Category Archives: Humor

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Highlight Hole: No. 17 at the Grand Del Mar

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The blog is about to go on a mini-vacation, but wanted to post this from my round this week at the Grand Del Mar before signing off. I’ll be writing more about the Grand after the break so you can look forward to that. It was one of the biggies I hadn’t played in San Diego, so it was nice to finally have the experience.

I’d heard about golf at the Grand in general over the years, but not in specifics. Well, here’s one of the secrets its keeps from golfers who don’t play their rounds at that price point: They might have the toughest par 3 in San Diego.

I haven’t spent much time pondering that list – No. 11 at Torrey (South) comes to mind along with No. 17 at Encinitas Ranch and, if we step a couple paces past the county line, No. 17 at Journey at Pechanga is worthy – but let’s make 17 at the Grand the tentative No. 1 seed.

Difficulty isn’t your first thought when you come to the hole; it’s beauty. I mean, look at it.

Tom Fazio built a masterpiece here with a half-island green guarded by water on the left and a postage stamp of a bunker on the right (“That’s a busy little bunker,” our caddie assured us) and surrounded by a setting that evokes Aviara comparisons.

You admire the scene for a bit, then realize you have to play it … and then the caddie gives you the yardage.

“It’s 242 yard from the pro tees,” he says, “but it plays 256-260 because it’s always into the wind.”

Gulp. We opted not to even play that one for fun. Phil just practiced here. 3-iron? Hybrid? I’d love to watch that.

It’s 216 from the blacks, and 178 from the blues – our tees. I played it like 200 and pulled hybrid. I hit it great, but then the familiar shot shape showed up – starting right, hooking left … uh oh.

My ball bounded off the left bank – but, hey, pin-high – and joined the half dozen other Titleists in the lake. My playing partner fared no better.

I simply took a drop, finished out and doffed my cap to a hole that makes you feel like just got a taste of the PGA Tour. And, appropriately, I was going home within the hour as would be the case at (insert your Tour event of choice here).

While driving to 18, I started to talk strategy for 17 with the caddie and recalled a Tom Watson lament from earlier this year. He wondered my players never check their ego and lay up on a difficult par 3.

It doesn’t take Dr. Phil – or Dr. Bob Rotella, for that matter – to answer that one, but you could certainly make a case for Watson’s strategy here. There is ample room short to place a 7 iron and then wedge it in and hope for a one-putt.

But the fun in that would be … ?

I hope I get another crack at 17 sometime because it just made my list of San Diego holes where I’d like to make par or better. But there’s only one way I’m going to do that …

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Re-Post: How Caddies Make the Game A Whole Lot Better

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Editor’s note: This is a re-post of something a wrote a year ago that pertains to the above post about caddies about Maderas. This piece captures what the caddie experience means to me.

For whatever reason, it didn’t dawn on me until about 10 minutes before we teed off at Sherwood on Monday that we’d have caddies. If it had, I would’ve been 10 times more excited than the 10 times more excited I already was than for a normal round of golf.

Caddies are such a great way to experience the game, and a luxury I’ve rarely been afforded, but one that I think would hook more people on the game if they got to experience it even once.

When you hire a caddie, you’re also hiring a tour guide, a swing coach, a greens guru, a motivational speaker, a cheerleader, a comedian, a personal assistant and more all rolled into one. In my experience, it’s a guaranteed good time, and an always memorable one, on the golf course when you have a caddie.

(And I realize that, for some people, we’re into issues of elitism here and some of people’s other pet issues with golf, but let’s suspend that for a moment, shall we?)

The first time I ever had a caddie was when I played in Jamaica, where Jamaican law requires you to play with a caddie. Our caddy’s name was Devon, and he looked like he could’ve walked right off the course from a 1970s Masters, white coveralls and all.

Anyway, I didn’t totally know what type of experience I was in for with him, but I got a pretty good idea on my first tee shot, which I hooked high into the palm trees on the mountain on the first hole.

