Chris BaldwinThis Week at May 9, 2006

Will B.J. Wie follow Earl Woods' path?

In the same week that Earl Woods died, B.J. Wie's daughter had one of the better on-the-course moments of her young career. Whether you think Michelle Wie making the cut in a Korean men's tournament is a wonderfully amazing feat or the equivalent of madly celebrating tying the record for most yards gained in the first quarter of an NFL Europe game is a matter for debate.

Still, everyone from Maury Povich to Rush Limbaugh to 60 Minutes interviewer Steve Kroft would agree Wie needs a win (any win) more.

Which brings us back to Earl Woods. Tiger's dad received almost universal love and praise in his passing from golf fans and media types alike. Earl Woods was a stage parent who garnered huge respect.Can anyone ever imagine B.J. Wie weaving a similar path of goodwill in the golf community? Right now, it's hard to say.

Earl Woods has his advantages, of course. Green Berets naturally invoke more respect than college professors - as they should. But it's much more than that. It goes to how the phenoms' respective careers have been piloted. You never had any doubt about who was in charge on Team Tiger. Earl was so committed to the idea his son could be the greatest golfer ever that he would have tackled the marketing man who suggested some goofy play to prematurely take advantage of his son's popularity.

You don't think Thailand would have been thrilled to have hosted a 16-year-old Tiger - who they can claim as one of their own - in a golf tournament he could have won?

With Team Wie, you never really get a sense of who's in charge. (Yes, yes, it's all Michelle. Whatever you say, publicist man.) B.J. Wie's stayed in the background for the most part lately. All that most casual golf fans know about him is that embarrassing incident with Danielle Ammaccapane at the U.S. Open a few years ago over the push/no-push of Michelle.

B.J. Wie is the most high-profile father in golf now. There's no denying that, no wins no matter.

The question is: What's B.J. Wie going to do with that platform?

As always, welcomes your comments.

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Mobile, Ala. took a hard right hand from Katrina. The good news is that the city has pretty much completely recovered from the storm, and business has returned to normal Tim McDonald writes. All of the city's top attractions are back up to speed, including the Mobile Bay ferry, the Museum of Mobile and Battleship Memorial Park. And there's great news for golfers, who have known for years that Mobile has a number of excellent courses.

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Bandon Dunes, PGA Golf Club
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On our latest podcast, Ron Mon rates two of the North's top golf destinations, Bandon Dunes in Oregon & the American Club in Wisconsin. PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. is now 10 years old. To celebrate, they're getting a full-on overhaul! Robert Lewis is back with more about "extreme golf." He is planning a trip to Cuba intent on playing every course there. Todd Cole introduces his web-based "Virtual Golf Instructor." All this and more with host Dave Berner.

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Woodenbridge Golf Club, Vale of Avoca, IrelandFrom the Rough: Roads not taken
lead to hidden Irish, Scottish golf gems

There's some amazing golf to be played off the beaten path in Ireland and Scotland. And you don't have to break the bank to do it. Looking for the hidden gems will get you away from the stuffy atmosphere you sometimes find at the more famous clubs. The locals are always glad to see golfers who have gone out of their way to find their course.

Also: Top Irish links you've never heard of

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