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Moecat last won the day on March 13 2010

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  1. http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/10964181/rick-reilly-lesson-phil-mickelson Phil Mickelson doesn't share the Claret Jug with just anybody. RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- Does Phil Mickelson give lessons? "No," he said. "And if I did, my rate might be a little steep." Reportedly, he gets half a million dollars for a corporate day of golf, schmooze, dinner and speech. That works out to something like $65,000 an hour. So a half-hour lesson would be, what, $25,000, with the media discount? What did I care? I was quitting. Me: Great. I'll expense it. Pause. "OK. Come on down." I did want a lesson, but not just on golf. What's not to learn? Mickelson seems to have somehow cornered the market on happiness. He has a bucket of sunshine for a wife, three gorgeous kids, $48 million per year coming in (according to Forbes), 51 worldwide wins, five majors, a jet, a compound the size of Rhode Island, a clean arrest record, and an optimism that would floor Little Orphan Annie. He met me at his house, which is not like your house. His house is more like a Spanish village with Winged Foot attached. Outside his front door he has four chipping greens, a lavish putting green with every kind of putt you can think of, and a tee box where he can hit drivers up to 450 yards, usually in flip-flops. He might have the only house in America with its own greenkeeping staff. He greets me in his golf cart, which is not like your golf cart. His has a satellite dish on the roof and a TV in the front, so he can get 1,000 channels and XM radio. Gift from his wife, Amy. "This way I can watch football and still play," says Mickelson. Time for the lesson. Me: OK. First, I want to learn that over-the-head backward lob wedge shot you hit. This is clearly not what he expected, but I'm paying, right? So he taught me the over-the-head lob wedge shot. He set it up on the steep lip of a bunker, faced away from the green, and sailed it straight up over his head backward onto the green. On the fifth try, after blading two over a fence, I did it. Pretty as you please. Me: Cake. What else you got? He trotted out his patented off-the-cement-cart-path shot (leaving a ding on his famous Ping lob wedge.) The high, soft chip. The chip and run. The impossibly sky-high bunker shot, the zip-ball trick, and the flip-the-club-backward special. He showed me everything but the hit-it-between-two-trees-207-yards-over-the-creek-at-Augusta-to-3-feet shot. "Make sure the ball actually fits between the trees," he advised. Mickelson's lessons included how to hoist the Claret Jug. Me: You have all these shots, and yet you missed the cut at the Masters this year and missed the cut at the Players. Is the arthritis back? He laughed. "No, I feel great. I can't remember the last time I felt this good. It doesn't even feel like I've got the arthritis. And because of my diet, I've reduced my meds to one-third of what I had at first. I've lost 20-plus pounds." And then he said something bizarre: "The next five years are going to be the best of my career." Me: Let me get this straight. From age 43 to age 48, you're going to play the best golf of your life? "I think so. I'm going to win a bunch of tournaments. I'm going to win at least one U.S. Open, maybe two. And I'm going to make the 2016 Olympic team. And really, I'd love to make the 2020 Olympic team. I'd be 50. How cool would that be?" Is this man on crystal meth? He's playing awful and he's going to win not one but two U.S. Opens? The star-crossed soul who has finished second six times in the Open, the tournament that's become his own personal iron maiden, is going to just start knocking them off like carnival Kewpie dolls? "It's possible. Look, remember when people were saying, 'When are you going to win a major?' And I kept saying, 'I don't want to win just one major. I want to win multiple majors.' And I did? So now people are saying, 'When are you going to win a U.S. Open?' and I'm saying, 'I want to win multiple U.S. Opens.' "My body isn't beat up like a lot of guys. My swing isn't like Tiger's, or Jason Day's, Dustin Johnson's, even Hunter Mahan's. I don't have a really fast golf swing that has a lot of viciousness, a lot of fierceness, where the torque and power that's released is hard on the knees, the back. My swing is big and long and has a wide, wide arc. That doesn't put any pressure on my body ... I'm like a kicker in the NFL. I'm not beat up. I can keep playing at a high level for a long time." I was about to ask him how he can play a "long time" if it never includes weekends when Amy comes out in a flowing red dress and wedge heels, carrying the Claret Jug, which she'd filled with ungodly good and who-knows-how-expensive red wine. Yes. The original, 141-year-old Claret Jug, the one Mickelson won in July at Muirfield in the most confounding, out-of-nowhere victory of his career. Mickelson, here