Golf Notes April 2
David Toms is among those who wonder whether some drivers used on the PGA Tour
Starting this summer, he'll know for sure.
The PGA Tour plans to experiment with a portable device at the Western Open
that will measure the trampoline effect in drivers and determine whether they
are fit for play.
"It will be interesting to see what the findings are," Toms said.
"When an equipment rep comes up to you and says, 'Man, this is really close,'
what does that mean? That it's over the limit? A lot of guys have picked up a
lot of distance. We'll see."
The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient have proposed the portable
test, which would take effect at the start of next year.
Unlike the current test, which must be administered at the USGA Research and
Test Center and requires the club to be taken apart, the portable test will require
only a low-speed strike to the club face by a small weight on a pendulum.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem mentioned the experiment during a players'
meeting last week at Sawgrass. None of the players seemed to mind.
"It's important for all of us to be on the same playing field," Tiger
Woods said. "That's why we should test drivers on the first tee, to make
sure everyone is legit."
The trampoline effect is based primarily on the thin face of drivers. While
manufacturers send their new drivers to the USGA for approval, there are no guarantees
that every club - especially those close to the limit - meet the standard.
"I've had players come up to me and say, 'Do you think some of the stuff
we're getting is too hot?'" Davis Love III said. "They (equipment reps)
will hand them to us with a number on them and say, 'This one is close.' And when
I hit one that's close, I can't control it.
"There's definitely some that are right on the edge, or over it,"
he said. "It will be nice for a guy to know. I'll be the first one to get
SPRING EXAMS: Tiger Woods' father says the biggest challenge facing his son's
bid for a record third straight Masters might be the weather - not what it does
to the golf course, but how it affects his allergies.
"The weather will affect him differently than the other guys because Tiger
is allergic to everything on the golf course," Earl Woods said. "He
has taken allergy shots as a kid and he has developed a resistance to everything.
But when he gets to Georgia in the spring, that pollen gets to him."
Woods has managed to get by. He is 35 under in his last 10 rounds at Augusta,
all of which have been under par.
"We have air purifiers that we put in his house, and in his room, so he
can sleep properly and so his allergies won't overcome him," Woods said.
"He does not like to play with medicine in his body."
TENNIS, ANYONE?: It took awhile, but Mike Cunning showed he made the right
decision by giving up tennis for golf. He won his first title in seven years Sunday
at the Indian Open in New Delhi on the Asian PGA Tour.
As a teenager, Cunning once toured Europe with a U.S. junior tennis team.
"I had no wheels, no speed," the 44-year-old Cunning said. "So,
I traded the tennis rack for a set of golf clubs."
Among the players he faced in junior tennis was John McEnroe.
"The matches didn't last long," Cunning said.
SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Davis Love III was not in the mood for a raucous celebration
after his first victory of the season.
Love usually stays - and plays - at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with Jim
Griggs, who lives on the Monterey Peninsula and is former chairman of the PGA
Tour Golf Course Properties board that oversees the TPC network.
Griggs didn't play in the pro-am this year, and Love told him before leaving
the house Sunday morning that "I'm going to get you something good today."
He won Pebble Beach, then returned home with the trophy only to discover that
Griggs had been taken to the hospital with a mild stroke.
"We ended up taking it to the hospital and leaving it for him there,"
Love said. "He was in good shape, good spirits."
SECRET WEAKNESS: David Toms knows how to stop Tiger Woods.
"He's allergic to garlic," Toms said. "Maybe we should throw
some garlic in there."
Toms overcame food poisoning to reach the finals of the Match Play Championship,
where he lost to Woods on the 35th hole. Woods had food poisoning in the final
round at Bay Hill, and turned a five-stroke lead into an 11-stroke victory.
If Woods is allergic to garlic, does that make him a vampire.
"I know he's got some special powers," Toms said.
FAVORITE MAJOR: Tell Davis Love III he can win only one more major championship
and he is torn between the Masters and the Open.
Not the U.S. Open, but the British Open.
"There's just something about lifting the claret jug and all the history,"
Despite his emotions for the Royal & Ancient championship, it is the only
major where Love has never seriously contended. His best finish was a tie for
seventh at Carnoustie, and he had to shoot a final round in the 60s to get his
three top 10s in the Open.
DIVOTS: Padraig Harrington moved up to No. 8 in the world ranking and ahead
of Sergio Garcia, the first time the Irishman has been Europe's highest-ranked
player. ... Scotty Cameron putters have been used by the winner in all 12 PGA
Tour events this year. ... Annika Sorenstam brought Nike Golf plenty of exposure
by wearing its shiny red slip-ons in the final round of last year's Nabisco Championship.
She announced on the eve of this year's major that she has signed a shoe deal
with Callaway Golf, her longtime sponsor.
STAT OF THE WEEK: David Toms has missed the 36-hole cut in his last four PGA
FINAL WORD: "Arnold will be there when he's got wheels on his coffin.
They'll be pushing him down the fairway with a little putter coming out."
- Nick Faldo, on Palmer playing in the Masters at 73 for the 49th time.
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