(Receptionist) Hello, Welcome to Obama-Golf. My name is Trina. How can I help you?
(Customer) Hello, I received an email from my regular golf equipment website stating that my Pro V1 order has been cancelled and I should go to your exchange to reorder it. I tried your web site, but it seems like it is not working. So I am calling the 800 number.
(Receptionist) Yes, I am sorry about the web site. It should be fixed by the end of 2014. But I can help you.
(Customer) Thanks, I ordered some Pro V1 balls.
(Receptionist) Sir, Pro V1′s do not meet our minimum standards, I will be happy to provide you with a choice of Pinnacle, TopFlite, or Callaway Blue.
(Customer) But I have played Pro V1 for years.
(Receptionist) The government has determined that Pro V1s are elitist and are no longer acceptable, so we have instructed Titleist to stop making them. TopFlites are better, sir, I am sure you will love them.
(Customer) But I like the Pro V1. Why are TopFlites better?
(Receptionist) That is all spelled out in the 2700 page “Affordable Golf Ball Act” passed by Congress.
(Customer) Well, how much are these TopFlites?
(Receptionist) It depends sir, do you want our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum package?
(Customer) What’s the difference?
(Receptionist) 12, 24, 36 or 48 balls.
(Customer) The Silver package may be okay; how much is it?
(Receptionist) It depends, sir; what is your monthly income?
(Customer) What does that have to do with anything?
(Receptionist) I need that to determine your government Golf Ball subsidy; then I can determine how much your out-of-pocket cost will be. But if your income is below the poverty level, you might qualify for a subsidy. In that case, I can refer you to our BallAid department.
(Receptionist) Yes, golf balls are a right. Everyone has a right to golf balls. So, if you can’t afford them, then the government will supply them free of charge…even if you don’t have a pre-existing handicap or have never played before.
(Customer) Who said they were a right and why should I subsidize them for people who can’t or don’t even want to play?
(Receptionist) People who do play NEED balls and Congress passed it, the President signed it and the Supreme Court found it Constitutional.
(Customer) Whoa…..I don’t remember seeing anything in the Constitution regarding golf balls as a right.
(Receptionist) There’s no explicit mention of golf balls in the Constitution, but President Obama is a former constitutional scholar and he believes it would have been included if the Constitution had been drafted in modern times. The Democrats in the Congress and the Supreme Court agree with the President that golf balls are now a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
(Customer) I don’t believe this…
(Receptionist) It’s the law of the land, sir. Now, we anticipated most people would go for the Silver Package, so what is your monthly income, sir?
(Customer) Forget it, I think I will forgo buying balls this year.
(Receptionist) In that case, sir, I will still need your monthly income.
(Receptionist) To determine what your ‘non-participation’ cost would be.
(Customer) WHAT? You can’t charge me for NOT buying golf balls.
(Receptionist) It’s the law of the land, sir, approved by the Supreme Court. It’s $49.50 or 1% of your monthly income…..
(Customer)(interrupting) This is ridiculous, I’ll pay the $49.50.
(Receptionist) Sir, it is the $49.50 or 1% of your monthly income, whichever is greater.
(Customer) ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What a ripoff!!
(Receptionist) Actually sir, it is a good deal. Next year it will be 2%.
(Customer) Look, I’m going to call my Congressman to find out what’s going on here. This is ridiculous. I’m not going to pay it.
(Receptionist) Sorry to hear that sir, that’s why I had the NSA track this call and obtain the make and model of the cell phone you are using.
(Customer) Why does the NSA need to know what kind of cell phone I am using?
