Golf Talk Live Transcript - Arnold Palmer - January 8 2001
PERHAPS NO ONE HAS GIVEN MORE AUTOGRAPHS THAN ARNOLD PALMER. IT'S PROBABLY ALSO TRUE THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS BEEN ASKED MORE THAN ARNOLD HAS. THE AUTOGRAPH THAT HE'D MOST LIKE TO GIVE NOW, HOWEVER, IS ONE AT THE BOTTOM OF A SCORECARD, TESTING TO A SCORE OF 65 IN THE FINAL ROUND OF A TOURNAMENT AND TO CLOSE OUT ONE MORE WIN. MEET ARNOLD PALMER, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
SOME OF US ARE OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER EVEN THE EARLIEST MOMENTS THAT FORMED THE COLLECTIVE SENSE OF ARNOLD PALMER. THOSE WHO WITNESSED HIS 1954 U.S. AMATEUR TRIUMPH WERE ASTONISHED BY SO MUCH ABOUT HIM.
THE HOMEMADE SWING, THE FLYING SHIRT TAIL, THE POWER, THE AUDACITY, THE CHARISMA. IT WORKED IN 1954 AND MOST OF IT STILL WORKS TODAY. IT WAS 43 YEARS AGO THAT ARNOLD WOULD BEGIN TO WIN THE MASTERS EVERY OTHER YEAR UNTIL HE HAD WON 4 GREEN JACKETS. IT WAS 41YEARS AGO THAT HE WON HIS ONLY U.S. OPEN, AND OVER THE NEXT 13 YEARS HE THREW AWAY A HANDFUL OF CHANCES TO WIN IT AGAIN.
BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING SO DRAMATIC, SO THEATRICAL, SO DAMN EXCITING ABOUT THE WAY HE LOST TOURNAMENTS, THAT WE KNEW HE WOULD DELIVER GREAT TELEVISION WHETHER HE WON OR LOST. AS LONG AS HE WAS DOING SOMETHING BIG, IT DIDN'T MATTER WHAT IT WAS. THERE WERE THINGS HE DID ON AND OFF THE COURSE, WHO'S IMPORTANCE BECAME CLEARER MUCH LATER.
HE WON BACK TO BACK BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS AT A TIME WHEN FEW AMERICANS ENTERED. NOW, ALMOST EVERYONE ELIGIBLE SHOWS UP TO PLAY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF'S OLDEST PRIZE. HE SET THE PATH AND OTHERS FOLLOWED. ARNOLD AND ATTORNEY, MARK McCORMACK VIRTUALLY INVENTED THE BUSINESS OF ENDORSING PRODUCTS FOR SERIOUS MONEY, AND TIGER WOODS AND OTHER MARKETABLE SPORTS GIANTS KNEW WHO TO THANK FOR BLAZING THAT TRAIL.
EVERY FAN WHO'S EVER CAUGHT ARNOLD'S EYE AT A TOURNAMENT IS LEFT WITH A SPECIAL MEMORY, BECAUSE EYE CONTACT WITH ARNOLD SEEMS FAMILIAR, AS THOUGH HE KNOWS US, AS THOUGH HE LIKES US, AND HE DOES, BECAUSE IF YOU'RE A FRIEND OF GOLF, YOU'RE ALSO A GOOD FRIEND OF ARNOLD PALMER.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER. IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO FOR THE 7TH CONSECUTIVE JANUARY, THE MOST POPULAR PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME, ARNOLD PALMER.
GOOD TO SEE YOU, ARNIE.
THANK YOU, PETER. NICE TO BE WITH YOU.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, SIR.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU.
DO YOU STILL GET UP EVERY MORNING BEFORE DAWN AND START THE EXERCISE ROUTINE?
AND HOW LONG DOES THAT GO ON FOR?
IT, IT'S SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 40 MINUTES AND AN HOUR EVERY MORNING.
IS THAT WHY I HEAR YOU'RE HITTING THE BALL SO WELL?
A LITTLE EXTRA THIS MORNING AND WELL, YOU KNOW, I'D LIKE TO HIT IT A LITTLE BETTER THAN I'M HITTING IT BUT. HEY, I'M HAVING FUN PLAYING GOLF AND, AND I'M AT THE AGE WHERE IF YOU CAN HAVE FUN, KEEP DOING IT.
SPEAKING OF THAT AGE, WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORSE PARTS OF BEING 71 YEARS OLD?
OH I CAN'T THINK OF ANY NEGATIVES. I, I THINK IT'S FANTASTIC THAT I'VE LIVED THIS LONG. THAT I'VE BEEN ABLE TO PLAY GOLF AND ENJOY THE GAME AS MUCH AS I HAVE FOR ALL THOSE YEARS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD NOT HAVE
ANY IDEA HOW MANY THOSE YEARS ARE BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN AROUND, BUT I REALLY HAVE ENJOYED IT AND, AND I'M ENJOYING IT RIGHT NOW. I, I JUST BUST AT EVERY DAY TO GET OUT AND, GET OUT OF THE OFFICE AND, AND GO OUT ON THE GOLF COURSE AND PLAY AND,
I JUST HOPE IT LASTS FOR A FEW MORE YEARS. I'D BE VERY HAPPY IF I COULD JUST CONTINUE TO DO WHAT I'M DOING.
HOW MUCH WILL WE SEE YOU PLAY OVER THE COURSE OF 2001 DO YOU THINK?
