.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

June 29, 2005

Getting Up For Cialis Western Open

Watching and analyzing the week’s events on the PGA Tour is always and enjoyable experience. However, this is a special week simply because of the sponsor, and the Unintentional Comedy (I must thank Bill Simmons of ESPN fame for establishing the previous phrase) that comes with it. That’s right, this week’s stop in Chicago is sponsored by…..

Drum roll please….

CIALIS

Yep, the golfers on the PGA Tour will be competing for a purse that is generated by those men who want to make sure that the playful moment turns into the right moment. I can only imagine what the trophy looks like.

Still, I must pick my team for the week, and while I must admit to underperforming lately, I am confident that the Cialis event can give me the pick-me-up that I have been looking for.

Tiger Woods – While having a good year, he is still looking for his right moment. Not in that way (have you seen his wife), but in putting 4 solid rounds together. He plays well here and there is no reason to think he will struggle.

Jim Furyk – After last week’s letdown he is looking to come back strong and show that his disappointing finish last week was a fluke.

Justin Rose – He’s young and strong, but he has been out here a long time. Maybe this event will give him the boost he needs to finish the season strong.

John Senden – I had a little money left to spend and have never seen this guy play. Just a curiosity pick.

Ben Crane – I just couldn’t resist picking him in this event. He is a notoriously slow player and he very well might have rounds that last longer then 4 hours and he will have to seek immediate medical attention.

(Speaking of the immediate medical attention, does anyone else have scary and disturbing images of some schlep sitting in the emergency room and hoping nobody notices his ‘emergency’? Wouldn’t you hate to be sitting next to that guy?)

Well, there’s this weeks roster. Let’s sit back and see if the moment strikes them all.

June 28, 2005

Golf Course Review - Ironplay Par 3

I want to take a moment to tell you all about a diamond in the rough here in Greensboro, NC. Actually, it is in Summerfield, but close enough for consideration. Ironplay Par-3 is open for business and I implore you all to give it a try.

Owned by Steve and Rick Carter, this par-3 golf course is one of the best par-3 courses I have ever played. The typical generalizations about par-3 courses such as artificial turf tees, poor maintenance, little creativity and others can all be thrown out the window. This course was designed to be a real golf course, just on a smaller scale.

The course has a routing just like you would see at a traditional style golf course. There are elevation changes, bunkers, water hazards, sloping greens, collection areas, and hole designs that allow for the beginner to play straight away, while still allowing the more advanced golfer to think through the proper shot selection. Some holes might require a high, soft shot to hit it close, while other might require aiming away from the hole and letting the slop of the green bring the shot closer to the pin. Just a fun experience that will provide entertainment for all.

The course has two sets of tees (white and blue), and there is actually a noticeable yardage difference. From the white tees, the holes will range in distance from 65 – 125 yards while the blue tees range from 85 – 150 yards creating the opportunity to play many different shots from varying differences. One of the hidden benefits to Ironplay is that the yardages are actually quite accurate. Each tee marker has a concrete slab that represents where the yardage is measured from, and when I walked off the distance from where the tee boxes were set, I found them to be quite accurate. This is not always the case at other par 3 courses, and even some ‘regulation’ courses.

My favorite hole on the course is the 4th hole. Playing through a scenic part of the land, the course has a very natural feel to it with rock outcroppings and a creek running in front of the green, the tee shot from 105 yards away sets up very well to the eye. There is a slope in the back that if a player misses long forces a difficult chip from a downhill lie to a green that runs away from the golfer and towards the creek.

The greens are very well designed and have multiple landing areas where if you hit the wrong side of the green you will be faced with a tricky putt. Bunkers are well placed and have the unique trait of long grass surrounding them leading to intimidating shots from the sand.

As for practice facilities, Ironplay is well equipped with a tremendous practice green as well as a driving range (irons only please).

So if you are looking for a golfing challenge, and are squeezed for time, or just want to work on your short game please give Ironplay a chance. I’m confident that you will add this course to your regular rotation.

Ironplay Golf Course
6261 Lake Brandt Rd.
Summerfield, NC 27358
(336) 644-7991

www.ironplay.com

Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, Ironplay has been nice enough to support my company Short Game Central by funneling club repair business my way and allowing me to use their facility for club fitting sessions.

