The Messy Business of Golf

Back in August, I talked about some thoughts on LIV Golf vs the PGA Tour. It’s still raging as a firestorm and causing a divide in the golf community as well as among the tour pros.

I cannot expect this thing to end any day soon.

Both parties just seemed entrenched in it.

Messy Media Coverage Doesn’t Help

The Wall Street Journal is known for its business and financial coverage. It also covers the business aspects of sports. Its latest article on PGA Tour executive jet usage as a sign of potential corporate corruption has a sensationalized title that will definitely draw in readers with some interest.

When the media coverage from even the top level journalism platforms seem to drift into the mess, it can get really messy.

The media spin on this rivalry is the makings of a reality TV fiasco before production has even launched. It most probably won’t be played out on the Golf Channel. It most assuredly will continue for a while and with no immediate end in sight.

Rooting for Rory

On Twitter their present with handles like @RoryMcllroyFans or @RoryTrackr, even @RoryStats. They’re on there. And they’re big fans of golf’s 3-time FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy.

Admittedly, I am a fan of Rory. I root for Rory usually at every turn with the exception of when he goes up against a fan fave like Rickie, Tiger, or Kevin Na. (Tiger, well, he’s in a realm all his own.) Other than that, I can see Rory swinging with power and looking to shave strokes all of the time.

Bubba takes it over the trees with SW

Let’s be real, though. Rory isn’t the type of big personality like John Daly. He’s not going to win you over with Southern charm like Bubba. ( I can’t lie. I will always come back to Bubba shutting up a fan with a pure shot to the green over some trees.) No dangling locks like Pat Perez or Tommy Fleetwood. That’s not Rory.

Seeing Rory do his thing is something to behold. The natural flow of his swing is stunning. The amount and degree of torque he generates drawing the club back is superhuman. The yardage he registers time and time again is feat of pure power unleashed. I really enjoy seeing Rory take on the major courses.

When you root for Rory, you want to swing it like Rory 100% of the time.

Oh, that 1 footer at the BMW?

Oh yeah. That one kind of stung a little bit I bet. It was hard enough to watch. I can only imagine what that must have been like for him after such a stellar FedEx Cup run.

Well, I have to admit we all have been there at some point. I’ve had my head down with my eyes on the ball but my head just wasn’t in it. It happens and we move on. That’s just part of the game.

So maybe it’s not 100% of the time. Let’s say 98% of the time.

Needless to say, that 1 foot flub isn’t stopping anyone from rooting for Rory.

Play More Consistently

@RevBruceJ

My play has been anything but consistent. I can admit that.

I need to get more consistent with my play. I commit to that.

I want to be that consistent player who enjoys his play on the course and experiences something good on the scorecard.

Journeys Take Time

There’s a reason why the tagline for this site includes my journey to break 90.

It’s a journey and journeys take time.

You don’t just walk around the corner or down the block for 10 to 15 minutes and say it was a journey. No, journeys take some time.

Journeys take time for you to get the lessons that they offer. You might discover some things along the way, but you usually have most of the takeaways towards the end and after the journey has been completed.

Consistency Pays Off (in the Long Run)

Consistency has a payday.

The problem with that is that it usually takes time for it all to pay off. The payday for consistency is typically in the future. It usually pays off in the long run.

You don’t just show up and (POP or POOF) it all works out. That’s not realistic. It takes consistency. It takes time. Over time, it leads to a payoff.

Seeing Results on the Course

You’ll get the added benefit of seeing results emerge along the way. That’s the beauty of the journey. You can see where your consistency has led to game improvement and where your inconsistencies have led to repeated mistakes and errors in judgment.

Less time invested means you’ll see fewer results. Add another day on a short par 3 course. Put in an hour or so at the driving range. Place an emphasis on your short game. Whatever you do, add to it more consistently.

The results keep you motivated.

The results keep you coming back.

