Posts by Tom Brassell:

Tiger now knows how Norman, Couples and Els felt

If you were Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Ernie Els and other top players playing in the 1997 Masters you had to have a premonition after the tournament was over.

Here was a 21 year old kid coming to this hallowed ground and breaking the tournament record and leaving little doubt he would be a force to reckon with for many years.

They had to know that winning majors in the future would be a daunting task with a Tiger prowling.

Fast forward to 2015.

Here comes a 21 year old kid tying the tournament record and leaving the field in the dust.

Tiger now knows the feeling that his fellow players had in 1997.

He also knows that a 25 year old Rory McIlroy, who beat him head to head on Sunday by 7 shots, makes his drive to win another major even more difficult. Youth will be served, again.

Trivia Tidbits from Golf First Major

Any chance you have one of those guys around that thinks he knows virtually everything about the first major of the year? The course? The past winners? You know that guy, the guy that thinks he knows EVERYTHING!

Well, here are a few nuggets of little known or forgotten information that you might want to drop on him.

  1. “The 2 leaders after the 3rd round have always played in the last twosome. Of course they have! – Nope. Incorrect.  In the early years, the 3rd round leader was given the honor of being paired with Bob Jones for the final round. When Mr. Jones’ health would no longer permit him to play, the honor was passed on to Byron Nelson until 1956. That year, the tournament leader was none other than Nelson’s student, amateur Ken Venturi. Thinking that playing with his instructor might give Venturi an advantage, the committee paired Sam Snead. From that point forward, the low 2 scores have paired together for the final round. Also, the 1956 tournament was the last one to be played without a 36-hole cut. Another little nugget of information for you free of charge.
  2. “I’ve got a buddy that’s good friends with the winner from 19XX, and he’s getting us on (to play the course) this summer!” – Not so fast my friend, wrong on 2 counts. Back in 1987 when Ben Crenshaw snapped his Wilson 8802 putter in the Ryder Cup and was trying to find a suitable replacement, I contacted him and sent him mine. Long story short, he used it for a bit, sent it back, thanked me and asked if anything he could do for me. Well now, being the salesman that I was, I jumped on the opportunity to ask him to get me on the course with him sometime, as he was now a Member of the club after winning, right? Not quite. Per Gentle Ben, the tournament winner is considered an Honorary Member of the club, not a Full Member, and is not allowed to bring guests. Guests must be invited by, and play with, Full Members. So, no, your buddy cannot get you on because he knows a past winner, and especially during the summertime. The course is closed from the end of may May until October.
  3. “The best hot dog I ever had in my life was at the tournament.” - Probably one of my all time favorites. A few years back, a local windbag was going off about the greatest hot dog he ever had was at the tournament and how cheap it was. I let him ramble on for awhile before I buried him by going through the menu of pre-prepared sandwiches that are sold at the concession stands that I knew by heart: Pimento Cheese, Ham and Swiss on Rye, BBQ, Masters Club, Egg Salad, etc. There are no hot dogs or burgers at the concession stands at the course that hosts the first major. “Well, maybe it wasn’t a hot dog I had.” I got a little personal satisfaction writing this speeding ticket. They say if you’re nice to the cop, he might go light on you. I didn’t on this guy.
  4. What are the 2 things found on most golf courses that you absolutely will not find at the club that hosts the year’s first major. Hint – Hot dogs and hamburgers don’t count. Think about it. Give up? Here you go, this one might win you a quarter or two. Cart paths and ladies tees. “Hey, there’s a cart path that cuts across 15 fairway in front of the tee box?” Unfortunately, that’s a maintenance path/service road that bisects the course, not a cart path. And before you pull out that the former U.S. Secretary of State is a member, yes she is and she plays from the member tees. On another note, you won’t find the tees that were played back in the day, the ones before the course was lengthened a couple of times. They’re gone. But, they do have GPS markers planted at the location of the old tees so that they can be easily found if ever needed.
  5. Final Jeopardy question? Here you go. “On this year’s telecast, they kept referencing this as the 79th  tournament. The first ever was played in 1934, so that would make this year’s 82nd, right? Why are they saying the 79th  You’re right, it would be 82 years, if it were played each year. But, in 1943, 1944 and 1945, the tournament was not held because of World War II, when the club assisted the United States in the war effort by closing the course and actually allowing cattle and turkeys to be raised on the grounds. The course reopened for member play in 1945, but the tournament didn’t resume until 1946, so counting each year it has been played, yes, this year was 79th.

Well, there you have it.

5 little nuggets of info that you might not have known or may have forgotten.

“But, where are all of the pictures normally found in your blog,” you might ask?

Ah, the club that hosts the first major championship for men’s golf each year (you note we’ve not mentioned either the name of the club or the tournament) certainly has those photos, and you can find them on the Internet. But, they are copyrighted.

Like the name of the club and the tournament.

