Grouchy Golf Blog

Saturday, December 24, 2005 at 9:42 AM

Happy Golf Holidays and Thanks!

Well, it's that time of year again, a time when I take a break from golf bloggin' to enjoy the holiday season and play some winter rounds of golf. But since I live in sunny So. Cal., winter golf doesn't mean frigid golf. I just checked my thermometer, and it's around 70 degrees. Yes, that's one of the main reasons why I moved here from the East Coast! It won't be a here, and I hope it never will. But before Grouchy Golf hibernates for the rest of the year, I would like to offer a much deserved "thanks" to those who support Grouchy Golf:

But most of all, I want to thank you, the reader of Grouchy Golf. Without you, I'm just a golf nut writing aimlessly about random golf stuff. I wish you a Grouchy Holidays and a Grouchy New Year!

P.S. GolfDash is currently running a promo where anyone who becomes a member (Free membership) will receive a Free GolfRound towel ($7.95 value). Free is a good deal in my book!

Friday, December 16, 2005 at 11:42 PM

Tiger Woods Scotty Cameron Putter, the Ultimate Golf Gift?

It's the holiday season, and gift giving will soon be in full force. IMHO, finding a gift for a golfer is a relatively easy task. I can't think of another sport that has spawned such a wide array of products at virtually every price point. As a result, it's easy to find a golf gift for every budget. But what if you were Donald Trump? What regoddamndiculously expensive gift would you buy for that special golfer in your life?

Believe it or not, there are putters out there with asking prices that eclipse that of a nicely-equipped brand-spankin' new 5-Series BMW. The owner of a local golf shop here in Los Angeles is supposedly a close personal friend of Scotty Cameron, so he has a lot of "one-of-a-kind" and signed Cameron items for sale. I was at this store recently and snapped some photos of the most highly prized item, a backup to Tiger Woods' Scotty Cameron putter!

The people at this golf shop are some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable in the business. They told me that Scotty crafts only a handful of custom putters with the exact specs for the great Tiger Woods. They even have a hand-written and signed letter from Mr. Cameron himself as confirmation. Be sure to click on the photo to zoom in and read the words written by the God of Putters himself!

The putter in this picture is an exact copy of the Newport 2 303 GSS Cameron gamer that has resided in Tiger's bag since the 1999 GTE Byron Nelson Classic. Notice the single large red dot or "cherry bomb" on each side of the putter. This is a standard Cameron practice to denote a Tour putter. It appears that there are only 4 of this exact model year in existence. It's truly a beautiful and rare piece of golf equipment.

But is this special putter really worth a luxury mid-size German sedan? I was told that a customer did pony up that kind of cash for a previous Tiger model. Remember, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Keep in mind that this isn't even a putter that Tiger has played. It's not even the backup to the putter that he plays. It's really the backup to the backup. You can only imagine the value of Tiger's gamer. Are we talking six or even seven figures?

But this is just one of the 14 clubs that fill Tiger's bag. Steve Williams must be carrying sticks worth many times more than their weight in gold. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Stevie lugs around a bag worth more than several million dollars on his back. I just hope he read about my post about golf club thefts.

To anyone who may be considering giving me a Tiger Woods' club as a gift this holiday: I think that I'd rather have a bimmer...

But if you are seriously interested in buying a rare Cameron putter, make sure that it has been authenticated. Obtain the registry number and enter it at the Scotty Cameron Registry to verify its authentication! If you have any more Cameron-related questions, just ask my friends over at The Cameron Collector. They are the real experts!

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005 at 12:23 AM

The Rose Bowl Parking Lot, My Home Course

The biggest game in college football history has been set. The 2006 BCS Championship Game will be played Jan. 4th at the "The Granddaddy of All Bowl Games" pitting #1 USC against #2 Texas. While the 90,000+ fans in attendance will be watching one of the most anticipated college football games of all-time, their cars will be leaking oil on my home golf course. Let me explain.

My home course, Brookside Golf Club, is adjacent to the world famous Rose Bowl. Built in 1921, the stadium's official seating capacity is 92,542. That's a lot of people, and, since it's located in must-drive Los Angeles, a lot of cars.

But there's not a lot of room around the Rose Bowl for dedicated parking. So where do you park all those darn global warming machines on wheels? You park them on the golf course, that's where! Of the 20,600 parking spaces available for events at the Rose Bowl, approximately 12,050 spaces are provided on the two golf courses of Brookside Golf Club.

Yes, anytime there's a major event at the Rose Bowl, the Brookside Golf courses undergo a dramatic transformation. Hole #18 becomes Parking Lot 1A. Ball washers and tee markers are displaced by Bimmers and Toyotas. But the real change is the people on the course. It goes from golfers who treat the course like it's a temple to drunken tailgaters who treat it like a Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat house. "We once saw people frying a turkey, and they just spilled all the oil from it on the golf course," said Noni Holt, a UCLA football season ticket holder. "We were just mad because we know it hurts the golf course, and we're mindful of that. It really is a beautiful place." But most revelers just don't give a damn. "I'm sure the course gets torn up," said Jim Guthrie, a 2003 UCLA graduate who tailgated at a UCLA home game. "But we don't care that much."

Obviously, the course is closed for golf while it works double-duty as a parking lot and tailgating wasteland. But the course never gets a rest. After moonlighting as a parking lot, a crew of over 100 cleans up the course for tee times the next morning. Yes, the next morning! As you can imagine, they can't clean up everything. If you do play the day after an event, don't be surprised to find your ball resting against unusual "loose impediments" in the form of strewn Corona bottles and Coors cans. Balls landing in a SUV tire tread or a pile of spent charcoal isn't uncommon. The golf rules for relief from standing water are sometimes applied to standing motor oil. Heck, sometimes abandoned cars are left in the middle of the fairway!

Proceeds from the $25 per car parking fees cover the money that would have been generated from greens fees. But you would think that the abuse Brookside receives as a parking lot would spell disaster for course conditions. In reality, it doesn't. Sure, it's not , but Brookside is typically in very good condition after a tailgating binge. I applaud the entire staff of Brookside who manages to maintain the course's position as one of the top 10 public courses in Southern California year after year. Once host to the LA Open, I pray that Brookside will once again host a pro golf event so that we can all park on the Rose Bowl football field for some much needed payback!