Invested in My Golf Game

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 

I was probably teeing off at either Chula Vista Golf Course or Mission Trails Golf Course when I heard about it. I just remember being captivated by the idea of it. In fact, it caused me to be a little distracted until the second or third hole. (I think it was Chula Vista. I recall going into water that ran along the course.)

The guy who was paired with and playing with us had mentioned that he had invested in Callaway.

Think about it.

This was Big Bertha era. This was when the PGA was all up in arms about equipment specifications and restrictions. Callaway was long before PGX in leveling the playing field for weekend golfers to gain yardage off the tee.

And this dude was casually talking about how he had invested in Callaway early on as an IPO.

I was intrigued.

I was starting to invest beyond my mutual funds with Franklin-Templeton and I had started a trading account with TD Waterhouse (later TD Ameritrade). I held a few shares of companies like Oracle, Pepsi, and Ford.

But this guy owned Callaway.

I looked into it and that’s when I became a conscious investor in the game of golf and the world of sports.


You can read all about my sports portfolio that I have accumulated via this Medium article that I wrote a while back.


Popular Golf Stocks for Investors

Fun Facts about the List

  • Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF ($BETZ) is most probably one of the oddest items on the list.
  • Comcast owns NBC and the Golf Channel
  • One of these stocks is actually using the ticker symbol: $GOLF

I didn’t include Nike ($NKE) because despite their athletic apparel lines which include golf gear the company no longer makes golf equipment.

There might be some other names missed on this list, too. I just wanted to create a broad list of golf-related investments available out there including an ETF.

Callaway as a Stock

Like I said, I was first introduced to the entire idea of investing in golf stocks by a guy who owned a piece of Callaway. That was where I did my initial research.

$ELY still is available under $25 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Got any golf stocks you want to share? Share in the comments & keep swinging

LIV Golf vs PGA Tour

Bunch of Noise = Big Distraction

The famous of English Prime Ministers was a golfer

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

Winston S. Churchill

LIV Golf came onto the scene in a whirlwind of controversy. That might be an understatement.

It seemed to really pick up steam once Lefty opened his mouth back in February. Basically, Phil Mickelson called the Saudi Arabian backers of LIV Golf “scary” and spoke on how they have a “horrible record on human rights.” He was also critical of the PGA Tour using what he called “manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics.” It is all documented with his quotes and other details.

Phil got all of the criticism and backlash, but LIV Golf got plenty of press coverage and social media buzz. It gave way to a widespread recruitment of top golfers from the PGA in a style that resembles what many would consider poaching. The big ticket offers to play and party-style jets and events for LIV Golf attracted some big names like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Pat Perez, and others.

The PGA Tour and its commissioner Jay Monahan have not been sitting back watching things go down quietly. The latest developments have led to a court case that seems hinge upon the PGA’s authority to suspend players for defecting to the LIV side. It’s an antitrust lawsuit with a 105-page complaint against the PGA Tour.

So far, we’ve seen a lot of mud slinging and muscle moves from both LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.

Fans Want to Pros Play Golf

The classic golf reporting of Bubba Watson disregarding a spectator’s advice and working his magic on a recovery shot is the type of stuff true golf fans live for these days. It speaks to the golf fan’s desire to see the pros play their game in plain view. Golf fans want to be in the gallery in person or sitting on the couch watching Golf Channel to see the best doing it facing tough course designs and unfathomable pin placements.

Most golf fans could care less about whoever promotes, sponsors or hosts the tournament. They just want to see the pros play golf.

That’s the big deal.

Don’t Buy into the Nonsense

I think we can honestly say that the disruption has led to a major distraction. In fact, LIV Golf’s biggest critic at the onset was Lefty, and now he’s going to join the LIV Golf Tour. Conversely, some of the initial defectors from the PGA Tour have reportedly backed out of their commitment to the LIV Golf Tour. These types of changes are o be expected and will most probably continue as “developments” in the process of such a disruptive and divisive time period in the world of golf.

Don’t give it much attention.

