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In defense of Tiger and Patrick Reed



Recently, I read a fascinating piece on Deadspin about Patrick Reed. I read it twice actually. I may even buy the upcoming book about him when it comes out. I’ve read Hogan by Curt Sampson twice, and The Big Miss by Hank Haney/Jaime Diaz three times.

The unflattering biographical tell-alls can be utterly fascinating to read, whether it be in sports, entertainment or politics. And with sources and information as accessible as ever, and the public’s insatiable desire for immediate details, such works are being produced in rapid turn around time with awaiting appetites. In recent cases, it is happening during an athlete’s career. There are consequences to this, though, yes?

I grew up a huge sports fan as a kid. I still am a big sports fan, although I don’t get as invested in players and teams as much as I used to. Nowadays, I marvel more at an athlete’s skill versus getting behind personalities or teams. Some of this metamorphosis is attributable to my own (purported) maturity, but it’s more than that — sports has changed. Rooting for your teams in the 80’s and early 90’s, I’d argue, was finest era in sports fandom, as most athletes still had that old school, win-at-all-costs mentality coupled with, and this is important, a nonchalance toward a growing media presence.

On any given night, I could take a break from my homework and turn on the MSG channel to watch an everyday-man-turned-warrior like John Starks play with absolute presence and sheer disregard of consequence as he butted heads, literally, with superior opponents like Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan. He didn’t care about creating a “brand” or forming friendships or making nice or being called out on Twitter. He wanted to win.

The ’96 Yankees were like this, too; Cone, Bernie, and O’Neill — you could feel their intensity when the camera was on them, yet they seemed largely indifferent to the lens. Logical or not, I always found it refreshing watching O’Neill hurl helmets into dugouts after meaningless ground outs. The “villains” at the time were just as fun to root against.  Rivalries sell, and with its endless attempts to create one, golf knows this very well.

Occasionally, certain sports figures can still conjure up similar sensations of boyhood like enthusiasm and/or vitriol in me. Shouting at the television is not uncommon during Jets games. Tiger Woods could always revive adolescent-like wonderment; not just with his talent but with his in-the-moment fist pumps, roars and press conference call-outs of Steven Ames or Sergio Garcia. He was just such an in-the-moment bad a**. 

But now Tiger appears to be a broken man. And perhaps we — the media, and the public that supports it — is at least partially to blame. Diaz, in his latest article “Free Fall” for Golf Digest, wrote:

“I believe it’s fair to posit that the trauma of being publicly shamed changed him.”

He was referencing the exposure of Tiger’s off-course scandal and its effects on his ability to stay fearless on the course. Conveniently absent from Diaz’s theory is the role he, personally, could have had in this free fall in assisting with Miss. This should not be a groundbreaking suggestion.

Even for us lay people, the hypothesis that Tiger is suffering from performance anxiety due to intense media scrutiny should not be hard to understand. I saw recently that the Golf Channel was having a round table discussion concerning Tiger’s prognosis. I considered DVR’ing it, then didn’t. I stopped myself. It felt cheap, like I was the last man climbing onto a meaningless pile-on (and this, coming from a guy who has been part of the problem for too long). I mean, seriously, a roundtable discussion? What’s next, a Task Force? Oh, wait…

Which now brings us back to Patrick Reed and his recent allegations, media depictions and upcoming tell-all. Although I have yet to read the related book, I’m sure it reaffirms damaging accusations mentioned in the article, which, among other things, claim that Reed stole money from fellow golfers and cheated in competition (in golf, the latter is a cardinal sin).

I am not sanctioning Reed’s purported behavior or misdeeds, nor am I necessarily doubting their authenticity. I had heard similar stories about his unlikable nature prior to the Deadspin article, and his “top-5 player in the world” comment following Doral in 2014 was shortsighted and unsportsmanlike. But you know what it wasn’t? Rehearsed. It wasn’t robotic. It was actually what the guy was thinking which, in a day and age in which Belichick-like responses to press inquiries are the preferred status quo for athletes, should be cherished, not chastised.

Let’s all come to the not-so-shocking realization that revealing one’s closet skeletons to the rest of the world may have its consequences towards the performance of athletes we crave to watch; particularly with golf, which, perhaps more than any other sport, commands the highest level of mental conviction and has easily suffered the most high-profile casualties to over-active brains.

