Grouchy Golf Blog

Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 6:04 PM

For Michelle Wie, Close Doesn't Cut It...

Americans demand and expect a lot. It's part of our culture.

When we hear about the next and greatest "thing", we tend to expect that it is the next and greatest immediately. I remember hearing about the prospects of cold fusion decades ago. The media hyped it up to the point that I assumed that the world's energy problems were going to be solved in a matter of months. Well, like the flying car, robot maids and laser guns, that has yet to materialize.

The same phenomenon occurs in sports, including golf. The media is continuously searching for athletic phenoms to fill their headlines. When Tiger Woods started his professional career, the media quickly anointed him the successor to the great Jack Nicklaus. Some were calling Tiger the greatest golfer ever before he had even won his first tournament! The hype was astronomical and when Tiger didn't win his first few PGA events, many were stunned. But over time, Tiger eventually proved his greatness. It was an extremely rare case where reality actually met the hype.

But soon after the hype train dropped off Tiger, it picked up Michelle Wie. Only it is rolling with much more steam now. Although it is difficult to measure, it seems that the expectations for Michelle are even higher than those were for Tiger. People seem to expect Wie to win and win dominantly. Because she hasn't yet, there seems to be a wave of negativity building against Michelle. Some have already written her off altogether.

But really, hasn't the expectations gotten a little out of hand? I, for one, haven't bought into all the hype. Instead, I try to remain more realistic and simply admire her talent and ability for the time being. I'm no swing guru, but I believe that she possesses the best golf swing of any female today, maybe even ever. She has a swing that many PGA tour pros envy. With her tee to green game alone, it's just a matter of time before she chalks up her first pro win. But a great swing doesn't guarantee greatness. She could very well become the female version of Sergio Garcia...

Regardless, I feel that it is too early to expect Wie to win a pro event, especially the tournaments that she plays. Fellow teen phenom Morgan Pressel is still winless on the LPGA even though she is a full-time pro and has played in the weaker LPGA events. With her much ballyhooed amateur record, Pressel should be expected to find the winner's circle before Wie. But since the media hasn't over-hyped Pressel, she can hide comfortably in the shadow of Wie. Fair or not, the anti-Wie sentiments build with every tournament that Michelle fails to win.

But there is one place where Michelle Wie can escape this growing negativity - her parent's homeland of Korea. In fact, Korea has been making a strong push to claim Michelle Wie as their own. Don't be surprised if America's ridiculous expectations drive Michelle to apply for Korean citizenship. Heck, she only has to hit a couple of hanging metal pans with a golf ball from about 15 feet away to keep them satisfied:

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Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 1:04 PM

SwingVision - Ernie Els 3-Wood

First, congrats to Tiger on the clinic that he gave over the pond this weekend. He demonstrated that you don't need to hit driver to win a major. Maybe he should change his name from Tiger Woods to Tiger Irons! Regardless, Tiger is back and it didn't take long...

Now that I've discovered how to put videos on my site, I'm diggin' through my vast golf library for some cool stuff for y'all to enjoy. Based on the positive feedback on my last post, there seems to be a lot of interest. But it takes time; time to find worthy clips, time to transfer it to my PC, and time to upload it. Just bear with me and I'm sure that there will be something that you'll dig!

Do you like the feature on CBS? Well, I found a SwingVision video of Ernie Els hitting a 3-wood off the tee. It demonstrates that proper ball-striking with fairway woods require that the club strikes the ball on a slightly descending clubpath. Remember, the only club that may be struck on an ascending clubpath is the driver! Please let me know how you like it! Look for more in the future.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006 at 10:42 AM

Grouchy Golf Videos!

My buddy Rich over at Eatgolf.com recently wrote a post about his "Video of the Pros" section. Rich captured a number of golf swings from a local PGA tournament and put them up on his site for us to enjoy. I was surprised how smoothly the videos streamed to my PC.

I've always wanted to put up some golf videos on Grouchy Golf, but I didn't really know how to do it easily. I always assumed that it required lots of technical skills and server space, neither of which I possess. But after experiencing Rich's excellent implementation, it gave me the inspiration to revisit video.

I quickly discovered that Rich used a 3rd party video sharing service called YouTube. I've seen their videos on other sites before, but I had never clicked on them because I was worried about spyware. But I figured that Rich is a smart guy and whatever he used on his site would be legit. After a short and simple registration process, I was ready to upload a video. For my maiden upload, I selected an "Eye of the Tiger" video that I had written about in August 2004. I chose this video because it's unique and I believe it's tremendously helpful to students of the game. Once it was uploaded, I simply embedded the html code into the original "" post. That's it!

Please, check out the updated post and give me your honest feedback. I have a broadband cable connection and the video works great on my PC. But how does it work for you? Does the video load quickly and run smoothly? I'd be interested in hearing about the experience on slower connection speeds.

Also, how do you like the video content itself? Would you be interested in seeing other similar videos? The Grouchy Golf Video Vault contains a number of "Eye of the Tiger", , and various swing analysis videos. Please let me know what you'd like to see and I'll try to accommodate you!


Sunday, July 09, 2006 at 12:42 AM

Headcovers Protect the Clubhead and More

I was flipping through the June 2006 issue of Golf Digest recently and came across "The Golf Guru" column. Every month, the Golf Guru answers questions posed by readers of the magazine. It's somewhat entertaining, but the writer tends to write for chucks at the expense of sound advice. Such was the case in response to a reader's question, "Do headcovers do any good?"

In short, the Golf Guru believes that headcovers were a remnant of the persimmon wood era that serves no functional purpose today. He argues that headcovers did indeed protect "soft-as-cheese persimmon clubheads and the 'whipping' that bound the hosel to the shaft" but is unnecessary for the modern metal-wood.

However, I think that his advice is a little half-baked for several reasons. For one, some of us like to keep our clubheads free of dings and paint chips. Not only is maintaining the clubhead's condition aesthetically pleasing, but it helps preserve the club's resale value.

But one of the best reasons to use a headcover is to protect those precious graphite shafts. I knew a guy who never used a headcover, whether it was on or off the course. He would just let his clubs clang around in his bag unprotected on the golf cart and also in the trunk of his SUV. Then one day he was hitting driver on the and the head snapped off. I think the clubhead flew farther than the ball!

You see, not using a headcover leaves the shaft exposed to the leading edges of any neighboring irons. Like eager beavers chipping away at a tree, the countless mini-dings from these irons can weaken the shaft to the point where it may break. At least that's what the pro shop guy says. Whether it's true or not, why take the chance?

Lastly, a headcover can protect your club from the prying eyes of thieves. With clubs such as the worth as much as some people's cars, a generic headcover is the best deterrent for the growing problem.

As you can see, there are some good reasons to continue using headcovers. But please, for the love of mankind, don't use a tiger headcover unless your name happens to be "Tiger." Otherwise, it's rather poseur-ish.