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WGT Golf News

  • Arnold Palmer Month

    16 Sep 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    The Masters with Winnie

    By the time I went to the Masters Tournament for the first time I knew Arnold and Winnie Palmer well. I’d had dinner at their homes; I’d walked Arnold’s Irish Setter King past Arnold’s grad school, played golf with Arnold enough to have lost a few hundred dollars to him.

    Winnie and I walked the back nine at Augusta National as Arnold played while his adoring fans screamed his name and woman swooned and men cheered and boys called out “Arnie!” We talked about how Arnold had never packed for a trip, had never unpacked. We talked about his dad’s temper, about Arnold’s putter collection.

    As we walked the final hole I had trouble catching my breath and Winned started laughing at me. I couldn’t figure it out. Finally Winnie told me we were walking straight uphill. And so we were.

    That’s one of the things you can’t see on television. Augusta National is built on the side of a hill and the final hole plays straight up to the top of it. The other thing about the course is that the greens are smaller than you expect and much more undulating.

    When we got to the top of the hill Winnie told me to bring Arnold to her under the big oak tree behind the clubhouse after he signed his scorecard.

    I waited behind the ropes for Arnold to leave the scorer’s tent and hoped he would spot me. He did. And then he walked up to me and put an arm around my shoulder and I did the same to him. He told me to bring him to Winnie under the big tree. We talked about golf and girls for a minute and then I released him to Winnie. I slipped into the crowd and let his fans have him again. His never ending army of fans and his loving general, Winnie.

    Remembering Winnie

    Arnold always knows, always knew, what the audience wanted and needed from him. Even in moments of grief Arnold always has one eye on his fans to see if he’s delivering the goods.

    After his wife Winnie died in late 1999, I didn’t see Arnold after the funeral until January of 2000 when we did a television show for the Golf Channel. If you hadn’t seen a friend since a loved one of theirs passed away the first thing you would say was “I’m sorry for your loss.”  And that’s exactly what I said to Arnold and the only difference from normal life of course was that this was on live television.

    I knew Arnold might have trouble speaking or catching his breath and that I might have to buy him some time. He began to cry.  He couldn’t speak. He held up his hand as if to say,” no more, not yet, I’m not ready.”

    So I reminded him that when Winnie came to the studio to watch our shows she would knit, she would write letters, she would read books, she would do anything but pay attention to anything we were doing or saying. Hundreds of thousands of people were sitting at home listening to every word Arnold had to say and there was his wife Winnie sitting fifteen feet away bored and looking at her watch.

    Arnie recovered and the show went along just as I had hoped thanks to him and his great stories and his laugh and his twinkling eyes

    When the segment ended and it was time to go to a commercial break I leaned over and whispered in his ear. I asked him if he was ok. He leaned in close and whispered back. “This is what they wanted,” he said.

    He always knew he was on stage.  He always knew his lines, he always got them right. He always knew how to deliver them, no matter what was going on. This month as we celebrate his 80th birthday it’s our turn to get it right for him, to say the things he needs and deserves to hear. Happy birthday, Arnie.

  • How to Handle Pressure

    15 Sep 2009

    By Josh Zander

    September seems to be a popular month for Member-Guest tournaments and Club Championships. I am getting a lot of frantic calls from students who need a tune up as they feel pressure to perform. Of course, you would like to play well in your club championship and you don’t want to play poorly at your buddy’s member-guest. You may not be invited back!!

    While your swing may need a tweak or two, the real question is how to deal with pressure. The first thing to understand is that pressure in 100% self imposed. The golf ball has no idea if you are on the first tee of a tournament or if you are out for a casual Sunday round. From my point of view, pressure can be summed up in one thought: What will they think of me? I’ve got news for you, your friend will still like you even if you don’t hit a good shot. Your competitors will still respect you as long as you observe good etiquette and handle yourself well. The truth is that your friends are probably worried about what you think of them. Don’t worry about what others think and you are well on your way to diffusing the pressure.

    Instead of stressing about your swing breaking down because of the pressure, learn how to handle pressure. First, know that the worse thing that can happen to you if you hit a bad shot is NOTHING. Johnny Miller is known for calling people out when they “choke” under pressure. Decision making gets clouded and swings get tight under pressure which is a formula for disaster. Next time you feel pressure, take a deep breath. Inhale deeply through your nose and say the words “alert mind”. Then exhale through your mouth and say “calm body”. If a negative thought comes into your head, let it cycle through and get back to the task at hand. Get back to your calming breaths and enjoy yourself.

    Never let that little white ball tell you how to feel! You are in charge and make a decision to enjoy yourself regardless of how you play.  If so, you just may be hoisting that winner’s trophy. If not, you will still be ok. In my book, you have won if you have enjoyed the experience.

  • Winner Profiles - dmkhorns & Craiger85: What's in their Bags?

    12 Sep 2009

    Congratulations to dmkhorns and Craiger85, winners of the August People v Pros Open! What’s in their bags?

    dmkhorns:

    • TaylorMade R9 TP Master 8.5° Driver
    • Ping G10 Master 3 Fairway Wood 14°
    • Ping G10 Master 3 Hybrid 21° (Graphite)
    • Ping G10 Master Irons (Steel)
    • Ping Tour W Master 54° Wedge
    • Ping Tour W Master 60° Wedge
    • TaylorMade Spider Putter
    • WGT GI-D White Balls

    Craiger85:

    • TaylorMade R9 TP Master 8.5° Driver
    • Ping Rapture V2 3 Fairway Wood
    • Ping Rapture V2 3 Hybrid 21° (Graphite)
    • WGT Tour Starter Zebra Irons (Steel)
    • WGT Tour Starter Gold 54° Wedge
    • WGT Tour Starter Gold 60° Wedge
    • Ping iWi Anser Series Putter
    • WGT GI-D White Balls
  • A Nation Remembers

    11 Sep 2009

    WGT joins the nation and the world in remembering the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims, and we continue to hope for the end of hatred.


