Sunday, February 28, 2010

RE: When Will Tiger Return?

Rumors are abound concerning Tiger Woods and his return to professional golf. I think he will make his return at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill 2 weeks before the Masters Tournament. There is also talk that he will return for at the Master in April. The reality is that no one besides Tiger and his team have a real idea of when the world’s number one golf will make his return.

Golf misses him dearly and the sooner he returns the better. Tiger moves the needle and people are engaged in the game of golf when he plays. I would like to see him defend his title at Bay Hill and get a tune up before the first Major of the year at Augusta. Hut only Tiger knows when he will come back.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Speaks

Finally Tiger Woods came out of his self imposed exile and help a press conference to discuss his recent personal issues. This made for television event was held the PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Fl. Tiger Woods and his team hand selected the attendees including the media. The key point was that Woods would not take any questions from the media in attendance prompting the Golf Writers Association of America to boycott the event.

As I watched the press conference Tiger appeared to be very sincere and contrite. Despite the fact that the statement seemed rehearsed and forced at times. He admitted his wrongdoings and apologized to all the people he hurt including the young people who saw him as a role model. He also defended his wife Elin insisting that there was never any incidents of domestic violence in their marriage.

Regardless of whether you believe Tiger Woods this is still a private matter between him and his wife. Plain and simple. I realize that he is a public figure but at the end of the day he has to make amends with his wife.

I just want to see him back on the golf course. Tiger said there is no timeline for his return to professional golf. I hope that he returns and returns soon. Golf needs him and I want to him resume his quest to surpass Jack Nicklaus as the all time Majors winner.

Ed Wanambwa

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Square Grooves are not Square Business

The 2010 PGA Tour season has already been hit with the Tiger Woods scandal and now comes the Square Grooves controversy. In 2010 the PGA tour banned the use f clubs with square grooves. The ban was imposed because research conducted by the USGA showed a distinct performance advantage with urethane-covered balls when using clubs with Square Grooves. In effect this ban was supposed to equal the playing field and make the game more competitive. But there was one glaring flaw with this move, a huge loophole called PING. Ping wedges made before April 1, 1990, are approved for competition because of a 1990 settlement fromPing’s lawsuit against the USGA. In other words in 2010 a player could put PING Eye 2 wedges into play and not be in violation of the square grooves ban.

World # 2 player Phil Mickelson along with a few other tour players did just that. They put a set of Ping wedges into their bags and set off a firestorm of criticism from fellow competitors. Tour Player Scott McCarron came out publicly and said that using Ping wedges amounted to cheating and violated the spirit of the game. Mickelson fired back with claims of slander and even hinted at possible legal action. But I have to agree with Scott McCarron on this one.

Yes McCarron comes off sounding like a cry baby but he has a point. Golf has always promoted itself as The Gentlemen’s game. Golf is the only game that players call fouls and penalties on themselves and the worst thing that can happen to a professional golfer is be labeled a cheater. The are numerous examples of golfers calling penalties on themselves that resulted in lost championships and lost revenue. But in the spirit of the game, honesty and integrity are paramount. So by using the PING loophole to side step the square grooves ban is a shady.

I agree Phil Mickelson isn’t a cheater. He simply taking advantage of a loophole that the PGA Tour and USGA should have closed prior to instituting this ban. So in essence he is within the rules of the game, sort of. If you know that square grooves are banned then don’t play with them at all. Even if there is a loophole that allows you to put them into play. I feel that as professional golfer and an ambassador of the game, a player should adhere to the rules at all times and remember that they represent what the game of golf stands for.

"Keep it in the short grass"

Edward S. Wanambwa