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Chamblee takes on Tiger: Brandel, meet Bayless

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These days, the observation that sports writers and pundits seem especially eager to make waves from time to time with controversial statements or positions is hardly revolutionary. But in general, golf has been immune to those sensationalist stories that, many people agree, have far more shock value than thoughtful substance.

On Tuesday, though, former PGA Tour player-turned golf pundit Brandel Chamblee changed all that, submitting a story to GOLF Magazine’s Golf.com that gives academic-style grades to a number of top professional golfers for the past PGA Tour season. Naturally, all of 2013’s major champions received grades of A or A+—or, in Jason Dufner’s case, an emphatic “A++” for not only his PGA Championship victory but his particularly attractive wife, Amanda. Nothing too controversial there.

With respect to top-ranked Tiger Woods, however, Chamblee went in a different direction. Instead of praising Woods’ five Tour wins this year, the winner of the 1998 Greater Vancouver Open focused on Woods’ three high-profile brushes with the Rules of Golf during the season: his improper (and quirkily non-disqualifying) drop at the Masters, another much-discussed drop at the PLAYERS Championship and a penalty he incurred when his ball moved while he removed a loose impediment at the BMW Championship. Chamblee gives Woods a grade of “F” because he, “how shall we say this…was a little cavalier with the rules.”

884etiger-woods-drop-15th-hole

Above: Woods’ improper drop on the 15th hole in the second round of the Masters was one of the biggest golf stories of 2013.

Chamblee does a bit of semantic gymnastics here, but there is little doubt what he is getting at: Tiger Woods is—or, at least in 2013, has been—a cheater on the golf course.

The former standout University of Texas golfer has long been critical of many aspects of Woods’ career and life, from his changes in coaches to dressing Woods down in the wake of his 2009 personal scandal. But accusing one of the best players to ever pick up a golf club is an altogether different form of criticism. It may even be slander, if Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg’s comments Friday are to be taken seriously.

“I’m not one for hyperbole, but this is absolutely disgusting,” Steinberg said. “Calling him a cheater? I’ll be shocked, stunned if something is not done about this. Something has to be done.”

Mirroring Chamblee’s indirect articulation of his own opinion, the “something” Steinberg refers to is obviously legal action.

This is a level of media drama to which the golf is largely unaccustomed. Granted, Johnny Miller has said some silly things about other players (Craig Parry, anyone?), but is not remotely in Chamblee’s league after Tuesday’s article.

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Other sports, though, have their fair share of media personalities, never to be confused with journalists , who are prone to overstatement that prompts a tornado of negative reaction. The best current example of this phenomenon is Skip Bayless, a former major newspaper sports columnist and current professional sports talking head for ESPN. After more than three decades as a print journalist, Bayless transitioned full-time to television work in 2007. He has scarcely looked back.

chamblee

From an unsubstantiated allegation about Troy Aikman’s sexuality in a 1989 book to his current, seemingly unending and increasingly absurd defense of the greatness of Tim Tebow, Bayless is unafraid of making statements that seem less concerned with deep analysis than emotion and pot-stirring potential. And like Chamblee, Bayless has also been threatened, albeit indirectly, with legal action over comments he has made. In 2012, Bayless opined on New York Yankees great Derek Jeter injury-plagued season in a way that juxtaposed the specter of steroid use with the superstar shortstop. Jeter’s response contained similar allusions to potential legal action.

Does this episode mark a stepping-stone on golf’s journey toward more widespread relevance in the sports world? Does this constitute a partial removal of golf’s proper-to-a-fault stereotype? Will someone step up and become a Stephen A. Smith to Brandel Chamblee’s Skip Bayless?

In any case, there is little doubt what grade Chamblee will receive on his next Bayless Academy report card.

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Related articles: Chamblee sticks to his ‘F’ for Tiger, then apologizes

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Tim grew up outside of Hartford, Conn., playing most of his formative golf at Hop Meadow Country Club in the town of Simsbury. He played golf for four years at Washington & Lee University (Division-III) and now lives in Pawleys Island, S.C., and works in nearby Myrtle Beach in advertising. He's not too bad on Bermuda greens, for a Yankee. A lifelong golf addict, he cares about all facets of the game of golf, from equipment to course architecture to PGA Tour news to his own streaky short game.

138 Comments

138 Comments

  1. Mike

    Nov 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Hmm does anyone know what it’s like to be a golf legend? How about a golf legend with today’s nosy media coverage and how many people on the planet have access to watch golf on TV. Tiger’s still the best whether you hate him or love him.

  2. Mike

    Nov 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lift clean and place should be called lift clean and cheat.
    Lets face it its all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!
    After playing golf for 50 years I no longer have passion for a game
    ruined by fame and money. It hurts to make a comment like this
    about a once great game.

    • Ray

      Nov 14, 2013 at 4:10 am

      I agree, it’s all about the money. and like you I’ve been playing for about 50 years (my first ball was the “Club Special”). Anyway, I must disagree about “a once great game”. It’s still a great game. When the $$$$ realizes it will rid itself of the Brandel Chamblees. If not, it could end up like the NBA, a great game I haven’t watched for 25 years

  3. gabe

    Nov 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Obviously lots of people on here are tv watchers and are caught up more in the awe of tiger woods the media created to promote golf(which it did 10 fold as the paychecks and ratings now prove), than I’m preserving the integrity of the game which arnold palmer and 99% of the players today still hold to as being the essence of what golf is. Watch the commercials of all the kids and what they kearn through golf and then say bc is wrong with his f grade. Did they learn to win at all costs? Never call a penalty on yourself when you’re the #1golfer in the world and you don’t know if you’ve dropped in the wrong spot,took an illegal drop, don’t know the difference in a ball moving or oscillating? Really tiger? Tigers name should be cheetah bcthats what he’s proving he is in every form of the word in golf and in life. Once he was assessed a penalty in the masters he signed an incorrect scorecard which is automatic dq, but he’s always been and always will be a win at all costs person and his integrity is a joke,right down to lying about what ball he’s used since the first nike he hit. Its not a shame bc has said the truth about tiger but its a shame more people in power and with a voice louder than mine isn’t demanding tiger be accountable for his deceipts and lack of integrity before he is the arod or barry bonds of golf…cheaters are cheaters no matter the tools used, break rules and you pay,unless you have a million uneducated fans supporting you and making escuses bc they cant break 100 much less know how and where to take a drop,congrats to the ones who do anddont overlook the ones like tiger who are too selfcentered and cheap to honor the code…hope#15 never comes

    • SEVVY

      Nov 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Clearly a Tiger hater then?
      I’m not in awe of Tiger. I love watching him play golf but that doesn’t mean I’m not ignorant of his public perception and the things he does that doesn’t help his cause.
      However, the very definition of cheating is to gain an advantage. At Abu Dhabi, Tiger consulted Martin Kaymer, his playing partner, over the drop and Kaymer agreed with Woods so where is the cheating with that. At Sawgrass Tiger consulted with Casey Wittenberg, his playing partner and Wittenberg was happy with the drop so where is the cheating?
      At the Masters Woods clearly took a wrong drop but he also had a referee with the group who didn’t see anything wrong. Tiger was also in contention and when his ball went into the water in the manner it did I don’t think there would have been too many pros thinking clearly. With regards to the DQ it was the decision of the Masters committee not Woods and their decision to only penalise him two shots was agreed with by the R&A.
      The ball moving at the Barclays needed a high definition camera to notice so Woods could certainly be right when he says it didn’t move. My own eyes are rubbish and not as clear as a high def camera.
      Woods needs to realise that, with so many people watching his every move, he needs to be whiter than white but that is far removed from him being a cheat!

  4. Mike

    Nov 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I literally can not stand Brandel Chamblee and i think golf channel should part ways with him and his brand of analysis. Did care for him even before the current situation.
    Skip bayless is a whole other hatred of mine!

    • RMyers

      Nov 4, 2013 at 7:26 am

      Totally agree. Quote from articla above; (Does this episode mark a stepping-stone on golf’s journey toward more widespread relevance in the sports world? Does this constitute a partial removal of golf’s proper-to-a-fault stereotype? Will someone step up and become a Stephen A. Smith to Brandel Chamblee’s Skip Bayless?)

      No place in golf for the kind of commentary Chamblee brings to the table. If this is where NBC (I know the article was written for Golf.com) wants to take the Golf Channel (GC has allowed similar commentary before) then I will have to seriously have to get my golf news elsewere.

    • RCM1301

      Nov 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Chamblee is one of the few not afraid to call a spade a spade while others just try to sugarcoating and be politically correct. Go Chamblee!

  5. Jim Zimmerman

    Oct 31, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Tiger’s remark about dropping two yards further back was more about hubris than proof of any sort of cheating. At the end of the day who wants to hit from two yards further back and implying he was tempting fate if he hit another perfect shot that hit the flagstick was more arrogance on Tiger’s part reflecting how repeatable his short game is in his mind rather than real cheating conferring him an advantage over the field. The ball moved versus the ball oscillating was another example of Tiger’s “cheating” giving him no real advantage. The only situation where Tiger gained any advantage was his drop at the Player’s and the person who said the most about that was Miller and not Chamblee. If Tiger really wants to air out the cheater charges he should go after Miller and not Chamblee, after all Chamblee is a journeyman with 5 times fewer wins in his career than Woods has wins just in the past year. Chamblee has often been criticized for going after Tiger and saying the sky is falling every time Tiger doesn’t win the next major while Miller has a real voice of authority on this issue.

    • OTP

      Nov 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

      “no advantage” ? How about the advantage of choosing not to call a penalty on yourself like the other 98% of the pros on tour would have done ?

  6. JACKSON HOLLOWAY

    Oct 28, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Tiger gained absolutely no advantage by that ball “moving?” It make no difference of the stage have you ever infringed on a rule, if you say no then you can’t say you haven’t lied. That little incident should never have been brought to light, happens all the time!!!

    • RCM1301

      Nov 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      The rule doesn’t imply you should have gained advantage – it clearly says if you caused it to move, it is penalty. Period.

