Tag Archives: golf

Pebble Beach Stories Part VI: Tiger Woods

I’m not sure why, but I seem to forget about keeping the Pebble Beach Stories series going until it gets close to the AT&T or any event at Pebble Beach. Anyways, Tiger never came to the AT&T Pro-Am during the three years I was working there for the event. He went the year before I started working at Pebble (2002), and I always hoped he’d change his mind so I could see the legend in the making play live, but it never happened. In honor of his first entry into the AT&T since 2002, I figured it was a good time to dust off the one and only Tiger story I have, but unlike Stevie Williams and Hank Haney, I’m not going to be making money on it.

From the first time I mentioned Tiger to co-workers they would all grumble something that ended with I hate that guy. They’d regroup and say he’s a ridiculously good golfer, but just not a good human being. After asking numerous people why he wasn’t a favorite like Phil, Davis Love III, Jonathan Byrd, or even Dustin Johnson, they all seemed to point to the fact that he was a bad tipper, or that he bitched about everything.

There was one time he did come to Pebble Beach while I was working there, and it was for an EA sports party when they were doing promo stuff for his video game, and from that point on in 2004, I didn’t like the guy much either. I tried to make some small talk with him asking him about his hotel stay and where he’d eaten in around town to maybe give him some recommendations or something like that. He flat out ignored me like I didn’t exist. Now, I could understand if he was doing something like talking on the phone or signing an autograph for someone, but he was just hanging out in front of the pro shop with nobody else but a group that just came of the 18th hanging around. I rattled off at least 30 seconds of chat, but was apparently talking to myself. Maybe it was the crappy weather that day or maybe he couldn’t stand getting a fat paycheck for putting his ugly mug on the cover of EA’s golf game, but he could at least acknowledge my existence with more than a head nod. I guess I wasn’t important enough for him to acknowledge my existence. I’m not one to get star struck especially after meeting lots of celebrities and athletes during my time there, but he might have been the rudest of all I met by simply ignoring me. My new theory on maybe why he ignored me in the post Tiger scandal is that maybe one of the girls he was a sugar daddy for extorted him for the money he just made on the EA game.

Whatever the case, I asked our head golf pro and the assistant golf pro what was up with Tiger, because he seemed so cold and was basically the opposite of Phil to the point that it seemed like it would physically hurt him if he smiled, and he wasn’t even there to play golf! They didn’t seem to know or really care that much, but what they did tell me was you’ll probably never see him at the AT&T Pro-Am, which makes it even more remarkable he’s playing this weekend at Pebble when it’s not for the US Open. Curious, I had to ask why.

Chuck (the head golf pro) gave me a couple of answers, both of which made some sense.

First he told me that Tiger doesn’t like the greens at Pebble or really any public course because they get too much play and thinks they’re too bumpy. I was taken back by this answer, because aside from the pace of play, I’d never heard anyone complain about the courses features at Pebble unless of course they plugged the greens, but there’s no chance Tiger ever played after they plugged the course, because they’d never want that shown on TV or have the pros complain.

The second thing he told me which made a lot more sense was he didn’t like playing with amateurs. They play slow, and usually shank more shots than hit good ones. Today they aired a little interview with Tiger on ESPN talking about his celebrity playing partner this weekend, Tony Romo. Tiger went on to say Tony had been texting him relentlessly asking about how low he needed to shoot, and what he could do to work on his swing that made me crack up just thinking of the way Tiger probably responded. I’m almost positive Romo recieved no advice, and was probably annoyed by the onslaught of texts from someone that wasn’t going to be a one night stand.

Maybe he’s a better man close to a decade removed from when I met him, but it’s still the main reason to this day that I don’t root for him to succeed.

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Stanley’s Super Sunday

Leading up to the kickoff for the Super Bowl there was a golf tournament going on out in Phoenix, and honestly I got more joy out of watching that than seeing Brady lose. I usually like watching the Arizona tournaments simply because of the crowd. For some reason the crowd in the tournaments there are always pretty drunk and rawkus as far as golf standards go. I’d even go as far to say the Happy Gilmore crowds were based on these same Arizona crowds. Even a golf fan like myself can get bored with the sport, especially on TV, so tournaments that the crowd is more into helps pique my interest level.

