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Golf Notes September 6

Want to use the equipment preferred by the pros? That information is now available in a book by the Darrell Survey, the company that takes inventory of every bag on the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour.

The Darrell Survey has been around since 1932 and distributes a weekly report to manufacturers. This is the first time the company has put together its information in a book for public sale.

"The book provides golfers everywhere with a comprehensive view of the equipment that consumers and the pros use,'' said Susan Naylor, president of the Darrell Survey. "It's a permanent record of golf history that everyone can enjoy.''

There's only one catch. The Darrell Survey does not disclose which player is using a specific ball or club, only how many players are using a particular product. It also lists the consumers' choice, based on thousands of interviews with everyday players.

THE CADDIE SHUFFLE

In the past month, David Duval has parted ways with caddie Greg Rita, Justin Leonard split with Bob Riefke, and Vijay Singh ended his successful run with Dave Renwick.

Hal Sutton understands why player-caddie relationships don't last forever. He has been with Freddie Burns for most of his career, but not without glitches.

"I fired him like two or three times. We patch things up and get back together,'' Sutton said today. "Other than being with your wife, you have no closer relationship with anybody than your caddie, and you want to hear something different. You want to add some pizzazz, and when you hear the same thing every day, you're not getting that.''

While Sutton says change can be good, it still comes down to the player.

"We just don't look in the mirror enough,'' he said. "We don't want the responsibility of doing it ourselves. We always want somebody else to fix it for us. That's one thing that's great about golf. Nobody can fix it for you.''

MR. PERSONALITY

When it comes to how well he is known, how much he is liked, and how much credibility he carries, Arnold Palmer is still "The King."

Arnold Palmer can still beat Tiger Woods in at least one thing . Allsport.

Palmer was the clear-cut No. 1 in the Golf Personality Index ranking, a study commissioned by Golf World Business magazine for its September issue. The survey of 559 avid golfers was designed to measure attitudes toward the game's most prominent figures, and to quantify the different factors that form those attitudes for the golf industry.

"The GPI gives the golf industry a tool to quickly measure who's connecting with the golf public,'' said Tim Murphy, editor of Golf World Business.

According to the survey, Palmer connects.

Palmer, who turns 71 on Sunday and earlier this year signed a 12-year endorsement deal with Callaway Golf, finished first or tied for first in all three categories -- familiarity, likability and credibility. Jack Nicklaus finished second in total points, followed by Tiger Woods.

Palmer, Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Fred Couples were the only ones who finished in the top 10 in all three categories. While Woods tied with Palmer and Nicklaus in the familiarity category, he tied for 19th in likability.

Nancy Lopez was the highest ranked woman at No. 11, while Johnny Miller (No. 22) had the highest rating among television analysts.

RYDER RAMIFICATIONS

With more European Tour players coming to America, officials are expected to meet this week to discuss whether Europe should alter its qualification process for the Ryder Cup team.

Colin Montgomerie favors six qualifiers and six captain's picks for Europe. Darren Clarke thinks three wildcard selections is more appropriate, while Lee Westwood suggested four picks. One of the more interesting proposals came from Thomas Bjorn -- six players from the European money list, and the next six available from the Official World Golf Ranking.

"I think you should be rewarded for supporting the European Tour, but I still feel that the Ryder Cup is Europe vs. America, rather than the European Tour vs. the PGA Tour. If Jesper (Parnevik) and Sergio (Garcia) play over here, that doesn't make them any less European than anybody else.''

Europeans can start earning points -- determined by earnings -- starting next week in Switzerland.

JOB WITH A VIEW

Tiger Woods's impact on golf is clearly evident at tournaments like the Buick Open last month and the Bell Canadian Open this week, where tickets became scarce as soon as Woods announced he was playing.

While Woods is bringing in new fans to the game, he also has created a buzz about those charged with keeping order -- the marshals.

During the pro-am at the Buick Open, marshals on just about every tee brought disposable cameras and asked Woods to pose with them. During the tournament, they usually watched Woods, instead of watching the gallery for untimely movement and unauthorized use of cameras.

The PGA Tour publishes a tournament guide that includes a section for marshals -- such as where to stand, how to control a crowd and the importance of facing the gallery, not the field of play.

"I can't tell you every marshal does it by the book,'' said Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. "Our crowds are up, and it's more of a challenge for the marshals. But marshals are human, too. When something exciting happens, it's human nature for them to become spectators. It's not what we want, but it happens.''

EYE ON THE BALL

While Nike Golf touted Tiger Woods as validation for its ball, so did Bridgestone, which manufactures the Nike ball.

Bridgestone noted that five of the top 10 players at the PGA Championship used its solid-core, injection-molded urethane covered balls -- including Woods and Notah Begay, whose ball has a swoosh, not a Precept label.

Meanwhile, Nike is coming out with a new ball, and it's making clear that this is not the ball Woods used to win three consecutive majors.

In fact, it's not a ball that anyone would want to play.

Nike is celebrating its top client's historic achievements this summer with a "Tiger Woods Collector Series Golf Ball'' tins. Suggested retail price is $40. The collector items will be available Nov. 15.

DIVOTS

Tiger Woods arrived at the Canadian Open late this afternoon looking much healthier than his last time in the public eye, his "Battle of Bighorn'' loss to Sergio Garcia. "It's amazing what antibiotics can do for you," he said. ... John Daly withdrew from the Canadian Open, citing a bad hip. ... While in Quebec for the wedding of Celine Dion's stepdaughter, Jesper Parnevik played golf with former Quebec Nordiques and New York Rangers coach Michel Bergeron, who is known as "Le Petit Tigre'' - The Little Tiger. Parnevik signed a poster for Bergeron on which he wrote, "I wish the real Tiger played like you.''

STAT OF THE WEEK

The only player to win the U.S. Open, British Open, and Canadian Open in the same year was Lee Trevino in 1971.

FINAL WORD

"We need our strong guys to be on the team because it's a very sad thing when that trophy is sitting on the other side of the Atlantic.'' - Thomas Bjorn of Denmark on the Ryder Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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