Chris BaldwinThis Week at May 17, 2007

Mickelson putting a swing coach pox on PGA Tour golf with his Butch Harmon love

Phil Mickelson's blossoming schoolgirl crush on Butch Harmon is cute and all. Even if they did get yelled at in Mr. Allen's seventh-grade biology class for passing those notes with snazzy hand-drawn hearts.

Still, it's one of the worst things that can happen to golf. Not the particular pairing. Mickelson-Harmon isn't going to mean anything in the long run with Tiger Woods around. And it might even provide more unforgettably tender moments.

If Phil somehow wins another green jacket will he and Harmon both strip off their shirts in perfect synchronization and run around Augusta National shrieking a la Brandi Chastain?

The Mickelson-Harmon union is just a symptom of a larger plague: The increasing adoration of swing coaches on the PGA Tour level.

College basketball lost its charm once the coaches became mega celebrity endorsement machines who are bigger than the players and, in some cases, larger than the entire university. Self-serving windbags like Mike Krzyzewski squeeze much of the joy out of the college game, turning it into a three-week March gambling event rather than a sports one.

Now, it seems like golf is determined to adopt those ways.

Tiger actually struck a blow to this maddening advance of swing coach mania when he ditched Harmon for basically acting too much like a college hoops coach (taking all the credit). But by embracing Butch out of desperation and a need to give the media something to talk about besides his own brain farts, Mickelson is pushing it even farther the other direction.

Think about watching golf in the 1980s. Heck, the early 90s. Did you ever hear about a swing coach?

Maybe once every month. Maybe. Now the Leadbetters get more TV time than Regis Philbin.

Sure Jack Nicklaus had a swing coach, Jack Grout. But Nicklaus wasn't as dependent on his coach as a toddler can be on a blanket like so many of today's players.

"I really didn't run to Jack Grout every five minutes for a golf lesson," Nicklaus told Golf Today. " I don't know how the guys do it. But that's the way they've grown up."

Like wimps. And it's only getting worse and making golf look worse.

As always, welcomes your comments.

Travel Golf Vegas Desert Gold Package

Dates: November 20, 2006 - May 31, 2007
Price Range: $649 - $1049
Golf Course: Bear's Best Golf Club, Siena Golf Club, Red Rock Country Club

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

Pointe HiltonFamily golf: The best kid-friendly
vacation spots on the West Coast

Trying to book a golf vacation that will be tolerable for your wife and kids? A few resorts in Arizona, California and Nevada fit the bill.'s Chris Baldwin has come up with a list of the best family golf resorts on the West Coast, such as San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado. With great golf and plenty of family diversions, these resorts might just save your marriage and put you in the running for Dad of the Year.

Also: Revere Concord is Vegas' luckiest golf course

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>>

Golf Course Superintendents Course - ConditionsGolf course superintendents want
respect: Your golf game depends on it

They are the most crucial people at a golf course, yet superintendents are the most overlooked. Despite survey after survey showing that golfers care most about course conditions - much more than the design itself - celebrity designers make millions while superintendents are out of sight, and usually even father out of mind. But the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is trying to change all that - and get its membership some much-deserved respect in the process.

PodcastPodcast: Michael K. Bohn on his new book, Money Golf, more

Nike SQ Sumo2Nike SQ Sumo2 driver is all things great
(and not so great) about modern golf

There is nothing graceful or subtle about Nike's SQ Sumo2 driver, according to Equipment Editor Kiel Christianson. With its wedge-shaped head and bright yellow sole plate, the Sumo2 is a brash, abrasive, bold golf club. But its unbelievable distance might be just the ticket for average duffers looking to bulk up their drives. Simply put, the Sumo2 is a driver that gets the ball airborne, and keeps it there a remarkably long time.

Review: Lightweight TaylorMade driver tops in its price range

CLIENT FEATURESpinnaker - Southwind

Spinnaker Resorts: Developing
exceptional properties on Hilton
Head Island for over 25 years!

Close your eyes. Transport yourself to a place where you feel absolutely free. You'll likely be on vacation. At Spinnaker Resorts, we've been providing exceptional vacation experiences for over 25 years. That is our mission and it is what we take pride in. Spinnaker owners will be able to enjoy for many years to come. Contact us by calling (800) 809-6709 or visiting Spinnaker Resorts web site if you would like to learn more!

Get daily golf-industry updates via e-mail

Hilton Head Island Golf Packages
Dates: March 1, 2017 - March 14, 2019
Play the world-famous Harbour Town Golf Links, home of the PGA TOUR's RBC Heritage, the newly enhanced Heron Point by Pete Dye and the all-new Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III.
Price range: $229