Collapses are as mesmerizing as comebacks, and in two weeks Kyle Stanley gave us both. It was eerily similar the way this Sunday ended the same as last weeks’ tournament in Southern California at Torrey Pines ended, with Kyle Stanley crying. This time it was much different than last week though. At Torrey Pines, Stanley was crying because he quadruple bogeyed the par-5 18th hole when he had a four stroke lead heading to the final tee box. He completely choked by spinning one in the hazard and missing a 4-foot putt that looked like a sure make. Of course they showed the Jean Van De Velde collapse a few times, and the final result was a playoff to crown the tourney winner. A disheartened Stanley ended up losing the playoff and the tournament to Brandt Snedeker.

This weekend in a miraculous reversal of fortunes, he capitalized on the meltdown of another first time 54-hole leader, Spencer Levin. Since golf is such a mental game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone collapse the weekend before only to come back and shoot a 6 under to take the next tournament. I can’t remember exactly which hole it was, but around the 13th hole in the midst of a Levin double bogey, Stanley holed two birdies on two straight holes to took the lead for the first time in the tournament never to relinquish it. Sure, it wasn’t a major or anything where the best of the best are in the field, but it was a testament to Stanley as a man, and was easily the best comeback story of Super Sunday, unless you care about the Giants I guess. His tear filled interview says it all. We spell redemption K-Y-L-E.


Tiger Spoof

I was going to try and give this one some kind of insight, but they paralleled Tigers golf game with his sex life pretty well, so I’ll just let these two mock PTI guys tell you what is going on in Tiger’s world.

 


Dubbing Up Your Tuesday

I was thinking of writing about Rory and his very impressive US Open win, but didn’t really watch much of it, so that went out the window. Is he the next Tiger or Arnie? I don’t really want to debate that since he has ONE major, compared to Tiger’s 14 or Arnie’s 7. Hell, why doesn’t anyone like to compare him to Gary Player? I feel like his 9 majors are the most overlooked of any of golf’s “superstars”. Lets wait until Rory wins each of the majors before we make comparisons to the all-time greats. It feels like comparing Lebron to MJ a couple weeks ago all over again. Anyways, I said awhile back I’d put up some reggae artists, but haven’t really come through on that. Since I called reggae the golf of sports awhile back, in that everyone plays/listens to it, but most don’t really know many artists/players. It seemed like a good time to revive the series as I start bumping more reggae with the weather heating up.

This Sizzla song is as close as you’ll see me listening to the Beanie Man or Sean Paul type of reggae. I’m more of a dub reggae fan, but once in awhile you break the mold. The one below is my favorite of his, and my second favorite song of his is, Give Me a Try.


Masters, Manny, and a Beat-down in Pittsburgh

Charl was given his green jacket signifying that he is the Master of the Universe, yet the storylines don’t seem to surround his four birdie finish. I’m not one to push golf onto anyone who can’t stand watching guys read putts for five hours, believe me I understand why it would be boring, but this weekend was one of the most exciting finishes we might see in any major for awhile. When there were about 8-10 holes left to play for the leaders, the CBS crew couldn’t even figure out who’s shot or which players they even wanted to show because there were so many people atop the leaderboard. We didn’t see a whole lot of Charl during the day, but did get a lot of Tiger shoved down our throats. Tiger looked great for the front nine, and it looked like he had some of his swagger back busting out his fist pumps. Unsurprisingly to me that seems to be the topic of conversation today on whether Tiger is indeed back or not. It’s tough to say when he missed critical putts down the stretch that he usually would’ve made during his domination days. Regardless of whether he’ll be as dominant as he once was, he’s relevant again. The other story was about how Rory McIlroy caved to the pressure, and was one of the only people to shoot over par on Sunday. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t win, but more so that he caved, and he seemed to give up after his triple bogey on the 10th. He’s a 21-year-old, so I wouldn’t worry about him. It’s like last year when Dustin Johnson choked away a lead on the final day at the US Open. I’m sure he’ll learn from what happened, and his skills aren’t disappearing. All in all, I think golf is healthier than it’s been in awhile. I’m not going to go all Geno Auriemma and cry if you don’t care about golf, but this past Sunday was a finish that I feel like any sports fan would’ve enjoyed.