  7. Deuce

    Oct 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Difficult as it may be to believe there are still a couple people in the game of golf bigger than Mr. Woods. One of those is a true gentleman by the name of Arnold Palmer. The GC Morning Drive Show does NOT broadcast from the AP studio by pure happenstance. It just so happens that even though the GC is now part of NBC it was started, and still largely controlled, by Mr. Palmer. Even Tiger Woods, and his team of “legal eagles” has to have enough sense not to sue over this trivial matter. Even if they won in a court of law they most certainly would lose in the court of public opinion. BTW, how many times has Tiger won at Bay Hill? Should a legal battle ensue it might be a very long time until he gets another invite from “The King” regardless of his World Ranking.

    • GSark

      Oct 24, 2013 at 3:28 am

      Sorry to bust your bubble, but it is 2013 and there is no one bigger in the game than Tiger, like it or not. I could name quite a few guys I root for over Tiger, but don’t kid yourself, Tigers status spreads way past the game of golf in a way that Mr. Palmers does not. Whatever Tiger did or didn’t do is irrelevant to that fact.
      As far as an “invite” from the “The King”… Arnold Palmers name may be on all the signs, but Tiger Woods owns Bay Hill.
      As far as Brandel Chamblee.. instead of making accusations on T.V why don’t you take Tiger aside in a private room and call him a liar and a cheat to his face and see what happens.

    • linoze

      Oct 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      One thing I like about Tiger is his refusal to get down in the gutter with those, including BC, who rag on him.

      It’s unclear to me why BC is fixated on Tiger, but it is clear to me that he is not at all contrite, notwithstanding his ‘apology’.

      To me, BC is the epitome of the wanna-be athlete sports writer who is envious of the super star athlete, in terms of their skill and their wealth, especially if the athlete represents ‘the other’, whether via race or class.

      Even the illustrious Ben Hogan, former caddy coming from the poor working class, suffered at the hands of envious, wanna-be scribes and pundits. So, it comes with the territory.

      To his credit Tiger refuses to let it preoccupy him and keeps his eye on the prize, as Hogan learned to do later in his career.

      • Cavalier Rhules

        Oct 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        Tiger refuses to get down in the gutter with those who rag on him??? Are you kidding us, he jumped in the filth with both feet when he calls for the golf channel to fire BC. (OK not outright but as clear as BC called TW a cheater, 100% implied!) Its such a low class move that he doesn’t even go after the media source that BC wrote the piece for, he went for more, GC has nothing to do with Golf.com.
        Not saying what BC did was right or wrong but the antics of TW and manager are not taking the high road, its a desperate effort to take a bigger swing.
        Think its time for TW to realize he will get more criticism than other players, but to call for his firing is a childish at ending the fight by taking a bigger swing.
        The greats typically show great class on the course as well, time to take control of his emotions and start acting more like a champion. We never saw Hogan, Palmer, or Nicklaus stoop to this level on or off the course.

  8. Vince L

    Oct 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    ALl the Woods-luvin’ sycophants out there need to get clued in, this group thinks all is well with everything Tiger no matter what he does. Is he a cheater? Well, let’s not forget the personal foibles that generally come under the heading of “cheater” but I offer this – Woods has no moral compass, zero, zilch, nada, bupkis, NONE. He is a complete low-life both personally and professionally and in fact, foret the 3 hour meetintg that was had, if the commissioner had a single hair on his sack he would have suspended Woods for a short but significant period of time or tournaments. There si not a single other player that would have gotten away with this without at least having to attend a rules seminar. On a related note – why are the other players on TOUR not screaming long and hard about this? – here’s why – it’s because of Woods that you can play for top 25 $$$ every week, work 25 weeks a year and still keep your card and make a good living all without ever winning jack. In this regards, the rest of the tour are flaming enablers, especially the established players with nothing more to prove, are as culpable in this travesty as Woods himself.

  9. ray

    Oct 22, 2013 at 12:31 am

    just another loooose impediment in the life of tiger woods

  10. Jordan

    Oct 21, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Tiger flat out cheated at the masters this year and admitted it in the press conference. He should have disqualified himself or the masters should have disqualified him. This has been going on a long time, anyone remember the Phoenix open boulder/loose impediment incident where 3 guys from the gallery moved a huge boulder and he got away with it. He cheated on his wife and almost got away with it. he has always got away with it, and this is the problem. Chamblee is a moron but he is right on this one.

    • Sevvy

      Oct 22, 2013 at 4:36 am

      Surely the point of cheating is to do something wrong with the intention of getting away with it. If he cheated at the Masters then why was he open and honest enough in his post round interview to actually state that he took the ball back a bit. Bearing in mind each group has an official with them and nothing was thought of it during play then if, as you state, he cheated then he’s not going to be stupid enough to bring it to other people’s attention thus facing potential disqualification. As for disqualifying himself are you serious, do you really believe that any other pro in Tiger’s situation would DQ themselves. Nick Faldo said he should have DQ’d himself but Faldo himself was party to a situation years back against Sandy Lyle where his approach shot to a green went through the green and was kicked back towards the green by a fan. He should have replaced the ball where it originally rested but chose not to (which was in the Rules) and took the more favourable position. Pot and kettle spring to mind.
      Moving the boulder was within the Rules so he didn’t do anything wrong. It may have been against the values of the game relying on outside help but it wasn’t against the Rules and he didn’t get away with anything.
      With regards to his other Rules infractions, he didn’t get away with anything either. His penalty at Abu Dhabi led him to miss the cut, his drop at the Masters almost certainly took him out of contention for the tournament (mentally more than anything) and his “oscillation” at the Barclays also cost him a two shot penalty.
      Cheating on his wife has got nothing to do with his golf. Do you seriously think that Tiger is the only pro golfer who has cheated on his wife given the lifestyles they lead. So by your logic perhaps we need to start following any golfer known to have cheated on their wives to make sure they are taking correct drops!
      I can clearly understand why Tiger polarises opinion. He likes to do things his way and doesn’t suffer people when it suits and there is no question he has major PR issues when it comes to people’s opinion of him.

      • Geoffrey

        Oct 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

        Outstanding thoughts… Makes perfect sense, and I like that it has nothing to do with racism, bigotry or whether Brandel is trying to personally destroy Tiger. Just logical thinking…

        • Kc

          Oct 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm

          Back to the original comment, I would think a player would only cheat to gain an advantage. So what tiger didn’t drop the ball exactly where he was suppose to. The only question we should ask is did he gain anything by dropping the ball where he did. This coincides with the penalty for the ball movement. If the ball moved 1/8 of an inch and he didn’t improve his shot, then what’s the big deal?

      • Cavalier Rhules

        Oct 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        Well he has done “something wrong with the intention of getting away with it.”

        I would have loved to hear him say, oops, yes I moved back a yard on my drop, I recognize it was in violation of the rules and I accept the 2 stroke penalty…. and then go on and win the tournament.

        As it was no one took him out of contention except for himself. Especially mentally, had he admitted error and learned something from it, he would have been able to move on guilt free, but obviously it festered!

  11. Hunterdog

    Oct 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Chamblee has, in effect, called one of the Tour’s most respected caddies, Joe LaCava, as well as Casey Wittenberg and his caddy cheaters as well. I guess some collateral damage is okay; anything to get Tiger. What a “gentlemen’s game” we play.

  12. yo!

    Oct 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Funny, I saw Balboa on cable this past weekend, and Bayless says Rocky was an over-rated boxer. Bayless and Chamblee have become their own celebrity personalities and they would not be there without fans (which is derived from the word fanatic).

  13. leftright

    Oct 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Who is Brandel Chamblee?

  14. leftright

    Oct 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Typically someone who is callous with his personal life, has adultery issues, may lie frequently or play loose with his friends does not have many friends, not unless they are into the same act, which I suspect Tiger has many who do. Character and integrity are something people used to strive for, now it’s like, what’s wrong with you bro, can’t bend the rules or let something go or tell the wife/girlfriend you are doing something else. I know Tiger early on hung around with some questionable types, NBA, MLB types and possibly they had a negative effect on him. I can see some famous guy telling Tiger, you are the man, getting some on the side is expected. You don’t owe Ellen anything. If you can cheat at life, I expect you can cheat at the rules of golf. In a friendly round someone right in front of everyone does something illegal, we know it was not purposeful and many times the rules are explained, they redrop, no harm no foul but cheating on purpose is negative energy period and if others know you do it eventually you won’t have any golfing partners. We has a guy just quit our club because he could not be trusted. In a money game with your buddies it is imperative you play by the rules. It is expected and those are the guys you look up to usually. Tiger, I believe never cheated on purpose. Chamblee might end up sucking hind teat on this one I expect. He knows he has cameras and people watching and at the Masters and Players he certainly did not do that purposely. Most people don’t know all the rules and when you have 90 Frank Hannigans at your beckoning call who will study the rules.

  15. Bart

    Oct 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Brindle? isn’t that a colour or something? he should go back to reading his Bible or maybe take some strong sedatives. If anyones culpable here it’s the rules authorities for turning a blind eye to any of Tigers rules breaches, so!! why don’t they?. Brandel, envy is a cruel mistress and it looks as though your career as a commentator is about as classy as your golf career was. Mike French’s comments about Brandels thatch, “Hair today, gone tomorrow” see Tigers sporting one of those new styles with a hole in the back.

  16. OTP

    Oct 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Here’s a test:

    We’ve all inadvertently moved the ball at address or broken twigs in a tough-lie-backswing or mistakenly grounded a club attempting a shot from a hazard. It happens.

    But has anyone ever even heard of Woods calling a penalty on himself when nobody was watching or would otherwise know ?

  17. Mike French

    Oct 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Yeah, but Brandel has GREAT hair!

  18. Socorr65

    Oct 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    The rules of golf imposed penalties on Mr. Woods and every other golfer who infringed them in tour events during the 2013 season.

    What’s the big deal, Chamblee? You don’t like his personal life? So what, it is his prowess on the course, just like everyone else on tour, that should be the basis of his grade.

    The so-called sand trap in Abu Dhabi? The whole country would be a sand trap without irrigation. The drop at the Masters probably cost him the tournament. The drop at the Players’? Did you see the ball flight n actual observer with the same perspective as Roger Maltbie or David Lingmerth? The ball moving at the BMW? Were you standing over the ball in order to verify whether the movement was observable in that perspective?

