What an incredible weekend of golf. Headlined by a thrilling US Amateur Final, a
PGA Tour win by the electrifying 'up and comer' Jim Herman, and (thanks to an assist from a S. Korean travel ban), the triumphant return of Stacy Lewis to the winners circle.
But instead of enjoying the weekend that was, the golf world is instead complaining about slow play.
Listen guys, I'm tired of the griping.
People have swing thoughts, and those swing thoughts need to be recited. Hard Stop.
But even I will admit there are some rare cases where slow play gets out of hand. Both Stacy Lewis and the US Am runner-up were paired with opponents whose pace of play was described as “deliberate.” In golf announcer speak that means, “HIT THE FUCKING BALL ALREADY.”
What could these competitors have done to get their opponents to pick up the pace? Stacy Lewis said she kept her cool by singing along to a Taylor Swift song that was stuck in her head. Now if Lewis decided to sing out loud, I think her opponents would have gotten the message to hurry the hell up. I’ve also found that a well-timed cough speaks volumes and now with Covid, a cough in your opponent’s direction will really let them know you mean business.
I admit that many players can make a few simples changes to cut those six hour
rounds down to a breezy 5:45 flat. When Jim Furyk first came on tour his caddie
only gave him yardages in 10-yard increments because he said he wasn’t good
enough for exact yardages. This is something you (as an amateur) can apply. Keep it simple. Take a lesson from that gal who lit up social media this weekend by making an ace with her putter - don’t try to do too much. For most of you, just finishing a hole with the same ball you started with is a win.
And don’t get me started on yardage books, which I think only complicate the game. There's something to be said for just identifying the target, going through 19 swing thoughts, and then just letting it go.
US AM Odds and Ends
Bravo to the Golf Channel for their in depth storytelling about the two young men in
the US Am Final. We learned about Tyler Strafaci’s grandfather’s impressive golf
career, his mother’s college golf days and her job with the Miami Dolphins, his
father’s history with the Florida Golf Association and his college roommate’s
thoughts on the final. We also learned the other kid, Ollie something-or-other, likes
brownies. Great stuff.
I, for one, thought it was refreshing to take a break from watching the
spoiled, robotic, prima donnas who dominate the PGA tour to watch the
spoiled, robotic prima donnas who dominate college golf. It was a reminder that the
future of game is in great hands.
Listen, I know everyone doesn't have the luxury of having a Miguel Vega on staff, but I was disappointed in the golf course. I’m a golf purist, and I prefer my courses a lot greener than Bandon Dunes. And while the course held up well against the world’s top amateurs, I expect big changes in the coming years. Thanks to the big bucks they raked in from NBC and the USGA, I expect course owner and greeting card multi-billionaire Mike Bandon to add some features that the modern, high-end golf consumer demands. I’m thinking a water feature added to several holes, taking the picturesque 16th hole to the next level by adding an island green and new golf paths and carts, which will get the resort humming with deep pocketed golfers. Cha-ching!
A big fist bump goes out to the Bandon caddie who tried to help his player out by
testing the sand in the bunker and as result, cost him the match. Despite what you hear on social media, The looper did everything right. He attempted to get his player every advantage possible and when he got caught cheating, he lied like his life depended on it in spite of half a dozen TV cameras catching him in the act. Take heed caddies – that’s the kind of service that’ll get you a juicy gratuity at the end of the round.
Big ups to Si Woo Kim for his professional reaction to his third-round ace at the
Wyndham. It’s been said before, but I like it when a pro acts like they’ve been there
before and Si Woo reacted exactly how I want a tour player to react - by joylessly
ignoring his accomplishment, somberly walking back to his bag, and shoving his
nose back in the yardage book. Bravo, champ.