Manny is retiring… Lots people go to Tampa to retire, and Manny doesn’t seem to be the exception to that rule. I’ve always loved then loved to hate Manny depending on which team he was playing for. I guess the bigger deal about his retirement is if he’ll make it into the HOF. All along I’ve been for the steroid era players getting into the HOF. It’s an era, and whether there was cheating or not, you have to acknowledge the best. Baseball has always had the worst HOF setup in my eyes. The snubs feel ridiculous, and most of the time those who are snubbed were “bad” character guys. I feel like the HOF is a popularity contest that nobody really wins in unless you were a classy person on and off the field. Personally all I care about is what was done on the field, cheating or not, he was still one of the greatest. With that said, I’d put Manny, Clemens, A-Rod, and Bonds in. Who cares if I or anyone else doesn’t like them as people they still were amazing players that carried baseball for two decades.

Apparently, safety in stadiums is an issue… The MLB League passes are free for everyone for the first week of the year, and I’ve watched a lot of teams I probably won’t see for the rest of the year. One common theme seemed to be empty seats in stadiums. I’m not sure if it’s the cold weather across much of the country or if it’s a correlation that fans no longer feel safe bringing their kids to the ballpark after the Dodgers incident. Whatever the case, this recent video from a Pirates game was insane. Dude was either completely wasted or just can straight up take a hit. The rent-a-cop billy clubbed him three times and he didn’t even flinch! This might be the most excitement the Pirates fans have all season…


Rooting For Ryo This Year…

The Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa made a very nice tribute to Japan’s earthquake relief fund for the rest of the current PGA season. The 19-year old is from one of the hardest hit areas in Japan, and while his family was all in the states when the quake struck that doesn’t mean he has forgotten about his countrymen. He said today at a Masters interview that he’d be donating all his tour earnings to the relief of his country. Last year he made a little over $2M, and showed that he will be a force in the near future once he gains a little more experience. I think this generous donation will make me lay off on the jokes when I see him. He usually wears some of the ugliest clothes around, but maybe that’s Yonex’s fault for making those clothes…

If you couldn’t tell, last year I was a huge Dustin Johnson fan, and pretty much rooted for him to win any event that he was in. I’m not abandoning my boy DJ, but with the selfless act that Ryo has decided to put forth, I can’t help but start rooting for the guy to win every tournament or at least make a lot of top tens. I’ve never had a million dollar earnings year, but at the age of 19 I don’t think I’d be able to give it up like he is. To go along with his nice gesture he’s also donating $1,200 per birdie to charity, which will be a very nice chunk of change by the time the year is over considering he gets a few per round. Rarely do I write about things that are good in sports, and this is clearly one that should garner more attention than it does in the national media.


Pebble Beach Stories Part V: The Celebrities

I was on the road for the past six days visiting family and friends across California. My last stop on the way home was in Monterey. As many of you golf fans out there know, the AT&T Pro-Am is being held this weekend on the Monterey Penninsula. I stopped in to see my old boss at Pebble Beach, and see what condition the course was in. It looked as great as it always does, and made me realize that I haven’t written a Pebble Beach Stories post in a loong time. While I was walking past the putting green I saw George Lopez, and it reminded me of how cool some of the celebrities are, and George was one of my favorites. Since I’ve worked there, I haven’t seen that many celebs nor been able to interact with them aside from Big Papi in Vegas. Going back to the course and seeing some old co-workers re-reminded me of some of those memories. Since the AT&T Pro Am is 25% about the celebs in the tournament I thought I’d make a nice and not so nice celeb list based on my experiences with them while working at Pebble Beach. Granted some were longer conversations or meetings than others, so some people might have just been having a bad day. On the other hand, how can you really have a bad day if you’re golfing at Pebble Beach?!? I already talked about the Caddies in part IV. I rambled about Derek Lee, Adam Dunn, Cory Lidle, and Brett Boone in part III. I talked about Chi Chi Rodriguez in part II. I talked about Chris Berman and Vijay in the inaugural post of this series, so I won’t go into any details on those guys, and you can revisit those posts to see what happened with them in the links provided, Here’s some things that came to me while I was wandering around Pebble Beach Monday morning. I have more, but these were some standouts.

