Monday, 28 April 2014

Scott Stinson: Article on Sponsorships....

 Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Today’s post focuses on the difficulty and expense it takes to become a pro golfer.  I found the perfect example of this with Andrew Par who is now 31 years old and is from London, Ontario.  Since 2007 Andrew has played in numerous pro tour events all over the world.  Scott Stinson had a fantastic interview with Andrew and I wanted to share it with my viewers.

We all know golf is a unique sport but Scott has put it on its own page with the following comments: “Unlike team sports, where minor leaguers at least have a steady paycheque and a franchise that covers expenses like travel and meals, golf is ruthlessly capitalist. You make what you earn, but it takes money to try to earn it.”

“You need about $75,000 for a season,” says Parr, speaking over the phone from San Francisco. Plane tickets, car rentals, hotels, food: all of it the golfer has to pay out of pocket, and with no promise of money earned at the end of the week. For that, the player has to make the cut. “It can cost 25 grand just to get a caddy to sign on for a year,” Parr says. “And if you miss the cut, you probably just spent two or three grand for that week with nothing coming back. So, yeah, it does take a lot of money.”

Young golfers are usually fronted with money from a mix of sources: small sponsorship deals, often from hometown companies, donations from the community or straight-up investors. A friend of his, Parr says, secured a group of 20 investors who put in $5,000 a year for three years. That gave him $300,000 of seed money, which is great, but that also needs to be paid back. Fewer than 100 players earned more than $55,000 on the Tour, one step below the PGA, last season, so it’s not like easy riches await.
“Most guys are paying back 80 to 90% of any cheque they get in the first few years,” says Parr.

It really puts into perspective how much pressure is on these guys and why they react the way they do on the golf course.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Rules You May Not Know....

Today’s Blog focuses on a couple of rules that most golfers know but do not know the extent of the rules.  To the fans that watch PGA and LPGA events please review the rules before calling in to the tournament headquarters.

Mike Dudurich wrote about the following rules in his article for the Bleacher Report

Removing Morning Dew from Your Ball

If you are one of those golfers who loves to get out early, a.k.a., a "dewsweeper," your ball is almost always covered with that morning dew. If you are in the habit of wiping that dew off with your hands or a towel, you are in violation of Rule 13-2. Dew-wiping is a two-stroke offense. Dew, frost or water may be removed on the tee box before hitting the ball.

 Flagstick Attended, Removed or Held Up

Good old Rule 17-1, Note 1 refers to something we all do without realizing that it’s against the rules.
You are chipping or putting from off the green, and someone is standing near the flagstick on the green. If that person is close enough to touch the stick, he is deemed to be attending it while a stroke is being made. So if your ball hits the flagstick, you are penalized two strokes, even though you were playing off the green.

 A Bunker Under Water

If you’re playing on a rainy day and insist on continuing even when the heavy stuff comes in, you may encounter the bunker that’s completely filled with water.
The only relief a player may take is to move the ball within the bunker to where there is less water.
The only way to drop the ball outside the bunker is to take a penalty stroke, keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and where the ball is dropped.

 Who’s Ball Is It?

You’ve played one of your favourite balls with a “1” on it and hit it into a greenside bunker. Your playing partner hits his ball to almost the identical spot, and when you get there, you discovered he was playing the same ball with a “1” as well.
Neither one of you put an identifying mark on the ball. What to do?
Rule 12-2 says that both balls are viewed as lost and both players are penalized a stroke and need to go back to play their previous shots.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Golf: A Mind Game...

Anybody who has played golf knows the importance of the mental game.  During a golf swing we have a million different things running through our head and that's before you add sand traps, water, and dog legs into the equation.   Second guessing, doubting, and instinct all come in to play whether you are a professional or amateur golfer.
Today’s blog focuses on Graeme McDowell’s way of dealing with the mental element of the game of golf.  He really enforces that it’s not about muting negativity from your mind completely its about moderating it to better help you with your next shot.  McDowell insists negativity is normal. "Accepting the fact that it's human instinct and actually having an internal conversation" is McDowell way of playing through the doubts that occur during a round of golf.. "It's not like I'm crazy or anything. I'm just accepting the fact that negativity is okay."

To retain focus on important strokes, McDowell follows the advice of U.K.-based sports psychologist Karl Morris, who taught the PGA star that, paradoxically, questions were the answer to self-doubt. "You have to ask yourself the right questions," McDowell says. He focuses on three specific queries: "What am I trying to do? Where am I trying to hit this ball? How am I going to get it there?" The key, he adds, it to avoid ever wondering "what can go wrong?"

McDowell's thinking is actually very simple: "Positive questions lead to positive answers. He's not looking for a solution to long term problems." Instead, he's focused narrowly on the task at hand. He says "this is the key for golfers tortured by their psyches." "Ask yourself good questions," he says. "Your mind will respond with the right answers."

Monday, 14 April 2014

Bubba + Waffle House= Masters Winner....

There’s nothing like starting off the golf season with the Masters.  I can’t imagine a better way to showcase golf and its tradition.  I love absolutely everything about the Masters.  I love the hype, the beautiful scenery, the fabulous outfits, the meltdowns, the roars, and the passion.  

This years masters lived up to all my expectations.  We had some serious meltdowns that I wont even address…cough Rory getting beat by the Club Champion of Augusta..cough.  We had some fantastic outfits thanks to Rickie Fowler and we had a variety of leaders throughout the four days which goes to show you anything and I mean anything can happen on Masters weekend.

Before I get to congratulate Bubba I want to give a shout out to Jordan Spieth.  You played so well and everybody says of you have so much time ahead of you and you do but just know we are proud of you for never backing down and making the win for Bubba not too easy.  I know you will be back and even better for your next tournament so keep fighting...

Now on to the champion and the name buzzed around 220 countries BUBBA WATSON.  I am a big fan of Bubba.  I am so pleased that he was able to come back and win after last years disappointing showing.  I also want to point out that he is a Ping player and I love everything Ping. 

"After giving it away last year, I wanted it back," Watson said. "I told Adam we could just swap it back and forth every year."

Where else would Bubba Watson go after winning the Masters but the Waffle House? At about 1:30 in the morning, Watson, his wife Angie and several friends hit a Waffle House somewhere near Augusta National to celebrate.


Friday, 11 April 2014

Day One: Recap of the Masters...

Day one of the Masters has come and gone.  Some surprises, some confusion, some really nice long putts and our 2013 Champion in the running.  I would have to say that Thursday Round 1 was considered a success.  Surprisingly was the way the field took to the course on round one.  I was shocked at the number of players with 80+ scores.  Thursday proved to be a difficult test for all participates. 

Bill Haas fired an impressive opening round 68 to hold the first-round lead all by himself. Haas bogeyed the opening hole, but played his final 17 at 5-under to grab the clubhouse lead after day one.  The most exciting part of the day was when previous champions Adam Scott and Bubba Watson came in with a 3 under score.  

I was happy to see the following names: Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Fred Couples and Rickie Fowler that were also able to post an opening round under par, getting themselves in a great spot with 54 holes remaining.  They have all been featured on my blog at some point.  I would really like to see Jordan and Rickie fire low rounds going into the weekend.

Hole # 12 the beautiful par 3 proved to be a challenge for the boys on Thursday.   Adam Scott found the water and made a double-bogey, Oosthuizen couldn't avoid the water on the par-3 and even McIlroy, who found the green, three-putted for a water-free bogey.

I can hardly wait what the next three days brings for us!  Look forward to taking it all in stride.

Enjoy your week of the Masters.