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My COLONIAL Observations


Sam-Tee-Time

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from this year's event (2006).....
Many of you may have seen my previous thread on my EDS Byron Nelson observations. Here are my observations for the COLONIAL, which is held on the subsequent week, over in wonderful Fort Worth TX. For the sake of avoiding duplication, I am only posting NEW observations that I noticed at the Colonial...............

http://www.bankofamericacolonial.com/

PLAYERS
- AUSSIES RULE! The Australians were out in full force this weekend. It seemed that most every Aussie was playing great. Maybe they're used to the wind and heat, which both Australia and Texas have plenty of?
- Nick O'Hern is a very impressive player. He looked very sharp, composed, and had a marvelous game from tee-to-green. I'm surprised this guy does not win more.
- Edoardo Molinari. He was playing TERRIBLE every time I watched him. His drives were left/right, his iron shots seemed to tail off uncontrollably, and his short game was miserable. I watched him stub and chili-dip a few chips, and his putting was completely a train wreck. How this guy managed to win our National Amateur Championship is beyond me. Maybe he was jet-lagged?
- Fred Couples. His Gallery was the biggest, and most impressive with many beautiful ladies following him (perhaps because he's single now, divorced from Thais). I recall one fan commenting about his "sauntering", and how great he "saunters" around the course. It's true!!
- Bubba Watson. WOW, this guy can hit it a mile. AT #11 with the launch monitor, they clocked him at 126 mph, and 319 carry, 361 roll. Unusually - he wears TrionZ bracelets on BOTH wrists! (I guess he needs more negative ions than the rest of us!). I noticed he has very good control of his tee shots - he can hit a low, hard, long fade (for #14), and a high, powerful straight long shot (for #11). If his game is this controlled on his irons and short game..........this guy is going to win some big tournaments.
- Ryan Moore. Good lookin' player. I noticed his bag was stiched with "Southern Highlands", which is a very, very exclusive and expen$ive golf course in the Las Vegas area where he went to college. Life must be good for Ryan! Also - he looks slimmer in person than on TV or pictures.
- Scott Hend. One of the longest hitters out there. I met his wife, and she mentioned that he was recovering from an appendix operation. She did not seem worried whatsoever about him getting back on the PGA Tour (I believe he's on the Nationwide now). Seemed like a good guy, but I lost some respect for him when he was beyatching at some fans climbing down from a set of bleachers, after he lost a tee shot to the right. He just could have waited for them to step down, couldnt' he?
- Jonathan Kaye. I can't see how he hits his tee shots and irons. He fiddles and fidgets, and nervously twitches like a "Jittery Joe", until he hits the ball. Watching Ben Crane is painful, but watching Jonathan Kaye is equally as painful for me - he appears as if he's got nervous spasms.
- Daniel Chopra. His irons looked LASER SHARP on the range. I also watched him laser a mid-iron from the middle of a concessions area on #14 (he hooked his drive into some trees) THRU an opening in the trees, RIGHT ON THE GREEN! WOW! It was an incredible shot. I said "GREAT SHOT!" to him, and he gave me back a huge smile as if to say: "Yeah, it was, wasn't it?!"
- Camilo Villegas. Looked trim and fit as usual. Big group of women following him, with plenty of latin accents. He had some "off" shots, but I still think he's a very talented, and serious player.
- Charley Hoffman. Played great, especially his short game. I still think he (and his caddy) look like sort of a "Hobbit Hippie", as he's short, a little rotund, and had long hippie-like hair. His caddy was a taller thinner hippie, and they looked as if they came straight out of an Amsterdam Coffee (?) bar, not the PGA TOUR.
- Corey Pavin. I think we should change his nickname from "Gritty Little Bruin" to "ANGRY Little Bruin". He has a BAD TEMPER. He was playing well on Sunday, but Corey constantly berates himself, throws clubs, cusses and fusses, and generally looks Angry and upset at every shot he hits. Lighten up, dude.
- Robert Allenby. He used to be one of my favorites, until I heard about his temper, and his consistency with firing caddies. I caught him and his caddy staring and looking at a pair of teenage girls (granted, they were dressed like little matching "ladies of the evening", with VERY revealing matching tight Pink dresses). I smiled at them as if to say :"I KNOW what you guys are looking at!", and they responded by smiling back at me. It was an uncomfortable moment for me............I'll admit these two young ladies looked incredibly alluring, but they were with their MOTHER..........I wanted to tell the Mother about this, but didnt' know what to say! One guy next to me commented "I know those guys are looking at those teenagers, but I would NEVER allow my daughters to dress like that." For you parents out there...........allowing your daughters to dress like Prostitutes is simply embarrasing, degrading, and DANGEROUS. Please don't allow it, for the safety of your children.
- Harrison Frazar. His very pregnant wife sat next to me on a par4 green with the entire family, including 2 young boys, and a grandmother/grandfather tagging along. She was VERY pretty, and had a ton of diamonds on her fingers. The grandmother was very overly chatty, and seemed to be overly protective of the young boys. Grandma was constantly yapping about getting the boys a drink, not allowing them to walk too far away, fidgeting with their clothes, and generally (and very vocally) hovering and cooing after these young boys. After they left - a woman next to me said......."It was obvious she was a Tour Wife based on all those Diamonds she had!". U got that right. Hubba Hubba.
- Paul Azinger. Was consistenly the fastest player on the course. With the exception of a penalty ruling I saw (when he hit O.B.), Paul was "Zinging" around the course faster than anyone out there.
- Jim Furyk/Tabitha Furyk. She's a very pretty brunette up close. Life is good if you're a PGA Pro.
- Justin Leonard. He's commenting about how he's struggling, but his irons and short game looked VERY good. If he can pull it together, I see a good result for Justin. As always, he had great local fan support.
- Stephen Ames. His impressive play continues. Sunday he was LASER SHARP, with an impressive run to the top of the leaderboard. He's truly awesome to watch in person, and his irons were pin-hunting all weekend.
- David Duval. It was a REAL pleasure to see Duval make the cut. He had a lot of enthusiastic fan support, and everyone seemed genuinely happy to see him playing well, and making the cut. I got a very strong feeling that all of us watching him were very supportive, and wanted to see him win again. At times, his game looked very, very sharp, and it had flashes of brilliance. However - I feel that his swingspeed is down a little bit, and needs to get to the ball more aggressively for better impact. GO DAVID!!
- David Frost. On #16 (Par3), I was sitting to the right of the green on a hillside with a cart path, near the clubhouse. Frostie (http://www.frostwines.com) flares his tee shot to the right, and it bounces on the cart path, and bangs against my chair, and dribbles down the cart path about 10'. He takes his drop, but unfortunately makes bogey. It was my closest interaction with a player this year.

