Not Feeling It At Abu Dhabi
by Jeff Skinner
What a disappointment at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship as both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were sent packing as they missed the cut. Sure, the fans are disappointed but how do you think the sponsor feels after reportedly paying a combined $4 million dollars to lure the pair to the desert. That’s a pretty poor return on your investment.
Rory was so out of sorts he ditched his new Nike putter in favor of his old Scotty Cameron. Immediately the alarm sounds and many want to make a big deal about it but Rory later explained to The Golf Channel that the Nike is a bit lighter and he felt more comfortable with a heavier putter. I am sure the Nike techs have ten new, heavier putters waiting for him as soon as he gets off the plane.
But this little bump in the club changing road did have a strange side effect: Rory was a bit curt with the press. “I’m not here to talk about my [Nike] contract, I’m here to talk about my golf,” he said afterwards. I have never seen Rory take a tone, be impolite, avoid a question or give sass to anyone. I am not sure how it sounded but in print it looks like Rory may have been a bit peeved. Maybe he’s spending too much time with Tiger.
As for players developing a feel for their clubs, these professionals are an amazing lot. I certainly can understand Rory retreating to a club he felt so comfortable with. We hackers think we have a sense of feel but we are just pretenders. Brandel Chamblee related the story of K.J. Choi testing out a new set of Pings. K.J. insists that his grips weigh only 52 grams. But when they built the set of clubs they were one grip short, so they substituted a grip that weighed 53 grams and stuck in on the eight iron. After practicing with the clubs Choi went back to the techs and told them something was wrong with that eight iron. Seriously? How much is a gram? A gram is equal to .03574 ounces. That’s about the weight of a paper clip. Choi could tell the difference in the weight of that club and it weighed one paper clip more. Man, these guys are good.