WELL THAT'S PRETTY QUESTIONABLE. YOU KNOW, THERE'S THE TRADITIONAL EVENTS THAT I'M GOING TO PLAY IN. I'M GOING TO PLAY THE SKINS GAME, WHICH ISN'T TRADITIONAL I MIGHT ADD, IT, IT'S JUST THAT I STARTED WITH THE SKINS GAME AND, AND I WILL PLAY IN THE SKINS
GAME THIS YEAR AND HOPEFULLY MAYBE ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO, BUT UH, IF, IF I CAN BE COMPETITIVE, AND THAT'S THE THING THAT PROBABLY BOTHERS ME THE MOST ABOUT BEING IN COMPETITION IS, IS BEING COMPETITIVE. SO FAR IN THE SKINS GAME I'VE BEEN ABLE TO WIN A SKIN
HERE AND THERE AND, AND, AND KEEP MY PRESENCE KNOWN AND, AND THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME, AND THE BOB HOPE DESERT CLASSIC IS ANOTHER ONE AND OF COURSE THAT, I'VE ONLY MISSED ONCE IN 46 YEARS AND THAT WAS WHEN I HAD MY
SURGERY SO, THAT'S FUN FOR ME AND, AND OF COURSE THAT TOURNAMENT IS, IS A FUN TOURNAMENT. IT'S, IT'S ONE OF THE OLD TRADITIONAL TOURNAMENTS ON THE TOUR AND SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S DIFFERENT. IT ISN'T THE,
THE NORMAL 4 ROUNDS, 72 HOLE MEDAL PLAY EVENT AND I THINK THAT LENDS ITSELF TO SOME INTEREST UH A LOT OF CELEBRITIES, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO REALLY ENJOY THE GAME, NOT JUST FOR THEIR OWN SPECIAL PURPOSES BUT FOR THE GAME OF GOLF.
DO YOU STILL, SUBSEQUENT TO THE SURGERY A FEW YEARS AGO, HAVE TO GO IN REGULARLY, MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE FINE, AND IF SO, ARE YOU WELL?
OH.. I DO, AND I DO VERY REGULARLY, AND THANK YOU FOR ASKING THAT, PETER BECAUSE IF (LAUGHS) IF THERE'S ONE THING, EARLY DETECTION FOR PROSTATE CANCER, IS, IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO,
BUT EVEN THOUGH YOU MIGHT DISCOVER IT EARLY AND YOU MIGHT BE IN MY POSITION, THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO IS, IS KEEP A CHECK ON IT, AND KEEP A REGULAR CHECK AND I TRY TO DO THAT, WELL I DON'T TRY, I DO IT, AND IT'S IMPORTANT, AND I URGE EVERYONE TO
HAVE A PSA, HAVE, JUST SEE THEIR, A DOCTOR, A UROLOGIST. DO YOUR THING AND, AND GIVE YOURSELF A SHOT.
WHAT'S YOUR WISH LIST FOR GOLF FOR THIS YEAR IF YOU HAVE ONE? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN? I DON'T MEAN PREDICTIONS NOW, JUST ABOUT THE, THE HEALTH AND STATE OF THE GAME.
WELL THE, THE STATE OF THE GAME RIGHT NOW IS, I WOULD SAY IT'S, IT'S HEALTHY BUT THE UH THE PROGRESS OF THE GAME, IT'S A LITTLE FLAT. IT'S NOT, WE'RE NOT BRINGING ON AS MANY PEOPLE INTO THE GAME AS WE'D LIKE TO. I, I'VE JUST BEEN
READING SOME THINGS ABOUT THAT, AND, AND OF COURSE HAVING SOME LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF, OF THE NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION AND WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE GAME OF GOLF AND, AND THE UNFORTUNATE THING IS THAT PRETTY CLOSE TO ACCURATE NUMBERS, WE'RE ABOUT LOSING ONE GOLFER FOR EVERYONE WE GAIN, AND THAT'S NOT
GOOD. WE NEED TO STEP THAT UP. WE NEED TO GET A FEW MORE GOLFERS. WHY ARE WE DOING THAT? I WISH I COULD TELL YOU. IT MAY BE THE TIME IT TAKES, IT MAY BE THE PRICE YOU HAVE TO PAY TO PLAY, IT COULD BE ANY NUMBER OF THINGS, BUT WE NEED TO IMPROVE THE
STATUS OR THE OUTLOOK FOR THE GAME OF GOLF SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW THEY CAN COME OUT AND PLAY AND HAVE FUN PLAYING GOLF AND, AND THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT AND HOPEFULLY THAT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY AND THE THINGS THAT ARE GOING SO WELL. I THINK THAT THERE'S A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE GOLFERS TO COME AND ENJOY THE GAME. WE'RE
BUILDING A LOT MORE GOLF COURSES RIGHT NOW, AND, AND THAT'S VERY ENCOURAGING. WE'VE GOT A FIRST TEE PROGRAM THAT IS FANTASTIC AND, AND THE FIRST TEE PROGRAM IS GIVING YOUNG PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET INTO THE GAME AT A VERY GOOD RATE. IT
ISN'T EXPENSIVE, IT'S, IT'S, IT'S MORE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO OUT AND PLAY, LEARN THE GAME, AND, AND EVERYONE CAN DO THAT. ALL THE KIDS THAT YOU KNOW, I KNOW OVER THE YEARS ARE, ARE
ABLE TO GET INTO THIS AND, AND THIS FIRST TEE PROGRAM IS EXPANDING AT A RATE THAT IS VERY GOOD, AND, AND I'VE SAID THAT IT WAS FLAT, BUT THE FIRST TEE PROGRAM IS ONE THAT IS REALLY MOVING ALONG AND MOVING VERY WELL.
WHEN WE COME BACK WHY DON'T WE HAVE A PLEASANT LITTLE CHAT ABOUT THE RULES OF GOLF.
I LOOK FORWARD TO THE PLEASURE, SIR. DON'T GO AWAY.