with wife Amy, calls his 2013 Open Championship victory the best of his career. "Who wants to drink?" she asked. Me: Me. When you drink from the Claret Jug, you are literally drinking history. You are holding the jug with your fingers on the names of Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, and Arnold Palmer. You are putting your lips where dozens of champions have put theirs, from Sam Snead to John Daly. OK ... better to not think about that. "Coolest trophy in sports," Phil says. It's so cool that on the private jet home, Mickelson's caddie of 22 years, Jim (Bones) Mackay, slept with it cradled in his arms. It's so cool that anytime Mickelson plays a new course near home, he brings the Jug into the clubhouse and lets people take pictures with it for four hours. I wondered aloud why we were drinking at 2 in the afternoon. They told me. They had found out the day before that Amy is cancer-free at the five-year mark. Thus, the wine, sipped like victors. Then, as usual, they started canoodling and kissing and calling each other "love," which really gets old. While they were busy, I did what any good reporter would do. I checked to see how much cash he had in his wallet. Just over $5,000, mostly hundreds. That's when Amy came out with a bag of snacks for my drive home. Hospitality of Aunt Bea. Body of Beyonce. As I drove, I thought of the 24 years I've covered these three -- Mickelson, Amy and Bones. I thought of all the heartache of Amy's cancer and Phil's mom's cancer and all the major seconds and major thirds but no major firsts for all those years. And then I thought of all the joy that had come to them in the past 10 seasons -- the clean X-rays, the three Masters, the PGA, and the cherry on top of it all, the Muirfield stunner, the one Phil calls "the biggest achievement of my career." That's when I realized what the lesson really was: That through the worst times and the best, the one thing that hadn't changed was their grace through disappointment, their belief in themselves, the way they looked it all in the eye with a smile, no matter what came. And it hit me then that it was not sports so much that I was going to miss, it was people like them. I had one last question, which I texted. So how much do I owe you? "You know my usual fee," he texted back. "But for you? Half." Would you settle for $5,000 cash?
  2. I've switched from cigarettes to e-cigs and haven't looked back
  3. http://golfweek.com/news/2014/apr/13/masters-2014-equipment-tpa-xviii-putter/ By Adam Schupak At the PGA Merchandise Show in January, I bumped into former Web.com Tour pro Tee McCabeon the PGA Show floor, who is jumping back into the family business. Tee is the son of Terry McCabe, designer of the TaylorMade Burner and Tour Preferred woods, the first commercially successful metal woods. Later, he and Gary Adams teamed up again to start Founders Club and McCabe had yet another hit designing the 975D driver during his stint as head of R&D for Titleist. Terry died on April 12, 2013 at age 67, but not before finishing a few last designs. “My father died last year on Masters Friday with the Masters playing in the background,” Tee said, “a beautiful parting for a guy so dedicated in the craft of golf.” Tee, who had been working in investment banking, founded TPA Golf Clubs, a nod to his father's best-known putter. McCabe pulled from his bag the original mold for the TPA XVIII putter that Nick Faldo stuck in his bag before Sunday's final round of the 1989 Masters and used to win his first green jacket. “The finish was unbelievable,” Faldo said, recalling his victory 25 years ago. “Made the putt at 16, 17, and the one at 11 to win the playoff. I never holed three putts like that in my life. Never again.” A new and improved version of the TPA XVIII is nearing production, Tee said. “We are testing final revisions at the moment,” he said. It's good to know there are a few more winning clubs still to come from a legend of the design business. April 13, 2014 12:22 p.m.
  4. Read about it here ... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1892377170/zen-bloodhound-golf-putter
  5. Good excuse to buy some near gear! What are you looking at for your next pair of shoes?
  6. I've started with a pen-style device. But I've got a box mod coming in the mail soon for the higher battery power
  7. I just started getting into the e-cig / personal vape scene after some 20+ years of smoking. After seeing more and more golfers use this stuff on the course, I finally gave it a shot a few weeks ago and must say that I don't miss the traditional nicotine delivery sytem one bit. Kind of like golf, there are so many ways to get lost in the different types of hardware available. Fortunately, there seems to be less of a drain on both $ and time compared to golf. If any of you MGS folks participate in this activity, share your opinions, insights, etc.!
  8. I'm sure you'll get good news soon. Seems like the old "CEO" (intentional use of quotes) was a douche, and you are better off not being with that company any more.
