Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Byron Nelson

Read a great article about Mr. Nelson and his wife Peggy, here...

He is missed...

Friday, April 20, 2007

EWGA news

I am getting ready tonight for a meeting with the EWGA's Los Angeles chapter at their 2007 season kickoff and membership recruitment meeting, which is being held tomorrow (Saturday, April 21) from 9AM til noon at Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills.

I will be participating in the "Golf Expo", along with GolfTec, BellaSport, GolfGym and a representative from the CookieLee Jewelry Co..

More information about's involvement in the establishment of a VENTURA COUNTY chapter of the EWGA, and more about women's golf in general later....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Artan(TM) of the week-April 19, 2007

Today is our ninth wedding anniversary, and in honor of the love of my life, I'm making HER Artan(TM) the Artan(TM) of the week...

Very few guys can honestly say that they MARRIED the girl of their dreams...

I won the lottery nine years ago April 18...

I love you, Cheri...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Clean sweep for Pepperdine golf teams

Congratulations to both of the Pepperdine golf teams!

Both the women's AND the men's golf teams won the WCC regional golf tournaments today up at La Purisima golf course in Lompoc!

The men's team beat Univ. San Diego by 5 strokes, and the #4 NATIONALLY ranked women's team DESTROYED the University of San Francisco by a whopping 21 strokes.

The women's team will next compete at the NCAA regionals on May 10, and the men's team returns to action a week later on May 17.

Go get 'em WAVES!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Artan of the week - April 12, 2007

So, it's LIGHTHOUSE time again, huh???

Time to head to the coast at Harbour Town in South Carolina.

My money's on Jim Furyk winning this one - this course seems to suit his eye, and he's usually in the hunt, and I think he's due...but wait, this is Davis Love III's home...could it be that being at home could help elevate DL III's game back to championship form???

Without further ado, the South Carolina Artan....customized for this year's tournament...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The importance of tartan over time...

A big shout out to my golf-blogging buddy and neighbor, Rich at EatGolf, who sent me this link...

Apparently, the first color picture ever taken (back in the 1860's), was of this tartan ribbon...
You can get your own tartan ribbon (for under your golf grip), except now they can be PERSONALIZED, and the colors are brighter and the resolution is better, too...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Golf news

After attending a local sunrise service, and heading out to an early breakfast out with Mom, Cheri and I headed over to Elkins Ranch Golf Course with our favorite other golf couple.

I wanted to go to Elkins because the citrus blossoms are in bloom right now, and I enjoy their scent immensely. Elkins is also a fun, friendly little course that is located smack in the midst of citrus groves on three sides, and mountains on the fourth. It's quite far out away from civilization, and it's a nice getaway that's still pretty close by....

Elkins is located in Fillmore, California, which is a town that is in the midst of changing from mostly agricultural, to suburban residential, which is kinda sad, because once all those groves are plowed under, where will we get our oranges and lemons???

For the time-being though, a trip to Elkins is like a trip back to the '60's, when the course was first built. My favorite hole on the entire course is #18,
which is a dogleg right into a large amphitheater green that is framed with large pine trees on the left and center, and the snack shack/bar/bar-b-cue patio on the's a funky reminder of days gone by, and you can almost imagine the horn-rimmed and cat's-eye glasses on the people that played golf there when the course opened in the early 60's...and the HAMBURGERS are LEGENDARY - we joke that it's probably because the grill hasn't been cleaned thoroughly since the Eisenhower administration, but there's SOMETHING there that makes them taste EXTRA good....

The day was cloudy, and cooler than normal, and a bit of a breeze kept everyone bundled up in sweatshirts and jackets, but the citrus blossoms did their thing, and EVERYONE shot REALLY well...we had a bit of trouble with their fuzzy greens from poa annua, and all of us left SEVERAL putts short of their intended destination, and pumped up the scores, but I ended up with a legitimate 87, and edged Cheri out by 1 stroke, but she was playing from the forward tees, and I was playing from the blues...

We had a great day, and Cheri was just LAUNCHING her drives...her tempo was nice and slow, and she was just BOMBING the ball off the tee...we measured one drive at 276 yards on a flat fairway!!! How you ask???