Posting them would be a big no-no.

Let’s put it this way.  The only money we’d want to see change hands as a result of this blog is money from that guy’s pocket that you’re thinking of, into yours.

Who knows? With the right wager, you might win enough to buy yourself a hot dog.

TBT – Augusta Memories with Jack Nicklaus – GolfBetter Podcast #72

Five years ago next week was the release of our GolfBetter Podcast with Jack Nicklaus.  Kenny Nicholson, then our technical specialist on the podcast team, and I were fortunate enough to spend some quality time with the Golden Bear, courtesy of Nicklaus Golf, back in April of 2010.

We took our audio podcast, incorporated some photos and video clips and turned into this video piece.  It was certainly one of the highlights of the over 180 podcast episodes that we’ve done.  We hope you enjoy it on this “Throwback Thursday.”

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Tiger Woods' Gulfstream G5 Jet was spotted at the Augusta Regional Airport on Tuesday

The new “Blues” Station – 104.0

The 104 spot on the FM dial is home to a number of great radio stations.

  • KISS 104.1 in Atlanta plays some of the south’s best R&B.
  • 104.3 THE FAN in Denver is one of the top sports talk stations in the mid-west.
  • K104 in Dallas, 104.5 in Seattle and 104.7 in Charlotte have hip hop, classic hits and today’s music all covered.

But the latest at 104 is one we never expected.  A real hit from yesterday, a blast from the past that’s taken a huge fall in the charts.

A blues station down in Jupiter, Florida.

TW104.

The Sony Official World Golf Rankings are out, and Tiger Woods has dropped out of the top 100 for the first time ever.

“Leapin’ Lizards and Golly Wow!”

In less than 90 days ago he’s dropped from 32nd in the world (which was unthinkable) to 104th.  WITH A BULLET!

Say it isn’t so, someone!

Not this guy!  Wasn’t it just yesterday the question was not “if” but rather “when” (he’d surpass Jack’s 18 professional majors)?

Others that came before him tried but weren’t up to it.

Tom Watson took Nicklaus down at Turnberry in 1977.  But never passed him in majors.

Ben Crenshaw?  Johnny Miller?  Each had their time.

Jerry Pate?  C’mon, man!

Even another young cub appeared and was the called “Bear Apparent” after winning the PGA in 1983 (Hal Sutton), but not has been heard him much since other than the, “Be the right club TODAY” line on the highlight clip shown by NBC around this time each year.

They all challenged Jack, but challenged to pass him?  No way.

But, Tiger was different.  We waited for him to arrive.

A guy who’s dad said that he would “do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity.”

You bet we’ll wait for this guy.

I remember sitting in “Aw Shucks Oyster House” outside of TPC Sawgrass in 1992 with Ruffin Beckwith.  He said they (the TOUR) couldn’t wait for this kid from Stanford to turn pro.

We waited.  We watched.

And when he finally arrived, what we saw was nothing short of magic.

The majors rolled in faster than football national championships in the SEC.  Sponsors lined up for the “chance” to sign him.

Even after all of the “Tiger-proofing” of courses and the endless scrutiny, the man still won majors.  14 of them.

The US Open in 2008 was maybe his finest.

It was also his last.

The question now is not “if” or “when” with regard to majors.

People are wondering will he ever win a golf tournament again.

ANY golf tournament.

“It’s all in his head.”  “He has the chipping yips.”  “His body can’t take it anymore.”

Seriously?

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Tiger Woods' Gulfstream G5 Jet was spotted at the Augusta Regional Airport on Tuesday

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Tiger Woods’ Gulfstream G5 Jet was spotted at the Augusta Regional Airport on Tuesday

Just 15 months ago he was the tour’s leading money winner, the Player of the Year and the Vardon Trophy winner.  WHEN Tiger wins again, this new “question” will be erased and we’ll be back to the next ones, in the order of “major” accomplishments:

  • “When will he win his next major?”
  • “When will he tie the record?”
  • “When will he break the record?”

And if he does somehow manage to do all the above, something tells me that we just might get a comment from him to all of the doubters similar to his remark to Jimmy Roberts after winning 2001 Players Championship.

“Nice slump, huh Jimmy?”

But then again, maybe we won’t.

Even the blues mellows over time.

“Better than most…..Better than most.”

 

 

dustin with trophy

Dustin’s Baaaack! And he joins us on GolfBetter Podcast #182

Fresh off of his win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship on the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral, Dustin Johnson spent some time with us recently on our GolfBetter Podcast courtesy of TaylorMade/Adidas Golf.iTunes_Logo

Dustin shares with us how he got started in the game as a youngster, discusses with us his relationship with TaylorMade/Adidas, walks us through what’s in his bag, and more.

You can listen to the interview by clicking below, on our website’s GolfBetter Podcast page, or subscribing for a free subscription at iTunes.