Welcome to golf in the year 2017! Most of these 2017 preview articles take either one of two directions. 1) Super boring lists of facts about the upcoming season or 2) Ridiculous lists of predictions that aren’t going to come true and where the author isn’t held accountable for their terrible foresight. So I figured, instead of sticking to just one of those standard forms of preview article, I present the GOTM mishmash 2017 preview!
And as Chance the Rapper notes at the beginning of the intro here (well actually, the line was taken from Kanye, but I’m crediting Chance for now), even better than I was the last time, and we back.
The Rise of Hideki
Most well known for the odd Srixon outfits he wears, which I’m not sure if Hideki picks out himself or if Srixon forces him wear presumably to appeal to the Japanese golf playing public. Pretty sure no random Joe in the US is going to be wearing this yellow getup just because Hideki wore it when he beat a flailing Rickie Fowler in a playoff (during the Super Bowl) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this past year.
Hideki is also hilarious to watch because of his displays of displeasure, and abridged follow throughs on what most people would consider decent shots. I can understand the desire to hit every shot perfect, but Hideki takes it to a whole new level. Compilation time! Watch the whole vid, it isn’t too long.
All that being out of the way first, people quickly forget how good H-dek has been his entire life, dating back to his amateur career. He was the first person, as a 19 year old, to earn the Masters exemption for winning the Asian Amateur back in 2011, where he was also the low amateur that year, making the cut. In 2012, reached number 1 in the world amateur golf rankings. After his first professional year in 2013, he earned enough world-wide money to become a member on the PGA Tour in 2014, where he won the Memorial. After a lack luster 2015, where his highlighting accomplishment was t5 at the Masters, he won the WMPO early in 2016, and current, has won 4 of his last 5 events dating back to this October, including a victory at the Hero World Challenge.
Now obviously I’m not talking that he’s Tiger level, considering Tiger. But given his consistency from these last few years and the recent improvement makes him poised for a big breakout soon. And when I say “big breakout”, I mean top 3 in the world within 3 years.
Hideki is going to have a great 2017 no doubt, but I don’t know if I’m ready to proclaim him as number 1 in the world at the end of 2017 just yet.
DJ is best
With all my drooling over Hideki, I need to step back and make sure people know that Dustin Johnson will have the best 2017, money-wise, win-wise, sexy butter cut drivers that go forever-wise, and chiseled beard-wise.
He’s got the most talent, and seems like he finally has the experience and self control to play well rather than party it up on yachts. And after all this time he appears to have learned to overcome his brother’s lack of caddying prowess and win nonetheless.
I dedicate this preview to all the Hondas that have been through my family throughout the years. Pour one out for the red and grey Hondas of the past. But the tan and blue Hondas’ pistons are all still firing. I also was going to add a picture of one of those cars, but all we could find is a picture of 16 year old me in front of the tan Honda after getting my drivers license, and a picture of 18 years old me in front of the blue Honda on my last first day of high school. And no chance I’m going to put either of those pics up on the internet.
Now for some mood music: (Ha didn’t realize that the video was so weird. Don’t watch if you’re epileptic apparently.)
And now on to the golf:
Done with the west coast swing, the PGA Tour is off to Florida and the Florida Swing? Maybe next week I’ll have come up with a better nickname for these next four events, all of which are in Florida. Seems to me like there are two parts to a named stretch. The first part where we establish our location. And the second part where we talk about what we’re doing in that location.
Second parts are easy. Swing Stretch are all appropriate. So I’m just going to focus on the first part of a nickname. Without further ado:
Sunshine Swing (like the alliteration, but way too boring)
Orange You Glad You’re In Florida Swing
It’s a Gator, not a Croc Swing
Who’s Ready for Flat Courses? Swing
Houses Along Every Single Fairway Swing
No the Greens Aren’t Two Different Colors, That’s Just Grain Swing
Additions from readers:
The Sunshine Slate
The Retirement CommuniTee Times
Luckily, we have a few weeks to whittle the list down to the best of the best. Expect a twitter poll coming.
Johnny Miller! David Feherty! Gary Koch! Not Gary McCord! All things to expect this week from the announcing crew over at NBC / Golf Channel. In all reality, I’m pretty fine with all the announcing crews in golf (yup even my boi Joe Buck). Though I would say Jim Nantz could be good to get a little more pumped at some times in final rounds. Subduedness is cool for Augusta when the crowds provide a lot of the roars, but normal events need a little more color. Get excited Jim!
Golf is fun again! After a Monday finish featuring trees ripped up from the ground and all scores over par except Sneds, the PGA Tour is moving down to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. No more sideways rain, we’re expecting sun and dryness in the desert.