Our playing partners brought along one of those new SkyCaddie GPS devices!!! Now, I'll be first to admit that when I saw them
advertised by Pete 'n Nat on the Golf Infomercial Channel, I thought they were a joke, being the traditional purist that I am...sorta...

After being out on the course with friends that actually HAVE one of the little babies, and knowing exactly how far out from the green we are, and hitting DARTS into the green...I want one....(more confessions...sheesh) I STILL think they're too expensive, but if you have the disposable income, they are COOL! We had access to the high-end model, the SG4, and they had downloaded all of the coordinates from the website, and we new EXACTLY how many yards INTO the pin, and how many yards OUT from the tee-box we were, and we were able to measure EXACTLY how many yards out Cheri had launched her Callaway Big Bertha Red golf was pretty FUN, actually...

Confessions...and tips

They say that confession is good for the soul, so here goes...

I sold out....I caved...I'm weak, and spineless and I lied to you all......

There, I said it....

Yep, I sold out...after last month's rant about Top-Flite's new testosterone-laden pokes at stereotypical male ego-insecurities and the new Top-Flite D2's ability to make us "man up"...I caved and bought a box..... (he said sheepishly, nervously toeing the ground while looking down...biting his lower lip nervously....)

I want to test 'em out (more on that later when they get here)...I USED to use Top-Flite balls back when Lee Trevino was happily shilling for them big-time, and I was a little kid, dependent upon lawn-mowing, car washing and baby-sitting earnings to buy big boxes at Penney's...After I got a bit more experienced, I began to hate them and FULLY understood where the "Rock-Flite" moniker came from... (You know that feeling you get from a wood baseball bat when you foul one off??? That STINGING feeling in your hands??? BINGO!)

Now that the fine folks at Callaway Golf have taken over Top-Flite, my curiousity got the better of me, and I ordered a box from

(Note to Carlsbad - I still PERSONALLY think that your marketing campaign SUCKS, but after seeing some of the knuckle-draggers that I saw "talking smack" to one another so loudly that a mostly-deaf 96 year-old grandfather could hear them outside the snack shack at Elkins Ranch Golf Course today, it's probably going to resonate with THOSE apes, and you'll probably successfully resuscitate the brand, kick-start sales, drive profits and therefore increase my stock price, so I'm with you on this one for now....grudgingly....)

Now, my sell-out wasn't COMPLETELY a sign of weakness on my part; it was also an ADVERTISING opportunity, and an opportunity to help get the word out about a TOTALLY COOL, relatively NEW feature that my buds at have recently released...what, you ask???

DESIGNER GOLF BALLS !!!! (Trumpet fanfare, please?!)

Don't ask me HOW they do it, but they have a process where you can submit YOUR OWN
.JPEG, .JPG, .GIF and .BMP files, and will PRINT YOUR DESIGN on your golf balls!!! NO MINIMUM either - you can do this on ONE BOX of golf balls...sure, it costs a few bucks extra, but WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!! (What a great GIFT item!!! What a great ADVERTISING idea!!!)

I've had the logo imprinted on SEVERAL boxes of golf balls, and while I STILL feel a sense of frustration at shanking a golf ball into the weeds, it removes a LITTLE bit of the sting knowing that my errant projectile has now become a latent advertising vehicle, waiting to introduce its savior to the joys of !

The only downside I can see is if you launch one into someone's yard or onto their roof, but still!!!! (And I don't do that anymore...much...)

Pinehurst blogs

While at the barber shop on Saturday, I was reading an article in GolfWorld: Turns out that Pinehurst No. 2 has TWO blogs going, here and here...

The article states " CELEBRATING: Beginning this month, the 100th anniversary of the the No. 2 course at Pinehurst (NC) Resort. Guests playing the Donald Ross course (#19 on the Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Courses list) this milestone season will receive a commemorative gift and add their names to an archival registry.
Pinehurst's clubhouse, the Tufts Archives and the North Carolina Museum of History will note No. 2's evolution with historic displays, and Pinehurst has started a blog ( for anyone who has played the course and has a story to tell."

Right now, it looks like the word hasn't really gotten out yet, but I thought I'd do my part to help drive site traffic....

Anybody ever played there????