  9. http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-equipment/blogs/newstuff/2014/03/new-balance-makes-running-star.html New Balance looks to bring its running shoe smarts to golf footwear TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 By Keely Levins When a company known for running shoes takes up golf, no one should be surprised its focus would be on comfort, support and feeling light. These keys guided New Balance and its new NBG2002 golf shoe. The midsole is made of the company's REVlite material, which aids in cushioning and keeps the shoe's weight to only 11.9 ounces. Its outsole offers stability, and just a 10-millimeter drop from the heel to the midsole increases the shoe's responsiveness. New Balance's athletic influence is obvious, too. Though the upper is made of microfiber leather, it still has a running-shoe look. The NBG2002 ($125) comes in three colors and has a two-year waterproof warranty.
  10. http://motherboard.vice.com/read/climate-change-and-modern-clubs-turned-golfers-into-firestarters Over the last few years, golfers have started a fairly surprising number of fires. Not by tossing their stogies into the bramble after nailing a birdie, either—they've actually started blazes from the sparks that fly when they swing their titanium clubs into rocks too near their off-fairway balls. The effect is like a less dramatic version of steel hitting flint; when it's hot and dry out, it's apparently a pretty serious fire hazard. New science published in the journal Fire and Materials confirms the phenomenon. So does this video: That means that in our warming, and drying, desertifying world, golfers stand to kickstart more blazes, at least as long as they're using titanium clubs. io9's Jason Goldman explains that "Titanium is a pyrophoric metal, which means it can spontaneously ignite in the air when powderized or sliced into extremely small fragments. More and more golf clubs are being manufactured from a titanium alloy rather than from stainless steel, because they're forty percent lighter, making them easier to swing." Stainless steel clubs produced no sparks. And sure enough, the researchers' findings reveal "that Ti alloy faceplates that extend to the sole of the club can produce a number of Ti alloy particles when abraded under swing conditions. The particles then combust for a sufficient duration to potentially ignite a neighboring fuel source such as dry foliage and grasses." In our 400 ppm world, there will be more dry foliage and combustible grasses for golfers to ignite. Some of the most recent climate science shows that global warming is worsening droughts around the world. Scientists have fingered a link between drought and wildfires, too. More climate change, more drought, and, ostensibly, more fire-starting golfers. In a paper published in Nature Climate Change last year, climatologist Aiguo Daiconcluded that the "observed global aridity changes up to 2010 are consistent with model predictions," and that we should expect to see "widespread droughts in the next 30–90 years over many land areas resulting from either decreased precipitation and/or increased evaporation." To wit: In 2010, a golfer in Orange County started a 12-acre inferno that took 200 firefighters to put out. He was using titanium clubs. The next year, another golfer in the same area started another one. Good luck prevented it from becoming a full-blown blaze, but it reiterated the threat. And in 2013, California saw the driest year in its recorded history. Thankfully, no golf-related fires were reported then. Clearly, there are other, bigger concerns with climate change than how it stands to affect golfers and their propensity for starting small fires. But it's a detail worth internalizing; something as seemingly obscure and invisible as the concentration CO2 in the atmosphere is beginning to seep into our daily lives in increasingly tangible and demonstrable ways. It's not just going to melt the polar ice caps and amp up our heat waves. It's also going to change the way we install electrical equipment, where we decide to vacation, and which kind of golf club we swing. As climate change continues to dry out the golf-friendliest regions in the nation—Southern California, Florida, Arizona—don't be too surprised if discerning country clubs eventually start banning the titanium firestarters. If it happens, blame stuffy rulemakers for making you tote the heavier steel clubs—blame 150 years of industrial pollution.