    Photo: linux-ide.org

  • Arnold Palmer Turns 80

    10 Sep 2009

    The venerable Arnold Palmer turned 80 today, and to celebrate his birthday, he and his closest friends will tee it up at Latrobe Country Club, the course his father helped build in the 1920s.

    According to the club, "Arnold was born September 10, 1929 in Latrobe. His saga began when he was four-years old swinging a set of golf clubs that had been cut down by his father, Milfred (Deacon) Palmer. Before long, Arnold was playing well enough to beat the older caddies at the club. He began caddying himself when he was 11 and worked almost every job at the club over the years."

    To commenorate his birthday, the Golf Channel will run more than eight hours of programming to honor Palmer, whose achievements include 62 wins on the PGA Tour. Programming will include Top 10 Arnold Palmer Moments, Golf’s Heart and Soul: Arnold Palmer, and 1964 and 1960 Masters highlights.

    Happy birthday Arnie!


    Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

  • July & August People v Pros Champions

    09 Sep 2009

    Congratulations to the following winners of the most recent People v Pros tournaments:

    August PVP Open - dmkhorns and Craiger85

    PVP drawing #4 (July 15 - 31) - zacapa

    PVP drawing #5 (Aug 1 - 14) - Rshing

    These players will all meet up at Pinehurst Resort in October for an unforgettable golf getaway. The People v Pros tournaments run until the end of September, with two spots to compete for in the September People vs Pros Open and two sweepstakes drawings in the September People vs Pros Sweepstakes. Play now, because this is your last chance to win!

  • 2009 FedEx First Tee Scholar

    08 Sep 2009

    Congrats to FedExCup First Tee Scholar Brent Edelman, who was presented a new golf bag in honor of his First Tee Scholarship by Ernie Els. Edelman, from Summerland, California, is one of two 2009 FedExCup First Tee Scholars and an incoming freshman at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    The First Tee is a World Golf Foundation initiative dedicated to providing young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.


    Photo: AP Images

  • So Tiger Can Finish the Season...

    05 Sep 2009

    ...First, First, Second, Second, First, First, Second and Still Not Win The Fed Ex Cup

    By Peter Kessler


    Photo: AP Images

    Tweak Time.

    Greg Norman will likely choose two of the following players next week for his two captain's picks for the President's Cup: Rory Sabatini, Jeev Milka Singh or Shingo Katayama-still awake??

    I vote for Katayama because he wears a cowboy hat he got at a birthday party for 10 year olds many years ago. He just refuses to part with it. It's a stunner. Go ahead. Look it up. Check it out. Google. Katayama. Nice hat, huh?

    And that my friends is the major excitement of this year's President's Cup. Hurry, get in line, tickets are almost gone. Still awake?

    Mark O'Meara is on my radio show today. How come he isn't in the World Golf Hall of Fame?  Set aside the notion that I think you should be 60 years old before you get to be voted in. Active players in their 30's and 40's going into halls of fame just doesn't feel right. Their careers are in mid-stream yet there they are being toasted as though they're full of white hair dyed purple. Why is Isao Aoki in?  What did he ever win.  Nothing of consequence.  So what's the deal?  How about Deane Beman?  He won the Blinder Robinson Classic. Not exactly a major. Or a minor. If Tommy Bolt is in, so is Mark. If Bob Charles is in then O'Meara is in twice. Hubert Green? Same thing.  And what about Chi Chi? I know all about the hat over the hole trick but that is not the stuff of which hall of famers are made. And what about Lanny? Lanny is in. Well then.....   So I vote for O'Meara in and I vote for some of these guys out.

    Jack and Arnie have been on course rivals for FIFTY YEARS!!!!!!! So next spring they will together be honorary starters at the Masters. One shot on the first tee on Thursday morning at 8am. One shot. One shot. One shot?  Why one shot? Why not play a few holes? Like 1,2,17 and 18. Why not play nine holes from the members tees? We want to see them. They would love to play. Let them have reasonable second shots into the par 4's, wedges into the par 5's. Why rush them off the course? Where do they have to go? To Waffle House? Oh, I forgot. They are both members at Augusta National. Think they can get a table at that busy hour? I mean after all there will be a lot of people eating breakfast waiting to get a look at Arnie and Jack teeing it up at The Masters.

  • NBA Guard Meets PGA God

    04 Sep 2009

    By Stephanie Wei

    Tiger Woods and Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen chat at the Deutsche Bank Championship Pro-Am on Thursday morning.

    Aside: I love Allen’s jump shot. No doubt one of the sweetest and smoothest in the NBA, at least IMHO.

    [Photo via NBA Off-Season 2009]

  • WGT is Giving Back for Patriot Golf Day

    03 Sep 2009

    Across the nation this Labor Day weekend, thousands of golf courses are charging an extra $1 for tee times in support of Patriot Golf Day, the flagship fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides postsecondary educational scholarships for the children and spouses of military men and women disabled or killed while serving our great nation.

    We at WGT think this is a very worthy cause, and will donate 100% of Pro Shop sales that are made on Labor Day to show our support. Please help make this a significant contribution by making a purchase in our Pro Shop this Monday, September 7th. Together we can help make a big difference for the families of our most honorable heroes. These men and women sacrifice for all of us. Let’s show our thanks.



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