Archive for the ‘Golfer’s Bookshelf’ Category

A Special Thanks to Our Troops

November 26th, 2009 No comments

Remember our troops today and every day. It is because of their sacrifice that we can live our lives.

Thanks to all our troops serving all over the world.


Hooks and Slices from The Presidents Cup

October 13th, 2009 No comments

“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

The Presidents Cup is over and Tiger and the boys have The Cup, but here are some “Hooks and Slices” from Frisco.

Good Stuff…

Tiger Woods going 5-0, finding the perfect mate in Steve Stricker and smacking Y.E. Yang in singles

Tim Clark may have left his heart in San Francisco. He played his heart out and was the soul of the Internationals, his eagle at 18 on Friday stole the show and his eight birdies killed Zach Johnson on Sunday.

Freddy Couples looked like he was walking in the park, Harding Park all weekend. He had a ball and his laid back attitude trickled down to his team.

Sean O’Hair gets a putting tip from Phil and proceeds to putt like a master.

Michael Jordan, MJ kept the troops loose and didn’t act like he was a real captain, more like a mascot, a tall, rich mascot.

Phil Mickelson was more like a playing captain or coach. He shook AK and O’Hair out of their funk and may have created a putting monster with the way O’Hair finished putting. Phil looked so comfortable being a mentor and the rock for these guys…what a resource for all the team matches to come.

Sportsmanship is the name of the game here and Vijay pulled the best move of the week when he conceded Lucas Glover’s 7 footer on 18 during singles on Sunday. The way Glover was putting it was more of a miss than a make, and Vijay let Glover earn his only half point of the match. Nice move Vijay.

The International team uniforms were classy and sharp. All week they looked great.

Bad and just plain ugly stuff…

Poor Adam Scott has been everyone’s punching bag. He needs some time off to get healthy and regain his stroke.

Lucas Glover was there in body only. He couldn’t sink a putt all week and maybe he is just spent.

Sean O’Hair’s putting the first two days was horrible. After Phil coached him up he was dropping putts like he owned the hole.

I have to put Michael Jordan here, just for the fact that Couples went outside the golf world for his “assistant/advisor.” It sets a bad precedent…who’s next on the team…Rush Limbaugh?

Camilo Villegas goes 0-4…Spiderman got smacked by Team USA.

Talk about ugly…I got chills when I saw Barry Bonds at Harding Park. Please don’t let him be on someone’s short list for an “assistant/advisor.”

Greg Norman gets a big zero for this captaincy. He made some questionable pairings all week but his biggest foul up was when he picked an out of form Adam Scott as his captains pick. Scott couldn’t bail his buddy out and Norman lost this match before it ever began.

Finally, the US Teams uniforms get worse each year. I know it’s tough to put something classy together when they are limited to red, white and blue but come on! Don’t get me wrong…I am a true Red, White and Blue American. But they need to downplay the red and use some neutral colors. The International Team and The Ryder Cuppers kick our butt when it comes to looking good on the golf course. Well, at least the US has both trophies!


Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Golf Book is Good Stuff

August 21st, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

The series of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books are one of the best selling series of books in history. They have covered a myriad of subjects and one of the latest is “The Golf Book…101 Great Stories from the Course and the Clubhouse.” This book follows the same format as all the Chicken Soup series and is a compilation of short stories and anecdotes from numerous contributors. The authors represent a cross section of professional golfers, amateur golfers, sportswriters and regular, everyday people. The stories range from the comical to informative to inspirational.
The subjects cover crazy incidents on the course, stories from inside the ropes on tour, great courses, golf personalities, those special moments when golf grabs a hold you and those relationships formed and strengthened by the game. There are many familiar names that have contributed to this book. Legendary sportswriter Dave Anderson writes of the first golf tournament he ever saw and calls it the best show in sports. Golf Channel personality and Golf World writer, John Hawkins tells how golf and his “mentor” have kept him sober. There are many touching stories of friendship and fellowship from pros and celebrities, but many of the accounts are from everyday golfers that felt inspired enough to send in their contributions for publication.
Editors Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Max Adler have compiled a wonderful and entertaining selection of stories the will give you a laugh and some that will touch your heart. You won’t find anything but amusing or uplifting stories here and that is what “Chicken Soup” is all about. “Chicken Soup for the Soul… The Golf Book” is good for your soul and your heart and your funny bone.


Firestone and The Big Three

August 8th, 2009 No comments

Long before the World Golf Championships and The Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone was hosting professional golf tournaments. In 1954 the first Rubber City Open was won by Tommy Bolt. In 1962 it was changed to the NEC World Series of Golf and that lasted until 1999. After that it changed to the NEC Invitational and finally in 2006 it was called the Bridgestone Invitational. In addition to that, Firestone hosted The American Golf Classic from 1961 to 1972, The CBS Golf Classic from 1967 to 1974 and three PGA Championships. It is the only course to host three PGA Tournaments in one year. Firestone also was home to some of the original made for television tournaments like The World Series of Golf. Take a look at this clip from The World Series of Golf when The Big Three were in their prime and the whole world lay ahead of them.


Take Time for “A Course Called Ireland”

August 7th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

When Tom Coyne decided to write a book on golf in Ireland he decided to go all the way. No one can say that Coyne doesn’t immerse himself in his projects. In A Course Called Ireland” he tells the story of when he looked at all the links courses rimming the coast of Ireland he thought of playing the island as one large loop. He would start from the south east coast of Ireland and then play his way to the north and follow the coastline until he returned to the same area and finish with a round at legendary Ballybunion. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime, but the kicker here was that Coyne would walk. He would not only walk the courses, but would walk the entire trip. When I first heard of his plan I had two thoughts: He must be crazy and will soon be divorced. As it turns out only one of these is true, he still is married.

Coyne combined his love of golf and his fondness for Ireland into a unique and inventive golf expedition. He gives us a good mix of golf, Irish culture and humorous anecdotes that keeps the book from being too much travelogue or a course by course, hole by hole description of his trip. You have to marvel at Coyne’s determination and adaptability. He travelled over a thousand miles, played fifty six courses over a four month trek that saw more rain than the Amazon rain forest. He spent most nights looking for the “craic” (fun) in local Pubs and stayed in Bed and Breakfasts. He came across many varied and formidable obstacles. From the full Irish Breakfast that some days weighed him down, Irish drivers running him off the road, to dogs, sheep and cattle, not to mention the blisters and chafing in places I won’t mention. In spite all of his difficulties Coyne tells the story of a country full of fun loving welcoming people and golf courses both grand and quirky. His trip reinforced his love of unspoiled links golf and brought him many new and interesting friends. Coyne was joined by his wife and friends for some legs of the trip and one can only assume that his wife is the most understanding woman, or she was glad to get rid of her golf crazed husband.

Coyne has done a marvelous job at retelling his adventures, golf and otherwise and selling links golf in Ireland. I’m convinced and I’m of Scottish descent whose only goal was to go play golf in Scotland. I’m ready to add Ireland to my list. With all respect to Mr. Coyne, I’ll walk the links but splurge for a ride to the course.

Purchase “A Course Called Ireland”


Kenny Perry Wins One for the “Family”

June 29th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

I was at the Travelers Championship this weekend when the skies finally cleared on Sunday to allow the boys on the tour to take dead aim at the flags on The TPC Highlands. Kenny Perry once again showed that he is not only a uniquely talented player but also a very sincere and humble man.

Kenny Perry’s victory at the Travelers Championship takes him another step closer to his goal of twenty career wins. Perry is forty eight years old, but he certainly doesn’t act his age. This is Perry’s eleventh victory since he turned forty. Most PGA players at forty eight are making reservations for The Champions Tour. The only reservations Perry is concerned with are for the Victory Ceremony at the next PGA Tour stop. He won on Sunday with a tournament record 22 under par. His 258 ties him with the fourth best 72 hole score in PGA history. Why would he even think about moving to The Champions Tour when he his racking up multiple wins on the PGA Tour? He won three times last season, this is his second win this year and he’s looking for more. He said:

I’m making people think a little bit. Still, six more wins is a lot of wins. You know, I’ve won three last year, two this year already. Who knows? If I get hot again, get on a little streak, sneak in two more by the end of the year, might be very realistic. But as I said before, it was pretty unrealistic goal. I just kind of threw that number out there to see everybody roll their eyes in the back of their head. But it is a goal of mine. I may not ever reach it and if I don’t, that’s fine. My career’s been unbelievable, the things I’ve been able to accomplish. But that keeps me working each day, keeps me going back to work.”

In the interview after his win, when asked to comment on his day on the course, his first word is “Unbelievable” and then he begins to talk about the family that he has stayed with for the last twenty one years when he comes to Connecticut.

“Unbelievable. I mean to say you want to win something and then to actually achieve it is a great feeling. I just hate it took me so long to do it. Steve (Kirsch is the hosting family) would always get onto me. I stay with three families. I won in Phoenix, the FBR, Bill Scott, and the Eastlake in Muirfield. I won those two events. I never could win this win. So he always would get on my case about I guess his cooking wasn’t good enough. It would always upset my stomach or something. No. They’re all in the back, back there, (in the press room) so I’m giving them a hard way to go. But it’s just a special week for me. We’ve played games. I’ve watched their kids grow up. They’ve got three grandchildren now. And it’s just a neat week for me. We just grill out and hang out. We just have so much fun, and it makes the week very special, and no matter how I play, I always look forward to coming here each and every year. So other than that, I’ve been fighting each year to try to do something special here, and it finally showed up today.