June 27, 2005

When Eagle's Eyes Are Smiling

I did not catch much of the golf this weekend, so I won’t even attempt to conjure up any type of in-depth analysis, but I will say this. The two major events of the weekend (The Barclay’s Classic on the PGA Tour, and the US Women’s Open) were contested on courses that are some of the best around.

At the Barclay’s, Padrig Harrington won for the second time this year with a miraculous 55’ eagle putt on the 18th hole. High drama that resulted in a great champion. The fact that he made the putt is incredible enough, but knowing that he had to two-putt from that difficult position to force a playoff made the putt all the more incredible. However, while Harrington’s victory was one of those high-drama moments, it was overshadowed by what happened at the U.S. Women’s Open.

While all the focus was on Annika and her run at the Sorrenslam (winning all four majors in the same year), it was the unheralded Birdie Kim (yes, that is her real name as she legally changed it to differentiate herself from all the other Kims on Tour) who won the Open with a spectacular hole-out from a greenside bunker on 18. With Sorrenstam struggling all weekend, we got an opportunity to see what the future of women’s golf holds, and it looks like it could be quite impressive. Not only do we have 18 year old Paula Creamer, who has already won on the LPGA Tour this year, but we also have Duke alum Brittany Lang (who will turn pro this summer), Michelle Wie, and perhaps the most competitive of them all, 17 year old Morgan Pressel ready to that the golf world by storm. The women’s game looks to have some budding rivalries that if marketed properly could really raise the level of awareness for the LPGA Tour, much like the women’s tennis game has gained in popularity in relation to the men’s game. Can anyone say catfight?

The Big Link - Darth Tater Style

This week we have another edition of

THE BIG LINK

I implore all of you to check out Darth Tater. One of the best photoblogs I have come across.

June 23, 2005

Barclaying Up The Wrong Tree

After another disappointing showing in Fantasy Golf Land during the U.S. Open last week, I am wallowing in the basement of the global standings. Sure I’m disappointed, but I’m a gamer, and therefore will keep plugging away and boring all of you with my weekly picks.

This week the Tour stops in Westchester, NY for the Barclay’s Classic. Another one of the classic courses that are not frequent enough locations for tour events. In the last three weeks, the PGA Tour has held events at Congressional Country Club, Pinehurst No.2, and now Westchester CC. Talk about a solid leg of events. This week I went with a strategy of looking for guys who perform well as these types of courses and came up with the following Fab 5:

Sergio Garcia – The Spaniard won here last year and has played solid golf as of late. Only a fool would not pick him (which is why I almost left him off my roster)

Brad Faxon – Grew up playing in Rhode Island on similar old-style courses. He too has a strong record here.

James Driscoll – The rookie is having a very solid season, and being from Massachusetts he has experience on these style courses as well.

Chris DiMarco – While he now lives in Florida, he was born in Jersey. Solid play all year leads me to believe that he will eventually break through for a victory.

Ryan Moore – While not from the northeast (in fact he is the opposite being a northwesterner) makes him a tough pick, but it is his pro debut and he won the U.S. Amateur at another well-respected northeast course – Winged Foot.

So there you have it. I’ll consider it a victory if four of my guys make the cut.

June 22, 2005

Open Drama

I have been remiss in my duties as a golf blogger. I have not posted much of anything at all on the recent U.S. Open held at the famed Pinehurst No. 2. In fact, I did not see much of it at all. The weather was great in Aiken, and between golf, spending time at the pool, and the arrival of my parents new horse, I did not see much of the action until Sunday evening, but what I saw was an exciting finish to what was a great event. I sincerely hope that the USGA has the same love affair with the deuce as the golfing world seems to have. The Open is booked through 2012, but let’s hope 13 is our lucky number. North Carolina, and especially the Pinehurst area has a chance to put on a show with a global audience, and we are now two for two in producing successful events.

This tournament featured some memorable moments for me including:

- David Toms finishing up double bogey – triple bogey on Friday. This was a momentum killer, and while he played great on Saturday, I still think it hurt is mindset for the weekend.

- Jason Gore came out of nowhere during the first two days, which was not very unusual, but the fact that he hung around on Saturday was truly amazing. It is a shame that he collapsed as bad as he did on Sunday. Let’s hope this experience gives him the confidence to get his game on track. He has the personality with the media to make him a popular player on tour.