Speaking of task forces, the 2014 Ryder Cup was an event that American golf fans would like to forget. But when Reed hushed the European crowd after draining a putt, I initially cringed. But then I thought, “This is awesome.” It showed guts. It got me into it. It showed me that he didn’t need any pod system or personality test to be invested in the process as other golfers apparently required.

I hope Reed’s confidence — much like Tiger’s — does not become the next takedown project of the public and the media. And so, I’m doing the unthinkable in 2015. I’m becoming a Patrick Reed fan. I hope he continues to p*** people off, if that is what comes naturally to him. I’m not so much endorsing him, personally, but I’m supporting his freedom of expression and comfort in his own skin.

Heck, this is America. What golf doesn’t need is another personality-less block of cheese, regurgitating mind-numbing responses and masking his emotions. And if he is a villain, so what? At least he’s true to himself. Besides, villains are far more interesting than sticks in the mud.

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Lawyer, Bachelor and Golf Nut. John also writes for his and his sister's Italian culinary and lifestyle blog at, maintains an honest GHIN handicap, and is from New Jersey; all of which he is proud of.



  1. THONG

    Mar 8, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Always room for another POS on he PGA tour!

  2. Del Capslock

    Feb 16, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Who is a better winner, Patrick Reed or Jason Day?

  3. Tony

    Feb 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Thinking its a good idea to tell the crowd “Shhhh” when your team is getting their ass handed to them is sure sign of pure arrogance and selfishness. No surprise there is a book coming out that has bad things to say about him, I imagine they couldn’t fit it all in.

  4. Patrick

    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    John Iaciofano, the details of your writing isn’t a problem, but I wish you would have considered writing two separate articles. Implying an equivalency between addiction and stealing/cheating/bigotry is inappropriate and I hope you take this into account in the future. It’s quite offensive to those who are working to recover from addiction or have had addiction severely impact those we love.

    • Brad

      Feb 18, 2015 at 11:27 am

      As I read the article, personally, I felt it was well written, and a pretty good piece. I think he was trying to correlate their demeanor, not their transgressions. Both Tiger and Patrick have a case of “If you aint’ first, you’re last Ricky…”

      Growing up in a household where dependency issues were the norm, taking offense to this article was never even a thought. Sometimes it feels like no correspondent can write an article on here without being blasted?

    • Donnie

      Mar 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Addiction?? Addicted to what?? Did you mail in your TW fan club check for 2015. Addiction.. Pffft!

  5. Awedge333

    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    The article was enjoyable – a good read regardless of ones perspective. However, the comments are a hoot.

    Tiger will be done when the endorsement train stops running. He got a ton of people to watch golf. When he is yesterday’s news, no one will really care – I don’t now. He is responsible for where he is in life.

    Regarding Reed, fun to watch. Putting the “hush” on the Ryder Cup gallery was fun also. Here’s hoping for him that he’s not as bad as we are lead to believe – if he is, his endorsements will dry up too.

    • leo

      Feb 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      if they do so be it he will still be making several million a year in prize money and will continue to be his own man not cow towing to what tthe politically correct a-holes want him to be.stay as you are patrick and you will continue to be my favorite tour player

  6. farmer

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:41 am

    If the author is going to accuse Reed of stealing and cheating, there needs to some sources cited. How did he steal the money? From whom? Where and when did he cheat? Otherwise, meaningless drivel.

    • Donnie

      Mar 4, 2015 at 8:24 am

      This is fairly well known accusation, not something this author brought to light. Media will beat the crap out of a dead horse…

  7. Travis

    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I met Patrick Reed last year before the self-incriminating gay comment…one thing that flashed thru my mind when I met him was an episode of Family Guy when Stewie turned to Lois, “this guy don’t sit right with me Lois…he don’t sit right with me”
    I crack myself up…

