Grouchy Golf Blog

Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Tilghman and Faldo: Corporate Shills?

During the television coverage of last week's Accenture Match Play Championship, there seemed to be enough promotion to rival a Ron Popeil infomercial. Only it wasn't Ron plugging stuff but the Golf Channel's on-air personalities, Kelly Tilghman and . Every time a player hit the new Nike SQ Sumo square driver, Kelly was sure to identify the driver and comment about how much that player loves its performance. During the final match between Tiger and Stewart Cink, Kelly made sure to point out that the "Swoosh" was well represented in the tournament with Nike staffers Woods, Cink and Leonard making it to the semis. Is Kelly trying to make amends with Tiger over the "Lynch him in a back alley" incident or is there some kind of undisclosed relationship between her and Nike? Whatever the reason, it is suspicious at best that she made no similar comments about other golf manufacturers or equipment.

Tilghman's booth-mate was even guiltier of thinly-veiled promotion. Faldo did his best to sneak in plugs for his current endorser, TaylorMade Adidas Golf. Faldo made it a point to talk about players using the new TaylorMade Monza Spider putter with success. But even worse, he took an opportunity to bash his former endorser, Nike, while extolling the performance of TaylorMade's new golf ball. Nick went out of his way to highlight Golf Magazine's recent golf ball test results that showed the new TaylorMade TP ball bested the Nike One Platinum by 20 yards with a driver (90 mph swingspeed). C'mon Nick, was it just a mere coincidence that you happen to choose your current company's ball to compare against that of your old company? I think not. It was quite a cheap shot you old bloke!

Sadly, this isn't the first time that golf announcers have utilized their abundant air time to serve as pitchmen. In the past, I can recall and Johnny Miller will still occasionally mention Callaway. It's just that this kind of conflict of interest has never been as blatant before as it is now. If an announcer has a relationship with another company, it needs to be disclosed upfront. When I tune into a golf broadcast, I want golf coverage, not an infomercial. It's not like this kind of advertising is effective anyway. How stupid do they think we are?! Now I wonder where I can demo that new Nike driver and buy a box of those hot TaylorMade balls...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Adam Scott: Tiger's Top Challenger?

Butch Harmon believes that one of his current pupils is best poised to take down his former star student, Tiger Woods. Who would that be, you ask? Phil Mickelson would have been a good guess. However, it's not the Joker, but the White Tiger, Adam Scott. According to ESPN, Harmon said, "He (Scott) is the only one who can challenge Tiger Woods in the next four or five years. He's the only one I see of the young players with all the things it takes to get close to Tiger Woods."

That's a pretty bold statement. IMHO, Scott just doesn't possess the short game or putting skills to put him anywhere close to Tiger. On top of that, he hasn't exhibited that "I'm gonna rip your throat out" killer instinct that is a prerequisite for all great athletes. Tiger simply owns the best mental game in golf and no one will be able to beat him on a consistent basis as long as his body holds up.

However, the current #5 player in the world does many things that rival and may even exceed that of the world's #1. In particular, Adam Scott's full swing is a thing of beauty. In fact, it's almost an exact copy of Tiger's swing, circa 2000. I think it's one of the best golf swings of all-time and I was sorry to see Tiger abandon it due to stress on his left knee. But it's really amazing to see how well Adam has copied Tiger's old swing. A while ago, I posted a . It is one of my personal favorites and remains one of the most viewed videos on this site. Recently, I've uncovered another swing comparison video for your viewing pleasure:

It is quite apparent that Adam has copied Tiger's swing to the "tee". However, it is Tiger Wood's innate ability, intangibles and insane work ethic that will keep him well ahead of the pack over the foreseeable future. Does anyone really think otherwise?

Labels: ,