Odd that the Golf Guy was in New Orleans last week for the Zurich Classic and then had to fly into Charlotte – home to this week's Wells Fargo Championship – before coming back to Orlando ... Golf Channel HQ. OK, well, not that weird. Anyway, it's time for a French Quarter epilogue. As in, do your golfing buddies a favor and plan a golf trip to the Big Easy that coincides with the Zurich Classic.
Beignets: I averaged three a day – a mere $2.95 per order of three. If you are not aware, they come covered with powdered sugar. On Day 1 in New Orleans, I tried to eat them while I was taking pictures in the French Quarter. But it was windy. Very windy. After a few minutes, I looked like a miniature polar bear.
Jazz: I was a jazz club virgin. Not anymore. And I did it in style – the hotel I stayed at was the home to the Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse. What a treat – good music, good crowd, good vibe and did I mention, my interaction with the gorgeous female jazz singer and the equally gorgeous burlesque dancer?
Zurich Classic: Oh yeah, the golf tournament. I went, walked the course, saw a lot of pretty ladies in pretty dresses, took some pictures, had David Toms give me a strange look, busted into the media center, and then left.
K-Pauls Louisiana Kitchen: Yes, that's right, the Golf Guy somehow got into this very swanky, hard-to-get-into, legendary New Orleans restaurant. I had the filet and some very, very tasty sweet southern corn muffins.
Pralines: My mom brought me back a couple of pralines from New Orleans when I was about 8 years old. I was mesmerized. Thirty some-odd-years later, I still am.
While reading over a recent article about the U.S. Open at Congressional, an old pet peeve of mine suddenly came racing back: Why are there so many damn par-4s on a course? Do the math: par-72, 18 holes = four par-3s + four par-5s + 10 par-4s. That’s twice as many par-4s as par-3s AND par-5s …. combined. This is nonsense. I dare a well-known golf course architect to mix things up a bit. My suggestion? Six, six and six. Will it ever happen? No. Why? Because golf wants to remain as traditional as the plethora of par-4s that it throws out to professionals and amateurs. Whew. There, I said it. Anyone want to argue?
Jon Levy, GC.com associate editor: Yes, I'll argue. I get your point, Golf Guy . . . sort of. But, with this rant I suppose you’d also like sunset reoccuring every hour on the hour and have spiced rum served as the daily special – every day – at every grill room across the country. Think I know the answer to the second one.
Why so many par-4s? Because it’s golf. Period. Sure, there are variations – plenty of architects use an extra par-5 or par-3 – but since the modern game was born at St. Andrews in the 18th century and its 22-hole course was combined into 18, with par-4s the main focus, everything has followed suit since.
A change to this formula would also make the game much easier. There’s a reason why the U.S. Golf Association often increases the amount of par-4s during their championships – because the par-4 is the true test of the game. It requires two good shots to hit the green, whereas a player can often get away with a bad one on a par-5 and needs just one good one on a par-3.
Golf Guy: Blah, blah, blah. When I said 'Anyone want to argue?' that was a rhetorical question. Golf holes are like girls back in college: the par-3s typically are the real hot, knock-out blondes; the par-5s are the wild party girls (as in, if you play your cards, er, clubs right, you have a good chance at birdie ... or eagle!); and then you have the par-4s ... they go to class, get good grades ... well, the teacher's pet. And in this case, the architect's pet.
How's this for a Saturday sports day: Moving Day at Quail Hollow, followed by the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby (GolfChannel.com picks), then bouncing into Game 3 of the Heat/Celtics NBA playoff series, and finally finishing off the evening with the Pacquiao-Mosley pay-per-view fight from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Good golly I live for days like this. ... My 2 cents on the Simpson ruling from last week's Zurich Classic? Two words: stupid rule. And an easy fix – no intent, no penalty.
'I suppose I got into the zone ... I just know I got my nose in front and I was just trying to stay there.' – Rory McIlroy, after winning last year's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, after closing with a course-record 62 to beat Phil Mickelson by four strokes – and notice the well-timed horse racing 'nose in front' reference.
Luke has plenty reasons to smile – namely being crowned 'Player of the Half Year' by Golf Guy
As the PGA Tour makes it past the halfway point in their season, let's take a quick look at some of the stats that I, the Golf Guy, find interesting. Let's turn on the Stat Machine now:
Scoring average: Luke Donald – 69.08 [short hitter leads Tour in scoring ... interesting]
Top-10 finishes: Donald and Matt Kuchar – 6 [Donald with six top-10s in just seven starts]
Best streak without a three-putt: Stewart Cink – 215 holes [my favorite stat in the world]
Total eagles: Bubba Watson – 9 [honestly, I thought it would be higher]
Birdie average: Dustin Johnson – 4.68 per round [Phil Mickelson a close second]
Woods' victories: Cheyenne – 1 [oh, I love to kid Tiger]
Mid-way Player of the Year?: – Donald [my rules]