Why golf is fine with or without Tiger Woods

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Things haven’t been going so great as of late for Tiger Woods and the golf world is taking notice. First, he finishes in last place at his own tournament at the Hero World Challenge, then he shoots the worst score of his career at the Phoenix Open and now he withdraws from the Farmers Insurance Open with back issues.

 

With these problems, golf fans everywhere are fearing for the state of the game if Tiger isn’t playing and playing well. The idea of getting more eyes to watch golf makes people very cautious about what’s going on with Tiger.

 

It sucks what he has to go through and it’s kinda like when you really love to do something, yet something is holding you back from enjoying it. Taking away something you absolutely love.

 

For Tiger, he’s not only been dealing with injury, but his famed short game that was once arguably the best on the planet has faded. His chipping has been a mess and he’ll admit that himself.

 

So now, with the withdrawal, it seems that most golf fans’ biggest fear has come to reality. Tiger Woods could be riding on his way to the other side of the rainbow towards the end of an unbelievable era of dominance in sports.

 

He’ll still be playing and he will win a few tournaments I believe but he just might not be the same guy we saw in years past. Fans everywhere want to see the dominant Tiger of old but it looks like that’ll never happen, even if he bounced back and won a few tournaments this year.

 

He still wouldn’t be “back” to the Tiger that won 6 times a year including majors. These issues Tiger has faced is leaving the golf world sweating in nervousness.

 

The thing is…I think golf will be fine with or without Tiger Woods.

 

You see, people are so quick to jump to the conclusion that golf will die without Tiger Woods. I don’t buy this.

 

We have so many young, talented players in golf now including Rory Mcilroy who has played some amazing golf the last couple of years. The fields now are more loaded than they’ve been in a very long time.

 

Patrick Reed is already a four-time winner on Tour, Jimmy Walker damn near won two straight tournaments to start out the year (Reed defeated Walker in a playoff at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the first tourney of the year in Hawaii. Alohaaa!) and we just had Brooks Koepka win his first PGA Tour tournament after winning on the European Tour just a short while ago.

 

Rickie Fowler is coming into his own and building a huge fan base because of his swag, great play and his friendly personality. Dude could’ve easily won two or three majors last year the way he was playing!

 

And don’t get me started with the LPGA Tour. Some goofs think the LPGA is the laughing-stock of professional golf when really, it’s been the best tour of the last two years at least.

 

Every week, it’s just pure adrenaline, as there’s always multiple players towards the top of the leaderboard. That includes the big names like Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko and Jessica Korda.

 

The LPGA Tour has been a dominant force the last couple of years in the midst of the echoes and cries of “We need Tiger!”. Amazingly, the LPGA overcame the storm and is now an elite tour although I already thought it was a terrific tour to begin with.

 

As I mentioned in my LPGA Tour piece I wrote about, I think Inbee Park is the best golfer on the planet on any tour. She has more majors than Rory and they’re both only a year apart in age.

 

Lydia Ko became the youngest world no.1 player on any tour yet this unbelievable achievement has gotten overshadowed by Tiger’s downfall. It’s quite upsetting to be honest and we miss out on historic moments like these all because of one individual player.

 

People started to build a love towards Tiger because of some of the amazing shots he’s hit and his style of swing. He began getting more attention and the fans started to learn more about Tiger as his legend grew.

 

Broadcasters would tell you things that you probably didn’t know about Tiger and this helped get the fans closer to him. NBC’s Mark Rolfing probably said it best that one of the problems today is that he doesn’t believe broadcasters are taking you underneath the hats of today’s incredible young talent enough.

 

You, as a fan will likely not build a love for a player if you don’t know their story better. For example, Brooks Koepka just won the Phoenix Open but how much do you know about the young golfer?

 

Probably not much because the golf world was still hiding in a corner of a dark room after Tiger’s 82 so you probably didn’t care about Koepka’s victory. He’s an under rated golfer who has been playing great on the European Tour.

 

His victory made the lights in the room flicker but they never came on.

 

It’s hard to build a closer relationship to a player if you don’t really know who they are. That’s why Rickie Fowler is so popular with the fans because people learned a lot about him and he only has one PGA Tour win.

 

Bubba Watson hits some the most insane shots you’ll see and he has built a large fanbase because of it and his personality. However, his personality is a reason why some people dislike him as well.

 

Still, he has the skills that usually makes golf fans interested. Amazing power off the tee and the incredible ability to escape out of tough situations. How can we forget his historic Masters shot?

 

He was practically dead in the water then he said “Nooopee!” and hits one of the greatest shots will ever see. Eventually, he wins two Masters tournaments and is now one of the favorites again at Augusta this year.

 

Bubba, like Tiger and Phil have hit shots that gave us a reason why we love this sport so much. Yet, some will ignore what Bubba has done. Sure, he doesn’t have the resume of Tiger or Phil, but time and time again he hits a remarkable shot.

 

Although he has personality issues sometimes, we can’t deny the fact that he’s one of the most exciting players in the game. Once he’s on the tee or in a tough situation, you can’t help but watch and see what magic wand he pulls out of the bag.

 

He’s great for the game and if he gets his little issues straightened out, he’ll be a nice draw on Tour.

 

As for Tiger, since he has been so dominant, fans seem to get this “drunk love” mentality towards him, expecting him to dominate every single tournament he plays. When he fails miserably like he unfortunately has the last few weeks, Tiger fans continue to support him and think he will be in contention week after week.