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Seeing Lorena in a whole new light

I was reading over the weekend, and saw the article announcing Tiger, Jay Haas and Lorena receiving their 2006 "Player of the Year" awards at the Golf Writer's Association of American (GWAA) awards dinner on April 4. (Jay and Lorena both use the same putter grips as those used in Tartan Golf Grips, by the way - we've tried to get Tiger to get with the program, but he seems to be pretty set in his ways...but I digress).

Now, I don't want this to be a rehash of what you get at Golfbabes, but I'm seeing Lorena in a whole new light now....muy caliente!!!

Add this to the "You KNOW that you're a GOLFER when:" file...when Farmer/Golf tans on attractive women only ADD to their sexiness, and glow-in-the-dark untanned feet are an ATTRACTANT, not a repellent...

I knew she was CUTE on the golf course, but....whoa....HELLO, Lorena!!! =P
(With comments like that, maybe I AM a man-pig candidate for a box of Top-Flite D2's....oink...)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Masters Artan of the week - April 5, 2007

This is an appropriate milestone - this post represents my 100th blog posting, and it's being done to present you with the 2007 Masters Tournament Artan(TM) of the week.

As everyone knows, the Masters Tournament (Or "Toonamint" (Hootie's pronunciation, not mine)) is played at Augusta National Golf Course, in Augusta, Georgia.

This is the State of Georgia tartan, personalized with AUGUSTA 2007.

The official description of the Georgia State District tartan is: "
The tartan commemorates the founding of the State of Georgia and combines elements in the design associated with its historic past. General Oglethorpe commanded the Highland Independent Company of Foot which, in 1746, wore the Black Watch tartan. Captain John 'Mohr' MacIntosh is remembered in the MacIntosh red. Georgia tartan is much in evidence at the annual Stone Mountain Highland Games held in Atlanta, Georgia's capital."

As an extra added treat, is going to stream live video action from Amen Corner...worker productivity takes a dip for the next two days...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Master's History

Just read an interesting piece that says that this Sunday's Masters telecast will have a very special lead-in...

I got an e-mail from Golf Wisdom at
Fairways of Life that quotes a letter from Steve Cohen, President of the Shivas Irons Society (which I just signed up for last weekend, by the way)...

I can't paraphrase the content and do it justice, so here it is:

It's Masters Week and GOLF is in the air...
Subject: Important news about this Sunday

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening -- and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.-- Arnold Palmer

. . . I can already tell you that Masters Sunday will be special. I know this because it's going to begin with Arnold Palmer winning the Masters. The 1960 Masters, that is. “I wanted two generations to see what the magic was all about,” said CBS golf commentator Jim Nantz, the man who made this resurrection possible.

We'll be able to re-live the '60 Masters, one of the more exciting finishes in history, because Nantz pried the original broadcast footage loose from the Augusta National vault, went to the incredible time and expense of having it colorized, and turned it into a one-hour show that CBS will air as the lead-in to its Sunday final-round Masters coverage.

This is footage that has never been aired since its original broadcast. The best part is, it's not presented in a highlight package with talking heads. It's shown as if it was a live telecast, featuring host Jim McKay (who left CBS later to join some upstart show known as ABC's Wide World of Sports -- wonder what ever became of him?) with coverage of the last four holes.

I watched a screening of the finished product and offer this advice: Don't miss it. The 1960 Masters had it all. A classic Arnold Palmer charge and Ken Venturi's agony of defeat. The old guard -- Hogan and Snead -- and a young gun -- some amateur named Nicklaus. There was a minor rules controversy. There was an innovative new scoring system for television invented by CBS director Frank Chirkinian. And there was the great man himself, Bobby Jones, the legendary founder of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament, holding court as the host of cabin festivities.

This show is a slice of golf history and a classic piece of broadcast history. If you hate goose bumps or nostalgia, don't watch. This show, a labor of love for Nantz, is one “Wow!” after another.

Here's a short list of reasons to watch:
The gaffe that almost cost Palmer the Masters. I had read about, but never before seen the incident at the 16th hole. Palmer is one stroke behind Venturi, who has already finished. At the par-3 16th, he's got a 30-foot uphill putt to a back pin placement. He chose to leave the pin in when he putted -- yeah, that was still legal then. He rolled a superb putt that was dead-center but hit the pin flush and kicked out six inches. Watching the footage, I'd rate it a 90 percent chance that without the pin, Arnie's putt is in. You can see from his reaction that he realizes his tactic backfired and just might cost him the Masters.