What to watch for this week:
The “Coliseum” is what happens when tournament organizers end up embracing rowdy drunk people instead of getting annoyed at them. For the majority of this tournament’s existence, this hole has been somewhat of a party area. Check out Tiger making a hole in one back in 1997, to see the reaction right after he makes contact. Want to feel old, Tiger hit this shot 19 years ago!
Since that time, the WMPO (Wampo? What a great nickname, using that from now on) organizers added grandstands, and now completely surround the hole. Adhering to the time honored tradition of naming things that don’t need to be named, they christened the hole the “Coliseum”, which is now one of the most memorable holes on the PGA Tour.
With a capacity of 20,000 probably drunk people, there’s a constant buzz of noise you’ll probably hear before guys tee off. Also expect loud cheers with a green in regulation, and boos if a players misses the green #brogolf.
Another fun feature of the hole is some of the random promotions or games that are allowed on the 16th hole that don’t show up elsewhere.
Only two weeks left in the season, we’re down to 70 players left as well. No cut, only the best, who’s gonna come out on top in Chicago?
About the Sponsor
I’ll be honest, in my 25 years, I never once thought to myself, “I wonder what BMW stands for.” So if anyone out there knows off the top of their head, I’ll be impressed. For everyone else, it stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke. In American, Bavarian Motor Works, which makes complete sense.
As with many older companies in Europe, BMW became BMW in part because the result of one of the world wars. When Rapp Motorenwerke was forced to restructure following the treaty that ended WWI, they ceased making aircraft engines, and shifted towards motorcycle and automobile engines. This treaty didn’t do much good, since when WWII rolled around, they were back to making aircraft engines again.
The rest of its history is littered with buying little car companies and stuffing their engines in them, to put it mildly. Which is really kind of interesting because it shows that BMW isn’t really a car company, but rather an engine company. I kind of wonder how many other car companies are really different behind the veil. Guess more of them are going to have to sponsor golf tournaments for me to find out.
About the Tournament
The rich history of the BMW Championship goes all the way back to … 2007, the first year of the FedEx Cup. Well not really, since it’s merely renamed version of the actually storied Western Open which dates back to 1899. The BMW is still run by the Western Golf Association, but really it isn’t the same event at all.
Back in the good old Western Open days, it was a “normal” PGA tour event, but was considered top tier. Tiger won it 3 times when it was the Western Open, and if you’re getting Tiger to play, it’s automatically top tier (except maybe this year’s Fry’s). For the most part, the Western Open was played at Cog Hill (Dubs Dread) in the Chicago area, which has now undergone a facelift in hopes of getting a US Open in the future.
Time for the PGA Championship, golf’s final major of the year! We’re moving up to the best state in the union, Wisconsin, to watch the best players in the world play at Whistling Straits. Is Jordan Spieth going to win again? Is Tiger going to make the cut? How will Rory do in his first tournament post leg injury? We don’t have the answers to those questions, but we do have some words to get you excited about championship golf! Keep reading.
About the Tournament
Back at the turn of the century, golf in America was really just starting to pick up. Now the PGA Pros back then, and for pretty much the next few decades weren’t pros in the way people think about professional golfers are today. There was no Tour, there weren’t even close to as many tournaments, and the pros were pros in the sense that their day job was to run and manage golf courses (usually private clubs since public courses weren’t really a thing yet). But those guys still liked to compete, and in 1916, the same year that the PGA of America was founded, they held the first PGA Championship.
It’s time for the Masters! Time for golf at Augusta! Time for Jim Nantz! Time for the Masters theme song! Yup the Masters has a theme song. What other tournament has a theme song? (By the way, put this video on in the background on repeat when reading this).
The Drive Chip and Putt is over (thankfully, as “special” and “amazing” an experience that was for the kids, I’d rather have watched JB Holmes birdie the first four holes during the Shell Houston Open’s final round), and the practice rounds are under way, with the first round on Thursday looming like the opening round of a major does. Get ready for golf, green grass, and awkward handshakes! It’s the Masters 2015 preview.
About the Sponsor
We all knew the Masters was unique in that it doesn’t need sponsors. It isn’t the “Waffle House Masters”. It isn’t the “Masters Presented by Waffle House” either. So I was questioning whether or not I should even include this section. Of course the answer is yes! In fact these companies deserve this section even more than normal tournaments because their name isn’t mentioned with the tournament name. In fact their name isn’t even mentioned on the Masters website. Seriously. I couldn’t find anything there that mentioned who’s paying the rich white guys and Condoleezza Rice a ridiculous amount of money and not get mentioned anywhere.