Punch Shots: Tiger’s too old for Twitter
Punch Shots is a collection of stories that I didn’t get around to earlier or didn’t fit into another article. I’ll give a link to a larger story and have some quick thoughts below.
Anyone who’s paid attention to Tiger Woods at any point over his career knows that he’s one of the most guarded people you’ll come across. After a young Tiger opened up to Charles Pierce in 1997, he hasn’t really been the most talkative, even with his closest allies in the media, of which there are many. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when he mentions that he hasn’t really taken to social media, despite a Twitter account with over 3.7 million followers. From the Back9Network:
“I’m still a little bit old school,” he said when asked about Twitter. “I’m kind of getting towards it, but still not quite grasping the whole concept yet.”
His girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, grasps it, though. And she’s trying to get the old guy hip with the popular crowd.
“As far as her convincing me to tweet more, yes, she certainly has hinted that,” he said. “But I grew up in a different era, and it’s a little bit different for me. But I’ll get there eventually.”
To me, Tiger has a Twitter account for three possible reasons:
- So he doesn’t have to deal as much with the media
- To prevent people from starting fake accounts claiming to be him
- His people told him to do it
In fairness to him, he has been tweeting a lot more recently, but he could probably do a lot more of it. No one’s saying that he has to be Ian Poulter or Rickie Fowler, but a little more interaction with the fans and the other players wouldn’t be the worst idea. Also, don’t buy into the “grew up in a different era” stuff. One look at Gary Player’s account is all you need to dispel that notion.
Earlier this year, I wrote a quick piece on Lydia Ko and how at the age of 15, she was already establishing herself as one of the best players in the world despite her age and amateur playing status. Now a professional at the ripe old age of 16, Ko has her first win as a pro, as she came from behind to win the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters on Sunday in Taiwan. The win moved her into fourth place in the world rankings, as she’s now only behind the established names of Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis, and at this point, she’s a threat to win any time she tees it up. A 16-year old competing against adults at the highest level of their profession is now expected to win and win often. Think about that for a second.
I understand that a women’s golf event in Taiwan that happened in December won’t grab a ton of headlines, but people really need to start paying attention here. The next young sports phenom has arrived.
Thinking before you speak
Steve Elkington is known for being a bit of a loose cannon on Twitter, and in a sport where the players are far too often afraid to speak their mind, he can be a breath of fresh air. However, it can also get him in trouble, as we’ve seen in the past with his racial remarks towards Pakistanis and well, he put his foot in his mouth again last week when talking about the horrible helicopter crash in Scotland where eight people were killed after the pilot crashed into a pub. In a since deleted tweet, Elkington remarked:
“Helicopter crashes into Scottish pub…..Locals report no beer was spilt….”
Elkington sent out a half-hearted apology suggesting that he had no idea there were any injuries or casualties at the time. Tom English in the Scotsman took him to task for the whole thing here, but this wasn’t the end. The Daily Mail reported that former LPGA Tour player Helen Alfredsson weighed in with her own asshatery while doing commentary for the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters with this gem.
As a noisy helicopter passed overhead, she told viewers she ‘hoped they are better pilots than they are in Scotland’.
Alfredsson issued what seemed to be a more genuine apology than Elkington after she was replaced on the air immediately by Carin Koch, who had missed the cut earlier in the week.
The Simon Dyson ruling and trial
You all remember this from a few months ago, right?
You can’t push down a spike mark in your putt line, and what Dyson did was in direct violation of rule 16-1a, which you can view at the USGA website. For that, Dyson was rightly disqualified from the BMW Masters, but it didn’t end there as the European Tour in their infinite wisdom, decided that further investigation and sanctions needed to be imposed. What did they decide on? From EuropeanTour.com:
(a) to impose upon Mr Dyson a period of suspension from the Tour of two months, but to suspend its operation for a period of 18 months. The effect of this is that, if during that 18 month period, Mr Dyson commits any breach of the Rules of Golf, his case will be referred back to the Panel to determine whether in the circumstances the suspension should immediately become effective. If, however, at the end of that period, he has committed no such breach, then the threat of a suspension will fall away;
(b) to fine Mr Dyson the sum of £30,000;
(c) to order Mr Dyson to pay the sum of £7,500 towards the Tour’s costs of these proceedings;
(d) Mr Dyson is to make such payments within 56 days
This was after they admitted that Dyson had no previous run-ins with the rules in his 14 years on the European Tour, and that it was a “momentary aberration on his part, not a premeditated act of cheating”.
That seems a little harsh considering the circumstances, no? I have no idea why the European Tour went to such lengths to make a point of this especially when you consider Dyson’s clean track record to date, but hey, trying to figure out why those in power in this game do anything is usually a fruitless exercise.
Must read piece by Geoff Ogilvy on Tiger/Brandel
Just when you thought we were done with the Tiger/Brandel saga, well-respected and thoughtful tour pro Geoff Ogilvy wrote a must read piece for Golf Digest about the whole overblown situation. His main takeaway being that while Chamblee went over the line, he is paid to give his opinion, and that Tiger should share some of the blame for being completely guarded with the media, something we talked about above.
Rory takes on Wayne Rooney in an ad for Nike Football
Pretty decent ad and behind the scenes stuff from Nike here, as Rory takes on Manchester United star Wayne Rooney on the golf course.
I guess we know now what Rory was shooting while Graeme McDowell was getting married.
Lorne Rubenstein leaves the Globe and Mail
One of golf’s most respected journalists is leaving the outlet that gave him a platform for the last three-plus decades. Lorne Rubenstein is leaving Canada’s Globe and Mail after a run of 33 years, and he did it in typical low key fashion, mentioning it at the very end of his piece on Canadian Ryan Yip. Rubenstein will still be writing online for a few outlets, so he’s not going away completely, but it’s a pretty big deal for anyone who’s grown up as a golf fan in Canada to see Lorne leave the Globe. Bob Weeks also penned a nice going away column on Rubenstein leaving for SCOREGolf.
Jason Sobel examines our obsession with Tiger catching Jack
By far the most shared piece of golf media over the past week was Jason Sobel’s take at Golf Channel about our obsession with Tiger’s pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ major record. It’s pretty long, but it’s an interesting read without the usual talk about whether or not Tiger can or can’t break the record. As he always does, Nicklaus comes off looking like a million bucks.
The 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis is now available
Advanced stats in golf are still a relatively new thing, but there’s one guy that’s probably doing it better than most and that’s Richie 3 Jack. His 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis is now available for purchase, and at just $10, you can’t go wrong. It should start getting you thinking about the game in a slightly different way. For more details, see his post here.
Do we need December golf?
Shane Bacon and Jay Busbee debated the need for December golf over at Devil Ball last week, and I figured I’d weigh in. In previous years, it was called the silly season, but that’s really not the case anymore when you look at how good the fields are, even if they are limited to 30 players or so like they were last week. 25 of the top 30 players in the world were playing somewhere last week, which shows you that it’s not really all that silly anymore.
Yeah, you could say some of that was appearance fee based, but honestly who cares if the golf is good? Last week gave us some of the best golf we’ve seen in months, which is never a bad thing. The media covered it like they didn’t care, until it got really good towards the end when Zach Johnson and Tiger were battling at Sherwood, and all of a sudden, they were all in. It’s not the Masters or the Open or the PLAYERS, but the players clearly don’t mind it, otherwise they would be happy to take the vacation and come back to the regular schedule in January or February like they usually do.
I suppose it’s a talking point since it didn’t used to be like this, but I don’t see the issue here. People complaining about high quality golf at places like Royal Melbourne and Sun City just doesn’t make much sense to me.