Brandon TuckerThis Week at June 6, 2007

Injuries to Mickelson and Wie prove that golf is a savage contest for gladiators

Last week's tour action reinforced what we golfers have long known: Our game is an ancient, barbaric quest riddled with savagery and physical abuse.

Phil Mickelson, Michelle Wie and Masters champ Zach Johnson were all knocked out of action before the end of the first round. Mickelson suffered a wrist injury in the Memorial, while Johnson couldn't overcome strep throat and was forced to withdraw before completing as well.

At the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Michelle Wie heroically struggled through 16 holes despite a "wrist tweak," but couldn't muster up the pride to stand by a final score around 90.

These weren't the only souls struck by golf's menacing hand. During a round last week, my mobile phone vibrated during my backswing, disrupting my tempo and I hit the ball chunky and a piece of turf went straight up my nose.

A round of golf is about as safe as a $5 all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. All of you weekend warriors know what I'm talking about: 14 sharp, steel weapons per gladiator sending little white missiles into the sky with little direction, and driving cars without seat belts on a field of more than 200 acres littered with wild, unpredictable squirrels pumped full of rabies.

That's before factoring in the beer cart girls who come around every three holes to replenish your cooler. Alcohol consumption on the golf course multiplies the risks exponentially.

And we must mention as well the dangers that lie in leaving your spouse with the kids in a dirty house for the afternoon.

Yet we trudge out to the course every week. There are streets in Beirut on which I'd feel more at ease.

With some divine intervention, hopefully the upcoming U.S. Open and LPGA Championship will see our competitors through four rounds of safe swinging.

And to the rest of you trudging out to face the links this week or any week: Godspeed.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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Prestwick Golf CoursePopular myths and misconceptions
of links golf revealed in Scotland

Think you've got an idea what Scottish links golf is all about because you've seen the British Open on TV? Hardly. Brandon Tucker recently returned from a tour of Scotland's finest golf courses and got a first hand understanding why they're so special. To give you, Mr. American Parkland Golfer, an idea what Scottish links is all about, Tucker demystifies many of the myths and misconceptions of playing in the cradle of golf.

Photos: presents the best of Scotland golf

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Diego, Orlando's more than just resort
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Podcast host Dave Berner and West Coast golf trip packager Tim Hurja discuss affordable summer deals to both Palm Springs and San Diego. National Golf Editor Tim McDonald offers off-the-beaten path choices in Orlando. And Kiel Christianson says Akira's golf clubs stand out from the crowd.

Blog: Laura Davies poo poos Wie's injury claims

Starr Pass Country Club - Tucson Golf Course GreenTucson golf goes wild on
the Starr Pass Roadrunner
course's speeding greens

At only 3,241 yards, the Roadrunner nine-hole golf course at Starr Pass Country Club in Tucson, Ariz., might seem like a breeze, but don't get too cocky. Roadrunner may be the shortest of Starr Pass' three nines, but its zigging, zagging greens will run right over you if you're not careful. For sure, Roadrunner will keep things interesting. It isn't just another resort course, and that is something every duffer can appreciate.

PodcastPodcast: Plan your golfing trip with Arizona Golf Packages


Premier Golf introduces Valhalla
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Premier Golf, the official travel company of the PGA of America, has introduced its 2008 Ryder Cup packages. Each Ryder Cup package includes hotel accommodations, breakfast daily, daily round-trip transportation to the golf course, Ryder Cup season ticket, Ryder Cup gift and a special evening function at Churchill Downs. Open for more details, or telephone (888) 439-1831 or visit

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