The inspiration behind Phil Mickelson’s dance moves

Remember this Phil Mickelson dance video and how he explained his favourite dance move to Amanda Ballonis of the Golf Channel? He especially liked the layback movement.

By great fortune, because it is so entertaining, I have discovered the inspiration behind Phil’s choreography. Phil’s favourite move is in there and the singer does bear a passing resemblance to Phil, if he were to dye his hair.

Enjoy watching the pride of Finland, Danny and Arnmi and the dancers who are dressed like golfers.

I Wanna Love You Tender is definitely the inspiration behind the Mickelson videos.

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Tiger tribute at St Andrews

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Name the World Rankings players for each year

Found on quiz site sporcle.com, if you’re really at a loose end before golf starts again, fill out the top 10 players for each year of the World Golf rankings.

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Returning to golf in England: Advice from England Golf on what you can do and when

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Players turn out in red and black to show support for Tiger

Players across all tours and greenkeeping staff are wearing red shirts and black trousers, Tiger Woods traditional Sunday wear to show support. Tiger is now recuperating at a new hospital, Cedars Sinai, in Los Angeles,

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“There’s a cosmic reason for Tiger’s accident” You Tube psychics react

Bear with me, I’ll get to the golf part in a minute. One of the biggest growth areas on You Tube during the last American President’s presidency was in the realm of psychics, astrologers and tarot card readers. So many of them trying to decypher what on earth was going on in America and would it all be allright in the end? I happened on these by chance and some were so very entertaining. I beame an “intrepid viewer” of Tarot Down Under mainly because Australian sociologist Dr Lena Rodruigez didn’t mince her words. One of the politer names she called the ex-President was The Yeti, Boris Johnson being Yeti Two…

One of the most original of these readers is Englishman Cash Peters who lives in the United States. He draws what he sees, and does a fair impression of comedian Charlie Drake “Hello my dar-lings”.

Cash decided to draw the pictures of Tiger Woods, despite having zero interest in sport.

Here’s he first picture. Cash will explain.

” There was a door and Tiger grabbed the handle. “This is where I am going I’m definitely going through this door. Open sesame!”

He pulled and tugged but the door wouldn’t budge, Eventually he had to give up.

Instead he had to follow a path round the door to get to where he wanted to be which was a happy, sunlit plain.

I looked behind the door to see what was there and behind it was a reservoir of dung. If Tiger had opened the door he would have been smothered in dung.

Not being able to open the door was Tiger’s higher self going “I’m not going to let you. I’m going to carry on doing things to stop you opening that door – your back, your legs, your ankle, and the more you try, the more obstacles I’ll put in your way, The struggle is fruitless. Infinite intelligence is working for your greater good.

So between Tiger and the sunny plain is a sheer drop. Which way will he go, that way or this? The only way to get to where he wants is by following one of the paths.

The path to the left is very thin, If he clung to the rock, with tenacity he could just get there.

Or he could listen to what the universe is saying and take the thicker, easier path around and down and it would lead him into sunlight and the plain. A new path without all the stress and strain.

The human can only do so much, the cosmos is in charge of the rest.

Let go of the door Tiger.

For entertainment purposes only.

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Tiger Woods: Lucky To Be Alive

I was writing this post about Tiger under a different title when the dreadful news about his involvement in the car crash in Los Angeles came in. His agent, Mark Steinberg said that Tiger had surgery for multiple leg injuries. Another car crash, the third. .

If this latest challenge does finish Tiger’s career at 45 years old, you might like to read to the end and see how recent research from Golf Digest says definitively that Tiger Woods is the greatest tournament player of all time. He has many more wins than Sam Snead, they arent tied on equal footing. Honours even then – Jack Nicklaus has the most majors, and Tiger has more wins.

On Tuesday night Woods released a statement on his Twitter feed describing the “long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle.” In the accident, Dr. Anish Mahajan said, Woods fractured “upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones.” He also sustained “additional injuries to the bones in his foot and ankle,” as well as “trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg.”

“I can say it was fortunate that Mr. Woods came out of this alive,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy Carlos Gonzales, who first approached Woods in his car and spoke with him but, noting his injuries, waited for fire department personnel to extricate him.

The fragility of life, even for the greatest of all time.

This is what I was writing at the time.

“Good to see Tiger Woods back last week even if just as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC.

