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Home Daily Golf Briefs 2010 Archives


Web Street Golf Daily Pulse

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 233

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I'm looking forward to him getting back winning tournaments again next year. I'm sure he'll be pretty motivated to get back, his No. 1 spot.”

ON THIS DAY: In 2000, David Gossett shot 59 in the fourth round of the Qualifying School.

THERE IS AT LEAST ONE FAN OF THE GROOVE RULE: The PGA Tour adopted a condition of competition rule towards grooves this year. On the surface (pun intended) it appeared to be much ado about nothing. From a fan perspective, it appeared as the bomb and gouge strategy was on displayed by Tour players just as often as before. Players were still able to spin wedges with regularity by in large. Scoring didn’t appear to be affected, as there were even a couple of 59s recorded. But as they say, looks can be deceiving. Case in point, Jim Furyk, considered a front-runner for the 2010 Player of the Year honors (announcement will be made on Saturday) believes the rule made its point with those who had to live with it.

“I think a lot of the stats have been misleading like the scoring average and the different things,” he said. “I think the golf courses were set up much differently this year. As a whole I think we saw a lot less rough in our setups, and I think we saw a lot less of that four- and five-inch rough and a lot more of the two- and three,” he continued.

“So scoring averages probably stayed very similar, but I think it's misleading. I think what they were trying to do was provide lies so that you could get to the ball and advance it but because of the groove issue you'd have a hard time controlling the golf ball. I thought the TOUR did a pretty good job overall. There are events you can pick and choose where you wish the rough were higher, lower, but in the whole course of the season, the setups were changed.”

Furyk managed three times wins this year and only missed the cut three times out of the 21 events he teed it up in. “ I actually like the new groove probably more from about 160 yards out because I can move the ball so much farther now with a flier than I could before. I had lost my ability to hit the ball 190 or 200 yards because with the square groove the ball just wouldn't come out jumping. I couldn't get say a 5-iron on the ball anymore, and I can't hit a 6- or 7-iron that far. Now I get out from 200 yards with a 6- or 7-iron and make it jump. It might not fly there, but I can run the ball up on greens,” he explained. “From pitching wedge distance and in, 9-iron distance and in, it's a big, big difference, and you're nervous about catching that flier and knocking it over greens.”

While the scoring averages indicate the game wasn’t affected by the new rule, Furyk’s point regarding course set up implies there is room to grow in the future, if needed, to challenge the best players in the game. However, one aspect of the rule that may largely go by unnoticed is that it forced players to think twice before playing out of the rough. Perhaps similar to a placebo, the notion that there isn’t as much control over a shot as before suggests the game within the game behind the new rule change may exist more so between the ears.

“It made a significant difference in my mind. But I don't think stats prove that. But I think the players would tell you,” Furyk concluded. He finished 2010 with a scoring average of 70.23, which was slightly higher than 2009 when it was 70.02.

DAWN OF A NEW ERA? “I thought it was exceptional,” Solheim said Wednesday. “I couldn’t believe how well it went. The openness was really good – on both sides. In fact, in all the times we’ve met with the USGA and R&A, I’ve never seen this kind of openness. It was remarkable.” READ MORE>>>

IT PAYS TO SHOP: It’s been a while (or so it seems) since there has been news of a store opening on the retail side of golf. However, Golfsmith is forging ahead with the grand opening of Golfsmith Xtreme, in Naples, FL, on Friday, December 3, 2010. The new store will offer more products and more performance enhancing diagnostic equipment than any other Golfsmith location, according to the company. On Friday starting at 8:00am the retailer will giveaway free rounds of golf, $20 cash cards or golf balls to customers who come early. On Saturday beginning at 8:00am the first 40 people in line get their choice of $10,000 worth of giveaways including a $900 set of Callaway Diablo irons, a $700 set of TaylorMade Burner 2.0 irons, free drivers, GPS devices and more.  The next 250 people will get a free $20 cash card on Saturday. In total more than $40,000 worth of prizes will be given away the company said.

“Naples is a hotbed for golf and tennis and we’re proud to bring a whole new retail experience to the Southwest Florida area,” said Golfsmith President and CEO Marty Hanaka.  “This is the best store we’ve ever opened. Our purpose is to help Southwest Florida golfers and tennis players play better.  This grand opening will showcase our custom fitting studios, our free indoor driving range, a huge putting green and exclusive deals that golfers won’t find anywhere else this holiday season.”

WEB GEMS:

TO ERR IS HUMAN: It’s understandable that Tiger has always had his guard up in dealing with the media throughout his professional career. However, as his public make over continues, it appears that he might have aspirations to join the very group he rarely, if ever, trusts. He authored a first person op-ed in Newsweek and now has a piece with ESPN. The latest describes the similarities between life versus golf and the pursuit of excellence. Somewhat of a timely topic, don’t you think? READ MORE>>>

END OF THE ROAD? The Tiger Woods gravy train in Melbourne appears to have been derailed by the new state government. Woods' appearance in the Australian Masters, the tournament he has single-handedly reinvigorated in the past two years, is in doubt because Premier-elect Ted Baillieu said the government would not fund a visit by the world's most famous golfer. READ MORE>>>

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR CAN MAKE: Tiger Woods believes the turmoil in his personal life, no matter how much it cost him in money and marriage and mystique, made him a better person. It did wonders for Graeme McDowell, too, in a way few could have imagined. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS? A Las Vegas physician who found the body of professional golfer Erica Blasberg after she committed suicide has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction. READ MORE>>>

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ANSWER: Graeme McDowell

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