Chris BaldwinThis Week at Feb. 7, 2006

This year Tiger wins the real Grand Slam

Pencil in Tiger Woods for four majors this year. Not a Tiger Slam. A Grand Slam in the truest sense.

It seems ludicrous, of course. It's only Feb. 7. The PGA Tour's endless season has barely started. (Ty Votaw is still trying to figure out how to justify that executive vice president salary.) The Masters is still a good two months away. (Hootie Johnson is still trying to figure out how to offend somebody else.)

Heck, the Super Bowl hangover's still active. But have you seen what's been going on?

Two weeks into his season, Tiger has two wins. The greatest golfer of all time is two for two and he's barely gotten started. He only shaved that hideous off-season goatee before Sunday's final round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

This is shaping up as the most amazing sports season of our lifetimes. Any sport. Period. Call it premature if you must. I call it listening to the signs.

Tiger is done tinkering. He's in one of those rare satisfied-with-his-swing stages that lasts at most two or three seasons for a golfer who's so good he needs to invent ways to challenge himself to maintain interest.

His rivals look more spooked than ever. Jose Marie Olazabal loses his putting touch one week. Ernie Els plops one into the water the next. What's next, Phil Mickelson trips over his smile?

No one seems to sense a Tiger storm coming more than his pro golf peers.

No majors for you!

Still dubious? Consider this: Tiger is swinging on a mission. He's playing for his sick father, the man smart enough to throw tees at a young Tiger while he would swing (building concentration), while Michelle Wie's dad threw money at her (paying her for putts made).

Usually, it'd be right to dismiss this kind of sentimental motivation as nonsense. This is different though. If any athlete lives off his will, it's Tiger Woods. He wants to win the Grand Slam while his dad's still around. Sadly, Earl Woods is fighting cancer again, confined to watching Tiger's march to history on TV.

Tiger knows this could be his last chance to deliver a historic thrill for his hurting dad. You're going to bet against him?

Go ahead. There will be plenty of fellows in Las Vegas eager to take that money.

As always, welcomes your comments.

Travel Golf Vegas - Las Vegas Best Desert Golf

Las Vegas Best Desert Golf Enjoy 3 rounds of golf at the Bear's Best Golf Club, Dragon Ridge CC, Rio Secco Golf Club starting from $749.

Call Now! 1-800-767-3574
Visit our Specials page for further details >>

Melrose CourseGoing to Hilton Head?
Try our top-10 courses

Hilton Head, S.C. is the rich man's Myrtle Beach, with fewer but better golf courses, and sans all the U.S. 17 neon detritus. The place has a timeless feel; it didn't even have its second golf club until 1967. It has since become one of the most sought-after golf destinations in the U.S. and writers, like everyone else, have flocked to the area. We now bring you our list of top 10 Hilton Head area courses.

Also: The top-10 golf courses in Myrtle Beach

Scottsdale Golf Packages - Southern Arizona Trail

Torres Blancas Stay 3 nights at Tubac Golf Resort Golf at Tubac Golf Club, Canoa Ranch, Torres Blancas starting from $525

Call Now! 1-800-767-3574
Visit our Specials page for more info>>

Augusta - Fish & GolfBig stripers, black bass and
more golf are close to
hallowed Augusta grounds

When most people think about Augusta, Ga. they think great golf and the Masters. If you're looking to blend in a little fishing with golf, however, the home of revered Augusta National is a fine place to do it. Several lakes make for great fishing and the Savannah River has big stripers, too, as well as bass and the usual freshwater species. There are also some great places to go after birdies, as well.

Also: Georgia parks = great golf, minus urban hustle

Pelican HillSoCal golfers come to grips
with Pelican Hill's shutdown

Pelican Hill - which is actually two Tom Fazio-designed waterfront courses in Orange County - will be closed possibly until early 2008 so that a resort can be built The hope is to turn Pelican Hill into more of a golf resort destination, like Pebble Beach. How the new 204-room hotel and 128-villa residence club will affect the golf remains to be seen. But the owner promises it will be "enhanced" by Fazio.

Also: Gary Player Signature supplies perfect fairways, scores

Mesa Golf Packages
Dates: October 17, 2017 - December 31, 2018
The Essence of Arizona Golf just minutes away from great Scottsdale and Phoenix Resorts.
Price range: $149