#TheMatch – My Take

I wasn’t going to give this upcoming event the time of day on my blog.

Quite honestly, I felt that the effort wasn’t worth it because I’ve pretty much said what I had to about it over social media. But then I had a realization… not everyone that reads my posts are from social media so here I am. I’ve been pretty vocal about #TheMatch.

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Photo Credit: Vimeo

First of all, let’s not kid ourselves. This is as far from being like “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf” as possible. Watching those legends play while they were in their prime has a real “feel” to it. I’m sure that the spectators for those events were hand-selected as well. But at least there were spectators in attendance. Watching the galleries being right in the thick of the action always made me wonder what it felt like for them to be so close to the greats. Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Mr. Palmer and the list goes on. #TheMatch is not at all like this. Or at least that’s my perception of it.

Instead, #TheMatch feels elitist and sterile. I say this because it’s totally void of fans thus making it feel so far from organic that it’s hard to perceive. Only camera crews and select media will be on hand to take in the action from the just as exclusive as the venue itself (Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas, NV).  The one’s who line the wallets of the participants should at least have the chance of being there. Maybe like The Masters lottery. If they sold tickets to this event then maybe I’d watch. Think of the charities that they could help from wildfire victims to hurricane relief. Look at what J.J. Watt did himself with Hurricane Harvey relief. That said, it’s only available on Pay-Per-View for $20. I can buy several gallons of milk and loaves of bread for my family with that $20.

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Shadow Creek (Photo Credit: PGA.com)

There are going to be sidebets that will go to charity is an argument that I hear. Is any of that money coming out of their own bank accounts? Or is it the money that’s being put up by its title sponsor (Capital One). Pony up your own money boys! $4.5 million out of your own bank accounts. Now that’s interesting. Oh and another thing. Why now for this event? If it had been 10-15 years ago that would have been much more compelling television.

Oh and then there’s the hype. These guys or the acting like they’re Ali and Frazier. Or some UFC pugilists. Having a press conference “staredown”. Seriously?! The hype alone has been a turnoff for me. Then there’s also the pictures of them standing behind the stack of money. It literally nauseated me.

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Yeah Phil… you’re straight up gangsta. Gimme a break. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

I get it, there are people that are right into this event and love it. I respect those people and their opinion. I sincerely hope that for those who purchase the event it’s well worth the money and exceeds your expectations. But I for one, will not waste a second of my day watching #TheMatch.

Is this really good for the game. Our game? How does this help to grow golf?

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

TaylorMade Golf NOT Attending the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show

A day ago or so I saw a rumour floating across the internet. The rumour was that TaylorMade Golf would not be attending the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

Instead of opting to go by what I saw over social media I decided to go to the source. So I reached out to Nick Obritsch who is the Marketing Manager for TaylorMade-adidas Golf (Canada) to confirm or debunk the story. It has been confirmed that TaylorMade-adidas Golf will not be attending the PGA Merchandise Show in January.

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This is a bit of a “black eye” for the event that features all of the latest and greatest that the industry has to offer. An event that seems to have lost a little bit of its lustre when talking to other media outlets or attendees alike.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf is obviously one of the industry “David’s”. The brand has never shied away from having a tremendous representation at the PGA Merchandise Show. The brand used to take up a large segment of one end of the Orange County Convention Center. One year in particular they had an area that felt like you were at a lavish South Beach nightclub. In the past TaylorMade-adidas Golf has made huge announcements at the annual show. The largest of the bunch was in 2017 when the brand announced that Tiger Woods would be playing TaylorMade Golf equipment.

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Below is the official statement from TaylorMade Golf regarding their reason for not attending. Thanks go out to Mr. Obritsch for providing the official statement. One way or another I will provide coverage on the 2019 product range from TaylorMade Golf. That I guarantee.

David Abeles, CEO, TaylorMade Golf:

“In the coming years, TaylorMade plans to broaden its investment in the PGA of America, pursuing growth initiatives we believe create even greater value for the game of golf. As a result of the additional spend and following significant discussions with key stakeholders, including many of our TaylorMade PGA staff professionals, the decision was made to not attend the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show.”

