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Opinion & Analysis

Breaking down Jesper Parnevik’s ‘Gangnam Style’

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There are moments in the history golf which have propelled the sport forward: Francis Ouimet’s 1913 U.S. Open Victory, Ben Hogan’s triumph at Merion, Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam, Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters Win, Tiger Woods’ incredible performance at the1997 Masters … and then, there is Jesper Parnevik’s “Gangnam Style” remake, posted three days ago to YouTube by the Swede’s wife, Penny.

I assume the majority of readers have unfortunately been acquainted with the international YouTube driven phenomenon that is PSY’s “Gangnam Style.” If not, the you can watch the video is below. On second thought, to the unfamiliar: run, don’t finish this article, don’t pollute your minds with the song’s contemptible yet utterly irresistible backbeats and ludicrous dance moves.

The first point of note about the Parnevik video is that it is a serious labor, replete with lip synching to the entirety of the song, coordinated scenes, costumes, wigs, dance sequences and precise editing. The Parnevik’s put a lot of time into the absurd offering, which is reportedly a birthday gift for a friend. All this begs the question, what other “gifts” have the Parnevik’s given in the past — video of he and his family dancing to “Crank That” by Soulja Boy?

On Morning Drive yesterday morning, Parnevik said the video took 15 to 20 hours to edit and that he did it himself. Apparently, Parnevik routinely shoots and edits video. Parnevik said also that Mark Calcavecchia, Rickie Fowler and Camilo Villegas were originally slated to appear in the video. It’s a great tragedy the world didn’t get to see Calc gyrating in a fluorescent wig.

[youtube id=”9bZkp7q19f0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Additionally, it seems the Golf Boys (Click here to watch their video) have a rival in the form of three Swedes—Jesper Parnevik, Richard S. Johnson and Fredrick Jacobsen, and three Americans—Will MacKenzie, Dustin Johnson and Mark Turnesa. Hopefully the dynamic sextet will collaborate again to produce … absolutely nothing. Let’s hope they stick to the range, rather than the recording studio.

Parnevik himself is the real star in the video. The “Spaceman” plays the part of PSY wearing a slim-fitting pink suit and pink aviators. His wife and children act as both backup dancers and his doting female entourage. The other tour players dance around in bold colors with wigs on head.

Will Mackenzie, clad in canary yellow, is a pretty capable dancer. Dustin Johnson, however, for all his athleticism, is surprisingly lacking in rhythm. At 3:22 in the video, Johnson plays (I believe/ hope) his girlfriend, Amanda’s Caulder’s nearly exposed behind like a drum. There are a number of other bizarre quasi-sexual moments throughout which blend unusually with children playing dress-up and prancing around.

The PGA Tour is full of less than compelling personalities: bland golfers playing bland golf. Parnevik, with his signature up-turned bill and flamboyant clothing has always stood in stark contrast to the legions in khaki, bad visors and oversized shirts. From a certain standpoint, then, I am glad to see professional golfers in a casual setting having a good time acting goofy.

I am glad to see Dustin Johnson, the 15th ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, dancing around in a wig to an atrocious pop song. I’ll even condone the frivolity as the PGA Tour season is effectively over and assume he put the clubs away for a couple days.

On my first viewing of the video (which I was pretty sure would be my only viewing), my prevailing thought was, “I don’t think you would have seen Ben Hogan or Jack Nicklaus or even the more ebullient Arnold Palmer participating in such shenanigans.”

Then, I realized I had actually had the term “shenanigans” enter my consciousness in a semi-serious fashion and felt like a geezer shaking my cane at children having fun. I remembered, too, hearing anecdotally that Ben Hogan did “The Twist” on top of a table at gala after his 1953 ticker tape parade.

Perhaps, I need to lighten up. At least the Parnevik video features lip-synching, which is a step-up from the Golf Boys (notably, Hunter Mahan) “rapping,” and most of the golfers keep most of their clothes on. Ultimately, I’d welcome another offering from Parnevik and company before a sequel to “Oh Oh Oh.”

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum. 

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  1. Freddie

    Oct 30, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Love to see this clip.

    He was one of my favorite Player when I started to watch Golf.

    Glad to see his dance in Korea!!!