Devon dashed off the tee box, shouting, “No worries, mon! I got it! Hit again!”

Cool! Throughout the round, Devon was basically a walking GPS, previewing holes, giving me yardages, reading my putts and at the same time, basically teaching beginner’s golf to my playing partner, all while cleaning our clubs. He balanced it all remarkably well.

Anyway, I recall it being a very relaxed round and so much fun that we went back the next day. And that’s when I hit the shot I recall most.

While playing a long par-3, I carved a 5-wood incredibly close to the hole, or so it looked to me from the tee. Doubt started to creep in though because my caddie, a man with a line for every golf shot under the sun, was silent. Finally, he approached me on the tee, took my 5-wood and handed me my putter.

“They always say the pro walks off the tee carrying his putter,” he told me, making me feel 10 feet tall walking off the box.

It turned out that the putt was much more than a tap-in, but I still saved par, and it was my hole of the trip, largely because Devon made it so.

So when a caddie named Bruce hopped into my cart on Monday, it automatically gave me a good vibe about how the round would go, regardless of the score. And, truth be told, at the beginning, it didn’t go well, but Bruce made that part memorable, too.

On the third hole, I hit a rare slice off the tee and way OB right into the backyard one of the multi-million-dollar homes. As I handed Bruce my club, he provided an interesting piece of course knowledge.

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, that’s the backyard of Britney Spears’ old house,” he said.

“Hey,” I replied, “if you’re going to lose a ball, better it be almost famous, right?”

My round turned around on the fourth hole, where Bruce’s read of a tough uphill breaking putt helped me make birdie, and a great golf day ensued from there.

Sherwood was a spectacular, borderline surreal, golf experience for me, and undoubtedly one of the five best courses I’ve ever played. I would’ve enjoyed the day regardless of how I played, but my scorecard probably would’ve looked drastically different were it not for Bruce’s guidance.

I’ve come to think of a good caddy as being like a good personal trainer: they get that 10 to 15 percent more out of you that’s hard to get out of yourself.

That certainly happened on the back nine, where it felt like Bruce had seen me swing enough to that he knew how to club me and what shots to recommend. I hit an uncommon number of good golf shots over those nine holes, but none better than on the last two.

Our next-to-last hole was a 491-yard par-5 with a green fronted by a creek. The play off the tee was to hit the left side of the fairway and let it roll right. I hit my best tee shot of the day and actually carried it past the suggested landing area.

That left me 230 out, prime yardage to get home in two with my hybrid, and Bruce was giving me the green light all the way. And I was only too willing, largely because I’d botched a similar shot on a previous par-5 off a perfect lie.

This lie, however, wasn’t so perfect. It was a bit of a side hill and especially troublesome for me because it wasn’t conducive for the stanch I needed to hit my draw. Because of this, I couldn’t get comfortable over the shot.

That’s when Bruce stepped in and redirected me.

“Take it off the right side of the bridge,” he said, causing me to focus left instead of right.

This created a dilemma. Hitting where Bruce recommended meant playing a cut, an uncertain outcome from me. Part of the allure of playing right was a bail-out area, where I could still recover for birdie if I didn’t completely pull off the approach.

Seeing I was still debating, Bruce provided the closing argument.

“Trust the read, boss. Hit the shot.”

With that, I settled in on the recommended line, and when I planted my lead leg, it felt solid. And I’d now be swinging more with the slope than against it. I was all in. And I fired.

The ball shot out like a pin-seeking dart. Tracking at the hole all the way, it easily carried the creek, hit short of the flagstick and rolled 15 feet past.

“That’s the best shot you’ve ever hit in your life, bro!” Bruce shouted, and high-fives and fist bumps ensued.

On the green, Bruce guided me to a two-putt birdie and later blamed himself for costing me eagle.

“I should’ve backed you off 20 percent on that stroke. You were a little too amped up there.”

No complaints here, Bruce. That was no gimme.

Having pocketed two birdies for the round, I was more than satisfied with my play for the day, but we still had one hole to go – a 146-yard par-3.