Hmmm, buddies with George huh, one more reason for me to dislike him...

Not So Nice

Charles Schwab – Couldn’t be more of a dick, and has earned a place in the HOF of assholes. If there was a less friendly guy that holds onto his money with a vice grip like he does I don’t think I’ve met him yet. To top it off, he never tips. A co-worker of mine once laughed at me when I helped him for a second time in two days. Helping him culminated in driving him out to his $60M dollar house that overlooks the 18th teebox. I got no tip, he didn’t say more than two words answers when I tried to make some small talk with him. This is a man that could drop $1,000 dollars on the ground and not be worth his time to pick it up, and he can’t even give me a five spot. Even worse he couldn’t make small talk with someone doing him a favor!?! Talk to Chuck if you want your money safe, but you never know he might be stealing it too. Continue reading


Ryder Cup E-mail Thread

With the Ryder Cup about to kickoff tomorrow, we chatted about the storylines (mainly Tiger) in our daily e-mail chain. It all started with this Gene Wojciechowski article.

Dyslecix: (Without reading it) Wild guess, the US team gets thoroughly trounced this weekend, and Tiger breaks even at 2-2 in his matchups sitting out a best ball or alternate shot round.

Cali4Dre: More along the lines of how much more Tiger needs this Ryder Cup than in the past… And how much getting a win would mean, how he can use it to repair his image, how he can mentor the 5 rookies, etc.

Chappy: I thought it was interesting watching Tiger’s interviews yesterday. I agree though Woods needs the Ryder Cup more than it needs him… And I agree with you Tony, the US team is going to get owned… I think the course favors the Euros… Aren’t there a bunch of hazards there that make the longer hitters club down right?

Dyslecix: I’m not really interested in individual story lines with the Ryder Cup, by Sunday when the single matches are going on, and the crowds are going crazy it’s more of a team story to me as they battle….It certainly didn’t miss a beat without Tiger in 08’ and was just as interesting to me at least.

I just read that despite what Monty said, the changes off the fairway to the course are pretty noticeable. It’s playing a lot like a US Open course with thick nasty rough.

Chappy: Yeah, I read that they were going to have the rough around 3 ½ inches, brutal… Oh and I disagree that this event alone would change Tiger’s image. I think winning Majors is the only way Tiger repairs that image…

Dyslecix: Nice little Monthly special…and predictable with Bubba, Phil, Tiger and crew and there wayward tee game.

Damm this is gonna be fun to watch.

How about just winning on the Tour again for starters?

Cali4Dre: I think that was Wojo’s point, not winning all year is weird for Tiger, this is his last chance since he usually doesn’t play in the Fall Series.

Dyslecix: Wasn’t Wojo a big Tiger supporter in the past?

Cali4Dre: Who wasn’t?

Chappy: I wasn’t 🙂

Dyslecix: Well at first everybody was on his side sure, but as he got older there was the crew of writers that were haters….Mainly the Lefty group, and the other group who thought he swore and cusses too much, the “gives the image of golf a bad name” writers.

Cali4Dre: Sure you weren’t, everyone loves a winner.  There does appear to be water on half the holes, and I believe the woods are in play on just about every hole looking at the pictures…

Dyslecix: It’s built along a river, and is amazingly incorporated in the country side. Visually it looks awesome in pics, should be fun to see it live on TV.

