Off Season 2006

Back to Phoenix: Flew on Delta (with a connection through Atlanta) and was hoping for an uneventful conclusion to my final trip of the season but no, it was not to be. The flight was packed, but having reserved an aisle seat on the second leg (four hours long), I expected a little room to stretch out. To my surprise, I was in the middle seat of a 2-3-2 configuration but before I could opine my objection, the lady to my front realized she shared a similar quandary and piped up. She too got the shaft after reserving an aisle. They did not change planes so I assume the website was in error.

The second flight was a bit late arriving due to strong head winds but that was of little consequence. It was the missing bag that got my goat. I checked in two hours early but that seems to be irrelevant these days. Third time it’s happened this year.

  • Keep an eye out; If you’re a Gray’s Anatomy fan, watch for Isaiah Washington along with LPGA pro Nicole Jeray in a public awareness campaign regarding narcolepsy. They both suffer from this disorder and will be taping the spot in a couple weeks. It’s supposed to air during the show.

  • Sorry sir, I mean miss; Aram Cho applied for and received her Florida drivers license a while back and, being extremely proud of her accomplishment, displayed it to the other players at every opportunity. But, as was pointed out from an astute observation by one of her compadres, something was amiss . The area indicating sex had an “M” instead of a “F”! They assumed she was a man and recorded it as so. She had to return with her birth certificate to confirm the plumbing was of the correct configuration. Can someone say “extreme make-over”?

  • Spic-n-span; I have a few recommendations when it comes to spiffing up your dream machine. Platinum Series Turtle Wax for the skin and Invisible Glass for the windows. But don’t just apply them with a pair of your old discarded underwear, spring for a package of microfiber towels. They’re like nothing you’ve used before. One caveat, wash them separately when finished. Heard they become lint magnets otherwise. I gave my ride the once-over and it looks super.

America’s guest: That’s what I’m turning into. While I’m looking for a place for the next two months, I spent a few days with Michelle Estill and now with A. J. Eathorne who both live in the Phoenix area. Michelle is working for Ping in customer service which will eventually lead (she hopes) to a rep. position. All facets of Ping’s operation must be learned even production and club fitting. A. J. had surgery on her ailing left wrist and it seemed to have gone well. She’s back to practicing and will be teeing it up when we start in Hawaii.

  • Dec.8th, Black Friday; While tooling around the North Phoenix area, the corner of Greenway Pkwy. and 7th Street will forever hold  an endearing place in my heart. NOT! That’s where I was rear-ended while waiting for the light to change by a kid in a beat up Pontiac. The result was only minor bumper damage and a little whiplash but may be for the best after all. This will replace the only part of the car that had any scratches on it when purchased and there have been no lasting aches or pains.

Dec. 13th: In Tucson right now but don’t know for how long. Took my car in today for the bumper repairs and was provided a rental by the perpetrator’s insurance. More damage under the bumper’s plastic skin was found and the entire part must be replaced. $987 and change is the hit and will be done by Friday.

  • He-men wanted; All you male caddies (and local macho denizens) listen up. Seems The Heart Attack Grill in Tempe AZ and Eye Candy Cuts in Tulsa OK are making waves on the talk show circuit. They are being assailed for liberal manipulation of the female body to entice us gullible Neanderthals. NO WAY!

We have events in both locations so, how about dragging your knuckles over and plop down some dinero. If you do, scantily clad lasses (dressed as nurses) serving up delicacies such as the Quadruple Bypass Burger and Flatliner Fries may satisfy your primeval desires or maybe a Platinum Haircut or Body Massage in Tulsa is in your future. Either way, I think you’ll get an eyeful.

  • Off to the movies; Viewed Apoclypto last week (pretty much by happenstance) and was quite impressed. It is extremely violent which probably depicts the true savagery of the times. Subtitled throughout, the lack of English dialog does not detract from Mel’s beautifully produced extravaganza. If you’re looking for a “feel good” flick to add to your holiday spirit, this isn’t it. Not for the kiddies.

Dec 17th: An unsatisfactory paint match on my bumper has delayed delivery. At first, I was assured Monday was the earliest but was called yesterday morning and was told by Tony (the man in charge at National Auto Collision Center) that he made his guys work late and it would be ready by noon. But a meeting with an old friend put the Monday pick-up back in play. See below.