- Retief Goosen’s collapse on Sunday would have been one of the most dramatic of all-time (more then Norman’s Sunday collapse in the ’96 Masters), if not for the total collapse of Gore. Since both were out of it early on Sunday, the television crew did not focus on them and allowed them to falter in solace.

- For as much as Goosen, Gore, Browne, and to an extent Woods collapsed as the day transpired, Michael Campbell won this tournament. It was not handed it to him. To put it in perspective, out of 83 players on Sunday Campbell’s 69 was tied with three others for the best round of the day.

- The 1999 – 2001 version of Tiger Woods would have won this tournament. Back then, other players wilted when he made a charge. Now, the player’s play their game and wait for Tiger to make a mistake as he did this past Sunday (+1 over last three holes)

Patrick has some first hand experience here (yes, I am jealous, but I digress).

As usual, the Open brought us some great stories, and great drama.

June 21, 2005

What The Guru Did

There is a hokey commercial series being run by Ford Motor Company and their spokesman, Phil Mickelson dubbed, “What will Phil do next?” and it typically results in a little smirk coming across my face. However, playing golf this weekend, it got me thinking about my blog and new segments I can try out. Therefore, I bring you the first installment of, “What the Guru did next.” (I have not mastered live blogging from the golf course yet so you will have to live with my bad decisions)

So there I am standing on the second tee at Aiken Golf Club, a short, dogleg right, par-5 that features heavy woods all down the right side. The tee shot is elevated and makes it virtually impossible to see the landing area. I have just made a bogey on one so I’m a little steamed and take out driver with full intention of reaching the green in two and giving myself a chance for eagle. Lately I have been playing a draw off the tee so I aim down the right side and take a swing at it. It’s early in the day so my body is not exactly moving in the fine synchronization that I am accustomed to, and the resulting body slide leads to a towering golf shot that starts right and continues to move in opposite direction then that which I envisioned. Can’t see it land, but I have a feeling it is in a clearing that will allow me to find it.

After the trip down to my suspected landing area (cursing myself for putting me in a terrible position and no doubt building bad momentum for the round) I come across my ball about where I expected it to be. There it is, a pretty Titleist sitting pretty good in some domestic Bermuda rough. I am now faced with three options.

A – I could punch out sideways, which is a relatively clear shot, but will still leave me about 200 yards from the hole, and require a fade over bunkers to a sloping green.

B – I could hit a low punch towards the hole and hope I get lucky. The ground is relatively clear, but the green is well bunkered with heavy rough around it.

C – I could guess how far it is directly to the hole and try to launch a shot over the trees. The angle I have in is very favorable with a lot of green to work with, but if I don’t pull it off precisely I am looking a double bogey or worse and basically ruining my day 20 minutes into it.

So, what did the Guru do?

What any self-respecting gambling golfer will do. I went for it. I figured about 200 yards to the hole with a flyer lie. I grabbed a 7 iron and took a mighty swing that combined the raw power of John Daly with the subtle fluidity of Ernie Els.

For those of you who don’t play golf let me take a second to describe what perfect contact feels like. There is a euphoria that overcomes your body when you hit that perfect shot. The ball is just a split-second off the club, and you know it will be good. The shot in your mind has become your shot in reality. You finish your swing and see the ball tracking on the exact line you envisioned. It’s traveling right through the window of opportunity you saw, and you imagine the joy and admiration that will be heaped upon you by your playing partners. For me, at this moment there was one small problem. I was in the trees and could not see where my ball finished up.

Arriving at the green, I see my ball resting 15’ from the hole with an uphill putt. Exactly where I thought it would be. I missed the eagle, but made birdie and proceeded on to the next tee where I now had the honor.

The rest of the day was an exercise in grinding. I did not hit the ball very well, but managed a 79 hitting only 5 fairways and 7 greens for the day (now you know why I am the Grunkle Guru).

You gotta love this game.

Delayed Big Link

Back from a visit to Aiken to wish my dad a happy Father’s Day, and a good time was had by all. I got some stuff to catch up on, and will hopefully post some more details soon. In the meantime, please check out this week’s edition of:

THE BIG LINK

Go check it out.

June 16, 2005

I'm Big Time Baby!