(Receptionist) So they get your GPS coordinates, sir (Door Bell rings followed immediately by a loud knock on the door)
(Receptionist) That would be the IRS, sir. Thanks for calling ObamaGolf, have a nice day…and God Bless the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
I lost my Scotty Cameron putter headcover. They aren’t cheap to replace so, since I am a retired Marine, I thought I would look for something to celebrate my connection to the Marine Corps and protect my Scotty. I was perusing EBay and found a great and audacious headcover (photo) – should a Marine Corps headcover be anything else but audacious? Lots of Marine Corps logos and sayings, obviously put together by someone who has walked in the boots. The page gave me the opportunity to “make an offer.” I am hoping the seller - Hella Headcovers – accepts my offer because I want it. The “but it now” price is $39.95 which seemed a little steep. I could by a Scotty cover for that I think, but of course, it wouldn’t have an embroidered picture of Chesty the Bulldog on it!
I included the EBay “item decription” below because it included a little background that was compelling. A former Marine turned soldier starting his own little business – doing what he loves. Great story. I googled Hella Headcovers and didn’t come up with anything substantial, just a dpotoday.use.com page, whatever that is…
Anyway, check his products out on EBay – you can go to this one and then link to “more by this seller.” I like the story and the pitch – give it a look.
Military Inspired Putter Headcovers
USMC “Devil Dog”
Absolutely Amazing embroidery work on a “Blade” style Golf putter headcover.
Quality from top to bottom,,, and then some. All Headcovers are secured with a large velcro strip to keep your putter safe and secure.
Hello, my name is Don (Love_Putters) and I am the creator of a tiny little company called Hella Headcovers out of sunny South Carolina.
I have been in the Marine Corps for many, many years and then switched over to the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne to jump out of airplanes and helicopters.
Yes, I am an adrenaline junkie…I love my time served, I would have done it for FREE…
Straight up, I am a golf addict. I can never get enough golf. I watch it on tv, I listen to it on my XM radio and I talk golf all day…
A little over a year ago I made a command decision to start a small golf business as a hobby, just to keep me happy.
I hope you enjoy and can truly appreciate what I have created.
THIS HEADCOVER WILL LOWER YOUR GOLF HANDICAP…
You will take more pride in your putter because she looks so good…A little pride in your putter will build confidence andhave you putting better…Putt better,,, Lower your handicap…It’s all about putting… that simple…
My headcovers fit all the top named putter manufacturers:
Scotty Cameron putters, Odyssey putters, Ping putters, Taylormade putters, Bettinardi putters, Byron Morgan putters, Nike putters, Rife putters and The Great “Bobby Grace” Putters,,,
Just to name a few…
Coming in the next year…Look forward to more military headcovers featuring the U.S. Army,
Navy, Airforce, Marines and the Coast Guard. Take pride in our Military Men and Women.
“Blade” Putter Styles and “Mid Mallets” coming soon.
Be sure to look on eBay NOW for “The Vegas Gambler” Available now…
Please tell your family, friends and golf buddies,drop this link on your facebook… tweet it…
Anything you can to help spread the word would be greatly appreciated.
Things always change. No matter your most earnest intentions - over time, things change. In golf, one moment you think you’ve found the answer and the next it eludes you. Because of this golfers are always on a quest for improvement. Some are more patient than others, they wait out a drought and try and push through keeping the same tools in the bag…but most of us however, once we make the first change in our equipment, get “hooked” and changing equipment becomes a habit. It becomes a first course of action even when a small grip change or swing thought will suffice…like sending in the Marines when the situation actually calls for subtle diplomacy.
I am certainly no different. I have switched, believe it or not, to my Cleveland CG Tour blades from my Ping S56s and am putting with a Scotty Cameron putter instead of that “perfect” Odyssey White Hot mallet. Things are improving so I thought, hmmm…why not get matching wedges? Here I go again… My Clevelands have Project X 6.0 shafts, so I have some custom wedges from Hopkins golf coming with the same. I opted for the 52, 56, and 60. The 52 with the Heel/Toe grind and the other two with the Heel grind. Of course, these come with a 30 day guarantee for refund. I am quite sure the folks at Hopkins Golf have figured out that for the vast majority of us, the honeymoon period lasts a minimum of 31 days. More on this later…
I retired from the Marine Corps after 30 years of service last September 1st. Even before that date I was completely saturated with preparations for retirement, preparations for moving and renting our home in Virginia, etc…etc… I put this blog, and my game, on the back burner. I now live in Nashville, TN and have settled into a position working from home and traveling about a week a month for business and even though there are still lots of activities ahead (not the least of which is home renovation here in Nashville), it’s time to get back into the groove.
