Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Winning Golf Clubs

I have been looking for new irons for a while now.  For me this process began about two years ago.  Like everyone else I wanted to see what all of the major club manufactures had to offer.  So, I studied the market in all the usual places; spring golf expo, golf stores, pro shops, online reviews, etc.  Since I prefer a blade or modified blade iron this limits my choices.  I have never been a fan of game improvement irons but certainly understand the need for them in the marketplace.  So, for me it came down to the Titleist AP2 Irons.  Last summer I had a chance to hit the irons at a local club and was even fit on the spot for the specifications based upon my swing.  So, my mind was made up, it was only a matter of time before I made the purchase.
So, I ended the year intent on entering the 2014 golf season with new irons.  Now, fast forward from last summer until the spring of this year.  I was attending an industry conference in Washington DC this past February.  Like most conferences they had an opening dinner and events program scheduled for the first evening.  As my colleagues and I entered the ballroom there was a set of Ping Irons setting on a pedestal and a raffle barrel right beside it.  All of them were eager to enter the drawing with a chance to win some new sticks.  Since I have never been a fan of Ping irons I had no interest in entering.  When asked why I was not entering I said first, because I never win raffles.  Second, since I did not like the irons even if I did win I would end up selling them.  However, after being told I was the only “true golfer” in the group I was talked into entering. 
Before the program began they moved the raffle barrel onstage and said they would soon pick a ticket from the barrel and announce the winner of the golf clubs.  As I was assured by a couple of my colleagues that they were going to win, I dismissed their comments with a laugh.  With my back to the stage the moderator spun the wheel and mixed up the tickets.  She eagerly reached into the wheel and grabbed the winning ticket.  She then proceeded to tell the five hundred people in attendance, “and the winner is.”  Yep, you guessed it, she called my name.  In shock I began to high five my colleagues and proceeded to the stage to claim my prize. 
My next thought was how am I going to get these clubs back home?  The moderator told me that would not be a problem that someone would call me and make the arrangements.  I said, great, and then I asked if I had to accept these exact clubs or if I had any choice in the brand or model?  Much to my surprise, she said I could have any clubs I wanted.  I would be given an allowance to buy what I wanted and would need to pay out of pocket for any expenditure beyond that amount.
The next time you have a chance to enter a raffle, you should, as you might just win.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Review- Caddy for Life

I recently finished reading the Book “Caddy for Life” authored by John Feinstein.  Most of us know John from his appearances on The Golf Channel and for providing commentary at PGA Tour Events.  John has a long history of following and writing about the PGA Tour and is a respected author of several other golf books and many years as a journalist.
The book was based upon the life and Professional Caddying career of Bruce Edwards.  For those of us that follow golf regularly Bruce Edwards was the long time caddy for Hall of Fame PGA Tour star Tom Watson.  For thirty years Bruce walked the fairways with Tom during some of his greatest triumphs in golf.  However, there is a not a story book ending about this player-caddy partnership.  That is because Bruce passed way in 2004 of (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Although Tom and Bruce did not close out their careers by walking off into the sunset together that does not matter.  What does matter is that they had a unique and special relationship on and off the course for over thirty years.
I can no way describe the type of person Bruce was with any accuracy or clarity as I never knew the man.  However, John Feinstein did a wonderful job in this work describing what an amazing human being Bruce was.  He described Bruce in countless ways throughout the book as a charismatic individual; liked and respected by his fellow caddies and players on tour.  He spoke of his unbridled enthusiasm throughout his life and career, even up to the very end.
The only thing I can critique about the book is the level of detail in it about Tom Watson’s golf career.  I realize that you must include Toms on the course play when you are writing a book about a PGA Tour caddy.  It seemed, at times like I was reading a chronicle about Tom Watson’s golf career “on the course.”  However, do not let this one critique prevent you from reading this amazing work.  You will be a better person by getting to know how special Bruce Edwards was as a person.  After reading this book you will come away with a better perspective on life.  As I did, you may ask yourself why I can’t be more like Bruce?  Why can’t I have his perspective and attitude?  Why can’t I treat everyone as he did?
I just played in a charity outing at Wethersfield Country Club in Hartford, CT.  This is where Bruce got his start as a young caddy when the Greater Hard Open was played there.  All day long I could not help but think about Bruce, his history on that course and where he developed the love for caddying.
As much as this book is about golf, it is also about life.  It is about personal friendship, professional respect, sacrifice and loss.  We all face challenges in life and some of us do a better job than others in dealing with them.  Bruce Edwards was an amazing role model in how to deal with adversity.  For this reason alone you should read this book.