GOLF CHRONICLES
PGA Show 
 
 
I came, I saw, I yawned
Thursday, January 28, 2010
By Joe Logan

ORLANDO – I walked the floor of PGA Merchandise Show for hours this morning and never found a thing that is turning heads this year.

 

Yes, there are new offerings by club manufacturers, as there are every year, but nothing is taking the 2010 show by storm.  Most years, there is a buzz about something; not this year.  No giant technological leaps forward this year, no new breakthrough products.

 

This is my first time at the show in four years.  I came for five or six straight years, until several of the top manufacturers began to pull out one by one, costing the show a lot of its luster and appeal.   But after hitting bottom a couple of years ago, when attendance was way down and new product buzz was zilch, the annual confab seems to be on a slightly upward trajectory again.  It’s still not what it once was, and probably won’t be again anytime soon, maybe ever, but the buzzards are no longer circling overhead.

 

During the boom years, the anchors of the show were mammoth million-dollar "booths" erected by Titleist, Nike, Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping and several others.  TaylorMade and Nike aren’t even here this year – at least not their club divisions. 

 

If you’re in the golf business, however, the PGA Show is still a place to see and be seen, to catch up with friends and colleagues from around the industry.


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PGA Merchandise Show 
PGA Merchandise Show
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
By Joe Logan

Coming to you live for the next few days from the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.  Landed last night; I’ll check in this afternoon.  Show starts tomorrow.

 

Details as they develop.


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Tiger 
Tiger and the media
Friday, January 22, 2010
By Joe Logan

Reading Alan Shipnuck’s weekly Mailbag column for Golf.com,  l couldn’t help but chuckle when I read the following letter/response.  He pretty much summarizes everything you need to know about the relationship, or lack thereof,  Tiger has had with me and everybody I know in the media:

 

TMZ and the like never cared about whether Tiger put them on the DNR (do not resuscitate) list so they went after him. Now it seems that golf writers are emboldened to take shots too. How long will you guys stay so bold when the Mighty One returns? Won't you all fear being put on his naughty list? TMZ doesn't need Tiger. They move on. You live and die by the guy. Also, do you fear him remembering how bold you were during his absence and that you might be black listed? —Lenny Johnson

Even before Tiger's crackup, I would get variations of this question all the time. There seems to be a widespread belief that reporters live in mortal fear of somehow being blacklisted by Woods. The truth is that no one was getting much access before and he's going to be even more locked-down in the future, so who cares if doesn't like what we're writing? A couple of years ago John Garrity wrote a long, engaging cover story about Tiger. He was granted an audience with Woods that lasted exactly ten minutes. Those were the good old days? I think Tiger's dealings with the media will be downright Nixonian upon his return.

 

 


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Dave McNabb, Applebrook GC  
News & Notes: Three new head pros
Thursday, January 21, 2010
By Joe Logan

News and notes from the new golf season:

 

From the Philadelphia Section PGA comes word of three clubs have new head pros:

 

At Llanerch CC in Havertown, Chris Wilkinson, formerly at The Ridgewood CC in New Jersey, takes over.

 

At McCall Golf & Country Club in Upper Darby, Eric Figueroa, former assistant at Stonewall, becomes head pro.

 

At Applebrook GC in Malvern, Dave McNabb, longtime pro at Cavaliers CC in Newark, Del., is the new head pro.

 

 


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Torrey Pines 
Tour hooks up with closing-time partner for Torrey Pines tourney
Monday, January 18, 2010
By Joe Logan

With only a week left before show time, the PGA Tour announced Monday that they’ve finally landed a title sponsor for the Tour stop at Torrey Pines in San Diego: The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

 

Never mind what kind of discount rate The Farmers Exchange likely got; you can almost hear the Tour breathing a big sigh of relief for the tournament formerly known as the Buick Invitational.  Even with the economy as lousy as it is, for a proud and well-established tournament played on an ocean-side paradise, it looked extremely bad to go sponsor-less, even for a year.  As late as last week, the San Diego Union was reporting that it was "all but certain"  that for this year anyway, the tournament would simply be called the "San Diego Open."

 

As welcome has the last-minute news is for the Tour and the tournament, let’s face it: what we have here is the equivalent of 2 a.m. closing time at the singles bar.  Everyone suddenly starts to look better, even as the lights go up.

