illustrates all the above points and makes a strong argument for a pretty radical policy change in USGA rules. In the January 2013 column, Hungover Caddie recounts the fictional story of two golfers trying to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Am. The story examines the fate of longtime amateur Dr. Scratchet, whom we are introduced to as he tries to drown his sorrow after just missing qualifying by choking on a two-footer to remain in the playoff for the last spot open for the Mid-Am. His nemesis, one Vinny Whacker, is a reinstated pro.


You can probably see where this is going. The Hungover Caddie states it plainly: "To give a pro his amateur status back is to throw a lion among the lambs." To the magazine’s credit, the Hungover Caddie takes time and column inches to air arguments on both sides of the debate.


But the point of the entire story hits home when the Hungover Caddie slaps you with a reality check: "In 2013, half the field at the U.S. Mid-Am will be guys who once played to cash checks." After conceding that it’s a complicated issue, he concludes by suggesting the USGA create a separate tournament, only for reinstated amateurs, called the US Shamateur.


As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, one-sided blog rants are not my style, so I think there’s valid arguments on both sides here. Finding a compromise would certainly be a challenge.


One thing I can add is my own personal experience about a decade ago, when I was a semi-competitive amateur. A few times, standing around the leaderboard, I’d ask about the about-to-be-crowned winner: "Where did he come from?" When I got the "He’s a former pro" answer, the conversation would end there, somewhat abruptly. It was as if: "’Nuff said." Though I never witnessed any overt resentment to former pros, and my own feelings were mixed and not particularly strong, I’d imagine many fellow competitors had some unspoken reservations about a less-than-pure amateur taking the spotlight away from a 100% amateur. Of course, I suspect that I might have different feelings if, like the fictional Dr. Scratchet, I’d been edged out of some glory by a not-so-amateur player. I’ll let you know when that happens.


For whatever reason, only a few Hungover Caddie columns are available online, even for logged-in Golf Digest subscribers. Here are a few you might want to sample, however:


A cautionary tale about beginners playing St. Andrews.

An "educational piece" on caddie signals.

A fictional apology letter to a club’s board.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand, packaging, and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. Ron’s bio is here.


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Rpn Romanik 
Here’s a bar bet you can win
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
By Ron Romanik

Well, maybe there’s never been a safer bet than Alabama in the 2013 NCAA Football Championship Game. But this one comes close.


It’s the type of idle 19th Hole conversation that can turn ugly if someone doesn’t rein in their testosterone and realize their own physical limitations. A boast, then a challenge, then a bet ensues before calmer heads prevail. Don’t get caught on the wrong end of this one, though.


Every golfer has had this feeling. Frustrated on the tee of a 120-yard par-three, you drop a few extra balls and after five pitching wedge swings, you still can’t find the dance floor. You think: "I would do better just throwing the ball around the golf course." That may be true if your handicap could be confused with an IQ score, but stop yourself from the next thought progression: "I would certainly be straighter, and could reach a 120-yard par-three with one throw."


Ahem. No, you can’t. Probably not even close. If you hear someone claim this at the 19th Hole, chime in with the dollar amount you believe you can extract from that person.


This bet has a few other variations, such as: "I bet I could break 90 by just throwing and rolling the ball around the course." If the course is over 6, 400 yards and the fairways are not rock hard, you should jump at the other end of that bet, as well.


If you’re a nice guy, however, you might want to make sure that the fellow you’re betting has good health insurance, because his shoulder might never be the same after that round. It’s safer to throw a football as hard as you can, because at least the football has some mass to slow down the arm release.


One of my dear memories from playing golf in my youth was during a high school match at the Berkshire Country Club in Reading, PA. I was, most likely, losing my game as I trudged off the 18th tee and down the fairway in the fading light of a late autumn dusk. My spirits were brightened when a good friend on the opposing team, whose game had been completed, joined my on my trudge carrying a ball and a wedge.


His name was Rich Delucia, and he was a very talented athlete. As I recall, he was throwing one- and two-hitters left and right for Wyomissing High School as an underclassman, and he had a seemingly effortless ease with a number of other sports, golf included.


Rich always gave me a chuckle. He was soft-spoken and polite on the surface, but underneath simmered a mischievous, insubordinate streak. He knew he had talent, but he rarely drew attention to himself for its own sake.