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Opinion & Analysis

The History of Course Design is Yours to Play at Oglebay

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There is a much-talked about “New Golden Age” of golf course design underway that is driven by demand for ever-more spectacular courses at the top end of the resort golf market. Destinations such as Streamsong, Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links, Sand Valley and others provide the traveling golfer a spectacular golf experience; unfortunately, it comes at a price tag that is equally spectacular. When a week playing golf in Florida can cost as much as a week in Scotland, where do you go for a golf getaway that doesn’t require a second mortgage?

Oglebay Golf Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, doesn’t just provide an affordable golf vacation option; with its three golf courses, it provides players the chance to experience a condensed history of American golf course design through its three courses. The resort sits on land that was once owned by a wealthy industrialist and is now a part of the city park system. Located about an hour from Pittsburgh, Oglebay draws the majority of its golfers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. It’s kind of cool that when you drive to Oglebay from the Washington, D.C., you hit all of those states except Ohio, which is just a few minutes away from Wheeling. The area is especially picturesque in the autumn months when the changing colors of the leaves are at their peak.

The property has a rich history in the business and sporting history of West Virginia, but the three golf courses, Crispin, are a special prize that taken together form a primer on the history of golf design in the past 90 years. The 5,670-yard Crispin course is a one-off design by local golf enthusiast Robert Biery that was completed in 1930 and is a fascinating study of design techniques of that era. The slopes and elevation are severe and extreme by today’s standards. A clue was the raised eyebrow of the assistant pro when I said that I would walk the course. Uneven lies are the order of the day, the product of a time when there was neither the money nor equipment readily available to create gentle slopes and even surfaces; the course is true to the original contours of the West Virginia hillside.  There is little relief on the greens, which run a little slower than typical greens but make up for it in size and slope. It is by far the shortest of the three courses but the par-4 8th hole and par-5 9th holes are a thousand yards of joy and pain.

Hole No. 6 at the Klieves course

The Klieves Course is a 6,800-yard, par-71 Arnold Palmer design that was completed in 2000. The design features broad fairways, mildly undulating greens and opportunities for heroics on short par-4’s, all the prototypical characteristics of modern resort golf courses. While some architects choose to torture and torment, Palmer courses put a premium on fun and this one is no exception. The par-5, 515 yard 6th is a great example of the risk/reward available without that challenges the resort golfer without the need to humiliate. The course is very well maintained tee to green, and you’ll want to keep a fully charged battery to take photos of the vistas from the elevated tee boxes.

Hole No. 13 at the Jones course

In my humble opinion, the true gem is the Robert Trent Jones course. The 7,004-yard, par-72 Course carries a healthy 75.1 rating/141 slope from the back tees. It utilizes a gorgeous piece of land that meanders across the West Virginia hills to give a mesmerizing collection of holes that are equal parts scenery and challenge. Both nines start from elevated tee boxes hitting down into valleys that offer classic risk/reward propositions. Usually I have no problem identifying a favorite hole or two, but on this course it’s difficult. Having said that, the stretch of No. 4 (par 3, 193 yards), No. 5 (par-5, 511 yards) and No. 6 (par-4, 420 yards) are among the best I have played anywhere as a show of nature’s beauty and the at of laying out a golf hole. And the four par 3’s are not the place to pic up an easy birdie. The only one less that 190 yards from the tips is the 158-yard 15th, which is protected by a small, undulating green. All in all, it’s a perfect representation of the genius of Robert Trent Jones.

The golf is good at Oglebay and the prices are better. You can get in 18 at the Oglebay courses for as little as $32…on the weekend. And when you’re not playing golf, you can take advantage of the myriad of outdoor sports activities, tour the Oglebay mansion, hit the spa or visit the Glass Museum on the property (I promise it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds). There’s a lot of great new golf resorts out there and that’s a good thing for the golf industry, but destinations like Oglebay prove that there’s a lot of life left in the old classics as well.

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Podcasts

Two Guys Talkin’ Golf: “Are pro golfers actually underpaid?”

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Equipment expert Brian Knudson and GolfWRX editor Andrew Tursky argue whether PGA Tour players are actually underpaid or not. They also discuss Blades vs. Cavity backs, Jordan Spieth vs. Justin Thomas and John Daly’s ridiculous 142 mph clubhead speed.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

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Podcasts

Legend Rees Jones speaks on designing Danzante Bay in Mexico

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Hall-of-Fame golf course architect Rees Jones talks about his newest course design, Danzante Bay at Villa Del Palmar in Mexico. Also, Jeff Herold of TRS Luggage has an exclusive holiday discount offer for GolfWRX listeners!

Click here to listen on iTunes.

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