 

The one thing I don’t really understand though, and as much as I love the game and appreciate what Tiger has done, I never understood this. Why does everyone want Tiger to win every single tournament?

 

I’ve seen it a lot on social media where fans need Tiger to dominate to watch. Why do you need Tiger to dominate to watch golf? Can you enlighten me on this? Am I missing something?

 

I wouldn’t want to see anyone win every single tournament, no matter who it is whether it’s Tiger, Rory, Phil, Rickie or Bubba. I want fresh competition and different winners. I want to get introduced to new talent in the game.

 

Because, if Tiger Woods was dominating and winning every tournament he plays in, wouldn’t that start to get really boring? If this is how the golf world feels, then why don’t we just call the PGA Tour, the “TW Tour”?

 

The tour would have no other golfer on it besides Tiger. The other golfers will serve as officials, volunteers, etc. It would be a tour where we see how well Tiger shoots on a specifically designed golf course.

 

So basically, the TW Tour would be Tiger vs the golf course designer. Is that what we really want to see? Because that’s how a lot of people are acting.

 

But do not fear golf fans, I’m already contacting the PGA Tour about making it a Tiger Woods only tour. That would make everyone happy!

 

Another thing that bothers me is that on social media, I’ll see Tiger fans hating on the other players by saying things like “They’re boring” or “They’re not Tiger”, etc. Yet when people talk smack about Tiger, Tiger fans want to bark back like my dog does as soon as he goes outside for no reason.

 

Double standard? Yes.

 

Another example is when Martin Kaymer just demolished the field at the U.S. Open. It was cool to see someone just destroy a golf course as tough as Pinehurst can be. Donald Ross probably would’ve started shivering after seeing that performance.

 

However, people widely considered Kaymer’s win as “boring”. Yet, if Tiger dominated that tournament, everyone would be going bonkers with joy. This is what confuses me.

 

I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with golf at all. I just think some people need to change their way of thinking.

 

Not trying to insult anyone or anything but I think that’s the issue. Expectations get the best of people sometimes. We all have been there.

 

But to say golf will die without Tiger is absolutely insane. Tiger will probably tell you that himself.

 

If you need an individual to consistently win every tournament then why are you even watching? Competition is the heart and soul of sports.

 

If an individual such as Tiger or Phil for that matter wins every tournament and people find joy in that, then what’s the point of watching? If you take the competitive nature out of the game and just have Tiger and Phil duke it out all alone on the Tour, it will be an absolute yawn fest.

 

Now, the people who dislike Tiger will automatically blame the media for the attention he’s getting. The thing is, the media has a job to do and that’s to please the audience.

 

A lot of people bring up Tiger’s name and that’s why you see so many stories and deep coverage. The media isn’t doing it just because, they’re doing it because you want to talk about him.

 

But I think things could be adjusted, like when you’re trying to shape your shot out on the course. It helps to bring the attention to certain topics such as Lydia’s rise to the top.

 

And the media does this quite a bit but you always seem to find Tiger’s name in an article about a totally different player. This is why you see so many Tiger stories.

 

Thing is about Lydia is that she is a terrific player to watch. She’s one of the deadly accurate players in the world and is perfect for the sport.

 

That’s just her alone. You got so many young guns on the PGA Tour that are terrific players. I simply don’t think they’re getting the proper attention because fans always seem to steer right back towards Tiger.

 

This is where the media has to force themselves to introduce these fine young players to the masses of fans, regardless if they want to keep talking about Tiger. This will make fans appreciate these players more in my honest opinion.

 

Sure, of course we can talk about Tiger, he is a player after all but I think credit is long overdue for the talent we’ve been witnessing and fans should recognize that. That’s right, you better recognizeee!

 

Before his cocaine issues, a lot of fans probably didn’t know that Dustin Johnson has won at least one tournament every year for his career. This includes two wins in 2010.

 

That impressive streak ended in 2014 since he went winless and a lot of that had to do with the drug issues he was having. He finished tied for fourth at the U.S. Open although it was a massacre by Martin Kaymer as mentioned.

 

So DJ is back and you can bet that we’ll be seeing long drive contests at tournaments this year with him, Bubba, Rory, Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka all bombing it off the tee.

 

Brooks leads the Tour in driving distance this year so far at a whopping average of 315 yards off the tee. Tony Finau isn’t too far behind as his average is 309 yards off the little stick in the ground.

 

Those two young guys alone should get you excited for the future of the game on TV and radio. It’s all a matter of knowing these guys a little more. Maybe they relate to you in some way.

 

Maybe they like doing things you do. That’s always going to hit certain fans emotionally because they enjoy the same things you enjoy.

 

That’s why it’s important to help bring that extra attention to these guys. Especially if they’re towards the top of the leaderboard which is usually the case when they’re in the field.

 

Another guy who I’m really excited about is Harold Varner III who played for the East Carolina Pirates. He had a great finish at the Panama Claro Championship, finishing second behind Matthew Goggin.

 

The Panama Claro Championship was the first tournament of the year so he’s already off to a hot start and I think there’s no doubt that he’ll earn his PGA Tour card when it’s all set and done.

 

There are just so many young, rising stars in golf right now so there’s no reason to not be excited. Every tournament it’s been a dogfight and you never know who’s going to win.

 

See, THAT’s fun to me. That’s exciting and that’s what it’s all about. The unpredictability that each week brings. This should be the driving force.

