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Dear Tiger…

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Dear Tiger,

Earlier today, I heard the news you withdrew from the Northern Trust with a muscle strain. I hope that as you head home, you get some rest and feel better soon. I can imagine you’re probably disappointed in having to leave the tournament, but at the end of the day, feeling your best is way more important than trying to prove something that doesn’t need to be proven.

Speaking of proving things, don’t listen to the armchair doctors (unless your actual doctor is sitting in an armchair). Don’t worry about how the golf talking heads of the world will react. Don’t feel pressured to return early because of the Playoffs or the Presidents Cup. Do what you have to do on your timeline, to get to 100 percent—or as close as someone with as many back surgeries can be to 100 percent.

Growing up, I never missed watching a tournament you played in, and as an adult, my habits haven’t changed much. As much as I and others want to see you play every week, I realize that it’s just not possible. The travel, the walking, and workouts, the range time, they all take a toll that we, as regular golfers, will never truly understand.  I still remember only a few short years ago when you said you might never play again, and I was heartbroken. Not because I selfishly wanted to see you play, but because I hoped that current 10-year-old kids would have the chance to watch you in competition. Obviously, that wasn’t how the story ended, and I’m grateful as a golf fan for that.

When you drained the winning putt, walked off the 18th green at the Masters this year, and hugged your kids—just as your father hugged you—the golf world stood still. Golf fans once again appreciated what they had witnessed—a Tiger Woods major victory. Although not quite the same experience, it was pretty cool to be able to sit there with my wife and our child, just like my parents did with me in 1997.

As a 43-year-old guy with two kids, you have a lot of gas left in your tank – not for golf, maybe, but for actual life. Regardless of if we don’t see you make a swing for another month—or ever again in front of a camera—I just hope you get healthy. You have done so much for golf, professional golf, and even more for others thanks to your TGR Foundation—you have nothing left to prove to anyone.

Golf will go on and people will live their lives. My hope is the same as it was back in 2017 when it looked like you might never tee it up in competition again: you and your family you get to enjoy a healthy life.

 

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. The Dudeness

    Aug 17, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Serious Question; How can you write a letter like that about someone who is not part of your family,, if you dont live at my address,,, sorry!

  2. Niggy

    Aug 16, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Hookers & Blow

  3. AndIEvenLikeTiger

    Aug 15, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Sycophantic drivel.

  4. The Dudeness

    Aug 13, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Dear readers
    If your a parent and Tiger Woods is your child’s “Role Model” you have failed as a parent. A role model is some one you have an interaction with on a personal basis, not entertainers who you helped become rich and who will never be a part of your life.A role model is not someone who has affairs and then is arrested while driving under the influence of narcotics. And no, none of my role models are entertainers.

  5. The Dudeness

    Aug 13, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Are comments censored on this site?

  6. MW

    Aug 12, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Tiger should not be considered for any Ryder Cup or President Cup team for this very reason. I’m not sure he even would especially based on his play in the last Ryder cup and his age, but give the spots to those who are much healthier. At this point it’s hard not to think that the back issues are an easy out when he is playing bad.

  7. Salmonoid

    Aug 11, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    All you Tiger haters, two facts: 1) if you’re on tour and in the top 120, you’re a multimillionaire. He brought big purses to to game. 2) his record! Who’s on pace to beat his record? What say you?

    • JThunder

      Aug 14, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      So, you’re saying money and wins are all that count in a person? I don’t think anyone is disputing his record or his ridiculous bank account. His behavior on and off the course, and his very public personal choices are another matter. And, NO, you can’t have one without the other. You want a private life in the modern world, then don’t become rich or famous!

      • Pro Tip..

        Aug 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm

        I just came to laugh at all the tiger haters lol, you guys are silly and have no idea. “There are so many more people to talk about” Blah Blah Blah. They did the same thing for Jack until the end and will most defiantly do it with Tiger. Keep on hating chaps! You make me happy, its fun to read the moronic comments of you haters lol.

  8. Dustin Bush

    Aug 11, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Beautifully written, so warm, true love within those words!

  9. Jamie

    Aug 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Tiger has made golf journalism very boring and shallow. And those are who he has brought into the game: the boring and shallow types.

