Joe Logan 
The Philadelphia Golf Show
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By Joe Logan

To everyone who stopped by our booth at the Philadelphia Golf Show, thank you.


It was a great weekend, even if I did talk about until my lips hurt and my voice was pretty much gone.  That’s okay – anything for the cause.


I spend so much time working on and thinking about this website, I forget that plenty of golfers in the region still don’t know about us.    There was no end to the stream of golfers who walked by our booth, checked out our 9-foot wide banner, glanced at the computer screen showing off the home page, then paused long enough for me to give them a tour of all that resides on MyPhillyGolf.


The reaction we heard time and again was just what he wanted: Wow, it looks good and there is a ton of information.


Aside from the fresh content we upload daily, the biggest hits with show-goers were the discounted tee times available via, the Discussion Boards and the Bausch Collection, the amazing cache of photo course galleries on by Villanova chemistry professor and golf addict Joe Bausch.


We passed out 1,200 MyPhillyGolf pencils (with erasers) and collected several hundred more email addresses for our new monthly e-newsletter.  (If you signed up at the show and haven’t received an e-newsletter by tomorrow, it’s probably because we couldn’t read your handwriting.  You can sign up again on the home page.)


If you missed the Philadelphia show, or if you simply can’t get enough of golf shows, there is another one is coming up this weekend, the first-ever the Reading Golf Show.    The Reading show is part of the larger Sports and Fitness EXPO.  One admission get gets you into everything.


Vance Diezel, who is running the Reading show, tells me in an email that they expect 8,000-10,000 people, and they’ve got "big retailers selling golf equipment, bags, shoes, balls and probably around 50 other vendors."  "Basically a smaller version of the North Coast type show but with different unique things added in."  They’ve also got raffles and a silent auction.



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Adam Dean[3/6/2011 3:40:07 AM]
Your are doing a great job here, Joe. Philadelphia needs a great golf website and you have certainly created on here. Good luck and best wishes on a successful venture.
HANK CHURCH[2/25/2011 5:33:49 AM]
The Muni Golfer[2/19/2011 7:07:48 PM]
Joe, It was a pleasure to meet and talk with you at the golf show too. Keep up the great work!

In defense of Kenny G
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
By Joe Logan

Every year at this time, it is fashionable among many golf fans and pretty much all of the golf media that doesn’t work for CBS Sports to turn up their noses the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.


The big complaint, of course, is that CBS devotes entirely too much air time to the pro-am luminaries and lame-o celebrities.  For years, the stars of the pro-am show have been the same: Bill Murray, followed by Kevin Costner, Craig T. Nelson, Michael Bolton, Ray Romano and the one and only Kenny G. Full list.


While I am in full agreement that even a glimpse of ESPN blowhard Chris "Boomer" Berman is too much, the AT&T Pebble Beach is actually one of my favorite tournaments of the year – or at least it’s in the top 50 percent – for all the reasons other people mock it.


First, what is not to like about watching golf going on at Pebble Beach when we have a foot of snow on the ground in Philadelphia.  Second, if watching George Lopez and Tom Dreesen hack it around and ham it up drives you nuts, either your intolerance meter is set too low or your life is too good by half.


If you ask me, there is something almost pleasurable about witnessing millionaire celebs failing spectacularly at golf.  I find it rather gratifying to see them just as humbled by the game as I am. 


I don’t even mind watching the occasional ruthless and egomaniacal corporate titan – there are plenty of those also in the AT&T pro-am field – as they slap it around.  Golf seems to be the one thing in life they can’t conquer.


The whole celeb scene is really only borderline too much for one day, on Saturday, since I no longer watch the early rounds of golf tournaments because...well, they don’t matter.   By Sunday, when I truly pay attention, the cut has eliminated most of the amateurs and celebs and we are down to the usual suspects – a few big-name stars and a field filled out by journeymen Tour players who most of us couldn’t identify if they were standing on the front stoop ringing the doorbell.


Sadly, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am doesn’t have the cache it once had, back when it was the Bing Crosby Clambake and the European Tour was a joke.  Nowadays, in golf, the AT&T is overshadowed by the Dubai Desert Classic, where this week Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the World Golf RankingsLee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods – are grouped for the first two rounds.


