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chillybilly's Achievements



  1. US media just can't leave well enough alone. Steph Curry likes golf and plays often. Great. So do you. So do I. So do tens of millions of others. 'Oh but he can talk about championship pressure blah blah blah.....' And I like Steph but... Broadcasters watching other broadcasters are a dangerous lot because usually they're borrowing someone else's bad idea and it's usually ESPN's bad idea even if it's relabeled 'Vertical Integration.' For some reason the borrowing broadcasters don't seem to notice that ESPN has descended into shouty talking-head madness as they attempt to do something, anything to claw back some of the crippling $1B NBA rights deal they signed. But audiences aren't all that interested in hearing the same debate every 30 min and, in a shock to ESPN, aren't fussed about contracts, silly NBA 'beefs' and laborious discussions of tweets from individuals whose openly-stated goal was to avoid higher education altogether. In sum, injecting the NBA into every corner of programming hasn't helped ESPN. Quite the opposite. A current or ex-Tour player brought in to comment on an NBA game or host off-court segments would be regarded as an interloper and rightly so even if the player could knock down threes in his driveway. Obviously there is night and day difference between amateur proficiency and professional competitive ability. Howard Cosell railed against what he called The Jockocracy throughout his career. NBCU are calling it Symphony but it's more of the same.
  2. In one of life's many and frequent ironies, the unhinged screaming and hooting that most of us decry is endemic to the US Tour which most (all?) of the European players are well familiar with. Any rubbish about 'home soil for the Americans' or, even worse the 'fired-up crowd' will be just that since it will be another day at the office for both sides.
  3. It may have been said before in so many words but if one of the captain's primary (and unavoidable) concerns is personalities/egos/feuds then golf is by definition and necessity pushed down the list of priorities, possibly into 3rd or 4th place. We know Euro players have egos too but as soon as they set foot in the venue (and usually before) it's like a fraternity reunion.
  4. Hmmm...difficult to separate 'bad days/weather' from 'tough courses' at times. There are obvious big names but there are others as well... -PGA West Stadium was noticeably mean even for a then-chop like me -Legends Heathland (Myrtle Beach). I was pounding the ball but in a gale and 40 mph gusts couldn't reach a par 4 with a hammered driver & 3-wood. -Yes I've played Reserve at Thunder Hill and yes it's a nightmare even though we didn't go anywhere near the tips. -Wachesaw East (Myrtle Beach) was a long string of nightmarish tight tree-lined tight holes (or so I recall). I saw that Meg Matthews had the ladies' course record with a 64 or thereabouts so fair play to her. The winner is probably and unsurprisingly Bethpage Black. It's just Mt Everest-like in its towering, mute, unforgiving disdain for puny humans no matter how well you're striking the ball (and all four of us were). PS - I think we were supposed to be cowed by TPC Sawgrass but we didn't get greedy and therefore it wasn't all that daunting. 4 tee balls onto #17 green with no drama, btw. It was calm though.
  5. Despite the onset of college football I resolved to watch as much of the SC as possible although, it should be noted, only via the magic of time compression via DVR. I even had the discipline to avoid seeing results before watching the remainder of Day 1 on Day 2, for example. It was probably also to slake my thirst for some meaningful golf in the fall and with the Ryder Cup approaching (finally). The crass contrivance of the FedEx Cup and the constant references to its Byzantine point system have taken me from apathy to outright hostility and avoidance. The good (?) -A rather youthful lineup on both sides. I can't say I follow the LPGA religiously although most of the names and faces were familiar. -Maybe, just maybe it struck just the right balance between hype/showbiz and the serious business of the golf? These are some very serious, committed, determined young women who obtained their spots by being very serious, committed and determined. It's understandable that pumping up or playing to the crowd is not necessarily in their natures. On the other hand, the shyness/awkwardness was endearing. -Nice to have the ceremonies without teams and captains being feted a la the Ryder Cup ie as if they were at the Academy Awards tonight and then launching a mission to the galaxy Andromeda tomorrow. -I don't know how they nicked Amanda Balionis from another network but she was ace. -Great course, obviously, and even better weather. September & October in the Great Lakes region can briefly make you forget what January-August and November-December are like in the Great Lakes region. -Most of the commentary was topical and even-handed ie none of the flag-waving that NBC just can't resist during the Ryder Cup especially Dan Hicks and his incessant 'Team USA' references. -With few Euro fans there wasn't a lot of back and forth outside the ropes that might have spilled inside the ropes but that may have been a good thing. -Lexi Thompson's divots. I said divots. -Tom Abbott is top drawer -I can relate to a 391 yd par 4. I can't relate to a 525 yd par 4. The bad (or less than good) -As above, with few Euro fans there wasn't a lot of back and forth outside the ropes that might have led to some gamesmanship inside the ropes. -Politicians being made part of the opening ceremony. Mike DeWine, crawl back in your hole. -Even with a relatively finite attendance there were still far too many screamers of the usual variety especially the immediate post-contact types. Some of the female spectators thought they were at a youth soccer match and gave it far too much 'CMONMEGANYOUGOTTHISKEEPITGOINGHONEY.' -Slow play. Match play makes it occasionally more necessary and a smaller field makes it less objectionable but the routines are still too long and fiddly. If a player began lining up a putt I would routinely FF 15 sec and the player would still not have struck the putt. -Interviewers asking the 'how do you feel?' question are bad. Interviewers asking the 'how do you feel?' question in multiple iterations are worse. Interviewers asking the 'how do you feel?' question in an obvious attempt to elicit tears are worst. -Incessant interviews with the captains. They aren't going to reveal anything too private or any strategy prior to matches and they aren't going to give different answers to the same question(s). -Several announcers seemed disappointed that there wasn't more bad blood, animosity, gamesmanship etc. especially after airing some archive clips of testy moments. -The ending was an anticlimax wasn't it? Tricky putt goes in, Cup retained, Bob's your uncle. Very muted reaction after a long hard slog. Granted, few Euro fans were there but even the Euro team didn't really go bonkers. -What happened to the convention of any remaining matches being halved and the players walking in a la Ryder Cup? -The missus insisted on US Open tennis on the big screen. Mr Wizard set up iPad Mini connected to smaller screen so he could still FF on the iPad. Both feeds using YouTubeTV. Perfect moment for the router & fiber gateway to go on the blink. Required two resets of each and about a 20 min wait to get sorted.
  6. The Epic Super Hybrid is currently the object of my CAS (Club Acquisition Syndrome - adapted from Gear Acquisition Syndrome, a well-known malady among musicians in which equipment is amassed at great cost). I'm a stocky 5-9 lad with a shortish, flattish swing...my dispersal pattern is respectable but I'm happy to take advantage of anything that produces a higher ball flight. I've kept an old Adams Boxer hybrid in the bag for ages because of its wide(r) sole as I'm more of a sweeper. I put a White Tie hybrid shaft in it some time ago based on some good reviews and advice but I can't say it's a great match for me. The lighter the club the better for a moron like me who once fell off his roof and pulverized both wrists. I actually don't fear fairway metals and can usually hit them well but through experimentation or intent I have ended up with two hybrids and no fairway metals based on frequency of use, comfort and confidence with each and situations most frequently encountered in actually playing the game on the course. All that said, thanks to a very understanding and loving missus, the Epic Super Hybrid may be in my future. Callaway site says available Sep 9. Custom builds are available there but cite a 6-8 week wait. Given the current state of the universe I'm guessing the 6-8 week figure is more accurate. Their shaft options both OEM and individual model are legion and while I'm scrambling to research I wonder if anyone can comment or recommend. I'm leaning toward the Project X Catalyst HL. The AeroTech is the stock shaft, btw. OEMs listed at the site are: AeroTech Aldila Callway Golf Fujikura Graphite Design KBS Mitsubishi Project X UST The club and all options are at https://www.callawaygolf.com/golf-clubs/hybrids/hybrids-2022-epic-super.html Cheers...
