I don’t know about you but
in the span of about 15 minutes, I went from being totally outraged that Dustin Johnson was getting completely hosed
at the PGA Championship to thinking, in the words of Roberto de Vincenzo, "Whata stupid he is."
How can you come to any
other conclusion, once you’ve seen the CBS video
of Johnson’s tee shot flight path
into what is clearly a bunker?
and the fact that he readily admitted afterward that he hadn’t bothered to read
the Local Rules sheet from the PGA pointing out that every single one
of Whistling Strait’s 1,000 bunkers
would be played as bunkers, not as waste areas, no matter how far off the
beaten path they were.
What happened to Johnson must be tough for him to
swallow but he’s got nobody to blame but himself.
I agree with you up to a point. If the PGA of America was going to declare all of the 1,000-plus bunkers in play, as they did, then they should have kept fans from walking in them. Unfortunately, because of where Pete Dye put so many of the bunkers at Whistling Straits, thatís not practical if you want to have spectators attend the tournament. They have nowhere else to walk.
However, what is inescapable is that the PGA gave a Local Rules sheet to every player declaring the bunkers in play. For competitors, reading that sheet, especially in a major, is Golf 101.
[8/17/2010 7:26:59 AM]
The patrons should not be allowed to stand in the bunkers of the golf course. If so, it should be a waste bunker, and grounding is OK. Try having a patron stand in the bunker at Augusta, and see what happens. Terrible, with terrible outcome. The PGA should be embarrassed.
They are: Rich
Steinmetz, 38, head from at Spring
Ford CC in Gilbertsville; Mark
Sheftic, 35, teaching pro at Merion
GC in Ardmore; and Stu
Ingraham, 50, teaching pro at M Golf
Range & Learning Center in Harrisburg.
All three are good enough
and sufficiently experienced that it’s not out of the question that any or all
could survive the cut, even if the odds are against it.Twenty club pros are in the field.
For Ingraham, a former PGA Tour player, this is his sixth trip to the PGA Championship; he made the cut in
his last two appearances, in 1993 and 1996.For Steinmetz and
Sheftic, this is their second trip
to the PGA.
I reached a watershed moment in my golfing career
over the weekend.
No, I did not make a hole-in-one.No, I did not win the club
championship.No, I did not
break 70 or even 80.I added a second hybrid to my bag.
I realize, of course, that
officially makes me an Old Fart.
It’s one thing to carry a
single hybrid; that’s not necessarily un-manly; but two hybrids is definitely Old Fart territory.
When hybrids first appeared
on the scene a few years ago, most better golfers eyed them with curiosity,
ambivalence, suspicion, even scorn.Over time, many golfers opened their minds and their wallets and
eventually took the hybrid plunge.
This was back when even
weekend hacks generally still carried 3-irons and even 2-irons.(Years ago, for a brief time, I even
carried a Ping Eye-21-iron; among golfers, nothing says
badass like a 1-iron. It’s been so
long ago I forget whether I wrapped that 1-iron around a tree or threw it in a
I finally bought my first hybrid
three or four years ago, after plenty of golfers already swore by them and
equipment companies were even coming out with entire sets of hybrid irons.My first hybrid was 19-degrees, killing two birds, or
clubs, with one stone.I got rid
of my 4-wood and my 3-iron.
Although I’ve tried a couple
different brands of hybrids since then, I have continued to be a 19-degree man, allowing me to remain loyal
to and confident in my 4-iron.
At least until about a week
or so ago, when I noticed that two or three 4-iron shots were as, well, not as crisp and solid as they might
have been.In point of fact, the
ball flew off the club like a sickly
pigeon.Didn’t sound good,
feel good or look good.
I swallowed my pride and
drove to my neighborhood big box golf chain store.Soon enough, I was running my fingers across the smooth,
metallic underbelly of a 21-degree
"Can I help you?" asked a nosey
clerk, who had clearly snuck up on me.
"No," Isaid, dropping the hybrid like a
12-year-old caught looking at Playboy.
When the nosey clerk was
gone, I fondled the 21-degree
more.Not only did it have more
loft, the shaft was shorter.I knew that meant more control.I could no more walk out of that store without that 21-degree hybrid than an addict could walk away from the front door
of a crack house.
I played my first couple of
rounds with "21" over the weekend.I love it.I hit it like a 4-iron,
then I choked it down an inch and hit it like a 5-iron and, I kid you not, choked it down even more and hit it like
But that was too much, too
far, too quick.I refuse to be one
of those stooped-over old geezer farts you see pulling a pull cart, dragging a
bag with putter, SW, PW, 9, 8, 7 and
nine variations of hybrids and woods.I will
not be that guy.
At least not for now, not
until a 23-degree hybrid catches my
Over the last few years I have changed my set mix from a "standard" setup of driver, 3 & 5 wood, 3 - PW, GW & SW to driver, 4 wood (17 deg), hybrids (19 & 24 deg), 5 - PW (47 deg), GW (52 deg), SW (56 (deg) & LW (60 deg) and have brought more consistency to my scores (i.e. more in the lower 80ís and less often blowing up into the 90ís).
So, I prefer to think of myself as getting wiser as I get older (early 50ís) and not as "getting more flatulent".
[8/10/2010 7:22:56 PM]
Joe - Itís not how, itís how many. Donít count your hybrids, count your strokes.
The Muni Golfer
[8/10/2010 9:52:43 AM]
Iíve had as many as 3 in the bag, but right now it is just 1. But, before the end of the golf, I think there will be at least 1 more to keep it company...
[8/10/2010 5:23:12 AM]
Geez...I found an old Ping 9 Ti wood/metal in my garage recently and itís now in my bag. What does that make me?
[8/9/2010 6:22:38 PM]
Iíd feel bad for you if I didnít have three hybrids.
When Pike Creek GC in Wilmington closed last week after 35 years, I
posted a news
story but I didn't properly mourn the death in the family of golf.
I hadn't played Pike Creek in years, since it was Three Little Bakers.I remember as a pleasant surprise of a
golf course – an unassuming, delicious little gem.As I noted in this positive review in
the Inquirer, there was a time when
the course did 40,000 rounds a year.Not bad.Unfortunately,
those days were long gone.
If you want to know what
killed Pike Creek, and what will
kill other courses if they don't take care of business, check out this finger-pointing eulogy from Brad
Myers in the Wilmington News-Journal.
Of the four locals in the U.S. Senior Open, only one, amateur
Mark Battista, shot himself out of
the weekend during Thursday’s first round at Sahalee CC in Seattle.
50, a former Moorestown, N.J. resident who now lives in Rancho Mirage, Calif.,
shot 21-over 91, leaving him tied for 154th, last in the field.Here
is Battista’s card and stats.
The best round by a local was
the 3-over 73 by Bill Sautter,
teaching pro at Philadelphia Cricket
Club, who is tied for for 29th.His card and stats are here.
Amateurs Chris Lange, 55, from Bryn Mawr, and Buddy Marucci, 58, from Villanova, shot
5-over 75 and 6-over 76, respectively, leaving them tied for 55th
is Lange’s card and stats; here