 

If Tiger wins, then that’s wonderful but as a long as it was unpredictable victory, then that’s where the excitement is.

 

The game has been around since the 1500’s and is one of the oldest sports in the world. Professional golf has been around since as early as the 1850’s or 1860’s.

 

Yeah, the game is totally going to die once Tiger and Phil are out of their prime. Not!

 

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I’m weird and I like golf, sports, video games and other stuff!

 


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The GP Early Morning Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Brendon Todd

Brendon Todd

Now, a lot of us love the Ryder Cup and with the Captain’s Picks coming up today, I felt it was only right to post some pick predictions for both the U.S. and European squads! You ready? I hope you are! You don’t look ready….you aren’t ready. Oh well, I’ll pick anyway! Let’s gooo!


Team USA Picks:

Keegan BradleyThe 2011 PGA Championship winner has quickly become a threat in Ryder Cup play, especially when he’s with Phil Mickelson as proven at Medinah in 2012. He’s in the top 20 in three categories on the PGA Tour 2014 including driving distance (17th), scoring average (14th) and scrambling (14th). With the U.S. squad being loaded with accuracy/control style players, Tom Watson could definitely use Keegan’s pop off the tee….and his Air Jordan shoes.

Brendon ToddThe HP Byron Nelson champion has quietly become a solid player on Tour. He had a solid showing at the U.S. Open but got overshadowed by a historic performance by Martin Kaymer. Brendon is a putting machine, ranking sixth in strokes gained and is very accurate off the tee ranking in the top 50 in driving accuracy. The putting sold me on this pick. The U.S. won’t win if they can’t putt, and the would be Ryder Cup rookie would get the job done. He ranks 116th in Greens in Regulation but if he hits the greens, then he’ll be a major threat.

Hunter MahanThis was kind of a tough choice with guys like Chris Kirk, Ryan Moore and Steve Stricker still on the board but Hunter is still one of the best golfers in the world. He’s impressively ranked in the top 50 in almost all of the key categories including Driving Distance (47th), Scoring Average (42nd), Driving Accuracy (37th), Greens in Regulation (32nd) and Strokes Gained (39th). Hunter is the whole package. Some may remember is down fall in the Ryder Cup in 2010 at Celtic Manor against Greame McDowell but Hunter is back and is looking to redeem himself and now I feel he’ll be dangerous with the extra experience he has.

Team Europe Picks:

Stephen Gallacher A born Scotsman, Stephen has been playing some solid golf all year and deserves his spot on the European Ryder Cup squad. With multiple top 10’s on the European Tour, Stephen has become a very consistent player in golf. He also is a terrific driver averaging 296 yards off the tee in 2014 while also being a solid putter as well. He has two key aspects in golf that he’s fairly good at it. Paul McGinley wouldn’t be disappointed with this pick and with Stephen being at home, it gives him a major boost.


Luke Donald
The golf superstar who represents England and Chicago is another solid pick idea for captain McGinley. Although he’s been quiet in most aspects of his game lately, he’s still one of the most dangerous putters in the world and he’s a true pro who can also be somewhat of a leader out there for team Europe. When Luke is drilling putts, and driving with accuracy, he’s hard to stop. His flatstick who heat up annnyy minute.

Ian Poulter Well duh, this has to be the most obvious choice of all of the picks. Hate him or love him, he brings an energy and excitement to team Europe that most players have never seen before. The Ryder Cup is where Poulter is at his best. He hasn’t had a great season on the PGA Tour in 2014 but in the Ryder Cup, he turns into a monster. Anytime Poulter is on your team, you know he’s going to put on a show. Ignore his stats, when he’s in the Ryder Cup, he’s a whole other animal. He is also one who has amazing putting ability when he’s on top of his game. His recovery isn’t too shabby either.

So there you have it! Who do you have for YOUR Ryder Cup picks? We’ll see the Captain’s Picks later today! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio!


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What Standard is the Golf Fanbase in Today?

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been the face of golf for the last 15 years.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been the faces of golf for the last 15 years.

Golf is one of the world’s oldest sports. It’s been a symbol of greatness, royalty and full of rich history. We’ve seen some of the best players in the world play this great sport on all levels from high school to amateur to the PGA Tour. Although this sport is ancient and has survived for many many years, do we need to start questioning the golf fanbase? Although there are many dedicated hardcore golf fans out there, there are still quite a few who seem to only watch golf when a Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson plays and are both playing well.

That’s quite a lot to ask for considering those are two golfers out of many golfers that play in tournaments and they both will not always be towards the top. Rory Mcilroy is another one but, on the PGA Tour has been relatively quiet lately despite his European Tour win this year. If those three guys are towards the top of the leaderboard, everyone watches. But how many times out of 10 will we see Tiger, Phil and Rory at the top at the same time? Not often. Some people believe that if Tiger is winning every tournament and dominating the field, it’s very entertaining but when another player comes into a tournament and dominates then people think it’s boring and everyone rolls their eyes.

Why has it come to this? Why do we need that one big player to catch our attention? Because we have to realize that Tiger and Phil won’t always be towards the top every time. Is it because of some of the shots they hit? We’ve seen many players hit some impressive shots over the years though. Bubba Watson always seems to hit some amazing shots, Rory was hitting some great shots when he was on top, and Martin Kaymer at the U.S. Open hit some impressive shots and putts. How can we forget Bubba’s outstanding recovery shot at the 2012 Masters? Or Martin Kaymer’s unbelievable putt at this year’s Players Championship on the world-renowned 17th hole? During the 2010 Masters, the one that Phil won, Anthony’s Kim’s performance gave me chills and could have pulled it off.