'(THERE ARE) ENOUGH RULES ON GOLF THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULT, NECESSARY, GOOD'
'IT'S NOT A SIN TO PLAY WITH A NON-CONFORMING DRIVER'
'EVERY SINGLE GAME HAS RULES AND RULES DEFINE HOW A GAME IS TO BE PLAYED AND EVERY GAME THAT I KNOW OF HAS STANDARDS FOR IT'S EQUIPMENT. THE USGA THROUGH IT'S RULES AND STANDARDS ATTEMPTS TO PRESERVE THE CHALLENGE OF THE GAME FOR ALL PLAYERS.'
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, USGA
'THE RULES OF THE GAME. I HAVE RESPECTED, SOMETIMES EVEN BEYOND THE LETTER.'
FROM: 'GOLF IS MY GAME'
'I THINK WE SHOULD FOCUS ON PEOPLE HAVING FUN PLAYING GOLF.'
YOU KNOW SINCE THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER WHEN CALLAWAY INTRODUCED IT'S NEW NON-CONFORMING DRIVER UNDER THE RULES OF THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION, A LOT OF REPORTERS HAVE ASKED YOU QUESTIONS, MOST OF WHICH YOU HAVE ANSWERED BY SAYING
I'M NOT DISCUSSING THIS UNTIL I SIT DOWN WITH PETER IN JANUARY ON GOLF TALK LIVE. NOW I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS SINCE THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER AND YOU TELL ME IF
I'M WRONG, BUT MY SENSE OF YOUR POSITION THAT YOU HAVE AMPLIFIED TO ME IS THAT YOU'RE NOT ENDORSING NON-CONFORMING EQUIPMENT, WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS ENDORSING THE IDEA OR THE CONCEPT OF MAKING THE GAME EASIER FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE EITHER PASSED THEIR PHYSICAL PRIME OR PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIFFICULTY GETTING THE BALL IN THE AIR
FOR THE FIRST TIME, RELATING JUST TO THE COMMENT YOU MADE AT THE TOP OF OUR SHOW ABOUT WE'RE NOT DRAWING ENOUGH PEOPLE INTO THE GAME, BUT MY SENSE IS, IT'S NOT THE ENDORSEMENT OF A NON CONFORMING CLUB, BUT WHAT CAN WE DO TOGETHER,
AND WITH THE HELP OF THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION TO MAKE THE GAME EASIER FOR PEOPLE WHO FIND IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT?
WELL FIRST OF ALL, A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB, UH I COULD SPEAK ALL NIGHT ON THAT, ON THAT SUBJECT. I'M NOT RECOMMENDING THAT PEOPLE USE A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB IN COMPETITION.
IT'S, IT'S AS BASIC AS THAT. IF THE COMPETITION IS AT THE CLUB OR WHEREVER IT MIGHT BE, THAT'S, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN TAKE UPON THEMSELVES TO DO, BUT FOR PEOPLE WHO GO OUT AND ENJOY THE GAME OF GOLF,
RECREATIONAL GOLF, IF THEY WANT TO USE A NON-CONFORMING CLUB, IF THEY WANT TO USE A BASEBALL BAT, WHATEVER THEY WANT TO USE, I THINK THAT'S THEIR PRIVILEGE, IF IT MAKES THE GAME A LITTLE MORE FUN FOR THEM TO PLAY. PETER, I COULD GET INTO SUCH A
LONG DISSERTATION ON WHAT A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB IS, AND, AND I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS
(CLEARS HIS THROAT)
EXCUSE ME.ABOUT THIS SUBJECT AND, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS, AND I'M GOING TO GET INTO THIS AND IF YOU WANT TO STOP ME, YOU STOP ME
BUT BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY WHEN YOU STOP ME BECAUSE WE CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT A NON-CONFORMING CLUB IS, FIRST OF ALL, AND I WONDER HOW MANY PEOPLE IN GOLF, AND I'VE HAD SO MANY LETTERS FROM PEOPLE THAT, THAT ARE SAYING THINGS
TO ME THAT HURT ME. THEY HAVE REALLY HURT ME. THEY'VE, SOME OF MY GOOD FRIENDS HAVE, HAVE CRUSHED ME WITH SOME OF THEIR LETTERS AND SOME OF THEIR COMMENTS, AND THERE HAVE
BEEN THINGS LIKE CHEATING USED IN THEIR COMMENTS ABOUT NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUBS AND, AND THE LAST THING IN THE WORLD THAT I WOULD EVER TOLERATE IS CHEATING. I THINK THAT THE WORD ITSELF, IF, IF YOU SAID IT TO ME, SETTING HERE, I'D PROBABLY PUNCH YOU RIGHT IN THE NOSE,
RIGHT NOW, AND I MEAN THAT BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THAT I'VE EVER CHEATED PLAYING GOLF AND I HATE THE THOUGHTS OF ANYBODY EVEN USING THE TERM
UNLESS THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE SAYING, AND IF THEY'RE ACCUSING SOMEONE THEN THEY BETTER HAVE THE RIGHT LANGUAGE TO COVER UP WHAT THEY'RE SAYING, SO LET'S DROP THAT. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I'VE MADE MY
POINT ON AND I'M NOT GOING TO SAY ANOTHER WORD ABOUT IT. IF ANYBODY WANTS TO ACCUSE ME, THEN THEY BETTER COME TO ME PERSONALLY AND I HAVEN'T BEEN IN A GOOD FIGHT IN A LONG TIME AND I'M READY.