Chappy: Ok, I was on his side up until around 2002 or 2003, then I started rooting against him. He just rubbed me the wrong way, I never liked how robotic he was, he didn’t even seem human. It’s hard for me to like guys that don’t seem human at all…

Cali4Dre: I’ll admit, I only rooted against Tiger because I prefer to root for the underdog or no-namer, but who couldn’t be a fan of how Tiger dominated??

Dyslecix: You guys were a real minority…

Chappy: Totally, I was a fan of his game, and didn’t give a crap about how he acted on the course, but when he cussed and cried I was reveling in it. I guess just like MJ and Kobe, I just hate the best, and like to root against them. Not to say I don’t enjoy watching them, but still root for the underdog like dre…

Dyslecix: New article on the pairings.

Cali4Dre: Interesting… I think Pavin might be one of the bets mental players in terms of strategy in the game of golf because he has had to be since he wasn’t exactly the most physically gifted.  I think he’ll do just fan on the strategy parts… what do you guys think?

Dyslecix: I agree…Maybe he doesn’t have to with the “Pod” strategy because his players and pairings are developing despite it. Anyways, Pavin won’t get out “coached” by Monty in any way. This comes down to talent straight up I think.

Cali4Dre: It’s amazing how balanced the team is in terms of distance and accuracy, it’s almost too easy to make pairings that way…

Chappy:I don’t think it matters what the pairings are, the US is going to lose…


Kaymer Wins the PGA Championship, But Dustin Johnson’s Mishap Gained the Intrigue

I’ve been a Dustin Johnson fan for about two years now, and today when he sunk his birdie on the 17th/71st hole at Whistling Straights, I thought for sure he’d be the winner of his first major at the PGA Championship. I was really excited for the guy that I’d been pulling for to break through over the last couple seasons. I met him when he was first coming onto the scene, and he was a very likable guy. Really easy going, and someone you truly want to see succeed. He had more Phil than Tiger in him. I thought his coming out party was going to happen when he was leading in the US Open at Pebble Beach heading into the final round, but he choked hard on the 2nd and 3rd holes, and was never able to recover. Even MCeezy, who never watches golf was pulling for him in the US Open. He was right there at the Brittish Open, but Louie had an insurmountable lead after getting favorable playing conditions for each of his rounds, so DJ was an after thought on the leader board as was everyone else on that Sunday. I thought today was DJ’s day since he was one shot up with only one hole to go, but it wasn’t to be as he was once again a victim of himself.

Is it a bunker? I wouldn't call it one, unless the green fees were only $1 for that course....

His tee shot was bad, but the disaster wasn’t even him hitting his second shot from the middle of a hoard of onlookers. You’ve probably heard about it by now. His ball was sitting in what looked like a cart path like area that was trampled from numerous spectators walking on it all weekend. I’m not saying that it didn’t look like a bunker, but it was one f***ed up bunker that looked worse than any municipal course bunker I’ve seen. In the heat of the moment, it was tough to really confirm that he was in a bunker. When he addressed the ball in the f***ed up bunker, he ended up touching his club to the ground, and that cost him any chance at the major. There were boos raining down from the crowd as the ruling was made shortly after he putted out and was on his way to what seemed to be a three way playoff. The ruling honestly killed my enthusiasm for the playoff and the rest of the tourney. I can’t say I don’t agree with the ruling, since a rule is a rule, and they did post it in the locker rooms. The only winner in this situation was CBS, because all the drama at the end had to add to their ratings.

All in all, it was Johnson’s fault for not taking the time to check it out with a rules official or anyone just to make sure that it wasn’t a hazard. Actually if I was DJ, I’d probably have some choice words for Bobby Brown (his caddy) for not noticing that it was a hazard. Every players caddy should be reminding their player of rules on any particular course. The caddies sure make enough to be held accountable for that (10% of the winnings usually). DJ handled it classy though. He didn’t scream injustice or cry about it. He solemnly faced the reporters the same way he did after his implosion at Pebble, and gave them the disappointed answers they were looking for. As an avid golf fan, I’m happy that we will have a better storyline for the major news networks to talk about than how Phil and Tiger did. Hopefully this will be a tipping point to where we can start talking about all the great up and coming golfers in the mainstream media like McIllroy, Johnson, Watson, Ishikawa, Kaymer, and Day.