  8. Jack Wullkotte

    Feb 14, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I have been inside the ropes of the PGA Tour for nearly 68 years. I have been privy to many stories of indiscretions, infidelity, wild Parties, altercations and many other misguided or stupid acts that are frowned upon by the general public, but, will never be revealed, because, these things happened in a time when there were more important things to worry about or talk about, like depressions, wars, inflation,diseases, Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, the original big three, Hogan, Nelson and Snead, then Nicklaus Palmer and Player. Years later, when there was a lack of really important issues to write about, the media began to investigate notable personalities more thoroughly, apparently looking for something that would shock the people and cause great concern and lots of controversy. In the case of Tiger Woods, overnight, after his incident with the car crash and the revelation of his indiscretions off the golf course, in the minds of many people, he became the most evil person on earth. My wife was a good example of the switch.
    She watched his U. S. Open win at Torrey Pines and thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. When the bad news came out, she absolutely hated his guts and put a hex on him that will last forever. My thoughts were, it was no worse than what our former president, Bill Clinton did in the oval office of the White House and all the other things he was accused of and probably rightfully so. In fact, I don’t think it was anywhere near as bad. As far as Patrick Reed’s comments are concerned, it’s a common occurrence and not about to end soon. I’m sure gays make derogatory comments about heterosexuals, also. My thought about Tiger is, “What a waste of talent.” I don’t think anyone will ever dominate any sport the way he did golf.

    • Jack Wullkotte

      Feb 15, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Sorry Bubba, but when an amateur can dominate a sport, the competition is not there. Bobby Jones was a great golfer, but comparing his record with Tiger’s is like comparing apples and oranges. Jones did not compete weekly with the likes of Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. True, he probably would have held his own, but no way would he have dominated.

    • leo

      Feb 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      sadly tiger reacted to his situation the way he was” supposed” to.he was more concerned with public opinion and corporate sponsors than being true to himself.had he come out and said this is what i did this is who i am and if you don’t like it tough his bank account would have suffered but his golf game probably would have recovered much quicker.this whole thing about public shaming is a joke it is only effective if you allow yourself to be ashamed.if you do something own it and if the public doesn’t like it too bad for them.his air of invincibility was shattered not only on the golf course but in his own mind and that is harder to come back from than a bad back

      • LH

        Feb 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm


      • LH

        Feb 28, 2015 at 4:20 pm

        I find it funny how you/many others, refer to things as being “Tiger’s concern”. This is about business. Dollars and sense.

    • LH

      Feb 28, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      When you’re in the public eye, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Why is that so hard for the average person to comprehend? I don’t feel sympathy for Tiger but I do have empathy. At the end of the day, we are all in search of one thing. To be happy. Yet we all judge each other for it.

  9. Daniel

    Feb 14, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Great article. Very interesting view on on course behavior that some view as disrespectful and obnoxious. I really enjoyed your John Starks reference and it really shed a different light on to PReeds on course antics. I feel his personality is precisely what makes him so good. Hopefully he truly does have enough self confidence to endure the incoming media onslaught that he will soon be faced with. He is definitely a compelling figure in golf.

  10. obo

    Feb 13, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    If this kid Reed would loose 25 Lbs. he might get into the top 5. Clearly he lacks self discipline on and off the course.

    • leftright

      Feb 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      Must be nice to be a perfect human being. I’ll be looking for “obo” on the leaderboard.

    • Retro

      Feb 14, 2015 at 1:23 am

      Your the frickin loser who’s probably 50 lbs overweight. People like you are a real drain on society.

  11. Jon Silverberg

    Feb 13, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more, even if you are also a Jets fan…focusing on media images is a red herring…someone who does things which could reasonably be seen to be risking destroying his family, or someone who steals and cheats, is what he is, and it is a major error for us to allow ourselves to be distracted from that by caring about competitiveness or struggles to regain form…Do I believe I know much of what these two paragons actually did? Yes, I do (in Reed’s case, I believe it is quite telling that no one in the golf world has risen to deny he did these things…it’s a case of the dog that didn’t bark…)…the world would be a better place if he hadn’t cheated and stolen and had lost his Ryder Cup singles match, not the other way around…

  12. Dpavs

    Feb 13, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I agree that it’s time to turn the tables on the media indulging the overly politically correct elements of the US and elsewhere.
    But I do still believe in a pretty simple axiom. You do stupid stuff, you get stupid results.

    • LH

      Feb 28, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      The word stupid is irrelevant when you have x-amount of money. Trust me on this.

