Like all sports, golf invites its share of controversy. With the namby-pamby USGA and the stodgy old Royal and Ancient, golf's obsessive rules are always fodder for commentators, both pro and amateur.
Add to that the frequent insipid comments from TV analysts, the million or so instructors who swear they will take 10 strokes off your game in 10 minutes and the occasional, juicy scandal like Jackie Gallagher-Smith's caddy complaining he was an "unwilling sperm donor."
And because it may be the one sport that any amateur can play on the same venues the pros use, everyone and his brother has an opinion.
So it's a natural the sport would run headlong into one of the online world's most popular and exploding technologies - the blog. There are a thousand golf blogs out there in the online hinterlands, some of them refined and others are raw and uncultured. Some are hilarious and some are so boring they'll make you fall asleep standing over a virtual birdie putt.
TravelGolf has its own bloggers, an eclectic bunch culled from the best and worst of golfers, writers and others of unknown origin. After months of sampling, here are some of the best and worst from other golf blogs we've discovered.
* By far the best and funniest golf blog I've encountered is the Reluctant Jam Boy (jam-boy.blogspot.com), written by a 24-year-old caddy named Steve at an unnamed Virginia course. It's a bitingly candid, frequently bitter and hilarious blog by a caddy who gives a behind-the-scenes look at caddying and the sometimes incredibly boorish golfers he loops for. I hope these jerks read this blog and recognize themselves, but I doubt they will.
Jam Boy goes out of his way to let you know caddies don't mind bad golfers - thank God - just bad golfers, as well as good golfers, who don't tip well, make extraordinary demands and lose their senses of humor on the course.
This blog is so good it'll have you dipping into his archives for more. I particularly liked his blog about the short golfer he nicknamed after a female dog, who had him hopping around the course trying to carry two bags, paper cups, snuff, light beer and Bloody Marys, all the time making snide comments about his yardage calls.
Jam Boy spices his blogs up with comments like: "It's been a while since I've seen bad players take the game so seriously." One particularly loathsome group he described as a "synchronized shank-fest."
Another blog about a golfer he named "Deceptively Fat Mike" is particularly funny.
"Alright Deceptively Fat Mike, you have 146 to the front of the green and 161 to the flag."
"What was the distance again?"
"One hundred sixty-one to the pin."
"What is the yardage now?"
One hundred fifty-seven.
"How far do you think that one will be from the green?"
"Whatever it is, you don't have that club in your bag, sir."
And this one: "The other player - a member - whipped the club around so fast I think he was trying to open some kind of hole in the space-time continuum. So in addition to taking huge divots, he created little time-rifts all over the course. I should've walked through one of them to see if the Redskins are ever going to go back to the Super Bowl."
* Robert Thompson, a columnist for the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, has a good blog he keeps current: (goingforthegreen.blogspot.com).
In some of his latest, he disses Chris DiMarco, calls Bandon Trails the "most hyped golf course in the world," says John Daly has a "two-cent head" calls the King and the Bear courses in Florida "grossly overrated and overpriced," and claims the one Tom Fazio course he's played that stands out is World Woods in Florida. In other words, he's saying one of the most well-known and heavily marketed architects of his time is bland as wood glue.
Thompson is also a course rater for Golf Digest and includes solid, though prosaic, course reviews. He sometimes includes his columns for the Post.
* Bunkermulligan.net is a right-wing Nazi masquerading as a blogger and eatgolf.com is boring but he at least does a service by gathering the 10 most recent topics from forums and listing them on one page for easy clicking.
* No Three Putts (nothreeputts.com) is a fairly typical golf blog, making Masters predictions, Tiger Woods predictions, recommending products and using tired old golf jokes. But, Grouchy Golf (grouchygolf.blogspot.com) is entertaining, blasting training aids like the "Insider Approach" even if it's endorsed by the almighty Jack Nicklaus.
"It literally looks like it was pieced together by some kid let loose in the plumbing department at Home Depot," the Grouchy Golfer writes.
He also writes: "If I hear another golf commentator say that Vijay's the hardest worker in golf, I'll wrap my Cleveland lob wedge around his neck (or at least force them to read my golf blog)."
* Sorta Golf (sortagolf.manilasites.com) is another good one. He writes about Bill Clinton's alleged cheating on the course: "Over the course of history, even a document as great as the United States Constitution has benefited from a number of amendments. Certainly the USGA rules of Golf could benefit as well."
* Bogey Lounge gets your hopes up with its name, but it turns out it's also boring, but the Sand Trap is kind of feisty, with several bloggers offering up entertaining commentary.
Donald MacKenzie writes, in the wake of the Gallagher-Smith scandal: "Can I caddy for Jennifer Rosales?"
Space prevents listing all the golf blogs and we'll have more in future columns, but others to watch for include: Golfers Muse (golfersmuse.blogspot.com); Hooked on Golf (hookedongolf.blogspot.com); Golf Blogger (golfblogger.com and Four Right (fourright.blogspot.com).
May 9, 2005
Simply select where you want to play, find a tee time deal, and golf now!