Tiger is Being Tamed by his Age

Awhile back I wrote that I was hoping Tiger Woods wouldn’t break Jack’s record of 18 total majors won. I’m feeling a little more confident of that semi-prediction after seeing Tiger go 0 for 3 in majors so far this year with some of his favorite courses (Augusta, Pebble, and St. Andrews) lined up for him to win, err, lose. We thought he might be holding all four championship trophies by the end of the year, but now we will probably be surprised if he is even holding one. Will he ever win another major again? Ok, that’s probably a bad question, since I’m sure he’ll win at least a couple more over the next decade, but at St. Andrews we saw him do something he’s never done throughout his entire career; question his abilities. For the first time in over a decade of dominance he changed his putter just before the tournament and opted for a Nike putter over his trusty Scotty Cameron, and then on Sunday, he inexplicably changed back to his old trusty Scotty Cameron. It was like Lebron’s choice to make his decision on national TV. Well thought out, but ultimately a bad idea. Does this mean Tiger is starting to blame his equipment for his deficiencies on the course? Is this a sign that he isn’t confident in his abilities, and is looking for new equipment to make up for it? Nearly every guy on the tour changes their swings and equipment to get better, but we never have heard about Tiger changing his trusty putter that sunk everything within ten feet at every critical moment throughout his career, so I’m thinking he’s starting to doubt himself at least a little for more reasons than just the putter switch. Continue reading


The Old Lady Never Showed Her Teeth

This years British Open at St. Andrews was uneventful for the TV viewers. There was very little drama going into Sunday, and watching a two man race isn’t that much fun since it takes so long between golf shots. I was rooting for Paul Casey, but when I flipped on the TV Sunday morning it was pretty much already over. From what I understood it was pretty much over on the 8th hole today. At least with the US Open we had guys close at the top of the board, and choking was more a factor than good play, but nevertheless much more entertaining than the blowout at the old course. With most of the guys we want to see atop the leader board (Tiger, Phil, Daly) already far out of contention all we could hope for was some drama like an epic meltdown, mixed with one of the guys 7-10 strokes back playing out of their mind on Sunday, but that didn’t come close to happening. I’m happy for Louis Oosthuizen (this years champ), but it made me want to head out and enjoy the summer day instead of battling heavy eyelids. There wasn’t really anyone putting real pressure on him during the tourney after day two. I don’t want to discount what the guy did on the course, since he obviously dominated it. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if he had less favorable tee times during the first couple of days, and was stuck in the wind that eliminated a lot of the competition. He never really experienced the old lady showing her teeth as Tom Watson would say. I watched a lot on Saturday, but am glad I didn’t waste my day away on Sunday seeing who would win the battle for 2nd place. By the way congrats Lee Westwood on coming in 2nd, you are officially the best golfer to not win a major. Hopefully you don’t hang onto that title as long as Phil did. In my eyes the best part of the tourney was one shot. You’ve probably already seen on the highlights. Miguel Jimenez had an amazing double bogey save on the 17th. The hole was eating everyone alive all week long, and playing a half a stroke over par for the tourney. Although Jimenez couldn’t escape with a par, he did leave us with this creative gem. Thanks Miguel for giving me the off the weeezy shot that I will remember this years open by. Come to think of it, I’ll probably remember this shot more than the winner that everybody had a hard time pronouncing his name!


Tiger Should’ve Listened to Eddie!

