Friday, October 26, 2012

Twitter: Top 10 Golfers to Follow

The next best thing to following big name golfers in tournaments is, of course, to, uh, follow them on Twitter, right?

If you want to read and respond to some of the best tweets in the golf kingdom, try some of these:

1. Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter)—Poulter takes great pride in his Twitter banter and you never know what he’ll come up with from day to day. He’s brash and sometimes annoying, but always interesting.

2. Paul Azinger (@PaulAzinger)—The outspoken “Zinger” comments on everything from politics to golf and other sports. He’s never dull.

3. Stewart Cink (@stewartcink)--He has an amazing 1,157,740 followers so he must be saying something interesting on a regular basis.

4. Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory)—The young Irish phenom seems to drone on incessantly about his great girlfriend, tennis star Carol Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki), but also has personal tidbits about his daily life.

5. Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson)—Known for his offbeat tweets like “View of 16th hole in Bermuda from jet ski”, Watson keeps you posted on his great life.

6. Natalie Gulbis (@natalie_gulbis)—The LPGA’s glamour girl keeps you updated on her life on and off the course and always provides a lot of eye candy with great photos.

7. John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly)—Nobody lives a wilder life on the PGA tour than J.D. He was made for Twitter because you never know where he’ll be and what he’ll say.

8. Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowlerPGA)—One of Tour’s rising young stars, Fowler’s interests go well beyond golf. He sort of over tweets on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (where he attended college), but he’s still a good one to follow.

9. Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany Lincicome)—Good behind-the-scenes LPGA information available here. Lincicome and LPGA’er Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim) recently got into a highly entertaining Twitter dust up.

10. Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods)—He has the most followers in the golf industry (2,718,053), but he never seems to say much that’s enlightening or interesting. Here’s a classic mundane tweet by Tiger: “Amazing first visit to Turkey. Thanks Turkish Airlines, event organizers and fans. Very special place and a really fun event.” Yawn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10 Annoying Golf Televison Cliches

Like most golfers, I watch lots of golf on television. 

I'll even watch tournaments with the insufferable Chris Berman at the mike, so you know I'm either dedicated or nuts.

Regardless of who's at the microphone, the instant a golf telecast starts, the cliches start rattling off faster than balls flying off mats by hackers at 2-for-1 bucket night at the local driving range.

Here are ten of the most tired and overused cliches that annoy The Golf Travel Guru:

1. "Better than most."--Gary Koch

2. "The pageantry, the majesty, the beauty of the Masters."--Jim Nantz

3. "The Masters, a tradition like no other."--Jim Nantz

4. "You'll never know how good of shot that was."--Mark Rolfing

5. "Tiger's on the prowl."--Just about every golf announcer with a microphone

6. "There's a fried egg."--Chris Berman, king of the cliches

7. "Looks like a bad lie, back to you Johnny."--Roger Maltbie

8. "What a courageous shot."--Ian Baker-Finch

9. "It's in the hole"--Boozed up golf fans at the tee box on par five hole, followed up, of course, by the obligatory "You da man."

10. "It's a 4-metal, not a 4-wood."--Johnny Miller

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ryder Cup 2012 Re-Cap--Studs and Duds

What did we just witness?

The Miracle at Medinah or the Meltdown at Medinah.

I'm going with the latter. For two days, Captain Love made all the right moves. On the third day, everything fell apart for the Americans. He front loaded the line-up and none of his big guns delivered.

At least Jean Van de Velde, who melted down in the '99 British Open, and Greg Norman, who squandered the '96 Masters, can welcome some new members to the "All Crash and Burn All-Stars" team.

Here are some observations:

* Not to gloat, but, in a previous column I picked the Euros to win. Why? Because the Ryder Cup is a glorified putting contest and I thought the Euros could hit more clutch putts on Medinah's greens.

* All the announcers kept telling us over and over again about how Steve Stricker is the best putter on Tour. Geez, I can't remember him ever hitting a clutch putt, anywhere.

* I believe the match was lost in the Mickelson v. Rose match. Mickelson was so sure he had it wrapped up, he was giving thumbs up and smiles to Rose. Once Rose hit that 35-foot bomb putt on no. 17, it was all but over.

* Another key match was Paul Lawrie v. Brandt Snedeker. Sneds was one of the hottest players on the American squad. The 43-year old Scotsman torched him in a match Captain Love was probably sure he had in the bag.

* My biggest disappointment was the Keegan Bradley singles match loss to Rory McIlroy. The floppy haired Irish lad arrived in a police car about five minutes before his tee time. He didn't have time to warm up and hit a couple of practice putts. Then he goes out and wins a point against the red hot Bradley. Absolutely amazing. Bradley seemed a bit lost without his old back-slapping buddy Mickelson.

* I like Jim Furyk, but, let's face it, he was only chosen based on being a good buddy of Love's. Rickie Fowler or Nick Watney should have been selected instead. The only thing I'll remember about Jim at this year's Ryder Cup is him and his caddy, Fluff, spending what seemed like hours trying to read a putt. Then Furyk steps up and blows it. No, correction. First he steps up to the putt, steps away, then blows it.

* Please, no more Ian Poulter until the next Ryder Cup. With his middle-school spiked haircut, bugged out eyes and general annoying demeanor, I've had enough of this guy for a while.

* If you thought Poulter was annoying this year, wait until, oh, 2024, when becomes a captain.

* Hey, that "Win it for Seve" thing really worked.

* This was the ultimate payback for Brookline.

* In the end, their top players, McIlroy, Westwood and Donald, were better than ours, Woods, Mickelson and Watson.

* Is it just me, or does Medinah Country Club clubhouse look like it belongs in some Arab country, not Chicago.

* I absolutely love the finishing holes at Medinah, numbers 15, 16, 17 and 18. They created lots of drama and excitement.

* Sorry Captain Love, Tiger Woods should never be on the bench in any golf competition.

* You can spin the Ryder Cup 2012 anyway you want to, but the bottom line is the Euros hit countless clutch putts on the last day and the Americans did not.