Mar
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Golf fashion has gotten a bad rap for years.  During my competitive golf days, I couldn’t wait to ditch the bland polos and unflattering shorts/slacks after the round.  But, thanks to the new generation of young golfers, like Camilo Villegas, who have both game and style, clothing sponsors are designing more appealing gear.  It’s about time.

Villegas is setting a good precedent for golf fashion (albeit it’s a tad too European for most).  He never hesitates to drop into his trademark “Spidey” move on the putting green, where he kneels into a half-squat, half-pushup position to drop his eyes to almost green level.  And what about those biceps that just make women swoon (myself included)?

I’m satisfied with watching a beautiful swing, but sadly, it’s sometimes not enough for fairweather fans.  Point being, players like Villegas are attracting a wider fan base to the Tour.

Mar
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

This is the BEST golf commercial I’ve ever seen; mostly because there’s a bit of truth behind it.  The locker room scene is a great depiction of the actual camaderie between the players.  Tip of the hat to Anthony Kim, Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink and of course, Tiger Woods.

And oh yeah, nice work, Nike!

Mar
27
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

“Woods was in the water, in the trees and in a foul mood until he had eight consecutive one-putts — including four straight birdies — that put him in a good frame of mind with a 68 on a course where he has won five times as a pro.” [via]

Sounds like he’s baaaack.

Mar
26
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

With the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill commencing today, there’s been a lot of chatter about Arnold Palmer’s long-lasting footprint on golf and the Tour. Although Tiger Woods is already considered golf’s greatest player, Palmer is undoubtedly golf’s greatest icon and ambassador. PGATour.com posed an interesting question: Will Golf See Another Tiger Or Another Arnie?

Arguably, Tiger has done leaps and bounds to popularize golf for the masses. He’s exciting to watch and he revolutionized the conventional image of a professional golfer.  By that, I mean he is golf’s modern day celebrity. In fact, Tiger transcended merely being a professional golf superstar; he has become the world’s most famous athlete.

However, let us not forget, those who paved the way. Palmer has the unmatchable charisma to inspire fans, players and everyone around him. You can see it in his smile, his sparkling eyes, and when he tips his hat – he is passionate about the game like no other. He’s known to acknowledge the crowds of cheering fans – because he genuinely appreciates the support, but he also understands how important they are for the Tour.  And that is why Palmer will always be considered The King.

Tiger and Arnie clearly have a mutual respect for each other, but their personalities on the course could not be more contrasting.  Tiger generally puts on an exhilirating performance, whether it’s sinking a clutch putt on the 18th hole to win a tournament or winning the US Open on one leg.  His playing style and attitude on the course is intense. He is 110% focused on his game and the next shot. He is detached from what’s going on around him, but he will play to the crowd with his signature fist-pump. Otherwise, he’s all business. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that’s his style and golf is a game where intense concentration is imperative.  But, would it hurt if Tiger were a little less detached and aloof from the fans?

There’s a void that needs to be filled in respect to a superstar player who has both charm and fan attention. I would say guys like Anthony Kim, Stuart Appleby, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Rocco Mediate, Davis Love, Zach Johnson, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy, Fred Funk, Rocco Mediate, Ernie Els, Sean O’Hair, Jason Gore, Mike Weir (and the list goes on) are some of the more likeable on Tour. However, these guys don’t have the brand name and celebrity status that Tiger does. Without a doubt, Tiger has achieved a ton for the greater good of the game, but think about what a friendlier, more affable persona could achieve. I’m not saying he should pretend to be someone he’s not, but there are some big shoes to fill for this current generation of Tour players. So, the question is who has both the starpower and the talent to fill them. It’d sure be nice if it were Tiger.

Mar
25
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Which outfit should Sergio Garcia wear for Round 2 of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in May?

The PGA Tour is getting creative with their PR moves, and I, for one, am pumped about it!!!  Not only is Sergio the tourney’s defending champion, he’s known for his bold fashion statements. It’s a fitting choice.

The promotion is a fun way to engage golf fans from different walks of life. It also will draw attention to the PGA in other positive ways, including the actual tournament, Sergio as a personality, and the sponsors. I like it! Tip of the hat to all parties involved!

Oh, by the way, I’m voting for the outfit with the orange shirt and gray slacks (the one pictured in the center). Which one will you vote for?!?

Mar
24
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

TourGolfBlog posed the question today: Do You Remember The First Time You Beat Your Dad..At Golf?

I actually do remember this occasion. I was around 12. My step-father and I were playing at Bellevue Muni (where I learned how to hustle golfers at an early age; thank you to all parties responsible). I can’t remember what I shot exactly, but it was a spectacular score for me at the time. It was the first time I broke 90. I vaguely recall the score of 84. It was a huge break-through for me.

Instead of feeling crushed and embarassed that his teeny-bopper daughter had annihilated him, my step-father couldn’t have been more giddy and proud of me. There was no turning back. Fourteen years later, I can count the times he beat me on one hand after that glorious day. ;)

Mar
23
2009
By Stephanie Wei under General

Fred Couples aces 13th hole at TPC Sawgrass in 2006.

This weekend while I was watching the PGATour’s Transitions Championship, NBC played the clip of Freddie Couples’ hole-in-one on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass from 1997.  I decided that posting a similar clip (I couldn’t find the one from ‘97) was a fitting way to start off this blog.

Freddie grew up in Seattle, WA and played frequently at Jefferson Park GC, where I actually took my first golf lessons circa 1993. I remember walking through the club house and my step-father showed me the plaque in honor of Couples. I had just been introduced to golf and even at this young age, it struck a chord with me. I felt drawn to the game, like I was a bit closer to Couples, one of golf’s great players. He instantly became my first professional golf hero.

The pro I took lessons from had been teaching at Jefferson since the days when Couples was just a kid playing the course. I loved the stories he told me. I felt inspired to learn golf and hopefully, one day, play the game as well as he did (obviously that didn’t happen). And, from there on out, my love affair with golf began.