  13. Rich

    Feb 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I for one do not give concession for the age of sports stars as a reason for poor behaviour. If you are going to be in the public eye and consequently a role model whether you like it or not, you better behave or be cut down for it. Anyway, fact is that everyone is different. Some people like a villain and some don’t. I quite like a villain but they’ve got to have some class, of which neither Reed nor Woods possess. If the USA want to build their Ryder Cup team around Reeds attitude and by default, his behaviour, go right ahead. A bit of fire is one thing but being an a$$hole is another.

    • Rich

      Feb 14, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Could just as easily left out “fact is that” and it would have said what I intended. Basically, everyone is different and likes different things but I think PR and TW are a$$holes so I don’t like them. I would be happy if both of them disappeared and were never to be seen in the public eye again.

      • leo

        Feb 17, 2015 at 4:42 pm

        fortunately a-holes like you are invisible and have never been in the public eye

  14. Martin

    Feb 13, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I watch sports and go to concerts because the people I am watching can do amazing things be them physical or musical.

    I don’t really care that much about them personally, I don’t want to hear their political views or their thoughts on global warming.

    Tiger is a rare sports figure that I intensely dislike as a man. He built an image that was completely fake, his on course persona is not really an issue to me, the deity has became in the media which then blew up when he hit the fire hydrant and has now become kind of sad is something I no longer feel anything about.

    I think of him in the same thought as ARod, an incredibly talented but massively flawed person who is incredibly so unaware of the world around him doesn’t understand why people react the way they do to them.

    • Rich

      Feb 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      How can you go to concert for a musician and say you have no interest in their views or politics etc etc? Most, if not all artists write/perform songs about their thoughts or political views or something similar or don’t you listen to the lyrics?

    • leo

      Feb 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      flawed according to you and based on what you’ve read. do you know these guys personally?

  15. Foreleft

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I watched the Ryder cup and a poorly led and motivated United states team crash and burn.
    I didn’t like Patrick reed until his singles match with Stenson. His attitude during the best match of the day was outstanding. Aggressive and full off vim and fight. The U.S. Ryder cup team needs to find another 11 to match him and I’m from ireland!.

  16. BigBoy

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Karma is a big bus that doesn’t discriminate.

    • LH

      Feb 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      I would assume it’s ok, that some don’t believe in Karma.

  17. Jon

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Very well written and to the point. The polarization of these high-profile players must take it’s toll on their performance. The constant attention given by the media and swarming him wherever he goes asking to many questions has to take a toll. Every move, mistake, missed shot, shanked practice shot has to be exposed and analyzed.

    I agree.. I think people (media) should lay off. We need characters out on the tour not just robots.

  18. Kevin

    Feb 13, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I can’t agree with anything you say about liking to watch Tiger’s fist pumping and hopping around greens, cheering himself on. I never felt like that resonated with the majority of golf fans. I always had the utmost respect for his game, and I still consider his to be the greatest short game ever (before all of the recent yips), but I never particularly liked him and I don’t think he cared all that much if anyone did. He was phony. He was with his wife and kids, and a dog, licking their faces, probably a staged dog at that, in People magazine right before the scandal broke, selling an image that could not have been further from the truth. His entire life was a persona, a ruse. He wasn’t one of your Yankee and Knicks heroes, the comparison is offensive. He wasn’t what you see is what you get. He was the guy who has slipped by with his dirty association to A-Rod and the Canadian doctor (both well known for designer steroids), and who crafted an image and possibly a physique built on lie after lie. It’s really hard to feel sorry for him . I agree that the public shaming has taken the edge off of him. He does seem almost desperate to be liked in some way now. I have a strange feeling watching him, that once his playing days are over, he might actually be a great color analyst for golf. He has shown a little self deprecating humor recently, though he’s also incredibly defensive, but I think when the pressure of expectations are gone, and he can finally be himself, his intellect and sense of humor might win some people over, not unlike what Nick Faldo has done.

    • Bert

      Feb 13, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Yep! But I do not wish bad times on anyone (not that you did). I too never liked his or Steve’s conduct on the course or during interviews. However he could really play and could intimidate his competitors, the media and his coaches. My hope would be for him to regain the competitive level he once obtained, be himself and not so defensive and compete with the Patrick Reed’s of the tour.

  19. Mike

    Feb 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    First let me say that I think you totally underestimate the ego of a professional athlete to think that what the media writes about them has much, or anything to do with what’s going on under the hood. Rightfully or wrongfully, these are a supremely confident group of people, not unlike CEO’s. You should try hard to avoid confusing coincidence with causality.