    If you posted your comments in print medium, you subjected yourself and your employer to a potential libel case. If you said them on the air, the case would be for slander. Fortunately for your side, not many people give a hoot about what you think.

  19. SEVVY

    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    For me, there are only two things that are obvious from the rules infractions and Chamblee’s comments.
    1) – Tiger clearly needs to improve his knowledge of the Rules of Golf. As someone who has the camera on his every move I don’t believe he was cheating but if he knew the rules better he wouldn’t be getting himself in these predicaments and then opening himself to such scrutiny that is bound to follow. The main outcome to all of this is the damage to Tiger’s reputation and I can’t believe he’s not that stupid not to see it himself. Tiger needs to do much to improve his own PR but appears to be too stubborn at times to do so.
    2) – Chamblee’s is entitled to his opinion, no question about it. However, by relating a story about him cheating at school there is no question that Chamblee is indirectly calling Tiger out as a cheat but without having the gumption to do so directly.
    Whether we like it or not, the Tour Pro’s knowledge of the Rules are pretty poor. Bubba Watson has admitted he knows nothing and calls for a referee every time. However there is a clear difference between not knowing the Rules and taking incorrect drops and cheating.

  20. Buddy

    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    All you guys with your Tiger Woodies need to pull your heads out. Fact is, Tiger should have been disqualified from the Master and he should have done it himself. Had your playing partner done that in a money game with you you would have called him on it. On the PGA tour if you do that and sign and incorrect scorecard regardless of whether you meant it or not you are disqualified. The only reason Tiger wasn’t disqualified is because CBS called up the PGA tour and said “give him a two stroke penalty and let him play”. That has not happened with anyone else that’s signed an incorrect scorecard and it shouldn’t have happened with Tiger.

    Tiger thinks he’s bigger than golf, not even close. I have no respect or admiration for Tiger (and I don’t think his father would proud of his actions either). He could leave the tour tomorrow and I’d never miss him.

  21. BigJerm

    Oct 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Chamblee has had it out for Tiger since “the incident”. He has been overly outspoken against tiger for his personal issues, bashing him time and time again. I don’t watch as much golf channel because I can stand Chamblee, he’s a typical jock sniffer. Those who can’t do, criticize other that can. Whatever happened to reporting the news/scores and not interjecting your personal opinion on every story, I realize this was an article and he was not reporting the news, but he makes a negative comment or backhanded compliment every chance he gets. Get over it Napoleon.

  22. Andrew Cooper

    Oct 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

    “..a little cavalier with the rules..”, I think Mr Chamblee is spot on there. We all now the instances he is referring to and, to be fair, they weren’t good for Tiger-and I say that as a big Woods fan.

    • OTP

      Oct 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Agree. I’m glad somebody is calling him on it. Woods has been pulling this kind of thing for years. We know it and his fellow players know it but usually don’t make it public. An exception though was Watson calling out Player in a Skins game remember ?
      If not, here’s that story…….

      http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2194&dat=19831129&id=R6QyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=P-8FAAAAIBAJ&pg=6023,4372762

      • Andrew Cooper

        Oct 22, 2013 at 3:29 am

        Thanks for posting that, that was interesting. To be fair to Tiger he’s certainly not alone among great players who’ve had “cavalier” approach to the rules. European fans won’t like to admit it, but Seve was probably the worst, always trying to bend rules and bully officials and opponents. I think Tiger has a similiar win at all costs mentality within his dna.

  23. MWP

    Oct 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Clearly a lot of people have different opinions of what “cheating” actually is. and to that i ask….

    does anybody remember when Brian Davis called a penalty on himself in the Harbor Town Playoff with Furyk? Hypothetically, lets say Davis didn’t know that he had just broken the rule nor was not called out on it… meaning he goes on to win….. In some respects, would that not have been cheating???

  24. LAurent

    Oct 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Brandel Chamblee. is a stupid S.O.B that needs to be fired from the golf channel. His attacks at tiger are out of pure jealousy and racism. he needs to be fired. giving an f to the games greatest player is definitely the clearest form of hatred. I personally dont like sergio all that much but i respect him because he is a pro golfer, hes doing things most people dream of. You can not like someone but when they are better than u at something, u respect them.

    • OTP

      Oct 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

      What I respect is your right to have an opinion, even a misguided one.
      How did you derive “jealousy and racism” from this ? Wow……a little foaming and left leaning progressive aren’t we ?

  25. rah

    Oct 20, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    People seem to forget that Tiger took golf to a higher level, accept it or not, if he walks away,,golf will suffer tremendously. To say he cheated is crazy!!!! Chamblee comes off as a jealous pathetic critic…. For all the Media BS Tiger went through and to bounce back the way he did, says lots about his game, His private life is his business..all these so called “Moral purist” of golf is what is going to kill this game….Golf was seen and still is viewed as a rich white old mans game until Tiger came on the scene, if not for him,lots of players would not be collecting these huge purses of late… check the numbers!!!!

    • Laurent

      Oct 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      preach

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 20, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      Still looks like a rich white mans sport to the vast majority… But Brandel doesn’t represent that end. I agree within everything you say but that there is a divisive nature to his comments.

  26. David

    Oct 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Chamblee is garbage. Johnny Miller tears people up all the time, it can be done with class. Can someone give me a good reason why they don’t like TW that’s about golf? Probably not. Hey Dustin Johnson is a cheater! He grounded his club in a bunker IN a major and he said he did it on purpose! Chamblee isn’t paid to be controversial silly mouth breathers he is paid for his opinion which I have stated is garbage.

    • Regis Staley

      Oct 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      OK I didn’t like way back when they played that “Shootout in the Desert”, a made for TV Skins match and the club insisted that his caddie change his shorts to long pants (Tiger said he didn’t have to change). I didn’t like way back in a Ryder Cup when they were forced to pair him with Davis Love for alternate shot because Tiger refused to play anything other than his special Nike ball and Davis was the only member of the team with the swing speed to play it. I thought he could have done a better job of handling the Fuzzy controversy– Oh and I’ll never buy that “mistaken” drop at Augusta. This wasn’t a casual weekend round with his buds unless he was treating it that way

  27. B

    Oct 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

    What exactly has Chamblee said that is so wrong or inaccurate? I don’t even know if it can be classified as controversial. He is spot on. How in the world can the best golfer in the world not know the rules of this game, especially ones dealing with drops and moving loose impediments? For someone who likes to make sure that everyone knows how much of a “student of the game” he is, Tiger really seems to have a problem with some of the most basic principles of the easy rules. People need to stop making excuses for Tiger, and they need to stop chastising someone who finally had the balls to stand up and say what so many others have been afraid to say and/or question, because for some reason everybody in the media is scared of Tiger.

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Rock on B. You are dead on in your comment. Thanks for speaking intelligently and accurately

    • Forsbrand

      Oct 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Spot on B! Very concisely put indeed.

    • naflack

      Oct 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      +1

    • jtopher

      Oct 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Agreed!

    • Boo

      Oct 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      You are dead on, Bizzel to the chizzel!!!!

    • Alex

      Oct 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Quite right I have a lot of respect for what Tiger has done for the game and his achievements and when he’s on no one seems to be able to beat him however what B has said is exactly right.

      He should know these things he’s been on tour since the mid 90s and played all over the globe.

      The reason he got away with the Masters incident is that the TV companies and Masters committee didn’t want to lose out on ratings/ticket sales. I know this is partly for the fans who wanted to see Tiger as well but it’s not in the spirit of the game. All competitors should be treated the same.

      I think whilst Chamblee could be perceived as “jealous” among other things at least he had the guts to say what other media types don’t have the courage for.

    • RCM1301

      Nov 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Amen

    • Marc

      Nov 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      My issue with Brandel is the comments were said long ago, he was chastised and he apologized. Now, months later he figures out another way to say the same stuff and comes across as a whiny little bitch. Clearly the initial apology wasn’t sincere and may have been coerced, but he should have strapped on a set and shown a little conviction if that was the case.

  28. Roy Robertson

    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I am a broadcast media owner. Chamblee’s tactic is and has been a carefully planned effort to make himself the product instead of the game of golf. He uses the biggest name in golf, if not sports as a dispensable tool to elevate his own status. Do not let him get away with this. If you boycott the media he uses to perpetrate this self serving agenda, his actions will have the opposite effect of his true intentions. If you boycott the advertisers that support the media that employs him he likely will be either fired, or at the very least, be forced to apologize to Tiger and the rest of the golf world, as he should. If he had attained some level of acclaim as a golfer, he would not need to re-create his fame atTiger’s expense. His personification of Tiger is slander,,pure and simple. He needs to accept his responsibility as an analyst and stop asserting his self perceived “authority” .

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Then you could say that about every host and analyst on GC. It Is the Tiger channel. Before the wreckage they had Tiger week around his bday every year. Is it Brandel leading every conversation, or is he answering questions being asked? Isn’t it his job to give opinion and provide points of debate? Hasn’t he also said that Tiger is the most compelling, talented and enigmatic figure in sports? How do you know what his plan is? I don’t pretend to know more about broadcast media than you, but I challenge your assertions. Why is it so difficult for people to accept criticism? Why does it become slander? If the golf channel or the fans of Tiger want Brandel to stop talking about, criticizing or analyzing Tiger, then perhaps they (golf channel hosts) should lead the conversations and topics to other things. But they won’t, because good, bad or indifferent opinions of Tiger moves the needle. In my opinion, Brandel is well within his right to question.

      • naflack

        Oct 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

        +1

      • Roy Robertson

        Oct 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

        Chamblee’s right to an opinion is not in question here. His veiled assertion of Tiger being a deliberate cheater is also not merely criticism. It is a deliberate assault on Tiger’s character and reputation as a professional golfer and can be reasonably determined that Chamblee’s slander is an attempt to financially harm Tiger. The fact that Chamblee’s is actually being paid to do this is a big problem for Chamblee. This is not mere critical opinion, it is “judgement” with the intent to harm TW,, no other excuse of his attack is acceptable. Chamblee needs to retract and apologize,,,the sooner the better.

