Golf News Summary and Commentary - January 26, 2015

With a final round 67, Bill Haas won the Humana Challenge by one stroke over Matt Kuchar (67), Charley Hoffman (64), Brendan Steele (64), Steve Wheatcroft (67) and South Korean Park Sung Joon (65). Kuchar has a chance to force a playoff on the 72nd hole with a 10 foot putt for birdie, but it just missed.

This is Bill Haas’ sixth Tour win, and his second at the Humana. Given that, I don’t know why Haas isn’t included in more conversations about golf’s best players. Haas was sidelined much of 2014 with a wrist injury, but this win seems to signal that he’s back.

Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai with birdies on six of the final nine holes. It is his second Champions Tour victory in less than a year.

Given that the Mechanic is still competitive on the European Tour—Jimenez won the Spanish Open last year and the Hong Kong Open in 2013—it’s not surprising. And it points out an interesting (but not unexpected)  aspect of the Champions Tour—that players tend to “graduate” from the regular Tour, quickly become successful, then nearly just as rapidly, fade from contention.  At age 50, competitive players like Jimenez thrive against players in their late fifties and older. The success lasts until they are themselves in their late fifties and a new crop of fifty-year-olds now dominate. The major exception to this has been Bernard Langer, who at 57 still seems as competitive as ever.

I think the trend will only become more pronounced in the future, as a generation of fit, athletically powerful players transition to take advantage of the relatively easier pickings on the Champions Tour.

Meanwhile the Robert Allenby kidnapping saga continues to unravel. I nearly posted a piece here on GolfBlogger just after the story first broke expressing my doubts. I thought it sounded like a bizarre cover story for something else less nefarious, but perhaps more embarrassing. Then after writing the piece, I deleted it. I wanted to give Allenby the benefit of the doubt.

Finally, during the Humana broadcast, I was interested in President Clinton’s take on golf as a Presidential pursuit. In reply to an oblique question about Obama’s golf habit, Clinton argued that “golf is about the best therapy a president can have.” He noted that being on the course for four hours or soallows you to take your mind completely off your troubles. If you don’t, he said, you won’t play very well. Still, he conceded, he often couldn’t clear his mind until he was five or so holes in.

To that, I’d add that golf is a great therapy for anyone. I find that the course is the only place in the world where no one wants anything from me.

January 26, 2015 |  Category: News
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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National Golf Day Is April 15 At Nation’s Capital

National Golf Day—sponsored by We Are Golf—is the industry’s effort to impress upon US law and policy makers the importance of the sport. The eighth edition is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 on Capitol Hill in Washigton, D.C.

The goal is to let members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies learn about golf’s $70 billion economy, $4 billion charitable impact and benefits including environmental and fitness.

“Planning for golf’s much anticipated return to Capitol Hill is in full swing and we look forward to an even more successful event in 2015,” said Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “The primary goal as an industry is to make sure our voice is heard in Washington, D.C. to ensure laws and regulations that impact the golf industry are fair and appropriate.”

Mike Hughes, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), was recently named WE ARE GOLF Board Chairman for 2015. He succeeds Rhett Evans, CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, who served as the 2014 Board Chairman.

In 2014, National Golf Day scheduled 120 Congressional meetings, while its #NGD14 Twitter campaign reached 7.4 million accounts.

For more information, visit

January 26, 2015 |  Category: Business
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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National PGA Teacher of the Year is headliner at 2015 West Michigan Golf Show

For me, the annual West Michigan Golf Show and the Michigan Golf Show in Novi signal the beginning of the end of winter.  After being shut in under snow for weeks on end, it’s great to head to a convention center and take in acres of golf equipment, apparel, gadgets, travel exhibits, and instruction. There’s always a buzz in the air.

This year, the West Michigan Golf Show will feature national PGA Teacher of the Year Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen as the headliner. Goldersleeve-Jensen, the first woman to win the honor, is the owner and director of instruction at KGJ Golf at Indian Canyon GC in Spokane Washington.

Previous show headliners have included: Rockford (MI) native Todd Anderson, Mike Bender, Jim Flick, Hank Haney, Mike Hebron, Kay McMahon (LPGA), DeDe Owens (LPGA), Bill Strausbaugh, Charlie Sorrell, and Gary Wiren.

“Looking at the impressive roster of past headliners at the West Michigan Golf Show, I’m both thrilled and honored to be part of the 2015 show,” said Gildersleeve-Jensen, who started playing golf at age nine and was inspired by her parents, both accomplished players. “I have a passion for teaching golf that includes swing fundamentals, video analysis and properly fitted equipment.  In Grand Rapids, I’ll be touching on those lessons as well as encouraging audience feedback.”

The show’s hours are Friday, February 13 from 2 - 9 pm; Saturday, February 14 from 10 am - 7 pm and; Sunday, February 15 from 10 am - 5 pm.

Complete press release follows:


January 26, 2015 |  Category: Michigan Golf
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Switchgrips—An Interesting Idea


In a world of adjustable clubs, the Switchgrip may offer the first adjustable grip.

It is actually a pretty clever idea. The grip slides on and off an inner sleeve, allowing a player to change grips at will. Want to match your grip to your outfit. It’s easy with this setup.

The grip also lets a player adjust the weighting, with the addition of 0 to 5 gram, 10 gram, 15 gram and 20 gram weights.

The Switchgrip recently won a best new product designation at the PGA Merchandise Show.