That’s a shame and too bad for the AT&T and too bad for the PGA Tour.  Personally, I can’t wait to hear Kenny G’s thoughts on the whole situation.

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Dave[2/9/2011 11:15:11 AM]
I could do with less of Gary McCord.

Tiger in the tank
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
By Joe Logan

Whoa, did I just see what I thought I saw at Torrey Pines?


Just as we all settled in to watch the final two rounds of the Farmers Insurance OpenTiger Woods’ first tournament of 2011, at one of his favorite courses, where he has won six times, plus his herculean victory at the 2008 U.S. Open – what we saw was more or less an unmitigated disaster.


Forget exploding out of the blocks.  Forget Tiger serving notice that the Tiger Of Old is back, with a reliable swing he retooled under Sean Foley.  Forget him even doing anything of note.


After putting himself in decent position with a pair of 69s on Thursday and Friday, Tiger shot 74-75 on the weekend and fell 20 spots to finish T-44th, leaving more than a few golf fans with their jaws on the floor.  It was an unexpected embarrassment.


It was so bad that his playing partner in the final round, a rookie named Brendan Steele, told Sports Illustrated afterward that he thought Tiger essentially mailed it in.


"I don’t think he gave it everything today," said Steele.  "Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don’t think it had his full attention."


There was a time not so long ago that no golfer alive would dare say such a thing about Tiger – nor would there ever be reason to.  


We are left wondering if the air has already gone out of Tiger’s season, and maybe even his career?  Does he have the desire required to get back to any semblance of what he was? 


Joe Posnanski, in his Sports Illustrated blog, notes that the circle of folks who think Tiger will go back in time keeps getting smaller and smaller, that the "Tiger will be great again" school is shrinking.


Steve Elling of, in his Pond Scrum blog with John Huggan, was even tougher: "Blunt assessment time.  I saw a I guy who still can’t string together four good rounds.  He barely pieced together two good nines.  Right now, Tiger Woods isn’t one of the world’s 40 best players.  Last night in the San Diego airport, a bunch of scribes were actually discussing what would happen if he never made it back to anything close to his former levels at all.  All of a sudden, it didn’t sound like heresy."


Unfortunately, no it doesn’t.

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hank church[2/3/2011 8:42:47 AM]
joe, you are right on with your tiger comments. His performance at torrey Pines was not good. On thursday coming out of a fairway trap, he dropped the biggest F BOMB ever on live tv.Faldo had to apoligizes in his own humor. Tiger lives with ANGER that is beyond belief. You cant play golf at any level with that many off course issues that will never go away. 2 years ago , he was on top of the world in life and in the public eye. today he lives with divorce, disgrace and being public enemy #1. his best golf is behind him at age 35. and i was a tiger guy.

New tale of the Tiger
Monday, January 24, 2011
By Joe Logan

Is it more than mere coincidence that the very same week that MyPhillyGolf is unveiling a new, improved version of itself, so is Tiger Woods.


Me, I think new beginnings are usually a good thing.


What to expect when Tiger tees it up for the first time in Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines GC, a course where he has dominated since boyhood, most recently at the 2008 U.S. Open?


If you’re like me, you’ve had it up to your coccyx with all of the unseemly, salacious details about the personal problems that crashed Tiger’s life in late 2009.  Most of us will never look at Tiger the way we did pre-scandal, when he wasn’t merely the most dominant golfer in the game, he was husband, father and role model who seemed too good to be true.  Turns out it was all too good to be true.


Still, I for one, will rooting for Tiger to have a big year.  He needs it if he is ever going to achieve his ultimate goal in the game of eclipsing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship titles.  More to the point, golf needs Tiger to be back. Without him in top form, golf loses much of it’s sizzle.


Even if he starts winning again, don’t expect him to ever own the game again, and he will never leave the other pros quaking in their FootJoys when he strides onto the practice range.


