Monday, October 14, 2013

Tony Jacklin Booted Off BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'

The BBC has a show called Strictly Come Dancing, the British version of Dancing with the Stars (or maybe DWTS is the American version of SCD?). And one of the contestants this season was British golf legend Tony Jacklin, a U.S. Open and British Open champion. But he's not a dancing champion. He got kicked out after the second week of performances.

Here is Jacklin's Week 1 dance, a waltz:

The only surprise is that he lasted to Week 2. But last to Week 2 Jacklin did! Which led to this atrocious performance, "dancing" the Charleston:

But hey, even though he embarrassed himself, kudos to Jacklin. It takes guts to do that, and guts is something Jacklin always had on the golf course. And still has.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Morgan Freeman to Robert De Niro: Do NOT Take Up Golf

Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro are two of the costars of a new old-coots-go-wild movie called Last Vegas, opening soon. An interview with the cast appears in the Oct. 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly, and Freeman - an avid golfer - has this exchange with De Niro in which he warns De Niro not to take up golf:

EW: Bob, do you ever think about retiring?

De Niro: What am I gonna do? Play golf? I don't play golf. Not that I want to offend anyone who plays golf.

Freeman: Well ...

De Niro: You play golf?

Freeman: I play golf.

De Niro: OK, I'm sorry. ... I'm sure that's a whole other experience that I just don't ...

Freeman: Don't involve yourself with golf. It's the most humiliating game anybody ever invented.

Truer words have never been spoken. On the other hand, maybe Freeman is simply doing it wrong. Hey, Morgan, you do know you're allowed to put both hands on the club, right?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Amanda Dufner: Now That's Dufnering We Can Get Behind

Looking at photos of Jason and Amanda Dufner together reminds me of those set problems we all had to do in grade school. You know the ones: "Look at the items in this set and select the one that doesn't belong." I mean, c'mon, what's a guy that looks like that do with a girl who looks like that?

That kind of thinking can lead to some very unfair conclusions about how shallow Amanda must be, and how shallow Jason must be, which, in reality, simply reveals how shallow the rest of us are. There are many, many keys to attraction between two people. We know (now) just how funny Jason is, we can assume him to be a kind and generous person. And sure, Amanda is smokin' hot, but that doesn't mean she can't also be whip-smart with noble ambitions in life.

Jason and Amanda are two people who met and then, for a variety of reasons, all of them (we should assume) good reasons, fell in love. Good for them!

But there's no denying that the Dufners have a mixed marriage: She's hot, he's not; he's Auburn, she's Alabama. War Eagle! Roll Tide! (That's probably what they scream out in the throes of passion.)

Amanda was Amanda Boyd and a student at the University of Alabama when she met Jason, who was already on the PGA Tour by that time. The website EastAlabamaLiving.com tells the story of their relationship and wedding, and describes those early days thusly:

A friend introduced Amanda Boyd of Millbrook, Ala. and Jason Dufner of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when Amanda was a student at the University of Alabama and Jason, a graduate of Auburn University, was playing on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tour. Their first date went well, but with Dufner’s hectic schedule, he pretty much kissed her goodnight and disappeared. He did call often, and the two had long conversations, but they did not actually see each other again until both just happened to be in New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. From then on, they were inseparable.

Amanda graduated from Bama in 2010, then waited for Jason to propose. It took him until the July 4th weekend of 2011, after missing a cut:

"We took a train to New York and had dinner at STK, our favorite restaurant, before going to a rooftop bar overlooking the Hudson River," remembers Amanda. "We were watching the fireworks over the river and when I turned around, Jason was on one knee. I don’t really remember much after that, only that I was bawling and complete strangers were applauding, snapping pictures and buying us drinks."

The couple had an outdoor wedding at the Fountainview in Auburn, Ala., in May 2012.

Her dress for the service was a Judd Waddell with a custom-made purple sash to match the attire of the wedding party and family. A small orchestra provided music for the ceremony. ... "The best part of the whole day for me was watching my soon-to-be wife walk down the aisle," says Jason. "Just to see how beautiful she was and to know she was about to be my wife." At Jason’s request, the couple wrote their own vows which they did not share with each other until they were spoken at the wedding.

Guess what? There's a video online that shows part of the Dufner wedding, including some of those vows:

Awwwwwww!

Of course, Amanda Dufner shot to the top of many WAG rankings after she came on the final green at the PGA Championship following Jason's major victory, and Jason celebrated by grabbing her ass.

But that's understandable, right? I mean, we'd all grab booty like this if we were so lucky:

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Win This, Not That

There are a lot of ugly trophies in the world of golf. (One website has an entire photo gallery of them.) Many tournaments these days tend to want to create a trophy that stands out from the crown - that is different, unusual, attention-getting. Something odd, out of the ordinary.

So GSB* commends the folks who run the Frys.com Open who hired Malcolm DeMille Inc. to design a new trophy, and DeMille for coming up with such a classic beauty:

Yesssss, that's a golf trophy. It doesn't break any new ground, but why should it? It just looks so classic and high-class. It's a bronze cup that is silver-plated and a foot tall.

