Feb
1
2011
Late Monday/Early Tuesday at the Phoenix Open: Practice Recon
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Odyssey setup at TPC Scottsdale on Monday

A colleague reminded me that a year ago I couldn’t find the media center at TPC Scottsdale. Fact. I wandered around for a good 45 minutes, mostly in the wrong direction, before I discovered the cart barn — mind you, it’s hidden and there’s no signage. I’m happy to report I located it with no problem yesterday afternoon. (Hooray.) From what I’ve seen so far, the setup and the facilities haven’t changed from the last, but it feels different — which is just a personal thing.

You see, I came out here last year on my first assignment ever with Sports Illustrated (and as credentialed media) to write a feature on Ryan Moore, so the Phoenix Open will always have a special place in my heart. Difference in a year? 12 or so tournaments builds some experience and I’m feeling a little more relaxed!

I was extra-neurotic and work-oriented last year, so I didn’t hit up the Bird’s Nest or the crazy Scottsdale party scene. I’m thinking I should take one for the team (pretty sure one of my editors just suggested I cover the party scene) and check it out this week. Oh, here’s the line-up of bands playing at the Bird’s Nest:

Wednesday: Doobie Brothers

Thursday: O.A.R.

Friday: Slightly Stoopid

Saturday: MetalHead

I’ve seen the Doobie Brothers, but I definitely want to go to that. If you graduated from college within five to ten years of 2005, then you’ve heard O.A.R. play at least half-a-dozen times. As for outside the golf course, I hear Ocean’s is the place to go if you enjoy cougar hunting and plastic surgery.

Anyway, Monday afternoon was pretty quiet at TPC Scottsdale. The weather was crappy for about an hour and then it got pretty cold when the sun started to set. I trawled the practice areas for an hour and I love the little things you come across. First person I recognized was Callaway/Odyssey’s Johnny T. and his impressive setup of putters (as seen above). Here now, we have a vibrant selection of grips.

Colorful selection of pretty Odyssey putter grips

Are you a Cali girl or Vegas girl?!? Johnny showed off Odyssey’s latest grips and headcovers:

Are you a Cali or Vegas girl?

Neither, but if I had to pick — wait, do I have to? Fine. Cali. Is there a men’s edition?? Next, here are Odyssey’s D.A.R.T. (Direction and Realignment Technology) putters. Maybe it’s just me, but the design certainly reminds me of the Volcom logo

That certainly looks a lot like the Volcom symbol!

Johnny even gave a demo and explained the D.A.R.T. ideology in more detail. Basically, the eyes set the initial direction of the putter using the straight lines on top, and then, the mind’s eye completes the realignment by putting the D.A.R.T. design at the center of the golf ball to ensure better alignment to the target and consistent contact.

Johnny T gives a quick demo of the D.A.R.T. putter

Recognize this US Open champion?

Lucas Glover

It took me a minute to recognize him when Justin Rose tweeted a picture of Glover last week. To make things more confusing, DJ Trahan is also sporting the full-grown beard.

DJ Trahan

I like it. We can always use some scruff in golf! Next, Jamie Lovemark pensively answers questions to SI Golf’s anonymous survey.

Deep in thought

I believe he was ruminating over his answer to who is the hottest tour wife/girlfriend. Kidding! Next, Jamie excitedly joined his caddie and another guy for a contest on the putting green. Except they were rolling the ball to the hole (I guess like bocce kind of?) instead of using putters. Jamie sank a sweet 40-footer on the first hole.

Sweet follow-through!

That’s all for now. I’ll bring my camera out to the course today instead of slumming it with the one on my phone.