It’s that time of the year. Good, ole, jolly St. Nick is getting ready for the big night. He’s checking his list, maybe even twice. He’s checking to see which golfer’s (professional and amateur alike) have been naughty or nice. Who knows, maybe there’s even a manufacturer or two who might slide in there too. Alright boys and girls, which of you have been naughty or nice.
Nice – Brooke Henderson – Honestly, I feel like this young lady can do no wrong. Her neighbours are very lucky people. It’s not because she is a fellow Canadian nor is it because she is a heck of a great golfer. No, she’s more than that! Miss. Henderson was the winner of the Founders Award. A very prestigious award and the winner is voted on by her peers on the LPGA Tour. Brooke is always smiling and she is a tremendous ambassador not just for Canadian golf or women’s golf. But golf on a whole. Brooke truly embodies the spirit of the game. Brooke Henderson should be in the running for the Lou Marsh Award for Canada’s Top Athlete.
Naughty – Bryson Dechambeau – It wasn’t too long ago that I thought Bryson could do no wrong. True story, even though he didn’t need my help I stuck up for him when trolls took to social media (Instagram mostly) and just attacked the tar out of the guy. This was before he won on the PGA TOUR. Well, a lot has changed in the last year or so and Bryson, you young man have been naughty. You wrecked a putting green. Your pace of play is criminal and your selfie of you riding by yourself on a private jet was nauseating. Man, you’ve bulked up. I hope that doesn’t make you lumber around the golf course even more slowly. Maybe I’m just jealous.
Nice – SUB 70 GOLF – I really have to give the independent golf manufacturer from Sycamore, Illinois credit. In case you weren’t aware they manufacture great golf equipment at a fraction of the cost of their competitors (large and small). I’ve been very vocal talking them up on social media and that’s without any sort of solicitation. I’ve dubbed them the “Brand of the People” because they offer sets of irons (the 699 irons) for less than $430 USD. Because of their market model, they’re a brand that I could get behind. Moreover, they also opened themselves up to limited quantities of lefties. Proof positive that they are for REAL.
Naughty – You People Who Golf in Fivesomes – You know who you are. Some of you might be members of mine at Scenic Woods Golf Club. You are the same people that not only golf in fivesomes but don’t fix your ballmarks when you actually hit a green in regulation and then have the audacity to complain about how te greens are rolling. I’ll be honest, a post on Twitter triggered this entry. A fivesome playing with five carts!!! On what golf course was this and where was a marshal, Head Pro, or even a General Manager to correct this behavior? Inmates running the asylum. Heck, all of the above deserve a lump of coal. Patrick, you triggered me!!
Nice – LPGA TOUR Commish Michael Whan – The LPGA Tour deserves to have a fearless leader like Michael Whan. The LPGA Tour is loaded with talent and they have long deserved the credit that they’re finally deserving. I just wish that the casual golf observer would start watching more of the LPGA. More male amateur golfers can relate to the swings of the LPGA Tour so there is much to learn from watching. If only the advertisers and networks would see fit as well. The Race to the CME Group Tour Championship saw it’s richest purse handed out ($1.5 million went to the winner). More recently, Mr. Whan announced that he wants “equal opportunity” when it comes to the LPGA and sponsorship dollars. Michael Whan is great for the LPGA Tour and the tour is great for him.
Naughty – Phil Mickelson – Oh Phil. What have you become? I used to look at you as the “other guy” during Tiger’s crusade for world dominance (Tiger more or less succeeded). But you were the guy always walking the fairway with the dopey smile giving a thumb’s up. You were also the guy at Shinnecock Hills in the 2004 U.S. Open that blew a tee shot where ultimately a poor club selection caused him to lose the championship. He was always the gunslinger that took the chance. I admired the style in which he played. But over time, Phil has seemingly lost touch. Over the last year or so, he had the debacle on the putting green (during another U.S. Open faux pas), he had that stupid pic of him posing behind the money pile for the Tiger vs Phil match (he looked like a douche). Most recently, he opted t skip out of the Waste Management Open (an event that he’s played in for 30 years) to play in Saudi Arabia instead. Tell me, it’s not about the appearance fees. He took to social media to defend himself. Save it. Everyone can read through. Phil has fallen out of the Top-50, isn’t on the Presidents Cup team and this keeps him newsworthy. Geopolitics and ethics aside.
Indifferent – The European Tour – So speaking of geopolitics. It’s hard to not have a quick look at the European Tour and their recent decision to play in Turkey. When they played the Turkish Airlines Open it was a bad time in the world like it always seems to be. President Trump turned things over to Turkish President Erdogan who went and turned his forced onto the Kurds. We know what happened. Many admonished the choice to play the event questioning the tour’s morals and ethics (there’s that word again).
But then there’s the way that they market their players. They have fun and the players seem to like doing what they do. Look no further than little Billy. Yes, he’s grown up now. The PGA TOUR could learn so much from the Euro’s and the LPGA as far as that goes.
Nice – Brandon Matthews – Honestly, this story is my favorite story from the year. If you don’t know the name Brandon Matthews he’s the 25-year-old PGA TOUR Latinoamerica golfer who missed an 8-foot putt and a potential entry into the Open Championship when a fan yelled in his backstroke. Initially, he was upset, frustrated that someone had done it intentionally. Later on, however, he was informed by PGA Tour Latinoamérica’s tournament administration manager Claudio Rivas that it was a fan with Down Syndrome that had made the scream. Instead of being upset, Matthews asked “Take me to him” and when they met Matthews embraced him in a hug and signed a glove. No anger, no animosity just… adoration and understanding. Brandon, thank-you for understanding that there is more to life than golf. There still is empathy in this world. Thanks so much for reminding all of us. Brandon, you are a champion.
Until The Next Tee!!
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