  11. Interestingly, Grantland published a different point of view of what the original article got wrong: http://grantland.com/features/what-grantland-got-wrong/ When you're a writer, you want something you create to have a long life, to be something that readers will remember and revisit for years to come. If such was Caleb Hannan's wish, it's been granted, because his essay on “Dr. V and the magical putter” figures to be a permanent exhibit of what not to do, and how not to treat a fellow human being. Hannan's job might have seemed fairly straightforward. There's a cool new tool with a padded sales pitch — does it really work? He could dig into its virtues on the golf course and look at the validity of Essay Anne Vanderbilt's claims on behalf of her product, and as a matter of basic homework verify her claims of expertise in inventing it. And he did a good chunk of that checklist, effectively debunking her elaborate claims of expertise with an ease almost anyone in the electronic age has within his or her power. He struggled with the question of whether or not she'd actually designed a great putter; if you're a golfer, that might have been what you wanted to know. It certainly would have been the extent of what you needed to know. Unfortunately, that isn't where Hannan stopped. Instead of fulfilling his mission in its entirety, he lurched into something that had nothing to do with his story, but that he was excited to share, repeatedly: Vanderbilt was a transsexual woman. By any professional or ethical standard, that wasn't merely irrelevant to the story, it wasn't his information to share. Like gays or lesbians — or anyone else, for that matter — trans folk get to determine for themselves what they're willing to divulge about their sexuality and gender identity. As in, it's not your business unless or until the person tells you it is, and if it's not germane to your story, you can safely forgo using it. Unfortunately, he indulged his discovery. The story's problems include screw-ups you might expect for a writer or editors who aren't familiar with this kind of subject matter — misgendering and ambiguous pronoun usage upon making his needless discovery of Vanderbilt's past identity. But we're not here because Hannan and his editors blew a pronoun and that's rude and we have some very thoughtful style guides from GLAADand the Associated Press to recommend that deserve your perusal to avoid this kind of mistake in the future. We're here because Essay Anne Vanderbilt is dead. And she's dead because — however loath she was to admit it — she was a member of a community for whom tragedy and loss are as regular as the sunrise, a minority for whom suicide attempts outpace the national average almost 26 times over, perhaps as high as 41 percent of all trans people. And because one of her responses to the fear of being outed as a transsexual woman to some of the people in her life — when it wasn't even clear the story was ever going to run — was to immediately start talking and thinking about attempting suicide. Again. It was not Grantland's job to out Essay Anne Vanderbilt, but it was done, carelessly. Not simply with the story's posthumous publication; that kind of casual cruelty is weekly fare visited upon transgender murder victims in newspapers across the country. No, what Hannan apparently did was worse: Upon making the unavoidable discovery that Vanderbilt's background didn't stand up to scrutiny, he didn't reassure her that her gender identity wasn't germane to the broader problems he'd uncovered with her story. Rather, he provided this tidbit to one of the investors in her company in a gratuitous “gotcha” moment that reflects how little thought he'd given the matter. Maybe it was relevant for him to inform the investor that she wasn't a physicist and probably didn't work on the stealth bomber and probably also wasn't a Vanderbilt cut from the same cloth as the original Commodore. But revealing her gender identity was ultimately as dangerous as it was thoughtless. What should Grantland have done instead? It really should have simply stuck with debunking those claims to education and professional expertise relevant to the putter itself, dropped the element of her gender identity if she didn't want that to be public information — as she very clearly did not — and left it at that. “That would have been responsible,” transgender activist Antonia Elle d'Orsay suggested when I asked for her thoughts on this road not taken. It's certainly the path I would have chosen as a writer making this sort of accidental discovery, or would have insisted upon as an editor. But because the site did go there, we have a problem, one that goes well beyond putters and overly contrived sales pitches. Because of this screw-up, we owe it to the ruin wrought in its wake to talk about the desperate lives that most transgender Americans lead and the adaptive strategies they have to come up with while trying to deal with the massive rates of under- and unemployment from which the trans community generally suffers. And we owe it to Essay Anne to understand how an attempt to escape those things became its own kind of trap, one Grantland had neither the right nor the responsibility to spring. Let's start off with acknowledging that, while I did not know her personally, apparently Essay Anne was a transgender woman in deep stealth, a term that means she did not want to be identified as transgender publicly, and probably not on any level personally. Stealth is tough to maintain, and generally involves trading one closet for another: You may be acting on your sense of self to finally achieve happiness, but the specter of potential discovery is still with you. And if you wind up in the public eye for any reason, stealth might be that much more difficult to maintain. As an adaptive strategy to cope with being transgender, stealth is something of an unhappy legacy of an earlier age. It was often the recommended goal for trans folks from the '60s well into the '90s from a