If you love watching golf, Brooke Henderson is doing some amazing stuff within the ranks of the LPGA. She’s 6th in world ranking and #3 on the money list. Her latest victories have been stunning displays of golf to witness. The televised PGA Tour might be missing some big names, but it still has some exciting play. If you really want that good ol’ days feeling, then watch the Champions Tour.

Swing it like you mean it!!

If you love playing golf, play an extra round or hit the driving range more often as this LIV-PGA business gets sorted out. At the end of the day, it’s not helping your handicap much. It’s not a major factor for your own golf game. It’s just another ounce of small talk to discuss while awaiting the other foursome to tee off since the starter has groups backed up at the first tee due to the great resignation and supply chain issues.

Just play more golf and carry on.

Back to Swinging

Looking back at my blog posts, it has been nearly a year since I was last actively posting. That was a post on Cantlay’s hot streak. My, oh, my, how things have changed since then. Undoubtedly, I have been actively keeping an eye on things in the world of golf. yet, I have yet to get back to full swing yet.

At the end of July, I got a chance to go to the driving range with a good friend and show him a few things. It also gave me a chance to get back into the swing of things with golf.

I felt like I was ready to tackle the course, but I know that I need a few more driving range sessions and a round or two on a par 3 course before I play a round of 18 at a par 72 course again. But I’m feeling that itch and I’m back to swinging the clubs like a winner.

I’m looking forward to getting back on track and back to swinging the club on a regular basis. Until then, check out the video and enjoy.

Cantlay Hits a Hot Streak

Winning the FedEx Cup Plus More

ESPN entitled its coverage of his latest victory like this: Patrick Cantlay posts ‘a huge win,’ capturing FedEx Cup in dramatic fashion at the Tour Championship. Yes, in bold print!!

You cannot doubt that Patrick Cantlay has been on a run of late.

  • FedEx Cup ranked 1st
  • Ryder Cup slot with latest victory
  • Tour Championship win
  • BMW Championship win
  • Memorial Tournament (Nationwide) win

Aside from everything else that has been going on in the golf world to take away our attention from solid, consistent play, let’s say that 2021 has shaped up to be a banner year for Patrick Cantlay. He’s got more top PGA wins this year than any year of his career. He’s making a name for himself as he delivers time and time again, even in playoff situations.

What’s Next for Cantlay to Conquer?

Next up has got to be a major championship. Cantlay has not won one yet. And that seems to remain a point of contention for many observers without Cantlay having to say much about it himself.

Patrick Cantlay has a record in the majors that no one but the golf press really would write home about. Missing the cut at 2 majors stands out. Not even ranking for a top 10 position in any 2021 major stands out as well. In fact, He ended up tied for 15th place at the U.S. Open. His best performance in a major event left him tied for third at the 2019 PGA Championship. With dismal numbers like that, it’s hard to imagine Patrick Cantlay bringing home some PGA major event hardware home any time soon.

Kyle Porter just dropped an article on CBS Sports regarding Cantlay and his failure to win a major. In Porter’s own words, he was sure to say: “This is not a criticism of Cantlay’s game.” However, no matter how you question it or pose it as a wondering, even an inquisitive inquiry, it boils down to the inability of Cantlay to claim a victory in any of the 4 major championships.

The Future Odds on Cantlay

Despite his latest victories, Cantlay is not a favored pick for a major with some oddsmakers. It’s a toss-up when you consider his past record in majors and his recent victories on the PGA Tour.

Golfodds.com has names like Dustin Johnson (16/1) and Jon Rahm (10/1) ahead of Cantlay at 20-to-1 odds of winning the 2022 Masters. Vegas Insider has Rory McIlroy as a top pick for the 2022 PGA Championship with Cantlay somewhere in the midst of the fray behind Brooks and Xander. The Sports Geek points out: “Patrick Cantlay is a +550 betting favorite at BetMGM to win a golf major in 2022.”