Asked on TV if he would be ready to play by The Masters Tiger replied “God, I hope so,”

Tiger had a microdiscectomy Dec. 23. It was the fifth surgery on his back, and the first since a procedure to fuse his lower spine in April 2017.

“I’m feeling fine,” Woods said. “I’m a little bit stiff. I have one more MRI scheduled so that we’ll see if the annulus (fibrosus) is scarred over finally and see if I can start doing more activities. But still in the gym, still doing the mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab, the little things before I can start gravitating towards something a little more.”

“There’s no timetable for coming back, I have to be very careful getting out of bed, tying shoes. I’ve been strengthening my core”.

Woods has not played since he joined his 11-year-old son Charlie at the PNC Challenge a few days before his surgery.

“I don’t know what the plan is,” he said when asked if he would try to play before the Masters.

Why would Tiger want to come back? He has done everything except reach the magic 19 major championships to exceed the 18 of Jack Nicklaus, and he equals Sam Snead’s record of 82 tournament wins. Perhaps that’s the motivation. To beat Sam Snead’s record and become the Greatest of all time in wins on the PGA Tour.

But, with all credit to Alex Myers of Golf Digest, records show Tiger’s already beaten Slamming Sammy’s record by a long way. Here’s how.

Some of Sam Snead’s tournament wins don’t match up to today’s standards.

The 1937 Crosby tournament was shortened to 18 holes because of weather. There were three 36 hole triumphs -today the PGA Tour only counts 54 hole curtailed tournaments as official.

The 1946 World Championship of Golf had only 4 players in the field. 5 other victories had 16 or fewer players and 5 were team events.

So, to level the playing field

Tiger had five victories in the Hero World Challenge which haven’t been counted. Although only 18 players in the field, the last time it was played 16 of the top 23 in the world.

He has 7 wins in the Grand Slam of Golf a 36 hole event of 4 golfers (compare with Snead who won the 1946 World Championship of Golf against 3 oponents).

Two team titles in the World Cup of Golf 1999 and 2000 with Mark O’Meara and David Duval.

On this basis of parity Tiger has 95 wins.

Tiger Woods is definitively the Greatest Golfer of all time.

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Max Homa’s wife says the right thing

Max Homa came off the 18th green at Riviera on Sunday after missing a three foot putt to win and had to go to a play off with Tony Finau. He called his wife Lacey on his way to the first playoff hole and told her that he had choked.

She gave succinct advice. “Forgive Quickly”.

Homa is a rather self deprecating player, the words got through to him. He survived an adventurous playoff to win at the second hole. This included being almost stymied against a tree and having to hit a 50 degree wedge through thick kikuyu grass to get to the green.

It was an impressive show of mental resillience. It reminded me of Bernhard Langer in his prime overcoming putting yips and bouncing back from some terrible missrs. All the technique in the world, hard work and practice, if the attitude isn’t right it remains the missing piece.

Two simple words. We all need to forgive our misses in life and on the golf course, and forgive them quickly so we can recover and move on. Good advice for any golfer.

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Another male only golf product

Following on from outing newsagents WH Smith on social media for displaying golf magazines in their “Men’s Interests” section – which I’m pleased to see they no longer do, I have found another “single sex golf product”.

We are still in lockdown in the UK but we are lucky to still have Garden Centres open and trading. A trip to the local Garden Centre becomes a rare outing. People dress up in their best clothes, put make up on and inspect every last item in the shop to make the outing the most enjoyable thing they’ll experience that week.

So inspecting all the weird and wonderful things amongst the plants and flowers, basically quite a lot of tat, my eyes fixed on this product above.

A collapsable putting set to keep in your office drawer, in case you have a spare moment for a putt between meetings.

And how was it branded? “Chap’s Delight. Really Useful Gifts For Gentlemen”.

The assumption being that only men play golf.

A drawing of a man using the putter. References to a high powered CEO in films wearing red braces shouting about mergers.

Who wrote this copy? Someone who has never played golf, only knows cliches about it, makes assumptions and sticks this on the packet “Chap’s Delight” meaning a “gentleman” will be chuffed to get it as a gift.

I bought it, me a female, and not as a present to delight a chap.

Giving the company £24.99 for it. It was rather cheaply constructed. So I took the three parts and stuck them in the pots of the three plants that I had bought so they could grow against the putter.

I wasn’t going to use it. I’m not a chap, therefore according to this company I do not play golf, only men do.

