Random comments and analysis about the PGA, LPGA and other pro tours

Saturday, November 04, 2006

2007 LPGA Tour taking turn for the worse

It seems that our dear LPGA commish is confirming her past track record of "really taking care" of sponsors, and treating them like "junk food" and "blue light specials". After losing the Wendy's, now it is the Shoprite. Both sponsors are prestigious brands with a lot of awareness. Both tournaments have used their brand awareness to build brand awareness for the LPGA tour. And both have contributed millions of dollars to local charities.

I sincerely hope that the commish knows what she is doing ;) ;)

It took previous commissioners years to convince such big brands to sign up for an LPGA tournament. Now Bivens drops them as if there are long lines of sponsors lined up to sign up for LPGA tournaments. And I am sure she is seeking the advice of her "self-serving buddies-stuffed" commissioner's advisory council.

See these articles on Golf Digest and on the Florida Masochist golf blog.

Maybe the players need to organize a vote of confidence of the Commissioner. And vote yeah or neah on her performance, and send up the results to the LPGA board. Sounds like the LPGA players need their own midterm elections to demonstrate where they stand and send up a clear message to awaken the LPGA board from their "State of Denial".

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tiger Woods out - LPGA in

On a number of occasions when Tiger Woods is not in the field, I found myself gravitating to the LPGA leaderboard and paying more attention to the Ladies. Is that because none of us can recognize any of these unknown players on the PGA Tour...Trahan, Watney, Senden, Couch, Owen and others?
Well, partly.

On one hand, Tiger monopolizes all the press coverage about the PGA Tour. If a publication does not have him on the cover, sales are cut in half. If a TV program does not have a segment about him, viewers surf along. So frankly, none of these "unrecognizable" players can get their faces in the press and get a following to slightly move the needle in the ratings.

On the other hand, the "guerilla marketing" LPGA commish has gotten many of her young sexy players far greater press coverage "as a package" to woo viewers and golfers to the LPGA when it is a non-Tiger week. The only thing disappointing is that it is always the same girls, and therefore it is starting to become saturation and reach ineffectiveness. How many times are you going to feature Nat, Paula and Morgan on the LPGA site and the press that follows the LPGA?

I suggest "Carly" Bivens starts using some of the other talented and good looking players on her tour. First name that comes to mind: Brittany Lincicome. She won the HSBC matchplay downing Michelle, Lorena and Julie. She's 5'10, blonde blue-eyed, and bombs that ball 280+ yds off the tee on average.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tigeritis epidemic

Two years ago, before Ernie Els hurt his knee, his Belgian mental coach was asked: "What is the principal thing that you are working on with Ernie these days?" He replied: "Tiger-itis."

He went on to explain that his client was suffering from this discouraging mental ailment whenever Tiger was in the field. This at a time when Tiger was revamping his swing with Hank Haney, and Vijay's game was on fire.

Fast forward to 2006, now the contamination has spread to the other 3 guys - formerly from the "Big Five". Add to Ernie, Vijay's and Retief's game. It is barely recognizable - or shall I say - it is a squeleton of its former self. But at least they show up every week to attempt to overcome it.

Phil, on the other hand, is K.O. Not only is his game completely gone, but his psyche is wiped out. His Ryder Cup performance was below dismal, while Tiger posted 3 out of a possible 4 points. Now, he pulled out of every tournament entry for the rest of the year - official and silly season. Forget Pelz and his hopeless comments, Phil's mental game is going to need to be rebuild from scratch. And there is no quick drug for that at Longs Drugs, just plain old hard drive and desire.

Desire? Drive?...hmmm? how do you get that back when you are 30 lbs overweight and have $50 million in the bank?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

LPGA's Bivens continues on "Control" path

Not only is she driving away long time sponsors by dropping their tournament from the schedule (Wendy's), upseting existing sponsors by refusing to let them get their tournament on Network TV (McDonald's), and alienating the press (the AP in Hawaii), now she is announcing the "Commissioner's Advisory Council".

The former secretary of homeland security? Are LPGA tournaments now on the terrorists target lists?
Alice Dye - a golf course architect or her lastname?
The interim president of the University of New Hampshire?

How are these "advisors" connected to golf or are going to help take the LPGA to the next level because of their relations or their experience? I don't get it.
I've sat on advisory boards. I helped put advisory boards together. This is not an advisory board.

