Thursday, October 27, 2011

Golf Halloween Costume Ideas

Personally, I have never been a big fan of dressing up on Halloween.  It just isn't my thing.  In fact, back in 1995 when I was in high school, my first girlfriend invited me to her house for a Halloween party.  I swear - it never even occurred to me that I was supposed to dress up.  When her mom opened the door in a full costume, I panicked, but recovered quickly.  Dressed in khakis and a preppy button down shirt (basically, my uniform), when her mom asked me what I was supposed to be for Halloween, I told her, "Chandler, from Friends."  It was a hit.  I have been Chandler ever since (and not just on Halloween).

So Trick or Treat, my friends.  On the night where parents encourage their kids to take candy from strangers and girls get a free pass to dress as slutty as they want (really, there is no limit for what normal outfits can be turned into "naughty" Halloween costumes, and if you don't believe me, check out the "Caddy Shack Cutie Sexy Golf Halloween Costume" - not that I am complaining), I thought I would drum up some Halloween costumes for those of you who want to go with a golf theme this year.

1) Tiger Woods:  Dress in all your best Nike Golf gear and then take an old 9-iron, bend it so that it fits on your head like a hat, and presto - Tiger Woods post Elin finding the illicit text messages on his phone.  Although it is a couple years old, really, its timeless.

2) A Hole in One:  Start with a jeffcap and a nice pair of knickers.  Let's class it up a little bit.  Then find a cheap white golf shirt, get a sharpie and draw a #1 on it, bubble letters style.  Then cut a hole in the middle of the 1.  Done and done.

3) The Arnold Palmer:  Get yourself two large pieces of poster board, one yellow and one brown, and connect them with a string in the top so that you can wear them.  Then find yourself one of those multi-colored umbrella hats you can wear on top.  Is it low budget?  Indeed.  But is it also delightfully refreshing?  You bet.

4) Judge Smails:  Grab a navy blazer, a sweet neck cravat and a Captain's hat.  Then, wow other Halloween party goers with this little gem from our favorite golf flick:

"It's easy to grin
when your ship comes in
and you have the stock market beat.
But the man worthwhile
is the man who can smile
when his shorts are too tight in the seat!"


5) A pint of Guinness: Dress in all black with a creamish wig to give you some good foam on top, and you are transformed into the celebratory beverage of choice for the trio of major champions from Northern Ireland.  Draw a harp on your chest and you are off to the races.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

USGA and R&A; Change Ball Movement Penalty

We can now officially call 2011 "The Year of the Sensible Rule Changes" by the USGA and the R&A.  After wisely relaxing the DQ rules for signing an incorrect scorecard, and promising to review this rule at U.S. Open media day back in May, the USGA and R&A have mercifully decided to change one of the dumbest rules in golf.

Beginning next year, a player will not be penalized if after addressing the ball, it moves if it is "known or virtually certain" that the player did not cause the ball to move.  So if you address the ball on the green and the wind blows and the ball moves, no more penalty.   

This rule was so dumb...it thought a quarterback was a refund. Or wait - this rule was so dumb, it tried to put M&Ms in alphabetical order.  Oh, I could go on.

Just how painful and draconian was the rule that added a penalty for something that the player had absolutely no control over?  Ask Webb Simpson.  He was leading the Zurich Classic in May by a shot until the wind moved his ball after address on the 15th green.  Webb called the penalty on himself, but the shot was costly - he lost the event in a playoff to Bubba Watson.  And if you look at how much more money he would have gotten for a victory there instead of a second place finish, the rule may have cost him the money title - and the 5 year exemption that goes with it.

Another good decision by the USGA and the R&A - golf clap to both organizations.   

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2 Free Masters DVDs Can Be Yours!

Want two free Masters DVDs?  For five lucky readers, I will send you 1) Yes Sir!  Jack Nicklaus and His Historic 1986 Masters Win AND 2) Highlights of the 2011 Masters, courtesy of A&E Home Entertainment.

All you have to do to enter is email me at [email protected] and tell me your favorite Nicklaus moment.  Any Nicklaus moment will do!!!  You can also enter via Twitter, just send me a tweet at @rtbgolfer with the same info.

Could not be easier!  Enter today!  For more info on the DVDs, check out my prior post.   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Golf Lover's Manifesto

It is not just a game.  It is so much more.  Golf is a passion - a way of life.  But what makes it great?  What is it that makes the pursuit of a little white ball through fields and ferns, into water and out, under trees and over hills, something that we relish while on the course and long to do while we are not?

Perhaps it is because the playing field is cut right from the earth.  There are no stadiums or artificial turf, though there are cathedrals like Augusta and St. Andrews.  The game is not simply a race to get the ball in the hole, it is a wondrous stroll through some of the most beautiful patches of earth that God saw fit to put here.

Or maybe it is because golf is a solitary pursuit.  You are playing against yourself as much as you are playing against the course or any competitor.  The game has a way of seeking out your inner demons and illuminating reserves of concentration, focus and strength you didn't know you had.  At the end of a round, the glory of triumph - or the frustration of defeat - are yours to bear - and yours alone.  There is nobody else to pat on the back, and nobody else to blame.

Yet maybe it is the fact that golf reveals a person's true character better than any other game.  Want to know if you can really trust someone?  Play a round of golf with them.  Integrity is ingrained in the very fabric of the game itself.  Where else are you expected to call a penalty on yourself, when nobody else in the world saw the infraction?

It could be that the beauty of the game is in the notion that we can always improve.  You can throw a perfect game in baseball, or cruise to a shutout victory in football, but there is no perfect golf round.  You could always make one more putt, drive it ten yards further.  It is the thrill of the chase for improvement that pushes us to greater heights.

