Off the Fringe – Presidential Handicaps

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Golf handicaps highlighted the Presidential debate…really? Last Thursday the leading contenders for the presidency debated in Atlanta to help citizens determine who was worthy of their vote in November. Part of the point/counterpoint involved golf and the relative ability of the two candidates.

Former President Trump opined President Biden “can’t hit a ball 50 yards” to which Biden responded, “I’d be happy to have a driving contest with him.” Not only did the golf reference back and forth continue but Biden said when he was Vice President, he had a six handicap and shortly later in the debate said he was an eight handicap.

Trump managed to be critical as could be expected. For the record Biden was shown in July 2018 as having a 6.7 handicap and Trump in 2021 was in the USGA data base as a 2.5.

Can’t we move beyond classless ad hominem attacks? Electing a President is way too important. Besides, I want to see a long drive contest between the two.

$500 Million Investment
They have no product yet and only the star-power of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but TMRW Sports just finished an investment solicitation that raised $500 million for the TGL virtual golf league. Delayed from last January, TGL will now launch Jan. 7, 2025, at the purpose-build facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

In further news TGL also signed Genesis on as the league’s first founding partner.

Golf But Louder
Liv Golf certainly is a lot different including extensive use of music. This is compared with the PGA Tour, which has none and maybe a distinction younger fans appreciate. Not only is there walk-up music on the first tee but most venues have dozens of music playing speakers around the course.

The League also makes extensive use of low-level camera drones and hot mikes following every group. At times this causes problems as was the case of Jon Rahm in Nashville last week. The Spainard’s swing was upset by a nearby drone causing him to yell words not heard in Sunday school. As soon as Rahm (a.k.a. LIV’s $600 million man) pull hooked his tee shot on the sixth hole his expletive filled disgust on the presence of the drones at every tournament was evident.

Short Putts

Detroit and the Age of Arnie
Last weekend the Rocket Mortgage Classis was won by Cam Davis at Detroit Golf Club, but the city was also the scene 70 years ago for the beginning of the Age of Arnie. In 1954 Arnold Palmer, a paint salesman from Cleveland, beat former British Amateur champion Robert Sweeny Jr. at the Country Club of Detroit for the U.S. Amateur title. He turned professional and the rest is history.

Scott Ranks in Top 50
He hasn’t hit a shot this year nor has his name been engraved on any trophies, but Ted Scott doesn’t feel slighted, he caddies for Scottie Scheffler and based on a conservative estimate he would rank in the top 50 on the money list. Leading money winner Scheffler has banked $27.7 million for his six victories in 15 events this season which means Scott probably made about $2.6 million and this puts him in the top 50 earners. He would beat out, among others, Jordan Spieth (no. 50), Rickie Fowler (no.91) and Tiger Woods (no.206). Incidentally, Scheffler has won more money than second place Xander Schauffele and third place Rory McIlroy combined.

Ed Travis

Ed Travis is a national award winning golf journalist and has carried on a lifelong love affair with the game. His work covering the business of golf, equipment, golf personalities and travel is regularly seen in numerous print and electronic publications. He has competed in tournament golf both as an amateur and senior professional and though his competitive days are behind him, Travis still plays regularly. He and his wife live on a water hazard in suburban Orlando.

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