Tiger has been brought down a notch, by himself and by his fellow gunslinger pros.  Did you see what U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell did to him at the final event of the year, the Chevron World Challenge, rolling in 20-footers to beat Tiger, just the way he used to roll them in on everyone else?  There is also the fact that Tiger is now 35.  If you check the stats on who has won majors after 35, they do not bode well for beating Nicklaus’ record.


But Tiger far from done. In the old days, when he was one of the most awe-inspiring athletes in the world in any sport, Tiger had to search for, and often create, motivation for himself.


Not any more.  Not only did he go winless last year for the first time in his career, just yesterday, he fell to No. 3 in the World Golf Rankings, behind Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, the up-and-coming German who served notice by winning the PGA Championship last summer at Whistling Straits.


While he disgraced himself, in some ways this whole embarrassing mess has made Tiger a more compelling figure.  He is human and quite flawed after all, and nothing is better than a come-back story.  You can talk all you want about the rise of the Europeans and the exciting array of young guns, but if you ask me, 2011 is still all about Tiger.

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New Year, New Look, New Stuff
Thursday, December 30, 2010
By Joe Logan

If you’re a regular visitor to MyPhillyGolf, you might notice that our home page looks a little different.  Please bear with us as we make some design changes that are intended to better organize and display our content and make the website more user-friendly.  The tweaks are likely to be on-going for another week or two, until we are satisfied.


Change can be difficult, but it can also be necessary and exciting.  Our first full year at MyPhillyGolf has been good, very good.


Without any advertising, marketing or promotion golfers across the region have discovered MyPhillyGolf and, in many cases, become regular, even daily, visitors.  Through word-of-mouth alone, we’ve had 1.2 million page views this year


Our quest for 2011 is to build on that good start to make for an even better sophomore year.  The new look is only one of the improvements and enhancements we have in mind.  I’ll tell you more as they get closer to fruition.


In the meantime, all the features you’ve come to enjoy on MyPhillyGolf are still there – just maybe in a different place and with a different look.


Only four months til spring...




Joe Logan




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Tom Dreesen[3/5/2011 11:03:22 PM]
I agree with Joe.However if I were not in Show biz and I was sitting in a bar back in my old neighborhood in Chicago Id be saying "get those jerks out out there, I want to see real golfers play the game not those spoiled Hollywood brats"That being said, I always hope that somewhere out there is a guy like me who grew up poor and caddied as a kid to help feed his family and who could only dream that one day he might get a chance to caddy for some rich guy in the AT&T but now hes actually playing in the tournament. If hes out there then I hope he knows Im playing for him too.(Ill give him credit for all the bad shots.)

David Fay (USGA photo) 
Philadelphia owes David Fay a debt of gratitude
Monday, December 27, 2010
By Joe Logan

As David Fay prepares to retire as executive director of the U. S. Golf Association, it should not go unacknowledged that Philadelphia owes him a debt of gratitude.


If not for Fay’s adamant support, Merion GC would not be preparing to host the 2013 U.S. Open, a sporting spectacle that will put the city in the national spotlight and pump millions of dollars into the economy.


Of course, even Fay had to be convinced that Merion, supposedly a classic from a bygone era in golf, was up to hosting its fifth Open.  That happened in 2002, after Fay had dispatched Mike Davis, senior director of rules and competitions, to Merion to break the news that from here on out, the club would only host smaller events, such as the 2005 U.S. Amateur and the 2009 Walker Cup.


Once he got a closer look at the restoration project at Merion, Davis thought otherwise, and he returned to USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J. and pitched his boss with the idea of bringing the Open back to Merion.  Only after Fay was on board did Merion truly become a serious candidate for ’13.


Here’s a passage from a story I wrote for Golf World in August 2009, headlined Resurrecting Merion.


"I remember it like it was yesterday, walking into David Fay's office when I got back, saying, 'We can do this, we can hold an Open at Merion,' " Davis recalls. Fay listened but was not convinced. That soon changed, too, in September 2002, when Fay was invited to be the keynote speaker at Merion's annual celebration of Jones' Slam, a day that included golf and a black-tie gala.

During his round Fay began to grasp all that Davis had been telling him. "You would have had to be blind not to appreciate the changes that had been made," says Fay, who suddenly was also in Merion's corner. Ultimately, though, the prospects hinged on whether the logistics could be overcome and if Merion could stand up to the longest hitters in the game.

As the 2005 U.S. Amateur approached, it was clear the event, filled with college-aged bombers, would be a make-or-break test for the Open. By the second day of stroke-play qualifying, the results were in—Merion had passed with flying colors. Of 312 players, only six broke par, and none of them had better than 69. The scoring average on the East Course was 78.2.

"By Tuesday night, we were high-fiving," says Iredale, general chairman of the Amateur, knowing the verdict was unofficially in.

The rest is history yet to be made.

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My new irons 
New irons, new hope
Monday, December 13, 2010
By Joe Logan

I’ve been so happy with the custom-fitted driver I got this past summer, I figured only good could come of taking the plunge and getting fitted for a new set of irons.


I had no idea how right I would turn out to be.


Now, as the golf season draws to a close in the Northeast, I find myself swooning over my newly-acquired, custom-fitted irons.  I also find myself perusing the internet in search of discount deals to warm-weather golf destinations – anything to extend the honeymoon with the new love of my golfing life.


Why am I going ga-ga over new set of irons? 


Because there is a sudden and noticeable improvement in my iron game.  Thanks to a combination of the process of custom-fitting and my switch to a set of game-improving TaylorMade Burner 2.0 irons, I am hitting the ball a few yards farther, a little higher, and there is an unmistakable and much-appreciated forgiveness when I slightly mishit a shot.


A little background


My iron game, which has been adequate at best for the past couple of years, was getting increasingly iffy all summer.


Sure, I could fault my swing, which is no longer the well-oiled, finely-tuned picture of perfection that I like to believe it once was.  But why not lay some of the blame at the feet of the irons I’d been playing for the past four or five years:  Mizuno Cut Muscle MP-60s?


Mizuno, of course, is one of the premier manufacturers of irons, especially their top-of-the-line stuff.  Nobody in their right mind would dispute that fact.  If anything, Mizuno has earned a reputation as a "player’s iron," favored by plenty of pros and top amateurs.


Although I am neither a pro nor a top amateur, I can tell you with some authority that a perfectly-struck shot with a Mizuno Cut Muscle MP-60 iron feels like a dream.  It feels so good it’ll send chills up your spine.


But I can also tell you that on even the slightest mishit – anything less than a perfect, sweet-spot connection – can feel like you clanked a shovel against the side of an Army tank, sending shivers up your spine and down your arms.  The negative feedback is instantaneous, right down to the dead-buzzard flight of the ball.  


I knew my Mizunos and I had come to the end of our journey together during a round in September, when my cart mate (I barely knew him) made some variation of the following observation after pretty much every shot I hit:  "That didn’t sound good.  Did you get all of it?"


Problem was, well, yeah, on most of those shots, I did get all of it – or about as much as I was ever going to get.  


The search for new irons


Within days of that round, I was investigating the latest offerings in irons from all the manufacturers.  The choices were mind-boggling.


About the only thing I knew for sure was that getting a set of blades was out of the question.  Regardless of the manufacturer, blades are so unforgiving that even many PGA Tour players have abandoned them in favor of perimeter-weighted irons.


I was also not wedded to any particular manufacturer.  Over the years, before my Mizunos,  I’ve owned and played just about every brand at one time or another: Clevelands (two sets), Titleists, Callaways, Hogans and Wilson Staffs.  All I knew was that this time around I wanted – needed – irons that were more forgiving and less judgmental than my current set.


As it happened, that very week I got an email from TaylorMade touting their latest game-improvement irons that were about to hit the market, the Burner 2.0.   Intrigued, I clicked on the link and watched a video featuring Bret Wahl, senior director of iron research at TaylorMade, explaining why the Burner 2.0s were "breakthrough" technology.  I liked what I saw.


What closed the deal for me was a phone conversation with a longtime colleague at TaylorMade.  This is a no-BS guy and he assured me the early feedback the company was getting on the Burner 2.0s was very positive.


By the end of that week, I was on the range at Manufacturer’s Golf & Country Club, getting fitted under the watchful eye of a young assistant pro named Lowen Lermitte.


