Presidential (golf) address
Even the leader of the free world needs a helping hand to shave some strokes off his golf game
Published on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 11:02AM EST Last updated on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 11:04AM EST
Butch Harmon has taught - and continues to mentor - some of the best players in golf. This weekend, he will get a shot at teaching one of the highest profile amateurs in the game - U.S. President Barack Obama.
According to Golf Digest’s Tim Rosaforte, the President is planning on spending the weekend at the The Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Florida, which is home to the Harmon School of Golf. The president - an avid golfer - inquired if the Harmons, Butch and son Claude III, would be in town to help him with his game. Harmon - who once taught Tiger Woods the finer points of the game and currently counts Phil Mickelson among his high profile clients - is relishing the opportunity to break down Obama’s game.
"I've played golf with Ike, Nixon, Ford and President Bush 41," Harmon told Rosaforte. "It'll be fun to get him down in the learning center, show him stuff in his golf game and see how he takes it to the course. He's just like all of us that play golf. He wants to get better."
FLASH MOB: When it comes to golf delays, we’ve all seen and heard about the usual suspects - rain, hail, fog, wind and even snow. But during Thursday’s opening round of the Women’s Australian Open, it was likely a first as a mob of kangaroos invaded the fairway on the ninthhole, delaying Karrie Webb from playing her next shot. The image below, shot by Stefan Postles of Getty Images, has become a viral hit on the internet.
It’s the second animal related incident associated with the tournament. Swedish player Daniela Holmqvist was bitten by a deadly Black Widow spider during a qualifying round, forcing her to use a golf tee to help open up the wound and get the poisonous venom out of her system before it did any real damage!
FIGHTING WORDS: The next Ryder Cup is still more than a year ago but Ian Poulter didn’t waste any time injecting some much needed bulletin board material for the American side. In a recent article for Golf World magazine, Poulter said that newly appointed European captain Paul McGinley will have an advantage over his American counterpart, Tom Watson, because he is closer to the players who will make up the team.
“In many ways he will know his players better than Tom will know his, if for no other reason than he is a lot younger and so much closer to them in terms of playing,” said the Englishman, who was one of the heroes of last year’s stunning come-from-behind win by Europe in Chicago.
“That may prove a big advantage. He will know what makes us tick and what we like - that’s healthy.
“Tom, because of his age, will inevitably be slightly more detached from his team. He won’t have played as much with the current crop of players.”
Poulter added that had the Ryder Cup committee bowed to pressure from some quarters and appointed 2010 winning captain Colin Montgomerie ahead of McGinley, it could have led to a mini-revolt among some of the European players.
“While of course Colin was influential in our victory (in 2010), to give it to him again so soon would have been a ‘reaction’ to Tom Watson’s selection and I think it would have been the wrong reaction,” said Poulter.
“It would have upset a lot of people as well as some of the players - and that becomes a very dangerous thing to do. ...It is going to be such a close match, the last thing in the world that Europe needs or wants is to start the week with a few players not in the best of moods.”
“No one is expecting Paul to go toe-to-toe with Tom - he can’t - Paul just needs to be Paul.”
Predictably, Poulter took some stick for his views.
Ha ha read the entire question and answer to my conversation about Europe & USA Ryder cup captains, Relax i am making a valid observation.
Ha ha read the entire question and answer to my conversation about Europe & USA Ryder cup captains, Relax i am making a valid observation.— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) February 14, 2013
THORN IN MY SIDE: David Milne is threatening to become a thorn in Donald Trump’s side once again.
The Scotsman first found himself at loggerheads with the American real estate tycoon when he refused to sell his home to the Trump Organization back in 2009 when the first championship golf course was proposed on the Menie Estate. Trump, who was accused of waging a campaign of intimidation against local residents who refused to sell to him, branded Milne’s farm “ugly” and reportedly offered to pay 15-percent more than what Milne’s farm was worth just to tear it down.
Fast forward to the present where Milne has been granted permission by Scottish Parliament officials to proceed with his petition asking for a public inquiry into Trump’s plans to build a second golf on the estate.
Milne says his petition is not aimed directly at Trump but rather some of the other groups and committees that were involved in breaches of planning regulations before Trump was given the green light to construct his links course.
"We have had to be patient to get to this stage, but we are calling for a full public inquiry into what happened and we want the full facts to emerge,” he told STV News. "It's time to take action and make sure no community anywhere in Scotland ever has to face the kind of threat we have lived with over the last seven years."
“If we can secure an inquiry, and if that inquiry can make a difference the next time a bullying developer meets officials from the Scottish Government or one of the councils, then that will be a substantial silver lining.”
Predictably, the Trump Organization is downplaying Milne’s petition, saying there is “no basis for it.”
OFF-COURSE: The International Golf Federation is said to be “very concerned” with the lack of progress on the construction of the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio.
According to a report in the Olympic publication Around The Rings, IGF Executive Director Antony Scanlon says time is running short to construct and condition a championship standard golf course.
“The IGF are anxiously waiting for the necessary legislation to be passed at the next sitting of the Rio de Janeiro council and that all the required contracts, licenses and permits are issued and able to be executed immediately so that construction proper can commence as soon as possible.”
A Brazilian company, Elmway Participacoes, is currently fighting with Olympic organizers over ownership of the land that the course is supposed to be built on. The firm says if its lawsuit is successful, negotiations with Rio Olympic officials will cease and they will move ahead with plans to erect a housing complex on the land.
A communications spokesperson appeared to downplay any talk of a delay, saying the necessary legislation has been voted by the Rio de Janeiro Council and that course designer Gil Hanse has already set up shop in Brazil and plans to start moving earth are on track for April.
BREAKING BAD: Police in Purcell, Oklahoma report they have uncovered what they call a “pop-up” meth lab... on a golf course... in a porta potty.
“What are you guys laughing at. You try playing this (expletive) hole.” - Ernie Els, to a group of reporters after making par on the par-4 10th hole at Riviera, described as one of the best and most frightening holes in golf.