But did fantasy golf experts have Cantlay on their top picks for this one? Do oddsmakers have the final say through the final round? Or, are all of these predictions just throwing caution at the wind when we just have to have it played out in reality?

Fan favorite or not, Cantlay has a bright future ahead of him if he stays on this type of streak. His putting is spot on and he’s seemingly directing the ball at the right angles for the perfect setup shots. Most fans would hope for him to keep marking pars and birdies on the scorecard on the way to more victories. Yet, if 2022 comes without a major championship win for him, we’re left to wonder where does that leave Cantlay in the golf history books.

Will a major championship make that big of a difference?

I’ll get back to playing in a week or so. Nagging wrist injury from applying for jobs online. LOL

A 6 Way Playoff at Wyndham Championship

I am not going to lie at all. I liked what I saw on the course. It was a joy and an honor just to witness it.

Unlike some things in the world of sports, the Wyndham Championship delivered on thrills and moments worthy of ESPN golf highlights. And for there to be a 6-way playoff at the Wyndham Championship, that was all the more exciting to watch.

Congratulations: Kevin Kisner for winning the 6-man playoff and earning a $1,152,000 windfall. It was his first win since 2019 and the fourth PGA Tour win of his career, but it was his first playoff win. Congrats!

My Condolences: My man of whom I am a fan Kevin Na almost brought it home by finishing 15 uner (-15) and shooting rounds of 68-64-67-66. His final round of 66 at 4 under par was good enough to tie for 2nd but remains impressive nonetheless.

What Happened?: Russell Henley was in the lead, then there was a bogey on the second hole. That’s no big deal. Plenty of pros recover from that. It was the four bogeys on the back 9 that gave him a +1 finish for the final round. Ultimately, he missed out on the playoff opportunity and had to settle for tied for 7th with -14. I get it. It happens to the best of them just like it happens to the rest of us. Golf can be merciless at times.

My Hats Off to You: Chesson Hadley striking paydirt with his first career hole-in-one on the 16th hole. Not only was it his first ace on the PGA Tour but it awarded 1 million Wyndham rewards points on behalf of charity. Truly my hats off to this dude, especially for his happy hop of a reaction to hitting it in one shot.

First 6-Man Playoff on the PGA Tour

It was nothing less than amazing to see it play out no matter how it turned out. The thrill of a 6-man playoff on the PGA Tour was truly a treat.

I mean we’ve seen playoff holes before. They’re nothing new. They usually are the stuff that breaks down to exposing the tenacity and toughness of players to go the distance. However, your typical playoff might include 2 or 3 players in a playoff as the norm. It might even require not playing again until the next morning due to the loss of daylight. We’ve seen that before, too.

But a 6-man playoff offers a thrill like none other before. It was the equivalent of a World Series going extra innings with a series knotted up 3-3 and coaches using every arm in the bullpen to nab that victory. Or, it is like OT in Game 7 of an NBA Finals series that has the best of best matched up and going at it for the title. It’s not an everyday occurence and we owe thanks to the PGA Tour and its stellar players for delighting us with such an impressive round of golf and a bonus with the playoff itself.

The DeChambeau and Cobra Golf Controversy in My Eyes

DeChambeau Expressed Frustration with Cobra Clubs

Bryson DeChambeau gave an explanation as to why he struggled in the British Open. He put the blame right in his own bag: his Cobra clubs, especially his driver. He said his Cobra clubs were the issue. Naturally, Cobra was not pleased and one of its reps expressed their dissatisfaction with DeChambeau’s remarks.

Of course, DeChambeau’s comments did not just remain out there. He later apologized for his remarks. He and Cobra appear to still be in partnership, DeChambeau seen sporting a black Cobra driving cap during the St. Jude Invitational. That British Open apology from DeChambeau did not seem to linger long.

Satisfied with Cobra Clubs

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For me, it’s almost a no-brainer. I enjoy my Cobra F-Max irons. I love the weight of the irons in your hands and the grip. They’re used clubs, but I had a choice between them and a set of some Taylormade irons and hybrids. I don’t have the Cobra driver to go along with the set like DeChambeau, but I also don’t have a personalized fitted set of clubs made just for me.