Although I was happy for Phil, I thought Anthony’s performance was outstanding and being as young as he was at the time made it more impressive. Similar thing with Jordan Spieth at this year’s Masters. He played terrific golf but Bubba knew Augusta too well and pulled off the victory for his second Masters victory. That was some amazing drama until Bubba finally started to pull away a bit. When Martin Kaymer pulled away from the field at the U.S. Open, he put on one of the most dominant performances in U.S. Open history, but nobody cared. They wished that Martin’s clothes were changed to Tiger’s signature Sunday red shirt and Phil’s trademark KPMG hat.

They didn’t want to see the same dude with the white shirt and the Sap hat. On the women’s tour, last year, Inbee Park had one of the most dominant seasons in golf history. It was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in my sports life. Nobody really cared though. They all wanted to see Tiger and Phil on the men’s tour. Even if Inbee’s performance did catch major attention, it took an unbelievable performance like that to do so. If Tiger or Phil win a regular tournament, everyone goes nuts.

Peter Kostis said it best in this tweet:

As much as we should appreciate what Tiger and Phil have brought to the sport, we need to look and pay attention to what the other great players are doing. Because if we feel that Tiger and Phil are above the sport then what’s the point of the hundreds of other players on tour? Just get rid of all of the players and let Tiger, Phil and Rory duke it out at every single tournament and change it to the TPR Tour (Tiger, Phil, Rory Tour). We always seem to want the next big thing, not just in golf or other sports, but in life. However, some don’t want to see the next big thing in golf. They just want it to be the Tiger and Phil show. Now that Tiger and Phil are slowly coming down the home stretch of their careers, we wonder who will follow in their footsteps. Rory was supposed to be that guy and still very well could be. However, we can’t think like this.

It’s great when there’s a player on tour that’s playing very well and dominating but when another player comes out to win a tournament, I feel they deserve respect, no matter who they are. No matter if they aren’t the big names that we want them to be. It should be exciting to see different players win because you never know if those players will come out and start dominating themselves and it adds to the conversation. I mean, wouldn’t it be boring if we just talked about Tiger and Phil all day? Look at Brendan Todd for example. He won the HP Byron Nelson tournament and he played well after that as it seemed he was always towards the top of the leaderboard.

He also played well at his first U.S. Open and there’s no doubt he could be in contention again in coming tournaments. So why is it like this? Why do we need that one big star to show up and play to keep our interests in the sport? I personally think it’s a shame. There are too many great players that we’re passing up on because we’re looking at the same guys. It’s the same song over and over again. We’ve seen some historic golf performances this year and last year but nobody really paid attention and missed out on some spectacular golf.

It’s awesome to appreciate greatness but the field of players we see today are some of the best we’ve seen in years yet we always come back to the same song and put it on repeat. The Tiger and Phil song. You want the next big thing? Well, they’re all right in front of us, we just have to take advantage of what we’re witnessing.

I’d love to hear your comments on this topic. I’m always listening! Also, hit me up on Twitter because I have things to do post about things that involve things and stuff: @ChiGolfRadio


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Is Lucy Li The Future of Golf?

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On Thursday and Friday, 11-year-old phenom, Lucy Li tried her hand at the task of tackling Pinehurst. no 2 at the Women’s U.S. Open after becoming the youngest player to qualify for the event. She ended up shooting a 78 on Friday which is a great score for anyone let alone an 11-year-old to shoot at Pinehurst. She has left an impression on the course that’s for sure and she will definitely be a story line for years to come because now she will be watched and scouted more at her tournaments now that she introduced herself to the world. So the question remains. Is she the future of the sport? She’s definitely confident in her abilities.

She had posted a video proclaiming that she was “The future of the game”. Only time will tell if the young golf prodigy will be the future of the game but her presence at the U.S. Women’s Open has already made a huge impact in my opinion. People may see her out there playing and playing well so they may want to let their kids try golf out and see how they like it and it’s hard not to get the golf bug. I for one wasn’t a golf fan growing up and now I write about it for a living. See what the sport does? So I think having her presence definitely has inspired adults and kids a like to try the sport out and this leads to major growth in golf.

Not only did she play well for her age on golf’s toughest stage, she handled herself so well and is definitely a very intelligent young lady. It blew my mind how she handled the media. She handled it better than most tour pros and that was awesome to see. Another thing that makes her presence special is the one thing that I always preach that golf needs. Diversity. Seeing a kid out there will catch the eye of a diverse group of kids because different kids will look at things they can get involved in and see if they like it or not because when you’re young, you try different things.

So for these kids to see another kid out there at the Women’s U.S. Open playing well and playing alongside a legend like Laura Davies is quite exciting for the growth of the game. She has a great swing, great personality, she’s very smart and she likes ice cream, what more do you want? Sure, some may say that her “I’m the future of the game” was a little cocky but come on y’all, she’s 11 years old! As smart as she is, imagine how mature she’ll be once she’s 15 or 16? It’ll be a good five or six years probably before we see her turn pro but let’s hope that nobody puts a ton of pressure on her like some did when Michelle Wie was a teen prodigy.