The hole was playing longer because the pin was tucked on the back tier. I was thinking of playing safe, but Bruce handed me my 8 and told me to go right at it. So I did.

Six feet. Another round of cheers broke out, making me suddenly feel like I had my own gallery.

Bruce greeted me at the cart by handing me my Cleveland putter and on the green he provided me with a two-word read on the putt. Straight in. And it was. Birdie!

Four birdies in a round is my record, and it wasn’t on a course nearly the caliber of Sherwood. I walked off the last hole on a golf high and ready to play 18 more. But alas we were done, and it’s probably better that way. You don’t mess with walk-off birdies. That was a first for me.

Anyway, a day like that makes you ponder the possibilities for your game. What if I had a Bruce for every round I played? Dare to dream. Friday it was back to the reality of approaches that just miss the green and birdie putts that don’t quite find the hole.

As we parted in the parking lot on Monday, I joked with Bruce that I’d like to have him in an app. that I could just open and point at the course when I needed a yardage, a read, or even maybe just a little comedic a relief.

Only I wasn’t joking. Move over, Siri. I want Bruce.

Photo Post: Bad Lie

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This was my friend’s lie after a 290-yard drive on a par 5 at Encinitas Ranch. That’s what I call cruel and unusual punishment. And he had to hit it lefty.

Incredibly, he salvaged par. We know it’s not a fair game, but sometimes it’s just a little cruel.

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Friday Photo Post: Huge Waves in Cbad/Oside

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After more than two years of living here now, one of my self-styled favorite California credos has become: When in doubt, walk the beach.

Given my recent travels, I was away from the beach for a week and thus suffering dreaded beach withdrawal. After sending out a virtual blizzard of post-PGA Show emails on Thursday, I needed to rest my fried creative brain. So I closed my laptop around 3 p.m. and pointed by sandaled toes westward.

What I witnessed on the beach over the next three hours reinforces what I tell people about CA: Its ability to wow you in an instant is part of what makes it such an incredible and, for me, inspiring place. Seemingly mundane can turn magical in a California heartbeat. And that’s what happened Thursday.

I walked out to an ocean that at first glance appeared normal. It was doing its usual rhythmic, splashy, beautiful thing … until it turned into something else: a performance.

The more I walked north, from Carlsbad’s beach to Oceanside’s, the more I noticed that the frequency of the waves was becoming more intense. The waves were literally coming in waves – in sets of four or five.

Then the size of the waves became noticeably larger, which is something I might’ve missed two years ago (Note: the blog neither surfs nor swims).

The noticeably agitated state of the ocean was doubly confirmed to me when a tank-topped California blonde male passerby and I had the following conversation:

Him: “Dude, where’s the beach?”

To translate Californian, he wasn’t asking where the beach was, because that question is just silly. We all know where the beach is.

He was asking, “Where did the beach go?” Moreover, “What’s the deal with the ocean?”

I related to him something a surfer told me near the Oceanside pier minutes earlier. Apparently hurricanes near Hawaii are sending us massive surf. The surfer was reporting 8-foot waves and said his surfer buddies were abandoning the water.

“It’s getting rough out there,” he said.

And it was. I watched the surfers for a good 10 minutes and it was like witnessing an amateur bull-riding competition. No one was staying up for more than three seconds.

You have to understand that this is really aggressive surf for Carlsbad/Oceanside.

Anyway, I tried to capture this event in pics – and nearly lost my iPhone doing it (more on that shortly).

Land-locked photogs won’t appreciate this, but taking interesting photos of the ocean isn’t that easy. You can’t just point your camera phone at the water and get great pics, which I know sounds absurd, but it’s true.

To get something not mundane of the ocean, you need two things: perspective or scale. Or both. Perspective defined: elevation (a lifeguard tower, a cliff, etc.). Scale defined: boats, rocks, people – something other than water compared to water.

Again, I know this sounds totally ridiculous, but I’m going to spare you posting about 50 boring ocean photos from yesterday that completely failed to capture what was happening to make my point.