 

"We couldn’t be more pleased that Farmers Insurance has stepped forward..." began a statement from Commissioner Tim Finchem.  No word on whether he had his face buried in his hands when he said that.

 

Tom Worsnam, general chairman of the tournament, called Farmers "truly a knight in shining armor."

 

For now, the tournament will be called The Farmers Insurance Open and – hot diggity dog --there’s an option to extend the sponsorship.

 

Of course, after next week, in the morning light, let’s see if the Tour and the Farmers Exchange ask for each other’s phone numbers.


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If only it was still like it was
Thursday, January 7, 2010
By Joe Logan

How times have changed.

 

Wednesday night, A&E Biography rebroadcast it’s profile of Tiger Woods, which, given recent developments, is difficult to watch without laughing.

 

It spent 58 minutes recalling and marveling at the Tiger of Old – the super-human golfer (14 majors, 71 PGA Tour victories), and humanitarian  (Tiger Woods Foundation) and loving son, husband and father.  Oh, the days not so long ago, when all was still perfect in Tiger World. 

 

In the Biography profile, Tiger smiles his Chicklet-toothed smile, and we are treated to a career highlight reel of his 350-yard drives, his putts that can’t possibly go in the hole until they do, and the reaction of the awestruck sports fans.  Now that everyone is so disappointed and disgusted with Tiger, it’s enough to make you remember what the fuss is all about.

 

In the many interview clips of Tiger, he comes off as likeable, clean-cut, earnest, determined to become the greatest player in the history of the game.

 

In interview after interview, TV commentators (David Feherty, Lanny Wadkins, Mike Tirico), golf writers (Jaime Diaz, Tim Rosaforte), legends of the game (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus), other incomparable athletes (Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Wayne Gretzky), pals (Mark O’Meara, John Cook) and his agent (Mark Steinberg) kneel at the Alter of Tiger, as we all did.  They go on endlessly and profusely about Tiger’s incredible ability, his unmatched work ethic, his concentration, his dedication – all the things that made Tiger almost too perfect to be true. 

 

Of course, we now know that the Tiger we thought we knew didn’t really exist – the image he created was too perfect to be true. Even he couldn’t live up it.  His perfect world was not what it seemed.

 

It isn’t until the final couple of minutes of hour-long the Biography profile that they’ve inserted an updated account of his collapsing world.  They show the seamy tabloid covers, the now-familiar aerial shots of Tiger crash scene outside his house and a partial parade of his alleged mistresses.

 

When it was over, all I could do was sigh and shake my head.  What a shame.  What a damn shame.


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Don’t look for Tiger Woods at the AT&T Natonal Aronimink GC
Thursday, December 31, 2009
By Joe Logan

Even with Tiger Woods’ severely stained image, the announcement that he will play in the AT&T National over the July 4th weekend is great news for the tournament, Aronimink GC and sports fans in the area.

 

Say what you will about him as a husband, father and man, but Tiger is still the best golfer in the world and the biggest attraction in the game.  Without him, the AT&T would have been like throwing a party and having the guest of honor be a no-show.

 

With Tiger in, the buzz around the tournament will increase, ticket sales will get a good bump and whatever hospitality packages remain unsold will become a lot easier to sell.  Best of all, for the first time in his storied 14-year career. Philadelphia sports fans will finally be able to see him do what he does up close and personal.

 

If you’re wondering where Tiger will stay during the tournament, don’t expect him to occupy the Presidential Suite of a luxury hotel.  The talk is that he has already rented the home of an Aronimink member in the vicinity of the course.   That’s fairly common for Camp Tiger.

 

An unannounced visit to Aronimink by Tiger in the coming weeks is not out of the question.  So far as I can tell, he has never played the course, and he might like to sneak in a preview round or two.

 

Staff and members at Aronimink talk of only one previous visit by Tiger.  That was more than a year ago, shortly before the announcement that the AT&T was temporarily relocating to Aronimink for 2010 and 2011.

 

That, too, was unannounced, catching even Aronimink staff off guard.  Tiger and a staffer from the Tiger Woods Foundation, which runs the tournament, showed up at the Newtown Square club, took a tour of the course in a golf cart, then left as quietly as they arrived.


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Joe Logan[1/14/2010 7:34:16 AM]
It’s 2013
steve[1/14/2010 7:00:00 AM]
Well, there’s always the Open at Merion in 2014. I assume everything will have settled down by then!


 
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