A few weeks back Wharton mentioned how all of us who blog have an ego, and we work to fill that ego by having people visit our sites and leave comments. To this day I could not agree more. I have an ego, and like to have it stroked every once in a while. It just feels good. Well, today I found out I got a hell of a stroking.

Ed Cone, the writer behind Word Up has posted a comment to one of my posts! I am honored to have the Blogfather (yes, I understand he hates that term, but it is fitting) not only read one of my posts, but take the time to comment on it.

I’ve never met Mr. Cone, or had any type of communication with him, but from what I understand about the blogging community, he is a revered fellow.

So thanks for visiting Ed, and if you ever need golf clubs please remember Short Game Central.

Apologies & Predictions

Sorry I missed the Meetup last night, but I am making so much money off my blog I had to go out and buy my wife a new car.

Well, most of that statement is false, but we did buy a car last night, and with everything that was involved with that, I was unable to make it. Hope it was a good one, and I would love a wrap-up from someone who attended.

I also had to set my lineup for the U.S. Open this week. This is one of the toughest weeks to pick because even though there is a field of 156 players, realistically there are only 20 – 30 who even tee off with a chance to win. Makes it tough when you have a salary cap to work with. Anyway, here is my roster for this year.

Tiger Woods – As long as he gets some good breaks in the rough (he won’t be hitting many fairways) he has a shot. Also, he has a girl giving him grief this week so let’s see if he steps up.

David Toms – Like Patrick, this is my pick to win this week. He has been playing solid for a while, and his game is perfect for an Open. He hits it long enough, has a great touch and is a fiery competitor.

Luke Donald – It has been 35 years since a European won the U.S. Open, and if the string is going to be broken it might as well be an Englishman who has a classic game.

Steve Elkington – He had a great tournament last week, and has had a quiet season. Still, there is no better swing out there, and there is no reason he shouldn’t be in contention.

Scott McCarron – I only had a few bucks left and his name kept catching my eye.

I wish it were like college golf. Start 5 count 4. Maybe then I would have a chance.

June 14, 2005

Someone Needs To Pick Up The Torch

As we all know the U.S. Open will be played on the hallowed grounds of the Pinehurst Resort in Moore County, NC this coming weekend. I am excited for this event and look forward to enjoying the action from a distance, as I will be out of town. However, there is a social issue going on that needs to be addressed, and that is the reprehensible conditions that some families endure in nearby enclaves. The News & Record's Lorraine Ahearn does a piece this week about the Lost City, and the lack of county and city services that so many of us take for granted.

I am not the person to expound on this topic, as it will take me way out of my comfort zone, but I hope that some other bloggers will pick up this torch and work to bring this disparity to light. However, I will say this.

I love the game of golf and what it can do for people and communities. In fact, the PGA Tour is closing in on generating $1billion dollars in charitable donations. However, the fact that there is such a large socio-economic disparity in a county that prospers off this game I love really disappoints me. I hope that Moore County, and the Pinehurst Resorts work to improve the quality of life of everyone in this area. The difference between the haves and the have-nots is just too great for our society.

The Big Link

Meant to put this up the other day.

I now hang my head in shame and encourage you all to check out

THE BIG LINK

June 13, 2005

Tour Wrap-Up

We’re going to start off with the ladies today because the top 2 in this past week’s LPGA Championship represent the present and the future of women’s golf.

Congratulations go out to Annika Sorrenstam on her second major of the year. This puts her halfway to the coveted Grand Slam, and from her play this year, it seems that there will be nothing stopping her from accomplishing that feat.

Michelle Wie proved that even though she is an amateur, and even though she only has a learners permit (she’s fifteen), she is no doubt the future of women’s golf. With four rounds under par in a major championship, this golfer was one of the few who actually moved up the leader board on the last day. I still don’t agree with the LPGA changing the qualification rules to allow an amateur to play in the Professional Golfers Association championship, but she showed that she can play with the best in the world.

Meanwhile, on the PGA tour, Sergio Garcia won with a blistering final round 65 (perhaps this will help erase some of the bad memories of the Wachovia collapse a few weeks back. Also, my fantasy team struggled on the weekend and secured me a 13,296th finish. Not exactly in the money. But neither of these is the big story coming off this weekend’s event.

