Apr
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Link: OMG! The “Full Cleveland” Look Is Baaaack!

Giddy. Flattered. Excited. Surprised. Those were some of the emotions I felt when I received an email from John Paul Newport, the Wall Street Journal’s Golf Columnist, last Wednesday. Mr. Newport was contacting me?? One of my favorite golf journalists? And, along with that, the WSJ? Say what! It couldn’t be! I mean, I have a piece he wrote about Trip Kuehne back in November 2006 hanging on my fridge – it’s the only article, no less! I can practically quote it verbatim.

Later that day, I had a very interesting and engaging discussion with Mr. Newport. He was prepping for this past weekend’s column about golf fashion. We chatted about the style trends the pros have been adopting and the reasons behind it, and the “white belt and white shoes” phenomenon that he couldn’t quite get his head around. I also had the chance to talk with him about the game in general, his career, journalism and the media. It made my week…no, the month, at the very least!

I really enjoyed reading Mr. Newport’s column this past weekend. As an added bonus, the photo slideshow is simply priceless. (I didn’t think the WSJ had it in them, but I underestimated.)

Mr. Newport wrote about how he was baffled and a bit appalled with what some of the young pro golfers have started sporting and how it’s caught on to the Average “Joe” golfer. I don’t blame him and I agree with some of his thoughts.

Although I’m from the same generation (the “millenials” as we’re often called) as the likes of Anthony Kim, Camillo Villegas, Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott, I still appreciate the classic polos and chinos look on the golf course. Surprisingly, as someone whose been called “fashion-forward,” I’m somewhat conservative when it comes to golf attire. Sure, I like the bright colors and I’ll throw in a white belt and plaid pants from time to time. But, for some reason, I’m still partial to seersucker and nantucket red shorts.

At the same time, I like that golf clothes have gotten more trendy. I mean, I’d never be caught dead in a skort or a head-to-toe bright pink get-up, but that’s just me. Like I told Mr. Newport, I do believe that many pros (both men and women) are making a conscious effort to make a statement via their fashion choices. For some players, their sponsors and/or management teams are very likely encouraging them to do so.

And, it’s not just the young guys – Phil Mickelson is the perfect example. Mr. Newport pointed out to me that in the first round of the Masters, the sleeves of Phil’s shirt were a tad too short – just so you could see his farmer’s tan! I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, Phil needs to fire his stylist. Some people have style and others don’t. Poor Phil obviously falls in the latter category.

As for “blaming the Europeans,” that’s a fair point. The international players have always been more outlandish in their fashion choices. With the exception of Anthony Kim, the  young pros Mr. Newport mentioned that have been sporting the “Full Cleveland” are not American. I think it’s safe to say that the international guys tend to have better fashion sense. So, this is where I’ll disagree with Mr. Newport.  I actually find Ian Poulter’s wide variety of flamboyant pants fun and entertaining ‘cause he manages to pull it off – same goes for Shingo Katayama’s “samurai-cowboy” look.

Golf is unique in that unlike other major professional sports, there’s no required uniform. The pros can choose what they wear – as long as their attire falls under the relatively liberal parameters. There are no rules restricting the size of their belt buckles, the color or length of their hair, the pattern of their pants, and so forth. With that said, why not wear outfits that will make a personal fashion statement? I don’t see any real harm in it (other than for guys like Phil and Rory “Easter Egg” Sabbitini).

More and more, Tour players want to stand out from the crowd, distinguish themselves and develop their own trademark (like Anthony Kim and his crystal-studded “AK” belts). Celebrities and other professional athletes have been doing it for years. It’s called “personal” branding. I despise that term. But, you know what, if it makes the players more prominent and draws more people to the game, then so be it.

Apr
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

I actually brought up Coach Karl’s words last night in my head, literally. When he said, you know he said don’t put your head down, just go forward. I can’t remember his exact ones, but all I knew is he looked over at me and said, hey, you’re a hockey player, go kick some butt.

You know, he’s a great guy. I’ve had a lot of fun with him over the years. I think he’s doing fantastic. He’s a great coach. It was just nice of him.

That’s two of my wins to me have been helped out by basketball coaches. Billy Cunningham helped my first win at the Sony. He was my mental guru before I went over there to Jupiter Hills, and George Karl last night kicked me in the butt, so that’s good.

Jerry Kelly on how words of wisdom from George Karl, long-time NBA Basketball Coach, influenced his competitive instincts coming down the final stretch at the Zurich Classic.

I believe it. Karl is a damn good coach, who knows how to get his players fired up. I know that if I needed some inspiration and an extra kick in the booty to get me going, he’d be at the top of the list!

Apr
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

I’m still playing with a TaylorMade 320i Driver. Yes, the one from circa 1999. I tried to switch to the  TaylorMade 580i a few years ago, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I mean, I just have so many good memories with the 320i – it’s hard to let go. Plus, I hit it so straight.

Well, It’s about time for an upgrade. I like what I hear about the TaylorMade R9 Driver (Regular shaft, 10.5 degree loft). I have a feeling that I’ll begin a whole new love affair once I get my hands on one…

Since I’m a starving blogger, donations are welcome.