I'M HERE, AND I'VE GOT MY GLOVES ON TOO. LET, LET ME, LET ME THROW SOMETHING AT YOU ABOUT THE STATEMENT YOU JUST MADE, OKAY? BECAUSE WE'VE TALKED ABOUT RECREATIONAL GOLF WHICH WOULD BE, I THINK IN YOUR DEFINITION, ANYTHING OTHER THAN A TOURNAMENT. IF I GO AND PLAY WITH MY REGULAR GROUP. ARE YOU GOING TO PUNCH ME YET?
YOU'RE, YOU'RE HEADING IN THAT DIRECTION.
I'M GETTING CLOSE. IF I GO PLAY WITH MY REGULAR GROUP ON SATURDAY MORNING
AND WE SAY YOU CAN HAVE A MULLIGAN ON THE FIRST TEE, AND AT SOME POINT SOMEBODY GIVES THEMSELF OR SOMEONE GIVES SOMEONE ELSE A THREE FOOT PUTT, OR USES A RANGE FINDER, THERE'S AN ALLOWANCE FOR THAT
UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF TO STILL TURN IN YOUR SCORE. YOU KNOW THAT. BUT IF I SHOW UP WITH A NON-CONFORMING CLUB AND SOMEBODY IN MY GROUP SAYS TO ME, IF YOU SHOW UP WITH A NON-CONFORMING CLUB YOU DO HAVE AN
INTENT TO BREAK THE RULES 14 TIMES DURING THIS ROUND OTHER THAN THE PAR 3 HOLES, AND THAT YOU ARE, PETER, CHEATING IF YOU USE THIS CLUB BECAUSE THE BACK OF THE SCORE CARD SAYS `PLAY GOVERNED BY UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION RULES'. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT?
WELL, ARE YOU GIVING PUTTS?
NOT UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF.
OH. WELL THAT'S YOUR INTERPRETATION.
THAT WOULD BE THE USGA'S INTERPRETATION I THINK, ARNOLD.
WELL NOW, NOW YOU HAVE A 15 FOOT PUTT AND I, I SAW A YOUNG LADY ON THE GOLF CHANNEL
NOT TOO LONG AGO AND SHE IS A SWEETHEART AND SHE IS A GOOD REPRESENTATIVE OF THE USGA AND SHE SAYS YOU CAN PICK UP A PUTT FROM 15 FEET AND TAKE TWO PUTTS. WHAT IS THAT?
IF YOU AND I ARE PLAYING MATCH PLAY AND YOU HIT YOUR SECOND SHOT STIFF TO THE HOLE AND I MUST CONCEDE YOUR ONE INCH BIRDIE PUTT, AND WE'RE JUST HAVING A MATCH AS OPPOSED TO A STROKE PLAY. ROUND. YOU SAY TO ME
PICK UP YOUR BALL AND GET OUT OF HERE BUT I STILL WANT TO TURN IN A SCORE THAT DAY, ARNOLD. SO UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF, FROM 15 FEET, I CAN GIVE MYSELF TWO PUTTS AND GO AHEAD AND ADD IT TO THE SHOTS I'VE TAKEN AND STILL TURN IN A LEGITIMATE SCORE. YOU MAY NOT LIKE THAT.
WELL IT, IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF WHETHER I LIKE IT OR NOT, IT'S A QUESTION OF THE GAME AND, AND OF COURSE, THERE'S ONE THING THAT ONCE A RULE IS MADE, IT IS MADE, BUT, IT'S FAIR FOR ME TO SAY TO YOU, I CAN QUESTION THAT CAN'T I?
QUESTION WHAT I PUT DOWN ON MY CARD?
WELL, YOU, NO. WHAT, WHAT THE RULES OF GOLF ARE SAYING, AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT I'M SAYING, BUT I'M NOT SAYING IT IN THE SENSE THAT I'M TELLING YOU THAT YOU CAN USE A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB IN COMPETITION BECAUSE I'M NOT SAYING THAT. I'M SIMPLY SAYING THAT WHERE DO YOU START AND STOP WITH THE RULES? HOW ABOUT A RANGE FINDER?
OVERTIME WHAT OF COURSE HAS HAPPENED AS YOU WELL KNOW IS SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE USED THEM THAT THE
OH MY GOODNESS PETER.
WAIT A MINUTE. WAIT A MINUTE.
20:I'VE SEEN YOU USE IT. I'VE SEEN YOU USE ONE.
BUT THE USGA HAS ULTIMATELY SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT, GO AHEAD AND USE YOUR DARNED RANGE FINDER, YOU CAN TURN IN YOUR SCORE. LET, LET ME GIVE YOU, LET ME, LET ME GIVE YOU A DIFFERENT SENSE
NO LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.
OH OH WELL GO AHEAD.
WHAT IF, WHAT IF WE HAVE 26 MILLION LEGITIMATE GOLFERS IN THE UNITED STATES, WHAT IF 20 MILLION USE A NON-CONFORMING DRIVER?
THEN YOU'VE GOT A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
WELL I'M ASKING YOU THE QUESTION. I WANT TO HEAR YOUR ANSWER.
I THINK THE ANSWER TO THAT IS, ONE, ALMOST EVERYBODY I KNOW, AND I ACTUALLY CAN'T THINK OF ANYBODY TO THE CONTRARY, EVERYBODY I KNOW THAT PLAYS GOLF PLAYS BY THE RULES OF GOLF.
YOUR FRIENDS DO, 25 HANDICAPPERS DO, BECAUSE WE ALL WANT TO BE CHALLENGED
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?
