Edgar R. Chiongbian


IF YOU are you bored or getting bored, you must be losing your friends. So you better look inside and find that sport you were once. The funny thing about friendship is that, as you get older you think you no longer need your friends except those that hang on to you and you start removing the others from your list of friends.

When we were very young until about 30 years or so, the most important thing we wanted was to make as many friends as possible. Ala Friendster and Facebook, and that is why kids are never bored while old people are. Hehehe. It’s your choice. Act like an old man and feel that being old is a dark, lonely street.

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And why are we on this topic anyway? Can you imagine how bored Tiger Woods is now? He can’t play golf and can’t have women where he is both the champion player. Ironically now at his special abode, he needs permission to go to the bathroom just in case he starts playing with the sink.

When I was in the States last December, there was always a daily issue about Tiger Woods in the newspapers, the magazines, the talk shows and the news. It was almost something people anticipate and looked forward to. Poor guy, now everyone is bored from watching golf and the PGA Tour because there is no completion or competition without Tiger Woods. I notice that even in our local scene, golfers are starting to lose interest in playing golf.

Some players in the PGA Tour have learned the “crab mentality” of the Filipinos and now, they are after world No. 2 Phil Mickelson, claiming that he is cheating by using the old Ping Eye2 wedges with square grooves (current specs are V grooves).

These irons have been grandfathered and are legal to use and yet this lowly pro Scott McCarron is complaining. Why doesn’t he just go buy one for himself and see if he can win on the tour!

I played with the Ping Eye2 iron before and enjoyed it when I hit a good shot because the ball backs up real nice. But with the new technology, the problem that most PGA pros have is too much backspin so controlling the spin is a problem. If you notice when Tiger Woods plays, his golf ball doesn’t back up that much and that’s because he doesn’t want too much backspin.

In our local golf courses, good luck with making your ball spin back because our greens are hard and we don’t have bent grass.

The Ping Eye2 does not conform to the new USGA regulation. However, Ping wedges made before April 1, 1990 are approved for play from a legal settlement 20 years ago. And Phil Mickelson tried to use it recently after learning that four other players were using it, notably John Daly. The advantage of the square over the V grooves is 10 percent more spin, which is really not that much.

McCarron has since offered to Mickelson his apology last Tuesday, so Phil Mickelson said he will no longer use the Ping wedge at the Northern Trust Open, although he is hoping others would. Phil’s point is that he wants more transparency in the development of new rules for grooves on wedges.

Phil is complaining that he has submitted wedges that fit the guidelines, but USGA still rejected the clubs for violating the intent of the new rule. Mickelson is putting pressure on the USGA to clarify its ruling and take a more serious definition of their rules on the grooves for wedges.

“I’m very upset with the way the rule came about, the way one man essentially can approve or not approve a golf club based on his own personal decision, regardless of what the rule says,” Mickelson said. He added that, “If there’s no pressure among these organizations to make changes, I will immediately put the club (Ping Eye2) back in play.” (erc@skyinet.com)

Golf Tip: Use different clubs for chipping and make the same stroke for different distances. The idea is to use the proper club that will bring the ball on the green right away so it can run towards the hole. Set up with a narrow but open stance with your hands ahead of the ball.

Your chipping should resemble your putting stroke in the amount of arm, shoulder and wrist movement. Accelerate slightly to the ball but maintain the hands-ahead of the club through impact.