        • Geoffrey

          Oct 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm

          I accept your points, but do wonder why he needs to retract? Do you believe that his comments carry enough weight to negatively affect Tiger’s ability to make a living? If that statement is true, than your assertion would be correct. If not, than it don’t see a reason for apologizing other than if he personally feels his comments were out of bounds. Personally, I am mature enough to form my own opinion. One that takes into account all sides. I don’t see Tiger as a cheater. I see him as human. I see him as someone who passionately believes he made the right call based on the info he had at the time of conflict. Right or wrong, i believe Tiger acted in accordance of his own moral code. That is good enough for me. In addition, I believe that the majority of the media is slow to challenge him for fear oft this type of backlash. This I find to be tragic. I do believe in a country of free speech that Chamblee’s opinions are laudable, mostly because he was asked.

        • Geoffrey

          Oct 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm

          Good call… Apology yesterday.

    • john daniell

      Oct 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Of all the opinions made in this forum, Mr Robertson’s makes more sense. It is factual and unbiased and is very believable. He has pointed out Mr Chamblee’s transparency. One can only hope that the Golf Channel powers that be, deal with his unacceptable remarks…severely.

  29. donald davis

    Oct 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

    The view never changes. Brandel is fun to listen to but that does not mean I agree with everything he says. He is paid to be controversal . It is hard to find fault with the most dominate golfer of his era. The critics, and Brandel is one of the few, have a hard time coming up with anything substantial to criticize the lead dog. I like the Golf Channel. I also like CNN, FOX and Al Jazzera . Listen to them all and make up your own mind.

  30. Joe Golfer

    Oct 20, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Let’s hope there will be no counterpart to Chamblee like Stephen A Smith is to Skip Bayless. I say this not in defense of Chamblee. I say this because two blowhards who love the sound of their own voices is worse than one.
    As for Tiger, I don’t think he intentionally cheated the rules this year, despite the quirky mishaps and violations. But I do have some reservations about him.
    1. I recall an incident several years back when he had a group of about four spectators remove a very large rock off the course. It was NOT something that a player and his caddy could have moved by themselves. I realize that it was technically within the rules somehow, as the PGA deemed it a loose impediment, but it still seems IMO to be stretching the rule. I consider a loose impediment something that I can pick up and toss away, like a fallen stick from a tree. That rock had been there for ages without being moved by another golfer. It didn’t just fall there the day before that tournament. It was essentially a part of the course that every other golfer had accepted as such and had to work around. It took a group of several large men to move that heavy rock, using all their might as they hoisted it out of Tiger’s path.
    Legal? Technically so apparently. Ethical? Depends on one’s opinion of ethics and integrity, but it seemed like something one sees on tv when a criminal gets off on a technicality due to a slick lawyer.
    2. There was a period when Tiger was destroying everyone, and he was bombing his drives past everyone. He was winning Major after Major. He was also incredibly fit, as was noticeable by those tight-fitting mock turtleneck shirts he was always wearing at the time that showed off every ripped muscle.
    Tiger had also used a Canadian physician named Anthony Galea. Galea was known as a doctor who supplied illegal PED’s such as HGH etc.
    He’s been arrested and pleaded guilty of such. Baseball’s Alex ARod Rodriguez used the same doctor.
    According to media reports, “In the United States, Galea was charged with drug smuggling, conspiring to lie to federal agents, unlawful possession with intent to distribute and practising medicine without a licence. On July 6, 2011, Galea pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of bringing mislabelled drugs into the United States for the purpose of treating professional athletes. As part of the plea agreement, he is required to cooperate with investigators and disclose the identities of his clients and their treatments.”
    Galea isn’t even allowed to enter the United States anymore without special permission from Homeland Security.
    In 2009 he was arrested for supplying human growth hormone to professional athletes. He mislabelled drugs in an attempt to deceive authorities, since the drugs he was using were illegal.
    He has pleaded guilty of smuggling HGH into the US, and he is not licensed to even practice medicine in the US, though he was treating athletes at their homes in the US.
    Would these athletes have performed as well without the HGH?
    So how does Tiger Woods wind up calling upon this particular doctor? Of course, we have no absolute proof of any wrongdoing on Tiger’s part during that time period, and I doubt that the PGA was as diligent about drug testing, especially HGH, as sports like Major League Baseball eventually became. All this just makes me wonder why Tiger would be using the services of such a physician when there are so many other competent topnotch sports physicians available to athletes, unless there was something special that he was getting from Galea that other physicians would not supply, such as HGH.
    Obviously, Woods is no longer using the services of Galea, who barely avoided a prison term. And if one looks at Woods’ physique, it is pretty obvious that he doesn’t have that same ripped shape that he had when he was using the services of the doctor known for supplying HGH to top athletes, even if we cannot prove that Woods was using.
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      I played in a tour proam this summer and the amazing player and person I teamed up with was very candid about what he sees and saw. Not naming names of the players discussed, but it is more rampant than people think. Especially HGH, a drug not being tested.

      • naflack

        Oct 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

        +1

      • Steve

        Oct 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm

        Yah, I’m sure the players would be using HGH in the golf course locker room for every other player to see and are talking about it all the time. Sounds like BS. If, and it’s a big IF, these guys are on HGH, they are taking it A) at home or B) at the gym. At either place, they definitely aren’t doing it in front of everyone. They aren’t that dumb.

        • Geoffrey

          Oct 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm

          My comments were meant more euphemistically than actually “seeing people” take HGH. I am not accusing anyone of anything, merely stating that it is talked about. Of course it is a big IF, but based on the climate created by the money involved on and off the course, I think it would be naive to not question. They weren’t testing at that time for anything, and do not test for HGH now. They don’t call HGH the fountain of youth for nothing. Personally, I hope no one was or is using, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Nothing in professional sports comes as a surprise anymore. Thanks for the challenge…

        • Geoffrey

          Oct 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm

          Also, I think we have seen time and time again that professional athletes can be that dumb. How many times have we seen poor judgement, the same mistake over and over again? Athletes who don’t think the rules apply to them…

    • naflack

      Oct 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      +1

  31. Jeff

    Oct 20, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I’m a big Tiger fan/defender. I totally disagree with Brandel, but I understand he was just using the soapbox he has to try and get Tiger Woods to pay attention to the message he wants him to hear, which is “I think you cheated/people think you cheated” I didn’t expect Steinberg’s comments so maybe Tiger is pissed. I think Brandel doesn’t think Tiger even cares about the rules violations or at least that he should care more and he wants to make an point with the column. I get both sides.

  32. Jack

    Oct 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Can’t believe how worked up everyone is about this. The sun will still come up tomorrow….

  33. richard

    Oct 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Brandel Chamblee has demonstrated he will stoop to any depth to gain popularity. He draws that controversy by hurting the most popular in the game. He is a bottom-feeder that profits usually at the expense of others or from their misfortune.

    Sad he has a place in a game that stands for the opposite. Sad for the golf channel and golf.com for supporting him in those ideals.

    Bravo to GolfWRX to stand up for the game again!

  34. naflack

    Oct 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    in my opinion what is possibly being missed or overlooked by some purists is that this type of rhetoric is good for golf. it shows the sport is legitimately on the “map”. what is the biggest indication from a media perspective that a sport is relevant? speculation…
    in fairness to brandel…do any of us know what goes on in the golf central production meetings? perhaps this is the role that brandel was asked to play. im not suggesting he isnt fully embracing the role but none the less this could be as much production as honest opinion. good or bad i appreciate his willingness, however enthusiastic to chide tiger woods when no one else appears very interested in doing so, real or produced.

  35. Mike

    Oct 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Lets be honest, Tiger does not love Golf, he loves to compete and win. As with every competition someone will always try to take some action to have advantage. Tiger has little integrity.
    ‘Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and predictably consistent commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles.’

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Interesting point. I think you are dead on. From everything I hear, you are pretty accurate. I have also heard from some players that Tiger is a blast to play with and great in the locker room. The truth is always somewhere in the middle. But as for integrity, I couldn’t agree more…

    • Steve

      Oct 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      “Tiger doesn’t love golf, he loves to compete and win”? That’s ridiculous. I’d be willing to bet he loves golf quite a bit or he could quit and play competitive checkers or something. He’s dedicated his life to this sport, botany other one. To claim he doesn’t love golf is crazy. Does he love to compete and win? Absolutely. Does he love that more than golf? Maybe, your guess is as good as mine. But I’m pretty sure he loves golf too.

  36. Josh

    Oct 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    The general golfing public has never played in competition so they do not understand how the groups work. When you are paired with someone the other player keeps your score, the other player is the one that is to enforce the rules of golf so that it is a fair competition for the entire field. So to call tiger a cheater is calling his playing partners cheaters as well!! Because in the middle east he consulted with Martin Kaymer before he removed his embedded ball, Kaymer said it was okay!!! At the players he asked his partner where his ball last crossed the hazard his partner said this place right here and thats where tiger droped. So how the heck are you saying it is solely tigers fault?? He did what every competitor is suppose to do, consult the playing partner if the partners cannot come to an agreement then you call in a rules official. These Rules violations were all called in after the fact. Noone saw them in real time and said nope thats wrong!! they watched a replay in slow motion from 7 different angles. Last time I checked no human being can close their eyes and replay the last thing they saw, much less spin what they saw and look at a new angle!! Oh and BC didn’t play when golf was as big as it is now!! He didn’t play with millions of people watching him!! He didn’t get paid for showing up!! he hates that he couldn’t be that guy!! he hates himself more then he hates tiger!! jealousy!!

    • Roy Robertson

      Oct 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Well stated Josh. EVERYONE should read this insightful post by Josh.

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      All seems right accept the assertion that Brandel is jealous. Just don’t see how that comes to light. But your account of what actually occurs between the ropes makes perfect sense.

  37. Monkeynaut

    Oct 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Internet poster who never made the tour attacks former tour player with one win attacks tour player with five wins this year….
    Little fish eats the bigger ones. Little fish eat the bigger ones.

  38. Jerome

    Oct 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Well I feel the same as many of you in that B. Chamblee has some sorta vendetta, or maybe even some type of personal issue with Tiger. It had gotten so bad that there was a while that I thought during Tigers tour of extra marital affairs that someone near to BS heart may have gotten caught up in the malay. I’m not sure of his issue with obviously someone he doesn’t even know, but he really needs to be reprimanded or in my opinion Tiger actually needs to just show up at the station un announced to sit across the mic and handle it one on one.