This "advisory council" is filled with her buddies from the advertising world and a bunch of other folks who will rubber stamp her recommendations. Further weakening any challenges that her actual board members may have.

Her executive behavior patterns are the classic symptoms of someone in quest of ultimate power. Someone who is alienating stakeholders (sponsors, press, players' council, long time employees), someone who is creating "crony" councils to weaken her ultimate boss - her board of directors.

This is taking the LPGA in a very dangerous direction. As she starts tightens her grip on the post, it will take the players to rise and ask for her resignation. In that tug of war, it will take longer for a players' upheaval to happen than the damage she would have caused, and even longer to repair the damage after her departure.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Steroids needed to win the 2008 Ryder Cup

Phil was an embarrassment throughout the matches, but so were many of our other top players.
I don't agree that if we don't win in 2008, the Ryder Cup will be uninteresting.

What the Europeans are showing us in golf is what the European basketball players showed us in the Olympics - we believe too much in our own B.S. and we hype it up too...There are now many sports where we used to be dominant:

basketball
tennis
...and now golf.

oh and did I forget Track & Field and Cycling, where we only seem to win if we pump ourselves with steroids; maybe that's why they want to do testing on the PGA Tour so we don't get tempted to win the 2008 Ryder Cup with Steroids

Crushed...

No question that all our predictions and fears came through today. Tiger delivered. Everybody else just failed miserably, captain's pick or not.
3 of my picks from yesterday just got crushed today - Furyk, Phil & Toms...what happened guys?

DiMarco's humiliation was to be expected in the face of a Lee Westwood on fire all week.
Darren, Luke & David Howell came though just as I thought.

I don't know what to say. I am at a loss of words or recommendations on how to win the next Ryder Cup. It's not Hal's fault from the last time around, maybe for a bad pairing. It's not Tom Lehman's fault. His pairings were as good as anyone would do, monday quarterbacking notwithstanding. Sure everyone can nitpick, but not sure the outcome would have been all that different.

Michelle Wie can't make a cut on the men's tour, but Karrie Webb seems to know how to come from behind - she's on fire at the Longs Drugs. Maybe she can be a captain's pick for the next Ryder Cup team :)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Brookline all over again? dream on...

ok, tomorrow's singles matches have been announced, and here are my picks (of course, the Europeans will win it since they are garanteed at least 4 wins from these pairings):

Toms (W) - Monty
Cink - Garcia (W)
Furyk (W) - Casey
Woods (W) - Karlsson
Campbell - Donald (W)
JJ (W) - McGinley
Zach J - Darren C (W)
Vaughn T - Stensen (W)
Brett W. - David Howell (W)
Phil (W) - JM Olazabal
DiMarco - Westwood (W)
Verplank - Padraig (W)

So I have the Europeans with 7 wins out of 12 matches based on the performance of our guys this week. But four matches are clearly in their side with Garcia, Luke Donald, Darren Clarke and David Howell. Let's see how this comes out - unless it's Brookline all over again - which I would really love to see happen...dream on!

Friday, September 22, 2006

The worst fathers' bandwagon arrives to pro golf

If you thought dominant controlling fathers existed only in the music business - Joe Jackson for Michael Jackson or Matthew Knowles for Beyonce, or the movie business - the parents of Mackauley Culkin or Whitney Houston, or tennis - Jennifer Capriati's folks, now it's pro golf's turn.

We all heard about the punishing, humiliating "training" that Sean O'Hair was subjected to by his "loving" father, now it is B.J. Wie who is taking the lead on the horror list. Subjecting his daughter to constant mental abuse by convincing her that she can only get better by playing against the men certainly ranks top in the all-time list of abherrations.

Shouldn't "child services" be investigating this? or are we going to continue to be subjected to this teenage girl's youth being stollen from her. But I really blame the "greedy" tournament directors who are trying to get P.R. for their second rate tournaments by giving her exemptions.
Forget the agent, forget the parents. The PGA Tour needs to step in and have a "business talk" with these PGA tournament directors about exemptions to Michelle.

If she wants to play a full schedule she can max out 8 exemptions on each of the LPGA, the European LET and the Asian LPGA tours. That's 24 tournaments per year! Win some, build her mental game, gain experience, mature as an athlete and as a player, then in 5 years try out again a few men's events.

But enough is enough in the exploitation of this child!