Curiosity led me to cut my collection of golf balls in half to see what the cores looked like. To my surprise, what I found inside inspired me to consider that I could discover, in the unlikeliest of places, elegant formal qualities and surprising metaphorical possibilities
20 year old Jordan Spieth is tied for the lead heading into today's final round at the Masters
. If he wins, he'll become the youngest champion. Spieth
, teeing off at 2:40 Eastern, is 20 years, 8 months and 17 days old. If he can hold off his playing partner Bubba Watson and the rest of the field, Spieth will continue an odd pattern of a new youngest champion every 17 years — going back more than half a century. [more inside]
Triple Crwn Winners-3 Perfet games pitched-23 300 games bowled-50k
Rick Baird notched 18 straight hole-in-one shots to record a perfect putt-putt score. In more than 50 years of sanctioned competition, it was just the third time that anyone had achieved the feat.
Putt-putt is different from miniature golf. It’s played only on official courses; there are no pirate ships, no windmills, and no holes that cannot be conquered with one stroke — if you execute the perfect shot. On that day in 2011, Baird executed the perfect shot 18 times in a row [more inside]
Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt invented a radical new golf putter
. But Dr. Vanderbilt may not be exactly whom she seems to be....
Controversy struck the exalted Augusta grounds of the Masters golf tournament on Friday as Tiger Woods put himself at risk of disqualification.
It all began with a situation in which Woods had the extraordinarily bad luck of bouncing his ball off the flagstick on the 15th hole into the water. Instead of dropping his ball "as nearly as possible"
to it's original position, Woods dropped it a couple of yards back. In an interview after the round, Woods said: "I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit and that should land me short of the flag and not have it either hit the flag or skip over the back."
Woods signed his scorecard without assigning himself the two shot penalty the rules of golf require for an improper drop.
The following day, the Masters Rules Committee ruled that Woods would not be disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, justifying it by using a new rule that allows tournament committees to waive rules infractions called in by TV viewers, even though the intention of that rule was to prevent disqualifications based on tiny movements of the ball or sand imperceptible to the golfer but visible on close-up HD shots.
Many in the golf world were outraged
at both the ruling and the fact that Woods didn't withdraw himself from the tournament. Nick Faldo suggested it would be "the manly thing to do." [more inside]
Obama, DC Press Corps Locked In Mutual Loathing Pact
. Mike Allen, of Politico
, in his article Obama, The Puppet Master
, said that Obama " has shut down interviews with many of the White House reporters who know the most and ask the toughest questions." John Cook (Gawker
) replies: I will now tweet every question Politico's Mike Allen asked President George W. Bush during a May 2008 interview"
) [more inside]
If ever there were a question about the ballooning scale of America's prison system, the Louisiana State Penitentiary provides an answer. It has its own golf course
"I had these clubs when I was a young bachelor, hair down to my shoulders, tearing up the town in a 1990 Volvo 740 SEL with the sunroof open and the road before me like some great American Dream ready to be snatched, the way candy is from a baby, or a kiss from an easy and drunk woman."
Writer Marc Lewis
is selling his awful golf clubs.
There is a small jail
on Santa Catalina Island
. And apparently, it pays to be sent there, when you're a pro golfer
For those kept off the links -- particularly those with windmills -- by Irene, a flash alternative
(via Kottke). Needs ice cream, but otherwise oojah-cum-spiff (via Wodehouse).
, golf legend, has passed away at 54
. If you could say anything about his game, was that he could win a British Open from the car park
made it to the 9th hole of the first round of the Valero Texas Open on Thursday with a decent score of one under. Unfortunately, he left the hole with a much, much worse score
. [more inside]
Greatest calls in sports
is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
One more thing to ease our collective guilt: Organic Golf.
"Opened eight years ago, the club is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States, its 18 holes groomed without the use of a single synthetic pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide or other artificial chemical treatment."
allows you to play golf via twitter. Type a word and swing: the strength of your shot is proportional to the number of times the word has been tweeted in the last 20 seconds. A project of Twitter game outfit Local No. 12
, whose SXSW presentation "Playing with 140 characters" is available here
. (Via the just-concluded 2010 Games, Learning and Society conference
here in Madison.)
Tiger Woods will return to competitive golf today, teeing off at the Masters
at 1:42 EDT today. ESPN will carry the tee shot live, then begin full coverage at 3 PM. Last time Tiger returned from a long break due to surgery, Nike's ad was lighthearted
. This time, things are very different, and the new ad
released yesterday definitely has a different tone, invoking the words of Tiger's late father, Earl Woods. Of course, some in the media are going to keep teeing off on Tiger's scandalous affairs, including this new revelation
of a tryst with a neighbor's 21-year-old daughter.
Simon Dyson was the winner at the Dunhill Links Championship, but Manuel de los Santos
may have made the biggest impression at the pro-am event, which was played on St. Andrews
, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie
. De los Santos
, 25, is a former baseball player who lost a leg in a car accident and picked up golf in 2004, after moving from his native Dominican Republic to France. He plays to a 3-handicap without the aid of a prosthesis.
Edwin "Bud" Shrake - journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter - died early Friday in Austin. [more inside]
Golf course architecture
goes back more than 100 years
. Golf courses can be incredibly
beautiful, very tough
, or extreme
. Which are the best
golf courses? Of course, the golf course critics over at Golf Club Atlas
might not agree. [more inside]
Bush interview with Politico: "For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf
Are golf courses bad or good for the environment? Chances are the answer you give depends on whether you are actively involved with the game. Representing anti-golf we have the Organic Consumers Association
, the Journal of Pesticide Reform
(pdf), and the Global Anti-Golf Movement
. Speaking on behalf of golf course management the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews
(pdf) and the United States Golf Association
. A group of leading golf and environmental organizations have jointly developed Environmental Principles for Golf Courses in the United States
- like it's ball-and-club cousin- challenges the player to navigate the obstacles of a pre-designed course from tee to basket, with progress being marked by the distance of your throw. It's my favorite way to enjoy the outdoors- and most courses are free to play! The sport is easy and fun to get into, yet provides an exhilarating challenge to players of all skill levels. You can play to relax, socialize, or win, depending on your style. What is disc golf
, and where did it come from?