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Tiger’s record divorce settlement that rewarded his now ex-wife Elin, around $750 million, and is the largest ever dolled out by any athlete. I have to say I think Tiger should’ve listened to Eddie. I don’t know a friend or college student that hasn’t watched Eddie Murphy’s bid at one of the best all time standup routines ever in Raw. His breakdown of marriage and divorce for celebrities is something every celebrity and superstar should learn from. Maybe Tiger was hitting the books too hard at Stanford to have time to watch something that would make him smile. Apparently that was his big loss. He was married in 2004 well after the Tiger slam, and he was on top of the world rolling in money and endorsements. Why wouldn’t he have gotten a prenup knowing his thirst for women was so strong?!? Oh well, live and learn I guess… I’m sure he’ll return to billionaire form before you know it. Now that he’s got a clear mind and conscious, maybe he will start dominating again on the course, and show us FU mode once again. One thing I’d like to see is D-Wade and Tiger throw a big singles party somewhere in Florida. Maybe even at that $80 million Jupiter house that Tiger refused to give to Elin in the settlement!


Where Am I, and What Did I Just Watch???

A Danish Panda? How Fitting!

I’ve been back from China for a week now, and I can’t figure out what happened. Now that the NBA Finals are over, I’ve come to find my sports weekend consisted of soccer and golf. Now I’m not one of those people who talk shit about soccer and golf, but it’s just not for me. I appreciate the game of soccer, and I’ll find my way out on the links every month or two, but watching it on TV for me is the equivalent of popping a couple of Ambien. It just doesn’t do it for me. However, in the last week, I’ve watched three FULL soccer matches, which brings my lifetime total up to, well, three. Much of the credit goes to my screwed up sleeping schedule. The majority of night’s sleep has come to an abrupt stop somewhere between 3 – 4am.  I’m actually thankful the World Cup is going on in South Africa right now. Those 4:30am games have been a lifesaver. But then, what’s my excuse for sitting down and watching the entire Cameroon-Denmark game on a Saturday afternoon? That one’s easy though. With the absence of a Chinese team, I’ve got to root for my other ethnicity, the Danish. I watched them lose to the Netherlands in their opening game, and after stumbling out of the gate against Cameroon, I was left texting Tony asking if the Danes were really this bad. Thankfully, right on cue, they scored a goal to tie it up, and then added another to give them the win, and eliminate Cameroon. Apologies to Tophatal. I would’ve actually been rooting for Cameroon had they been playing anyone else. This match was much better the other two I caught. First, the aforementioned Denmark-Netherlands game, and then later in the week, I took in the Argentina manhandling of South Korea. I guess I should be excited about seeing a hat trick, which has to be somewhat of a big deal, since three goals TOTAL in a game seems infrequent. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of an Asian team.

On to golf…. the advent of High Definition television has certainly made golf more appealing to me, but it still only can hold my attention for so long. I’d basically just be checking out the scenery, but not paying attention to who’s doing what. You’d think that’d be the case this weekend, since the US Open was right here in our backyard at Pebble Beach, but I found myself actually following what was going on. Maybe that’s not a good thing, as I found myself rooting for a young fellow named Dustin Johnson, only to watch him completely meltdown en route to a +11 day, surrendering a three stroke lead in the process. Perhaps I got hooked today because the players looked like me on the golf course. I’m pretty sure I could’ve hung in there with Johnson through the first three holes. What’s weird is the A’s were playing their way to a win in St Louis on the other channel, yet I found myself glued to the Open.  I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m ready for the NBA Draft, or the NFL season, something. Anyone know when the UFL season starts? I might be ready to go watch Daunte Culpepper play on the home field of the worst college football program in the history of the NCAA soon.


Players to Watch For in the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach

I think I’ve been a little too overly excited for the the upcoming US Open at Pebble Beach, mainly because it’s at my former workplace, which is why I started the stories from Pebble Beach series earlier this year. I’ve never seen the course set at an open level, but know that even back when I was working there from 2004-2006 they were continually adding in obstacles and changing tee boxes to make the course tougher for this very event. Hopefully this time around it won’t be a blowout like the 2000 US Open at Pebble where Tiger won by a ridiculous 15 strokes. It sounds like nearly every hole has been changed since Tiger’s dominating US Open, whether it’s an added bunker or trees, a little extra length off the tee, narrowed fairways (they moved many fairways closer to the cliffs), etc. We all know about the length of the rough in the Open, and that will surely cause the players the most grief over this weekend. It sounds like it’s going to be a chilly weekend in the Monterey Penninsula, so hopefully the wind kicks up too making it tougher to shoot low. I’d like to see some 4 or 5 irons being used on the famous 109 yard par 3 7th hole. Here’s a few players that I’ll be looking forward to watching how their weekend unfolds… Continue reading