Wouldn't you much rather win that trophy than this one:

But don't worry! The second one is supposed to be goofy. Or "whimsical," in the words of Malcolm DeMille Inc. (DeMille is a designer and manufacturer of sculptural statues, prizes, money clips, fine jewelry and accessories.) Frys.com is an electronics retailer; their mascot is Charlie Chip, a walking, talking microchip. And the second trophy was created as a prize for Frys.com' pro-am winners.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Is Cheyenne Woods Hot? You Betcha

If you're not following Cheyenne Woods in Instagram (@cheyenne_woods), you should be. There you'll find plenty of visual evidence, in the form of photos posted by Miss Woods, to back up the claim in our headline. A small sampling of gorgeous and/or sexy Cheyenne pics:

Update: Cheyenne is so hot we named her very high up on our Sexiest Golfers of 2014 list.

And here's a fan video someone posted on YouTube that also gets the message across:

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

How Bad Was Jack Nicklaus' Bunker Play?

I was looking at this list of yearly sand save leaders on the PGA Tour earlier today, and a thought occurred to me: Just how bad was Jack Nicklaus out of the sand?

Nicklaus' contemporaries often talk about his greenside bunker play as the Bear's one glaring weakness. For example, here's Lee Trevino talking about his playoff against Nicklaus in the 1971 U.S. Open at Merion:

"I bogeyed the first hole of the playoff to give Jack a one-shot lead but got it back when he left a ball in the bunker on the second hole and made bogey. He left another ball in the bunker at the third to make double, and I took the lead for good. He chunked a wedge from the fairway at the 10th. It's funny how God doesn't give everybody everything, and from Jack, He held back the wedge. Jack was not a good bunker player. He could play wedges from the fairway OK, but around greens he didn't have much finesse. Years later, I asked Jack why he wasn't a good wedge player, and he said, "I didn't need to be. I hit the ball in the fairway and then hit it on the green." If you ever saw Jack play, you could see how that made sense. Still, when you add it up, two things won me that playoff: Jack's sand wedge, and the rain."

You can find lots of quotes like that about Nicklaus' bunker play from his contemporaries. No question that poor bunker play cost Nicklaus strokes, and probably a few wins over the years.

But how bad was Nicklaus out of the sand? If we could see his sand save stats, we might have an answer for that. And it turns out we can see Nicklaus' sand save stats, although only from late in his career. The PGA Tour didn't start keeping that statistic officially until 1980. Nicklaus was 40 years old by then.

Then again, he did win two majors in 1980. He also won in 1982, in 1984, and his final win was at the 1986 Masters. So Nicklaus won five times from 1980 through 1986 - a pretty good rate (a great rate for a mere mortal).

What were his sand save percentages and rankings in those years? Here you go:

1980 - 31.37 percent, ranked 168th on tour
1981 - 45.78 percent, 75th
1982 - 47.83 percent, 79th
1983 - 43.48 percent, 128th
1984 - 42.42 percent, 159th
1985 - 38.83 percent, 148th

(Nicklaus didn't play enough rounds in 1986 to qualify for the tour stats list.)

So Nicklaus' highest ranking was only 75th, and his highest sand save percentage was only 47.83. In 2013, 47.83 would have ranked 121st. In 2013, only one golfer was worse than Nicklaus' 31.37 in 1980.

Now we can say, quantifiably, that Jack Nicklaus sucked out of greenside bunkers.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

G-Mac Is Off the Market; Meet His Lovely New Wife Kristin Stape

Graeme McDowell has long been considered (ahem, I'm told by lady friends) one of the sexiest players in golf. But shed a tear, ladies, shed a tear: G-Mac is now a married man. McDowell and the lovely Kristin Stape were married over the weekend at a ceremony in the Bahamas. Two photos posted by Graeme on Instagram (photos by Collin Hughes):

According to Ireland's Herald newspaper, it was a small ceremony attended by only around 30 guests. Rory McIlroy was unable to attend, the paper said, due to previous commitments with Nike Golf. Perhaps Rors will be able to make the follow-up celebration that is planned by the couple in Portrush.

Who is Kristin Stape? On her Twitter page (@kristinstape), she writes this about herself: "Fashionista for the home, eternal optimist, foodie, sports enthusiast, professional tourist, wannabe MacGyver, and most fun of all ... a mother." Stape has a child from a previous relationship, so G-Mac didn't just become a husband, he also became a father.

Stape has her own interior design company; alas, the company's website is down so we can't look at it. (Down because too many curious golf fans are trying to check her out?) But that's how Kristin and Graeme met: He hired her company to work on his home in Lake Nona, Fla., around three years ago. They hit it off, started dating, and the rest is, we hope for them both, happily ever after.

The Belfast Telegraph wrote this about Kristin, and Graeme's marriage proposal:

Tanned, slim and glamorous, Stape is considered one of golf's most attractive WAGs.

But those who have met her say she is also very grounded and friendly.

McDowell's friend from Portrush, Radio Ulster presenter Alan Simpson, said: "Kristin is a lovely girl and Graeme's parents adore her."

McDowell proposed to Stape last October, using the 200m high helipad at the seven-star Burg Al Arab hotel in Dubai to pop the question.

He later revealed: "I did it properly, getting down on one knee.

"She had no idea what was going on and was shocked and stunned. I even found myself getting a little bit emotional."

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