The 18th at the Berkshire is a short, narrow, straightaway par-four. I was likely left with a 100-yard shot after a three-wood tee ball. As we passed the 150-yard plate in the fairway, Rich tapped the plate with the iron end of his club, tossed the ball lightly in his right hand, and said: "I bet you I can throw it on the green from here." I blurted out: "No way!!"


Having tried to throw a golf ball myself on a golf course once or twice before, I knew there were limitations. I don’t believe I ever made it to 100 yards. However, I also knew Rich had a golden arm. And I knew he probably wouldn’t have made the claim if he didn’t have a reasonable chance of backing it up. I think we settled on five bucks for the wager.


Now, you can’t see the surface of the 18th green from the fairway, but if you clear the shallow front bunker, you’re on. If it was 150 to the center, then it was probably 140 to clear the bunker.


By the time he started getting his step-and-a-half windup going, I figured I was probably going to be out five smackers, but I thought with a little hope: "When a professional MLB pitcher tries to throw his heater at his best 95 mph speed, sometimes it only pops at 90."


He glanced around to see that he didn’t have an audience. What was more astonishing than him winning the bet was the way his throw took off—and rose into the air—like an eight-iron. How the heck did he get that much spin on that little ball? The next thought I had was: "If his dad saw him do that, he’d probably wring his neck."


I secretly hoped Rich didn’t jeopardize his major league baseball career with stunts like that, but it was a fun trick nonetheless. And he didn’t after all. Rich pitched nine seasons in "The Bigs," going 12-13 in his first season as a starter before later transitioning into a middle reliever.


It’s truly humbling when you see real, raw talent like that up close.

And yes, some pro golfers are athletes. Paul Casey, tossed a ball on the green of a 132-yared par-three during the 2011 Telus Skins Game in Alberta, Canada. A Brit, Casey grew up playing cricket, so he know his capabilities. The real power in the throw—just like a golf swing—seems to come from the timing of the weight transfer to the left side.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. Ron’s bio is here.

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Ron Romanik 
Watching Women Swingers
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
By Ron Romanik

This has been a pretty good year for the ladies on the LPGA Tour. In 2012, the lady golfers have gotten to see a wide swath of the world (maybe even more than they might have wanted), they’ve expanded their sponsorships and tour stops and they’ve seen an enthusiastic rotation of players on hot streaks.


American Stacy Lewis, a spry lass of 27, just nailed down her fourth win of the year, and is now the No.2 player in the world. Unlike the other multiple winners this year, Lewis spread her wins across eight months. After the dominant Yani Tseng cooled off in late spring, the wealth has been spread around more equitably.


But this post is not about handicapping the top young U.S.A. talent, bemoaning the still-late-arriving-but-still-on-its-way-mega-greatness of Michelle Wie, analyzing skirt length trends or the sad state of LPGA Tour popularity. That’s because, for one, the Tour is not in so sad of a state. The LPGA is experiencing a resurgence in sponsorships and ratings (according to some sources). And a recent interview with tour Commissioner Mike Whan hinted at further expansion and new marketing initiatives for 2013.


The LPGA Tour expanded by five tournaments in 2012, to 29 events worldwide. Granted, 14 of those events are outside the mainland continental U.S. (Hawaii-1, South America-1, Mexico-1, France-1, UK-1, Austrailia-1, Canada-2, Asia-6). But Commissioner Whan has embraced the global character of the ladies game, boasting that other professional sports might be jealous of its international reach. Feel free to take that for what it’s worth.


But the real impetus of this post is that I feel it’s a shame that more male amateur golfers don't watch the LPGA Tour more frequently. Not just for the pretty faces that now grace the Tour, nor for Paula Creamer’s awesome pink wardrobe, but for the Tour’s instructional aspect.


This feeling came to me while I was glued to the epic playoff at the Kingsmill Championship (in Williamsburg, VA) between Paula and Jiyai Shin. Maybe it was the couch I was glued to for lack of motivation to clean the gutters, but I was glad to catch it anyway. Watching the ladies there (and at other tournaments this year) made me think about my own game and how I often play too aggressively, with poor risk/reward ratios.