It might be that we can walk even the most hallowed grounds where great champions have made golf memories that will stand the test of time.  We can play St. Andrews - just like Jack and Watson did - and we can try to tame the beast at Pebble Beach like Tiger and Arnie have done before us.  We can't play baseball at Yankee Stadium or Wrigley Field, but we can hit a drive off the first tee at Bethpage and try to stick it tight on 18 at Pinehurst Number Two.

Maybe it is because it is not a game that can be won by sheer strength or brute force.  Golf forces you to think your way around a hole, plot creative strategies that play to your own strengths.  It doesn't matter how you get your ball in the hole, just that you get it in the hole in as few strokes as possible.

It could be the fact that it is a wonderful place to forget about your concerns for a few hours, leave your troubles at home or at the office and lose yourself in the company of good friends, playing a game that, while maddening at times, will manage to give you just enough to put a smile on your face and keep you coming back for more.

Or the fact that perfection may not be attainable for 18 holes, but it certainly is for one shot.  You can make that coveted ace and know that in that instance - for that moment - there is nobody else on the planet that could have hit that shot better than you did.  Not Jack, not Tiger, not Arnie or Phil.  You were perfection personified.

But really, it is all these things, isn't it?  And many, many more.  At times it is a good walk spoiled, but honestly, where else would we rather walk?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chance To Win Two Masters DVDs!

Courtesy of the fine people at A&E Home Entertainment, I want to give you - my fabulous readers - the chance to win two fantastic Masters DVDs.  Five lucky readers will win a copy of "Yes Sir!  Jack Nicklaus and His Historic 1986 Masters Win," an awesome tribute to Nicklaus' greatest Masters victory.  Re-live the thrilling conclusion that netted The Golden Bear his sixth Green Jacket at the tender age of 46.  Here is a link to the full information on the DVD.

It's easy to enter - you can either email me at [email protected] or send me a tweet at @rtbgolfer with your favorite Nicklaus memory or achievement.  If you send the email, make sure to include your name and address.  If you enter via Twitter, I will send you a DM if you are a winner.  I will then select five winners at random to win a copy of the DVD!

And as an added bonus for the winners...because I am a nice guy (but really, because A&E Home Entertainment gave them to me), I will also include a second DVD, "Highlights of the 2011 Masters" - chronicling one of the most captivating finishes in golf this year.  Rory's meltdown, Tiger's charge and Schwartzel's incredible closing stretch - it is all here.   

You know you can't help but love free stuff (I still wear t-shirts I got for free at Notre Dame 10 years ago), so get in touch with me for the chance to win some nice freebies!  Contest ends October 20, 2011.  Good luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Want a Lesson with David Leadbetter?


So you know I am always on the lookout to provide you with cool golf giveaways, and this is a great one!  Want a chance for a three-hour private lesson with one of the best instructors in the game?  DavidLeadbetter.com is running a really neat sweepstakes right now.  Click on that website link for a chance to enter!  Here are the details from the website:

"THE CONTEST: Starting December 12, 2011, we will randomly select 5 winners each day (through December 31, 2011), who will receive a prize from David Leadbetter's PlayBetterStore.com. Winners will be posted each day on DavidLeadbetter.com and our David Leadbetter Golf Academy Facebook page.

101 PRIZES in 20 DAYS: Each day, starting on December 12, 2011 through December 31, 2011, we will award prizes from David Leadbetter's PlayBetterStore.com. Included will be SwingSetters, Correct Grip Golf Gloves, DVD's, and other training aids and eGift cards. On January 1, 2012 we will award the Grand Prize.

GRAND PRIZE DRAWING: On New Year's Day 2012 (Sunday, January 1, 2012) we will randomly select one lucky winner for the Grand Prize (A Private Lesson with David Leadbetter at his World Headquarters in ChampionsGate, Florida). Prize includes domestic airfare to Orlando, Florida for two (2), three (3) nights accommodations at the OMNI ChampionsGate Resort, a two-day mini school for two (2) and a private three-hour session with David Leadbetter."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Note to Tiger: Play More Competetive Golf

Tiger Woods had a respectable showing this weekend playing in the Frys.com Open.  After getting out of the chute slowly with an opening round 73, he rallied to close with three straight rounds of 68 and finished in a tie for 30th.  We heard last week, and from Tiger throughout the weekend, that he is finally healthy enough to practice, the critical component necessary for his new Foley swing to begin paying dividends.  We also heard he has been tearing it up in practice rounds.  But if that is the case, why is he not bringing that game to the course?

The answer is pretty obvious - tournament golf conditions are completely different than playing practice rounds with your buddies.  There is no substitute for tournament golf.  The pressure, the crowds, the atmosphere - they all make it tougher to execute the shots that you can routinely make in a practice round.  If Tiger wants to see more consistency in his game, he needs to play more.  This isn't rocket science, it is pretty obvious.  What is not obvious is why Tiger doesn't actually play more tournament golf.  Why not play all of the Fall Series events knowing that he is going to be in the Presidents Cup in November?  By not doing that, he is doing a disservice to his own career and to his teammates on the Presidents Cup squad.

Monday, October 3, 2011

EA Sports Tiger Woods 13 - You Pick the Cover!

EA Sports is breaking new ground with its cover design for its 2013 version of the game.  It is currently hosting a facebook promotion where fans can vote in a match play format each week for their favorite American golfers and favorite European golfers in order to determine who will grace the game's cover with El Tigre himself next year.  Check out this link to vote!