  • HE’S ALIVE! After dropping off the radar following the Nabisco event, “Quiet Dave”  made contact after noticing I was in Tucson and a get-together was planned at the monthly SARA launch (as we did last year). A steady breeze prevented him from launching his own home-made projectiles (have to chase ’em too far into the desert) so we just caught up on the past year. He’s taken a “real job” and looks as if his looping days are in the past. After a couple hours of small talk we lunched at Chuy’s Baha Broiler and parted ways.

  • Bah, humbug; If you’re inclined to fill someone’s Christmas stocking this year with a gift card, beware. The latest scam is recording the gift card number, waiting for it to be activated then making an online purchase before you find out what went down. To avoid being taken, do not purchase the gift cards hanging by the registers. Use only retailers that have their cards behind the counter.

Dec. 22nd: Hanging out in Phoenix this week and already bored. Thinking of redoing the website with new software.

  • Yuletide cheer, NOT; Well, it looks like the hits just keep comin’. Golfweek has an article announcing the official demise of our Nashville event. There are more holes in our the 2007 schedule than the socks worn by “I’ll work for food” street urchin. Working this tour has truly turned into a part time job. Wonder if the “less is more” strategy is still in effect? If so, the new Comish is doing a bang-up job.

As the economy goes through the roof, we’re headed for the bargain basement. Sybase is still TBA, as they look for another venue, but who knows if that one may go the way of the Dodo also? On second thought, assailing the corner solicitors may have been a bit harsh. It may be time to make a beeline for the local Wal-Mart for a magic marker, a few pairs of socks and dumpster-dive for a sheet of cardboard.

Dec. 23rd: Tis the season, but which one? As a Seinfeld buff (you may have noticed the references to the show in passed blogs) this time of year always brings fond memories of Festivus (as an alternative for Christmas). From the aluminum pole to feats of strength, it had to be one of the quirkiest episodes ever. So I decided to Google “Festivus” and came up with some interesting results. Capitalizing on the cult following of the show, a Milwaukee company actually sells a Festivus Pole and a game and wine are also available. Ben and Jerry’s even named a flavor after the pseudo holiday back in 2002. Isn’t America a wonderful country?

  • Mr. Fix-it; Remembered that pesky space bar I’ve been having trouble with? I had enough and popped that sucker off to take a look. There isn’t a whole lot under there and failing to notice exactly what was wrong, reassembly was my only option. You guessed it, works just fine now.

Jan. 2nd: HAPPY NEW YEAR! Found a sweet deal for off-season lodging in the Phoenix area. A studio guest house was advertised on craigslist.com and I decided to check it out. It wasn’t available till the 10th so they put me in a two bedroom condo in Ahwatukee for the time being. Sweet! The only problem is the Wi-Fi connection. I’m using the neighbor’s (thank you very much) but it’s a bit weak. Makes it difficult to listen to my favorite radio broadcasts.

  • Under construction; I’ll be redoing my site to give it a more cohesive appearance and remove accumulated clutter. It’s more work than imagined so some links may not work. A new home page will signal the reconstruction.

  • Signs of the times; Super fan, Dave Hamada, has compiled some revealing info on lost or relocated tournaments the past few seasons. 

Hot off the presses.

2000
West Palm Beach – Office Depot moved to Miami
Simi Valley, CA – Yamaha
Murrells Inlet, SC – Greens.com
East Lansing, MI – Oldsmobile
Daytona Beach – Arch Wireless

2001
Orlando – Your Life Vitamins
Naples, FL – Subaru
Miami – Office Depot moved to Los Angeles
Kapolei, HI – Cup Noodles
Austin, TX – Kathy Ireland
Beavercreek, OH – LPGA Champions
St. Louis – Michelob Light

2002
Waiakoloa, HI – Takefuji moved to Las Vegas

2003
Franklin, TN – Aerus Electrolux

2004
Tucson – Welch’s/Fry’s
Aurora, IL – Kellogg-Keebler
Vienna, OH – Giant Eagle
Kutztown, PA – Wachovia/Betsy King
North Augusta, SC – Asahi Ryokuken

2005
Los Angeles – Office Depot
Sacramento – Longs moved to Danville

2006
Las Vegas – Takefuji
Atlanta – Chick-fil-A/Nancy Lopez
Atlantic City – ShopRite
Franklin, TN – Franklin American
Sybase – Probably moved to NJ
HSBC – Moved to NY
Columbus – Wendy’s

Jan 17th: One more piece of the puzzle has found it’s way into the ever changing LPGA schedule mosaic as the Sybase event has found a new home and signed through 2009. Check out the Golfweek article. Upper Montclair will be our new home. I had a win there back in the dark ages with Donna White.