psychiatric community that was doing little better than winging it, and that poorly served a (now) older generation of the generally white trans women who could afford psychiatric help. So, at the same time the outbreak of AIDS was killing off so many of the nascent trans community's much-needed leaders — including some of those who instigated the Stonewall riots and launched the LGBT rights movement in this country — another segment was being screwed by professional advice to cut themselves off from their families, their jobs, and their hometowns to begin life anew as someone else in their new gender. In stealth. Without the support network they'd spent their lives with. As if being trans weren't hard enough, therapy's best solution was to tell you to isolate yourself. Which is nuts, but let's be generous and accept that psychiatric care for trans folks was and remains a developing field, where the science is still trailing the authenticity of the lives that trans folks of every stripe are forced to lead. As a Z-list public figure as a columnist at Baseball Prospectus when I came out 11 years ago, I dispensed with the entire notion of stealth as ludicrous — I wanted to keep my career, family, and friends, and I felt (and still feel) no stigma as a result of the benefit of being born trans. If this is the hand I've been dealt, my job is to cope and make it work. I'm trans — so what? I certainly wasn't going to detach myself from a past I had enjoyed as best I could, so figuring out how to integrate my past as Chris with my future as Christina was the centerpiece of my adaptive strategy. But that's the thing: When you're trans, you learn that while there's no one right way to transition into your new life, there are also plenty of wrong ways. One of the difficulties that Essay Anne had imposed on herself is that, while trying to live a life in total stealth, she was also a hostage to the impossible and implausible collection of lies she'd created to promote her invention, inevitably risking discovery in an era when a cursory investigation can invalidate claims about something like a doctorate. Which does not get Grantland off the hook for blundering into outing her. A responsibility to the truth should have limited itself to what was relevant. If it had, would that have generated a happy ending? No, so let's not kid ourselves. Shredding Vanderbilt's claims of expertise by publication alone almost certainly wouldn't have left her in good shape with her investors or consumers. She risked that by conjuring up an apparently bogus set of credentials to reinforce her claims for her putter, claims that were unavoidably part of the story because she'd made them in the first place. There's no getting around that. Hers is not the only story without a guaranteed happy ending where trans folks are concerned. For as much progress as seems to have been made, it has been a mixed bag of gains and setbacks. In sports, Bobbi Lancaster should get a shot to join the LPGA tour in 2014, but MMA fighter Fallon Fox has to compete in front of some of the most ferociously hateful audiences in any sport. In entertainment, we can revel in Laverne Cox's breakthrough performance on Orange Is the New Black, but we also have to sit through watching Jared Leto make an unsympathetic ass of himself while taking bows for his caricature of a trans woman in Dallas Buyers Club. But as high-profile as trans people within the sports and entertainment industries might be, most trans folks are coping with much more desperate real-world concerns. While some of you are fidgeting over the Affordable Care Act's benefits, in 45 of 50 states trans folks have to deal with the fact that the law doesn't explicitly cover their health care needs, forcing us to pursue legal remedies. We can be happy that CeCe McDonald, a trans woman whose only crime was defending herself from a bigot's assault, was released from prison last week after 19 months in jail; at the same time we have to live with knowing that Islan Nettles was beaten to death for being trans in New York City — in front of a police station, in front of multiple witnesses — and there has not been and may never be any justice done in her name. They're just the names that achieved mainstream recognition, but behind CeCe and Islan are thousands of trans people ill served by our public institutions, by our public servants, and by more than a few of our fellow Americans. Which leaves me deeply frustrated. First off because, even though we're separated by layers of company hierarchy, if I had known this story was in the pipeline, my first instinct is that I'd want to help Bill Simmons and his team get the job done right. Even if I really would rather be talking about baseball — my day job, my dream job, my job-job as part of ESPN.com's editorial and writing team for MLB — if I can help my colleagues and simultaneously make sure that the trans people who come up in their coverage get a fair shake, I welcome that opportunity. But I'm also angry because of the more fundamental problem that this story perpetuates. We're talking about a piece aimed at golf readers. So we're talking about a mostly white, mostly older, mostly male audience that wound up reading a story that reinforced several negative stereotypes about trans people. For an audience that doesn't usually know and may never know anyone who's trans and may get few opportunities to ever learn any differently, that's confirmation bias of the worst sort. I may not have made you care about people like CeCe McDonald or Islan Nettles or even Essay Anne Vanderbilt here, but better to fail in the attempt than to reinforce ignorance and contempt bred through the thoughtless trivialization of their lives and challenges.
  12. That's a great follow-up piece ... thanks for that!
  13. Bayonet/Black Horse are nice, and so are Poppy Hills and Poppy Ridge. Between Harding Park and Half Moon Bay (ocean course), I think Half Moon Bay is more scenic.
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