    Second, I’m not sure why we care, or even why we’re surprised that pro-athletes aren’t perfect human beings. OF COURSE they have non-PC views of some kind (who doesn’t), OF COURSE they say stuff they wish they hadn’t (who doesn’t), OF COURSE they exhibit behavior that a lot of folks think of as questionable from a moral standpoint (who doesn’t). SO WHAT? I care about how they play, not how they live. I care about how they behave under pressure, not under media spotlights. I care about the good things they do throughout their careers in public, not the bad things they do in private. Grab 125 people off the street and I’ll guarantee you there are “bad apples” in the bunch….why would the PGA Tour be any different?

    Next, I wish I had a few do-overs for some of the dumb stuff I did in my teens, AND my early twenties, and I suspect most people do. And yes….golf is not a team sport, so who cares if Patrick’s mates weren’t really mates. Cut ’em some slack folks. Glass house and stones stuff comes to mind. I’m sure glad no one wrote a book about the dumb stuff I did, even if no one would read it.

    Finally, this negative media crap has gotten out of control because we (the fans) love to consume it. We are all a bunch of media rubberneckers, which certainly makes our behavior somewhat moralistically questionable. Take a minute to post a comment, or send the writer/author/journalist an e-mail when you think what they’ve written is crap. The only thing we have in common with these pro’s is that we’re supposed to be adults too.

    • Christian

      Feb 16, 2015 at 11:29 am


    • Brian

      Feb 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      The negative press is just as much a part of the celebrity life as the positive press is. It’s an accepted part of being famous and very wealthy from the sport you play. If Tiger, or his fans don’t like that, then all Tiger needs to do is give back all the money and get a real job where he can live in virtual anonymity like most of us do.

  20. DB

    Feb 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    It’s our fault. Consumers read these books and articles, just dying to find out more than they should ever have access to about a person they don’t really know, writers see what types of articles are getting the most mileage, so they feed the hungry consumers what they want. It’s too bad we (consumers) can’t just watch athletes play their sports and leave it at that. We have this insatiable desire to get the dirt on someone and bring them down to our level. It’s no wonder Marshawn Lynch has taken the stance he has against the media.

  21. bosse

    Feb 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    reed was 17 when he allegedly did bad (as illegal/cheating) stuff. i can come up of a zillion bad things i did at that time.secondly, when he said he was top 5 in the world, if we hadnt this silly 2 year OWG cycle, he probably had been, and probably will be soon. I am swedish and i know first hand how norlander and team really disliked lots of reeds sides. but hey, golf isnt a team sport.. i think reed is awesome. plays well under pressure, good putter, good irons, good wedges (good all around really) and a heck of a match player. with tiger gone we should really encourage some animosity between reed-rory-fowler-spieth-koepka. and if you ask me, reed will probably be second after rory in that bunch. ofcourse jimenez and stenson will trump them alll but that is another story…

  22. Johnnie McFarland

    Feb 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve often wondered if the future will eventually be colorless and soulless with minimal displays of emotion in all walks of life since all of our actions are endlessly under surveillance, scrutinized, and subject to disdain and ridicule. Will any form of independence versus groupthink be acceptable? Can a person have “character,” be it good or bad? And will that character always be in question for someone else’s personal gain and/or agenda as is such the media’s need and desire and “duty” to expose the truth and facts about a person, no matter how private those facts maybe? So why risk being decadent chocolate when you can stay under the radar as plain Jane, ho-hum vanilla? Today’s endearing hero will eventually be tomorrow’s despised villain.

  23. Jim

    Feb 13, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    What an honest, fresh viewpoint.

    • sam

      Feb 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      What a predictable thing for a golfer to say.

  24. Timbleking

    Feb 13, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    AMEN! Definitely a Reed’s fan, for his game and behaviour on the course.

  25. Tom Bowles

    Feb 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Everyday here I read how there are a lot of perfect people who like to judge the behavior and actions of people they don’t know and who are personally unaffected by their actions. They like to pile on and hold people accountable for things that “normal” people do. It doesn’t make the actions of the accused right, but everyone deserves a break. If the intense scrutiny of an indiscretion at any level were shone on one of these people, they’d wilt under it. Many people say, “I’d never do anything like that…” But what have you done where you needed someone to cut you a break? Would you like to be constantly reminded of your mistake every day? How sanctimonious would you think we’d be if you were the target of that reminder? That messes with a person’s emotions and psyche no matter how strong you think you are.