Michelle got her first major win at the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday by the way. Just let the girl do her thing and she shall shine. She might like the attention though, not sure. Either way, she should enjoy her childhood before she goes pro. Enjoy golf at the amateur level and enjoy being an 11, 12 ,13, year old kid. If you asked me today though, I’d say yes, she is the future of the game and hope many other kids follow the same path then they’ll all be the future of the game. Way to go Lucy, the ceiling is high for you kid.

Hit me up on Twitter because I have things to say about things and stuff, oh and I have ice cream too: @ChiGolfRadio


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Is Martin Kaymer Already One of Golf’s Greats?

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Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open on Sunday and he proved to the world that he’s one of golf’s best. He shot a 36 hole record at the U.S. Open and nearly got the all-time U.S. Open record but was just four shots short. The question now is, with 21 worldwide victories, 11 European Tour wins and three PGA Tour wins, is Martin Kaymer one of golf’s greats? I’m not saying top 10 all-time or even top 50, but is one of the best players in the history of this sport and we’re not noticing? The story could have easily been different if he didn’t win The Players and U.S. Open this year but now I believe you can make a case and he’s still very young at 29. He’s already arguably the best golfer to come out of Germany and now, he’s starting to make a mark in the States.

The reason why I believe he is one of the greats or is very close to it is that he has his 11 wins on the European Tour which has a ton of talent and on the PGA Tour, 11 wins a major will likely get you into the hall of fame. Although he only has three PGA Tour victories, we have to realize how significant those wins were. His first three PGA Tour titles were all practically majors, how many players win majors with their first three PGA Tour victories? That’s pretty impressive. The Players isn’t a major championship but it should be one because other than the four majors, it’s by far the biggest tournament of the year plus it has arguably the most famous hole in golf (The par 3 17th). So all in all, three majors on the PGA Tour and 11 wins on the European Tour is a very solid career.

It’s very hard to win at the professional level, just ask one of my favorite media guys Gary McCord (Zero PGA Tour wins but award winning pipes). Think about it, although the European tour isn’t as popular as the PGA Tour but it’s an extremely deep tour full of guys who also play well on the PGA Tour. So when you combine his 11 Euro Tour wins and his two majors and Players Championship on the PGA Tour which all three of those feel like two wins instead of one, you got a very good resume because it shows your dominance, no matter what tour you’re on. He’s also one of the better all around players in golf as he’s top 100 in every major category and no.1 in total driving. Again, I’m not saying he’s a top 10, top 50, or even top 100 all-time player at this point but he has a resume most players could only dream of.

There’s a scary similarity between Martin and Rory Mcilroy’s stats, throwing them both in the same conversation but it’s too early to tell how they both will be when it’s all said and done, that being said, both of these golfers have numbers that legends would have. Probably Martin’s biggest weakness is The Masters as he never seems to fare well there at all. You’ll see him on the leaderboard, but usually towards the bottom. If he could work on his game at Augusta and win a green jacket down the road here then he will definitely be in discussion as one of golf’s all-time greats (AGAIN, not top 10, or 50, or even 100). A Players Championship and three majors will raise many eyebrows PLUS he would be a British Open win away from the rare career grand slam but, one tournament at a time. He’s also an easy candidate for Player of the Year.

So what defines greatness? Is it the player’s ability to be clutch in key situations? Is it his or her ability to blow away the rest of the field by multiple strokes? Or is it just the accolades and victories? In my mind, it’s all of those things and Martin Kaymer has done them all. A few accolades, huge victories and clutch moments and when he’s on his game, he’s one of the most dangerous players in the world.

Hit me up on Twitter: @ChiGolfRadio


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Why Stacy Lewis is by Far The Best Golfer on The Planet on Any Tour

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With the Women’s U.S. Open right around the corner, one name will always stand out in the field. Stacy Lewis, the world no.1 ranked LPGA Tour golfer who shortly lost her no.1 rank when Inbee Park was playing out her mind winning three out of five major championships during the 2013 season, is now on top of the world again and is not only the best golfer on the LPGA Tour, but the best golfer in the world, period, any tour. The only player close to her level on any tour is the aforementioned Inbee Park. Although Inbee is a terrific player, she seems to have trouble on shorter putts. Stacy is a very good putter and is extremely dangerous and unstoppable once she gets on a streak. No other player on any Tour can do that. You don’t see players on the PGA, Champions, or Web.com Tour be as streaky as she is and although they’re great players, what Stacy does is just unreal. If Stacy gets at least four or five birdies in a row, it’s game over.

Not only that, she’s a great ball striker. She’s third on the LPGA in GIR (Greens in Regulation). Heck, she’s good at every freakin’ thing. She’s top five on the LPGA in multiple categories and she’s no.1 in putting, scoring average, and birdies. She’s also 16th in driving distance so she can pound the ball as well. She has 10 career victories and two major titles. She was the one who stopped Inbee’s unbelievable performance last year when she won the Women’s British Open to end Inbee’s chances of being the first golfer ever of any tour to complete the grand slam. Although Inbee currently has more majors than Stacy but Stacy is just playing out her mind and has been the most consistent golfer in the world by far.