Apr
26
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Fierce. That’d be Jerry Kelly after he made par on the final hole to secure his win at the Zurich Classic. It was his first time in the winner’s circle in seven years!

Kelly celebrated in classic New Orleans style as he marched proudly adorned with colorful beads and munched on his favorite local dish, oysters.

He’s one of those guys whose name tends to get lost in the pack of the better-known players – unlike some of the other vets he beat today. But, Kelly was able to prevail despite final round surges by Rory Sabbitini, Charlie Wi and Charles Howell III.

Tip of the hat to Kelly for battling it out to win his third PGA tournament!

Apr
26
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Despite the panic ensued by the swine flu epidemic, President Obama took the time to tee it up on the golf course this afternoon. Who could blame him? It was a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. He has people to handle these emergencies. Duh!

He has the “geek chic” look going with his sunglasses, cream-colored baseball cap, short-sleeved shirt and khaki shorts. I love it. But, Mr. Prez, we’ve gotta talk about those socks!

Apr
23
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Nice to see him card a good round finally. It must be the new shaft!

Enjoy the oysters, but stay away from the clams, Parker.

Apr
23
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

I thought here I am for four days, hour upon hour, just playing beautiful golf and it all boils down to one little chip shot on the 71st hole. I had it up until the last half hour of the golf tournament. I relived it over and over again. I wouldn’t have done it any different. Still the shot to play. I just need to get better at that shot.

Kenny Perry, on his disappointing Masters playoff defeat. [via]

He is the epitome of a gentleman and how a professional athlete should act (Ahem, listen up, Sergio!). Even though this might be remembered as “The Masters where Perry was thisclose to becoming the oldest professional athlete to win a major championship,” it will also be considered as “The Masters where Perry was the most gracious, honorable and inspiring professional athlete to lose a major championship.” In my book, the latter is worth more than a dozen green jackets.

Apr
23
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Adam Scott needs a lesson in blogging. Check that. Whoever is doing his ghost-blogging needs one. I get that Adam is a busy guy, and blogging just might not be his thang. So, it comes as no surprise that he has someone do it for him. Not to mention, he’s probably working hard on his game, being that he’s missed the last three cuts. As a fan, I’d like to hear more about about his thoughts on things like that. Or, on behalf of all the ladies, if he’s dating anyone. Who’s not with me on this one?

Check out the latest entry from 4/21. To summarize, Scott hopes we’re all well. He’s heading to Florida to practice and he’s playing in the Tour event next week at the Quail Hollow Championship. He can’t wait to see everyone. He also thanks everyone who participated in the Adam Scott Foundation and Youngcare golf day on Monday. The proceeds will go to buiilding a 24-hour care facility for young people with debilitating injuries on the Gold Coast in Australia.

It’s great to know that Scott’s giving back, and I really respect that he dedicates so much time and effort in his charity work. We should all do our part. But, would it be too much to ask for his ghost-blogger to try to sound more like Adam Scott himself? Oh well, at least he’s hot!

[photo via Getty]

Apr
23
2009

The Zurich Classic isn’t the only event taking place this week in the Big Easy. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival coincides with the PGA Tourney, adding flavor and jive for the players and fans. The tournament serves local specialities like oysters, crab and crawfish. Yummy! But, I’m not sure the players should be munching on these snacks during competition. It sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster. Just some food for thought.

Anyway, here’s who I’ll be rooting for this week:

  • Kenny Perry: Who isn’t pulling for him after his heartbreaking loss at the Masters? He’s handled the disappointment better than 99.98% of any athlete/pro out there. It’s no secret that I was cheering for Perry at the Masters from the very beginning, and I still am this week (and ‘til he retires).  Perry’s been playing incredibly all year, and perhaps, he’s more confident than ever. He’ll have plenty of fan support, which always gives him a boost. And, frankly, finishing second place at the Masters isn’t anything to be ashamed about.
  • Nick Watney: He won this tournament in 2007. Watney’s been playing stellar all season. He won the Buick Invitational earlier this year. Also, he’s made the cut in all 9 appearances, placed in the top-ten 3 times, and currently ranked fourth in the FedEx Cup Standings. It’s simple – He’s a baller!
  • Mike Weir: I can’t explain it. I just have a soft spot for the guy. He hasn’t been playing spectacularly this year, but it hasn’t been terrible either. I’m looking for him to make some noise this week.
  • Ryan Moore: As a product of Washington State and a former Junior Golf buddy, I’m always pulling for him. Moore’s demeanor is calm, collected and confident. So far in ‘09, he has finished in the top-25 three times. He’s a young guy on Tour whose due to break through. Mark my words!
  • Danny Lee: He’s one of the teen phenoms that have created quite the stir. And, for good reason – He’s only 18, but playing well beyond his years. As expected, he turned pro after playing in the Masters. Lee is the current U.S. Amateur Champion, and to boot, he already has a European Tour victory under his belt. He’s got game.