Who is The Franchise Babe

By Brian HewittAugust 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
The American Ryder Cup team ' save for the four captains picks ' is set. The field for the FedExCup playoffs is also cast in stone.
So the GolfChannel.com Insiders notebook this week features three mini-reviews of new golf books. Reviews are something you can find periodically in this space. And this time theres a theme. Sort of:
Womens golf and mind games.
First up is the latest raunch-fest from Dan Jenkins, golf writings most important irreverent. The name of the novel is The Franchise Babe. And its not in the same league with other Jenkins romps like Semi-Tough, Dead Solid Perfect, or even Baja Oklahoma. But it can play.
Jenkins is important because we need him to tweak the noses of everybody who takes golf and life too seriously. In 'The Franchise Babe' the tweaker is Jack Brannon, a fortyish magazine writer who finds himself out on the hustings with the LPGA.
Jenkins may not be able to get his fastball into the mid to high 90s anymore. But hell get you out with a nasty splitter across the knees that still registers in the high 80s.
The plot centers around a precocious and pulchritudinous young golfer named Ginger Clayton and Brannons lustings for Gingers red-hot golf Mom, Thurlene.
Officials, sponsors and especially golf parents come under the close scrutiny of Brannon/Jenkins withering eye.
Im not sure how much longer Jenkins can keep cranking these bad boys out, but until he runs out of energy, Im still reading. The best news is he hasnt run out of energy.
Speaking of close scrutiny, thats precisely what drives, Driven, a non-fiction-but-sometimes-hard-to-believe look at a year in the life of the young phenoms who inhabit the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida.
The author is former Golf Magazine editor Kevin Cook. And his reporting is eminently believable. Its the behavior of many of the parents thats, sadly, hard to imagine.
Coming in for especially harsh criticism is the Wie Camp, more specifically, the increasingly media unfriendly parents of Michelle Wie.
Cook also helps demystify the increasing domination of Asian women at golfs top levels. If a Korean girl hit 300 balls in a day, a respectable number for a U.S. Tour pro, Cook writes, her neighbor on the range might hit 400. The next player down might hit 500, a commonplace total at Seouls triple- and quadruple deck ranges where one teen won a bet by beating 1,500 balls in a day.
In Wies defense, she was still publicly on board with the controversially controlling role of her parents as recently as the U.S. Womens Open seven weeks ago. But the fact is, Wie is most definitely not yet the goods all those endorsers figured her for when they shelled out close to $20 million bucks the day she turned pro a few years ago.
Which brings us to Finding Your Zone, by Dr. Michael Lardon, the brother of Brad Lardon, a one-time Tour player.
Michael Lardon explores the zone, that timeless time all players search for. A physician and sports psychologist, Lardon has dedicated his career to helping athletes (PGA, NFL, Olympics) maximize their potential.
His 10 core lessons for achieving peak performance in sports and life is as clinical as Jenkins is cynical. But hes done his homework and theres plenty of grist for the mental mill in his book.
The opposite of the zone is the concept of choking. All humans, including great athletes, choke, Lardon tells us. It is okay to choke. It is part of human nature to, at times, feel the pressure of the moment and not perform your best. However, we perform best under pressure when we minimize the choke factor, and the best way to do this is to care about the right things and not the wrong things.
If you pay attention through the 153 pages of Lardons cleanly researched book, you will know a lot more about the right things than you did before you started.
Maybe its too simplistic to suggest that if Michelle Wie pored through all three of these books shed become the Franchise Babe so many people thought she would be by now.
But it would be a start.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm