• Ken

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I’ve never understood his appeal, beyond the incredible talent. The guy never seemed to have any sort of personality, beyond what was scripted for him by Nike. Just an arrogant man-child.

    He’s 35 and at that age, the wins start tapering off. Most of the all-time great players won most of their majors and a good chunk of their other wins in a relatively short span of their careers. Sometimes they stop winning almost completely. Look at Tom Watson, incredibly dominant from 1977 to 1984; he won player of the year I think 6 times in 8 years. He never won a major after 1983 when he was 34, and won only a few tournaments after 1984 until he hit the senior tour. This is a pretty common pattern. Palmer won a lot of tournaments after age 35, but his last major was at 34. Even Nicklaus didn’t win that much after 35, and only 5 total wins after 40 (3 of which were majors).

    Some people think Woods will be the exception because he’s in such good shape. They act like all golfers pre-Woods were fat slobs. Did they ever see Palmer in his prime? He was very athletic and as his game started to age, he did everything he could to get it back – gave up smoking, cut back his drinking, started working out. Didn’t help. Golfers don’t age much physically, Palmer could hit the ball as well as ever well into his 50s. It’s more of a mental thing. They lose the ability to put together four consecutive good rounds. If it was all about conditioning, Gary Player would still be winning; he won his last non-senior tournament (the Masters) at 42.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Great stuff. The first time I saw Palmer in person—1972—he would have been 42, I couldn’t believe how much he looked like a linebacker.

      • Ken

        Sometime they show those old Master highlight films on Golf Channel that were prepared by the Augusta National club itself. When Palmer turned 80, they showed the ones from his Masters wins in 1958, 1960, 62, 64. He was just straight out of central casting for being a star. The looks, the swing, the swagger. He just exuded confidence.

        I’m barely old enough to remember him when he was still somewhat competitve on the under-50 tour, but even so I was always drawn to watch him. Maybe because he’s from Latrobe and I knew how great he was, just like I’d still watch an old Henry Aaron in those last years with the Brewers. You always hear the word “charisma” associated with Palmer, and he sure did have it. Heck I used to look forward to Super Bowl weekend because that was the weekend that Arnie teed it up in the Senior Skins game.

      • Mike V.

        I saw Palmer in person for the first time two years ago. I have season tickets to Wake Forest football. They do something at the beginning of the game called “Open The Gate”. Basically, a famous graduate opens a big iron gate the team runs out of. They run a video of this person’s life story before the gate opens. It’s a nice thing to see.

        That day I saw something very interesting. Palmer rode on the field in front of the team in a golf cart (he signed the cart and they later auctioned it for scholarship money). When he got off the cart on the 50 yard line, everyone in the stands was giving a standing ovation. Normally, a couple of WF football players will shake hands with the graduate and then move on. That day, there was a line of WF football players AND Maryland players waiting to shake his hand. It was good to see the young kids knew who he was and they were in the presence of greatness.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          And I’ve never heard of Arnie not being nice to fans.

          • Paul

            I moonlighted at Latrobe CC one year and I can vouch that Arnie is about the nicest guy you could meet. I took a phone call one night from someone asking about the weather and the condition of the course, how busy, etc., and it was only at the end of the chat that he told me it was him. I didn’t recognize the voice.

  • Mike V.

    I could care less about golf.

    Before I owned my own business, I was a sales manager for a very large building products company in half the US and Canada. I guy who owned an independent rep business we dealt with once told me, “Show me a salesman who likes to play golf and I’ll show you a golfer who can’t sell anything.”

    After that, I always asked people in interviews about their golf game. If they went on and on about their league and playing on Saturday and Sunday, etc. they never got hired. I want people who want to work.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I remember when my roomate worked as a salesman for a lumber company right out of college. He had a club emembership as part of the deal. The boss kept track of of how much he played and scolded him when he didn’t play ENOUGH. I think you’re either a good salesman or your not. It wouldn’t matter to me how they made the sales just so they made enough to make them worth keeping.

      • Mike V.

        Those days are long in the past. We live in a computer age. Buyers are much more rational than they were 30+ years ago and companies don’t want to pick up the cost of golf. A night at the strip club is much better. It costs about the same amount of money depending on the level of services you select, and it doesn’t cut into the working day.

        In the time it takes to play golf with one customer (basically a day), a good salesman could see 3-4 customers.