The top tier of the LPGA Tour play at quite a consistently high level, especially tee to green. What struck me most then, and at other times I’ve watched the ladies this year, was how few mistakes the leaders make in managing themselves and the course. Creamer and Shin matched pars for the eight straight times they played the 18th hole in the playoff.


There they were, time after time, in the center of the fairway and the center of the green, time after time. (Paula did make one sand save that I saw.) The pin was tucked back left, behind a bunker and on a downslope. An aggressive line brought more danger than benefit, so it was dutifully avoided.


In addition, the ladies manage themselves well in a number of ways. When they get into trouble, they make sure to get out first and foremost. They do not take unnecessary risks and they never over-swing.


The men on the PGA Tour, on the other hand, must go for birdies pretty much all the time to keep up with the hot players of the week. Several factors contribute to this, including hole length, equipment advances and course setup. For example, the green complexes are often tiered, effectively creating four or five mini-greens that beg aggressive play and punish conservative play.


But the LPGA game more resembles the game you and I play, and our scores might see a few notches of improvement if we managed our games the way the ladies do regularly. Sure, Michelle Wie might be aggressive on par fives, but most LPGA players know that playing safe just in front of a par-five green, for instance, will pay long-term dividends on the scorecard. Greenside bunkers and long, tangled rough just off the green make for frequent bogeys. And if you’re in the center of most greens, two-putts are a cinch.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. Ron’s bio is here.



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Ron Romanik 
Lessons of concessions
Monday, October 15, 2012
By Ron Romanik

It’s one of the indelible images of golf: Jack Nicklaus picking up Tony Jacklin’s ball marker on the 18th green at Royal Birkdale Golf Club at the end of the 1969 Ryder Cup. Like many avid golf fans, I had seen the key clips from that Ryder Cup more than a few times and recognized "The Concession" as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, show of sportsmanship in the history of sport—at least since the lions gave Daniel a pass inside their own den. Well, maybe that wasn’t sport per se.


The barest of facts of the matter make "The Concession" a grand gesture. The U.S. held the Cup that year, so the U.S. only needed a tie to retain it. The match was completely tied with Jack and Tony’s singles match the only one left to be decided. Their match was tied going into the final hole. After three shots each, Jack had a four-and-a-half foot par putt and Tony had a two-foot part putt left. Jack made his putt and conceded Tony’s putt, thereby concluding the Cup in a tie, acknowledging that the U.S. had retained the Cup and sparing Tony any embarrassment if he missed the putt, thereby losing both the individual match and the team match. Nice guy, nice timing.


But as one digs deeper into the story, one uncovers subplots that have not always been covered in depth. There were many compounding circumstances that compelled Jack to make the gracious gesture, to make it decisively and to leverage his role as statesman of the game itself.


One circumstance, the mere facts of the matter, I’ve just covered. But just to reiterate: It wasn’t important

 won the Tony/Jack match, it was important who owned the Cup. That had already been decided when Jack made his putt. In that regard, Tony’s putt was meaningless. And in more practical terms, Tony’s ability to make the putt would not make him a hero, but missing it would have made him a fall guy, the one to blame for the loss.


I always thought one of the most amazing part of the concession was how Jack so quickly picked up the coin after he holed out his four-and-a-half footer. It was as if Jack was prepared for the moment well ahead (maybe even holes ahead), and that he didn't hesitate, which might have made the moment awkward or called extra attention to the gesture. He just executed the moment.


I discovered that this was not an accurate assumption on my part. In a recent history of the Ryder Cup, Jack admitted that it was a more spontaneous act. That doesn’t diminish Jack’s ability to be completely aware of what was going on around him and the import of his actions. He knew the exact score, the exact situation, the gravity of the moment. He was completely prepared to do what he did, and did it with a smile and quick handshake. We would all be better human beings if we were as prepared for moments in life with the singularity and thoroughness that Jack brought to the green that day.


Jack was always incredibly aware of everything going on around him. He probably even knew that it might not be popular with his teammates—but he didn’t care. At the time, though, Jack was as close as anyone could become to being the embodiment of the game of golf itself. The principles he had, one might say, where the principles of the game itself by default. He was, at the time, the moral and ethical personification of the game, and knew what was good for the game. If he did it, it was therefore the right thing to do, ipso facto.


