Better Than Caffeine



Christina Applegate turns 44 today. 34-24-35. American actress. 

Married With Children, Up All Night, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

First appeared on television as an infant in a commercial for disposable diapers. She and Bruce Willis are the only two actors to have guest starred in Friends (1994) and win an Emmy for their performance. 

"Every single kid in my group of friends at school was from a single-parent family."

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday. 

USGA Doesn't Help Its Cause With Solo Golf Handicap Explanation


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Yesterday, the USGA caused a firestorm of debate after announcing that solo round scores will now have to be verified in order to post for handicaps. The overwhelming votes sided on USGA officials losing their collective minds.

So, the governing body announced their clarifying reasons for the change (as posted by The result was it didn't help matters at all. For a group that incessently talks about growing the game, their heads appear firmly plugged into the sand when making rules that quite honestly make many avid golfers less motivated to tee it up.

What a cluster...

As long as someone accompanies the player during the round (e.g., fellow competitor, opponent, caddie, marker for a tournament, friend riding along in a cart) the player is not playing alone.

How many holes can a player play alone to post the score?

The player must be accompanied for at least seven holes for a nine-hole score or 13 holes for 18-hole score. 

This is consistent with Section 5-1 and the minimum number of holes played under the Rules of Golf.

For the holes played alone (not accompanied), the player would treat these as not played under the Rules of Golf and post according to “par plus” any handicap strokes the player is entitled to receive.

Yeah, that makes it a whole lot clearer. All it does is muddy the already murky waters. 

Now, one way to help an asinine situation is weighting the scores differently. Tournament play scores currently count double than normal rounds (stricter rules, putt everything out etc). Maybe count solo rounds as one weight, group rounds and tournament rounds more?

At least the Golf Canada officials decided not to join the confused herd

Anyway, I'd be sure to listen to the Teebox Golf Show Saturday morning from 8-10:30 on Sportsradio 1310, the Ticket as Craig Rosengarden and our AG publisher Travis Measley will no doubt have hot sports opinions on an idea gone horribly wrong...

A Very Sad Story About A Once Proud Golf Course


Cedar Crest

Craig tipped me off to this revealing Robert Wilonski article about a rough situation with Cedar Crest GC in Dallas

I've spoken many times with course GM Ira McGraw over the years and have found him to be an excellent upstanding guy. You have to feel for his plight as he tries to keep the course alive while not taking a salary to help pay his employees.

Suffice to say it's all an unfortunate mess for a course that once hosted the 1927 PGA Championship. 

The course, remade in D.A. Weibring’s image in 2004 at the cost of $3 million, already needs a makeover. It was scheduled to take place this year, necessitating the closure of the course. McGraw was ready to pack it up for the seven busiest months of the season when the city auditor’s discovered the Park and Recreation Department mishandled the contract.

By then, it was too late to salvage the season. Too much business had been chased away; so too golfers who left surveys informing McGraw that his were some of the worst greens in the city’s municipal golf system. McGraw says he stopped paying himself a while ago in order to cover payroll.

He’s “living off savings, cash reserves, debt,” says McGraw, who, like all of the city’s golf pros, is paid via a revenue-sharing deal.

“It’s difficult to run an operation when a core of the golfers think you’re closed and another 30 percent don’t want to play because they think you’re a subpar product,” McGraw said. “Golfers have gone elsewhere, even though, hopefully, they plan on coming back. It’s been a disappointing year.”

Jenkins said the city is trying to find a way to compensate McGraw, who’s been shorted by a mediocre course that’s only getting worse and a contracting blunder.

“If I have to pay 16 employees and chose between paying them or myself, it’s not even an option,” he said.

“That’s part of the responsibility. People look to you when you’re the leader. That’s what I have to do. But we need to get this over with. … We’ve been building this business for 10 years, and it’s been hard. We’re supposed to be at the part of this agreement where we’re seeing the fruits of our labor, and instead, we’ve gone backwards.” 


Better Than Caffeine



Katherine Heigl
 turns 37. 34-26-34. American actrss. 

Grey's Anatomy, Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth, Life As We Know It

Started out as a child model. Played the cello in High School. Admits that one of her worst vices is being a smoker. Voted as #1 in 2008's "Top 99 sexiest women in the world" poll. Current salary is $15 million per movie. 

"I pride myself on being kind. But that's not to say there aren't moments when I'm a diva. Everybody has bad moments."


USGA Says Scores Won't Count Towads Handicap When Playing Alone


Big -Divot

In a move that brings more questions than answers, the USGA announced they will no longer allow golfers to post scores to their handicaps when playing alone.

The game revoles around honesty and integrity, so will this ultimately ruin any hopeful progress to grow the game? And what about those quick escape rounds to circumvent the dwindling availability of free time?

One thing is for can say so long to "vanity" handicaps. 

To further support the key [USGA Handicap] System premise of peer review, scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes. This change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores)

Might be time to rethink this one...One of the main allures for club members is the ability to play alone given the less crowded courses. I'm betting some significant blowback on this.

As always, the honest golfers will be just fine. The handicap criminals will continue cheating no matter what.

I think there's better time spent focusing on slow play, scaling back the length of courses and addressing drought restrictions etc., rather than poking around at an issue that doesn't appear to be one. 