  39. Conrad

    Oct 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Tiger is definitely not a cheater… everyone makes mistakes. I would be willing to bet that there are many rule violations that are not caught every pga tournament. The difference is tiger has a camera on him at all times and the infractions are always pointed out.

  40. Mike

    Oct 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    All this attention on these types of stories is exactly what these talentless media hacks want (I’m looking directly at you Chamblee). The best thing we can all do is move on and pay no attention to this type of “reporting”. All this is, is an attempt to stir emotion and pump up Chamblee’s fragile ego. Nothing more.

    If anyone thinks Tiger is openly cheating while his every breath is being infinitely scrutinized on the course you’re just as crazy as Chamblee.

    • Dick Woodcock

      Oct 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      ya you’re right, i guess its just that he doesnt know the rules…try that defense next time you get pulled over for speeding.

  41. Kyle

    Oct 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I hope tiger walks up to chamblee and punches him in the face on national tv.

    • DB

      Oct 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Then Tiger would be out 3 months with a sore hand…

      • Kyle

        Oct 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        Haha that is true. Would still be funny though

    • Ian

      Oct 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      6’1″ totally ripped Tiger punches pencil neck BC in the face… ……it’s a murder charge

      • Kyle

        Oct 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        Chamblee would probably say his form was off and needs a different fighting coach.

    • Forsbrand

      Oct 20, 2013 at 5:41 am

      Because that would be the right thing to do, actually I think I remember hogan doing the same to Snead………………

  42. Jason

    Oct 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    BC had little talent on the Course and even less as a talking head. His personal feelings towards Tiger comes out every time Tiger is brought up. Hes a jealous, talentless, waste of space.

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Completely false. Was he a top 25 talent? No… But Brandel did lead the Master in 1998, has won on the PGA tour, and was a standout at Univ Texas. Keep this civil… Opinions are enough. Fueling hate, bigotry and senseless dribble are not what these forums are for. I don’t agree with Brandel’s assessment of Tiger’s year. However, as a pro, Tiger has a responsibility to understand the rules. Did he try and cheat? No… Did he error on the side of conservative and call it in himself as most pros do? No… Somewhere in between. Brandel has every right to answer the question anyway he sees fit. That isn’t slander, just one mans opinion. This whole thing is ridiculous.

  43. snowman

    Oct 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I actually like a lot of Brandels observations and think he is “spot-on” many times. However, he definitely has some kind of problem with Tiger and is not objective when it comes to Tiger. I don’t think Tiger is a cheater, but I think he got sloppy this year, probably assuming he was within the rules when he should have been more careful. Best example: when interviewed at the Masters he said his drop was a couple yards back to get a better yardage…. if he was trying to cheat he would not have provided that detail. Tiger does need to be less cavalier, but cheating? I think not.

  44. Woody

    Oct 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Brandel is a hater!!! I almost think this thing is racial, and I think he is a bigot! I don’t think this guys likes the fact that a man of color is the best golfer in the world! He is jealous of his lifestyle and he wishes he was golfing and not talking about golf! he is a punk!!

    • Geoffrey

      Oct 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      He isn’t a hater… You need to listen more carefully to what he says. I happen to think Tiger is the most enigmatic sports figure of our time, and I enjoy watching him play more than anyone else, period. If you listen to what Brandel says, it is much the same. When the GC spends the majority of their time talking about one person, you are bound to have opinions, both good and bad. Remember, Brandel isn’t lead. He reacts to the questions asked by the host. His job is to give options and analysis to the questions asked. Is he opinionated? Yes. Do his comments border on the extreme, yes. Is he a bigot? Not even close… Don’t make the issue something more than it is…

    • MJ

      Oct 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Race card has been used! Wow! Come on!

      • Joe Golfer

        Oct 20, 2013 at 1:04 am

        Yes, I was surprised by that race card thing popping up also.
        And then there is the accusation of Chamblee being jealous of Tiger’s lifestyle, a punk and a “hater”. Isn’t this “hater” terminology something that went away already after grade school kids and teenagers had briefly made it popular for its’ fifteen minutes of fame.
        Perhaps if we like something, we should again start saying it is “far out” and “groovy”. The terms are about as relevant today as “hater”.

        Chamblee can be overbearing at times. He can be a blowhard. He can overstep his bounds with his opinions. Sometimes he has valid points, but they get overshadowed by the fact that he goes over the top in expressing them. But is he purposely doing this because he’s a bigot who doesn’t like a man of color excelling? I think not.
        Let’s keep the website classy and leave the “hater!!!” and “punk!!” talk to the middle school kids.

        • Geoffrey

          Oct 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

          Joe Golfer, well said. This isn’t about hating, bigotry or anything close. We all need to remember that golf is a sport comprised mostly of elitist right wingers where inclusion isn’t a must. I love golf with all my soul, but understand why people from the outside find it to be ridiculous. That being said, Brandel is very good at what he does. I also find his points to bombastic at times, but almost always agree with the meat of what he says. Even if I don’t always agree with the delivery. At least he bucks the status quo and says the unpopular thing. However, I would venture that he speaks for a lot of golf’s insiders who will never say how they feel about Tiger. A business colleague of mine lives in the Scottsdale area and his kids go to school with Brandel’s. He says he is an absolute gentleman. I tend to go by that in forming my opinion.

      • Dave Lee

        Oct 20, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        His ancestors had to have been slave owners.

    • Roy Robertson

      Oct 21, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Race has no place in this issue or this discussion. Anyone who thinks that race is relevant needs to check their own racial bias.

    • Joaquin Rodriguez

      Oct 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

      I wondered how many opinions I would have to read before some one played the race card. You can always tell that someone believes they are losing the argument as soon as the bring up race. He tried to cheat, got caught; end of story.

      • Dick Woodcock

        Oct 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        “He tried to cheat, got caught; end of story.”

        i like how you sum it up there, i think we can now close this thread!

    • Gerald Bostock

      Oct 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      You think this is racial, that is really an idiotic statement since Tiger is Black, White, Asian and American Indian so which ethnic group does BC have an issue with? He either cheats or he has a case of ignorant bliss at times, he is supposed to know the rules and follow them. I dont care for BC but he is entitled to his opinion and on this, he is right

    • Barry Goodman

      Oct 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Really, the Racial Card?
      Let it go.
      I think we are all past that.
      Brandel is a guy who played the tour. If anyone has a wright to comment on the tour and people playing it, it is someone with first hand experience. The number of wins doesn’t make you smarter or more of an expert.
      PS …. Neither Jack nor Arnie have ever been penalized for wrong drops or signing wrong cards etc.
      Both Very Honorable Men, who Honor the Game and the rules.

  45. Josh

    Oct 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I think everyone is confusing a rules violation with cheating. Cheating would be breaking the rules intentionally and GETTING AWAY WITH IT. Tiger had rules violations and penalties were imposed. It’s just like committing pass interference in football and receiving a penalty. No one is calling those defensive backs cheaters.

    • Barry Goodman

      Oct 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Tiger, even after seeing the ball move in a video clip, still wouldn’t admit he was wrong???
      This is typical of his arrogance. He never says he was wrong , played poorly or hit a bad shot, etc.
      Here is a guy who has been playing the Honorable game of golf since he was about two years of age, playing compedativly sence he was about 6 or seven, and doesn’t know the rules?
      He should have been disqualified at the masters for signing the wrong card, he was alloud to continue to play?
      They change the rules for him? If it was Joe average they would have been gone!
      Years earlier in his carreer they allow a group of spectators/fans to move a massive bolder for him to have clear shot at the green, and called it loose impediment? Really!
      The rules are there to protect the field, make it equal for everyone! No one else would have had that advantage.
      In a major, he hits a ball into the woods (I believe it was 17@ the PGA) there had to be a count of 4 seconds and miraculously, his ball comes screaming out of the forest to an area where he had a clear shot to the green and made birdy to win!
      It was a Major!
      No one is above the rules. Golf is an honorable game where the rules are mostly self administered and for a guy who believes he is never wrong even when looking at a video clip of the wrong doing, is not honorable and connot be trusted.
      It makes me wonder how many times it may have happened in the past, and went unmentioned.
      SHAME ON HIM!
      TMTC

    • Dick Woodcock

      Oct 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      he TRIED to get away with it, and still denied after he was caught. guess thats not the same as cheating. if i did that on a regular basis, my buds wouldnt buy me anymore beers…

  46. Geoffrey

    Oct 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I don’t think brandel has a beef with Tiger. The amount of time spent on air talking about Tiger is exponentially greater than every other player. You could ay that every person on the golf channel is infatuated with Tiger. He gives his opinion, which most don’t like to hear. Kudos to Brandel for saying what he thinks. Brandel also has said that Tiger is the most compelling golfer to watch, the most talented, and that the constant swing changes rob golf fans of periods of time when we. Would see him chasing the records. I don’t have a opinion on any of it. Just stating the facts…

  47. Jabrch

    Oct 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Chamblee clearly has a personal issue with TW – he keeps going at him every chance he has.

    That said, you can’t argue the facts of the matter. In BIG events, he had three different rules violations when he had to know better…or at least should have known better.

    That makes him a cheater.

    • Harvey

      Oct 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

      I agree.. Most of the time there is a referee on hand so why don’t they check his drops like they do with seemingly every other player on tour. Still, he should know better!

    • Headonastick

      Oct 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Actually, it doesn’t make him a cheater. Not knowing the rules is a far cry from actually choosing to break the rules to gain an advantage.

      They don’t check the drops of every other player on tour – which is one of the inequities in how the rules are enforced on tour. Tiger is far more scrutinized than most of his colleagues.

      • MWP

        Oct 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        In golf, all players are expected to know and enforce the rules upon themselves. The irresponsibility it takes to not know the rules IS cheating if you ask me. And if it isn’t, then it AT LEAST is a disgrace to the game.

        • a golfer

          Oct 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm

          also, how do you know he didn’t knowingly break the rules? because he says he didn’t?

          haha because that wouldn’t be a very good reason.

        • Steele Staff

          Oct 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm

          You have to be a Philadelphia Lawyer to know every rule. They go to school for weeks at a time to learn the rule book.