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Open Prognosticating

Alright, I admit it I love The Masters. I look forward to that tournament every year. Of course, this year I received my usual “Dear John” letter stating “We regret to inform you… you’re a loser and you will not be going to the 2019 Masters” yadda yadda. So as is my usual custom I develop a faux dislike of The Masters and everything they stand for. At any rate…

The reality here is that its Open Championship week and this is my favourite week of the golf season. I look at the courses in the rota and think a few things. Golf courses the way that golf was meant to be played. Of course, there’s the obvious. The history. This year, the venue is Carnoustie Golf Links. The grand old gal was designed by Allan Robertson with an assist from Old Tom Morris and consequently opened in 1842. The venue hosted its first Open Championship in 1931 (Tommy Armour won The Claret Jug). Many duels have been won and lost at Carnoustie with one particular championship being synonymous with the course. “The Van de Velde” in 1999. Coming up the 72nd hole of the 1999 Open Championship Jean Van de Velde just needed to card a double bogey to win. He would card a triple bogey instead and would lose the championship. Paul Lawrie would eventually win in a playoff.

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Oh the humanity! (Photo Credit: Golf Digest)

So this year. The field is set and many players from the PGA Tour have been overseas for a week or two. In full preparation mode getting ready for the season’s third Major. I didn’t do any sort of predictions for the U.S. Open and quite frankly I don’t know why. But this time around I will no be denied. So in the same manner that I did for The Masters (where I boldly predicted Patrick Reed’s victory) I will handicap the odd separating my picks by using the odds. So without anything else to say here we go…

Favourites (12-1 to 20-1) – The usual suspects adorn this category. Guys like Dustin Johnson (12-1) and Tiger Woods (20-1). However, sitting at 16-1 is Justin Rose. He’s my pick in this grouping. He’s had a nice season, he’s straight and quite frankly I can see him planting a kiss on The Claret Jug come Sunday. #TeamRose

Not Quite The Favourites (25-1 to 40-1) – Jason Day leads the pack of this grouping. But I don’t like him to win The Claret Jug. I have no real basis for saying this but I do. Yes ,he’s quietly won twice on Tour this season but in this range I’m going with the most underrated golfer in men’s professional golf. Marc Leishman! He’s 40-1 and a bit of a longshot already without being a longshot. Even though Sergio Garcia, Masters Champ Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama are in this pod… Leishman sits lurking in the bushes. Like a stealthy assassin he lies in wait. You don’t even know he’s lurking but then all of a sudden.. there he is!!!

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All of a sudden.. he’s there! (Photo Credit: Golf Digest)

 The Darkhorse (50-1 to 80-1) – These are the interesting picks with some real notable names in the mix. I love Zach Johnson but not this week. Ian Poulter could be a mover and shaker and you never know what ‘The Wizard” Bryson DeChambeau has up his sleeves. However, there is one golfer that has had a great season in 2018. Sitting at 66-1 is Bubba Watson. Yes, he had a rough tourney at The Military Tribute (Greenbrier) but I simply dismiss it. He was really pressing to win at his second home and maybe just maybe he was thinking too far ahead to this week. Imagination, length and a total arsenal of crazy shots that he can. Bubba will be there Sunday… if he doesn’t wound too tightly (like at Greenbrier).

The Longshot (100-1 to 300-1) – If you’re a betting type (I’m not) then someone in this category could win you some money. These guys aren’t in the conversation during your morning coffee or round but there are a few names that would make for an intriguing pick. In this case my eyes just can turn away from Austin Cook. Admittedly, I don’t know much about him and quite frankly I know more about his caddy (Kip Henley of Big Break fame) than I do about the 250/1 man. Cook has serious game and has shown flashes of brilliance thus far in his career.He does hold a PGA Tour victory so he does know how to win. He’s ranked 24th in the FedEx Cup race and also finished Top-5 at Greenbrier.He’s pretty steady with greens and fairways hit (albeit nowhere near the top echelon) but he’s just long and accurate enough to win at Carnoustie.

The Off of the Board (500/1 to 2000/1) – So you want to hold lightning in a bottle and seriously cash in on a $20 wager. These are the guys for you. Using my highly scientific methodology I look at names like 500/1 crowd Bernhard Langer and Ernie Els. But can the old man really win this? Sure he can… anybody in the field can. Heck, even a 2000/1 guy can win this thing. I mean if you’re in the field you have a chance right? SO looking up and down I actually feel really good about a name on the list. At 1000/1 I like Sean Crocker!!! Enough to make him my overall pick? We shall see but not likely. He’s won before granted many others in this category have won. But it’s just a gut instinct and maybe worth a “penny of your thoughts”.

So, I’ve tabulated my picks over the six categories and placed them into my “Magic Eight Ball”. My fearless prediction is…

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Greenbrier was an anomaly and he has loftier goals than winning at his second home. Green Jackets are always nice but Jugs are pretty nice too!! He’ll be focused. Keep him in line Ted Scott!!

**Pulling for Rose

Until The Next Tee!!