Instead, I’ll post these, which are my amateur best. Trust me, it was a rad day to be on the beach. And, yes, that’s the first time I’ve ever used rad in a blog post. I was saving it. And today is supposed to be a rad ocean day as well. Now to the swell swells …

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This is the one of the entrances to Carlsbad beach. As the cops say, “There’s nothing to see here.” Well, nothing except normal, beautiful, awesome. This is what it looks like nearly every day.

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This photo probably looks like nothing, but trust me, it’s something. This was the first indication of more frequent waves than usual.

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This is what a pier getting pounded looks like. And it took the perspective of the pier to really properly capture what was going on.

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See?

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And this is what it looks like when you nearly lose your iPhone in the ocean. I had waded out into the water a bit to try to get a closer perspective on the pier. In that instant, a ropey strand of kelp washed up and wrapped around my ankles like a python. I briefly couldn’t move and then a wave hit me waist high and nearly took me out.

I immediately retreated to the beach. I have no business being in a turbid Pacific Ocean.

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Some of us stopped to appreciate what was going on. But many others just kept on doing their California thing, meaning …

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Running.

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Reading.

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And walking where you’d normally walk despite the fact that normally dry area is now engulfed in waves. This isn’t the best photo to show that, but it’s my best pic of the horizon. Photo editors have to make these sorts of tough calls. That’s what the blog pays me for. Or, more accurately, doesn’t pay me for.

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And this concludes our virtual day at the beach. If I get something good later, I’ll update and, as always, keep you posted.

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Photo Post: Day One of the 2014 West Coast PGA Show

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So the blog is still out in the desert doing bloggy stuff, but we’ve now reached our ultimate destination: the 2014 West Coast PGA Show in Las Vegas.

As you’re probably aware, the big industry show is in Orlando each year. The Vegas show, I’m told, is about one-quarter of the size and has more of a fashion focus, though the equipment companies and other elements of the industry (training aids, course services, etc.) are still present. And then you get your new business, which, for me, is the most entertaining part of the show. We’ll get to some of that in a second.

Anyway, this is just a few highlights about who’s here and what’s new that is in no way meant to be comprehensive. We’re here networking and gathering future blog material, but here’s a sample of the experience.

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This was my walk to work. I have to admit, I’ve had worse days at the office.

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We’ll start with a few local shout-outs. This is the Cobra Puma crew, smiling ear to ear after the year Rickie Fowler had in majors, particularly the PGA.

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And this is the crew from SKLZ, a friend of the blog. You will be reading much more about this seriously innovative and creative Carlsbad company down the road, but know that I learn something new every time I talk to them. You will enjoy being educated by them – & potentially trained.

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And here are our friends at Callaway Golf. You may recall that Callaway exhibited a military tank to promote its Tank putter at the Orlando show. Apparently that logistically didn’t work with the Venetian, so an over-sized driver had to do. Worked for me.

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This is Foresight, one of the launch monitor companies on the market and in use at some of the fitting studios, such as Fujikura. I’m a big believer in this stuff and am excited about the personalization trend to make this technology more affordable and accessible.

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Foresight’s new wrinkle is this kiosk, which gives your swing data instead of displaying on screen or viewing it on a laptop. The kiosk also helps you play more than 80 simulated courses. I really need to get around to writing that post about launch monitors and understanding the terminology and data. It’s worth knowing. If you haven’t heard the term “smash factor,” you’re my audience for that post.

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These are cooling visors made by a company called RealXGear based in Anna, Texas, which I now know is north of Dallas. You dip the visors in water and they keep you cool.

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They also make a personal mister that comes in a rechargeable can.