    • melrosegod

      Oct 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Well said. I like that Chamblee brought up Tiger’s lack of integrity. It’s is too bad he goes over the top and his message is lost.

  48. truthhurts

    Oct 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Im a firm believer everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Threatening people who state their opinion with legal action is just another form of bullying. Who cares about hurting the marketing value of your athlete or you as a particular. Just because your famous or your star client gives you no rights whatsoever. You make a hell of a lot more money than a lot of other people in this world so play your sport, do your job, and shut up.

    • Larry Sherer

      Oct 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      There is a time when opinions can become down right attacks on people…and Mr. Chamblee has crossed that line more then once with TIger. I would agree with so many people watching the Golf Channel far to many of the has been’s they use for commentaries need to have their opinions kept to themselves.

    • GSark

      Oct 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      You are wrong, dead wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,yes, where you are wrong is that you are not entitled or allowed to state that opinion in a public forum when it is of a slanderous or accusatory nature(i.e. You can’t go around and call a person a cheat or a liar, I checked the law books on that one.) Tiger may or may not chose to sue Bramble, but he has grounds. But moreover Bramble Chamblee is like a tea cup poodle behind a fence barking at a Rotweiler. He’s a coward. Hey Bramble, instead of airing your brain flatulence in public, why don’t you go somewhere private and call him a liar and a cheat to his face?
      And that goes to all of you.

      • Dave

        Oct 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        Well said Sir! Love the analogy, say it to his face when there aren’t any cameras around and take your beating like a man… Brandel Chamblee, what a pretentious name. Wonder what he’s compensating for?

      • Thom Jarvis

        Oct 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

        You Tiger Lovers make me sick. Your heads are so far up his ‘you-know-what’ that you can’t see reality and wouldn’t know the truth if you were looking at it. Congrats to Brandell for speaking his mind and Yes he is entitled to say what he thinks!!! And I agree with Him….. Tiger is just another one of those that thinks the world revolved around him.

        • GSark

          Oct 24, 2013 at 2:48 am

          Yeah I feel the same way about ignorance. It case you live under a rock I will inform you that the GOLF WORLD does revolve around Tiger Woods. As far as the rest of the world Tiger Woods IS Golf, they Know nothing of the game, it’s rules, but they ALL know who Tiger Woods is. Those are the facts, Like them or not. It is ignorant to think that a person achieved that status by thinking of himself as an average Joe. This is a GAME! A symptom of ignorance is the belief that you can use criticism and bring those who are above you down to your level(can’t write a book? Oh I know I’ll be a book critic). Remember, stupidity is forever, ignorance can be fixed.

      • Dick Woodcock

        Oct 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

        tiger cheated plain and simple and caught on tv 3 times this year that we know of. there i said it and dont care if the tiger suck fans dont like it. fact of the matter is he doesnt need to cheat to win, maybe his best days are behind him and he knows it.

        who would defend this kind of blatant rules abuse anyway? and dont tell me he doesnt know or understand the rules, please.

    • He's a crumb.....

      Oct 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      It’s who and how he chooses to write about. He has a passion for picking at certain people and crossing the line, calling someone a “cheater” in golf IMO is a very bold statement…

    • Rascal

      Oct 21, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Chamblee did not use the word “cheater”. Those words came from Steinberg (who is Woods agent).

  49. rouski

    Oct 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Maybe they’ll finally get this idiot off the golf channel now. HIm of all people sits there and criticizes every player based on their swing, coach, attire, attitude, etc. and it’s quite annoying.

    • Joe

      Oct 20, 2013 at 1:02 am

      Really is. It’s like the CNN for golf now.

    • Forsbrand

      Oct 20, 2013 at 5:39 am

      What for having a correct view on woods not quite playing by the rules of golf that all golfers should adhere to? Well done Chamblee for putting his neck on the block! Some of you guys are so blinkered, I appreciate it’s hard for you given woods has won so much, but comeon, if he had done similar in your fourball whilst playing for money you’d have pulled him up on it right?

      • steve

        Oct 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        lol, really?

      • MWP

        Oct 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm

        Couldn’t agree with you more. He said what nobody else had the guts to. But for me, its not even about if he is a “cheater” or not…. its about the fact that for some reason he doesn’t follow the rules. We don’t know if it is because he intentionally cheated or because he simply doesn’t know the rules… and quiet frankly I’m not sure which one is worse.

      • Dave

        Oct 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm

        Forsbrand, are you saying Tiger cheated his way to his record on Tour, USGA Amateur championships and so on? Is it really possible that with all the scrutiny he’s constantly under that he could get away with all of that? I agree that he was wrong with the loose impediment situation and should’ve admitted fault when watching the footage of the ball clearly moving, but to jump to the Tiger’s a cheater level is a bit extreme. I can’t stand Brandel but here we are again talking about him (his tactics are working) again. I hope Brandel gets what’s coming to him, although Golf Channel wouldn’t let him say something on air that was even close to the legal definition of slander, they’re not that cavalier. He won’t get sued, but I do actually kind of wish harm on him – he’s not qualified to do what he does, his career on Tour was crap, he just lobs his grenades from the ivory tower of the studio.

        • Dick Woodcock

          Oct 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

          c’mon, he isnt saying tiger cheated his way through, just that he has made some questionable moves this year, and ya, they were caught on tv. and to make things worse, the pga didnt penalize him like they would have if it were anyone else. hey, i am not a chamblee fan at all, but he’s just calling a spade a spade.

  50. Big5Hole

    Oct 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Chamblee is the reason I won’t watch any Golf Channel coverage anymore.

    I don’t have a problem with guys having issues with players or with them criticizing players for whatever reason but when it gets obviously and over the top personal the way Chamblee does with Tiger it gets old.

    • sam

      Oct 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      please give me Chamblee free site

    • Fred

      Oct 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      It’s a joke listening to the commentators on the Golf Channel who, like Chamblee, never really amounted to much on the pro tour, tell accomplished players like Tjger, Phil, Rory and others what’s wrong with their game and their life and how to improve it. It will be interesting to see how all this ends.

    • Bart

      Oct 22, 2013 at 2:32 am

      The golf channel people have been watching too many reality shows…I’ve watched since it started. Stopped a few months ago. This conflict resolution system is not for golf. Chamblee knows how to get people talking about him.

      New morning show has its moments but then turns into front nine back nine debates about nothing. It’s ridiculous!!

      The original crew had it down. No offence but it’s golf….not GMA…not CNN… I’ll check back from time to time…for the most part I’m out…still play the game but only watch major network broadcast.

      That’s my rant….and get Chamblee off the air !!!

    • Steve

      Oct 22, 2013 at 6:47 am

      Yeah!! What He Said! Chamblee (the Chihuahua) is a non-athletic, 70’s-haircut, semi-literate hack who appears to be desperately hanging on to his less-than-stellar gig as a GC talking used-to-be. And he didn’t even ‘used-to-be’.

      The Pros must just shake their heads when they hear about this drivel, and it would be nice if he came up with a different non-issue to beat his drum about. I, too, have absolutely quit watching anything with Chamblee attached. His presence sucks the IQ out of Breed and Saunders and others who are trying to sell a professional lineup.

      For goodness sake, bring back the late-night ski films!

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Honda Classic

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It’s off to Florida this week for the Honda Classic, as the lead up to the year’s first major continues. PGA National has been the permanent home of this event since 2007, and it has proved to be one of the most demanding courses on Tour since then. The golf course measures just under 7,200 yards, but it is the often blustery conditions combined with the copious amount of water hazards that make this event a challenge. There is also the added factor of “The Bear Trap,” a daunting stretch of holes (Nos. 15-17) that are arguably the most difficult run of holes we will see all year on the PGA Tour.

Ball strikers have excelled here in the past, with Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy all boasting fine records at PGA National. The par-70 golf course contains six long Par 4’s that measure over 450 yards, and players will be hoping that the wind isn’t too strong — when it does blow here, the course can turn into a brute. Last year, Rickie Fowler posted 12-under par to win the event by four strokes over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland. It was the first time in the last five years that the winning score reached double digits.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Rickie Fowler 8/1
  • Rory McIlroy 10/1
  • Justin Thomas 11/1
  • Sergio Garcia 18/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton 28/1
  • Tommy Fleetwood 30/1
  • Gary Woodland 30/1

Previous champions Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy are sure to be popular picks this week, but it’s Justin Thomas (11/1, DK Price $11,300) who I feel offers slightly more value out of the front runners. Thomas has begun the year well, finishing in the top-25 in all four events he has played. The numbers show that his game is getting better all the time. His iron play has steadily improved, picking up more Strokes for Approaching the Green week by week. Last week he gained six strokes approaching the green at the Genesis Open, which was fourth in the field.

At the ball strikers’ paradise, Thomas fans will be glad to know that he ranks fourth in the field for Ball Striking over his last 12 rounds. He is also ranked fourth for Strokes Gained Approaching the Green and second in Strokes Gained Total. Comparatively, neither Fowler nor McIlroy rank inside the top-50 for ball striking and the top-40 for Strokes Gained Approaching the Green over the same period.

Thomas’ accuracy on his approaches has been sensational lately. He leads the field in Proximity to the Hole for his past 12 rounds, and on a golf course that contains many long par 4’s it should play into Justin’s hands, as he’s been on fire recently with his long irons. He is third in the field for Proximity on Approaches Between 175-200 yards, and second in the field for Approaches Over 200 yards in his last 12 rounds. Thomas has a mixed record at PGA National, with a T3 finish wedged in between two missed cuts, but I like the way his game has been steadily improving as the season has progressed. It feels like it’s time for the current PGA Champion to notch his first win of the year.

On a golf course where ball striking is so important, Chesson Hadley (55/1, DK Price $7,700) caught my eye immediately. The North Carolina native has been in inspired form so far in this wraparound season with four finishes already in the top-5. The way he is currently striking the ball, it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see him get his fifth this week. Hadley is No. 1 in the field for Strokes Gained Approaching the Green, Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green and Ball Striking, while he is No. 2 for Strokes Gained Total over his last 24 rounds.

