After more than a few years of requests, I have agreed to come back with Chip Shots. This column appeared in a newsletter we did for around eight to 10 years that covered what was happening at CBT and at some of the companies for whom we are a distributor. In Chip Shots, I wrote about golf and what was happening in the golf world. Fortunately, now I have the assistance of our marketing staff and their talents. We are anxious to hear your feedback!
A lot has happened in the last few years in the world of golf. I will not rehash a lot of “old” news, but I will bring you up-to-date on some of the great players and where they are today.
Undoubtedly, we have all witnessed the rise and fall of Tiger Woods. Is he back? I think the jury is still out. He is now almost 40 years old, and his body has taken a real beating from several knee surgeries and maybe a bit too much physical training.
Tiger still possess great talent, but his short game has become very suspect. His swing is now under the care of his fourth teacher. Many speculate he never should have left his first (Butch Harmon), but Tiger’s ego interfered with his judgement.
Many golf writers and admirers speculated Tiger would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship wins. He has 14, but, personally, I do not think it will happen. Between his physical condition and the advent of so many great young players like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, it will be a tough uphill climb.
I am not one to claim that Tiger’s successor has arrived, but when you examine what Rory McIlroy has accomplished, he certainly has the talent and ability. He will win many major championships.
What about Jordan Spieth? He won the Masters this year and several tour tournaments. He has great talent and is only 21 years old. Let’s give him a little more time to prove himself.
Besides Rory and Jordan, there have been many new young faces at the winner’s table in the last four to five years, like Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, and Adam Scott. Many comment that Tiger’s absence has been good for the PGA Tour. These new faces with a mixture of veterans like Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and Bubba Watson, have been exciting for those that follow the PGA Tour.
The Summer Tests
As we enter the summer months, we will soon have a good opportunity to test the new young players, like Rory, against the veterans and Tiger. The US Open Championship takes place at Chambers Bay in Washington and the British Open will be played at the Old Course in St. Andrews in July. In August, the PGA Championship returns to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. These are all very difficult golf courses.
Rory will be a favorite, but he does not have a lock on winning any or all of the tournaments as evidenced by his play at the BMW PGA European Championship a few weeks ago in London. After winning the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, N.C., by six strokes, he failed to make the cut in London.
I think there will be some exciting play at these major championships this summer. There may be some real surprises. Stay tuned.
P.S. Rory missed the cut at the Irish Open he was hosting on the European Tour last weekend. Golf can always bring one back to the real world.