Bottom line: Any rounds played these days are essential for the game. Assessing restrictions flies in the face of any "grow the game" rhetoric.


How Kevin Kisner Bet It All To Be PGA Tour Winner


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It's nice to see when good things happen to good people. Just going off the congratulatory Tweets from fellow players, Kevin Kisner is well liked and respected by his peers after winning the RSM Classic. 

However, the backstory on is even better. Kisner's game needed help. Big help. So Kisner hired a swing coach to completely dismantle his swing to hopefully achieve the greatness he believed was right there for the taking. 

Before the 2014-’15 wraparound season, the Aiken, S.C., native’s PGA Tour career consisted of 38 made cuts (his best finish a T-6 at the 2014 Wells Fargo) and 37 he missed. But now, at 31, the former Georgia All-American has arrived. At the RSM Classic, Kisner put together one flawlessly compact swing after another for 72 holes, including back-to-back 64s on the weekend, to win his first PGA Tour event. The Sea Island ball-striking clinic followed four runner-up finishes (including three playoff losses) in his past 19 events that had taken him from 254th in the world as late as April, to 25th.

It’s been a hard road. At 5-10, 165 pounds, Kisner was plagued by short and crooked driving (never averaging more than 288 yards and mired in the bottom half of the tour in fairways hit). Though a good putter, his place far down the list of the ball-striking stats had relegated him to journeyman status.

The turning point came on a Friday evening in August 2013 after missing the cut in Omaha on the Tour. Discouraged, he called Tillery, who teaches Kisner’s longtime friend, Aiken neighbor and fellow tour pro Scott Brown. Kisner boldly told Tillery, “Just get me to hit it better, because I think I can win out there.”

“What Kiz understood is that if you’re 200th in the world, and you want to become a top-20 player, sorry, that’s going to hurt,” the instructor says. “Nobody goes into a gym and asks a bodybuilder for a tip. Once I explained the plan, and he agreed with it, he hasn’t looked at other tips, hasn’t tinkered, and has stayed the course.”

This season, Kisner is fourth on tour in total driving (bolstered by an increase in distance reflected in an aberrational but impressive average of 316 yards), and his swing has been singled out by Gary Player and a growing numbers of television analysts as one of the best in golf.

“Six months in, you had to look hard to see a difference,” Tillery says. “But now, after 2½ years, the difference is dramatic. His process was good. If it hadn’t have been, he wouldn’t have changed.” 

Kiz is now ranked 17th in the world. That's a big change from 254th as late as last April.

Sometimes betting with nothing to lose pays huge dividends. Good for him.  


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Scarlett Johansson
 turned 31 yesterday. 36-25-36. Danish bombshell actress

Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige, Iron Man 2

Nominated for three Golden Globe awards. She says her only vice is cheese. Once married to actor Ryan Reynolds. Was ranked #7 on Askmen's Top 99 Most Desirable Women of 2011. 

"I always check in the mirror to make sure nothing is see-through."



Caddies Show Their Broadcasting Chops


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In the past, golf networks primarily used out of work caddies as spotters for club selection relayed to announcers. Thankfully, GolfChannel’s experiment to use veteran caddies as on-course commentators was highly successful to many viewers. Jim “Bones” Mackay (Phil Mickelson’s caddie) and John “Woody” Wood (currently looping for Matt Kuchar after nine years with Hunter Mahan) offered sage and unique insight compared to the current set of talking heads.

They obviously know the courses intimately and more importantly, were able to seamlessly convey pre-shot strategies and outcomes with engaging humor. That’s no small feat as the constant blabber in the headsets is a daunting challenge for rookie announcers. 

It was refreshing to hear Wood admit caddies will occasionally “lie” to their bosses on yardage to best leave shots in opportunistic areas (rather than argue with the golfer on club selection). Good idea and I too hope more caddies are given the chance to show their broadcasting chops.


Rory Gets Smart About Extracurricular Activities


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Rory McIlroy won the Race to Dubai Sunday--his third in four years. He won four times overall but didn't add to his four majors. 

With that backdrop, McIlroy says it's time to get serious the next 10-15 years in order to maximize his potential. Meaning, no more soccer

"You definitely can't be complacent," McIlroy told BBC Sport after the victory in the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday that completed his Race to Dubai defence.

"I had a big lead in the world rankings and you see Jordan and Jason play the way they did. Fields are so deep, you can't let up at all.

"Tagging along with that, you know, this is my time to capitalise on my career. The next 10, 15 years is my time.

"I really can't be doing silly things like playing football in the middle of the season to jeopardise even six months of my career. It's a big chunk where I could make some hay and win a major or two.

"I won't be making those mistakes again next year."

Jordan Spieth, Rory and Jason Day are separated by less than a half-point in World Rankings. Thankfully, it appears all three will be playing on all cylinders too. 


Better Than Caffeine


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Nadine Velazquez turns 37. 34-24-34. Puerto Rican/American actress and model.

Flight, The League, My Name Is Earl, Snitch, War, Major Crimes

Graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with BA in marketing. In 2005, she was offered a role in Prison Break, but then landed another in Earl and opted for that instead. Although her character was initially supposed to be Russian, the producers rewrote the part for her. 

"I hate rollercoasters!"

Enjoy the weekend. 


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