Ever since she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship back in 2011, she’s been a monster in golf ranking 1st in several categories every year for the past three years. Inbee had one of the top five greatest seasons in golf history in 2013 but Stacy has just been a consistent machine despite losing her top rank for a while and now she reigns supreme again. Both herself and Inbee have already solidified themselves as future hall of famers but right now, Stacy Lewis is not only the Queen of the LPGA, but the Queen of golf. It’s her sport right now, she owns it and her dominance isn’t going to stop anytime soon, this is just the beginning. She’s the pinnacle of the sport right now and it’s something we have to appreciate while we can instead of wondering who the best player is right now when the answer is obvious. Stacy Lewis is golf.

your-time

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8 Reasons Why Augusta National is the Greatest Venue in All of Sports

A painting of the gorgeous and iconic 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club

A painting of the gorgeous and iconic 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club

With The Masters this week, its time for golf’s greatest tradition. What makes The Masters so amazing is the golf course and that course is none other than the world-famous Augusta National Golf Club. The place is unlike any other place in sports and in my opinion, it’s the greatest venue in all of sports and here are some reasons why.

1: The Atmosphere – What makes Augusta so amazing is the looks of it. So many people dream of going to The Masters to experience Augusta and all of it’s beauty. Jay Coffin of Golf Channel once told during an interview on my radio show that it’s like going to Disney World. He’s right but it might even be better. The flowers and tall trees make our jaws drop as if we’re in some kind of fantasy dream. Augusta National used to be home to a nursery which why there were so many beautiful flowers and the flowery tradition still goes strong today. Even the road that goes up to the clubhouse is a treat as Magnolia Lane as been an Augusta National icon for decades and was created many years before the course was built when it was still a nursery.

2: The Rich History – Although Augusta National came on the golf scene a little later than legendary courses like Pebble Beach and Pine Valley, the history still runs so deep as if it’s been around before those courses with Augusta being built 21 years after Pine Valley (Established in 1913) and 15 years after Pebble (Established in 1919). What’s help made the history so rich is how the course stood out from the others and how it hosted what now is one of the biggest sporting events in the world which is The Masters. The legendary Green Jacket ceremony as well as all of the great players that have played and won there also contributes to this history. Bobby Jones and Dr. Allister McKenzie stepped on the former nursery and decided to make a golf course, the rest is history.

3: The Location – Georgia is one of the most legendary states in the country with a rich history. It was only fitting to have a course with beautiful tall trees and flowers in a location with usually warm weather. Having the course and the tournament in Augusta, Georgia has really helped put the historic town on the map.

4: The Weather – I know it’s Georgia but all states have their bad days with weather. For some reason, when The Masters comes around, the weather is always perfect or nearly perfect. Even when it’s a cloudy day, the course looks gorgeous. It seems like it has some kind of magic to it with the way the weather is at Augusta National. It’s always a perfect day at The Masters.

5: The Crowd – I believe that the crowd at The Masters is one of the most under rated crowds in sports. Every incredible play and every dramatic putt will get that crowd roaring like dinosaurs. If you’re on hole 9 and someone hits an amazing shot on 10, then you better believe you’ll hear them roar in the distance and on Sunday, it’s one of the loudest venues in all of sports.

6: Amen Corner – Amen Corner is arguably the best group of holes in golf. It features the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes. The name “Amen Corner” was created by legendary golf writer Herbert Warren Wind and has since become famous all around the world. These three magnificent holes have drawn as much and maybe even more attention then the course itself and has inspired many with their artistic beauty and continue to amaze us. Back in the 1934, holes 11, 12 and 13 were holes 2, 3 and 4.

7: Hole 12 or “Golden Bell” – Hole 12 as I mentioned is part of Amen Corner but it’s probably by far the most famous hole on the course. It’s also widely regarded as the best par-3 hole in the world with some considering TPC Sawgrass’ world famous 17th hole or Pine Valley’s 3rd hole as the best. Although the holes mentioned are gorgeous and challenging, the look and challenge of the 12th at Augusta is unreal. The way the tall beautiful trees and flowers are tucked in the corner with Hogan’s Bridge and Rae’s Creek showing themselves in the image as well. It’s the only famous hole where hitting a shot in the bunker is OK because otherwise it’s going in Rae’s Creek. Just an unbelievable hole.

8: The Masters – Well, this one is as obvious as a pool full of water. The Masters has matched perfectly with Augusta National to create one of the finest sporting events in the world. All the great fans, players, caddies, employees, writers and broadcasters that left their marks on the hollowed grounds during The Masters and has been a dream for a lot of people for years to attend the tournament. The Green Jacket ceremony i one of the best traditions in sports and despite some people saying that the jackets look ugly, I think they look freakin’ great. The Masters has brought people from all over the world to experience this haven on earth of a golf course with its sights, great competition, the great southern style food, the historic clubhouse and now the new practice facility (Built in 2010) is a beautiful addition to this masterpiece of a course. There is absolutely nothing at Augusta National that isn’t iconic and this year’s Masters should be a blast. 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year Rick Reilly named The Masters in 2009 as the best sporting event to attend live.

“Hello friends, and welcome to The Masters.” – Jim Nantz

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What the Cheyenne Woods Victory Could Mean for African Americans in Golf

Cheyenne-Woods_3080090

On Sunday, Cheyenne Woods got her first professional victory on the Ladies European Tour as she won the Australian Ladies Masters edging out Australian amateur, Minjee Lee. It’s a victory that some fans have been quietly waiting for considering the fact that she’s the niece of none other than Tiger Woods. Well, as her goal was accomplished, she was quite proud to get that “Oh, you’re Tiger’s niece” monkey off her back. “I want to be recognized as a golfer and not just Tiger Woods’ niece” Cheyenne said according to the Guardian. That’s the spirit girl! Because that’s kind of disrespectful to her if everyone just knows her as “Tiger’s niece”. I think her win is great for golf. I think it opens more doors for African-American golfers to take aim at reaching the pro circuit.

