Golf Sports

Paige Spiranac Watch: Valentine’s Day 2019

I’ve come to the realization that I may need to come up with a better name for these blogs that are pretty much going to be a regular series here at Nosebleed Takes, but I don’t want anything too on the nose. Some alliteration like ‘what’s poppin’ with Paige’ could work, but I don’t write for Cosmo, so that’s a no for me dog. 

It’s been a neat week for Paige. She got back into some competitive golf on Monday, playing in the the Celebrity Cup, which is an event put on by Tiger Woods as a part of the Genesis Open that he hosts. 

There wasn’t much in the way of media coverage for the event, but Paige said she shot a one under 71 in the round. Pretty impressive for a course with conditions almost ready for PGA tournament. Paige’s team, Team Tiger, won the tournament despite having Kid Rock on the team. I know Larry Fitzgerald has some game, as he won the AT&T Pro Am last year, and Marky Mark Wahlberg plays a lot, but I can’t speak for Jerry Rice or Nick Jonas, who were also on Eldrick’s squad. The only reason I’m singling out Kid Rock is because I saw him hitting balls when I caddied at the 2018 Honda Classic Pro Am at PGA National in West Palm Beach, FL. His swing is something that I can only compare to someone swinging a shovel at a wasp’s nest. Really jerky and fast, his lower body and upper body totally out of sync. 

Still it’s cool to see Paige put her game to the test on the record. Since becoming a fan of Paige (fellas, we’re calling ourself the Paige Posse now), I’d love to see her chronicle a journey back into competitive, professional golf. She has stated that she petitioned unsuccessfully to get her amateur status back, but it would be awesome to see her possibly go through the Symetra tour or Q-School to get to the LPGA. I think an endeavor like that would take away from the opportunities she currently has in the way of media and event appearances, but it would still be great to see, especially if she’s successful. She already has the platform to document the process and it would be unlike any type of media anyone has ever seen showing what it takes from the inside. Plus, there’s a small chance I could annoy her to the point where I could get back to my caddying roots and get on the bag.


Paige also dropped another vlog on YouTube this week where she discussed hybrids and her selection process and I hated it. Not because it was a bad video or anything. Actually, I hated it because it was good and it made me self-conscious about my low iron/ wood situation that I’m currently procrastinating on fixing. Currently, I play 4-P AP2’s, a Titleist T-MB 3 iron with a Tour AD DI 6x, and then I jump to a Titleist 915 D2 with a Handcrafted HZRDS yellow in 6.5. So you can see there’s some significant gapping issues. I get 248 carry on my driver, 210-ish on my 3 iron (haven’t been on trackman with it other then when I bought it), then my 4 iron carries 205. My 3 iron rolls out a ton and I probably have an issue with the shaft because I have a huge trajectory dispersion, so if I pure it, I can land it soft, but basically anything from the fairway or rough beyond 220 yards is a crap shoot or I’m laying up. The bottom line is that I need to work in a 3 wood, then spend the time to get it dialed on the range and more importantly, the course.  Paige kind of lamented her hybrid game in a similar way. I personally can’t (or at least I’m unwilling to try) play hybrids even though I know that I could probably get better flight over my utility iron. Paige discussed how a better club fitting resulted in longer distance, a higher launch angle, and lower spin. If you watch the vlog, the statistical differentials seem small, almost negligible because it’s a few yards of distance, a few hundred lower RPM, and a few degrees higher, but that kind of change results in a lot more control and utility with the hybrid. She’ll be looking to hit smaller greens from longer distances because she can land the ball better.  The only thing Paige didn’t address is that this process can get expensive for an amateur who isn’t a member of a higher end private club. For example, at Sea Island in Georgia, they have a trackman and entire club fitting section on their range where you can try hundreds of club and shaft combinations and get the numbers to get you fitted.

For an average joe, you need to go to a fitter like Club Champion to get totally objective data, then buy your club to try it out on the course. Even if the numbers may match your swing exactly, sometimes clubs just won’t suit a player’s eye. If that’s the case, you’d better hope the retailer you bought it from has a good return policy, which gets infinitely more difficult if you tried to save money by buying the shaft and head separately on eBay.  All in all, the information was good, and it’s interesting to hear how someone like Paige thinks through her club selection process, but it may not be 100% applicable to a golfer on a budget, but hey, golf’s an expensive game, especially if you really want to invest in it.  The final thing I want to touch on for this week is how Paige made some roundabout comments on the Matt Kuchar/ Caddy controversy. 



If you’ve been living under a rock, the story is basically that Matt Kuchar won the Mayakoba Classic last fall while using a local caddy from the club at the Mexican resort. He won $1.3 million and he paid the caddy $5000, which was more than the agreed upon $4000 that was promised if Matt made it inside the top 10. PGA Tour caddies often receive 10% of earnings, which would have been $130,000, but it’s not the case for one time caddies. The caddy asked for $50,000, and Kuchar’s agent offered an additional $15,000, which would have been $20k, but he turned it down, saying “he can keep his money.” 

The whole thing has been embarrassing and really drawn out, but the court of public opinion has been really mixed. A lot of players have been kind of backing Matt, while fans and other tour caddies are calling him cheap. Paige didn’t explicitly address the issue, but it’s kind of evident as to which side she’s on through these tweets. 



My take on the situation is that Matt Kuchar won the tournament by one stroke. The payout between first and second place is over $500,000. So the question that could be asked is whether or not the caddy’s time and effort saved Matt Kuchar at least a stroke over the course of the tournament. If the answer is yes, then he was paid 1% of the difference between first and second place, which is exceedingly low. Overall, he was paid .3% of Matt’s winnings. The argument has been that the caddy was paid way more than his usual earnings in a week. 

I really don’t believe in telling people what to do with their money. For a layman to tell Matt how he should spend the money that he earns to provide for himself and his family is kind of inappropriate. It seems a lot of people’s attitude is “well he makes so much money, he wouldn’t miss it, while $50,000 would probably change that caddy’s life.” While that’s true, this is about work, not charity.

Perhaps the caddy could use his new found notoriety to try to become a tour caddy. Having a PGA Tour win on the bag could almost certainly get him on the team of an up and coming pro. It’s unfortunate, but at this point, there are a lot of conclusions that can be made as to how caddies are seen by some tour players. Having played golf with a caddy a handful of times, I can honestly say, they save me 4-5 strokes every time I play with one. 

Another solid social media week from Paige. It is Valentine’s Day, so it will be fun to see the thirsty comments on her instagram videos even though her fiancé is a certified man-rocket.

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