Arnold Palmer at 30 is a lot like Tiger Woods. He bashes the ball amazing distances and putts like a genius. At the 17th, Arnie's got a 20-foot uphill birdie putt. It looks as if he's left it short but the ball rolls out and barely topples in while announcer Jim McArthur makes a Verne Lundquist-type call: “It's up and up and up and up .. and in!” Palmer half runs, half dances to the cup to pull out the ball, like Tiger after that putt at Valhalla only without the finger-pointing.

At 18, Palmer stiffs his 5-iron approach, spinning behind the hole and stopping it about five feet away. He makes the putt, of course, for the win.

More about Arnie. He is repeatedly seen puffing like a chimney with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. It looked cool in 1960, now it makes you cringe. Palmer was paired with Billy Casper, who played first from the 18th fairway and hit a shot to three feet. Before Palmer hit, Casper walked over and said something encouraging, like knock it close. Can you imagine Tiger doing that to, say, Chris DiMarco?

On the green, Palmer let Casper putt out first while he walked over just off the green and -- I'm not kidding, you'll see it on the video -- spread out on the grass.. Ken Venturi comes through. Venturi makes a clutch par on the 18th to finish at five under par. When he taps in a testy two-footer, he holds his pose and pauses for a moment because he thought he had finally captured his Holy Grail, the Masters.

“Old” Ben Hogan. Hogan is seen playing to the 18th green, a pretty good shot. McKay refers to him as “old Ben Hogan” because he's the ancient age of 47. Unfortunately, CBS never shows him putting out.

The scoring flap. McKay earns bonus points for bringing up a scoring issue regarding Dow Finsterwald, who was paired with Venturi in the final round and in the thick of contention. Finsterwald dropped a ball and hit some practice putts after putting out on a green during the first round, an error he confessed to the next day. Instead of being disqualified for signing for an incorrect score, as he would be today, Masters officials assessed him a two-shot penalty and let him finish the tournament, which he nearly won.

Two for the show. Groups weren't paired Sunday by score. So there were six pairings behind Palmer. The next group was Sam Snead and amateur Jack Nicklaus. Snead holes a 40-foot putt from the fringe. Then Nicklaus walks by the camera and McKay introduces him to viewers as the national amateur champion from Columbus, Ohio, and says he's been told this kid “has a great future.” The myth about Nicklaus always making his putt on the 18th green? He sinks an 18-footer for birdie here, too.

Pass the hedgeclippers. Augusta National looks surprisingly mangy compared to the way it's maintained now. Even on shots from the fairway, you wonder, “Didn't they mow the grass?” The areas around the bunkers were intentionally left rough and uncut, a very different look from the sharp-edged, perfectly manicured conditions today. The greens were still Bermuda grass and much, much slower.

Ken and Mr. Jones. The post-round ceremony held in the cabin is presided over by Jones and you get to enjoy his thick Southern drawl. He actually isn't bad, much less stilted than some of his predecessors who froze up on camera, like Hord Hardin and Jack Stephens. Jones calls Venturi's effort “lion-hearted” and both Palmer and Venturi get to say a few emotional words.

Six under. Chirkinian, who went on to direct 38 Masters telecasts for CBS, devised a new scoring system to keep track of what was going on in the past. Previously, the scoring was aggregate. So someone would finish at 279 and a player on the course would be said to be at 258 and you'd have to do the math in your head. Chirkinian came up with the score in relation to par -- plus or minus -- and it quickly became the game's standard. CBS also devised rudimentary graphics showing the scores.

Don't tell Ted Turner. The colorizing, which had never been done to a sports telecast before, was remarkable. I thought it would've been fine in black and white but the show opens with black and white footage and then Nantz announces the colorization and when the screen changes from gray to green and Augusta's colors come to life, it's a true goose-bump moment.

Nantz showed the telecast to Palmer and Chirkinian in December and said both men were pretty emotional watching it again. Nantz brought cameras to film Arnie's reaction and interviews the obviously choked-up Arnie at the end. In February, Nantz premiered the finished product at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. Bel-Air members attended, along with Palmer and Venturi, who is recovering from heart bypass surgery. Palmer and Nantz met with reporters the next day to discuss the telecast.
“I can't tell you how important it is what Jim has done here,” Palmer said. “We really had one of the great evenings of all time.”