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OK, we’re all friends on the blog, right? We’ve known each other, what, 10 months now? We can talk have these conversations, right? OK …

No kidding this a men’s golf undergarment meant to keep your, well, “stuff” cool. It’s made by a “cool” company in Canada called 2 Under, utilizing a “cool” technology created in Canada and to keep us golfers cool here in the states. The technology actually utilizes sweat to create cool comfort below the beltline, or as it was explained to me, “it’s like air conditioning in your pants.” And there are puns galore where that came from, but I’ll just let a photo speak for all of them …

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In case that’s heard to read on your device, it says, “Joey Pouch.” I’ve got a pair now, so just call me Captain Kangaroo when you see me on the course.

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This is Golfboard, an electric board that replicates the feel of a skateboard/surfboard and can carry your golf clubs. You will definitely be hearing more about this, so I’ll keep it brief. You can think of this thing as a golf Segway of sorts. By the way, did you know the inventor of the Segway died riding a Segway? I think that merits Alanis releasing an updated version of “Ironic.”

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This is an app called Scan4Beer that allows you to order beer and other concession items from your cart on the golf course. I had a similar idea once, but there’s is better. Check it out.

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When people tell me I have a cool job, I don’t exactly object, but it’s sign like this that remind me their are levels beyond mine in the cool job hierarchy. Many of them are here.

No kidding, this is the show you pass to get to the PGA Show. The blog nearly stopped off and changed topics, but then we remembered our loyal readers and duty called. Hopefully none of you are holding that decision against me, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did.

That reminds me, I’ve got a “show” to catch.

Road Trip: Portland in Pictures

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Photo of Mt. Hood taken by Sally Lickliter

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I recently visited Portland on the sequel to my initial trip to the city two years ago during its annual craft beer festival, Brewfest.

The festival, and getting together with my friends who work in the food and beverage industry, is the reason for the gathering but only one of many reasons to visit what has quickly become one of my favorite cities.

The beers flow freely in Portland, especially during Brewfest, but so does the creativity. In that regard, this city inspires me like no other. In that sense, we are creative kindred spirits. I love Portland’s ability to put a slight genius twist on something ordinary.

For instance, when I visited two years ago, I came across a poster promoting the state’s annual bike ride. My home state has an annual bike ride. What my home state doesn’t have is a poster promoting the ride in which the state is outlined in a bicycle chain. Smart.

That’s Portland. From the names of its beers (I actually drank a beer called control/alt/delete) to the names of its pizza places (Sizzle Pie anyone?) to wisdom painted on an outdoor mural (“Chocolate Is the Answer – Who Cares What the Question Is), at nearly every turn Portland has the ability to make you think, laugh or simply smile. It’s a city whose sense of humor is a mix of one-liners and inside jokes coming at you rapid fire. Blink and you might miss something.

Anyway, the Brewfest is held on the river with a vista of snow-capped Mount Hood on the horizon. The photo at top was not taken at Brewfest, but rather by a friend I met who snapped it a day later on her camping trip.

I’ve showed that photo to several people (it’s now the wallpaper on my phone) and it’s been greeted with a mix of appropriate awe and wonder. Oregon is truly a beautiful state, as my window seat home doubly confirmed.
However, perhaps my favorite reaction to the photo was from a Portlander working at our hotel. He looked at the photo and exclaimed, “Hey, it’s Trillium Lake!” Um, yes. In front of that majestic mountain there is a body of water and we all now know its name, in case you didn’t (I didn’t).

I’ve decided to recount this trip in photo essay form, so it’s only light reading and some pretty pictures ahead. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did the trip.

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This was the 27th year of Brewfest, aka the Oregon Brewers Festival. The only craft brewery market bigger than San Diego is Portland. IF you’ve never been, you can read all about Brewfest at www.oregonbrewfest.com.

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See what I mean? A watermelon as a keg? Just a prop, but to quote an old Guinness commercial, “Brilliant!” And not a bad beer, either.

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SoCal is well represented at Brewfest. I was way too late to be Carlsbad’s push-pin delegate.

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Besides Brewfest, our troop makes it a point to visit some of the local breweries, largely because they are each so interesting and cool. Each seems to be its own little Cheers for its neighborhood. This one was called Base Camp and had a mountaineering theme.

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See, Portland’s doing that thing again. See? See?