  10. R

    Aug 10, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Good rid

  11. Rascal

    Aug 10, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I hope Tiger has a nice retirement so that the dumbbells constantly whining about Tiger coverage all find something more productive to do with their vitriol.

    One can hope.

    • JThunder

      Aug 15, 2019 at 11:45 pm

      Absolutely, because consumers should have NO SAY in what they’re force-fed by the media!

  12. Matt

    Aug 9, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Well done. He has changed the game. We all want to see that greatness again. That is why TV covers Tiger. Ratings and ratings pay the bills. Get well Tiger, I want to see you play at Whistling Straits in 2020.

  13. Jeremy

    Aug 9, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Well written Ryan. Could not agree more.
    Thank you

  14. NoTalentLefty

    Aug 9, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Actually I think a healthy Tiger is still good for golf BUT he’s not healthy and the ones who called it are ostracized. Chamblee may not be PC but he was right on Tiger. When Tiger looked like he was back he knew it by observation. The players may hate him but he speaks as he sees it We need that kind of objective eye reporting on golf.

  15. JThunder

    Aug 9, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    There are better role models for 10-year-old kids to watch. Great golfers who don’t string together 10 expletives with every bad shot, or cheat on their wife (and kids’ mother) with 300 women.

    • Alex Taylor

      Aug 10, 2019 at 6:58 am

      Couldn’t agree more. I continue to be amazed at how many people fawn over Tiger. Just about the worst possible role model.

      • David Burlett

        Aug 11, 2019 at 1:24 pm

        And we all know you had a perfect life! Your just a hater, period!

        • Alex Taylor

          Aug 13, 2019 at 8:05 am

          Well, I’m not a hater but I do hate it when people are unable to use proper grammar…..”Your just a hater, period!”…..Really??? Try this next time: “You’re just a hater, period!” People whill taik yew moor ceereslee wen yoo yeus guud grammer.

    • Chris Leadbetter

      Aug 10, 2019 at 7:52 am

      And I bet you voted for our President

      • Alex Taylor

        Aug 10, 2019 at 9:38 am

        Nope……nice try.

      • Cody

        Aug 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

        I voted for this pres. And will miss tiger…

      • JThunder

        Aug 14, 2019 at 12:10 pm

        I hope you don’t mean me, as I most absolutely, certainly, vehemently did not.

    • Shaun

      Aug 11, 2019 at 2:17 am

      So your a famous celebrity with super models trying to get that notch . I’ve never cheated but I can solely say it would be damn hard as the most famous athlete on the planet for 20 years

    • Mike

      Aug 11, 2019 at 9:52 am

      Wow, still holding on to that? It’s been 10+ years ago. Enlighten us, how did Tiger’s philandering personally affect you to the point where you’re still ‘hating’? I didn’t like the Tiger ‘person’ back then but he’s been humbled so much that exactly what in his lifestyle now is “wrong”? He’s a single dad w/ back issues trying to get out & play golf. Sounds like millions of other guys. And regarding ‘role models for kids’, I’m my kid’s ‘role model'(as every dad s/b).

    • Sean

      Aug 11, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Tiger was the role model for most of these role models you speak of…

    • Brandon H

      Aug 12, 2019 at 8:40 am

      So should we all stop idolizing Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as well? While we’re at it, should we try and dig up all the dirt on all of our favorite players in every sport? People idolize him for his golf ability and philanthropy, not because of what he did/does in his personal life. He failed as a spouse, but by all accounts, he has been a great Dad. He is the GOAT for a reason.

      • JThunder

        Aug 15, 2019 at 11:43 pm

        So you believe that even young kids are smart enough – and/or their parents are engaged enough in their lives – that they carefully pick and choose which specific things about their “heroes” that they emulate, while carefully disregarding others?

        I can think of at least one major country where the leader’s followers are certainly spending a LOT of time (and ammunition) emulating the worst of his behaviors (and words).

        I wonder how many people making this argument for Tiger would accept the same argument about Ozzy Osbourne? Yeah, forget the decades of drugs and decapitated animals – he’s a talented signer and songwriter! Kids know the difference!

