Elling Previews 2006

Boy, you just can't pick up a newspaper these days without these technophobes spreading the message of the devil! In spite his extremist views on technology, Steve Elling delivers an entertaining read. This time he previews 2006. (I love the "dump-and-chase" hockey metaphor for what has become of PGA Tour golf, and I don't even follow hockey).

What's it going to take for someone in a position of authority to take a real stance on runaway technology?

Driving distances are up a whopping 16 yards since 2000 on the PGA Tour, a massive increase that has rendered the game into a one-dimensional display of dump-and-chase hockey. The tour's driving leader averaged 319 yards -- and the first third of the season was played on slow, sloppy tracks because of rain.

Courses such as Augusta National have been forced to stretch (read: desecrate) their storied courses repeatedly, because the USGA is afraid of the equipment companies, and the PGA Tour won't get tougher with its course set-up.

And this on the USGA and PGA of America. Such cynicism. ;)

Place your bets. Which organization will screw up their major championship worse, the U.S. Golf Association or the PGA of America?

The USGA is the safer wager, having ruined so many U.S. Opens over the past decade that it was a huge surprise when absolutely nobody complained last year at Pinehurst.

The PGA, however, capitulated to the broadcasting whims of television and failed to react when rainy weather was in the forecast at the PGA Championship. Because tee times weren't moved up, rain delays pushed the end of the final round to Monday morning, robbing ticket-holders and weekend viewers of a terrific ending when Mickelson birdied the 72nd hole to win by a shot.

Whatever happened to common sense, guys?