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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Golf Christmas

I usually have a hard time coming up with gift ideas for myself for Christmas. This year was no exception, but my family definitely came through given the paucity of guidance from me.

I try to suggest things that are not golf-related, but it's getting more and more difficult as time goes by. I simply like getting golf stuff. I'm not a gadget guy, and when I upgrade my clubs, I'd like to get fitted properly. So golf books, gear, clothing and gift certificates are more my style.

I was fortunate in the clothing department this Christmas. I got a sweet pair of pants by Loudmouth Golf from my sister-in-law, Jen. I am not going to reveal which style she chose -- when you see me on the course, you'll know. I got a very slick pair of black Adidas shoes from my parents, and Sara gave me a sharp shirt from Under Armor. My parents also got me a silly (in a good way) bucket hat from Rosasen, but unfortunately it doesn't fit my oversized dome. When a company markets a hat as XL, it should really be XL. Shame on Rosasen.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law got me a pass for ten buckets of range balls at Hilltop. It should give me extra incentive to practice over the winter so my game is ready when the warmer weather comes.

I also got a couple of nice books, my favorite of which is Planet Golf, by Darius Oliver. To order your own copy, click on this link: Planet Golf

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2008 GBI Is Coming Together

Though most of the big secrets concerning the improvements to the 2008 Gorman Brothers Invitational are still under wraps, we are allowed to leak the dates of the event. The few and the proud who will be invited to seventh edition of this event should mark their calendars for May 15-18, 2008. More details will be made public in the near future.

If you are going to attend GBI, get your game in order because the defending championship team of Jack Hession, Matt Nussbaum, Daddy G, and Gabe Marabella, Sr. are not going to give an inch. No one has ever successfully defended the title, but these guys are hungry. I'd say it's about 10 to 1 that they repeat.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Is Anyone Else Paying Attention to Greg Norman the Golfer?

It seems like everything I read during the past three or four years about Greg Norman focuses on his business successes and his personal life. Little has been written about his golf game. It's understandable that Greg Norman "the golfer" has taken a back seat to these other stories because:
a) He's been a tremendous success in several types of business pursuits,
b) His recent divorce was costly and drawn-out, and
c) He hasn't played a lot of golf in recent years.
Once Norman turned fifty, it was assumed that he would play several tournaments each year on the Champions Tour, but that hasn't come into fruition partly because of injuries and partly because of other distractions. However, if one wanted to read between the lines, it might have been reasonable to presume that his game was very rusty and that he didn't want to go out there and embarrass himself.
After his performance in his own tournament in Florida last week paired with Bubba Watson in which they tied for second, I started thinking about the state of his game. I didn't watch the tournament, but I have to imagine that he played pretty well. Fast forward to this weekend, and I notice that he's going to make the cut at the South African Airways open with ease. With his second round complete, he's at +1 in a tie for eighth. To put that in perspective, he's currently four shots clear of Ernie Els, the fourth-ranked player in the world.
It's easy to forget that Norman was for several years the Tiger Woods of his era. Even though he had only two majors and a slew of close calls to show for it, he was the most dominant player in the world between Tom Watson and Tiger. His collapse at the hands of Nick Faldo at the Masters in 1996 was the beginning of the end of his dominance, but what these past two weeks show me is that Norman still has game and still has a little competitive fire in his belly.
It will be interesting to see if after his divorce and with the realization that he has tons of money in the bank and probably has most of his businesses on autopilot, he decides to tee it up a little more often. I know his fans around the world would certainly like to see it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Today . . . 70 Degrees on Monday

One of the things I love about living in Virginia is that the golf season is longer than most places in the northeast. My parents live in Philadelphia, and I'd estimate that their season is about 45 days shorter than ours, even though Alexandria is less than a three hour drive south.

In December, the weather is very erratic around here, as evidenced by the weather this week. Today, it snowed about an inch, but it's supposed to be close to 70 on Monday. Go figure.

If work is not too busy, I might dust off the sticks and play on Monday. It could be one of the only times I'll be able to play in 50 degree plus weather before heading to the Dominican in February.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Most Amazing Golf Achievement of the Year

In America, we are in the middle of golf's "silly season". Except for Q-School, there's not a whole lot at stake for professionals from November through the beginning of January. However, the European and Asian Tours are in full swing, and what I am declaring the most incredible achievement of the year took place this weekend at the European Tour's Michael Hill New Zealand Open.

Bob Charles, winner of the 1963 Open Championship, made the cut and finished T-23. The New Zealander is 71 YEARS OLD! He's the oldest person to make the cut on the European Tour by seven years. Think about it -- he's fifty years older than some of the other playing competitors. When I read that he had made the cut, I did a double-take, and I naturally expected him to mail it in after making the weekend. Yet, he continued his youthful play by shooting 71 and 70 in the final two rounds. Take that, young guns!