Love Fore The Game?

Much can be said of appearance fees. Many a tournament have used them as initiative to bring golfers to play in events. Events that top players would otherwise balk at playing in. I have no doubt that appearance fees were used to a much lesser extent through the history of golf. What exactly was $4000 worth in 1932 compared to 2017? This topic is a bit random but what would make me write another editorial about love for the game and appearance fees?

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Before I continue I feel that I must state the obvious. Everything is about money for nearly everyone nowadays. Especially for athletes playing professional sports around the world. Whether it’s the NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA or any of the Premier Futbol leagues in Europe it’s business first. After all, all of these athletes have to pay agents for their services and of course their expensive toys. Often I’ve wondered if Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Joe Montana or Pele kept playing their sports professionally out of sheer love for their game?  A game in which their parents once paid for them to play in order to participate. Or did they continue playing in order just to keep the fat paychecks  rolling in? Of course, they were all inspired to keep playing at least partly due to their competitive desire.

Golf… a game that seems much maligned these days. A game where so much focus has been directed towards “growing the game”. A game where there’s a drive to develop new fans from the younger generation of golfer. Maybe American kids look towards a Rickie (Fowler) Lexi (Thompson) or Jordan (Spieth) to emulate. In some country’s where golf isn’t as prevalent like Bangladesh maybe by going to an event and watching Siddikur Rahman and young boy or girl would want to play golf and who knows maybe find an education through playing the game. In Australia there are a slew of golfers to choose from that may capture the imagination of young golfers to be… maybe it’s Jason Day or Adam Scott.

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Siddikur Rahman (Photo Credit: Asian Tour)

For any young Australian golfers out there looking to the latter as inspiration to play golf seriously they’ll be disappointed this year. Adam Scott… the sweet swinging Australian decided to withdraw from the Emirates Australian Open this week. Not because of an unbeatable affliction like “CSS” (Chronic Shanks Syndrome) or an injured wrist, back or in-grown toenail. Nope! How about because of his issue with an appearance fee ([ardon me while I sarcastically applaud Adam’s decision). Scott, who in 2015 had an estimated worth of about $40 million skipped out on his National Championship because he didn’t receive enough money in appearance fees! His first time missing the event in a decade. Really Adam? Not enough of an appearance fee? Sure his nose might be out of joint because Spieth was set to make $1 million before striking a golf ball. If Spieth is receiving that kind of  money it makes me wonder what the fee was going to be for Scott… a native son? No doubt it was more money than I have seen or will ever see in my bank account. I think that it’s shameful and disgusting that he or anyone would skip a tournament because they never received enough money just to show up.

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Show me the money… or Scottie don’t! (Photo Credit: Golf Digest)

As I pause my writing and think to myself for a second I wonder even further. If Spieth didn’t get an appearance fee as compensation would he play? We all know that the likes of Tiger, Phil and Rory have received huge appearance fees for showing up at tournaments in the past. Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia have each received an estimated $1.5 million in appearance fees for playing the Hong Kong Open. Combined the fees are worth more than the purse itself (such is the case with Spieth).

Have the appearance fees gotten out of hand? Maybe. But as long as the sponsors are willing to shell it out and the players have coffers to line they’ll gladly collect the fees. I would! But it makes you wonder in retrospect too. If the sponsors weren’t willing to cough up the “dineros” would the golfers be playing in the events? A game that “we” pay to play and through buying equipment from their respective equipment sponsors indirectly help pay their endorsement deals. Golf seems so much like the other professional sports leagues doesn’t it? It’s “us” the fans buying tickets and merchandise that line their wallets and support their families.

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What the game is truly about.

For guys and gals out there playing events on the various worldwide professional tours it’s fine for you to withdraw. Nobody with a soul would dispute sitting out an event because of illness, injury, or a family emergency. But sitting out of a tournament because you didn’t receive enough “thanks for being here money”? Quit being such petulent primadona spoiled brats. You truly forget what this game is all about.  £ove for the game? #whatever

Until The Next Tee!!

Review – FootJoy Canada

In the amount of time that I’ve had a blog whether it was my old one or this new endeavor some of my subjects have come from surprising places. Today’s subject is one of those cases. Who would have thought that attending Practice Round Tuesday at the RBC Canadian Open would have offered such an opportunity.

When you attend the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario shuttle buses transports the spectators to and from the various parking lots. As you enter the grounds there are all kinds of booths that are mostly corporate. However intertwined amongst them was a booth from FootJoy Canada. Even though I never bothered to stop on the way in to the event (I was hoping to see and maybe meet Mr. Jack Nicklaus) the booth really got my attention on the way out.

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Photo Credit: mytpi.com

 

FootJoy in general is a booth that I rarely attend while at the PGA Show in Orlando because of how busy their booth is while at the show. This opportunity was perfect as it was practically empty so looking at the products was a breeze. I took in all of the new shoes from the 2017 range and I was very intrigued by two models. First there was the sleek, athletic looking D.N.A. Helix and then there was the ContourFIT (which for the record are more present than “old man styled). As I continued to browse I was approached by Senior Product Specialist for Acushnet Canada Darquise Leduc. After talking for a while with Ms. Leduc I explained to her that I did not trust FootJoy footwear after developing a pressure wound while wearing FootJoy a few years ago at the PGA Show. So she asked me about sizing and if I’ve ever been through their Performance Fitting System. I hadn’t.

Proper fitting isn’t exclusively for golf clubs as i was quick to find out. According to research “over 70% of golfers wear the wrong size of shoe”. Also according to the same research there is a 21% increase in performance when you wear the proper size of shoe”. For those with conditions of the foot like Diabetic Neuropathy (talking from experience) proper fitting shoes is a complete necessity. Before this chance opportunity I honestly had no idea that this sort of fitting for golf shoes existed. As I sat in a chair in the booth Ms. Leduc explained to me the science of the foot and where a shoe should fit in relation to the bones of the feet in particular the Metatarsal Bone. As we talked about the shoes further my foot was placed into a Brannock Device (the thing that you use for fitting a shoe) and we determined that my foot was a Size 10.5. As we started to talk about the shoes that piqued my curiosity I mentioned the ContourFIT and the D.N.A. Having explained my issues with the feet Ms. Leduc steered me away from the D.N.A. because of their tight toe box. Moreover, she said I could wear a size bigger but then the shoe and foot wouldn’t align themselves properly thus potentially causing issues.

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Photo Credit: boditraksports.com

After concluding the proper we picked out the shoe which was the ContourFIT. This particular shoe has a wider toebox so if you do like FootJoy and have the need for a wider toebox look at this shoe. This shoe felt like a glove and I was asked to walk around while wearing it. Yes they felt great and I simulated a few swings and I could feel a difference in how this shoe was performing. So now I was asked if I wanted to make a few swings into a net. Where the net and mat were set up there was also a second mat sitting there. This mat is from a company called BodiTrak. BodiTrak is a company that specializes in the science of pressure-mapping. In the case of the FootJoy Performance Fitting System the use of the BodiTrak device is the key. During the fitting process they ask you to hit three golf balls (which I did) and the sensors in the mat relay to the fitter (Ryan Parsons in this case). After the third shot they look at your data. With the data that is collected it tells them about where the weight is at set-up, the transition and finally the finish. As Darquise looked at the data she asked me if I was a low handicap golfer based on my weight signatures. Reluctantly, I admitted that I was a former Mini-Tour player.

FootJoy has gathered, collected and analyzed data on thousands of golf swings and determined there’s not one shoe for every player. Based on a player’s interaction with the ground, we can determine the best shoe to fit their swing. With the FJ Performance Fitting System

It really is amazing that FootJoy can determine which shoe is best for each golfer and with the aid of BodiTrak determine what type of golfer you are. Like shoes all feet are not built equal. This FootJoy Performance Sitting System was eye-opening. If you have the chance take part on one of their fittings you won’t be disappointed.

Until The Next Tee!!