I REALLY BELIEVE THAT. I THINK THAT MOST PEOPLE PLAY BY THE RULES OF GOLF. THEY, THEY, THEY KNOW WHAT OUT OF BOUNDS MEANS, THEY KNOW WHAT RED AND YELLOW STAKES MEAN, THEY KNOW WHAT GROUNDING A CLUB IN A HAZARD MEANS. I MEAN I PLAYED WITH A FELLOW
FROM THE GOLF CHANNEL YESTERDAY WHO WAS OVER IN SOME MUCK, WHO RAN DOWN THE FAIRWAY TO TELL ME THAT HE WAS DISQUALIFYING HIMSELF FROM THE HOLE, BECAUSE HE, IN A MOMENT OF DAZE, HE HAD ACCIDENTALLY GROUNDED
HIS CLUB, AND I OF COURSE AM NOT ALLOWED TO UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF SAY TO HIM, OH NEVER MIND BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO DISMISS THE RULE. IF I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT I WOULDN'T HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT, BUT,
I THINK PEOPLE IN LIFE ARE BASICALLY HONEST, AND I THINK THAT MOST PEOPLE WHO PLAY GOLF ARE BASICALLY HONEST. DON'T YOU?
OH ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY.
WHERE ARE WE DISAGREEING THEN?
20:BUT I DON'T. WELL WE'RE DISAGREEING ON WHAT IS, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO A NON-CONFORMING VERSUS A CONFORMING GOLF CLUB AND, AND LET ME JUST ASK YOU SOMETHING AND, AND I WON'T
WILL YOU HOLD THAT THOUGHT ONE SECOND, WE'VE JUST GOT TO TAKE A FAST BREAK SO WE CAN GET EVERYTHING IN TONIGHT.
I DON'T MEAN
20:IF YOU NEED MORE TIME PETER I KNOW
I'M TRYING TO COLLECT MY THOUGHTS
I KNOW MANAGEMENT HERE. MAYBE WE CAN GET A LITTLE MORE TIME, IF WE NEED IT.
AND I KNOW THE CHAIRMAN. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK (LAUGHS)
I WAS SO RUDE AND INTERRUPTED YOU, YOU WERE SAYING SIR
WELL, (CLEARS HIS THROAT) WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO, PETER. I, I KIND OF LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT.
OKAY. LET, LET ME, LET'S STAY WITH WHERE WE WERE FOR A SECOND. CAN YOU IMAGINE A CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER WHICH, IN THE FUTURE, YOU WOULD EVER
ENDORSE A NON-CONFORMING PIECE OF
EQUIPMENT, WHETHER IT BE A GOLF BALL THAT GOES 500 YARDS OR ANYTHING ELSE, AS OPPOSED TO USING YOUR INCREDIBLE STATURE IN THE GAME, YOUR ROLE WITH THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION
AND INSTEAD GO TO THEM AND SAY, HEY FELLOWS AND LADIES, LET'S SEE IF WE CAN FIGURE OUT A WAY TO INCLUDE IN THAT MULLIGANS, INCLUDE IN THAT RANGE FINDERS, SOME OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL TO THE RECREATIONAL GOLFER.
LET ME, LET ME JUST ANSWER THAT QUESTION THIS WAY. FIRST OF ALL, THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION. I GREW UP THINKING NOTHING BUT THE MOST POSITIVE THINGS IN THE WORLD
ABOUT THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION. I THINK THEY ARE. IT. THEY ARE THE ULTIMATE AND THEY ARE MY FRIENDS, AND HOPEFULLY THEY'LL ALWAYS BE MY FRIENDS. I DISAGREE
WITH THEM, BUT MY GOODNESS, IF PEOPLE DON'T DISAGREE, THEN WE'VE GOT A LITTLE PROBLEM WITHIN ITSELF, BUT, THEY ARE THE RULING BODY. NOW, LET ME DO ANOTHER LITTLE SCENARIO SINCE THEY ARE THE RULING BODY AND THEY'VE SAID THAT WE'VE GOT AN
NON-CONFORMING CLUB, AND I'VE HAD SOME REALLY PLEASANT TALK S WITH THE USGA RECENTLY UH
YOU DIDN'T PUNCH ANYBODY IN THE NOSE?
20:YOU DIDN'T PUNCH ANYBODY IN THE NOSE?
THEY'RE MY FRIENDS AND, AND THAT ISN'T THE CASE. WE'RE, WE'RE TRYING TO, WE'RE TRYING TO ARRIVE AT SOMETHING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME AND THAT IS A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM, AND YOU CALL IT RECREATION AND I CALL IT
RECREATIONAL GOLF. YOU CALL IT THE RULES OF GOLF. YOU, WHATEVER YOU LIKE, BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY THAT WE HAVE UNITY IN THE GAME OF GOLF. WE MUST ESTABLISH THE UNITY IN THE GAME THAT WE HAVE KNOWN, AND THAT I HAVE KNOWN ALL MY LIFE. I COULD GO BACK,
PETER, TO 1922, WHEN THE WESTERN GOLF ASSOCIATION WAS KIND OF THE RULING BODY. THIS WAS BEFORE THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION HAD THE SORT OF TOP HAND IN THE RULES IN THE GAME, AND THERE WERE U. WOODEN SHAFTS IN THE GAME. STEEL SHAFTS WERE BOUND. THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED.
UNTIL THE YEAR YOU WERE BORN.
THINK ABOUT THAT, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN STEEL SHAFTS, IT DIDN'T RUIN THE GAME. IT DIDN'T TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THE GAME. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT ADDED TO IT BECAUSE IT
BROUGHT MORE PEOPLE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY THE GAME A LITTLE BIT MORE, SO THAT'S JUST ONE THING, AND YOU THINK ABOUT. THE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE GAME, YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION IS?
I DO SIR.
YES I DO.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT AMOUNTS TO IN HITTING A GOLF BALL? WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN A CLUB THAT IS CONFORMING VERSUS A CLUB THAT'S NON-CONFORMING?