Rory Sabbatini and Ben Crane were paired together for the final round. Rory is known as one of the faster players, and Ben one of the slower ones on tour. During the back nine on Sunday this twosome was put on the clock for slow play. I guess when that happened Rory reverted back into 5-year old mentality and proceeded to make a complete ass of himself. Some of the lowlights include.

- Walking ahead of Crane on the 17th hole so that he is standing behind the green while Crane is in the fairway waiting to hit is approach shot.

- Chipping onto the green on 17 and then putting out from 5 feet while Crane was walking up to play his birdie attempt. Note: Proper etiquette states that the golfer either off the green, or furthest from the hole plays first.

- Rory then proceeds to walk of the green and to the 18th tee before Crane has even hit his first putt.

- Sabbatini then hits out of turn on 18 (he made bogey on 17 to Crane’s par, meaning that Crane had honors)

- After the round is complete, Rory basically skips the handshake with his playing partner.

I commend Ben Crane for taking the high road in his post round interview and saying that it was his fault that they were playing slow, but I still can not excuse Rory Sabbatini for his actions during the day. That level of immaturity is reserved for the elementary school playground, and has no place in the world of professional golf.

Golf is not a game about rooting against players, but rather cheering louder for your favorites, but I think that Rory deserves every boo he gets from this point forward. Just flat out low-class.

Disappointed In The Local Newspaper

Man, there is a lot to discuss in the world of golf this week, and I will get to as much of it as I can. However, before I get into the fun stuff, I feel that I must take the sports department of the Greensboro News & Record to task.

I have a passion for golf that most don’t necessarily understand. It is the same passion that people like Hoggard feel for local issues, or Wharton feels for urban revitalization, or Councilwoman Carmany feels for her political responsibilities. It is an essential part of my life, but not something that consumes me 24/7. Sometimes, there is too much of a good thing.

However, the News & Record has done a major dis-service to the local golf community this past weekend. Not one article has been written on the Greensboro City Championship (otherwise known as the Bryan Amateur). In fact, I only saw scores in the Sunday paper, nothing Saturday after the first round, and nothing today showing the winners. Well, I did not see anything at least. Nothing in the paper, nothing on the web, nothing in the blogs.

The News & Record is supposedly shifting their focus to more of a local paper as evidenced by the recent decision to no longer pay the NY Times for content. If this is the case, then why did they not have a reporter covering the local golf championships, or at least publish the scores of participants.

In conclusion, I would like to say that they did a great cover piece on the malaise that golf in North Carolina is facing now (which I will post on later), and I am confident that they will have adequate coverage of the U.S. Open, but for a supposed local paper to ignore a major local sporting event is unacceptable.


UPDATE: John Newsome at the N&R issued a mea culpa in my comments, which I appreciate. The results are also posted in today's sports section. Thanks for addressing this situation John.

June 10, 2005

Loving The Ladies

Forgive me for I have been remiss. In my effort to come up with a fantasy golf team that might actually make the cut, I forgot to mention a couple of things that are going on over on the female circuit. The LPGA Tour is holding its second major of the year, the LPGA Championship.

As of Friday morning this is setting up to be one heck of a tournament. Tied for the lead is Natalie Gulbis, one of the rising stars on the LPGA tour who has been known more for her looks, then for her game. Throw in the fact she is dating the Pittsburgh Steelers chosen one, and many people might forget that she can play. Whether she can play with the lead remains to be seen.

One stroke off the lead was a rookie who might have already locked up the Rookie of the Year award, Paula Creamer. She already has one victory this year (before she graduated from high school), and now she has put herself in contention in a major after the first round.

Lurking 2 shots back is The Big Wiesy. 15 years old, and shooting 3-under in a major takes the term phenom to a whole new level. I still don’t think she should be playing in this tournament as she is not a professional golfer, but you still have to respect the act.

Oh yeah, the greatest woman golfer of all time is one shot off the lead as well.

Most people don’t follow women’s golf, and for the most part you can include me in that group. However, if you want to see golfers with great tempo and extremely proficient short games then check out the telecasts this weekend. I’m sure you will be impressed.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Ty Votaw has also created what I think is a very exciting concept for their Tour Championship. Details are still being worked out, but in a nutshell there will be 32 qualifiers for the event with the top 16 moving on to day two, 8 moving on to day three, and 4 playing on the final day for a $1million dollar prize. I’ll reserve judgment until I see the final format, but this sounds like a unique way to bring emphasis to the entire season and really make the final event an exciting one.