CADDIES
- Tim Herron (winner) caddy was featured on CBS's coverage. I could have sworn he was caddying for someone else at the Nelson. Irregardless - this guy is a VERY GOOD CADDY, and he seems to give excellent advice and is a hard worker.
- Sand Raking. I noticed the caddies are very OVER board on raking the sand carefully. It amazes me they can get the sand to appear so smooth. Are bunkers even hazards anymore? Most pros can get it out of there easily.

EQUIPMENT
- I noticed some of the "YS Power" driver and fairway wood shafts out there. I recall this shaft felt good, a little stiffer than the YS-6. I wonder why more amateur players dont' play it?
- Still a following for HTD (Harmon Tour Design) shafts, made by UST. I saw at least 4-6 of these out there.
- I noticed many pros Tee the ball VERY low on their driver. I presume this was to get a low, fading shot, but they seem to hit it HIGH, even though it's teed low. Wassup with that?

CADILLAC
As always, CAdillac marketing was still out in full force. I managed to pickup another 2-3 velour lined shoe bags. They worked out great for carrying around all your junk in.

FAN STORIES
- DAVE PELZ! I met Dave Pelz on the #11 hole, where he was chatting with the guys on the Launch monitor. I shook his hand, and congratulated him on Phil Mickelson's fine play last few years. He responded by saying "Phil's a Great Player", and I mentioned how much I admire his books, and follow his short game methods. He seemed VERY genuinely grateful, and gave me a big smile and handshake. He seemed like a great guy, and I was happy to have met him.
- Pitch Tools/BallMarkers on the fans' hats. What's up with fans (mostly juniors, and women) wearing their pitch tools and ball markers on their hats, while viewing a tournament? I don't get it - do they hope a player loses their marker, and they can conveniently say..."Here's ONE!" I dont' get it.
- The Fans are much more reserved at the Colonial, especially on Thu/Fri. They don't seem nearly as verbal than the Nelson, and generally only applaud for VERY good shots. And......I NEVER heard "Go in da Hole!", or "U Da Man!" all week! However - I never sat near the 13th hole - more on this later......
- One reason I like the Colonial is a much more diversified base of fans. There are the die-hard golf fans, the elderly fans, juniors, and adults of all ages. Yes, the 'hoochies' were at the Colonial as well, but not nearly as much as the Nelson. All the drinkers, playas, hoochies, and the younger crowd generally stuck to the 13th hole.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
- Unusually, the Parking at the Colonial was $10 for the remote TCU parking lots (the Nelson is FREE), but the WATER is FREE at the Colonial at the aid stations (the Nelson charges for water). I guess this balances out your spending, eh?
- I found it unusual that I could NOT find any vendors at the Nelson selling GAtorade or sports drinks. I carried some electrolyte powder with me, to mix with the free water at the aid stations, so this worked out well for me.
- The Colonial has many areas which are pure nirvana for watching golf. One one area near the 6th teebox, you can watch 2 greens, 2 teeboxes, and concessions/restrooms, and a first aid station with free water are all available in the same area. Golf nirvana.
- The 13th green at Colonial is our version of the 16th at the TPC Scottsdale. This is where the young buff guys, and their beautiful young girlfriends hangout and get drunk and smashed. The fans in this green have taken up a game to wager which caddy reaches the green first, and they'll holler like idiots when the caddies walk up. One more than one occasion - I watched players on the #14 teebox (most visiably Nick O'Hern) shake their head in mock disgust at these drunk idiots, and their disregard for other players on the course. While I realize that PGA Tour golf is also entertainment, the "scenery" is wonderful, and the tournamnet gets a LOT of money for the liquor sales, I just cannot stand this sort of behavior. A golf course does not need to be quiet as a church, but I find the behavior of some of the fans idiotic and disrespectful. When I got out of my 20's, I grew up emotionally. Perhaps I'm getting old & jaded?