    Whether it’s Woods, Reed, Sabbatini, or any other golfer who runs afoul of the “Moral Authority Police” no one deserves treatment like that. In fact they’ve resorted to attacking other golfers who they see something on TV they don’t like, they run to a thread and proclaim their distain and the pile on begins. Bubba Watson comes to mind.

    There is a double standard. If you’re not an “approved” player, it’s OK to be attacked. However, those very same people will rush to the defense of an “approved” player because they’ve never run afoul of their standard. This is a fallacy. Every man has a skeleton in their closet; something that cannot see the light of day or they’ll be just as embarrassed as anyone else. But they forget that when they choose to criticize someone else. And don’t try to defend someone unapproved. You’ll be lambasted for everything from cancer to not being a “real golf fan.”

    We like to believe our heroes are faultless. This too is a fallacy. My father spoke of the exploits of some of his heroes in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc. that the press kept relatively quiet, or it was swept under the rug because that’s how men were then. Some names are legendary, but they’re still considered a hero. Do indiscretions need to be exposed? Sure. Do we need to keep them alive and the constant judgment going? No. It no longer is about the person and indiscretion itself once it sees the light of day and an apology made. It’s now about the one judging them and simply bringing it up because of a bias, often venomous, that that person should no longer be credible because of a mistake or flaw, or something that someone thought they saw. For every bad story or experience about someone posts, there is someone who has a 180 degree experience. But their opinion or experience isn’t important. You’re clearly wrong and a “fanboi.” What does that even mean? It’s a throwaway insult that means nothing.

    If people spent less time being perfect and judging others they’ve never met, just maybe this place will get more cordial. But I guess as long as people continue to think they’re superior to others, we’ll always have it.

    • glennithy

      Feb 13, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      If there was a like button, I’d be pounding it into pieces right now. I can’t tell you how many times when I’m golfing with a stranger and the subject of Tiger’s indiscretions comes up and the incredulous stares I get when I ask them, ” how did something that really was between Tiger and his ex-wife have anything to do with you or affect you in any way? ” I don’t understand how everyone is so judgmental of some they don’t know.
      Well written. Thank you.

  26. D Louis

    Feb 13, 2015 at 11:54 am

    In America and the UK, there seems to be insatiable desire to rip down your “hereos” and watch them publicly suffer and bleed and then wonder in the end why they dissappear. I often wonder how bad it will get and if it will affect the very sports that everyone loves to watch. Will it change, I’m not sure it will with the power people have now through social media. Is it jealousy and vindictive behavior, probably….and how many of these so called “perfect” critics lead virtuous lives…not all I’m sure

    • Ilsompati

      Feb 13, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Mr. Woods pretty much ripped himself apart. His issues are no fault of the fans.

  27. Rando

    Feb 13, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Being fiercely competitive, unrehearsed, un-PC, etc. is all great. But Reed’s homophobic comments last month were despicable and inexcusable. The world seems to have let this one slide, but imagine if he had used the N word instead. (Sad that the world doesn’t equate these types of bigotry but I do.)

    I am not a fan and will likely never be.

    • Ilsompati

      Feb 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      It isn’t healthy taking the actions of others so seriously……

    • bosse

      Feb 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      it was stupid, but once again, he was 24. its bad language which is probably due to culture and peer group language in the upbringing. he needs to get the bad attention for it, so he learns and understands and changes. once again. the gay jokes we made when i was young (between friends, never to gays) was never understood as really bad ugly habit until i got older. let the guy learn and change. i wonder if we expect these guys to be so grown up at such a young stage

    • Jay V.

      Feb 13, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      The intentions of what he said were definitely not homophobic. The analogy would be to replace what he said with “p***y” or “Sally” or whatever. I get what you’re saying and it’s absolutely not appropriate or excusable in any way… but I guarantee you that he didn’t mean it as anything more. I consider myself a fan of his just because the other 99% are usually cookie-cutter personalities with cookie-cutter swings and cookie-cutter responses.

    • Joe

      Feb 14, 2015 at 7:53 am

      The pussification of America.
      Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.