With over 1000 courses in the US alone, you should have no problems finding a course in your area
. Pick out some discs
, grab a few friends, and go get throwing! Here are some tips
for new players. [more inside]
World Golf Tour in cojunction with Taylormade have released a beta version of photorealistic flash competitive golf simulator
As of now, nothing but a closest to the pin challenge is available, but they promise full playable courses are coming soon. It promises to be World of Warcraft, but for chubby middle aged men, enabling play with friends in real time. Avid golfers may never be productive again. Fortune Magazine checks it out.
The Philosophy Podcast
seems to be a podcast where great philosophical works are read aloud. Unfortunately you need to pay for the full works, but the bits are fun. For something a little more contemporary, check out Philosophy Talk
, hosted by Ken Taylor
and one of the funniest contemporary analytic philosophers: John Perry
. In particular, check out Perry's light essays
in which the power of procrastination
can be harnessed (and apparently now put on t-shirts
), an ideal desk
is a giant lazy susan, and connections are drawn between golf and suffering
He stands a mere 5'1" but can drive a golf ball over 330 yards, and this past weekend he became the youngest player in 50 years
to make the cut and play on a PGA Tour event
. The golf media is ready to embrace Tadd Fujikawa as its Next Big(!) Thing. Of course, it was quickly noted
that the amateur Tadd outplayed, upstaged, and overshadowed another young Hawaii-bred golfer who did not make the cut at the Sony Open: the 17 year-old Michelle Wie
, who turned pro at age 16 and is raking in an estimated $10 million in endorsements from Nike and Sony (but maybe we shouldn't break out the Hater-ade over that...
). Michelle is widely known for drawing huge crowds while unapologetically ruffling feathers as she attempts to play in various men's tournaments. Her critics note
that she hasn't won against the Ladies
yet, let alone the men, and is no longer deserving of the hype. Thus the parade of talented and ambitious youth continues to plunge into the waiting, toothy embrace of marketing execs worldwide, shouldering the dreams of their parents and weathering the barrage of the critics' cynical ink...
Audi released its new super-sportscar, the R8, at the Paris Autoshow today.
With cars like the R8 and the Bugatti Veyron
at the top end and the Toyota
, there's lots of neat stuff going on in the automotive world...just not from GM, Ford
Maybe it's just me, but pumping out crap like this
may be part of the reason. Just guessing.
The web moves in wonderful ways. Case in point, must see mashups WeatherBonk.com
. If you are ski freak or weather geek, you will really find these pages useful. There's even a golfbonk in beta, if you are into it!
Tabloid photographs from the Los Angeles Herald Express (1936-1961), showing celebrities
, (early) CHiPs
, and babes with guns
Via the Virtual Gallery
at the LA Public Library, which has many other fine exhibits, such as California in the 20s
, the 1932 Olympics
, celebrity golf
, and a wonderful collection from the golden age of travel posters
How the hell did Fuzzy sink this hole-in-one
?! It hangs for looooong seconds in the rough, then accelerates
directly to the hole. I swear, there were magnets involved!
Quite possibly the most amazing hole-in-one ever.
Though not the first time
golf has been played
in space, Russian cosmonauts
are still planning to go ahead
with the world's longest drive (3-4 years in orbit) from the International Space Station, as sponsored by the golf company Element 21 [link is to a rather neat CGI video of the shot, in wmv format. Coral Cache version.]
The only problem -- it might hit the space station
with the force of a 6.5 ton truck moving at 60 mph, though others are more worried about what the stunt means for the space program
A little high stakes golf, anyone?
It's no surprise that people play golf for high stakes, but it does make for an entertaining read.
There's an excellent two part
dialog between Bill Simmons
and Malcolm Gladwell
on ESPN's Page 2 this week. The two cover a wide variety of topics such as writing, how a kid with no TV from the middle of nowhere in Canada can be a sports fan, the NFL, the economics of sports, and everyone's favorite NBA GM Isiah Thomas.
Should the LPGA control photos taken at its events to this extent?
It seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot. Don't they want to be featured in the press? Are they infringing on the photographer's "rights"? More info here
Named after the hill on which Jesus was crucified, Golgotha Fun Park
, once the country's #1 shaded biblical mini-golf
destination, is now but a memory
. Fortunately, there are still other options
Par 5 site on the science of golf balls.
Service on the newly sized tennis ball
. Return on the flight of tennis balls: Part 1
; Rally with Part 2
. Back and forth again with Ball/Court Interaction 1
, and the aerodynamics of tennis ball coverings
puts it away for the point. (And apparently, the weight inside a bowling ball isn't spherical and so modeling the movement of bowling balls takes university papers and presentations.
I normally get bored quickly with golf games, but the urban twist makes this shockwave game pretty entertaining. (Just ignore the Jaguar logo and the occasional product placement.)
If it didn't happen on national television
[wmv]) you would have thought it was faked like that LeBron
Well if Wieden+Kennedy
isn't already working on it, they surely will be shortly
. "... they have a Nike
-sponsored golfer wearing a Nike shirt, a Nike hat, Nike golf shoes, using Nike clubs, held in hands covered by Nike gloves, hitting a Nike prototype golf ball that was chipped onto the green, rolled, turned, rolled some more, then teetered on the edge of the cup with that Nike "Swoosh" turning and facing the television cameras for a full 1.5 seconds."