Having taken last week off, Hadley returns to a golf course where he has finished in the Top-25 twice in his three visits. Yet there is a sense that this year he’ll be aiming even higher than that. Chesson is fifth in this field for Proximity to the Hole from 175-200 yards and fourth overall over the past 24 rounds. With that level of accuracy on such a tricky golf course, Hadley will be confident of putting himself in position to claim win No. 2.

My next pick was a slow sell, but with the number so high I couldn’t leave him out. Adam Scott (55/1, DK Price $7,700) has been struggling for some time now. He has slipped out of the World’s Top-50, changed his putter from the short putter to the long putter and back again over the winter break, and he doesn’t have a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since the FedEx St. Jude Classic last summer. Despite all of this, I don’t feel Scott should be as high as 66/1 with some bookmakers on a golf course where he has excelled. To put it in perspective, Scott is the same price to win this week in a modest field as he is to win The Masters in April.

There are also signs that Scott blew off some of the rust last week in LA. The Australian was 12th in the field for Strokes Gained Approaching the Green, which indicates that things might slowly be coming around for a man who is known for his prodigious ball striking. Scott’s achilles heel is the flat stick, and I wouldn’t expect that to change this week. He’s been very poor on the greens for some time now, which must be incredibly frustrating for a man who gives himself so many looks at birdie. But average putters have performed well at PGA National in the past, where it seems that excellent ball striking is the key for having a good week. Scott won here in 2016, and on his two other visits to PGA National in the past five years he twice finished in the top-15. If he can continue to improve his iron play the way he has been, I feel he could forge his way into contention.

My long shot this week is Sean O’Hair (200/1, DK Price $6,800). The Texan hasn’t done much so far this year, but he is making cuts and he arrives at a course that seems to bring out the best in him. O’Hair has five top-25 finishes in his last seven appearances at PGA National, which includes a T11 at last year’s edition. At 200/1 and with a DK Price of as little as $6,800, there is little harm in taking a chance on him finding that form once more this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Justin Thomas 11/1, DK Price $11,300
  • Chesson Hadley 55/1, DK Price $7,700
  • Adam Scott 55/1, DK Price $7,700
  • Sean O’Hair 200/1, DK Price $6,800
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Opinion & Analysis

Don’t Leave Your Common Sense in Escrow Outside the Golf Course Parking Lot

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Disclaimer: Much of what follows is going to come off as elitist, harsh and downright mean spirited — a pro looking down from his ivory tower at all the worthless hacks and judging them. It is the opposite. The intent is to show how foolish WE golfers are, chasing around a white ball with a crooked stick and suspending all of the common sense we use in our every day lives.

Much of what follows is not just the bane of average golfers, but also low handicappers, tour players and even a former long-drive champion during his quest for the PGA Tour… and now, the Champions Tour. In other words, if WE take ourselves a bit less seriously and use a bit more common sense, we are going to have more fun and actually hit better golf shots. We will shoot lower scores.

FYI: All of the examples of nutbaggery to come are things I have actually witnessed. They’re not exaggerated for the sake of laughs.

It’s winter time and most of you poor souls are not enjoying the 70-degree temperatures I am in Southern California right now (see, you all hate me already… and it’s going to get worse). That gives us all time to assess our approach to golf. I am not talking course management or better focus; I am talking how WE golfers approach our successes and failures, which for many is more important than the aforementioned issues or the quality of our technique.

Why is it that golf turns normal, intelligent, successful and SANE people into deviant, ignorant failures that exhibit all of the tell-tale signs of insanity? I also forgot profane, whiny, hostile, weak-minded, weak-willed and childish. Not to mention stupid. Why do we seem to leave our common sense and sanity in escrow in a cloud outside the golf course parking lot… only to have it magically return the moment our car leaves the property after imposing extreme mental anguish on ourselves that Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (don’t feel bad if you have to google this) would find extreme?

Smarter people than I have written books on this, but I think they missed a key factor. Clubs, balls, shoes, bags, gloves, tees, the grasses, especially the sand in the bunkers, the Gatorade they sell at the snack bar, hats, visors, over-logoed clothing, golf carts, etc., are all made with human kryptonite. Not enough to kill us, but just enough to make us act like children who didn’t get the latest fad toy for Christmas and react by throwing a hissy fit.

Bob Rotella has said golf is not a game of perfect, and although religious texts say man was made in God’s image, thinking we are perfect is blasphemous. We all play golf like we think there is an equivalent of a bowling 300. We expect to hit every drive 300 yards (the bowling perfect) with a three-yard draw… in the middle of the face… in the dead center of the fairway. All iron shots must be worked from the middle of the green toward the pin and compressed properly with shaft lean, ball-first contact and the perfect dollar-bill sized divot (and not too deep). Shots within 100 yards from any lie should be hit within gimme range, and all putts inside 20 feet must be holed.

We get these ideas from watching the best players in the world late on Sunday, where all of the above seem commonplace. We pay no attention to the fact that we are significantly worse than the guys who shot 76-76 and missed the cut. We still hold ourselves to that ridiculous standard.

  • Group 1: “Monte, you’re exaggerating. No one has those expectations.”
  • Group 2: ”Monte, I’m a type-A personality. I’m very competitive and hard on myself.”

To the first group, the following examples say different. And to the second group, I am one of you. It’s OK for me to want to shoot over 80 percent from the free throw line, but at 50 years old and 40 pounds over weight, what would you say to me if I said, “I’m type-A and competitive and I want to dunk like Lebron James!” Oh yeah, and I want to copy Michael Jordan’s dunking style, Steph Curry’s shooting stroke and Pistol Pete’s passing and dribbling style.” That seems ridiculous, but switch those names to all-time greats in golf and WE have all been guilty of those aspirations.

I don’t know how to answer 18-handicaps who ask me if they should switch to blades so they can work the ball better and in both directions. The blunt a-hole in me wants to tell them, “Dude, just learn to hit the ball on the face somewhere,” but that’s what they read in the golf magazines. You’re supposed to work the ball from the middle of the green toward the pin, like Nicklaus. Well, the ball doesn’t curve as much now as it did in Nicklaus’ prime and most tour players only work the ball one way unless the circumstances don’t allow it. “And you’re not Jack Nicklaus.” Some joke about Jesus and Moses playing golf has that punch line.

Wouldn’t it be easier to get as proficient as possible at one shot when you have limited practice time, versus being less than mediocre on several different shots? This also applies to hitting shots around the greens 27 different ways, but don’t get me started…just buy my short game video. Hyperbole and shameless plug aside, this is a huge mistake average golfers make. They never settle on one way of doing things.

The day the first white TaylorMade adjustable driver was released, I played 9 holes behind a very nice elderly couple. He went to Harvard and she went to Stanford. He gets on the first tee and hits a big push. He walks to the cart, grabs his wrench and closes the club face. She tops her tee shot, gets the wrench and adds some loft. Out of morbid curiosity, I stayed behind them the entire front 9 and watched them adjust their clubs for every mishit shot. It took over 3 hours for a two-some. These are extremely nice, smart and successful people and look what golf did to them. Anyone calling this a rules violation, have a cocktail; you’re talking yourself even more seriously than they were. Old married couple out fooling around, big deal if they broke a rule. No tournament, not playing for money, they’re having fun. They had gimmies, mulligans and winter rules. Good for them.

This is an extreme example of a huge mistake that nearly 100 percent of golfers make; they believe the need for an adjustment after every bad shot… or worse, after every non-perfect shot. How many of you have done this both on the range and on the course?

”(Expletive), pushed that one, need to close the face. (Expletive), hit that one thin, need to hit down more on this one. (Expletive), hooked that one, need to hold off the release.”

I’ll ask people why they do this and the answer is often, “I’m trying to build a repeatable swing.”

Nice. Building repeatable swing by making 40 different swings during a range session or round of golf. That is insane and stupid, but WE have all done it. The lesson learned here is to just try and do better on the next one. You don’t want to make adjustments until you have the same miss several times in a row. As a secondary issue, what are the odds that you do all of the following?

  1.  Diagnose the exact swing fault that caused the bad shot
  2.  Come up with the proper fix
  3.  Implement that fix correctly in the middle of a round of golf with OB, two lakes, eight bunkers and three elephants buried in the green staring you in the face.

Another factor in this same vein, and again, WE have all been guilty of this: “I just had my worst round in three weeks. What I was doing to shoot my career low three times in row isn’t working any more. Where is my Golf Digest? I need a new tip.”

Don’t lie… everyone reading this article has done that. EVERYONE! Improvement in golf is as far from linear as is mathematically possible. I have never heard a golfer chalk a high score up to a “bad day.” It’s always a technique problem, so there is a visceral need to try something different. “It’s not working anymore. I think I need to do the Dustin Johnson left wrist, the Sergio pull-down lag, the Justin Thomas downswing hip turn, the Brooks Koepka restricted-backswing hip turn and the Jordan Spieth and Jamie Sadllowski bent left elbow… with a little Tiger Woods 2000 left-knee snap when I need some extra power.” OK, maybe it’s a small bit of exaggeration that someone would try all of these, but I have heard multiple people regale of putting 2-3 of those moves in after a bad round that didn’t mesh with their downtrending index.

An 8-handicap comes to me for his first lesson. He had shot in the 70’s four of his last five rounds and shot a career best in the last of the five. All of the sudden, those friendly slight mishits that rhyme with the place where we keep our money show up. First a few here and there and then literally every shot. He shows up and shanks 10 wedges in a row and is literally ready to cry. I said, “Go home, take this week off and come back… and what’s your favorite beer?”

He comes back the next week, pulls a club and goes to hit one. I tell him to have a seat. I hand him a beer and we talk football for 15 minutes. Then I pull out my iPad and show him exactly why he is hitting shanks. I tell him one setup issue and one intent change and ask him to go hit one. It was slightly on the heel, but not a shank and very thin. I said to do both changes a bit more. The second one — perfect divot, small draw and on target. I walk over, put my hand up for a high five and say, “Awesome job! Great shot!”

He leaves me hanging and says, ”Yeah, but I hit it in the toe.”