Overall, in spite of the 13th green, I enjoy the Colonial SO MUCH MORE than the Nelson. The course is more enjoyable to walk and watch, there are more trees and shade, water, and the people are friendlier. The course reminds me of my home course, which is also secluded, lined with trees, and is enjoyable to walk. While the Nelson has the female attractions, the Colonial has more well rounded groups of people. To paraphrase the differences...........the Nelson is a "Hurried Rush thru a downtown city", while the Colonial is a "Gentle Stroll thru the countryside with a close friend". I LOVE this tournament with every fiber of my golfing heart, and can't wait until next year.

So, my Nelson & Colonial stories come to an end this year. I'll see you again next year! Any commentary is welcome!
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I appreciate your kind words about your experience in my hometown.

 

I've never missed a Colonial NIT since I was born (literally) and volunteer there every year, so I'm very biased. But, I've only been to the Nelson one time and that was for about 30 minutes. Just hate that course and didn't find it a good place to actually watch golf.

 

I feel Colonial offers the golf fan a great opportunity to see just about every type of shot imaginable. The area you found around 6 green is great. Another great spot is around 4 green as you can see players play two very tough golf shots. You can also stroll by the range and watch these guys practice.

 

I hope you continue to come to our tournament. With the new dates starting next year, I think you'll see improvements in both the course and the field.

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I appreciate your kind words about your experience in my hometown.

................

I hope you continue to come to our tournament. With the new dates starting next year, I think you'll see improvements in both the course and the field.

 

 

Sure! Now.........can you suggest or recommend some kind of monitoring of all those idiots on #13? I guess I'm turning into an old fogey, but I really don't want to see this tournment turn into an FBR Scottsdale (their #16th green) with all the drunk bozos making fools of themselves. Sorry, just a rant.

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I appreciate your kind words about your experience in my hometown.

................

I hope you continue to come to our tournament. With the new dates starting next year, I think you'll see improvements in both the course and the field.

 

 

Sure! Now.........can you suggest or recommend some kind of monitoring of all those idiots on #13? I guess I'm turning into an old fogey, but I really don't want to see this tournment turn into an FBR Scottsdale (their #16th green) with all the drunk bozos making fools of themselves. Sorry, just a rant.

 

I'd suggest watching #8 or #16 as they are similar shots, with 16 being the most similar in that they are usually hitting either the same club or a club more depending on the wind as 13.

 

I used to be one of those idiots on 13 and am still friends with many of the drunks out there. Believe it or not, that is the players favorite hole as they enjoy that type of thing (I'm sure there are some who don't, but the majority like it). I imagine that if it was on a harder hole, they wouldn't like it so much, but it's just an 8-6 iron over water to one of the largest greens on the course.

 

If you noticed, we've now added margarita machines to that hole where they used to only be available around 10 and before that, only by 18. Back in the days when they were on 18 and the clubhouse didn't take up as much room, that was one of the wilder areas. The reality is that the activities on 13 will only be encouraged until such time as the players or tour tell the tournament officials to do something different.

 

Personally, I usually spend at least one afternoon per year sitting on 16. Plenty of concessions without lines, near the clubhouse, close to bathrooms, and shade if can find the right spot. Plus, you see a good tee-shot on 17 and can easily watch 10, 18, or 15 without moving far. Of course, alot of people have figured this out, so it's a relatively crowded area.

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