VIDEO: Mark Wiebe reminds us golf is a four-letter word

Golf is a great game.  It’s also a tremendously frustrating one.

Golf can take the coolest, calmest guy in the lot and turn him into a bumbling, raving, profanity-laced lunatic.  It happens to me all the time.  That’s also what happened to Mark Wiebe this weekend, just with millions of people watching.

Wiebe, 55, is a professional golfer who now plays on the Seniors Tour but that doesn’t mean he’s exempt from the occasional F-Bomb.

As you’ll see (and hear) below, Wiebe misses what most pros consider a gimme putt but as we all know, there is no such thing in golf.  After finally sinking the putt on the second go-round, you can hear Wiebe tell us all how he really feels about his play, stringing together a beautiful symphony of words you can’t say on television.  Thanks to the Golf Channel, however, he did.

Be warned!  Before you click on the video, Wiebe’s language might be considered offensive to some, just not to anyone who’s ever played the game. See the video here…

SportsChump talks golf etiquette, Vol. 1: Playing Through

Let’s take a brief pause for the cause to talk about golf etiquette, shall we?

Like anything else, golf has its rules. Don’t drive on the greens, repair your ball marks and divots and by all means, let faster people play through.  These rules might seem obvious for those who play the game on a regular basis but for those who don’t, problems arise, play slows down and the golf course could get ruined.

Even though I started playing golf in my mid-20s, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends, Brotha E, Big Guy, G Mony and the Kosher Bazooka, who all taught me how to properly play the game, not only with bourbon in your cup and a cigar in your mouth, but with respect for the rules of the course.  Unfortunately, not every golfer boasts such a keen background.

One glorious Florida afternoon, I decided to hit the links by my lonesome in my never-ending attempt to score in the 80s which, once again, I failed to do.

After a shaky front nine, with no golfers in front of me and none behind – the glories of mid-week golf in Florida – I finally happened upon a foursome on the 12th green.

From afar, I could tell they were hackers, even more so than me, although my recent string of rounds in the 90s might exclude me from that underwhelming group. Read more…

Mickelson out to “Get One” to close PGA Season

2012 Phil Mickelson

Among the league of mercurial athletes Phil Mickelson has long been the commissioner, the prominent representative of players who can make fans gush over their unworldly abilities one moment yet look every bit the weekend warrior the next.  After a 14-under par fourth place finish at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, his best result in nearly five months, Mickelson spoke with the optimism of a player who was in the midst of a career year, not the “former great” that he is inevitably tagged as each time his game goes on hiatus.  “My game feels like it’s back, and I’m ready to start competing….I’m going to see if I can get one of the next two,” he stated, referring to this week’s BMW Championship and next week’s TOUR Championship, the final two events in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Contrast that outlook with a mere month and a half ago, when Mickelson missed the cut at the British Open, his second in a row and first in a major since 2007, and was at a loss for words to describe his play, stating “I don’t know what to say right now; I’ve got a way to go. The last two months have been pretty poor play so I’m a little frustrated.” Read more…

Ok Augusta now how about a Senior Masters?

Fred Couples

Phil Inglis/Getty Images

With this week’s long overdue announcement of the admission of two female members, what’s next for Augusta National? Will it be hamburgers instead of the highly overrated pimiento sandwiches? Or full 18 hole coverage on Thursday and Friday? Or chopping down a few trees near the 18th tee, widening the hitting tunnel beyond the current six to eight yards?

Let’s try something really unique. How about a Senior Masters Tournament for the over 50 set on the Champions Tour? Why not? It could be run in October, not stealing any attention from the April classic date. Greens would still be lightning fast. I’ll bet Billy Payne could get UGA, Tech and the Falcons to either play on the road that week or at night. Anyway, what better doubleheader could there be but to walk the hallowed grounds of Augusta on a Saturday afternoon, then drive an hour to Athens for a night game between the hedges, then drinks and dinner at The Last Resort?

Who wouldn’t want to see Freddy Couples against Mark O’Meara against Tom Watson against Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam and Larry Mize and Fuzzy Zoeller and Bernhard Langer and Craig Stadler.

I’ll bet Gary Player would show up and play, maybe even Arnold and Jack. Faldo could come out of the booth. So could Lanny Wadkins and Greg Norman and Curtis Strange and Tom Lehman and Mark Calcavecchia trying to win their elusive Masters.

Past ‘dignitaries’ could get special invitations. Ed Sneed. Roberto DiVincenzo. Isao Aoki. Jumbo Ozaki.

This is too good of an idea not to happen. Ratings would be enormous! I’d stick with the same green jacket, maybe with a different patch denoting Seniors. Maybe with bigger font so they can read it.

But I doubt the current leadership will do something this bold. Like admitting minorities and women, it will take nearly a century.

So remember in this Internet age where all things in print live forever, when Augusta National Chairman Herschel Walker IV announces in conjunction with their global sponsor CBM, that they will host the first ever Senior Masters Tournament in October, 2108. You heard it here first!