Pebble Beach Stories Part IV: The Caddies

I bought this putter while I worked at Pebble. There were only 400 made, and to this day I'm pissed that I sold it away just to double my money. I wish I listened to my buddy Roy, and if you reading this, you were right to keep yours!

I’ve taken a little break from this series, but since I’m on vacation, I figured I should revive the series since it’s not exactly a time sensitive post, an evergreen if you will. Anyways, if you happened to miss the first three parts of this series and are interested in catching up here they are, Pebble Beach Stories Part I, Pebble Beach Stories Part II: Chi Chi Did It First, and Pebble Beach Stories Part III: The Baseball Players.

The caddies at the courses at Pebble Beach Resorts are probably some of the luckiest guys around. You wouldn’t you know that listening to them complain more than a feminist group. Sure, it’s a physically demanding job carrying two bags for 18 holes, but there aren’t many better places to take that walk, and sometimes they get blamed for making the wrong call on a shot, but in the end they get solid pay even before they get their tip. When I was there it was $65 a bag, and usually they’d carry two for a guaranteed $130. They’d get a minimum of a $50 tip, but more times than not, it was between $100-$200. Some of them have returning clients that must either be a nice person to walk with, or they are a baller that is going to want that caddy to hook them up with some things non-golf related.

Sometimes the caddies hook the guys up with, ummm, escort services, yes even the married ones. (Side note, a lot of guys asked me about escort services, and I would either give them the number to call or tell them to ask one of the caddies.) Another reason is sometimes certain caddies are good at getting their players certain drugs, no need to elaborate which ones, it’s irrelevant. I’ve heard some guys actually request a certain caddy, because they liked them the last time, that’s an unimaginable crazy scenario, I know. Some also take a caddy based on their reputation, and that is basically their seniority.

They get to meet all kinds of cool people that are just happy to be there whether they are famous or on a company sponsored trip. One of my good buddies caddied for the CEO of Jack Daniels, he ended up with a nice tip ($400-$500), and delivery a week later that was a box of JD Single Barrel bottles, flasks, cocktail glasses, and other JD swag. I gladly helped him take down some of the premium whiskey! It seems to happen to each caddy every couple months, which is why I think they have it pretty easy.

Seniority reigns supreme in the caddy shack, and it’s weird that the oldest guys are the grumpiest. It was always funny to hear them talk about some of their players, and how they didn’t deserve to play on the course, because they were so bad at golf. It might be half true, but REALLY!?! They just paid $450 for the round each, probably had to stay a night at the resort just to get the tee time ($400-$1,000), and throw in $65 more for a caddy that doesn’t even like them, and they don’t deserve to be there?!? I’ll be the first to admit, there were some spoiled rich bastards that came in, but knowing how much we charge for everything, you just have to suck it up, and be nice. Usually you’ll even get a tip out of it, unless your helping Charles Schwab (the cheapest man in America who never tips with a $60 Million dollar house next to the 18th tee at Pebble).

Another thing about the caddies I found entertaining is when the big tourneys come into town. I got to chill by the driving range and give them range balls. I’d often listen in on them betting on their players within their pairings. They would be betting on everything! They would bet on shots their players took on the range! I remember one time Luke Donald’s caddy was talking to another caddy for the player next to him (can’t remember who), but they were betting on whether or not Luke could fade his shot around a range pole, because that was what he was working on. They were betting $5 a shot on the stupid range warm up shots! I know for a fact that some guys lost all their money they made for the day to another caddy, always funny stuff. This is one reason I’ve always believed Stevie Williams must be more rich than we even think. I bet Tiger makes 9 out of the 10 shots Stevie could bet on!