The temptation around my house was to blame my poor play in the Colonial on the epidemic of wives in my gallery. They were all out there at one time or another, the Great Triumvirate. In another time and place they were known as Vardon, Taylor and Braid. At Colonial they were Cheryl, Alleene, and Terri. DAN JENKINS as Bobby Joe Grooves
Jim Thorpe on Kelly Tilghman and the Golfweek noose cover:
"We know there was no racist intent. It was just a bad choice of words,'' he said. "But the guy from Golfweek? Let him get barbecued. That's just a major mistake on his part.''
Just a suggestion to the Golfweek staff: I would not put an image of Jim Thorpe barbecuing Dave Seanor on this week's cover. Just my advice.
I wonder how those different fonts of SORRY looked on the preview boards? Jerry Potter reports:
Jeff Babineau, newly appointed editor of Golfweek magazine, has a simple task this week.And...
"We're going to say we're sorry," said Babineau, appointed editor of the magazine Friday. "We know we've offended a lot of people. We want to apologize."
Babineau sidestepped comment when asked Sunday if the magazine's advertisers threatened to cancel advertising.Here's a newsflash from the city:
"That's not my side (of the magazine)," he said.
Babineau said Golfweek would continue to cover the Tour, adding it would not "shy away" from controversy. However, he added the magazine would have to do better work to regain the public's trust.And this is disturbing considering that this cover was Seanor's idea and he ran with it:
He said management was studying the issue of diversity and sensitivity training for his staff.
**As reader ??? noted below, Babineau said this to Richard Sandomir:
Babineau said he had not heard of any advertisers threatening to pull out because of the cover. “I’ve spent the day talking to advertisers, telling them we want to get things right,” he said. “I didn’t experience any strong anger. We have a publication with a 30-year body of work we’re proud of and we hope we’re not judged by one day. Advertisers here for a long time know that; we’re respected within the golf community.”
And then to Potter in the story linked above:
Babineau sidestepped comment when asked Sunday if the magazine's advertisers threatened to cancel advertising.
"That's not my side (of the magazine)," he said.
So much for easy freeway access and boatloads of parking translating to gallery participation...Mark Lamport-Stokes reports on D.J. Trahan's win, but I've yet to see an attendance number published.
Golf Channel did a nice segment during final round Bob Hope coverage where they asked Kenny Perry about changes he's seen during his long and successful career. Here's the text and the video for those who would like to insist the guys are just working out more!
I have seen a lot of changes. I led the tour I guess in '91 in driving distance, I averaged 291. And now Bubba's hitting it 350-360-whatever. It's funny, the clubhead speed I had, I had probably 4-5 mph hour less now clubhead speed I know for sure than I did in 91. and actually I'm averaging 300, 299, so I'm hitting it further with less clubhead speed. So it tells me between golf ball technology, clubhead, driver, shafts, total package, we've got higher launch less spin on the golf ball, so the golf all just goes a long way now.
Anyway, Mark Lamport-Stokes reports on the latest John Daly drama, this time at the Hope:
"It killed me today. I had a guy here with me and he popped it back in five times."Speaking of that, Craig Dolch files a devastating blog post regarding Long John's potential lawsuit against the Honda Classic over his injury:
Daly's rib injury dates back to the Honda Classic last March when he was disturbed on his back swing by a spectator trying to take a photograph.
"A woman took a picture and I came down and separated my shoulder and fractured my rib," the 1995 British Open champion said. "I tried to play through it all last year and had to withdraw from tournaments because it kept popping out.
Why would John sue a tournament where most of the profits go to a children’s charity run in part by the Jack Nicklaus family?
One look at Daly’s golf bag may show why: There are no logos of an equipment company on his bag. Daly, who has the talent and the charisma to be one of the high-paid endorsees on the PGA Tour, is once again without a company.
So maybe that’s why he’s willing to gamble by possibly suing a tournament that gave him a sponsor exemption — Daly actually has asked for another sponsor exemption from Honda for this year!
Honda Classic tournament director Ken Kennerly has tried to remain low-key, saying he can’t comment on a lawsuit that hasn’t been filed. But when the Golf Channel reported last week that Daly has decided to file the lawsuit, other tournament directors took notice.
One, who didn’t want his name used, said as much as a draw Daly is with fans, there’s a limit to what you will put up with. “If I give him a sponsor exemption,” the director said, “should I make him sign a contract where he agrees not to sue me?”
**From Thomas Bonk's story on the withdrawal:
Daly has been a regular this week at the Hope's tournament parties. He attended two more tournament parties Friday night, including an after-party, and told one local reporter to ignore the fact that he was drinking. At the first party, Daly sang "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" in a duet with Alice Cooper. Eyewitnesses said Daly was helped out of the after-party by an unidentified man.
"Tiger is so good that he can find a way to win even when he's uncomfortable with his swing," continues the Dallas-based coach. "But he kept getting more and more comfortable with each new move we added and gained more command, which led to confidence to trust without worrying about the bad shot. He's been at that point in practice rounds for a while now, but it's a whole other mental challenge under the gun."
More for the Boo Weekley files. Following round 3 at the Hope:
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Could you just to start out, could you just go through your card on your birdies.And this beautiful exchange:
BOO WEEKLEY: I think I birdied, well, I birdied 1, then I birdied 2.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: But what did you do?
BOO WEEKLEY: Oh, really I don't even know. I don't remember all the holes.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Forget it.
BOO WEEKLEY: I'm sorry.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: That's all right. That's all right.
Q. How do you like this weather compared with Scotland?
BOO WEEKLEY: Compared to who?
Q. Scotland. You were in Scotland in July. Remember?
BOO WEEKLEY: Oh, yes, sir. It's all right. It's a little too dry out here for me. I'm waking up in the morning time early in the morning and nose bleeding and stuff, I'm a little chaffed, you know, I mean I got a rash and it's just a little dry for me. I like it a little more humidity.
Q. Your nose bleeds in the morning?
BOO WEEKLEY: Yes, sir.
Q. Only here?
BOO WEEKLEY: Well, I mean, yes, I mean it's just dry. I'm not used to this dryness.
Q. It doesn't bleed back home.
BOO WEEKLEY: No, not unless somebody hits me.
There has been no official word that Kelly Tilghman is returning to the Golf Channel booth for next week's Buick, but given the amount of press coverage that will be devoted to Tiger and Phil's first official event and Dave Seanor firing, it would be wise if Golf Channel gave her another week off.
The consensus in the Hope press center was that she's a good person who did not have any ill-intent, but if she were to come back next week it'll be a circus. A quiet return at Pebble Beach or Phoenix or Riviera would be the wiser strategy.
Before visiting The Classic Club for today's third round of Bob Hope Classic play, I caught some of Thursday's telecast featuring a quintessential Hope moment.
Host George Lopez was playing at La Quinta Country Club and after a tee shot, entered someone's home where a large, festive gathering had assembled to watch the groups go through. Lopez sampled some dips, hugged a few of the guests, then uttered "thanks for not calling the police" and was on his way.
I note this because it was just the kind of simple fun that the Hope should be all about.
Fast forward to today where I visited the Classic Club to talk to players after their six hour round. Well, only five stuck around to hit balls, a couple of others hit putts, and the rest were out of there as soon as possible. Thankfully Jeff Sluman and his insights made the trip worthwhile. But I digress.
The Classic Club holes I walked were not horrific, but the overshaping combines with the excessive scale to eliminate any of the intimacy that you find on the old desert courses. You won't see George Lopez going in someone's backyard or even into the gallery without having to work hard due to the climbs.
Since fans and volunteers have to work hard to get around the course and most are well outside of the coveted demo, the atmosphere is anything but festive. It's a shame because the tournament is well run and so many volunteers are devoted to the cause. But they can only give so much before the host course situation dampens their enthusiasm.
Thanks to reader Nick for catching this latest cave-in on rangefinders (I know, we're back to the good old days of golf debates over distance devices instead of nooses...for now):
SkyCaddie today welcomed the PGA’s groundbreaking decision to sanction the use of GPS rangefinders in its professional events this year – including the Irish PGA Championship, Scottish PGA Championship and the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship.
The market-leading distance measuring device was made official rangefinder of the PGA earlier this year and was used to monitor pace-of-play statistics during the PGA’s prestigious Glenbrae Fourball eight qualifying rounds and final at Fulford Golf Club in October.
Now, following positive results, the forward-thinking PGA has agreed to allow GPS use across its tournament calendar in 2008 – a decision taken at its executive committee meeting on 15th January. Other leading golf bodies are now expected to monitor closely the success of the scheme.
The magazine's decision to use the controversial cover was first reported Tuesday on CBSSports.com. Thursday, a tour official indicated that advertising from the World Golf Village and its merchants might be pulled from the magazine as a result of the inflammatory cover artwork. The tour itself does not advertise with the magazine, though the World Golf Village is run by tour employee Jack Peter, who noted that the ad agreement was being reconsidered.
Nonetheless, tour vice president Ty Votaw said Friday that the tour did not bring to bear any pressure, either editorially or economically, that helped precipitate Seanor's ouster.
"Categorically, none whatsoever," Votaw said.
He also told the Associated Press: "Jack was not speaking on behalf of the PGA Tour. I can categorically tell you the PGA Tour has not threatened any advertising pull."
Gary Van Sickle reports the news which comes in response to the dreaded noose cover. Jeff Babineau will take over. Thanks to reader Tony for spotting the golf.com story.
**Golfweek and Seanor's standing could not have been helped by columns like this one from Michael Bamberger spoofing potential cover images for other big events.
For instance, you may remember the Ryder Cup at the Country Club in 1999, when Justin Leonard holed that monster putt to secure at the least a tie for the U.S. and the American players ran all over the green even though Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain still had a meaningful putt. The SI cover shot showed Justin Leonard, celebrating, putter in the air. Bad choice.
Here's how that story should have been illustrated: a picture of Spaniards being trampled by bulls running through the streets in Pamplona.
“We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country,” said William P. Kupper Jr., president of Turnstile Publishing Co., the parent company of Golfweek. “We were trying to convey the controversial issue with a strong and provocative graphic image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic.”And...
“We know we have a job ahead of us to re-earn the trust and confidence of many loyal readers,” Babineau said. “Our staff is very passionate about the game. Our wish is that one regretful error does not erase more than 30 years of service we’ve dedicated to this industry.”
The magazine, with a circulation of 160,000, nearly all of it by subscription, also received about 100 to 150 demands for cancellations.
As far as was known, no advertisers have pulled out, but William P. Kupper Jr., president of Turnstile Publishing Company, the parent company of Golfweek, announced Friday morning that Seanor had been replaced by Jeff Babineau.
"It's also frustrating for Joe Ogilvie and Brad Faxon and David Toms, and also our independent directors"
"It's frustrating to me knowing that I put in a lot of time personally into decision making with the policy board," Cink told Reuters after Thursday's second round at the Bob Hope Classic.
"It's also frustrating for Joe Ogilvie and Brad Faxon and David Toms, and also our independent directors," the 34-year-old American added, referring to his colleagues on the Tour's policy board.
"We put a lot time into these decisions, there's a lot of study that goes on and then when something comes around, a lot of players blow the whistle and say: 'Hey, we didn't know.'
"Well I don't know what else we can do. We tried to notify everybody in at least three or four different ways, and that includes managers and spouses.
"Somebody needs to get the message to these players of the changes that are going on on their tour. It is their tour. It is very frustrating."
"The golf industry can lay claim to being a bigger American business than the motion-picture industry, newspaper publishing and the combined performing arts and other spectator sports."
Orlando or not, the numbers sound like Disney fiction: The industry generates $76 billion annually in direct economic impact and can claim approximately 2 million jobs with a wage impact of $61 billion nationally.
The stage could not have been better to relay the splashy message. The PGA expo this year features 1 million feet of exhibit space and will draw an estimated 45,000 spectators for the week. So, from that standpoint, officials such as Mona and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who helped present the new data, were preaching to the choir.
The research was conducted by SRI International, which used federal government models to arrive at its estimates. This marked the second time the sport commissioned an economic study, and despite a broad slump in the sport's growth rate since the survey was conducted five years ago, the numbers have jumped markedly from the initial figure of $62 million.
"We want to be able to quantify how big our industry has become," Mona said.
The primary indices used to measure the impact were from greens fee revenues, tourism, real-estate developments linked to golf, equipment sales, plus other money generated by courses (food, weddings, dances) and the like.
Don't forget Batmitzvahs...
"Golf generates more money than any other sport in the world that we know of," Mona said.
Now, wait a sec here. Don't people bet a fair amount on the NFL?
The PGA Tour release says:
St. Augustine, FL, January 17, 2008 – A comprehensive new study, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation’s GOLF 20/20 initiative, has determined that golf in the United States generated $76 billion in direct economic impact in 2005, up significantly from $62 billion five years ago. The study, the 2005 Golf Economy Report, was conducted by SRI International. It was designed by the leadership of GOLF 20/20 as an update to a similar SRI study that measured the U.S. golf economy in 2000.
In addition to golf’s direct revenues, the 2005 Golf Economy Report presents for the first time the direct, indirect, induced and total economic impact of golf on the U.S. economy. The report indicates that golf generated a total economic impact of $195 billion in 2005, creating approximately 2 million jobs with wage income of $61 billion.
Steve Elling reports on his CBSSports.com blog that Golfweek may face a boycott from PGA Tour related advertising, starting with the World Golf Hall of Fame:
Jack Peter, an official with the PGA Tour whose duties include running the World Golf Village in nearby St. Augustine, said tour officials on Thursday told Golfweek representatives that advertising might be withdrawn because of the tour's discomfort over the noose issue.
Peter said approximately $50,000 in ads for the World Golf Village might be canceled, creating the possibility that other advertisers could follow suit. He described the Thursday meeting with Golfweek representatives, which had been scheduled long before the cover-image controversy erupted this week, as "awkward."
"We have an (advertising ) agreement in place, but the contract has not been signed," Peter said. "I don't know that I am comfortable going forward with it."
Didn't Callaway put a huge dent in Golfweek budgets by pulling ads after ERC related commentary?
"Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate, and she obviously regrets her choice of words," Finchem said. "But we consider Golfweek's imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion."Jeese, tell us what you really think.
Meanwhile, Ryan Ballengee makes an interesting point about the irony and hypocrisy of it all:
Golfweek's own Jeff Rude was among the first asking fans to drop the issue and forgive Tilghman for her gaffe. His own publication is not dropping the issue, though. They are devoting a cover to it - a cover that contains the image of a symbol that is becoming reborn in the southern influenced parts of the country as notice of racial deference, e.g., the Jena 6 case.
In essence, the cover propagates the coverage of the comment. It is continuing the news cycle on this particular story. I think that is unfortunate and inappropriate. The media should not be in the business of continuing to cover itself. It happens in varying forms, from when ESPN says that their reporters are reporting a story that someone else broke, to a magazine drawing other ink for making a controversial cover about a controversial media story. It can be enough to make the average sports fan's head spin at times.
The irony of this post is that the ploy is working. Elling, myself, and others are writing about what is being written and shown as a symbol of what Kelly Tilghman said. Maybe I should be lumped in with the crew that I am lambasting, but I thought this issue deserved a special comment.
Doug Ferguson follows up on the cut controversy with this item in his notes column:
The Player Advisory Council considered four options before approving the proposal that only the nearest number to 70 play on the weekend if the cut includes more than 78 players. The proposal passed by a 75 percent margin.Hey, now there's a great idea. And we know how much traction those usually have.
The other options were top 60 and ties; top 65 and ties, as is done in Europe; the nearest number to 70 regardless of how many players finishing top 70 and ties; and a Saturday cut of top 70 and ties which Jeff Sluman has advocated for years.
The most bogus complaint of the weekend was that players didn't know about the new policy. That's their fault. The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November. It was in the "green sheet" report they get in the mail and in lockers. It was available on "Tour Links," the players' web site. And it was attached as a cover sheet to the 2008 regulations everyone received.
I have no sympathy with the player's plight considering the above.
But more than that, how can you feel for them when they play so terribly slow? This rule was brought on in large part because of pace of play. Granted, distance advances have totally changed the pace of play dynamics on many courses by introducing longer walks to new back tees, automatic fairway waits on nearly all par-5s and long waits on short par-4 tees that never existed.
Still, PGA Tour players are horribly slow. So unless they adopt something like the USGA's new pace of play policy that actually penalizes slow play and read the memos sent their way, do they really have a gripe?
"PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary."
L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers says he wanted to do one of his entertaining 24/7 column series where he follows a figure around and documents all. But he's claiming "PGA Tour officials" shot it down. I'm not sure I'm buying it, but here's what he claims:
I HAD plans to attend the Bob Hope Classic this week in the desert -- thinking maybe somebody should go.
It's a dying PGA tournament, as you know, and aren't they all when Tiger isn't playing?
This one is so far gone it's not on network TV this weekend, has none of the top 20 players in the world, and will be competing for attention here with the NFL, Lakers and UCLA taking on USC.
But I still thought it'd be fun to shadow the Hope's celebrity host, George Lopez, like I did Oscar De La Hoya before his last two fights, and like the week-long trip to Nebraska -- write four or five Page 2 diary columns on the Hope.
Lopez, proving he's willing to do almost anything for the Hope, agreed to make himself available 24/7, including parties, dinners and an invite to caddy for him Saturday.
PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary. The concern, of course, what happens if one of the golfers is seen wearing a lampshade at one of the parties? How would it look on Page 2 if I couldn't put a name to a face of one of their players?
It was a legitimate concern since the tour is now loaded with players who lack identity -- the exception being JohnDaly, who wouldn't draw a second look if he was wearing a lampshade, because that's John Daly.
The PGA Tour's idea of hyping the dying Hope was to make three players available for interviews Tuesday, and if I told you three of the six names here belong to golfers -- Lane Frost, Charley Hoffman, Billy Bishop, John Ware, Anthony Kim and RichardJohnson -- could you pick them out?
Hoffman is Hope's defending champ, and was joined in the interview tent by Kim and Johnson. The other three names belong to men who really are dead.