So give the ladies some love. They are coming up with unique concepts to make their product stand out from the others out there.

June 09, 2005

Strolling Through Meadowlands

This past Monday I was invited to play in a golf tournament to benefit the Triad Titans, an AAU basketball program that was created as a spin-off of Rusty Larue’s basketball camps. Anyway, I accepted the invitation more for the venue then for the cause as it gave me an opportunity to play Meadowlands Golf Club. A course that I have not played in a few years, and I figured I needed an excuse to get out there again.

While I am still suffering from a torn hamstring, I felt it was good enough to play on. After all, the bruising had reduced in size from a dinner plate to a more manageable softball size bruise. I figured that since it was a captain’s choice event the strain would not be too great as we are playing the easiest shot after each attempt at greatness. Well, that was wrong. The leg didn’t hurt, per se, but it definitely affected my swing. I found myself not truly loading up on my right side and this led to may ugly pulls and hooks (rather disappointing after working so hard this winter to develop a consistent fade). Anyway our team struggled all day, but I do want to give this course a plug.

Practice Facilities – A large driving range with chipping area and putting green are more then enough for what you need here. My only complaints with the range are the lack of targets, as well as distance accuracy. I just did not feel that the posted distances were accurate based on the ball flight I was getting. It might have been me, but I do truly feel they were off.

Pro Shop – Not a great selection, but adequate for what they need. Public course pro shops have a tough time carrying products when you can always go to Dick’s and take advantage of their discounts based on their volume of purchasing. Their golf ball prices were a little too high for my liking, but what are going to do when you need some rocks.

Staff – Somewhat friendly, but nothing to write home about.

Golf Course – This Hale Irwin design is a medium-long golf course that plays to a par 72 and a little over 6300 yards from the blue tees (one set in front of the championship tees. Well-placed bunkers and water hazards work to put a premium on shot making, and there are enough elevation changes to make for some interesting stances and blind shots.

Course Condition – I would have to say it was in fair condition for this time of year. Keep in mind that we have had a cool spring, and given that this course utilizes a style of Bermuda grass, it takes some warmer conditions to really come into shape. They had some areas that they were sodding as well, so I can not give the condition a glowing review.

While through the green was acceptable, the greens were in very good shape. They rolled true, and looked like they could be quite gnarly if firmed up and rolled a little quicker.

Signature Hole – The par-3 6th. Measuring at 167 yards from the blue tees, you tee off from well above the green (80ft?) and look out over the woods. A very beautiful setting for a fun golf shot.

Overall, this course is a good play, a fair value (if in great condition), but it is not very memorable. It is three days after the event, and I can’t remember the routing of the golf course. It was enjoyable, but not one you walk off saying, “Man I can’t wait to play here again.”

I would recommend it to anyone who knows how to play the game and enjoys a challenge. It is a little tough for a beginning golfer, but most anyone who plays golf can get around this course.

If you get a chance check it out. I did.

The Particulars

Rates
Monday – Thursday: $28.00 - $38.00
Friday: $31.00 - $41.00
Weekends & Holidays: $38.00 - $48.00

Course Ratings:
Tee Yardage Slope Rating
Gold 6706 72.7 135
Blue 6323 70.6 125
White 5661 67.2 116
Red 4745 62.8 106

June 08, 2005

Boozing It Up At Congressional

First off, I'm willing to bet someone else will the title of this post for an article so I am calling Dibs right now! It's mine.

Anyway, too much going on today for a well thought out post about the upcoming Booz Allen Classic this week at Congressional Country Club. This is a bit of a treat for the players as this is a classic course that is known for hosting the 1997 U.S. Open. Because of the venue you are seeing a better field then you typically would. This of course give me more options to put together and under performing team for this week’s adventure in fantasy golf. I decided to go with a mix of veterans and rookie’s to see if we can’t crack the top 5,000 this week.

Ernie Els – He disappointed me last week, but playing on a course that he won on the last time Congressional was in the golf news so maybe he can re-kindle some of those ‘old time feelings’.

Phil Mickelson – He won the event prior to the last major (Bellsouth Classic). Maybe he is making up his own grand slam.