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A S’more beer, not just some more beer. And with your S’more beer you can …

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Sit on the back patio and roast the marshmallow in your S’more kit.

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This isn’t Base Camp, but is a wall of wisdom at an outdoor food court comprised entirely of food trucks. Besides craft beers, Portland is the food truck capital as well. I would love to be Anthony Bourdain’s wingman on a Portland episode. Yo, Tony. A little love for the blog?

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There goes Portland doing its Portland thing again. You may have had a pedicab ride before, but have you had one from a girl wearing bicycle glasses? In Portland, such a thing is totally possible.

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Portland is also known for its bridges. This photo is the poor man’s poor man’s version of what a good photo of the bridges would look like.

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And on the flight home …

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Like I said, I couldn’t speak more highly of this city and especially the friendliness of its people. Cheers, Portland. Thanks another epic week. Let’s do it again soon. Does in another 360 days or so work for you? Just say, “Chocolate.”


Johnny Headline: 10 Ridiculous Johnny Manziel Headlines You Might Actually See Before Training Camp Opens

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If you’ve followed the sports news cycle, especially as it’s reported by a certain NFL-manic sports cable channel out of Bristol, you know that you can turn on the TV at most any hour and expect to see a Johnny Manziel story.

         Johnny Football’s ability to make headlines is now only rivaled in the sports realm by pal LeBron James and Tiger Woods. The difference, though, is that those two have actually done something recently to merit the coverage. Johnny, a back-up quarterback in Cleveland who according to the company line isn’t going to play this year, does nothing, or does something, or is rumored to have done something and that’s all that necessary for a story and a sensational headline.

         In that regard, his career has already reached Tebow-esque proportions without him even haven taken a snap in the NFL. On that note, it really wouldn’t surprise me if a headline appeared that read, “Tebow With More Career NFL Completions Than Manziel; Bad Omen?” Ok, that might be one for the Onion, but the headlines about Manziel these days aren’t far from being that absurd.

         Since we’ve got a whole entire month left before NFL training camp, I thought I’d throw a few absurd fake headlines you might see between now and then that aren’t that far from being plausible.

         The gist of these is that the kid can’t win. I don’t completely get it, but that’s the media vibe of Manziel Mania so much so that he finally had to retort, “I really don’t think I’ve done anything wrong” to the latest most ridiculous scrap of news that appeared virtually out of thin air.

         So in that spirit, and David Letterman style, I offer the top 10 headlines about Johnny Manziel that actually have half a chance of appearing in print.

10. Manziel Eats Donut Hole; What Does He Have Against Full-Sized Pastries?

9. Manziel Visits Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame; Country Music Industry Asks What It Ever Did to Him

8. Manziel Spotted Sitting Between Weight Lifting Reps; Work Ethic Called Into Question

7. Manziel 5 Seconds Late for Team Meeting; Has He Already Lost a Step?

6. ‘Hangover 4’: Manziel Drinks a Beer on 4th of July

5. Bottle Caps in Bottle Cap Alley Dusted for Manziel Fingerprints

4. Manziel Looks at Playing Field; Obviously Still Eyes Starting Job

3. Manziel Gets a Dog; Will Cat People Cancel Season Tickets?

2. Manziel Scolds Dog for Bad Behavior; Johnny Hypocrite?

1. LeBron Not Returning to Cleveland; Manziel to Blame

 Enjoy your summer, Johnny. Or least try to.

My Favorite Scene in “Tin Cup”: The 7-Iron Speech

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I meant to time this to the next time the Golf Channel runs a “Tin Cup” marathon, as it periodically does, but the approaching U.S. Open as timing seems just as good a reason.

Besides being the most anticipated tournaments of the year, the majors are just a great time in general to celebrate golf. That said, I’d to like to pay tribute to my favorite scene in the greatest golf movie of all time, “Tin Cup,” which we all know culminated in Roy McAvoy playing in the fictional U.S. Open.