  16. No fan ????

    Aug 9, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I am also so sick of this Tiger ???? train, makes me sick he can be 7 shots back and the announcers say man if he can just birdie the last 8 holes he will when….give me a break. GWRX is also obsessed with Tiger , all this discussion about his decision to use lead tape on putter vs using a heavier putter. Believe me there’s a lot more exciting things in the golf world right now than TW ……smh

    • Monty Hall

      Aug 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm

      So let me get this straight, you are sick of Tiger talk on GolfWRX. So why are you here? My guess is you enjoy complaining about people that talk about Tiger on GolfWRX otherwise you would not be here. Remeber ignore the noise, focus on what you are interested in and everything else is “ghost”!

      • Aj

        Aug 9, 2019 at 9:55 pm

        No I’m just sick of the constant attention he is given while other golfers who are more deserving are ignored there is plenty of young talent on the tour without having to dwell on what he done 20 years ago move on

        • Brandon H

          Aug 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

          So are you mad that we still constantly talk about Michael Jordan? That’s what happens when you’re the GOAT, you get talked about FOREVER!!!!!

  17. Aj

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    I will be glad when he’s done for good I am so tired of hearing about tiger tiger tiger if he’s playing in the tournament you see the all of his shots whether or not he’s in last place or first when he’s not playing in the tournament you still hear tiger did there’s tiger did that here please retire

    • Manny Upshaw

      Aug 10, 2019 at 2:00 am

      There are only 4 majors a year he has won one of them but your tired of a winning golfer????

      • Aj

        Aug 10, 2019 at 9:24 am

        First major in 10 years and hopefully the last

  18. NICK

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    TIGER WOODS WILL WIN AGAIN!

  19. Golf al

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Thank Tiger

  20. JP

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Sucking up a little too much…

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Opinion & Analysis

The coveted FedEx Cup Top 30: Why making it to the Tour Championship really matters

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This week at the BMW Championship held at Medinah Golf Club in Chicago, the top 70 players left in the FedEx Cup Playoffs are looking to seal their spot in the top 30 and get to East Lake for the Tour Championship.

Not only does getting into the top 30 mean a chance at winning the FedEx Cup and a cool $15 million bonus for winning the event, but heading into the 2020 season, being in the top 30 comes with some big perks. This top 30 threshold allows players the opportunity to build their schedules around the biggest event in golf.

Let’s take a look at what punching a ticket to East Lake really gets you

  •  An automatic invitation into every major in 2020: The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open Championship. For many players qualifying for these events, especially The Masters in a lifelong dream.
  • Invitation to all the WGC Events: There are only a few event on tour that get you an automatic paycheck and FedEx Cup points. Being eligible for the WGCs shows that you are a world-class player, and with these events on the schedule, you don’t have to worry about qualifying through world rankings.
  • Invitation to all limited field events: This includes the Genesis Invitational (formerly Genesis Open / LA Open), The Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial, and The Players Championship.

If a player was to play every one of the qualified events that would put them at 12 events for the season—to maintain a card for the next year a player has to play in at least 15 events. If you conclude that many of these are also winners and will play in the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii that would put the players at 13 events.

This is why being in the top 30 is such a vital line in the proverbial sand—it gives these top players the ability to pick and choose their schedules for the 2019/2020 season without the stress of worrying about what events they are in. Although not to the same extent, this is also why every cutoff is so crucial for each player, whether it be the PGA Tour top 125, PGA Tour 125-150, or those players that gained their cards through the Korn Ferry Tour. Every dollar and every point earned accumulates towards playing opportunities for the next season!

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Opinion & Analysis

WRX Q&A: NewClub’s Matt Considine

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A friend of a friend pointed me to NewClub’s website. Having never heard anything about the effort previously, my first impression of NewClub was a product of its homepage, which looks something like (OK, exactly like) this.

“Sounds great,” I thought. “But what the heck does all of this mean practically?”

To get the answer to that question, I got in touch with founder and CEO Matt Considine, who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the venture.