Back to the drawing board this company. You are perpetuating the faulty image of golf.

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LGBT+ Month: In golf better to be a woman than a man

This month is also LGBT+ month. I thought about this when I looked at the LPGA’s home page and saw a picture of a double bride wedding of a tour player and her female caddie.

I then saw an article about the only Formula One driver who ever came out and thought that is exactly the same in golf.

Why is it that there are so many openly gay players in the women’s game, but not in the men’s? 

I asked a top professional this some years ago. He replied  “there are no gay players on tour, it would be very difficult for them if there were”. 

Golf in the men’s game doesn’t accurately reflect society with an estimated 10% of the population identifying as LGBT+. So it is possible that there may be a few, but if so, they are in deep cover. To date only one PGA Tour player, Tadd Fujikowa, has come out.

Nevertheless there have been two instances where the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have stepped in and dealt with people who made homophobic slurs. So there is acknowledgement that the gay community be respected.

In 2014 PGA of America President Ted Bishop was sacked for making two remarks on social media about Ian Poulter behaving “like a little girl”. Although at the time it was referred to as a derogatory remark, it implies that Poulter was behaving in an effeminate way, so it is also something else.

And this year Justin Thomas lost sponsors after being heard on a greenside television microphone at the Sentry Tournament of Champions calling himself a homophobic word after he missed a putt.

Two quite different scenarios – one was directed at someone, the other called himself something. But the implication was the same, effeminacy and being a homosexual is not ok. What was said was never ok.

Justin Thomas apologised immediately and owned up:

“It’s not a word that I use, but for some reason it was in there. I’m going to figure out why it was in there”.

Not trying to justify what he did but questioning, was that really homophobic or was it really about the act of swearing? It may be that it wasn’t “in there” for any other reason than the word had a satisfying sound to berate himself with. Perhaps he just didn’t think about what he said. Golfers do need a substitute – a groan, grunt, agggh, – but don’t attach words to the sound, when the swear words can be hate words, violent slurs, or sexual words, or words to describe the man’s nether reasons, so often heard on golf courses when shots don’t go to plan.

But that particular word has most hurtful and disrespectful connotations for a gay person. And professional athletes as role models that shouldn’t give out the message to the world that it’s ok to use that word and the word spreads by acceptance.

I digress. Because the point really is, why is it that female gay professional golfers are widely accepted so that there is an almost cultural association? This blog has chronicled some of my own experiences on my long golf journey, but one that I found hard to laugh off was this. A man once thought it was funny to speak to me thus:

“You like golf. Youse one of them dykes on spikes then? Ha ha ha ha ha”

The triple whammy of sexist, homophobic and ungrammatical. I calmly answered him truthfully. 

“I also like the Eurovision Song Contest. But I am still straight”.

But for those who are gay amateur golfers in the UK there are three golf societies where they can play alongside other LGBT+ players – the Girls In Golf Society, the Irons Society, both London and South East based, and the BLAGGS society in Brighton.

To return to professional golf, when David Feherty declared to Brandt Snedeker on his TV programme that “there are no gay golfers on tour” Snedeker denied it. “I don’t believe that at all. I don’t think that a gay golfer is going to be that big of a deal, it’s not going to affect my life”. Perhaps not but it’s going to be a very big deal for the male professional who comes out and will affect his life going forward.

When Tadd Fujikowa, did finally declare himself gay, he was commended for his “inspirational bravery” but his coming out statement on Instagram is actually sad to read.

“I look forward to the day we can all live without feeling like we’re different and excluded… Pretending, hiding, hating who I was, afraid of what others would think. I’ve struggled with my mental health”.

Where is Tadd now? We never see him on television, certainly he has kept a very low profile since.

In 72 jurisdictions around the world it is still a criminal offence to be a LGBT+ person in a same sex relationship. In 11 of those countries the death penalty applies. One of these countries is Saudi Arabia where the Saudi International golf tournament was held three weeks ago. Another difficulty for any male pro who willingly comes out, he certainly couldn’t have any association with the tournament with its enormous prize fund or anything tomdo with its sponsors. The bottom line for not coming out is clear. There is too much money at stake, too much to lose. So the closet door stays firmly shut.

This is the one scenario in golf where it is much better to be a woman than a man. There is more acceptance, more freedom to be oneself, more liberation. And that’s something for the men to think about.

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