Wednesday, May 18, 2005
We met at a Burger King in downtown Monterey; just a stones throw from Pebble Beach. Tiger wore a black Nike cap, black Nike pullover shirt, and black slacks. He look relaxed and calm as we sat in a bright orange booth seat to have a chat.
BGB: Tiger, I want to thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.
TW: No problem, Rob, anything for you.
BGB: So, Tiger, how did it feel to miss the cut in the Byron Nelson last week?
TW: Guess how much money I have.
TW: Go on, guess.
BGB: 75 million?
TW: Way off.
BGB: More than God.
BGB: But getting back to the point of this interview, Tiger, how did it feel to miss the cut?
TW: Have you ever seen my wife?
BGB: Uh, well, only in pictures. But I want to talk about your performance last week in the Byron Nelson, and how it felt when you missed the cut.
TW: uh huh.
TW: Well, what?
BGB: You’re not answering my question.
TW: Yes I am.
BGB: You are?
TW: Of course I am. Are you stupid or something? Aren’t you listening? Read the transcript. This interview is over.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
He’s a good guy, my brother. Our relationship now isn’t so much of big brother – little brother, or idol and idolized, we’re really just friends. Good friends. Even though he’s in Washington and I’m in Central California, we make sure to cross paths once or twice a year; usually we meet for an NFL game – Raiders or Seahawks. Last year on one of our rendezvous we had a few hours to kill and we ended up at par 3 18-hole golf course, renting clubs and preparing to play golf together for the first time. Now, I’ve never beaten my brother in any sporting activity. But this is golf. I’d been practicing. And size doesn’t matter…
The first hole was 155-yard straight shot. Since these were rented clubs I pulled out a 7-iron and thought I’d just hit an easy one, just keep it on the fairway. Over swinging is one of my big problems and the easy-swing mentality lent itself well to my smashing my first shot within 3 feet of the cup. Oh, my big bro knew he was in trouble then.
But my bad golf tendencies emerged and the two of us mostly flounder around the course. He drove further and straighter than I but had absolutely no touch around the green, which kept me in it. After 18 holes we added up the score and what do you know -- we were tied. What are two competitive brothers to do? Well, play another 18 holes of course.
After the 14th hole of our second round I was up 6 and feeling good. Then I proceeded to 3 putt 15, 16, and score a 7 on 17 and we were tied again. On the 18th hole my brother’s drive hooked and landed within a few feet of another twosome. Neither of us had called fore and while I couldn’t see the expressions on their faces, the gestures with their fingers told us all we need to know about how they felt about the misguided shot. Well, I proceeded to slice my drive and we both figured to have a chip to the green. But as we walked down the fairway something was wrong. My brother’s ball was missing. We looked all over for it and couldn’t find it. “Those bastards took my ball,” my brother kept saying. “They took my ball!”
“You should have called ‘Fore’,” I kept replying. That and, “Lost ball, one stroke penalty.”
“It’s not lost, it was stolen,” he said. “What’s the ruling when a ball that gets swiped?”
“All I know is that it’s lost,” I said.
“I could hear them laughing as we walked up, they took the ball.”
“You should have called ‘Fore’.”
On and on we bantered while my brother frantically searched. After ten minutes he finally had to concede, the ball was gone. He took the Penalty and re-teed. He hit a nice shot to the fringe. We both chipped on. I two putted; he one putted. So he took a 5; I took a 4. And that, my friends, is how the bad golfer beat one of his childhood sports idols in a 36-hole match by one stroke.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Just thought I'd mention that the blog here got some attention. It was mentioned in an artilce in the Washington Post. Click here if you're interested in reading it.
I'd like to thank Craig Stoltz, the writer of the article for his kind words about the blog.
Now, if I could learn to golf as well as I write!
So her reaction was really surprising when yesterday morning – her first mother’s day – I brought her a lovely bacon and eggs breakfast in bed and told her: “Today, I have the greatest mother’s day present you could ask for. I’m going to give you the entire day alone with Cierra while I go golfing.”
I hope egg doesn't stain.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
He’s an artist who uses wooden clubs. He should be using them for aesthetic reasons, not because they're cheep!
Sunday, May 01, 2005
This kid thing is hard. I mean, it’s a joy and all that, but it leaves little time for the other important things in life like golfing or blogging about golf. So once again I start a post with an apology for not posting. I was this close (thumb and finger held forward) to letting this blog die but when I logged on to my email and saw so many wonderful comments I decided (with my wife’s blessing), to put concerted effort into the blog. So here goes (and thanks)…
The old man, the artist, and the househusband.
DeLaveaga Golf course – which is right up the street from my house -- is still under construction and still allowing unlimited golf for 10 bucks. So during the last couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to sneak out of the house and play 9 holes three times. The first time I played I started off alone, which was fine, because it allowed me to really test the limits of SortaGolf. I took 2 mulligans on the first tee (there was no one behind me), improved my lie on the fairway, practiced chipping for about 15 minutes when I got close to the green, then three putted.
As I was teeing up on the second tee, in the distance I saw the figure of an elderly gentleman tugging his clubs down the first fairway and waving his hand. I looked around but I didn’t see anyone around. He continued to wave and walked faster when he noticed that I noticed him. When he was within earshot he yelled out, “Hey, I hate playing alone, mind if I join you.”
I was torn, but what are you gunna say? “Of course not,” I yelled back.
When the guy ambles up next to me I figure he must be pushing 70 and he just trudged the entire fairway of a short par five at a pretty good clip, and I’m more out of breath from bending over to tee my ball then he is. He was a nice guy though. For the first few holes I was playing pretty even with him. He was straighter and shorter than I, but I was hanging in there and making some good recovery shots. But somewhere around hold six it all started to go bad. I was spraying my shots like a blind machine-gunned. But I had a good time with the old guy. Turns out he’s actually 72, retired, plays 3 times a week, and is very proud of the fact that he doesn’t take one pill. And he credits golf to his good health. He also taught me about drool. Well, not drool, actually, DRUL -- Downhill Right, Uphill Left. And you know, I think it really works that way.
After we finished the ninth hole he asked me if I was going to join him for another nine (during the construction, only the back 9 is open for play). I told him I had to leave and that I need to take another lesson before I played again. “Forget the lesson,” he told me. “Save your money. You know how to hit the damn ball. You have a pretty good swing. It’s obvious that you’ve already had lessons.”
“Yeah,” I said, “but look bad I am.”
“You just have to get used to making good shots,” he said. “Go to the range, take your 9 iron, and hit a whole bucket with it. You can hit the 9 ok. Just keep hitting that 9 all day long and groove a swing. Then, when the 9 is grooved, try the eight. Hit ‘nuthin’ but the 8 until it’s grooved. And keep going. Spend your money at the range or on a course.”
Good advice, I thought. I tried it. It worked pretty well. I got that 9 grooved, and the 8 and 7 too. Then I got to my archenemy, the 5 iron, and before I knew it I was talking to my pro.
I had a lesson on Saturday.
Well, that’s it for the old man story. Check back this week and I’ll finish up with the artist and the househusband, two fellows I played with at “De La” recently.