January 26, 2015 |  Category:
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Haggis, Neeps, Tatties and Scotch Eggs

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties!

The main components of a Burns Supper are traditional Scottish fare of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (Turnips and Potatoes).


Haggis was described by Robert Burns as the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race.” It’s composed of sheep’s lungs, liver and heart; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.

One scotch egg (No jar of Marmite)

Scotch eggs, on the other hand, were possibly invented by a London Department store in 1738. So in spite of the name, likely not Scottish. In fact, some sources say it may be an import from British India.

January 25, 2015 |  Category: History
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Scotch Cocktail For Burns Night: The Rusty Nail

imageJanuary 25th is “Burns Night,” in which the birth of Scotland’s poet laureate Robert Burns is celebrated. The actual Burns Night celebration is quite formal, but if you just want to raise a glass to the bard ...

Unadulterated glasses of Scotch are always best, but if you want a cocktail, try the classic Rusty Nail:

Rusty Nail Cocktail Recipe
2 Ounces of Scotch
1 Ounce of Drambuie
1 dash of bitters

You won’t want to mix your really expensive Scotch, though. For a Scotch that’s priced reasonably enough for mixing, try the Black Grouse.

Photo courtesy Christopher Volkman via Flickr

January 25, 2015 |  Category:
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The Burns Supper

imageLong before I played golf, I was a fan of Scotland. As a kid, my parents had Scottish friends, the Watts, who were in the US on a teacher exchange. Charles taught shop and attended church in his kilt. Christina was often our babysitter. She always encouraged me to go to Scotland, saying that the Scottish lasses would find my black hair and eyes attractive.

I also was a huge fan of monsters—such as the one that resides on Loch Ness; and of castles, of which Scotland has plenty. I played plenty of D&D as a teen.

My Grandfather, although of Welsh extraction, was a West Virginia University Professor of forensics (speech), who could quote innumerable poets from memory—among those, Scotland’s Poet Laureate, Robert Burns. And each year, he would attend a Robert Burns Supper (as well as a Friday the 13th Dinner, but that is a tale for another time).

Burns Suppers are celebrated on the poet’s birthday on January 25. During these, poems are read, haggis is served and Scotch (another of the land’s contributions to civilization) is consumed.

Burns Suppers follow a standard format:

The begin with the Piping Of The Guests: In which the guests arrive and mix.

This is followed by the Welcome and Grace:In which the participants are seated, and the Selkirk Grace is said. Although attributed to Burns, the Selkirk Grace probably predates it:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

Dinner is of traditional Scottish fare, highlighted by a haggis. The arrival of the main course is accompanied by great ceremony. All of the participants stand while the cook brings the dish on a large platter. Bagpipres are played and the host recites “Address To A Haggis”

Fair fa’ (fat) your honest,
sonsie (jolly) face,

Great chieftain o’ the

Aboon (above) them a’ ye
tak your place

Painch (stomach), tripe or
thairm (intestine)

Weel are ye wordy
o’ a grace

As laing’s my arm.

The groaning
trencher (bowl) there ye fill

Your hurdles (buttocks) like a
distant hill,

Your pin wad help to
mend a mill

In time o’ need.

While thro’ your
pores the dews distil

His knife see rustic
Labour dicht (sharpened)

An’ cut you up wi’
ready slicht (skill)

Trenching your
gushing entrails

Like ony ditch;

And then, O what a
glorious sicht (sight)

Warm-reekin, rich.

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an’ strike

Deil (devil) tak the
hindmaist! On they

Til a’ their
weel-swall’d (swollen) kytes

Are bend like drums;

Then auld Guidman (goodman; husband)
maist like to rive (tear)

Bethankit hums.

Is there that o’re his
French ragout

Or olio (stew) that wad
staw a sow

Or fricassee wad
make her spew

Wi’ perfect scunner (disgust)

Looks down wi’
sneering, scornfu’

On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him
ower his trash

As feckless as a withere’d rash
His spindle shank, a guid

His nieve (fist) a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, Haggis
The trembling earth resounds
his tread

Clap in his wallie (mighty) nieve a
He’ll mak it whistle;

An’ legs a’ arms, an’ heads
will sned (cut off)
Like taps o’ thistle

Ye Pow’rs wha mak manikind
your care
And dish them out their bill o’

Auld Scotland wants nae
skinkin ware (watery soup)
That jaups (slops) in luggies (bowls);
But, if ye wish her gratefu’
Gie her a haggis!

Following the cutting of the Haggis, supper is eaten. This typically consists of solid Scottish fare, including potatoes, and turnips.

Speeches follow the supper, in which one or more guests issue a remembrance of Burns life and poetry. This is known as “The Immortal Memory.”

The Memory typically is followed by a “Toast to the Lassies,” in which a male guest thanks the women who cooked the meal and offers some commentary on the fairer sex. The rejoinder is the “Reply to the Laddies,”

Finally, there are recitations of Burns’ poetry and the singing of songs.

The evening ends with closing remarks and the guests singing Auld Lang Syne:

For auld lang syne (times long ago), my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp (pay for)
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes, (hills)
And pou’d the gowans fine, (pulled daisies)
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn (creek)
Frae morning sun till dine, (noon)
But seas between us braid hae roar’d (wide)
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere, (friend)
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught, (drink)
For auld lang syne.

I’d love to attend a Burns Supper some day.

Not sure I’d eat the haggis, however. It sounds revolting.

January 25, 2015 |  Category: History
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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