Hooks Cuts Kapalua


KAPALUA, Hawaii – A New Year’s version of Hooks & Cuts from lovely Kapalua.

  • People are looking for answers. When is Tiger Woods coming back? What happened? Where is he? Until Tiger surfaces and speaks, there’s just not a whole lot to say. So why don’t we just watch a little golf?

  • Golf could use a fresh, cleansing breeze right now, and Kapalua is a fine place to start. Granted, with a national championship in football to be decided and NFL playoffs on the menu, the SBS Championship won’t generate a lot of national buzz. But there’s a good chance you’ll flip on Golf Channel in prime time and say, “Wow that looks nice.” And it is.

  • Given the circumstances with Tiger, it would have been nice if Phil Mickelson had started the season in Hawaii as a way to give the Tour a shot in the arm. But given his family’s circumstances with Amy on the mend, it’s not a reasonable ask.

  • Speaking of Tiger, what do you suppose that first photograph of Woods will be worth? And he’s MIA deep underground, isn’t he?

  • This is the week where you’ll become an expert on Kona winds and Trade winds.  You’ll also be well versed by week’s end on the new groove rule.

  • This is also fantasy week, one of those stops which appear to be beyond the reach of mere mortals. Golf on the edge of the earth. That’s the lure of the sport – not just how it’s played but where it’s played.

  • There’ve been a number of ideas floated as to how to prop up the field for this season opener, like featuring winners over the last two years instead of just the previous one. I still like the tournament of champions’ concept. It puts a premium on winning. Too bad the top players haven’t supported it this year. The closest golf comes to matching baseball’s opening day excitement is Thursday at the Masters.

  • Who is more likely to win a major this year, Retief Goosen or Ernie Els? Who ends the season ranked higher, Sean O’Hair or Nick Watney? If you had one ball from 100 yards away to whom do you hand the wedge, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson or Brian Gay?

  • It’s early, but it’ll be tough to top the performance of the whale we saw breaching off Kapalua this morning. Over and over, it was up and out of the Pacific like a running back leaping the pile into the end zone. So why don’t we watch the whales and a little golf this week?