Steve and Martha Kirsch (are the hosts). I was a rookie, and was broke, needed a place to stay, and they were going to keep Jay Haas that week and Jay said no. So they said they’d take the rookie with no money, and I’ve never left. I’ve been a bum ever since.”

That’s Kenny Perry. He just won over a million bucks and his fourteenth career victory, and he is recognizing the family that he lives with for one week a year when he plays this tournament. I spoke to the Kirsch’s and when I said that they hit the jackpot with a guy like Kenny they said, “We hit the jackpot twenty one years ago.” Is he really that nice? “Oh, you can’t believe how nice he is.” With this win Perry has gone over the $30 million mark for his career. Do you think he needs free room and board for the week? I don’t think so. He stays with the Kirsch’s because he likes them, is comfortable with them and likes the family atmosphere. He’s a simple guy that loves his family and friends and happens to be the seventh ranked golfer in the world. He says he felt the support from the fans on Sunday.

“I fed off the energy of the crowd today. I had so many people pulling for me all over the golf course. To me that’s never happened. That Augusta thing, even though I lost, I had won over a lot of fans. I definitely felt it from Colonial, Memorial, all the tournaments I’ve played since Augusta, a lot of people have, Ryder Cup has meant a lot to me, and done for me, so my fan base has grown a hundred fold since all that’s happened. It’s been unbelievable.”

Perry said he learned from The Augusta meltdown and was determined to play aggressive all day. When I asked him if he thought he “won over” fans from his play on the course at Augusta or for the way he handled himself in defeat he said:

“Well, I guess everybody loves the interview. Everybody I hear talks about my interview afterwards, how I handled the loss and how I talked about it, and you know, there’s a lot more important things in life. My mother’s got multiple myeloma cancer. My sister’s got breast cancer. There’s a lot of sickness in my family. We’re struggling. Sandy’s mom’s not doing very well. She’s 80 years old. She’s broke her back. She doesn’t get around anymore. So you know, I’m just going to enjoy life right now. I’m going to try to help as many people as I can along the way, and I’m not going to worry too much about wins and losses and we’re going to enjoy life a little bit.”

Kenny Perry realizes that there are more important things in life than golf and he isn’t shy about saying so. You can see the sincerity in his eyes and here the emotion in his voice. He is right: he won over plenty of fans at The Masters and golf isn’t the most important issue in his life. The issues he is dealing with are familiar to many of us and maybe that is what draws us to him. He has many of the same problems that we do and he comports himself like we all hope we would do in the same circumstances. He is an honest, sincere and moral man. He’s one of the good guys, and he’s looking forward to his next win: only six more to go for his twenty.

Check out our article on Perry after his Masters loss.


Playoffs at Colonial and The Champions

June 1st, 2009 No comments

“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

It was Playoff City at the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour yesterday. Both tournaments had to go to extra holes to get their winner. Two time Comeback Player of the Year, Steve Stricker who was sporting his playoff beard, finally got his win and completed his “Trifecta Season.” He has his Colonial win, a second at the Northern Trust Open and a third at the Bob Hope, not a bad “Trifecta” for Stricker. He has 6 top tens, is second in FedEx Cup points and moved to thirteenth in the World Golf Rankings. You have got to feel for both Tim Clark and Steve Marino who tied for second. Marino has been playing well; his last six finishes prior to this second were T16, T79, T38, T5, T13, T19. All Clark had to do was par eighteen, but his bogey left him in the playoff. He then pulls a short putt for the win and hits one off the pin in the playoff. Clark is the perennial bridesmaid on the PGA Tour. He has at least one second place finish in each of the last five years on the Tour. This year he has made eleven of twelve cuts. This is two years in a row that he could have won the Colonial. Phil stole it from him last year with that crazy birdie on eighteen from over the trees.

Mark McNulty won The Principal Charity Classic for his seventh tour win. He beat Fred Funk and Nick Price on the fourth playoff hole.

In another instance of the long ball hitters being out played by the shorter hitters, Frenchman Christian Cevaer won the European Open at The London Golf Club. Cevaer averaged 263 yards of the tee all week. The three players that tied for second all out drove him. Alvaro Quiros had a 324 average, Steve Webster averaged 303 and Gary Orr had a 275 yard average. Big John Daly missed the cut and sits in 100th place in The Race for Dubai.