In fact, the concession was not popular among all the other members of the U.S. team, nor its captain, Sam Snead. An outright win meant a great deal to these players. And there were legitimate reasons for the tension between the two teams that year—several loose-lipped comments on both sides had ruffled feathers on opposing teams.


This was Jack’s first Ryder Cup, due to a PGA eligibility rule that prevented him from participating earlier in the 1960s. Jack was 29 and Tony, 25. Tony Jacklin was at the height of his career, having won the Open Championship earlier that year, and before the rollercoaster emotional decade that followed.


But the acrimony between the teams makes the concession even more of an honorable gesture. It is just a game, after all, and Samuel Ryder founded the Cup matches with the express purpose of promoting good will between the U.S. and Great Britain, with no cash purse involved.


Another reason that the gesture was so grand was that Jack’s personal feelings might have gotten in the way. Tony was dominating golf that year, while Jack’s fortunes had temporarily faded. Tony had drubbed Jack in the morning singles match 4&3, and in a four-ball match the day before. So it would have been understandable if Jack had been out for satisfaction, if not revenge, to show he could beat the current hottest player fair and square. But Jack felt the moment was bigger than that.


Another point that may be up for debate is the feeling that if you didn’t win convincingly, you didn't really win. Maybe Jack felt that a half-point win was the same as a tie anyway, so what could be the big deal. And how would making Tony putt that two-footer promote "good will" anyway?


Tony was gracious to a fault, both at that moment and ever since. He never complained about being deprived of his opportunity to make that putt, because he appreciated the gesture for the simple goal it meant to achieve: promote good will.


What you may not know is that Jack and Tony designed a golf course together, a private club in Florida named The Concession. Here’s Tony Jacklin talking about working with Jack on The Concession Golf Course. In this interview, Tony reiterated his feeling about the moment that he had expressed many times before: "It was a wonderful sporting gesture. Something certainly I’ll never forget."


One Side Note about Match Play:

What many golfers who are not familiar with the rules of match play forget is that each player, or team, "controls" his opponent’s ball, or balls (in four-ball). The Seve Ballesteros/Tom Lehman episode on the 12th hole of the final day Ryder Cup singles match in 1995 at Oak Hill gives a good illustration of what can happen when players forget this fact.


Tom Lehman hit a putt to about two inches from the cup. Seve still had a lengthy putt to negotiate, and did not concede the two-inch putt of Lehman’s. Lehman looked at Seve for the concession several times, but getting no affirmation, proceeded to putt out. In essence, though, Lehman played out of turn.


Seve’s intention was misunderstood at that moment, both by Tom and the gallery. It turned out he only wanted to use Tom’s ball mark as a aiming point for his putt. He intended to concede Lehman’s putt after he putted out, but the situation was a bit unfortunate. Seve didn’t think anything of it while it was happening, because it was second nature that he had "control" of Tom’s ball in match play.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.

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Ron Romanik 
A tough way to lose the U.S. Amateur
Thursday, August 30, 2012
By Ron Romanik

The final day of the U.S. Amateur was an exciting tooth-and-nail battle that ended on the first extra (37th) hole. I couldn’t get how the match ended out of my mind, so I decided to revisit the ending to make a few points about this fickle game we love (and hate).


The most pivotal moment came when Michael Weaver, who was ahead most of the day over Steven Fox, had a five-foot par putt on the 18th hole to win the title 1-up. He missed the putt in excruciating fashion, with the ball "horseshoeing" the hole and coming back at him.


Visibly shocked and disappointed, Weaver could not compose himself on the first extra hole, which was the 18th again, and lost with a bogey in 37 holes. (He bogeyed it three times that day.) After shaking hands all around, Weaver walked off the green and proceeded to abuse his golf bag with his putter. How you feel about that display of emotion is a topic for another time.


Weaver was not immune to the pressure of the moment. He actually did to his opponent in the Round of 16 what Fox did to him—come back from 2 & 2 to win. He parred 18 that day to force extra holes, and won on the first extra hole (the 1st hole). On the flip side of that, Weaver won his round of 32 match with a bogey on 18.