        The truth of the matter is this. Most people aren’t very good at golf so deep down inside they don’t like it even though they pay lipservice to liking it. Everytime I’ve taken a customer golfing, they look miserable by the end of the day. I can see how miserable they are in their faces. You are doing your customers a favor by keeping them off the golf course.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          I’d say that about 90% of the people taking up space on golf courses in America should be bowling.

  • Andy Ashlash

    He made swing changes because of the torque on his knee. It had been giving him knee problems for years, so he and Haney made his swing less violent on his knee.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Those guys are always messing with their swing and I think this his Tiger’s second tinker. He did it before his knee was an issue.

  • Drago

    I’m so happy for Tiger. His fall from grace on all fronts couldn’t have happened to a more arrogant person.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I explain in my book why I always rooted against him. Aside from the obvious fact that I’m a racist, of course.

      • Drago

        When he first went pro and then demolished the rest of the field at the ’97 Masters I was rooting for him and continued to do so for the next few years. Around 7 or 8 years ago it became painfully obvious to me how obnoxiously arrogant he was and have been rooting against him since. When the Driveway Event happened I knew right off the bat what was going down and it so nice to see him fall of of his high horse.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          He also lost me with the club throwing and the lipreader F-bombs.

  • Matt

    He has alimony to pay. He probably got a $1M appearance fee just for showing up in Dubai.

  • Bobzilla

    Not a golf fan: I don’t play it nor do I watch it. But I am fascinated by Woods’ excuse for his “slump”: He says he’s too focused on his kids’ needs to worry about golf. He makes them macaroni and cheese and reads them bedtime stories. Wonderful.
    I suppose if Woods ever becomes No. 1 again, someone ought to check on his kids to make sure they aren’t being neglected…

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I got an angry phone call at the Tv station several years ago from “Carolyn” the famous talk show caller who was known as “the lady from Monroeville” on Myron’s show. She, of course, thought I was a sexist (I think) for suggesting that Tiger’s game might slip a little when he gets married. It happens to all of them. Less practice time, fewer tournaments etc. Nicklaus said it was a factor for him. I’ll never understand why a guy like Woods “goes through swing changes.” The guy was making a mockery of the sport becuase he was so much better than everybody else and he decides to tinker with his swing?

    • Mike

      Good post Bobzilla. I guess caring for your kids’ needs is more difficult that staying up all hours of the night with other women and juggling at least 20 of them at the same time. It Tiger wanted to keep his kids out of the limelight before the scandal he should just shut up about them now. Idiot.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        A bimbo on the side is not likely to ask you not to go to the driving range as much as a wife. And I’m guessing that he had his bimbos on the road when he was playing in tournaments.

      • Bobzilla

        I never understood why a billionaire sports celebrity in his 30s would even want to be married with kids. Had he been single and with all those bimbos, he’d be Hugh Hefner.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          I don’t understand why anybody in their 30s wouldn’t want to have a family.

          • Bobzilla

            I’m not talking about “anybody.”
            A young billionaire sports celebrity stands to lose everything he’s worked for should things go wrong in a marriage.
            Not worth the risk.
            If a young, rich, handsome, popular professional athlete wants women 24/7, he ought to stay single. The fact that Woods got married is what I don’t understand.
            Since Woods did get married, society calls him a “sex addict.” But if he had stayed single and played around, society would call him a “playboy.”
            “Playboy” is far more acceptable than “sex addict.” Therefore, why the hell get married and have kids?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            How’s this for a concept: Grow up, get a prenup, get married and fulfill your promise not to cheat on your wife. I agree trying to have it both ways is ridiculous but why not have it one way and actually get married and raise a family?

          • Bobzilla

            Good points…
            However, spending nights with a variety of attractive women doesn’t seem like a too tough of a life to me.
            I say, settle down at age 45.
            Forty-five is hardly too old to raise a family.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            If I had done that, Instead of being semi-retired and doing what I want right now, I’d be getting ready to send my first kid to college. No thanks. My youngest finished college when I was 45.

          • Pharter

            well you guys ain’t no handsome celebrities either. keep dreaming,

  • Mike

    I can’t imagine how ANYONE could enjoy watching golf. Playing, yes. Watching, no. You know the studies they’ve done on the action in a football game? I wonder if they ever did the same thing for golf. It’s more boring than soccer.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      There’s actually more “action” in a golf telecast. There’s somebody making a shot every few seconds. I love watching a good tournament. Especially the last day of a competitive major.