Sean O’Hair – This kid’s got game, and we typically see a younger player win this event so he made my cut.

Jeff Maggert – Old style courses put a much higher premium on accuracy, and this guy has traditionally been one of the most accurate players on tour.

James Driscoll – He’s a Boston boy, and he looks like he could beat-up most of the guys on tour so he scared me into picking him.

These are the five I’m dancing with. I just hope they decide to show up this week.

June 07, 2005

Memorable Memorial

The Memorial wrapped up Sunday night in a memorable way. Bart Bryant affirmed his victory last fall during the Valero Open (a mid-level field event) with a victory against one of the strongest fields of a regular tour event. He held off Fred Couples with a clutch putt on 18.

After hitting his 5-wood into the left side hazard on 18 (I still don’t believe that shot took such a hard bounce) he took his drop and promptly hit a 3-iron 15 feet above the hole. So now we have a relatively unknown on one of golf’s biggest stages with a downhill breaking putt to maintain a one shot lead. The smart money would be on him to miss. However, he calmly rolled it in and when Freddie could not make birdie on 18, Bart Bryant earned himself one heck of a paycheck and a tremendous victory for his resume.

Congratulation Bart. I was pulling for Freddie, but you won this tournament, no question about it.

As for my fantasy golf team, it was not good. In fact I don’t even want to talk about it.

June 06, 2005

I Don't Know This One

This week's edition of the THE BIG LINK is now available.

Please join me in checking this one out as I have never been to this site before.

June 03, 2005

Patrick Eakes Wins At Hoggfest

Patrick Eakes won the custom built wedge and putter that my company (Short Game Central) donated to Hoggfest. Congratulations Patrick.

There is a tremendous amount of irony in this scenario. Not only did another blogger win the prize, but it was a blogger who is almost as passionate about golf as I am. I’m sure they will go to good use whether Patrick has them built for himself, or if he has me do the work for someone else.

So congratulations Patrick and thank you for supporting such a great cause.

By the way, if you bought raffle tickets at Hoggfest in hopes of winning some custom built clubs please let me know. I will offer a Hoggfest special of 10% off any custom built wedge or putter through June 30th.

June 02, 2005

Leave The Big Dog At Home

Came across a local tournament today that I think some of you might be interested in participating in.

Triad Golf Today and Golf USA are hosting a Par-3 Shootout. Here are the basic details:

Round 1 at Twin Oaks (make your own tee time) on June 16th
Round 2 at Iron Play (tee times assigned based on first round score) on June 18th

Entry Fee is $50 and that gets you:

2 rounds of tournament golf
Lunch on the second day
The opportunity to win your share of $2500 worth of prizes

For more information contact Steve Williams at (336)-349-2739

The Grunkle Guru was looking forward to participating in this event, but alas I will be out of town that weekend and unable to participate. Too bad, because this sounds like it will be a fun tournament for golfers of all levels as the field will be flighted after the first round, and there is a stroke maximum of 6 per hole.

So get those wedges shined up, or better yet order some new custom built ones from Short Game Central and see if you have the skill it takes to win this event.

June 01, 2005

Yes, There Is A Reason To Go To Ohio

After last week’s somewhat impressive showing in the fantasy golf world, the Grunkle Guru is ready to keep the momentum building. After all, if I had finished at the top I would have no place to go but down. Instead, I have room for improvement (about 10,000 places).

This week the tour stops in Dublin, OH for The Memorial tournament. This is the Golden Bear’s tournament, and therefore all the big guys come out to play. It makes for a very deep field, and one that is extremely hard to predict, but I will give it my best shot.

Ernie Els – He has a new jet, some new shafts, and a new agent. With all that change he should have no problem defending his 2004 title

Kenny Perry – He is getting onto one of his rolls again, and if he keeps it up look out, this guy can flat out play

Charles Howell III – He is already a millionaire. Now let’s hope he can find his way off the island. That and there is a rumor that Gilligan lost a bet and will be caddying for him this week.

Fredrick Jacobson – The Swede has had a solid year, and anyone willing to wear the ensembles that he does has to be brimming with confidence. Either that or trying to take attention from his game.

Jack Nicklaus – His town, his tournament, his course. I wouldn’t pick any other senior citizen for my roster.

So there you have it. Some strong horses, and a few long shots. Now let’s tee it up and see what happens.