DO YOU REALLY KNOW THAT, PETER?
ABOUT PLUS OR MINUS TWO PERCENT, SIR.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
NOW, NOW LET ME JUST SAY SOMETHING TO YOU. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE PERCENT OF AIR IS IN TESTING THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION ON A GOLF CLUB?
I DON'T KNOW THAT NUMBER.
TWO PERCENT.. THINK ABOUT IT.
NOW, WE'LL GO BACK TO THE RULES OF THE GAME AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT, BUT, LET'S JUST GO A LITTLE FURTHER OUT AND YOU KNOW, THE GOLF CHANNEL HAS A WEBSITE.. AND I'M GOING TO SEE TO IT THAT ON THAT WEBSITE, ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE WRITTEN ME AND WRITTEN YOU AND,
AND, AND HAVE HAD COMMENTS ABOUT THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION, C-O-R, IF YOU WISH, AND I WONDER HOW MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE REALLY KNOW WHAT THE C-O-R IS AND I WONDER REALLY, WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT TESTING THE C-O-R AND NOW I'M GOING TO BRING IN A LITTLE THING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT AND THAT'S THE R&A. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE R&A IS PETER?
I DO. NOW WAIT BEFORE YOU ASK A WHOLE BUNCH MORE QUESTIONS THERE, LET ME JUST RESPOND TO A COUPLE OF THINGS YOU'VE SAID. WITH REGARD TO HICKORY AND STEEL, THERE WAS A 5 YEAR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TIME
THAT THE R&A AND THE USGA BOTH ULTIMATELY AGREED ON THAT, AND WHILE THERE WERE 16 YEARS BEFORE THEY AGREED ON THE SIZE OF A GOLF BALL AS YOU WELL KNOW, BUT WHAT HAPPENED WAS, PEOPLE KEPT PLAYING
WITH HICKORY UNTIL THE USGA SAID STEEL WAS OKAY, AND SEE, AND, AND HERE'S, HERE'S THE PROBLEM THAT I THINK A LOT OF US DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR POSITION ON.
WELL WAIT A MINUTE, LET ME INTERRUPT YOU NOW.
YOU SAID THEY KEPT PLAYING WITH HICKORY, YOU TELLING ME, THE WHOLE WORLD THAT PLAYED GOLF PLAYED WITH HICKORY OR DID SOME PEOPLE START PLAYING WITH STEEL?
WELL I DIDN'T CHECK EVERYBODY.
WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE BECAUSE YOU JUST SAID THAT
I WASN'T AROUND THEN. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT 1924 AND THEN OF COURSE 1929, THE YEAR THAT YOU WERE BORN, WAS WHEN OF COURSE, STEEL WAS MADE UNIFORM BETWEEN THE TWO ORGANIZATIONS, BUT, IF WE TAKE A LOOK
AT WHAT THE USGA HAS DONE, SAY IN THE LAST TEN YEARS, I THINK THEY'VE BEEN, PARTLY BECAUSE OF YOUR HELP BY THE WAY, A PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATION. THE CLUBHEADS ARE BIGGER, NOW
THERE'S TITANIUM. THE SHAFTS IN THE CLUB ARE SO FINELY TUNED THEY'RE AS, AS GOOD AS YOUR CONTACTS ARE FOR YOU. THAT'S HOW CLOSELY THEY'RE MEASURED. THE GOLF BALL GOES
FARTHER THAN IT EVER DID BEFORE. WE HAVE PUTTERS WITH MATERIALS ON THE FACE THAT GIVE YOU A SOFTER FEEL, SO OVER TIME THE USGA HAS MOVED THEIR LINE TO MAKE THE GAME EASIER FOR
EVERYBODY. YOU AND ME AND YOU'RE ONE OF THE GUYS THAT WENT TO THE USGA AND SAID MAYBE WE SHOULD ROLL
SOME OF THIS STUFF BACK, A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, IF I RECALL CORRECTLY.
AND SO, IF THEY'RE MOVING THE LINE, AND THEY'RE BEING PROGRESSIVE AND THEY'RE MAKING IT EASIER FOR THE REST OF US, BUT NOW THEY SAY AH HA WE HAVE A FEW CLUBS THAT GO OVER THIS LINE, DOES THE PUBLIC NEED TO
UNDERSTAND COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION OR DO THEY NEED TO SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, THE USGA'S BEEN DOING A GREAT JOB FOR 105 YEARS, THEY'VE MANAGED, PROTECTED AND SERVED OUR GAME, THEY'VE MOVED THE LINE IN THE SAND. THE USGA SAYS THIS
ONE IS JUST OVER THE LINE, WHY DON'T WE GO ALONG WITH IT LIKE WE ALWAYS HAVE, AND WHY DON'T YOU AS YOU ALWAYS HAVE?
NO AND I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT AS GOING OVER THE LINE BECAUSE THE LINE IS NOT A LINE THAT YOU CAN DEFINE. THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM AND, AND THE FACT THAT, IF I, IF YOU REMEMBER WHAT I SAID TO YOU BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR
LITTLE DISSERTATION HERE A MINUTE AGO
I SAID THE R&A
NOW HERE IS THE FATHER OF RULES. DO YOU AGREE WITH ME ON THAT, PETER?
I DO SIR.
ROYAL AND ANCIENT.