I recently joined a golf club here in Nashville, built a small hitting area in my back yard, and am rebuilding my game. Lots to talk about in that regard. Nashville has a wonderful municipal golf system worthy of discussion from time to time. I discovered an instruction series (more than instruction really, lots of good general information that puts things into context) that I want to talk about as well.
For anyone who was reading the blog regularly, maybe the one or two of you out there, sorry for the almost 12 month gap. As I kick-start my game I will also kick-start this forum.
Finally, because I have written about a couple of the hosts of golf shows on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio, I have mistakenly received emails from fans thinking this site was theirs. The bulk of them were meant for Brian Katrek. This is likely due to their names being “Key Words” on the site. Since I have not been on the site in some months, I apologize to both Brian and his fans. I will, in near future, put a disclaimer on the front page assuring all that this is NOT a PGA Tour Radio blog.
Thanks to all who visit, I look forward to many future interactions. Chris
This past Sunday I made 8 birdies in 27 holes. I actually heard the words from a competitor as I struck a putt from 20 feet into the hole for a second straight birdie, “Okay, we’re just about sick of this performance…” Corey Pavin, thank you for the “palms out” putter grip. Also, Odyssey putters, thanks for the white hot mallet! 34″ of pure joy and perfection. Yes, I changed again ONE FINAL TIME!
This Wednesday I play in a Virginia State Amateur qualifier at Virginia Beach National Golf Club (formerly a TPC). It was to take place last Wednesday, but a tropical depression precluded play. I actually avoided getting wet because my tee time was so late, most were soaked after – for some 8 or more holes – and relieved beyond words that it was finally cancelled. I played one practice round a couple of weeks ago and timing and schedule has precluded another. I am hoping that putting as described above coupled with the Hogan chipping technique on the par 5s discussed in the previous post will win the day (thanks Tom McCarthy, Jim McLean, and Mr. Hogan). My iron play has improved dramatically (thanks PING S56s), but my driving has been a bit streaky. Driving the ball is a personal thing requiring confidence, connection, and care. Patience and trust will be their own reward I think. I am a nearly 52 year old man who will be competing with high school and college players as well as established amateurs in the area.
I am a long shot and underdog. I love underdogs! My morning tee time is the next to the last on number 10, which means, for the afternoon round (of 36 holes total) I will be in the next to last group playing into number 18. I want to own this opportunity – I want people waiting for MY SCORE!
Oh yeah – how can I forget my inspiration?! My wife encourages success for me at the golf course every step of the way. The photo shows not only the red, white and blue club head covers she made for me, but also the putter head cover – my “Sock Monkey” putter head cover. The other night sitting in the den watching television she suddenly declares – “I made something for you!” Hmm…”what is it sweetheart?” “A putter head cover Chris!” I immediately loved the idea of it, my wife making something for me without coaxing – a surprise – and something as cool as a sock monkey for my putter! How can I putt badly after that?! Look at that sock monkey peaking out over the top of the bag…he really wants the putter to be great…
I bought The Ben Hogan Collection interactive CD set a couple of years ago. It had been some time since I reviewed it in any detail, so I broke it out a week or so ago and went through all of it again. I am as impressed now as I was then with the quality of work, archive films, and the analysis of Jim McLean. The folks at McTee’s Champions LLC have done a wonderful job of putting this together.
The set provides a “Legacy DVD” which is a brief biopic of Ben Hogan, two instructional DVDs (Swing Revealed 1 & 2), and a software CD. I normally look for things on Amazon.com first and the package can be purchased there for just under $60.00. Unfortunately, the set is “temporarily out of stock” on the Amazon website. With a quick google, I found the set on PracticeRange.com for $35.00. If you are any kind of a golf aficionado then this is a must for your library and continuous review.
As I re-reviewed it and listened carefully to McLean’s analysis while watching the vintage footage, I had a couple of epiphanies. One especially enlightening segment for me was in the chipping/pitching segment. McLean shows the viewer in detail how Ben Hogan pitches the ball with a “mini-swing.” Interestingly, McLean uses the cigarette, still in Hogan’s mouth, as a reference point for analyzing his head movement through the pitch. I have incorporated Hogan’s pitching technique to great reward! (8 birdies in 27 holes yesterday!!! Won a few “cuts” thanks to Mr. Hogan, Jim, and McTee…)
McTee Champions LLC has some exciting new products out and coming. Tom McCarthy of McTee - “Thanks for the compliments on the dvd set. I worked really hard to get that done over the course of several years and Jim McLean was terrific.
We have put together a couple of new things recently. One is the iPad app called Ben Hogan 5 Lessons. It works on the iPad and Android type tablets. The spirit of the Five Lessons book is in there plus some! We are also building and soon to release the Ben Hogan 5 Lessons mobile app that marries the critical information in the Five Lessons book to the V1 instructional software. It will include some Hogan video clips for swing comparisons.
Jim McLean and I just finished in January a new book with Wiley & Sons called ‘The Complete Hogan.’ I took old pre-accident footage of Mr. Hogan’s swings and made stills with Jim providing observations and analysis over 30+ frames for each of 3 swings. Plus, Jim has some incredible additional information in the book. I am pretty hyped up about it.”
Whether a seasoned player or a beginner, The Ben Hogan Collection will inform and entertain. Spend the few dollars and put it in your library. Also, look for the new McTee products – I am excited to get the mobile APP and book Tom describes above!
I watched with interest the World Golf Hall of Fame presentations Monday night (May 7, 2012). There, Hollis Stacy, Sandy Lyle, Dan Jenkins, Phil Mickelson, Peter Alliss, and were inducted – each had a unique perspective and story.
- Hollis Stacy – An 18-time winner on the LPGA which includes 4 majors as well as 3 consecutive U.S. Girls titles.
- Sandy Lyle – A Scotsman and 29-time winner world-wide with a British Open, a Masters (first British player to win), and a Players Championship included in that number.
- Dan Jenkins – He is only the third writer to be inducted and the first still living. From Fort Worth, TX, Jenkins is a revered and celebrated writer winning recognition for his golf coverage and his books. A best-selling author, Jenkins has written arguably the “best ever golf book” – “The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate.”
- Peter Alliss – A professional player in his early career, Alliss was inducted as a broadcaster. The distinctive British announcer was inducted as a result of his lifetime achievement for excellence in broadcasting.
- Phil Mickelson – He has 48 world-wide victories, with three Masters and one PGA included.
Hollis Stacy is still active in promoting women’s and girls’ golf. A product of a large family of ten children (fourth) she attributed her competitiveness and spirited nature and ultimately her success to her family. She did not really talk about her car wreck in 1988, but some attribute that event to effectively ending her career.
Through his words, Sandy Lyle provided insight into his personality that I would otherwise never had known. Not unlike Billy Casper was overshadowed by the big three in his time (even though his numbers should have made him the number two to three of that cohort), Sandy Lyle was overshadowed in his time by names such as Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, and Ian Woosnam.
I loved listening to Dan Jenkins. I knew of him for years and hadn’t read much of his stuff. I recently bought the book referred to previously and it is not cheap! It is out of print (or whatever the right term is) and so there are only so many out there. I found one with Dave Marr and Al Geiberger autographs in it (lucky find) and am halfway into it. I have already found quips and quotes that have made me laugh out loud.
Peter Alliss is quite a character. A little self-deprecating, but knowing of his status, he played the crowd beautifully. He did acknowledge that he was “quite beautiful” when he was young. He finished his speech with a bow to his parents above in Heaven and “the finger” to a grade school teacher (if she were watching from wherever) who wrote in his report that though he has a brain, he was loathe to use it and she was afraid for his future.
PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem provided some commentary prior to Phil Mickelson’s introduction. In his words he essentially called Phil a great role-model and ambassador for the PGA Tour. He lauded Phil’s conduct and comportment on and off the course and implied all should take his example. I second that assertion.
Phil mentioned briefly in his commentary and more directly in pre-event interviews that perhaps 40 was too young an age threshold for consideration. Like Ernie Els last year, he said he still has a lot to do and a lot of game left. In fact, he said that he may be entering the best part of his career. When asked in an interview pre-Players recently, Tiger agreed with Phil’s questioning the age threshold, but came to no specific conclusion with what the right age should be.
Phil made another interesting comment in a pre-induction interview at the World Golf Hall of Fame. He was asked about the state of the game and its future. He took a different view than many. Essentially, instead of creating strategies to “hurry along” the game (referring to tee it forward, fewer holes, etc…), let’s find a way to make the golf course a place people want to be. Make it more “family friendly.” He said part of what he loves about golf is not only playing the game, but “the hang” at the club with friends and family after a round. I think there are some valuable nuggets there…
I listen to the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio channel practically every day driving to and from work…and on the weekends as I make my way to and from the course. I thoroughly enjoy the banter of Matt Adams, Brian Katrek, and John Maginnes during their respective shows and especially like it when they team up as they occasionally do. They each play off the other very well, it feels like the guys talking at the course. I find each has a great way of talking positively about the game, its history, its heroes, and all of the personalities who surround it – technicians, teachers, builders, authors, and architects. The guests they bring on are first rate – I had thought myself a fairly learned student of the game and its history, but since I started listening a year or so ago I more often than not learn something new. And no matter how stupid or goofy a caller may seem, they are always polite and positive – they each know their audience and it is us – the weekend golf warrior.
I recently posted a commentary on Matt Adams and his Fairways of Life show on the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show. I heard Matt use some interesting phrases one morning, was nearing the front gate of the military base where I work so I couldn’t call in, so I wrote a blog article about it – all in fun. I gave Matt a few “19th hole jabs in the ribs” about -what I call – his damn-nearisms. As I said in that post, if we were at the course and I heard you say those things, I would have stuck the needle in right then. Not unlike the needling I took this past weekend at the course for wearing a pink Kangol cap! I expect it, like I did in the ready room when I was flying helicopters for the Marines and like I did in the locker room when I was a ball player in school. I don’t have those things now, but I have golf and expect that kind of give and take with the gang at the golf course…fun and spirited banter…like Matt, Brian, and John provide. (Oh yeah, I get a regular healthy dose at home with my wonderfully fun wife too!)
Matt wrote me about the article -
“Thus, I’m glad to be of some enjoyment! In all honesty, I am simply what I am (to quote Popeye) and I’ve never claimed that what I say, or how I say it, is any better (in fact, more often than not, it is worse) than any other’s. I can’t help the fact that I am a book author and the Network certainly enjoys it, but if you notice, I hardly ever make note of it myself. I don’t view myself as an author or as a broadcaster, I am simply someone that works in golf and loves the game. I am fortunate to have found some really good editors over the years to turn my slop into proper English. After that, it is just me, I couldn’t care less about sounding like something more than what I am, the guy that pulls up the cart before your round.”
Matt – thanks for the gracious response and for taking the ribbing for what it is, 19th hole fun. You’re great just as your are, great show, great guests, excetera, excetera, excetera…
2:23 PM. It is the final day of The Masters – Sunday – and Phil is in the final group, one behind Peter Hanson. Hanson is unproven in this position, while each of the three wins Phil has had at The Masters has come as a member of the final twosome on Sunday and in each case he shot no worse than 69. It is a beautiful day at Augusta today and Phil is on the practice green awaiting his tee-time at 2:40 – seventeen minutes from now. There are players within reach of the -9 total Hanson currently holds. Mahan, Harrington, Westwood, Kuchar, Bubba Watson, and Oosthuizen are lurking and trying to make a move…it may take some help from Hansen and Phil.
