Talking Golf, Talking Tiger, Talking Trash
OK, the hardest thing about writing this column was dating it. Can you really believe 01-02-11?
Seriously, folks, I’m not sure I can handle much more of this aging stuff. I’m finally realizing that leading this stress-free, cholesterol-free, sin-free existence and maintaining good health is merely the slowest way one can die.
I mean, after all, how stupid am I going to feel some day, when I’m lying in a hospital dying from nothing?
I did get all excited when I read that President Obama and our wonderful, caring Congress were going to decrease our payroll tax. Then I wondered why a substantial tax cut increases my take-home pay by about $15 bucks while a slight tax increase costs me $200.
But I’m not complaining. I’m still on the green side of the grass and if we can get some more weather like this weekend, I may even eventually get in another round of golf.
Speaking of golf — which I’m contractually committed to in this space — I have to admit to feeling just a little juiced about the 2011 PGA Tour season.
One thing I’m betting the ranch on is that Tiger Woods will not go another year without winning a golf tournament. The Chosen One showed signs of snapping out of the doldrums at times last year, and without a miraculous putting exhibition by Graeme McDowell, would have won the last event he entered.
Once Tiger shakes off the effects of having Hank Haney messing up his golf swing, he’ll start winning again. Of course, he still has to get rid of the mental demons that linger from messing up his Escalade and having to buy a new wedge and getting all those stitches taken out of his lip.
Tiger’s biggest problem now is not his golf swing; it’s the mental swing that opponents have undergone. The other players aren’t quaking in their spikes when they tee it up against him now. They’re actually looking at it as a chance to build their resumes.
Still, I believe in Tiger. I still think he’s the best I’ve ever seen play the game. Sure, his swing’s a little out of whack and his mind’s swimming in a cesspool of his own making, but time heals and I expect him to not only win this year, but win a major championship and even regain his status as the No. 1 player in the world.
Beyond the Tiger saga, the PGA Tour is looking healthy, competition-wise. There is a slew of talented young players out there, including Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer and half a dozen others who are looking to make a reputation for themselves.
I would like to include Anthony Kim in that group of comers, but he spends too much of his time going (out, that is). This guy has the talent, but he’s a party animal and he has to learn to control himself. Hopefully, there is a voice out there somewhere that he’ll listen to other than the one shouting “Happy Hour!”
The only thing Johnson has to do is to learn when to pull back on the reins a little. Going full-bore all the time will get you in trouble at least some of the time. He’s powerful enough that he can harness his driver and still hit the ball far enough to reach the par-5s in two shots.
As for Fowler, this guy was granted superstardom the day he set foot on the course. There’s no doubting the talent or the charisma, but he does have one fatal flaw.
Yeah, it’s that darn cap. Are you kidding me? Nobody can be a real winner looking that dumb. Leave the bonnets to Ma Kettle, Rickie. With your ears tucked underneath that cap, you look like, well — to be kind —somebody from a Dickens tale.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the PGA Tour handles the economic times. The glory days of big sponsors handing out blank checks are over.
Also, I’d like to see players agree to some kind of formula that has them showing up every few years at the so-called “lesser” events.
Yeah, I know. Fat chance.
Contact Howard Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story