GolfWRX: Let’s start with a little bit about your background in golf…

Matt Considine: As Lebron likes to say “I’m just a kid from Akron” and like many Midwestern kids, I’ve loved playing games with my friends, especially the game of golf. I grew up working and playing at area clubs, munis, and driving ranges. I always had a club in my hands — my mom will attest to all the divots in her carpet and repaired windows in our house. My first internship in college was with IMG Sports in Cleveland and that was my first formal introduction to the golf industry.

WRX: How did arrive at the concept for NewClub?

MC: Golf societies have been around since 1744, so I’m not sure I can take credit for conceiving anything. We took an old idea and made it new again, something that would mesh with the life of a modern golfer.

The first time I was introduced to a golf society was in 2005, and I haven’t been able to shake the concept since. Like many people I’ve talked to, I was burnt out and frustrated with golf, so I quit my college team and shipped off that summer to study at University College Cork in Ireland for 9 months.

I left to get away from golf but it was my experiences in Ireland that introduced me to a whole new way of enjoying the game. After getting laughed off Cork’s Hurling team (Ireland’s native sport) they found out I could play a little bit of golf and offered me a spot on the club team (league rules permitted one American per squad). My dad shipped my clubs over and I was back in business. Because their University teams operated on a lean budget, we would play matches against local societies and clubs in between the college matches to keep the competition sharp. It was those matches and people I met that taught me a whole new way to look at, appreciate, and enjoy the game of golf. It was a miraculous blessing looking back on it now.

Fast forward 10 years, I was living in Chicago working in business development for a technology company. I kept meeting people who were self-proclaimed “golfers,” but not playing much golf. So a small group of friends took a trip over to Scotland where we had an especially enlightening experience playing the Old Course and hanging out at The New Golf Club of St. Andrews after our match.

It was our experience there that was the final spark that NewClub needed. We enjoyed our lunch while The New Golf Club members file through the entrance, four golfers at a time to reminisce about their game on one of the seven links courses available to them through the St. Andrews Links Trust and their golf society membership.

We met teachers, bankers, architects, grocers, police officers, accountants, and fishermen. We heard stories about legendary members like Tom Morris and Sandy Herd. The New Golf Club of St. Andrews is a magical place where any golfer in their community, anyone in good standing with a passion for the game could make their golfing home.

When I returned to Chicago from that second pilgrimage in May of 2015, I decided it was time to start enjoying golf again. Just like the way I used to as a kid, the way those clubs and societies did in Ireland, and the way those members did at The New Golf Club of St. Andrews. That summer I started a standing game every Saturday at any compelling course I could find and my golf society was born. Then in 2017, we made NewClub official with 50 founding members and 5 clubs in Chicago willing to host the society.

Matt Considine

WRX: What’s happened since launch and where you are now?

MC: The society has grown to over 300 members and we have relationships with over 50 private clubs and golf courses that we find fun and compelling places to play the game. We have standing tee times every Wednesday to Sunday throughout the golf season and host five tournaments and three trips every year. Next Spring, we have our first NewClub trip scheduled to back to Scotland.

We’ve also introduced an ambassador program for people from all around the country. It’s been amazing how many people we’ve met who are eager for something like this in their own community, a golf society that they can genuinely be proud of.

WRX: Anything more about what members are saying and what the feedback is been like?

MC: In a lot of ways, we’ve set up this really unique society golf experiment, so we’re not afraid to try new things and see how people respond. Our members have been incredibly helpful with feedback. We’ve been listening a lot, watching how they use the mobile app, how they play their golf, learning about things they need, things they don’t. It all has helped us get to where we are now.

Overall, we’ve found that people have enjoyed the access and discovery of new and exciting courses, but the more pleasant surprise has been how much our members enjoy meeting new people and playing with each other. Nobody ever thinks (or admits) that they need golf buddies. But what we’ve found is that people are far more likely to play a round if they know they’ll be playing with someone they actually want to play with.

We’ve also learned that match play is very unappreciated in our country. Members love the matches, and match play is one of our core principles at NewClub.

WRX: What’s next for NewClub?

MC: We have plans for our second market launch in 2020 and will continue to grow our ambassador program to show us the road ahead. People are starting to stand up and say “this is how I want to experience golf,” so we know there is a serious need out there and we want to make sure we are meeting the demand by growing in the right way.