2:55 PM. Boy was I wrong that it would take some help from Hanson and Phil…Oosthuizen just double eagled the second hole to go to 10 under!! It was one of the most perfect shots I have ever seen. It has changed the complexion of the tournament in a single shot.
3:28 PM. Phil holds on to 8 under par through the third hole, Hanson drops a second shot to go to 7 under, and Oosthuizen drops a shot on the fourth hole.
3:41 PM. Watching Phil fall apart on the fourth hole. He hit his tee shot left off the stands and into the bamboo and finally in with a triple bogey 6 taking him to 5 under par.
7:35 PM. I couldn’t make any entries until now, I couldn’t pull away from viewing the tournament long enough. Bubba is in tears after tapping in a 6 inch putt for par and the win on the second playoff hole (number 10) with Louis Oosthuizen. Louis played near flawless golf, but could not reach the green on the final playoff hole from 235 yards after hitting trees on his drive. Bubba hit an amazing hooking wedge from the trees right of the fairway from 155 yards to about 15 feet. The new father of a two week old adopted son, he shed tears even as he was pulling the ball from the hole. He was met on the green by his mother and his pals, Rickey Fowler and Ben Crane.
I was glued to the television during this final round. My poor dogs only got a hurried walk because my wife had to get back to watch. Matt Kuchar made a valiant run, but fell short at 8 under. Phil made the strokes back he lost on his triple bogey on number four, but it was not enough as he finished at 8 under. And, Peter Hanson hung in there shooting 1 over par today to also tie at 8 under par for the tournament.
Today Bubba out-“Phil-ed” Phil. He is a swashbuckler on the course, with Seve-like imagination and the heart of a lion. It is great to see him win the green jacket.
The Masters is magical. The Augusta National Golf Club always has their course in pristine condition for Mr. Jones’ grand old tournament. The azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom and are gorgeous against the dark green hues of Georgia pines and freshly leafed deciduous trees and the closely mown fairways and putting greens. The club membership rules the media with an iron fist, allowing only a certain number of minutes of advertising during each hour of telecasting. The media adores the venue as they provide grand music on intros and exits and creative graphics and flowery words from color commentators, former players, and past champions. Fans migrate to this special shining place in Georgia every year, and while it costs a mortgage payment to attend, once there the sites are profound, the food and drink is famously delicious and inexpensive, and the access to golf’s great past and present is awesome for the crowd who gather outside of the ropes. It is golf’s Mecca.
But, as we stroll through the heavenly gates of this paradise and absorb the intended greatness and beauty we see an occasional dark smoky shadow pass through as profanity and ill-behavior come to the fore. We watch in awe and wonder as one of the greatest golfers of all time goes to battle with the golf course, then wretch back instantly in revulsion when this same golfer spits a venomous God Damn It or throws his club and kicks it with disgust! And we wonder, “Was I the only one to hear that? Was I the only one to see that?” as the commentators, former players, and past champions go on as if nothing happened. Like a rotten seed in a bowl of rice, this warrior’s behavior belies the acts of a knight doing battle. It is more recognizable as the rants of a frustrated toddler. How do we cheer for this knight, rising from the depths of personal shame? How do we enjoy his moments of brilliance when they are tainted with a continuing color of vulgarity and offensiveness? We want to so badly, but he poisons his own well of greatness. He is searching, that is clear. It is not his golf swing that needs repair, but his soul. The swing coaches of the world cannot help, others watching his motion cannot comment, he must look through his image in the mirror and find the real problems and seek to repair them.
Like King Arthur, we have come to both love and hate this bright knight Lancelot. We abhor the darkness yet empathize and remain optimistic for his return to greatness and purity.
There are other dark clouds that waft around and through this mecca as well, they are waning, but still present and will be the subject of later discourse.