But back to the putt that Weaver missed. It appeared that Weaver hit it exactly as he wanted, which was very firm, to take the break out of the putt and hammer it home for the win. The announcers, including Gary Koch, made a big deal that a little bump in the putt caused the putt to go a touch off line. While that’s true to a degree, any irregularity on the green in the line of the putt would have caused it to break left, because that was the direction of the break. If it had actually been a straight putt, the bump might not have had the dramatic, and unfortunate result.


The point here is that, to this viewer, the match was lost because of Weaver’s decision to hit it firm and try to eliminate the break. The decisions you make on a golf course are almost as important as the execution of the shot. Every choice of club and type of shot is a calculated risk/reward situation as to the likelihood that the shot will come off as intended.


The strategic aspect of golf extends onto the green, as illustrated here, and the heat of battle can cause poor decisions. Just because the risk of a three-putt is immaterial in this match play situation doesn’t mean that you have to take advantage of that fact.


Rarely, if ever, do you see tour pro hit a five-footer as hard as Weaver hit his, even in match play. They don't change their game in different situations. If they do, it's almost imperceptible, especially on the green. Of course, uphill putts are hit firmer than downhill putts for obvious reasons. But they will hit the same putt whether its for a double bogey on the 1st hole or for a birdie or par on the last to win a title.

The final point is simple—composure. Weaver let his mind drift to holding the winner’s trophy and felt the loss immediately after the lipped out five-footer. Viewers could sense that the match was over even before they teed off on the 37th hole.


I am certainly not casting aspersions here, as I cannot imagine the intense pressure and anticipation of the moment Weaver faced. All I’m suggesting is that there are a few things all players can learn here—maybe more accessible from the humanness of young amateurs than from the automatons of the PGA tour.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.



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Ron Romanik 
In defense of Steve Williams
Friday, August 10, 2012
By Ron Romanik

Somebody’s got to do it. Not that Steve needs my help; he’s doing all right by himself.


It’s been a full year since Steve helped Adam Scott win at Firestone CC in the 2011 WGC event there. Okay, so Steve overstepped his bounds there, and once or twice elsewhere, when his mouth got ahead of his brain. But he had a legitimate reason to be angry (more on that later).


I just find it funny that so many of the same people that admire the strong drive of competitors who reach the pinnacle of their profession turn so quickly on those same competitors when they reveal how truly competitive they are.


There are very few competitors that achieve dominance of a sport without a little arrogance. Even Jack Nicklaus was presumptuous enough to speak as the second-highest authority on golf (next to God or Bobby Jones, depending on your religious beliefs). And I couldn’t fault him for that.


The point is that you have to accept the bad with the good. Taking it further, one could argue that many competitors would not achieve as highly as they have without the belief that they’re better than everyone else. Especially in golf, where you have to believe you can pull off a shot before you can actually perform it. Sometimes, confidence is everything.


And stop yourself if you’re inclined to say, "Steve Williams is just a caddie." Some caddies on tour are just caddies, but Steve is about as highly involved in the decisions made with the pro he’s caddying for as any other caddie out there. And, at the PGA Tour level of competition, there’s such a fine line between a great shot and disaster that club selection and course management are critical. And finally, the caddie’s most important job may be making his pro stay focused and feel confident in the club and shot selection that has been decided on.


So, Steve Williams is the ideal caddie and as competitive as they come. He chose his profession at a young age (13-years-old) and never looked back. He’s also an accomplished racecar driver, a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and a charitable man to boot $1 million New Zealand dollars, or about  $807,000 U.S., to a youth golf program.).


When he says "I’m a good frontrunner," as he did after celebrating Adam Scott’s win in the WGC Bridgestone last year, he was merely expressing his competitiveness, as if he has part ownership of his pros’ wins and losses. I would think that would be a valuable trait.


How much did he contribute to Tiger’s wins in his prime? That’s immeasurable, as in not measurable. Just remember that Steve has had more wins without Tiger than with Tiger. There’s no way to know how many majors Tiger would have won without Steve. I surmise that, in my mind, this much is indisputable: fewer.