Simon Trapp is a writer for The Sports Blitz Network and can be contacted at STrapp@TheSportsBlitz.com.

Augusta National dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century

“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member” – Groucho Marx

I like girls.

I like hanging out in places that have girls.

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy a night out with the boys as much as the next guy, but can you imagine hanging out with nothing but dudes all the time?  That doesn’t sound like much fun to me.  It’s why people leave bars at 1:30 in the morning, because the proper ratio of women to men has dwindled down to zero.

Now I’m sure after spending a glorious spring, afternoon strolling Augusta National with Hootie Johnson, the course’s former chairman, not chairperson, he’d be able to break down the golf course’s rich tradition, show you the Eisenhower Tree, and even somewhat convince you they were justified for never, not once in the club’s eighty year history, enrolling a member of the opposite sex.  Perhaps they’ve been allergic to females all this time.  Or maybe they genuinely couldn’t find one ‘worthy’ of their little club.

Well, the times they are a-changin’.  Black people can now sit at restaurant counters, gay couples can marry and women can become members at Augusta National.  Stand up, America, and take a bow.  It only took 400 hundred years for us to understand the true meaning of that whole ‘all men are created equal’ credo.  The snail’s pace at which this country crawls to respect one’s human rights amazes me, but better late than never, I guess. Read more…

Mickelson answers critics; Moves into contention with 8 under

phil mickelson scottish open

After Phil Mickelson stumbled out of the gate at the Scottish Open with a one-over 73 on Thursday, his eighth consecutive round over par, recent doubts about his game continued to fly around as wildly as his tee shots during the slump.

The typical questions about his age abounded, noting that at 42 and in his 20th season as a professional Mickelson isn’t getting any younger.

There were the hints that his psoriatic arthritis condition may be causing more discomfort than he lets on and translating into more less than stellar rounds than we’re used to seeing from Lefty.  Top that off with speculation that as one of the wealthiest athletes on the planet and with a recently claimed ownership stake in his hometown San Diego Padres Mickelson’s desire to compete has simply slipped in favor of other pursuits more befitting someone at his stage of a career.

While he has never been one to play with a chip on his shoulder or pay much mind to critics who have a field day harping on his go for broke style of play, you can’t help but think Mickelson may have been listening a little more closely this time.  While most of America was still asleep early Friday morning the four-time major champion woke up Castle Stuart with a blistering 8-under round that moved him 104 spots up the leaderboard and well into contention for the weekend. Read more here…

Has Tiger Woods already peaked?

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods this past weekend said that he feels that he could win on the PGA Tour into his fifties and that if he felt that he had peaked competitively that he would pack it in.

Lets try to answer these statements now, shall we?

On whether Woods could continue to win into his fifties, the answer is an emphatic yes. Jack Nicklaus nearly won the Masters at 58 in 1998! His top 24 finish that year would have qualified him automatically for the 1999 Masters if needed. (Once you win the Masters, you are invited to play for life.) Tom Watson nearly won the British Open Championship at 60! He had a putt outright to win and nerves jangled his attempt to make the second putt to get into a playoff.

Certainly, Woods if healthy could be a contender into his fifties at certain venues on tour. He has won numerous times at Bay Hill, Firestone, and Augusta. What an older golfer may lose on power, they should gain with finesse and familiarity. On courses that Tiger has won on multiple times, he will always contend as long as his game remains sharp. Local knowledge is a real advantage and Tiger’s maturity and know how will pay dividends against the next generation of young guns who may not know just quite how to handle a moment. Read more here…

Does Golf need a shot clock to speed up the game?

Jim FurykThe pace of play in professional golf has been the subject of discussion for many years.

One year back in the 1980′s at an U.S. Open during a particularly turtle-like pace had hit on the weekend, ABC’s Jim McKay told a story about a sign he saw on a golf course that he had played that a round of golf should take no more than three hours.

While a three hour window would be really ideal for television, fans, and players alike, the realistic time is really right around four.

When Kevin Na was fighting himself around the course last week at the players between all the waggles and pulling off the shots, the time to take a shot came back into focus front and center. Na and playing partner Zach Johnson were so far behind on the back nine Saturday, they were not only warned for slow play but Na’s shot time was too slow and he was further warned. A second warning would have had a fine given. Read more here…

What if, the solo hole-in-one scenario

I’ve been hitting the links a little more regularly these days.  The weather here in the Sunshine State is beautiful, courses are abundant and greens fees are incredibly reasonable.  Clubhouses are practically giving the golf away. Ever since I returned from Augusta National, I’ve been feeling it, consistently hovering around bogey golf, shooting 89, 96 and 91 my last three rounds.  That’s a major accomplishment for me, considering I didn’t even pick up a golf club until my mid-20s.  Removing the baseball swing from my stroke has been a struggle ever since. Of course I don’t take the sport all that seriously.  Ironically, that’s probably why I’ve seen recent improvement in my score.  Besides, cigars and bourbon are regular cart partners. Read more here…