Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

May 29, 2005

In the Zone

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:59 am

In every sport there are times when a player seems unable to do anything wrong. You can see it in basketball when a player puts in through the hoop from everywhere on the court, no matter what contortions he has to go through to get the shot off. In football, that quarterback who threads every needle, or running back the glides through the defense for ten yards every carry. Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez sending batters back to the dugout, or someone going five for five at the plate.

Justin Leonard is in the zone at the St. Jude’s Classic in Memphis. He has been for three days. He has an 8-shot lead going into the final round today.

To put this in perspective, a fourth round like the previous three would be like finishing off a no-hitter in the eighth and ninth innings. Except this zone must last four days, not just a few hours.

Justin is not one of the big hitters on tour. Tiger, Vijay, and Ernie aren’t in the field. Davis Love is, but he’s tied for fourth. This course is shorter than most, just like Colonial. But it also requires more thinking and accuracy, and the skill to shape shots. Leonard can do all that. It makes me wonder whether the top players think they can win on a course where distance isn’t the premium. When shot-making becomes more important than distance, they don’t show up. Some think it gives lesser players a chance to take home a big paycheck.

I think it gives the fans a chance to see some people with golf skills to match folks like Jones, Hogan, and Snead.

Players like Justin Leonard.

May 28, 2005

U.S. Open

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:09 pm

I’ve known for some time that Jay will be covering the US Open this
year at Pinehurst. He’ll do a good job, although I don’t know what kind of coverage he’ll be providing. Perhaps he will be part of their blog team. The blog is blank right now.

The Web Blog will begin June 16. Please check back then.

Yes, the stogey old USGA is having their premier event covered in a blog, exactly what I proposed to Augusta last month. For all the complaints about Augusta National being behind the times, I think they are usually way ahead of others in what they retain and what they change. They do things the way they want to. I think they’ll take a wait-and-see approach to the idea, and decide
for themselves whether my proposal has merit.

I proposed myself and other bloggers to Augusta because blogging would be fresh coverage. Regular Tour beat sports writers know the players and venue, and it is simply the next stop in their job. For a blogger, it would be a new experience, and that is coverage they’ll get nowhere else. For that reason, Augusta will eventually consent to my proposal, although I may not be the one providing the coverage when it happens.

That’s okay. I can live with that disappointment. I’ll feel vindicated, though, when it does happen. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what this USGA version of a blog is all about.

May 10, 2005

I’m Famous

Filed under: Golf,Media — Bunker @ 5:27 pm

Tim McDonald at TravelGolf takes a look at golf bloggers, and I’m #3 on the list:

Bunkermulligan.net is a right-wing Nazi masquerading as a blogger….

You know you’ve made the big time when someone calls you a Nazi. They aren’t even smart enough to know that Nazis are socialists, mostly following Marxist dictate.

That follows hot on the heels of CNN contacting me about featuring this blog on “Inside Politics” along with other right-wing blogs. That has a few of the left-wing bloggers pretty upset, as I discovered searching for info on the program. One went to the trouble to do an audit and found that twice as many conservative blogs are featured on the program as are “progressive” blogs. The comments to his post reflect a great deal of angst about this. All are certain CNN is trying to out-Fox FoxNews. They really shouldn’t be concerned. I didn’t get any kind of bump in hits from being mentioned on the program.

They found me through my latest post on the Arianna Project, which must have been the feature for the day. Not the best television from what I’ve found–two women sitting in front of monitors looking at sites. I appreciate the mention, although I’m not sure it will help their ratings.

May 9, 2005

They decline at this time

Filed under: Golf,Media — Bunker @ 5:57 pm

For those who skoffed, I received the following in response to my suggestion:

Augusta (5K)

Mr. Johnson asked that I reply to your letter of April 20, 2005 regarding an internet blog prior to and during the Masters Tournament.

While your plan is well conceived and interesting, at this time we prefer to utilize traditional means to communicate with our visitors on masters.org.

Thank you for your interest in the Masters, and I look forward to reading your work on Bunker Mulligan.

Signed by the Director of Communications, whose name I will keep private.

I’ll continue to ask. And I’ll get a “Thank you” letter in the mail tomorrow.

May 6, 2005

Back Home

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 5:30 pm

It was a pretty good week, but I’m worn out. Just drove home today after eating a huge meal with my son and his lovely bride last night–body still recovering.

I was in sixth place Thursday morning having taken first place for the day Wednesday. But I couldn’t hit a shot all day. We finished five under yesterday, and that won’t be enough to hold on to my position from Wednesday.

But my C-player is an old Army colonel I teamed with one day last year. He’s 77 and still can launch a long drive on occasion. He outdrove both me and our A-player twice. Last year he played as a D-player after having some back problems, but still drove one 4-par green on Hal Sutton’s course. He also chipped in one of our few birdies. It was good to see and talk with him again, just two old helicopter guys from two generations.

That’s the best part of this tournament. Some guys are out there trying to win money. Many of us just want to see old friends and comrades, and have a few days of golf together.

May 5, 2005

Long Knockers

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:45 am

I don’t enjoy playing golf with guys who hit the ball a long way. It is impressive to see the ball launched off the driver face, and the long carry is pretty special. Seeing someone hit a ball a long way is fascinating.

Their demeanor usually isn’t. I don’t put all long knockers in that category, but the average weekend big hitter is annoying. He acts as if none of the rest of us saw him hit. “I ripped that one!” Yes, you did.

They talk constantly about how far they hit the ball. And they are always interested in what club you hit on a shot. Well, not really. What they really want is the opportunity to tell you what club they used.

“What club did you hit?” he asks in false curiosity.


“Yeah. I tried to ease up on that 8-iron. I was afraid I’d fly the green. So I end up hitting it fat. Shoulda got to the green easy.”

I nod my head. Yes. You should have.

One popular saying in golf is that the scorcard doesn’t track style points. One of my regular group, well into his eighties, got an eagle last weekend. He hit a 7-wood from 100 yards and the ball bounced into the hole. Score a 2 on a 4-par, no style points. Where the ball finishes is more important than how it got there. The scorecard doesn’t care whether you hit a driver or a 3-iron off that tee. All it cares about is the number you write down when you finish the hole.

But for some players, hitting the ball a long way is all that matters.

In my younger days, I hit my laminated maple driver 275-300 yards regularly. I understand the psychology. I also seldom knew how far right it would end up. Now, I hit my titanium-faced driver 250-275 yards–sometimes more, often less. But I usually know where it will end up when it stops rolling.

And when I occasionally still put one out there over 300 yards, I simply say–under my breath, “Damn. Nice shot.”

May 4, 2005

Good stuff

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 3:56 pm

Eleven under today. Good team. Everyone contributed. Our A-player hit the ball a long way, but control was an issue. When he hit close to the green, I’d chip it close, we’d get a birdie. We never had more than a tap-in for par, and had several tap-ins for birdie. The other two players put the ball in position to allow us to slam our drives. At worst, we had a short iron to the green. Those two guys helped tremendously with solid short games and consistent tee shots. And putts.

In short, we played very well as a scramble team and always had a couple of options for the next shot on a tough course.

That’s what it takes.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress