Friday, February 18, 2011

Tiger Woods One Year Later

Getty Images

Last year on this date I was in the television studio appearing on ESPN to discuss the much anticipated press conference by Tiger Woods addressing his off the course transgressions. The golf world took a collective gasp as a pale and weary looking Tiger Woods approached the podium and delivered one of the most scripted and uninspired apologies I have ever heard. It was a public relations disaster to say the least. Tiger left everyone asking the question “what did he say?” It was just the beginning of a year that Tiger Woods probably wants to lock away in vault somewhere forever.

Now that the storm has passed and Tiger is back on the golf course the question that looms more than ever is when will see the Tiger of old? When will we see Tiger make that Sunday charge up the leaderboard and bring the rest of the field to their knees? I wish I had the answer to those questions. Tiger displayed a glimpse of his old self at the 2010 Chevron Challenge. He lost a playoff to 2010 U.S. Open Champion Gramae McDowell in one of the most exciting displays of shot making and putting I had seen all year. I'm sure that golf fans couldn’t wait until his first start of 2011 to see if Tiger could pick up where he left off in 2010. Sadly, we are still waiting. Tiger Woods has been anything but the golfer we grew accustomed to seeing over the past 16 seasons.

When he is asked about his game Tiger points to the fact that he feels that his swing is coming into form and that his swing change will begin to produce the results he wants soon. However, the golf world wonders if Tiger will ever regain the form that earned him 14 major championships. At times he looks lost out on the golf course making practice swing after practice swing as if he is desperately searching for the missing link in his game. Despite a few rounds in the 60’s in 2011 Tiger seems to always find a way to shoot over par with loose shots and poor putting so far this year. Tiger fans and golf fans alike sit glued to the television waiting anxiously to see the old Tiger will some how pop out his shell and play the type of golf we are all used to.

Maybe I am sounding the alarm too soon or maybe I am jumping the gun a bit, but I too want to see Tiger contend on Sunday afternoon. I have to admit that I am spoiled and I want to see the miraculous shots and the spirited fist pumps after he drains a crucial putt. I want the Bob May Tiger Woods showdown at Valhalla golf. I want the Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods blow for blow showdown type of golf.

Hopefully Tiger can get his game back on track and give us want we want. WINS!

Edward S. Wanambwa
Senior Editor
GolfWiz Blog

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2011 Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival Set For Early April

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, a Native American, was one of the best athletes (quite possibly the very best in some people’s judgment) of the 20th century, but that’s a different story. When he died, his destitute widow offered to have his body buried anywhere that would pay her. Some enterprising folks in coal mining town of Mauch Chunk, in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, took her up on the offer
and Jim Thorpe is buried there. They even renamed their town to capitalize on his fame.

Today, the town is a tourist destination. The Mauch Chunk Opera House here was built in 1881 as a farm market (first floor) and concert hall (above). Eventually, the Opera House became a regular stop on the old Vaudeville Circuit. Al Jolsen performed here regularly as well as John Phillips Sousa who delighted audiences with an annual show.

In 1927, the building was purchased and renovated extensively. For the next three decades the it was known as the Capitol Theater, a movie house. It closed in 1959, a victim of television. Later it was used as a warehouse and then stood empty for many years. Finally, the Opera House was acquired by the Mauch Chunk Historical Society and a program to restore it to its former glory was begun.

To raise funds for the restoration efforts various events are held throughout the year. On the weekend of April 1-3, Dragontown Corsets, a local retail business, will present the second annual Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival here. It will feature an exciting line up of performances, classes, symposiums, and plenty of Burlesque-oriented shopping.

Jacqueline Hyde

This year, Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival has added a Friday night "Fundraiser Gala" show headlined by Jacqueline Hyde, winner of last year’s festival Crystal Corset Award and a recent BOOLESQUE (an Opera House Halloween show) performer. Saturday night, April 2, is "The Big Reveal," at which Burlesque entertainers will thrill the audience while they compete for cash prizes and the "Crystal Corset Award," presented by show hostess Madame Corsetiere of Dragontown Corsets. "The Big Reveal" is headlined by Chicago's impeccable Red Hot Annie.

In addition to the great stage shows this year’s Burlesque Festival includes a number of classes, lectures, and workshops for women. Regardless of age, experience level, or personal style there are classes to help every woman cultivate her inner “Burlesque Diva”. The weekend celebrates the allure and beauty that resides in every woman, in an environment that is friendly, exciting, and enjoyable. Classes, including dance and movement, will be held Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3 at Jim Thorpe's Memorial Hall.

Red Hot Annie

Burlesque has been widely misunderstood over the past fifty years. Movies and television captured audiences and venues that once featured burlesque turned to strip shows and porno films. But that’s not what burlesque was or is today in its revival. In its heyday it was the major live entertainment in many cities and town across the nation. Many singers, dancers, comics, and entertainers of the early decades of the past century including comedy stars Jackie Gleason, Fanny Brice, Leon Errol, Bert Lahr, W.C. Fields, Bobby Clark, Red Skelton, Phil Silvers, Joey Faye and Bob Hope found their fame on the stages of burlesque theaters. Burlesque is about beautiful women in elegant, elaborate costumes who sing, dance, and tease their audience as they slowly and tantalizingly disrobe before quickly disappearing offstage.

When I was just fifteen, I attended a burlesque show at the Park Theater in Youngstown, Ohio, with a group of my high school friends. The headliner was Rose La Rose. I did no know it then, but she was one of the all-time greats of the burlesque stage right up there with Gipsy Rose Lee. Both women had performed at the famous Minsky’s Theater in New York City. It was a memorable experience.

For more information on Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival 2011 held April 1-3 view this website: or Planning to visit the Jim Thorpe and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains see

James Weaver
Senior Travel Writer
GolfWiz Blog

The 2011 U.S. Open Returns To Congressional Country Club

Congressional Clubhouse

Bethesda, Maryland, outside the nation’s capital, will be the site of the 111th United States Open Championship held June 13-19. If there are no weather delays, the final round will be played on Father's Day the third Sunday in June. For this year’s tournament, the United States Golf Association has chosen to return to the Congressional Country Club for the third time. Officials from the club and the USGA, have been at work for the past several years to assure the course is in perfect condition and it will provide a challenging championship tournament for the world’s very best golfers. 18th Hole Congressional Golf Club

The first U.S. Open was played on October 4, 1895, on a nine-hole course at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a 36-hole competition played in a single day. Ten professionals and one amateur entered. The winner was a 21-year-old Englishman named Horace Rawlins who received $150 cash out of a prize fund of $335, plus a $50 gold medal.

About half of the field of 156 players is made up of persons who are fully exempt from qualifying. There are 17 full exemption categories, including winners of the U.S. Open for the last ten years and the other three majors for the last five years, the top 30 from the previous year's PGA Tour money list, the top 15 from the previous year's European Tour money list, and the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings as of two weeks before the tournament. Starting in 2011, the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings as of the tournament date will also be exempt.

The U.S. Open is the only one of the four major championships which does not go immediately to a playoff if two or more players are tied at the end of the four rounds. Instead, the players play a fifth 18-hole round the following day (Monday). If a tie still exists after that round, a sudden death playoff is held. Only three times has the U.S. Open gone to sudden death after the playoff round, most recently in 2008 when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate on the first playoff hole.
U.S. Open Trophy
U.S. Open Records:
4-Time Winners
• Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905)
• Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930)
• Ben Hogan (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953)
• Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)

3-Time Winners
• Hale Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990)
• Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008)

2-Time Winners
• Alex Smith (1906, 1910)
• John J. McDermott (1911, 1912)
• Walter Hagen (1914, 1919)
• Gene Sarazen (1922, 1932)
• Ralph Guldahl (1937, 1938)
• Cary Middlecoff (1949, 1956)
• Julius Boros (1952, 1963)
• Billy Casper (1959, 1966)
• Lee Trevino (1969, 1971)
• Andy North (1978, 1985)
• Curtis Strange (1988, 1989)
• Ernie Els (1994, 1997)
• Lee Janzen (1993, 1998)
• Payne Stewart (1991, 1999)
• Retief Goosen (2001, 2004)

Lowest Score, 72 Holes
• 272 - Jack Nicklaus (63-71-70-68), 1980
• 272 - Lee Janzen (67-67-69-69), 1993
• 272 - Tiger Woods (65-69-71-67), 2000
• 272 — Jim Furyk (67-66-67-72), 2003
• 273 - David Graham (68-68-70-67), 1981

Largest Margin of Victory
• 15 Strokes - Tiger Woods (272), 2000
• 11 strokes - Willie Smith (315), 1899

Learn More at:
James Weaver
Senior Travel Writer
GolfWiz Blog

Black History Pioneer" Mr. James Black

The Legendary Mr. James Black

ESPN: Scoop Jackson - When Fairways Weren't Fair

Bill Spiller
Lead the Los Angeles open in 1948
He would later find out the hard truth about the pro tour.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Copper Canyon Grill, Orlando Florida

The Copper Canyon Grill is the GOLD standard in fine dining in Orlando. After a long day at the 2011 Merchandise Show I found myself looking for a good meal and a relaxing atmosphere and I found it at the Copper Canyon Grill. The wonderful and welcoming atmosphere was only upstaged by the great food.

The staff was courteous and friendly, my every need and want was addressed in a prompt and attentive manner. I had the Smoked Salmon and a delightful Ceasar salad topped off with three wonderful deserts. No I didn’t eat all three, but I had the Key Lime pie all to myself. When you visit Orlando, ask for Amy and Have a great meal at the Copper Canyon Grill. A meal fit for a king!

Copper Canyon Grill

9101 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 363-3933

The 2011 Merchandise Show

The Good:

The 2011 PGA Merchandise Show will be remembered as the year of the driver. Taylormade and Cleveland Golf stand out in my mind. I had an opportunity to hit both drivers on the indoor driving range and I loved them both. Watch out for these drivers next month at your local golf stores.

The Bad:

The lack of minority participation at the 2011 PGA Merchandise show. Again I had a flash back of 2004. I didn’t see enough minority faces in the place and that needs to change.

The Ugly:

The PGA of American needs to help reestablish the African American Golfers Digest Diversity Pavilion. In order to bring true parity and growth to this show the diversity pavilion is a must and I would hope that the PGA of America will partner with the African American Golfers Digest to help bridge the gap of diversity in the golf business.