I visited Olomana Golf Links Tuesday morning, where President-elect Barack Obamas played on several occasions. Its a pretty 40 year-old public track, 5,900 yards from the white bays and 42 bucks a round, including cart. The course is only 12 miles from his boyhood home in Honolulu.
Last week Boo Weekley introduced us to the camouflage Aldila shaft in his driver. Normally called the VooDoo, his is tagged, what else, the BooDoo shaft. Now I get word Clevelands unveiling camouflage wedges. They sold 20 in a day and a half at the companys eastern test site, Cartersville Country Club, north of Atlanta. What the hells camouflage got to do with golf? That question came from Boos caddie, Joel Pyland.
Tadd Fujikawa is back in the Sony Open field. His Friday finish in 07 was one of the happiest single days Ive ever witnessed in golf. Tadd joked that hes seen the replay too many times. Ive memorized every word. It was a fun time for all of us. Yes, all of us.
Jeff Sluman, tuning up for his Champions Tour season with a start at the Sony said, Ill be a young man next week but this week Im an old S.O.B.!
Peter Lonard on fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy: Hes a great chipper and putter and hits it miles. Thats a pretty good combination when you get your brain right.
Jeff Klauks beginning his first season on Tour just as dad Fred starts his retirement after two decades as superintendent of TPC Sawgrass. Hes so much more relaxed, said Jeff. Fred and wife Peggy are in Honolulu watching Jeff this week.
Rick Price is a rookie at age 40. He went through Q-School 19 times and beat the bushes on the old Space Coast Tour, Tommy Armour Tour, Gateway Tour and Golden Bear Tour. Did he ever get discouraged and think about quitting? No, because I figured I get to get up every day and do what I love to do.
Slumans advice for first timers: Watch the better players and see what theyre doing right ' and youre doing wrong.
Lonards caddie Scott Martin, who carried Fujikawas bag at Disney in 07, still believes in the mighty little Hawaiian: His martial arts background will be a huge factor in the long run. Hes physically and mentally tough.
Zach Johnson on the Sony Open: Its one of the more underrated tournaments we play ' nice amenities, classic golf course and great greens. And if theres any wind its difficult.
I asked Boo if hes surfed since landing on Waikiki. No way man, said big Boo.They got sharks out there. Im in the eatin business. I aint into gettin eatin.
Klauk likes the advice from Johnson, a Masters champ: Its just golf.
As for the President-elects famously cool, laid back demeanor, it is in part the result of his Hawaiian background. We call it local style, said the head pro at Olomana, Norman-Ganin Asao. In August, the President-elect showed up in shorts and sandals before putting on the golf shoes. Thats local style.
Look for a very funny ad from Srixon featuring Boo and Vijay Singh sometime during the Florida swing.
Watched something damn near as beautiful as the Waikiki sunset on Tuesday ' Brad Faxon on the putting green from 25 feet. No tension. So pure. So free.
The plan for Fujikawa, now 18, is to play mini-tours on more of a full-time basis. Its hard to get momentum when you only play one tournament a month, he explained.
Scotty Cameron, hanging at Waialae, has been making putters for a quarter century. His off-the-top-of-his-head list of best rollers of the rock hes ever seen, in no particular order: Tiger Woods; David Frost; Brad Faxon; David Graham; and Mark OMeara, pre-claw.
Five years ago Casey Wittenberg was being touted as a cant-miss star. He struggled, but here he is at 24, ready to start his first full season on Tour. Those days on the Hooters Tour make you appreciate this, he told me Tuesday.
Former Big Breaker Kip Henley, now on the bag for Brian Gay, marvels at his bosss ability to carve out a great living in the power era. Gay barely flies it 245-250 yards while the big boys blow it out there 290 plus. But man, from 110 yards and in, Henley tells me, this guy can really cover it.
Camerons a huge Fujikawa fan. Hes a grinder with a huge heart, a bulldog, said Cameron.
President-elect Obama shot in the high 90s at Olomana on December 21, according to the clubs pro, Asao, with a handful of pars to go with some big numbers. Someday the President-elect, a solid basketball player who came off the bench for the Punahou High team that won the Hawaii state title in the late 70s, would like to become a single-digit handicap in golf. For now, with the economy in a shambles and war on two fronts, he is, politically speaking, playing a 650-yard, uphill par-5 into a two-club wind... with hickory shafts.