WRX: What do prospective members need to know?

MC: We have a really straightforward and proprietary application process on our website. Every prospective member needs to complete the application before being considered for membership. We look for applicants who possess a high quality of character, passion, and respect for the game of golf, and always leave the course in better shape than they found it.

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Opinion & Analysis

Slow play is all about the numbers

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If you gather round, children, I’ll let you in on a secret: slow play is all about the numbers. Which numbers? The competitive ones. If you compete at golf, no matter the level, you care about the numbers you post for a hole, a round, or an entire tournament. Those numbers cause you to care about the prize at the end of the competition, be it a handshake, $$$$, a trophy, or some other bauble. Multiply the amount that you care, times the number of golfers in your group, your flight, the tournament, and the slowness of golf increases by that exponent.

That’s it. You don’t have to read any farther to understand the premise of this opinion piece. If you continue, though, I promise to share a nice anecdotal story about a round of golf I played recently—a round of golf on a packed golf course, that took a twosome exactly three hours and 10 minutes to complete, holing all putts.

I teach and coach at a Buffalo-area high school. One of my former golfers, in town for a few August days, asked if we could play the Grover Cleveland Golf Course while he was about. Grover is a special place for me: I grew up sneaking on during the 1970s. It hosted the 1912 U.S. Open when it was the Country Club of Buffalo. I returned to play it with Tom Coyne this spring, becoming a member of #CitizensOfACCA in the process.

Since my former golfer’s name is Alex, we’ll call him Alex, to avoid confusion. Alex and I teed off at 1:30 on a busy, sunny Wednesday afternoon in August. Ahead of us were a few foursomes; behind us, a few more. There may have been money games in either place, or Directors’ Cup matches, but to us, it was no matter. We teed it high and let it fly. I caught up on Alex’ four years in college, and his plans for the upcoming year. I shared with him the comings and goings of life at school, which teachers had left since his graduation, and how many classrooms had new occupants. It was barroom stuff, picnic-table conversation, water-cooler gossip. Nothing of dense matter nor substance, but pertinent and enjoyable, all the same.

To the golf. Neither one of us looked at the other for permission to hit. Whoever was away, at any given moment, mattered not a bit. He hit and I hit, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes within an instant of the other. We reached the putting surface and we putted. Same pattern, same patter. Since my high school golfers will need to choose flagstick in or out this year, we putted with it in. Only once did it impact our roll: a pounded putt’s pace was slowed by the metal shaft. Score one for Bryson and the flagstick-in premise!

Grover tips out around 5,600 yards. After the U.S. Open and the US Public Links were contested there, a healthy portion of land was given away to the Veteran’s Administration, and sorely-needed hospital was constructed at the confluence of Bailey, Lebrun, and Winspear Avenues. It’s an interesting track, as it now and forever is the only course to have hosted both the Open and the Publinx; since the latter no longer exists, this fact won’t change. It remains the only course to have played a par-6 hole in U.S. Open competition. 480 of those 620 yards still remain, the eighth hole along Bailey Avenue. It’s not a long course, it doesn’t have unmanageable water hazards (unless it rains a lot, and the blocked aquifer backs up) and the bunkering is not, in the least, intimidating.

Here’s the rub: Alex and I both shot 75 or better. We’re not certain what we shot, because we weren’t concerned with score. We were out for a day of reminiscence, camaraderie, and recreation. We golfed our balls, as they say in some environs, for the sheer delight of golfing our balls. Alex is tall, and hits this beautiful, high draw that scrapes the belly of the clouds. I hit what my golfing buddies call a power push. It gets out there a surprising distance, but in no way mimics Alex’ trace. We have the entire course covered, from left to right and back again.

On the 14th tee, I checked my phone and it was 3:40. I commented, “Holy smokes, we are at two hours for 13 holes.” We neither quickened nor slowed our pace. We tapped in on 18, right around 4:40, and shook hands. I know what he’s been up to. He understands why I still have a day job, and 18 holes of golf were played—because we both cared and didn’t care.

There you have it, children. Off with you, now. To the golf course. Play like you don’t care.

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