Each week “Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.
By Jeff Skinner
The Champions Tour starts its regular season Friday in Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. The course at Hualalai always yields low scores and 20 under might not be good enough to win.
With the regular PGA Tour showcasing more celebrities than tour winners this week, the Champions tourney is the one to watch. Hawaii this time of year looks pretty darn good.
Here is my case for the round bellies over the flat bellies this weekend. Fred Couples, David Duval and maybe a first time winner are the stories at the Hope. It is so tough watching those pro-ams. It is only fun for the amateurs and celebrities that are playing. It is no fun to watch; maybe the tour should get the message.
If you want personality along with great golf, watch the Champions this week. There are eight players that have won a PGA major at the Hope this week. There are eleven players in Hawaii that have won PGA majors. The eight have won a combined total of eight majors, each having one win each. The eleven “old” guys have a combined 32 major wins. That’s right 32. Oh yea, the Champions event boasts seven World Golf Hall of Fame members. Gary Player has more major wins then the entire Hope field and Tom Watson has just as many.
Gary Player, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin these guys are icons that have shaped the golf world, and they still got game! Player is 73 and still beats his age. He is in better shape then 99% of the PGA tour and he’ll let you know it. Player has been the best international ambassador for golf for over 50 years.
Tom Watson has eight PGA majors and has battled all the greats over his career. He always manages to sneak into contention at the Masters. He is a living testament to the qualities that this game encourages.
Hale Irwin at 63 is the all time Champions Tour winner with 45 wins. These guys still can play some great golf.
Look at this one grouping, Player, Watson, and Jay Haas. Haas is the current Charles Schwab Cup champion and the 2007 player of the year. Watching that threesome alone is worth it.
Check out these names that are playing: Kite, Pate, Sluman, Stadler, Langer, Crenshaw, Strange and Roberts. These guys are good.
With all due respect to Arnie, who is hosting the Hope, I’ll spend my time watching some of the all time heroes of the game. I’ll take Player and Watson any day.