I’m afraid I’ve begun to shirk my duties as the number one amateur golf blogger on the planet. Too often, when I get the itch to write a blog, I’ve been leaning towards airing my grievances against the city of St. Louis’s food opinions or people who write life hacks. Even when I do write about golf, it’s more often than not about my girl Paige Spiranac’s social media, and while that may be a major part of my job description, I’m leaving a whole lot of golf talk on the table.
There’s just too much going on out there to not talk about, so I’m gonna reel it back in and write a golf blog about golf.
The LPGA needs to bend the knee to the ANWA
This is a time when we should all be excited about the state of golf, and women’s golf in particular. I have the longheld belief that I don’t discriminate between men’s and women’s sports on the basis of sex, but rather, if it’s actually good or not. I think the WNBA stinks for the simple fact that it does. It’s not good basketball. On the other hand, I think that the quality of play and storylines that go along with women’s tennis have recently been better than men’s tennis.
From Alexa Pano’s rise as a young talent in amateur golf, to Haley Moore overcoming a lot to win a championship with Arizona, women’s amateur golf has been fantastic. Well, the ANA Inspiration, the “first golf major of the year,” is contractually obligated to be played on the first week of April, so that it can be before the Masters and hold that title of being first. The problem is that women’s golf has five majors. Two of which have title sponsors, which is a necessary evil, but it cheapens the whole thing. Majors are titled as such out of tradition. Although a win comes with more perks and money than other tournaments, it’s hard to buy in to the fact that the ANA Inspiration is on the same level as tournaments like the Women’s US Open or the Women’s Open Championship.
Like it or not, the ANWA and LPGA are competing with one another this weekend. While women’s golf is growing, this move is kind of cannibalistic. It makes sense that the ANWA would be played the week before the Masters because people are excited to enjoy an appetizer for the first PGA major, plus it’s great golf. As someone who is really just an average Joe, my armchair quarterback take is that I’m more excited to watch the ANWA than I am to watch the Inspiration. I can’t help it. The obligation for the Inspiration to be played before the Masters is trivial in nature because they want to stake claim that it’s the first major of the year and maybe eyeballs will be earned because fans are getting excited for the Masters. The ANWA is scheduled out of practicality, the Inspiration is out of gimmick. When the contract is up, it doesn’t matter that the LPGA was first to schedule the major, what matters is how we’re going to grow the game for women. Move it and we’ll have more focus on the tournament.
Pimento cheese sandwich. Here’s the recipe.
-Monterey Jack Cheese
That’s it. There’s no hot sauce, no mustard powder, no paprika. You want to give yours an edge and make it fancy? Use higher quality cheese and shred it yourself. Now where did I get this recipe? From the source itself. Slather it on some white bread and you’re good to go. As for the amounts, figure it out. Obviously it’s not a cup of salt to a tablespoon of mayo. Grow up and get your Gordon Ramsay on.
-St. Germain elderflower liqueur
You can’t get liquor at Augusta National unless you have Berkman’s Place access and if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. So if you’re looking for an authentic experience, grab some Heineken, Stella, or your favorite domestic and enjoy the golf. But if you want to have a cocktail at home, and that’s probably the only advantage you have over the Patrons, this is a festive one. Pour as much gin, lemon juice, and St. Germain as you like in a shaker, and shake with ice. Strain over ice and top off with sprite. Then pour in grenadine without mixing. It sinks to the bottom and the last few sips are basically liquid diabetes but it looks great in a glass and is absolutely delicious. This is my version, but you can do a bastardized version as well with just gin, sprite, and grenadine, and after a few of those, you won’t care that Patrick Reed is making another run for the Masters win.
Masters Merch Shop
Since we’re on the topic of the Masters, I want to talk about buying gear from Augusta National. First of all, you hear all the time how people will spend two and three thousand dollars in the merch shop and it sounds crazy. After taking a jaunt through the store myself, I cannot stress how easy it actually is. You just want to grab absolutely everything. If you do get to go, take a deep breath, and as you’re adding the $500 set of Masters silverware to your bag, take a second to think about what exactly you’re about to buy. I think the standard is a polo, a quarter zip, a pin flag, a few Tervis tumblers to compliment the cups that come with the beer, a hat, and a ball marker/ divot tool. You want stuff that will last and that you’ll actually use. I bought one of the simple caddie hats and it just doesn’t fit my big head. For that reason, I’ve never worn it. Huge regret. I think understated items are best. You can’t go wrong with the simple Masters logo. Someone will always start a conversation with you while you’re wearing it, and for that reason, if you’ve never been, I would recommend not wearing Masters apparel. It for sure sounds like I’m gatekeeping, and I kind of am, but there’s nothing more disappointing when you say “hey, did you go to Augusta?” And they respond with “nah, my buddy did.” Plus, waiting until you actually go makes it that much sweeter.
Titleist CNCPT Irons
Titleist announced irons that will retail at $500 a club or around $4000 a set. Everyone has been quick to point out that they’re a limited release and the cost comes from the expensive alloy used to make them and the cost of R&D. They had this to say about them.
“CNCPT is an idea, a promise. It’s our answer to ‘What if,’” said Kelly Moser Jr., brand manager, CNCPT clubs. “What if our R&D engineers could bring their dreams to reality using materials and processes never before used in golf? We promise to provide them all the resources they need so that CNCPT will always deliver the ‘wow.’”
This is exactly what Bob Parsons sought to do with PXG, so I’m interested to see if these irons basically just put PXG to shame. If you follow the same thought process and can come up with something way better than the guy who has written the book on one size fits all ultra-premium irons, that kind of undermines what PXG is doing. I say ‘one size fits all’ because there are companies out there that offer irons sets for close to that price, but they’re being handmade by guys like Don White at National Custom Works.
It’s hard not to think about all the stuff I could buy in golf with $4,000. A tour rat Scotty, a Tyson Lamb putter, multiple sets of Miura irons, or a new set of AP2’s and a trip to Bandon Dunes all come to mind. It’s tough to say who these are for. It’s maybe someone who doesn’t really have a discerning eye for golf equipment, but has a ton of cash perhaps? Or hell, maybe these clubs are that good and it doesn’t matter that they’re customized down to the last detail. Time will tell. If these things really are the next generation of forgiveness, optimal launch, and increased ball speed, it’s hard not to imagine the technology will be in the hands of almost every tour pro soon and, when the price ultimately does come down, the standard for equipment in ten or so years.
Is it just me or has golf talk gotten unbearable over the last few months? Matt Kuchar not tipping El Tucan 10%, JB Holmes playing slow, Sergio destroying greens, rules controversies, Matt Kuchar and Sergio colliding for a story that wouldn’t be interesting had they not been the center of the media’s attention already, Jordan Spieth being chastised for not answering a politically pointed question. I agree that what makes sports fun is bar arguments with friends, but it’s just seemed out of control lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve had my ear to the ground more on twitter and golf forums, but it’s kind of unbearable and not fun. You’d think with guys like Keith Mitchell winning and Phil’s swing speed magically increasing as he gets closer to the age of a senior tour player, there would be a lot more fun and positive stuff to talk about. I don’t really have a solution other than just logging off the internet and watching golf on mute, but let’s face it, that’s never gonna happen.