Golf Guy Grill Room: Wrapping up New Orleans


'Hey Bartender...'

The Golf Guy

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.

Rub of the Green 

Golf Guy Grill Room

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, 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.


'And They're Off!'

Golf Guy Grill Room

How's this for a Saturday sports day: Moving Day at Quail Hollow, followed by the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby ( 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.

Quotes ... From the Vault


'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 Donald

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]

Driving distance: J.B. Holmes – 314.5 [Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson 2-3]

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]