Alfredsson Gets it Done at the Sybase

May 14th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

Helen Alfredsson navigated her way around The Upper Montclair Country Club Course with a personal best 62 today to take the lead at the first day of The Sybase Classic. She was playing as well as she ever has hitting the fairways and hardly ever missing a green. Paired with South Koreans, Hee Young Park and Jimin Kang, she showed the youngsters what a little experience can do for a player. Alfredsson is a former Solheim Cup Captain that has just come returned from a back injury. The South Koreans seemed to play a different game than Alfredsson. They are slow and methodical, taking their time on the green and in between shots. Alfredsson was striding out ahead of the group by twenty or thirty yards on each hole. She seemed to be saying,” Let’s get a move on here. I’m on a mission.”

She opened with a 30 on her front (back nine) and I caught up to her on her back nine at the third hole. She was driving the ball close to 300 yards and down the middle on each hole. At the par five fifth she reached in two with a fairway wood and two putted for birdie. On the sixth she actually played before Kang, with her permission, while Kang and her caddy discussed yardages. At the par 5 seventh she barely missed the green in two and stayed in the greenside bunker. Undeterred, she played her bunker shot to eight feet and made the birdie putt. On the next, the eighth a par three, she stuck her tee ball to eight feet and made the birdie. That brought her to ten under with one more to play. She said on the last tee box was the first time she thought of her score all day. She then proceeded to make her standard two putt par, but she could have gone lower.

While recalling her round she thought she missed two makeable birdies putts. Those putts and a three putt bogey on the par three fifteenth were all that kept her from the magical score of 59. Afterward she spoke of how she is finally recuperated from her back injury and can practice full time now. When she spun her ball into the hole on eleven for eagle and chipped in for birdie on thirteen she asked herself,” What’s going on here?” She felt comfortable all day and looked confident on each shot. “It’s typical that on a day like today you are staying in the moment,” she said. “I was only nervous on the last putt.” When told that Lorena was stunned that a 62 could be shot under these conditions today she responded good naturedly,” Ha, Ha, Ha…when you play like this you wonder, why don’t we do this all the time?” When asked how a former Solheim Cup Captain can compete on the tour, meaning at 43 you’ve usually seen your best golf, she said,” I have been able to work on my game now…I want to give it two more years.

She wore a hat and jacket with one of her sponsor’s logo,” Peak Performance.” When asked if today was a peak performance, she laughed and said,’ Yes, and my sponsor will be very happy.” Yes Helen, a 62 will get make you happy anytime.


These Guys Give Back

April 2nd, 2009 No comments

“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

Life on the PGA Tour looks like a sweet deal. The professionals earn a great living playing golf on the most beautiful courses in the world. They travel to warm and exotic locations to play a game. Any of us would gladly trade places with them. Life is good on the PGA Tour. 104 golfers earned over one million dollars last year in tournament winnings (See List). They all have endorsement deals where they earn more money.

The PGA Tour donates more to charity then any other sport and the players are no different. Many players have their own foundations that work with charities throughout the world.

The Tour leading money winner in 2008, Vijay Singh uses The Vijay Singh Charitable Foundation to help women and children of domestic abuse. He also works with the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Tiger Woods was the second leading money leader last year and has many charitable causes. The Tiger Woods Foundation manages the Tiger Woods Learning Center in California that works with children and their educational choices. Tiger also helps charities through The Chevron World Challenge, Tiger Jam and The A.T. &T. National tournament.

Phil Mickelson finished in third place on the money list last year. Phil and his wife have established The Phil and Amy Mickelson Charitable Gift Foundation. They work with many programs; The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (college for children of deceased Special Ops servicemen), Homes for Our Troops (housing for returning military), America Supports You (support for troops families) and Birdies for the Brave which supports the previously mentioned charities.

The money they earn on the tour may seem unreal but it is great to see these players taking a very active role in helping out the many causes that their charities support.


Arnold Palmer’s Magic Touch

March 28th, 2009 No comments

“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

When the tour comes to Arnie’s place there is never a shortage of great Palmer stories. It seems like every pro and fan has an Arnold Palmer story. Jason Gore is no different. Read how Palmer’s kindness and generosity changed Gore’s life when he stalked Arnold at Latrobe as an eleven year old kid. Gore is playing on a sponsor’s exemption from Arnie and starts the weekend in second place. Looks like Arnie made a good choice and Gore’s life continues to be touched by the King. Check out Jason Gore’s story.

We have been following rookie Webb Simpson all year. After a hot start to the season, he has cooled off a bit. Yesterday he aced the 17th at Arnie’s Bay Hill. Arnie and Simpson are both Wake Forest boys. Maybe some of that Demon Deacon magic is helping Simpson. He made the cut and starts Saturday tied for 27th. Watch Simpson’s ace.