  • Keep in touch; You would think the LPGA would follow that suggestion with their members concerning the schedule but one player, I talked to not long ago, found out about the loss of the Nashville tournament by reading my website. Just pitiful.

  • Gracias Amigo; Aussie Steve keeps me posted when he finds the latest on the web as he did with the Nashville and Sybase info, and I appreciate the effort. Did ya think I did all my own research?

  • Follow the money; Heard John Kaleen is giving it a go on the men’s tour these days by looping for Brandt Jobe.

Jan 19th: I’ve been meaning to upload some video onto You Tube and finally got around to it. A link for some of the sweetest  caddie swings from the Talkin Jim Contest and Michelob Hole-in-one Contest may be found on the home page. I even threw in Kim Saiki’s attempted trick shot in Mobile.

Jan. 22nd: Talked to Dina today and her wrist operation seems to have been a success. No more clicking noises at the top of her swing. We also will be a team in Mexico City so I booked my flight accordingly.  She has also reached another milestone having given up that evil “tabacky weed” for the past five weeks. Doing it on the course might be a different story though.

  • Found some more; Video that is. 2005 Corning swings are now linked to the others.

Jan. 29th: What an uneventful off season. It’s good that nothing dramatic has occurred but a lack of any meaningful information for my blog has found me mired in the doldrums of vacuous cerebration. But after talking with “The Nerd” earlier today, good news from Asia has enlightened my spirits. Natalie Tucker, my loop at Q-School, has finished on top of the pile at the Macau Ladies Open in China. Looks like she “grew some fangs” in quick order.

Natalie is also scheduled to partake in the Hong Kong Ladies Masters before heading home.

I’ll take that in tens and twenties, please.

Feb. 5th: It’s finally over. After two weeks of hype another dud (at least the second half) of a Super Bowl is in the books but the good news is, a week from now I’ll be on Oahu’s North Shore looping in our first event. By the way, if you purchased an HD TV in anticipation of catching this annual pigskin presentation in all its glory, I bet all those rain drops and blurry spots on the lenses put a damper on your viewing delight.

  • One surprise, one not; Michelle Wie has again been invited to our first Major, Nabisco, and the USGA has gone to a three hole playoff for The Women’s Open. They finally wised up after last year’s anti-climatic snoozer tween Pat Hurst and Annika. There just isn’t any support to keep everyone over for another day and for good reason.

  • Ay Chihuahua! This past week, I’ve been hanging out in the West side of Phoenix since my lease ran out on the condo in Ahwatukee. As most days, I put in a few miles walking through the neighborhoods and, as I found out after the move, this is a Latino community. As I wind my way through what looks like a middle class section, one glaring aspect, reminiscent of my trips to Mexico, stands out. Filth is everywhere. It looks as if a garbage can is just a suggestion. Along with cars and trucks parked on what should be their front lawn, non-assimilation (all signs are in Spanish) and incessant Mariachi music permeating the airways, you wonder why they haven’t endeared themselves to our hearts.

  • Deep pockets; That’s a necessity as I ready for the coming season. To date, I’ve shelled out over five grand in airfare, house and condo rentals. Please, let the games begin!

  • Rumor mill; More than one player has circulated the rumor that there is an attempt to add an event in the Nashville slot. The location would be at LPGA headquarters and at first glance I thought, no way. Trying to coordinate the logistics for a golf tournament is a daunting task in such a limited time frame but then I reconsidered. Looking back upon past events in Daytona, it dawned on me. Many of the accoutrements associated with such an undertaking really don’t apply there. There won’t be much of a gallery to speak of so the need for grandstands and a volunteer base is greatly diminished. In fact, a basic set it up as they do at Q-School would probably suffice. Sad but true. So put me on the band wagon. YES, YES YES! Let’s get the cash in the bank and get it on!

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