  7. There was nowhere to go yesterday - 2 groups ahead, 2 groups behind - thanks to the course totally disregarding its obligation to maintain intervals. I knew someone who once arrived late for no good reason to a course elsewhere and still demanded to be slotted in. The clubhouse attendant looked at him and said evenly, 'That's what tee times are for.' Perhaps a bit combative but in hindsight the attendant was correct. But it's the only time I've heard of such a thing. Many starters' zeal for seeing payment receipts and yammering back and forth on radio to the clubhouse does not extend to maintaining intervals. At best it's irresponsible. At worst it's a virtual guarantee of a 5-hour round. I usually try to do some subtle exhortation of ready golf by telling good-natured (?) anecdotes about slow play and slow players I've encountered in the past. Everyone's typically in a good mood on the first tee and they nod or shake their head on cue when they hear about The Other Guy (TM) slowing things down. Hopefully the point is made. But golf is such a 'me' activity that poor shots, rub of the green etc. can induce negative emotions and they tend slow people WAY down. They stomp, they look down, they trudge back to cart. They grumble, they take extra putts after a miss (apparently to fine-tune their mistakes) etc. If my ball is teed up I'm probably already in my backswing so ixnay on the conversation. Those who tend to talk way too much on the course - especially about their own game - will say 'Oh sorry I didn't know you were ready to hit.' Once is a coincidence. Twice is a pattern. As Jerry Seinfeld might say, it's all very well to commit to playing ready golf, quite another to actually do it.
  8. Taking the previous few days' weather into account when driving to the course SHOULD produce few CPO surprises ie rules match conditions. But it ain't necessarily so. I'm sure many have tales of Course A going CPO when it's relatively dry or only as wet as it might be on a non-CPO day after the sprinklers have been running. Meanwhile, Course B is not CPO but might actually be wetter. As usual, collective guilt and punishment are assigned to 90% for the sins of the 10% ie those who drive carts irresponsibly, even maliciously. But the course knows it will hear complaints about trouble spots or conditions created by the 10% so the 90% have to hoof it back and forth. One resort course I used to play often was CPO unless in the midst of a 2-month drought with grass turning brown everywhere and dust clouds billowing on the property. Their bad reputation for such paranoia grew quickly and customer traffic dropped proportionally. Suddenly they found a new zeal for allowing carts off the paths.
  9. If money changes hands for greens and/or cart fees then the course has obligations, starting with tee times. A tee time is a two-way obligation and if the intervals are eight minutes then by God they should be eight minutes. 'Tee off when the group ahead is on the green' is not an interval, not a tee time and almost never eight minutes. It invariably results in a backup on the next hole or somewhere within the first four holes that might take the next 14 to erase - but rarely does. Waiting on every tee, every fairway and having groups arrive or watch as you hit every tee shot is a) infuriating, b) pointless and c) eminently avoidable if the starter is doing his job. Giving me the 'have you played here before....our flags are red/white/blue' speech is not the job. Managing traffic is the job. Aside: one day there will be a logical explanation for starters/rangers and their obsession with carts and numbers. They write them down before #1 tee. They write them down as you pass and wave. Ironically, they rarely take any notice when you actually return them. I've heard tales of individual cart theft, even of the theft of fleets in whole or in part during an organized, nighttime raid but rarely or never of theft by players actively and visibly playing course - especially when those players have actual vehicles back at the clubhouse. The proportionality of cart-number-tracking OCD to the actual threat of loss seems well out of whack. I often joke that someone could lie bleeding in a bunker and the ranger would jot down the cart number, wave and keep going. To add insult to injury, these same rangers will drive past 3 or 4 groups on a single hole (!?) and say nothing about pace of play or and will make no attempting at determining or alleviating the bottleneck. I have played thousands of rounds and have had the group I was in admonished about pace of play less than 10 times. I am admittedly a pace-of-play hawk and a bit of a 'secret agent' in picking up/moving clubs on the ground so they will be easily collected, moving carts that aren't my own etc. in order to facilitate group movement through the hole and simply encouraging ready golf as and when people start to slip into bad habits. Being a paying customer - or member - also entitles one to the sounds of nature which is (or was) a significant part of the experience. Birds, winds, etc. Nature aside, the ability to hear and analyze the sound of club striking ball is an integral part of the game and, if applicable, competition. I can see my shot is thin, for example, but I have to also be able to hear the sound to tell me the when, where, how and why of impact. Tommy Tacky and his Bluetooth speaker blasting horrid music should never be part of the experience. It's also a safe bet that Tommy Tacky doesn't know or care what the USGA or R&A have to say on the subject. Tommy Tacky spends 90% of his life with his AirPods shoved into his ears yet won't use them on the golf course where they would be most useful for everyone concerned. It defies logic. Sorry but audible music should be banned. There is a win-win scenario here. If you want 120 dB in your ears and never hear a bird song, that's your lookout. Don't make it mine.
