Goodbye, World

Saying goodbye is never easy. Been there, done that numerous times over the years. Whether it involved packing up the family and moving to a different part of the country/world and having to say goodbye to friends, or perhaps those rare instances on more of a local scale with migrating to a new golf club and leaving old golf buddies behind – the dynamics were always the same. Awkward, uncomfortable, and often times fraught with the uncertainty of a different life that surely awaited.

Tiger Woods, for the better part of a dozen years, put professional golf on his shoulders and carried it to the forefront of where it is today. Any attempt to discount the positive impact he made in the game all those years would only be comparable to downplaying the roles that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates played as it relates to our society’s current day-to-day reliance on technology.

But the irony can’t be glossed over. The game that Tiger Woods carried all those years is now carrying him.

As the late, great Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” That quote of his ties neatly into another famous quote credited to him. “It’s like Deja Vu all over again.”

Tiger Woods back .jpg

Woods has undergone 3 different back surgeries, undoubtedly performed by the best surgeons in the world. He’s basically been required to take off the past two seasons for rehab and recovery. And yet apparently there are still some major problems, two full seasons later.

The PR aspect of everything involving Tiger’s future seems cluttered in this wait-and-see purgatory that his fans have endured on more than a few occasions in recent years. But this time it seems completely different, much more disconcerting.

Although Tiger withdrew from this week’s tournament at Riviera, he expressed his intentions to at least show up to support his sponsor (who is sponsoring the event this week at Riviera) and partake of a Q&A news conference, which also ties into his personal foundation.

Only to find out the day prior that his doctors advised him to not attend.

Folks, it wasn’t like he was being required to sit in a plane for several hours to fly from his home in Jupiter, FL to Los Angeles. HE WAS ALREADY THERE IN LA.

“Based on the work they did the last couple of days, they advised he just stay horizontal.” 

The reality here cannot be overlooked, and that reality is that Tiger Woods is finished as a professional golfer. Everything that he does from this point forward should be devoted to improving his quality of life moving forward, if for no other reason than to be able to enjoy his life with his kids while they’re still relatively young.

And, I’m guessing, he realizes this more than anyone. What he’s yet to figure out is his exit strategy, how this is all supposed to end. But for those of us who’ve followed him all these years – it has already ended as far as we’re concerned.

All that’s left is figuring out how he’s going to officially say Goodbye.

That isn’t easy, not even for a guy like Tiger Woods.

That Time of Year…

Most people are ecstatic about football season finally arriving. Tailgate parties, the wonderful aroma of burgers and brats sizzling on the grill, the weather being more enjoyable with comfortable daytime temperatures and the beautiful, colorful transition of the foliage reminding us that God’s magnificent artistry is second to none… it is indeed a great time of the season to both enjoy and appreciate for countless reasons, but especially if you’re a diehard football fanatic.


But if you’re an avid golfer living in the Northeast (like myself) – this time of year also forces one to recognize what it essentially represents: the dwindling days remaining to get out and enjoy what is truly a wonderful pastime, at least under somewhat normal and comfortable playing conditions.

Back in August I was ready to put the clubs away for a while. I’d already more than fulfilled most golfers’ quotas as far as number of rounds played for a season, the weather was sticky hot and uncomfortable, and although it is indeed a wonderful plight that most golfers would love to experience – I really struggled to actually want to be out playing. But just a little over a month later, I find myself longing for an extended Autumn, just so I can get out and take advantage of what few rounds remain.

Out with the old, in with the new, the end of one chapter and the beginning of another… all of these old commonly-used adages don’t get much appreciation until one finds himself somewhere in between, waiting for the new, waiting for the next chapter. That’s where I am today, holding on to the last throes of a golf season that will come to pass much too soon.

Appreciate the coming weeks, because Old Man Winter just fired up his engine and will soon be making his rounds.

Ted Bishop Interview

Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Here are a few snippets from an interesting interview conducted earlier this week with former PGA of America President Ted Bishop.

“Golf.Com: Do you think people at the PGA wanted you out and saw this as an opportunity?

T. Bishop: Yeah, I do. As the events unfolded, I might have been naïve about some of what was going on around me. The PGA of America gave me a lot of flexibility and freedom to say whatever I wanted. I knew there were times when I got close to the line, but I felt I never crossed it. This is just my nature. That’s who I am and what I do.

Golf.Com: Have you spoken to Poulter? 

T. Bishop: I texted him, and he called me. It wasn’t a long talk, but it was a good conversation. I said, “I owe you an apology. I’ve got respect for you, and I didn’t mean the comments to be demeaning. I was sticking up for a friend of mine in Faldo.” He said he understood, and he also said the outcome was “tragic.” That was his exact word. I felt like that was the last thing for me, from a closure standpoint.

Golf.Com: What players reached out to you? 

T. Bishop: Phil Mickelson did. He basically said, “Hey, as someone who has said a lot of things over the years that I would like to take back, I know how this stuff goes.” He also said that it’s no reflection on who I am and what I did in my time with the PGA of America. Davis Love and Steve Stricker said the same type of stuff. [Tom] Watson calls me almost every week just to see how I’m doing.”

You can read the interview in its entirety HERE.

There were some internal mumblings that suggested that Bishop might’ve had some enemies… there were probably more than just a few who found his sudden alliance with an equipment company CEO a bit offsetting. Then there was the taking to task of the USGA because of their decision to ban anchoring, which Bishop felt would push people further away from the game.

But many feel that he deserved more than being shoved out of a 50-story window with only a few months remaining of his tenure. Sure, he deserved to be reprimanded for saying what he said, but this was more than just a public relations nightmare via social media. This was an opportunity for those who didn’t see eye to eye with him on prior issues to get the last laugh.

All in all, it was an unfortunate situation that was made 1000 times worse because of so many egos involved. And in the end, I’m not sold on the notion that the PGA of America comes out looking better because of how it all went down.

Just my $.02

The Hyundai

Hyundai_PGA_golfAlas… it’s frigid outside and I’m on a diet again. Must be early January!

The PGA Tour gets back into full swing this Friday, as Zach Johnson will be trying to defend his title in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Obviously the field is pared down to 34 players, all of whom qualified by virtue of winning a tournament from the season prior.

It’s far more than just a rust-breaker for some of these guys however. The winner pockets a cool $1.1 million, earns unconditional Tour status for the next two seasons, and gets another invite to head back out Hawaii for a week next January.

And to think they have to beg some of these guys to come out there to play?

It’s a decent field, albeit condensed… but much too early in the season to be making any notable predictions. I will make one prediction however:

It will be about 50 degrees warmer there this weekend than here in Bogeyland.

Coverage starts Friday @ 4:30 pm EST on the Golf Channel

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