Nantz said the project came about when he was being wooed by another network. In a meeting with CBS president Les Moonves, he was asked what else he wanted. Nantz pitched him his idea about doing a show leading into the final-round Masters telecast, and what he wanted to do with the show, which was resurrect footage from Augusta National's archives. “Do it,” said Moonves.
Nantz hopes to do a whole series of similar flashback shows. He kicked it off last year with a one-hour review of the 1986 Masters won by Nicklaus.

Next year, he's planning to feature one of Gary Player's wins. This April, however, the spotlight belongs to Palmer. And plenty of good seats are still available...

Make sure the recording device of your choice is ready to roll...

Monday, April 02, 2007

New greenskeeper at St. Andrews Old Course

New head greenkeeper for the Old Course

Gordon McKie has been appointed head greenkeeper at the world famous Old Course at St. Andrews.

Mr. McKie, who has been head greenkeeper at the New Course for two years, will take up one of the most prestigious roles in golf next month. His immediate task will be to continue the preparations on the venerable links for the staging of the Women's British Open in August and further ahead the Curtis Cup next year and The Open Championship in 2010.

Gordon takes over from Euan Grant who is moving on to a similar role at a new development in the Mull of Kintyre after three years at the Old Course.

Having worked for St Andrews Links Trust for 12 years, Gordon said he was very proud to be taking over at the Old Course. "It is a privilege to work on the most famous course in the world," he said. "The history and tradition surrounding the Old Course makes it unique and it is continually under the glare of the international media spotlight. I am very much looking forward to maintaining the exceptionally high standard of the course and ensuring it continues to set the benchmark for links courses around the world."

Alan McGregor, general manager of St Andrews Links Trust, welcomed the appointment which comes ahead of an extremely busy tournament schedule at the Home of Golf. "There is no doubt this is one of the most challenging and demanding greenkeeping roles in golf and in Gordon I am confident that we have someone who is more than up to the task. With his skills and experience of working at St Andrews Links over the years and at previous Open championships, I am sure he will relish the challenge "Gordon will work closely with the Links Superintendent Gordon Moir and the greenkeeping team on preparing the Old Course for the upcoming major championships. I would also like to thank Euan Grant for the substantial contribution he has made over the last five years and wish him all the best in his new position."

Born in Glasgow and brought up in Tain, Ross-shire, Gordon began his career with an apprenticeship at Tain Golf Club. He studied at Elmwood College and became deputy head greenkeeper at Tain in 1989. He joined St Andrews Links Trust in December 1995 as deputy head greenkeeper of the Eden Course. Five years later he became head greenkeeper before moving to the New Course as head greenkeeper in January 2005. Gordon is married to Susan and has one son, five-year old Ross.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Charity scramble golf tournament in Texas-May 11, 2007

Hey, all you Texas golfers, and blog readers who can travel to Fort Worth Texas!!! (South Fort Worth, to be exact...)

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 11, 2007, because there's going to be a scramble-style golf tournament to help raise funds for Duramed Futures Tour player D'Rae Ward, in her quest to continue playing on the Duramed Futures Tour. The tournament will be at Glen Garden Golf and Country Club, a place that describes itself as "Home of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sandra Palmer". Pretty impressive company, for sure!

D'Rae's a good player, and has made both cuts in both tournaments thus far on the 2007 Futures Tour. Her 2007 season scoring average has been 73.5, and she needs some financial assistance to help keep her playing on Tour.

D'Rae first came across MY radar scopes when I learned of her eBay sponsorship efforts. Impressed by her creativity, energy and creativity, I decided to help her out by designating ALL County Donegal Artans to play a significant role in helping her defray her Tour costs.

It would be a shame if her talents weren't encouraged due to a lack of funds...if you can help out, please check out D'Rae's website, and help out in any way that you can...

We golfers are a giving group, and if you're impressed with this young woman's creativity, determination and initiative, and we all chip in (figuratively), who knows how much good we can do??? It's worth a shot...(pardon the pun...)