I’ve watched golfers quote this movie, and even sing the songs, verbatim, showing how ingrained into the golf souls of people who love the game “Tin Cup” has become since it was made 1996 with, legend has it, input from Gary McCord, among others.

I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure a debate about a favorite scene in this movie could rage on for hours in the right crowd, and why wouldn’t it? Save from the romantic comedy scenes, what golf scene in this film isn’t iconic and, many times, relatable?

Roy getting the shanks on the range? Tin Cup: “Romes (his caddy), something’s terribly wrong!” What golfer can’t relate to the hopelessness of that? Or Romeo’s diagnosis: “The shanks are like a virus. They just show up.”

There’s the scene of Roy hitting the shot as David Simms’ caddie. There’s Roy knocking the pelican off the post after a bar bet. There’s Simms’ cunning bouncing of his 7-shot down the road to win a bet with Roy. And then there’s the culminating scene where Roy holes out to take a 12 on No. 18 at the Open after refusing to lay up – again.

But out of all that, if you’re telling me I only get one scene to take with me to a desert island to watch ‘til infinity, it’s the 7-iron scene.

The 7-iron scene is where Roy blows up on the course in his first Open qualifier in a dispute with his caddie, Romeo (Cheech Marin), about laying up on a par-5. We all know what happens next: Following Romeo’s lead, Roy breaks all the clubs in his bag – except his beloved and trusted 7-iron.

I believe the dialogue that follows to be the closest thing we have to golf poetry in that it speaks to the misgivings we’ve each had at one point or another about every club in our bag, and our unshakable faith in our 7-iron. You know it’s a day gone wrong on the course when your 7-iron betrays you.

In fact, a trust hierarchy of clubs probably starts 7-iron/putter/wedge … and ends somewhere with your long irons and possibly your driver, depending on how it’s going on the time.

Anyway, besides the sheer comedy and absurdity of the scene (it’s a bit like when Gene Hackman chose to play with four in “Hoosiers), I believe it’s the innate and universal truth about golf clubs that comes out amidst Roy’s rage that I find so endearing about this scene.

So for your amusement, appreciation and study (if you’ve never bothered to slow it down and catch every word) here’s my translation of the 7-iron speech.

To set the scene, Romeo (R in the screen play) and Roy (TC) are standing over Roy’s second shot on par-5, dogleg left. Roy wants to go for the green in two (“I’m going to go over those trees, with a little draw.”) while Romeo is preaching caution (“You don’t need the course record to qualify. You need to practice playing it safe.”)

And thus a golf feud for the ages plays out …

TC: Qualify? I want the course record. Now give me the lumber.

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R: You’re not going to listen to me, are you?

TC: Now give me the driver and shut up.

R: You want the driver? (Snaps it over his leg.) Hit the driver, Tin Cup.

TC: I changed my mind. Give me the 3-wood.

R: You can’t clear that dogleg with a 3-wood.

TC: Want to bet?

R: Fine, take the 3-wood. (Breaks it and throws it.)

TC: (To the gallery) Guess I’m going with the safe shot, boys. (Takes the 2-iron from the bag.)

TC: But you know, sometimes I fan that 2. (Snaps it over his leg.)

TC: You better give me the 3. (Romeo hands him the 3-iron.)

TC: And sometimes I catch that 3 a little thin, too. (Snaps it and throws it on the ground.)

TC: I’ve hit fliers with the 4. (Snap.)

R: (Softly implores while looking ashen) Hit the ball, Roy.

TC: I’ve hooked my 5. (Snap.)

TC: I’ve shanked my 6. (Snap.)

TC: I’ve skulled the 8. (Steps on it. Snap.)

TC: I’ve fatted the 9. (Snap.)

TC: I’ve chili-dipped the wedge. (Snap.)

TC: I’ve bladed the sand. (Snap.)

R: Putter? (Handing him the putter.)

TC: Yeah, there is Mr. Three Wiggle, isn’t there? (Snap.)

(Roy grabs the 7-iron with Romeo looking on in disgust.)