  28. Ryan

    Feb 13, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I would love to see more athletes simply own what they say. Publicists and teams make these guys apologize for what they really think and want to say. It’s absolutely ridiculous. If you say it, own it. If it ticks people off, oh well. Stick to your guns. So what if Patrick Reed is arrogant or swears at himself; it shows he cares about winning and not just walking away with a paycheck.

  29. Tommy Bolt

    Feb 13, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Great article. Positive or negative, the guy is real. Props.

  30. sam

    Feb 13, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Like the guy for his opinions if you want, but why would you sacrifice your integrity by admiring someone who is a buttface?

  31. frendy

    Feb 13, 2015 at 11:39 am

    What an old, tired assertion.

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The Gear Dive: Discussing the drivers of 2020 with Bryan LaRoche



In this episode of The Gear Dive, Johnny chats with his good buddy Bryan LaRoche. They chat on life and do a deep dive into the drivers of 2020.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: The 5 indisputable rules of bunker play



I received a particularly interesting question this week from Art S., who said he has read all the tips about how to hit different sand shots, from different sand conditions, but it would be helpful to know why. Specifically, here’s what Art had to say:

“I recently found myself in a few sand traps in multiple lies and multiple degrees of wetness. I tried remembering all of the “rules” of how to stand, how much to open my club, how much weight to shift forward or back, etc. based on the Golf Channel but was hoping that you might be able to do a blog on the ‘why’ of sand play so that we can understand it rather than memorizing what to do. Is there any way you can discuss what the club is doing and why you open the club, open your stance, what you’re aiming for when you open up, and any other tips?”

Well, Art, you asked a very good question, so let’s try to cover the basics of sand play–the “geometry and physics” at work in the bunkers–and see if we can make all of this more clear for you.

First of all, I think bunkers are among the toughest of places to find your ball. We see the tour players hit these spectacular bunker shots every week, but realize that they are playing courses where the bunkers are maintained to PGA Tour standards, so they are pretty much the same every hole and every week. This helps the players to produce the “product” the tour is trying to deliver–excitement. Of course, those guys also practice bunker play every day.

All of us, on the other hand, play courses where the bunkers are different from one another. This one is a little firmer, that one a little softer. So, let me see if I can shed a little light on the “whys and wherefores” of bunker play.

The sand wedge has a sole with a downward/backward angle built into it – we call that bounce. It’s sole (no pun intended) function is to provide a measure of “rejection” force or lift when the club makes contact with the sand. The more bounce that is built into the sole of the wedge, the more this rejection force is applied. And when we open the face of the wedge, we increase the effective bounce so that this force is increased as well.

The most basic thing you have to assess when you step into a bunker is the firmness of the sand. It stands to reason that the firmer the texture, the more it will reject the digging effect of the wedge. That “rejection quotient” also determines the most desirable swing path for the shot at hand. Firmer sand will reject the club more, so you can hit the shot with a slightly more descending clubhead path. Conversely, softer or fluffier sand will provide less rejection force, so you need to hit the shot with a shallower clubhead path so that you don’t dig a trench.

So, with these basic principles at work, it makes sense to remember these “Five Indisputable Rules of Bunker Play”

  1. Firmer sand will provide more rejection force – open the club less and play the ball back a little to steepen the bottom of the clubhead path.
  2. Softer sand will provide less rejection force – open the club more and play the ball slighter further forward in your stance to create a flatter clubhead path through the impact zone.
  3. The ball will come out on a path roughly halfway between the alignment of your body and the direction the face is pointing – the more you open the face, the further left your body should be aligned.
  4. On downslope or upslope lies, try to set your body at right angles to the lie, so that your swing path can be as close to parallel with the ground as possible, so this geometry can still work. Remember that downhill slopes reduce the loft of the club and uphill slopes increase the loft.
  5. Most recreational golfers are going to hit better shots from the rough than the bunkers, so play away from them when possible (unless bunker play is your strength).

So, there you go, Art. I hope this gives you the basics you were seeking.

As always, I invite all of you to send in your questions to be considered for a future article. It can be about anything related to golf equipment or playing the game–just send it in. You can’t win if you don’t ask!

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Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Task to target



In this week’s episode: How having a target will improve your direction and contact you have with the ball.

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