In defense of Steve being angry at Tiger after being "let go," a review of the tape might make you rethink your knee-jerk reaction to what was reported. If you follow Steve’s argument, he waited patiently after the Tiger scandal passed over and after recoveries from injuries. He was loyal. That loyalty was not returned. Not because he was sacked at all, but because of the timing. If Tiger had any inkling that he might let Steve go anywhere in that 18-month period, he suggests, he should have been courteous to Steve to let him go earlier so he could get on with his own life. A valid point, I grant.


Steve could be the best caddie ever, and he goes above and beyond the call of duty. He famously protects his players and fends off distractions, once grabbing a $7,000 camera and tossing it into a lake. I don’t know which would be harder, defending Tiger from dangerous, trigger-happy photographers or defending Adam from the dangerous, skirt-flirting gold-diggers that Adam seem to attract like vultures to road kill.


So, I don’t blame Steve Williams either for fleeing right after the 2012 British Open concluded, after Adam Scott’s epic collapse. Being a true competitor, he felt partly responsible for the loss—maybe even wholly responsible. Right or wrong, that’s how hyper-competitive individuals feel. The worst "decision" he was a part of was the club selection at 18, where Adam hit a 3-wood into a fairway bunker. But he probably felt more responsible for not getting Adam’s head in the right place for his approaches to 15, 16 and 17, which appeared hurried to many observers.


Talking to the media after that collapse would be a no-win situation. Well, pretty much any more contact between Steve and the media is a no-win situation. He’s damned if he takes any credit, and damned if he doesn’t.


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand and PR consultancy Romanik Communications (, located in Elverson, PA. His full bio is here.



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Ron Romanik 
Feherty just keeps getting better
Monday, July 2, 2012
By Ron Romanik

Golf Channel’s Feherty show just keeps getting better and better. If you can forgive David Feherty for putting himself too much into a show that’s supposed to be an interview format, there’s not too much to dislike. Well, the hokey "Yoo-Hoo" theme song might stick in your head into the next day, which can certainly be annoying.


Feherty is just one more argument in favor of the claim that the Irish make great storytellers. Aside from his commentary on TV golf broadcasts, he is also a writer. He has four bestselling books and has been a regular contributor to Golf Magazine for many years. He deftly walks the tight wire fine line between embellishment and truth. And he’s just plain funny. Whereas Gary McCord often tries too hard to create mini-controversies, Feherty’s observations are self-contained and pithy.


What makes Feherty especially endearing is that he competed at, or near, the highest professional level, so he knows of where he treads. He is also one of the most honest and forthright commentators on TV. For instance, some years ago, he shared one of the most telling assessments of Tiger’s greatness: "Of the ten best golf shots I ever witnessed, eight of them were Tiger’s."


It is a shame when Feherty crosses a line of tactfulness, as he did with Ernie Els recently during the introductions at the Tavistock Cup. However, his apology appeared in the same Golf Magazine article: "I gave everybody a hard time at the Tavistock Cup, and I did it in proportion to how much affection I have for the person. If that backfired with Ernie, I unreservedly apologize, because I love the guy."


Two typically revealing Feherty segments came in the recent Roger Maltbie episode. Maltbie recalls Jack Nicklaus’s philosophy about winning tournaments and majors as: "I only wanted to win by one." He tells a great anecdote about Nicklaus at the 1975 PGA Championship at Firestone CC (but gets one forgivable detail wrong).


After two rounds at Firestone, Bruce Crampton was 6-under and, Maltbie thought, capable of running away from the field. (Maltbie recalled erroneously that it was Philly native Ed Dougherty, who was actually only at 1-under.) Maltbie asks Jack if he is worried that, at 2-under, he might be letting the tournament slip away. Jack says: "It doesn’t matter, 5-under will win it." Jack finishes 4-under and wins by two over Crampton.


The other anecdote is by Feherty himself. He recalls the 1991 Ryder Cup "War at the Shore." In my humble opinion, this was the moment the Ryder Cup became too little about the golf and too much about rowdy fans. As Bernard Langer was lining up the now infamous five-foot putt to tie up the score and retain the trophy for Europe, Feherty conferred with longtime PGA photographer Lawrence Levy, who quipped: "The last German under this kind of pressure shot himself in a bunker."


Ron Romanik is principal of the brand and PR consultancy Romanik Communications ( His full bio is here.


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