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Aug 07

The training wheels win again!

Adam Scott and Stevie Williams
Tiger Woods was far from winning this week but it has got to sting even more considering the next tournament he decides to play in is won by the player with his previous caddie who he had just recently let go. He has really got to be confused and dreading his recent choices as they only seem to get him in a deeper hole. The new coach and caddie are a huge contribution to the matter but he has also changed his driver shaft and putter. I hope he doesn’t decide to start using a belly putter or cavity back irons. It will only hide the real problems even further. He was very good at getting everyone drug tested on tour maybe he should be the one who forces the PGA Tour to use blade irons and blade putters only. It’s an honorable rule and very reasonable. It might not seem like much but it really isn’t any different than a baseball player using a wood bat and another using an aluminum one or a tennis player using a different sized racket than the other. Get on it Tiger!

Training wheels aside, Adam Scott did hit his driver and irons very nicely all week especially on day one! I was very impressed with his percentages of fairways and greens hit but If he didn’t use the putter he did, would he have made the putts to keep the momentum going? I’m sure even a recreational golfer has hit a fairway and green but 3 putts and loses complete appreciation for the effort it took to get close to the hole the rest of the round. I just can’t seem to appreciate any pro golfer’s win or effort on tour with equipment that an amateur (10+ handicap) golfers depend on to enjoy the game. Most aspiring golfers come to see what they can’t do or aren’t doing, it’s a punch in the face seeing them get the exposure and coverage they get.  For those guys on tour coming up short using equipment that displays their actual skill, they should feel robbed because they are being cheated of their skill and time they dedicate to practice. I mean why not make the golf ball a tennis ball and make the hole larger at this point. If golf is trying to be more popular by making it easier, then they should force those players who are stubborn to use blades and more difficult equipment to switch.

Ryo Ishikawa on the other hand made a tremendous effort this week with honorable equipment, considering he is only 150lbs and still swings a 130g shaft. A quick example of shafts that have helped players win, although I am a fan of Miguel Angel Jimenez, he uses DG SL shafts weighing 109g but the biggest and most embarrassing in my book would have to be, Matt Kuchar who not only uses carbon fiber shafts but they weigh 99g and yes he also uses a ridiculous putter. The guy won everything last year! I saw it as a huge bank job. There should be no tool on any tour of this caliber that helps you correct mistakes. All players on tour should use the same club head size and shaft.

The moral of the story is that, If you know nothing about golf and just appreciate or criticize players based on their results, you will never appreciate the real talent of this game until everyone is forced to use the same equipment. It’s the real reason why there are still 40-50 year olds on the PGA! (Goydos, Calcavecchia, to name a few) How can we expect the game to grow with players no young guy wants to watch on the television.

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