  10. I can't provide definitive answers but my guess is that in the absence of a labor ie collective bargaining agreement that fines, thresholds for fines etc. are strictly at the whim of the commissioner or possibly a disciplinary board under the commissioner's thumb. As we're frequently informed, players are independent contractors which means each is on his own when it comes to policies, procedures and fines. From this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/sports/golf/pga-tour-punishments-player-secrecy.html Granted, the article is now 4 years old but Monahan took the secrecy baton from Finchem and seems/seemed determined to keep a firm grip. To confuse matters, major championships have governing/sanctioning bodies - USGA, PGA of America, R&A, Augusta National GC. Although the majors rotate sites (except The Masters of course) player behavior is still governed by one of these entities. To further confuse matters, PGA TOUR discipline (probably) applies to only official PGA TOUR events. Likewise for European Tour etc. HOWEVER - the article does relate the history of Dustin Johnson, who almost certainly was suspended for substance abuse issues. It strongly implies that the 'slipped on a wood floor' incident that caused him to withdraw from The Masters when he was a strong favorite was a cover story for suspension but that seems very unlikely given that a) Augusta National, as we all know, assert and enforce their own criteria for Masters participation, b) DJ had been in Augusta for days, even a week playing practice rounds and such, c) any suspension would almost certainly have been imposed before he bothered to move his entire operation to Augusta, rent a house, etc. d) Vegas is usually very well-informed and any hint that DJ might not play for any reason would have seen him taken off the tote boards. I did a search for 'PGA TOUR player discipline' and merely got links to an article about the TOUR effectively nuking any player who might join a rival tour and to a page on the TOUR's own site about integrity - but that one is strictly about giving best effort, avoiding 'contrivance to produce an outcome,' betting, etc. So...it seems that the mystery will remain in place because it can and because that's the way the powers that be want it.
  11. Well stated. The current trend is also 'audio branding' hence the ubiquity of little piano or vocal figures at the start and end of every ad. One could argue that such a trend started decades ago with little jingles like 'by.....Mennen!' Ironically, predictably and hilariously all the audio branding suffers from the 'sameness syndrome' that affects the visual and narrative content of their insipid ads. Is that piano interval for a car maker or an insurer? Are they in different keys? Why are they copying each others' songs already when the songs are merely two notes? If you're a jingle writer you're cackling like a madman on the floor having composed 5 sec of music. Not quite Mike Post-levels of output.
  12. US announcers talk piously about letting the pictures tell the story but rarely do. It was nigh-on impossible to enjoy Morikawa's playing the 18th hole and putt out for victory as Hicks & Azinger jabbered away like two Barrett-Jackson car auctioneers after a double espresso. Even worse were their painfully self-conscious attempts to say something 'historic' to match the occasion resulting in non sequiturs and mixed metaphors and a hey-ma-I-did-my-homework list of stats that could wait until much later. As Peter Alliss demonstrated repeatedly, the easiest and most praiseworthy approach is to say as little as possible at the crucial moment. Let the viewer drink it in along with the champion and the gallery.
  13. I respectfully submit that those who own property there also have property elsewhere and travel where the weather is conducive to their desired activity - to golf, to skiing, to boating, etc. I think the telecast or this thread mentioned that Brady has a house there.
  14. I don't know who Bryson might be dating, if anyone, but if each player gets his own cart then surely we are entitled to have Amy Mickelson, Gisele Bündchen and Shailene Woodley riding shotgun as pseudo-caddies?
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