Custom clubs from the Hawk. Available only with your mouse.

I can say that my current driver made just for me is sitting outside of my bag more than it sees usage on the course. Why? Because just like the many pros we see them tee off, my tee shots go and drift off this way and that way based on some heavy-handed swinging I am bringing from the shoulders and some alignment issues at address. I brought back my Taylormade Burner and put it into action, but I have found that I can also get more control with my 3 or 5 wood. I can even use a hybrid to launch it off the tee at times.

What the real problem is me and my level of consistency. I need to find that swing groove again off the tee. I am working out differently and it’s also impacting my game. When I was mainly running for exercise, I was slimming down and that should in my level of endurance and energy. Nowadays I do mainly bodyweight exercises with HIIT workouts and floor exercises. I am not losing weight as I put on some muscle mass here and there. This impacts my game as my shoulders and arms are coming down and into the ball, sending that Callaway Chrome into flight. that’s where I see my struggles come from, not the club itself.

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Am I ready to go back to my personalized driver yet?

Not quite. Once I settle down and settle into a solid swing rhythm, I think I will be there. For now, I am good with getting my practice rounds in and getting a few more Mulligans in my favor on those wild drives.

Vice Golf Personalized Golf Balls

Brian Penn of All About Golf suggested I invest in some lessons. I’m not ready to do it yet. I will probably pull the trigger some time this fall and see what comes of it. For now, like I said before, I will take a few wild drives and make some remarkable recovery shots. After all, half of the fun is seeing what trouble you can work your way out of with your clubs. The same ones you got yourself into trouble with.

Vice Golf Golf Balls

Bringing Back Conservative Play

My time on the gold course has been a continual learning experience. I’ve come to enjoy the little lessons that have come my way by way of learning what works and what doesn’t work for my game.

What Doesn’t Work

It’s always obvious what doesn’t work. The problem is that it’s not always the same thing that doesn’t work. During some outings, I can swing my 7 wood, solidly smack a golf ball against the thin club face, and smash it like a laser unto the green from within 150 yards. Other times, I find myself struggling to get off the tee.

Give me another ball! (Tin Cup)

What Works (For Me)

I have learned to put into practice and play what works for me. I cannot speak for anyone else or substitute what works for them and drop that into my repertoire.

I got to go for what I know by applying what works for me.

That’s a struggle on the golf course at times when you have some golf buddies who always have a library catalog of golf tips and knowledge like the next Ty Webb with insights like “Be the ball.” You cannot make every swing adjustment that works for that other dude because he’s all of 5’6 and you’re over 6 feet tall. His swing is troubled by an outside to in swing path with a dip in the shoulders. You just have issues with your alignment at approach and keeping your head down through your swing with your hybrids and long irons. Almost anything he has to say to you is null and void for your game.

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Conservative Play Means

  • Cautionary without getting careless
  • Consistency without getting too complicated
  • Correction without creating a new swing by the turn

My Mantra is Reborn

It all comes down to the way that you play. You’ll never have fun if you keep playing stressed out and on edge. Golf is a leisure sport. It’s not meant to be played like high intensity sports like the grid iron, hoops or baseball. You’re supposed to enjoy golf and reap the benefits of a an easy-paced recreational sport.

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My mantra is:

  • Play it smart: think through your next shot based on the conditions and the course
  • Play it safe: consider the obstacles or hazards in play as well as the course layout like doglegs or low-hanging tree branches near the fairway
  • Play it strategically: limit the recovery shots by playing the best option available and planning the follow-up shot after that

My goal is to improve my scorecard results. I want to land somewhere between 85-88 on a consistent basis, approximately 75% of the time. I want to feel confident when I go out to play that I will enjoy myself as I fish a birdie out of hole on a par 3 every now and then. That’s what I want and where I am headed.

Let’s see what comes up next time.

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