First off, to determine whether I needed stiff or regular shafts, Lowen he had me take a few cuts to loosen up.  Then he handed me something called the Speed Stik, which is basically a golf club without the head; instead, down at the tip, there is device that measures your swing speed. 


Last time I got measured, which was several years ago, my swing speed with a driver was 104 miles per hour.  That’s well below the average Tour player (113) and nowhere close to the longest hitters (Tiger is 120-130).  This time, Speed Stik had me consistently in the 93-95 mph range, which means I still need stiff shafts – but just barely.


Lowen handed me a 6-iron with a stiff shaft and pulled out what looked like a clipboard, or like one of those little rubber tee mats you see at a Putt-Putt course.  Next, Lowen put a special kind of tape along the sole of the 6-iron and had me hit several balls off the clipboard.  Where the sole of the club made contact with the clipboard, the tape was scraped and darkened.


To the trained fitter, the scrapes on the tape indicate whether my new irons should be the standard lie or whether they needed to be bent slightly upright or flat.  I’m 6-foot-1 so the presumption is that, if anything, I would need clubs that are a degree or two upright.  The scraped tape clearly revealed otherwise.  Despite my height, I actually needed irons that were 1-degree flat.


After I hit a couple of dozen balls with the stiff steel shafts, I told Lowen I wanted to try the stiff shaft in graphite.  He shook his head, like it was a bad idea.  "You’ll like the steel better," he said.


Still, I wanted to give the graphite a try, if only to see for myself.  Ten balls into the graphite experiment, I handed the club back to Lowen.  He was right.  The steel shafts had a better feel, and I swear there was less dispersion to the shot pattern. 


The irons arrive


When the Burner 2.0s arrived late one afternoon about a month later, there was still enough light to take them for a spin.  I only got in seven holes before dark, but it was enough to give me a sense that I was going to be very pleased.


I played my first full round with new irons the next week, at Bidermann GC near Wilmington.   It was then that I fully came to appreciate what I had stumbled into.


Early on in the round at Bidermann, I hit mostly short irons into par 4s and a three-shot par 5.  I liked the way the ball sounded jumping off the club, and there was none of that clanky sensation I got with my old irons on a slight mishit.


The most convincing evidence – and the shot of the day -- came at the 8th , which at Bidermann is a picturesque, 190-yard downhill par 3.  I pulled my 5-iron, for what would be the debut shot with the longest iron I carry.  I made a good pass at the ball  -- good, not perfect -- but it felt as flush as if Ben Hogan had hit it.


When I looked up, I was watching a rocket, dead straight, and the ball was flying considerably higher than I usually hit long irons.  I could play 10 rounds with my old irons and never hit a shot that felt that good, that solid.  And it didn’t just look and feel good, it was good.  The ball landed on the back of the green, took one hop and stopped about 20 feet from the hole.


One of the truisms of golf is that, if you are on good terms with your long irons, the other irons fall into line, like baby ducks.  The rest of that round, and in three or four rounds since, things have only gotten better between me and my new irons.


I’m not foolish enough to think this honeymoon will necessarily last forever.   I’ve got about a dozen putters in various stages of "time out" in my basement now that prove otherwise.  These new irons could eventually betray me, just like those putters did.


For now, however, and hopefully well into the future, we are happy together.   I have to close now, because I want to look for more discount golf trips online.

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Eleanor[1/24/2011 8:48:53 AM]
The real triumph will come if you can beat Dan/Cole on a regular basis.
Fran21356[12/15/2010 6:27:04 AM]
Thanks Joe.
Joe Logan[12/14/2010 8:49:43 PM]
Fran - These days, the cost of custom-fitting is usually included in the price of the clubs. But if your plan is to get fitted at a chain store or a private club, then buy the clubs online, the store will usually charge you a fee for the fitting (about $50).
fran21356[12/14/2010 5:20:59 AM]
Congratulations on the new custome fit sticks. Nothing better than the feeling that you made the right decision. Ill have to do the same thing when I get some extra cash. id love to have fitted clubs. Does it add much to the cost of the clubs to be fitted?
John C.[12/13/2010 7:40:53 PM]
Good article.
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