Chris Baldwin This Week at April 26, 2005:

Vijay Singh backed into a tournament title when John Daly decided to go ... well, John Daly and not warm up before promptly launching the ball skip, sliding into the water. (Despite what National Golf Editor Tim McDonald argues this isn't cute in a professional golfer, just sort of dumb.)

Still, Vijay's Houston Open win wasn't even close to his biggest back-in of the week. No, that would be the Friendly Fijian's election into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Using the term election loosely. For Singh got in despite finishing 9 percentage points short of the supposed criteria for making the Hall (65 percent of the vote).

This because Hall officials decided to add a provision two years ago stating that if no player gets at least 65 percent of the vote, the player with the highest percentage over 50 percent gets in. This after the World Golf Hall of Fame lowered its criteria from 75 percent of the vote to 65 percent of the vote in 2001. Next year, a nice smile and an endorsement letter from your caddy gets you a spot in the Hall!

No one's suggesting Vijay Singh would not have earned a spot in the Hall eventually, even if he is a jerk masquerading as a gentleman (see Vijay call his caddy a drunk, torment Phil over supposed spike marks, etc.) This isn't a Pete Rose situation. Heck, no one's suggesting anyone even cares about the World Golf Hall of Fame.

But this is another case of sports lowering the bar in today's modern age, making it easier and easier to collect false honors. If it's not golf's version of Mike Tyson carelessly sending a playoff shot into the water, it's some guys in Brooks Brothers blazers bowing down at someone's, anyone's, feet. Just so an induction ceremony can go on as scheduled.

Here at, we fight against that kind easy acceptance. You won't see any token glowing course reviews. We'll tell you why the Mountain Course is a much better choice than the Greg Norman Course in Palm Springs fantasyland. Jennifer Mario will let loose with the truth on what truly annoys women on the golf course. Tim McDonald will let you know that Tampa's Saddlebrook resort courses are just too expensive, future gift bags be damned.

Sometimes, this type of honesty gets you mentioned in the Washington Post. Especially if you wear a ridiculous hat while fighting strippers. But it's all about trying to provide golfers with an honest voice on their sport/life passion in a wilderness of PR con jobs.

It really only matters what you think. As always your comments are welcome on any topic, including Vijay backing into the Hall and how we're doing.

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Arnold Palmer Golf AcademyCured slice has skeptical golf
hack seeing the light

Okay, I admit it - not all golf instructors are con men, National Golf Editor Tim McDonald writes in his latest column. I still think, overall, they're mostly scam artists, exploiting average hackers. Not Rolf Deming, though. I asked him to cure my wicked slice (adjoining counties often alert the Emergency Response Team when I hit the driving range). Rolf didn't fill my head with psycho-babble, his solution was simple – and it worked!
Full story | Golf Instruction Central

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Two of the critiques of Jack Nicklaus's golf course designs are that he never met a bulldozer he didn't like, and that he designs courses to suit his style of play, that long draw he hit to near-perfection. Well, in flat Florida, moving dirt isn't always a bad thing. Witness the North-South course at Orlando’s Grand Cypress villas. Without that bulldozer, you'd have another flat course that can be found just about anywhere on the golf course-crazy peninsula.
Full story | A tribute to the Old Course

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The Washington Post recently gave some love to bloggers -- specifically mentioning the Rebel Blogger and Jennifer Mario. The paper writes, "The Rebel Blogger (despite his habit of picking dogfights with other golf bloggers) is refreshingly unforgiving of various resorts, courses, equipment, teaching methods, and so on,” the paper writes. Meanwhile, at Blog Central, Tim McDonald has called out the National Golf Course Owners Association, challenging the group to address the hot-button topic of facilities charging premium fees even while their courses are undergoing aeration or other disruptive maintenance. And Mario rips Retief Goosen for joining ranks with Vijay Singh and Greg Norman in opposing PGA Tour sponsor exemptions for women.

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