NOW ON THE WEBSITE. GOLF CHANNEL WEBSITE, WE'RE GOING TO PUT A LITTLE THING THAT THE R&A HAS PUT OUT, ABOUT THE VERY THING WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, AND, WHAT IT MEANS, THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO THE GAME OF GOLF, AND I'M
JUST GOING TO GIVE YOU A FEW LITTLE FACTS AND, AND SOME OF THOSE FACTS LIKE, THE R&A SAID, OKAY GUYS, WE'VE LOOKED AT THIS, AND, AND I'M NOT GOING TO GET INTO THE INTERACTING BETWEEN THE USGA AND THE R&A BECAUSE, IF THERE'S SOMETHING THAT I WANT. TO HAVE HAPPEN, IT'S FOR THEM TO AGREE AND FOR THE RULES OF THE GAME TO STAY TOGETHER. AND I REALLY MEAN THAT.
SO OTHERWISE THOUGH THEIR POSITION
GO AHEAD AND DO SUMMARIZE THE R&A'S POSITION FOR US.
The Tiger comeback just got real on Friday
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Slow play was a big storyline on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, but not so much anymore.
Not with Tiger Woods speeding things up Friday at the Honda Classic.
Not with Woods thumping the gas pedal around PGA National’s Champion Course, suddenly looking as if he is racing way ahead of schedule in his return to the game.
The narrative wondrously started to turn here.
It turned from wondering at week’s start if Woods could make the cut here, after missing it last week at the Genesis Open. His game was too wild for Riviera, where a second-round 76 left him looking lost with the Masters just six weeks away.
It turned in head-spinning fashion Friday with Woods climbing the leaderboard in tough conditions to get himself into weekend contention with a 1-over-par 71.
He is just four shots off the lead.
“I’d be shocked if he’s not there Sunday with a chance to win,” said Brandt Snedeker, who played alongside Woods in the first two rounds. “He’s close to playing some really, really good golf.”
Just a few short months ago, so many of us were wondering if Woods was close to washed up.
“He’s only going to improve,” Snedeker said. “The more time he has, as the weather gets warmer, he’ll feel better and be able to practice more.”
Snedeker has had a front-row seat for this speedy Tiger turnaround. He played the third round with Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open last month. That was Woods’ first PGA Tour start in a year.
How much improvement did Snedeker see from that Torrey Pines experience?
“It was kind of what I expected – significantly improved,” Snedeker said. “His iron game is way better. His driver is way better. I don’t’ see it going backward from here.”
This was the hope packed into Friday’s new narrative.
“I’m right there in the ballgame,” Woods said. “I really played well today. I played well all day today.”
Tiger sent a jolt through PGA National when his name hit the top 10 of the leaderboard. He didn’t do it with a charge. He did it battling a brutish course in wintry, blustery winds, on “scratchy” and “dicey” greens that made par a good score.
When Woods holed a 25-foot putt at the ninth to move into red numbers at 1 under overall and within three shots of the lead, a roar shook across the Champion Course.
“It got a little loud, which was cool to see,” Snedeker said. “It’s great to have that energy and vibe back.”
Woods sent fans scampering to get into position, blasting a 361-yard drive at the 10th, cutting the corner. He had them buzzing when he stuck his approach to 9 feet for another birdie chance to get within two of the lead.
“I thought if he makes it, this place will go nuts, and he could get it going like he used to,” Snedeker said.
Woods missed, but with the leaders falling back to him on this grueling day, he stuck his approach at the 12th to 10 feet to give himself a chance to move within a shot of the lead.
It’s another putt that could have turned PGA National upside down, but Woods missed that.
“It really is hard to make birdies,” he said. “At least I found it hard. It was hard to get the ball close, even if the ball is in the fairway, it's still very difficult to get the ball close, with the wind blowing as hard as it is. It’s hard to make putts out here.”
Patton Kizzire, a two-time PGA Tour winner who won just last month at the Sony Open, could attest to how tough the test at Honda has become. He played alongside Woods this week for the first time in his career. He shot 78 Friday and missed the cut.
Kizzire had a close-up look at what suddenly seems possible for Woods again.
“He’s figuring it out,” Kizzire said. “He hit some nice shots and rolled in some nice putts. It was pretty impressive.”
Woods could not hide his excitement in getting himself in the weekend hunt, but his expectations remain tempered in this comeback. He knows the daily referendums his game is subject to, how we can all make the highs too high and the lows too low.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Woods said.
Woods lost a tee shot in a bush at the second hole and made bogey. He hit his tee shot in the water at the 15th and made double bogey. He three-putted the 16th to make bogey. He knows this course can derail a player’s plans in a hurry, but he knows his game is quickly coming around.
“I’m right there where I can win a golf tournament,” Woods said. “Four back on this golf course with 36 holes to go, I mean, anybody can win this golf tournament right now. It’s wide open.’”
Woods hit his shot of the day at the 17th to right his game after the struggles at the 15th and 16th. He did so in front of the Goslings Bear Trap Party Pavilion, cutting a 5-iron to 12 feet. It was the hardest hole on the course Friday, with nearly one of every three players rinsing a shot in the water there. Woods made birdie there to ignite an explosion of cheers. He got a standing ovation.
“I was telling you guys, I love Riviera, I just don't play well there,” Woods said. “So here we are, we're back at a golf course I know and I play well here.”
So here we are, on the precipice of something special again?
Woods seems in a hurry to find out.
List, Lovemark lead; Tiger four back at Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Even with a tee shot into the water for another double bogey, Tiger Woods could see the big picture in the Honda Classic.
He was four shots out of the lead going into the weekend.
Luke List delivered a round not many others found possible in such difficult conditions Friday, a 4-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jamie Lovemark (69). They were at 3-under 137, the highest score to lead at the halfway point of the Honda Classic since it moved to PGA National in 2007.
So bunched were the scores that Woods was four shots out of the lead and four shots from last place among the 76 players who made the cut at 5-over 145. More importantly, he only had 13 players in front of him.