Don’t judge him. Every day I have people with 50-yard slices toned down to 15-20 yards saying the ball is still slicing. These are people who won’t accept a fade, but slam their club when it over draws 15 feet left of the target… and so on. I can’t judge or be angry; I used to be these guys, too. During a one-hour lesson, I often hear people get frustrated with themselves for thin and fat, left and right, heel and toe. Apparently, anything not hunting flags or hit out of a dime-sized area is an epic fail. I also get emails the next day saying the fault and miss is still there.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

My big miss has always been a big block, often in the heel. Instead, I now often hit a pull in the left fairway bunker out of the toe. I celebrate like I’m Kool & the Gang and it’s 1999… and I get strange looks from everyone. I can manage a 10-15 yard low, slightly drawn pull. I cannot not manage a 40-50 yard in the atmosphere block… that cuts.

So, now that I have described all of US as pathetic, let’s see what we can do.

  1. Be hard on yourself, be competitive and set lofty goals all you want… but you need to accept at least a one-side miss. If you hate hitting thin, weak fades, you need to allow yourself a slightly heavy over draw. Not allowing yourself any miss will make you miss every shot.
  2. Generally, the better the player, the larger the pool of results that are used to judge success. Pros judge themselves over months and years. High-handicappers judge themselves on their previous shot. Do you think pros make a swing change after 10 good shots and one minor miss? We all seem to think that course of action is astute. Bad shot, must have done something wrong… HULK MUST FIX!
  3. Don’t judge your shots on a pass/fail grade. Grade yourself A-F. Are you going to feel better after 10 A’s, 25 B’s, 15 C’s, 4 D’s and 1 F… or 10 passes and 40 fails? If every non-perfect shot is seen as a failure, your subconscious will do something different in order to please you. Again, 40 different swings.
  4. Improving your swing and scores is a lot like losing weight. No one expects to make changes in a diet and exercise routine and lose 20 pounds in one day, yet golfers expect a complete overhaul in a small bucket. Give yourself realistic time frames for improvement. “I’m a 12. By the end of next year, I want to be an 8.”  That’s your goal, not whether or not your last range session was the worst in a month. It’s a bad day; that is allowed. Major champions miss cuts and all of them not named Tiger Woods don’t change their swings. They try and do better next week… and they nearly always do.
  5. DO NOT measure yourself either on the mechanics of your swing or your scoring results according to some arbitrary standard of perfection… and especially not against tour players. Measure yourself against yourself. Think Ty Webb. Is your swing better than it was 6 months ago? Do you hit it better than 6 months ago? Are you scoring better than 6 months ago? If you can say yes to at least two of those questions, your swing looking like Adam Scott is less relevant than the color of golf tee you use.

That is a winning formula, and just like bad habits in your swing, you can’t wake up one morning and tell yourself you’re no longer into self flagellation. It takes effort and practice to improve your approach and get out of your own way… but more importantly, have some fun.

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Opinion & Analysis

15 hot takes from Greg Norman on our 19th Hole podcast

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Our Michael Williams spoke with the Great White Shark himself, Greg Norman, for GolfWRX’s 19th Hole podcast. Not surprisingly, the two-time major champion had no shortage of hot takes.

While you’ll want to check out the full ‘cast, here are 15 takes of varying degrees of hotness, from Norman’s feelings about bifurcation to whether he’d pose for ESPN’s Body Issue.

1) He wants bifurcation immediately, rolling back technology for the pros, rolling it forward for amateurs

“I would instigate a bifurcation of the rules. I would roll back the golf ball regulations to pre-1996. I would roll back the technology that’s in the golf equipment for the professionals. And I would open up the technology and give it to the masses because the pros who developed the maximum club head speed of 118, 120 are the ones who maximize what technology is in that piece of equipment. So the person who’s under 100 miles an hour does not hit the ball an extra 30, 35 yards at all. They may pick up a few yards but they don’t get the full benefit of that technology…I would definitely do that because I think we’ve gotta make the game more fun for the masses. “

2) He has no relationship with Tiger Woods and doesn’t plan to watch him play golf

“And this might sound kind of strange. What I’ll say is … I really, in all honesty, I really don’t care what Tiger does with golf. I think Tiger is, golf probably needs him to some degree but golf doesn’t need him, if you know what I mean, because there’s so many other incredibly talented great young players out there, probably a dozen of them, maybe even more, that are equal, if not way better than Tiger, and they can carry the baton of being the number one player in the world. So, I get a little bit perplexed about and disappointed about how some of these guys get pushed into the background by the attention Tiger gets. I hope he does well. If he doesn’t do well, it doesn’t bother me. If he does do well, it doesn’t bother me.”

3) He plays almost no golf these days

“I really don’t play a lot of golf. I played with my son in the father-son at the end of last year, had a blast with him. Played a little bit of golf preparing for that. But since then I have not touched a golf club.”

4) He doesn’t enjoy going to the range anymore

“To be honest with you I’m sick and tired of being on the driving range hitting thousands and thousands of golf balls. That bores me to death now. My body doesn’t like it to tell you the truth. Since I’ve stopped playing golf I wake up without any aches and pains and I can go to the gym on a regular basis without aches and pains. So my lifestyle is totally different now. My expectations, equally, is totally different.”

5) It took him a long time to get used to recreational golf

“But I’ve been in this mode now for quite a few years now so the first couple of years, yes. My body was not giving me what my brain was expecting. So you do have to make those mental adjustments. Look, there’s no difference than when you hit 40, you’re a good player or not a good player. Things start to perform differently. Your proprioception is different. Your body is different. I don’t care how good you are and how great physical shape you are. Your body after just pure wear and tear, it eventually does tend to break down a little bit. And when you’re under the heat of the battle and under the gun, when you have to execute the most precise shot, your body sometimes doesn’t deliver what you want.”

6) He’s a big Tom Brady fan

“I’m a big fan, big admirer of his. He gets out of it what he puts into it obviously…But he’s also a role model and a stimulator for his teammates. No question, when you go to play Brady and the Patriots, you’d better bring your A game because he’s already got his A game ready to go.”

7) He believes we’ll see 50-plus-year-old winners on Tour

“I said this categorically when Tom Watson nearly won at Turnberry in his 50s, when I nearly won at Royal Birkdale in my 50s….if you keep yourself physically in good shape, flexibility in good shape, as well as your swing playing, and your swing. Yeah, maybe the yips come in maybe they don’t, that depends on the individual, right? But at the end of the day, my simple answer is yes. I do believe that’s going to happen.”

8) The Shark logo has been vital to his post-golf success

“But I realized very early on in life too that every athlete, male or female, no matter what sports you play you’re a finite entity. You have a finite period of time to maximize your best performance for X number of years. And with golf, if you look at it historically, it’s almost like a 15 year cycle. I had my 15 year run. Every other player has really has had a 15 year run, plus or minus a few years.”

“So you know you have that definitive piece of time you got to work with and then what you do after that is understanding what you did in that time period. And then how do you take that and parlay it? I was lucky because I had a very recognizable logo. It wasn’t initials. It wasn’t anything like that. It was just a Great Shark logo. And that developed a lot of traction. So I learned marketing and branding very, very quickly and how advantageous it could be as you look into the future about building your businesses.”

9) He’s tried to turn on-course disappointments into positives

“We all … well I shouldn’t say we all. I should say the top players, the top sports men and women work to win. Right? And when we do win that’s what we expected ourselves to do because we push ourselves to that limit. But you look at all the great golfers of the past and especially Jack Nicklaus, it’s how you react to a loss is more important than how you react to a victory. And so, I learned that very, very early on. And I can’t control other people’s destiny. I can’t control what other people do on the golf course. So I can only do what I do. When I screw up, I use that as a very strong study point in understanding my weakness to make sure that I make a weakness a strength.”

10) Jordan Spieth is best suited to be the top player in the world

“I think that Jordan is probably the most balanced, with best equilibrium in the game. He’s probably, from what I’m seeing, completely in touch with the responsibilities of what the game of golf and the success in the game of golf is.”

11) His golf design is built on two pillars

“Two things: Begin with the end in mind and the least disturbance approach. I think we, the industry of golf course design industry, really did the game of golf a major disservice in the 80s and 90s when everybody was leveraged to the hilt, thought they had unlimited capital, and thought they could just go build these big golf courses with big amounts of money invested in with magnificent giant club houses which weren’t necessary. So, we were actually doing a total disservice to the industry because it was not sustainable.”

12) He’s still not happy about having essentially invented the WGC events and not getting credit

“I’ll always be a little bit salty about that because there’s a saying that I keep telling everybody, “slay the dreamer.” I came up with a pretty interesting concept where the players would be the part owners of their own tour or their own destiny and rewarded the riches if they performed on the highest level. And quite honestly, Michael, actually a friend of mine sent me an article, it was a column written, “Shark and Fox Plan to Take a Bite out of the PGA”. And this is written in 11/17/94 and I literally just got it last night. And I’m reading through this article and I’m going, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I was ahead of my time!” I really was ahead of my time.

So, it was very, very kind of like a reflective moment for me. I read it again this morning with a cup of coffee and I did sit back and, I’ll be brutally honest with you and your listeners, and did sit back and I did get a little bit angry because of the way I was portrayed, the way I was positioned.”

13) He was muzzled by the producer at Fox

“I’m not going to dig deep into this, I think there was just a disconnect between the producer and myself. I got on really well with the director and everybody else behind the scenes, some of my thought processes about what I wanted to talk about situations during the day, and it just didn’t pan out. And things that I wanted to say, somebody would be yelling in my ear, “Don’t say it, don’t say it!” So it became a very much a controlled environment where I really didn’t feel that comfortable.”

14) Preparation wasn’t the problem during his U.S. Open broadcast

“I was totally prepared so wherever this misleading information comes saying I wasn’t prepared, I still have copious notes and folders about my preparation with the golf course, with the players, with the set-up, with conditioning. I was totally prepared. So that’s an assumption that’s out there that is not true. So there’s a situation where you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

15) He would do ESPN’s Body Issue

“Of course I’d do it. I think I like being fit. I think on my Instagram account I probably slipped a few images out there that created a bit of a stir…And I enjoy having myself feel good. And that’s not an egotistical thing, it’s just none of my, most of my life I’ve been very healthy fit guy and if somebody like ESPN wants to recognize that, yeah of course I would consider doing it.”

Don’t forget to listen to the full podcast here!

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