TC: Then there’s the 7-iron. I never miss with the 7-iron. (Kicking club debris aside.)

“It’s the only truly safe club in my bag.”

Before Roy can hit, Romeo walks off the course, shouting in exasperation, “What the hell’s wrong with you?!?”

The classic extension of Roy’s rant is that, before hitting the shot, he challenges the gallery: “Anybody want to bet me I can’t par in with a 7-iron?”

Of course, none of Roy’s supporters takes the bet, and Roy proceeds to qualify by playing out with just his 7-iron.

Anyway, most of the scenes in “Tin Cup” will stop me and pull me in when I find this movie at random, but especially the 7-iron scene. For all the reasons listed above, I believe it’s the greatest golf scene ever written not involving a fight with Bob Barker – which is for another blog post entirely.;)

My Dream Episode of “Feherty”

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Photo courtesy of newsouthfoodcompany.com

I’ve got a post coming at some point about David Feherty and how much I enjoy and appreciate his show “Feherty” on The Golf Channel and how much good I think it does for the game.

In the meantime, I’ve got something that would probably go very well as a follow-up post to that post, but alas the original isn’t written.

One of the rules of writing, especially when you’re stuck, is “Start where you can,” and tonight this is where that is.

My two favorite current television personalities are Feherty and chef Anthony Bourdain of The Food Network and the brilliant CNN series, “Parts Unknown.” I think they’ve got the two most unique and interesting voices on TV, and, in fact, were I to re-cast “60 Minutes,” a show badly in need of a line change, Feherty and Bourdain would be my lottery picks.

I admire and envy them for many things, but one thing in particular: Their ability to be social chameleons.

Feherty is equally adept interviewing people inside the game as outside of it, which is something I don’t think he gets enough credit for. The man has serious range when it to comes to interviewing. He gets more out of the pro golfers than anyone else because they relate to him, but then he can turn around and interview someone like “Seinfeld” creator Larry David and be equally brilliant, using golf as their common conversation piece.

Bourdain uses food to accomplish the same thing, basically, except he does it while traveling the globe and often goes way beyond just revealing people to probing poverty, government corruption, oppressed societies and the other socio-economic conditions that plague much of our world. And he just happens to discover a great meal or 10 along the way.

So, to review, Bourdain’s conversational vehicle is food; for Feherty, it’s golf.

I’m normally against a media figure interviewing another media figure, but in this case I’m willing to make a huge exception. I find the potential results of Feherty’s self-deprocating Irish wit meeting Bourdain’s worldly wisdom and New York street smarts simply too explosively great to resist.

But here’s the rub: I’m fairly sure Bourdain doesn’t golf. First of all, while making TV shows, writing books and eating 10 meals a day traveling the globe, when would he have time?

Then it dawned on me how to get them together.

The most famous food in golf is … the pimento cheese sandwich served at the Masters.

It sounds a bit gross, and I’m assured it is, but that doesn’t matter to Bourdain. He’ the modern-day Mikey: He’ll eat anything.

Feherty could have Bourdain on his show at Augusta to review the pimento cheese sandwich – and you don’t think Feherty has a joke about that?  – and then let wackiness ensue from there.

Those two sharing world views, exploring each other’s careers and their somewhat unlikely stardom to both become the respective TV stars of their industries, all which breaking the bread of the famous Masters pimento cheese sandwich? Seriously, forget the Super Bowl. I’m watching this. (OK, I’m DVR-ing the Super Bowl.)

I see at least two stumbling blocks to this: One, the Masters isn’t exactly known for having a sense of humor (Gary McCord is still banned, right?); and I’m guessing you can’t get on the grounds at the Masters without a collared shirt. That might be a tough sell for Bourdain, but considering the current sacrifices me makes for food – the man has eating moss for Pete’s Sake – this one seems small.

So there you have it. I read a story about Feherty last year that says he has an interview wish list for his show that is topped by Bill Murray.

I’m all for that one, but, David, you now have my write-in candidate. Who’s with me?