''This is a difficult golf course right now,'' Woods said. ''Making pars is a good thing. I've done that, and I'm right there with a chance.''
And he has plenty of company.
Tommy Fleetwood, who won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour last year, scratched out a 68 and was one shot out of the lead along with Webb Simpson (72), Russell Henley (70) and Rory Sabbatini (69).
Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger each shot 72 and were in a large group at 139. They were among only 10 players remaining under par.
Fleetwood laughed when asked the last time he was at 2 under after 36 holes and only one shot out of the lead.
''Maybe some junior event,'' he said. ''It's good, though. These are the toughest test in golf. Generally, one of the best players prevail at the end of weeks like this. Weeks like this challenge you to the ultimate level. Whether you shoot two 80s or you lead after two rounds, you can see what you need to do and see where your game is. Because this is as hard as it's ever going to get for you.''
The difficulty was primarily from the wind, which blew just as hard in the morning when List shot his 66 as it did in the afternoon. More aggravating to the players are the greens, which are old and bare, firm and crusty. It's a recipe for not making many putts.
Defending champion Rickie Fowler had six bogeys on his front nine and shot 77 to miss the cut.
''It's unfortunate that the greens have changed this much in a year,'' Fowler said. ''They typically get slick and quick on the weekend because they dry out, but at least there's some sort of surface. But like I said, everyone's playing the same greens.''
It looked as though List was playing a different course when he went out with a bogey-free 32 on the back nine, added a pair of birdies on the front nine and then dropped his only shot when he caught an awkward lie in the bunker on the par-3 seventh.
''It's very relentless,'' List said. ''There's not really too many easy holes, but if you hit fairways and go from there, you can make a few birdies out there.''
List and Lovemark, both Californians, have never won on the PGA Tour. This is the third time List has had at least a share of the 36-hole lead, most recently in South Korea at the CJ Cup, where he shot 76-72 on the weekend.
''It's kind of irrelevant because there's going to be 30 guys within a couple shots of the lead,'' List said. ''It's going to be that type of week.''
He was exaggerating – there were 11 players within three shots of the lead.
And there was another guy four shots behind.
Woods brought big energy to a Friday afternoon that already was hopping before he overcame a sluggish start and holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to make the turn at 1 under for his round, and leaving him two shots out of the lead. Everyone knew it just from listening to the roars.
Woods had his chances, twice missing birdie putts from inside 10 feet at Nos. 10 and 12, sandwiched around a 12-foot par save. His round appeared to come undone when he found the water on the 15th and made double bogey for the second straight day.
Then, he hit out of a fairway bunker, over the water and onto the green at the dangerous 16th hole and faced a 65-foot putt. He misread the speed and the line, so badly that it was similar to a car driving from Chicago to Denver and winding up in Phoenix. A bogey dropped him to 2 over.
The big moment was the 17th hole, 184 waters into the wind and over water. That's where Rory McIlroy made triple bogey earlier in the day that ruined his otherwise solid round of 72, leaving him seven behind. Making it even tougher for Woods is the Brandt Snedeker hit 5-iron before him to about 6 feet. Woods got to the tee and the wind died, meaning 5-iron was too much and 6-iron wouldn't clear the water.
He went with the 5-iron.
''I started that thing pretty far left and hit a pretty big cut in there because I had just too much stick,'' Wood said.
It landed 12 feet below the hole for a birdie putt.
Thomas made 17 pars and a double bogey when he three-putted from 6 feet on No. 16. He felt the same way as Woods.
''I'm in a good spot – really good spot – going into this week,'' Thomas said.
Woods to play with Dufner (12:10 p.m.) in third round
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods will play alongside Jason Dufner in the third round of the Honda Classic.
Woods and Dufner, both at 1-over 141, four shots back, will tee off at 12:10 p.m. ET Saturday at PGA National. They’re in the 10th-to-last group.
Co-leaders Luke List and Jamie Lovemark will go at 1:40 p.m.
Some of the other late pairings include Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, who will be playing together for the third consecutive day, at 1 p.m.; Louis Oosthuizen and Thomas Pieters (1:10 p.m.); and Webb Simpson and Russell Henley, in the penultimate group at 1:30 p.m.
Woods doesn't mind 'fun' but brutal 17th hole
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods doesn’t mind the boisterous crowd that surrounds the par-3 17th hole at PGA National.
And why should he?
When the wind died down Friday afternoon, Woods played a “big ol’ cut” with a 5-iron that dropped 12 feet from the cup. He made the putt – one of just nine birdies on the day – and when he walked off the green, the fans gave him a standing ovation.
Bounce-back— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) February 23, 2018
That gets Tiger back to +1. pic.twitter.com/l1yix0hzig
The scene is expected to be even more raucous Saturday at the Honda Classic, especially with Woods in contention.
There is a Goslings Bear Trap tent just to the right of the tee. The hole has become a hot topic in recent years, after a few players complained that the noise from the nearby crowd was distracting as they tried to play a wind-blown, 190-yard shot over water.
Woods was asked his thoughts on the party setup after finishing his second-round 71.
“As long as they don’t yell in our golf swings, we’re fine,” he said. “They can be raucous. They are having a great time. It’s fun. They are having a blast, and hopefully we can execute golf shots, but as long as they don’t yell in our golf swings, everything’s cool.”
After the recent Waste Management Phoenix Open, a few players told Woods that fans were trying to time their screams with the players’ downswings.
“There’s really no reason to do that,” Woods said. “I think that most of the people there at 17 are golfers, and they understand how hard a golf shot that is. So they are being respectful, but obviously libations are flowing.”
The 17th played as the most difficult hole on the course Friday, with a 3.74 scoring average and a combined score to par of 104 over. More than a quarter of the tee shots found the water.