Yes, there are a few black college golfers, amateur golfers, golf broadcasters and writers (Including myself being half black) but you just don’t see black golfers make it to the pro level and I think Cheyenne’s victory helps this because for one, she’s a very beautiful and attractive woman, secondly, she’s very young and can appeal to many young golfers and third, she seems more cool and down to earth as to where Tiger was kind of on his own little planet. Like, Cheyenne seems like a person any of us can relate to in some way. She seems like the kind of chick you could just sit down and talk to about different things and I think that is absolutely huge for bringing more young African-American fans into the sport and eventually get them to play. Not only this, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen two black golfers (Cheyenne and Tiger) win tournaments in recent times.

Although they’re related, Cheyenne and Tiger definitely seem like two totally different people. She’s also obviously a strong mental woman as well as she ignored the recent troubles of her father Earl Woods Jr who was arrested a couple of months ago for faking a bomb threat in his work place in Phoenix, Arizona where Cheyenne grew up. What did she do despite that? Oh, nothing much, just won the Australian Ladies Masters. No big deal right? We could all go there with skirts and pull that off right? Of course we could! I’d have to change my name to “Coleen” or something though instead of Colin.

All kidding aside though, I really think she’ll be a huge hit with the African-American golf fans around the country if she continues her success. Because there are a lot of very talented black golfers out there but we just unfortunately never see them go pro or they quietly go pro and we don’t notice because remember, there’s over 900 players on the PGA Tour alone. I’m sure we remember Joseph Bramlett, who made headlines a couple of years ago for being the first black golfer other than Tiger to get his PGA Tour card in a long time and he was also half black and half white (I salute you sir!) but unfortunately, he hasn’t really done nothing much on the grind that is the PGA Tour. I think Cheyenne will be consistent, even if Inbee Park loses her mind again and destroys the golf world which was so freaking awesome. Then again, Cheyenne is on the Ladies European Tour so she shouldn’t have to worry about “Queenbee Park” at the moment and I think this victory will help build her confidence for more tournaments to come.

Probably the best thing about this is that she is on a female tour so not only will we possibly see more male African-American players on the golf course and more fans, but we’ll see a ton of young black ladies get involved with the game too and that would be wonderful because although golf’s amazing and full of endless opportunities, community involvement and adventures, the game still needs a ton of diversity and fortunately, there a fair share of African-Americans are in the media and are doing other golf jobs as well. If we also see more African-American, Mexican, etc golfers playing at the high school level then I think that’ll also be a huge plus because if they play well then that means college scholarship to a great golf school and that could lead to a potential PGA or LPGA Tour card. I know Cheyenne is one woman but she has looks, she multi-talented, she’s straight up cool and she’s a winner and that’s what we love as Americans right? Looks, talents, down to earth people and we love champions right? She also seems very intelligent as well and she’s still extremely young. Let’s hope this girl continues to inspire all of the young golfers with both her skill on the course and in media. Keep it real ma!


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What if golf video games had great story modes? All would be great with the world

A screenshot of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

A screenshot of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

Ah yes, video games. The true definition of an escape from reality and into worlds full of fun. A quest that leads to accomplishments that make you feel completely epic and powerful. It’s a true way to also put our creative minds into work to show how artsy society can really be. Video Games are no doubt one of the greatest creations known to man. We’ve also seen many great sports games created as well and golf has definitely had its share of the video game glory as well which leads me to the beginning of this topic. What if golf games had great story modes to them? Over the years we’ve seen outstanding games with incredible stories and some of those games being sports games.

Fight Night Champion seemed to have an interesting story to it and so far what I’ve heard from the PS4 version of NBA 2K14 is that there’s a pretty good story mode in there as well. This brings hope for golf games in the future to follow the same paths. We’ve seen in previous versions of the popular Tiger Woods PGA Tour series that there were mini story modes and an example of that is in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 which had a neat time travel feature as you went through time to take down golf legends and fantasy characters until you reached the current generation where you take on Tiger Woods in the final battle. Yes, there was time travel in Tiger Woods 14 but Tiger Woods 06 had a tiny bit of story mode flavor to it as to where Tiger Woods 14 was challenges at best although I enjoyed the feature.

If only golf games had deeper story modes with more cutscenes and cinema style visuals to go along with great gameplay then I think you’ll have one of the greatest sports games ever made. Now, I know people are going to be like “Dude, how are you going to make a sport like golf in a video game with a great story mode? It’s GOLF!”. Well, it would take a few years of development but there are many ways you can do this. One of the ideas I had was to have a golf game where you’re an amateur golfer in the current generation and you just won a major amateur golf tournament. The beginning of the game allows you to run around freely in an open world environment in the current generation as you are in a town that’s famous for its golf therefore it’s full of golf related activities. As you walk around you can either talk to people who will give you golf challenges or give you a heads up on upcoming tournaments for you to enter.

You can also be able to go to local shops where you can purchase gear that can improve your golfer’s attributes. The more challenges you complete, the more the story starts to unfold. You’re also with a struggling family as well which adds to the emotion of the game and the connection with your character. As you progress to the first few challenges in the current generation, there would be a cutscene where you just won another tournament and you head to your locker in excitement as you start to realize the reality that you getting closer to possibly becoming a professional and that all of your struggles are over. Then you notice a glow in your locker as you’re changing back to your casual clothes (This is where things get weird but hey I’m writing this so you know things will get weird). Of course, the curious soul that you are, you stick your hand into the glow and as you do you get sucked into a portal which leads you way back to golf’s roots back in the 1400’s.

St. Andrews would make for a great main golf course in the game

St. Andrews would make for a great main golf course in the game with all of its rich royalties

As you awake, you have no idea what just happened until you realize you’re not in the current generation anymore and that you remember touching that glow in your locker. Although you’re worried about the situation, you’re also in awe and amazement of all of the beautiful castles and the view of the ocean’s horizon in the distance as well as the beautiful women and well dressed gentlemen. As you’re trying to figure out what’s going on and as you’re exploring the land, you notice that there are people playing a new game called “kolf” (Golf’s original name) as you quickly realized that they’re playing golf. Although you’re very stressed and desperate about the situation, you continue to watch the “kolfer’s” play. This is where you begin to explore your new open world in the 1400’s which is also filled with activities with the hit new game of “kolf”.

You can speak with others who will give you challenges although you’re still shell-shocked over what’s going on so your speech is a bit shaky in nervousness. As you’re going about challenges (Which can vary as putting, chipping, long drive or full tournament challenges), you’ll get to a cutscene where you spot a beautiful young woman who apparently is a princess or has royal ties of some sort. You want to speak to her but you’re not sure what to say because you don’t want to sound rude in any way. You notice that she is attending a kolf tournament which leads you to participate in your first kolf tournament as you want her to possibly notice you out on the course. However, you are still not familiar with the clubs so you try to work on your game as you’re freely roaming the gorgeous royal open world.

The cool feature of the game would be that you can choose to either practice on a course or you can use the streets as your playground as you start to improve your game with the old school clubs. There’s a guardian angel throughout some of the cutsenes that tell you that you must complete certain tasks in order to get back to the current generation. One of the cool features would be the deep customization of your character as you can choose anything whether it’s clothing, height, weight, ethnics, or even his voice (Which would contribute to the long development time considering the fact you’ll have different voice actors saying lines during cut scenes and when talking to civilians.). Another cool thing would obviously be the open world environments which would take golf gaming to new heights.

The 1400’s world would be larger considering the fact that most of the game would take place there. I think the game would have a nice twist of fantasy, love and a story a young golfer trying to make his way back home. The message of the game I think would tell you that your golfer can play the best golf of his life no matter what generation he’s in which proves his greatness in the sport. I know, I know, people are going to be like “Oh that’s way too weird” but people love that fantasy type of stuff because the traditional way won’t really go anywhere. I mean yes, we still love the traditional golf game if it’s made very well but I think it would be very refreshing to have at least one golf game with a great story line and solid gameplay.

This would also introduce the sport to many gamers who don’t follow golf. Yes, it would take time to make a game like this and yes it would cost a lot of money but it doesn’t have to have everything that I mentioned. I’m just a young kid from Chicago with a dream and an idea is all. Would be a gaming classic? Yes or no, it can go either way but I believe if the time of development is proper and if they season it with the right spices then it’s very possible that you have a masterpiece of a game both for golfers and sports fans alike. It’s the creativity and imagination in video games that make them great and can turn a sport that some may call “boring” (Ha, you’re funny) into something very enjoyable. So please feel free to share any ideas you may have on a golf game with a great story, I’d love to hear them! Who knows, maybe some developer will notice your ideas! Just a fun topic to throw out there!

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The Masters vs The Ryder Cup, who you got?

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Which path will you take to glory?

Which path will you take to glory?

Since it’s a Ryder Cup season and since the Masters is on every year, I thought it was only fitting to throw in a little debate that’s been going on for some years now. That debate is the ultimate golf battle between the Masters and the Ryder Cup. Both very prestigious events and both have major placements in our hearts but which is the best? Sure, the Masters is by far more popular as it’s more familiar to casual sports fans than the Ryder Cup is but they both are very equal in terms of prestige. It’s tough to compare a team event to an individual event but you can make an argument for which one means the most. It’s a tough choice for me but I must say that the Ryder Cup is the best because the anticipation leading up to it and just the amazing rivalry between team USA and team Europe which to me is one of the best rivalries in all of sports. Another thing cool about the Ryder Cup is the fact that it’s not played for prize money but for the glory of it.

I also really enjoy all of the great courses that the Ryder Cup gets played on as well. Medinah and Celtic Manor were amazing courses the last couple of times the Cup was being played and 2014’s Cup location is no exception. The team aspect of the Ryder Cup is different from anything in golf and really adds to the dramatic feel that it brings. Oh and did I mention those ridiculously loud crowds that attend? I didn’t? Well shame on me! The Ryder Cup crowds are like college football and basketball crowds and they LOVE their teams. That passion and energy is just unbelievable and it’s why I absolutely love the Ryder Cup.

The Masters is fantastic though and it’s a dream of event I’d love to attend. Augusta National is the most beautiful golf course in the world and it’s the one place that many of us dream to visit. I remember when I was interviewing Golf Channel’s Jay Coffin from the “19th Hole” show, he told me that attending the Masters is like going to Disney World and that it’s an absolute dream. He’s right about that too because it really does look amazing and it’s the one course that gives us some of the best memories thanks tot he Masters. Just an unbelievable event and I’m glad we get to check it out every year and watch greatness unfold.

So, which event do YOU think is the best? Do you have any Ryder Cup or Masters story you want to share? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email at colinm5598@yahoo.com!

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