Golf Bloggers Convention???

Las Vegas Convention Center from vegasmeansbusiness.com
Las Vegas Convention Center
from vegasmeansbusiness.com

There was a bit of a buzz from a previous post I authored on how to plan a golf trip.  Some readers asked about getting like minded individuals together for a golf bloggers convention.  Could be a great opportunity to bring folks who love to play and write about the game together.  I’d be up for it, what about you?  There are several ways this could work.  I’ll throw out a few ideas and look to get your feedback.  If there’s enough interest, I’d be happy to get the ball rolling on organization.

Initial thoughts:

  1. Try to make this event as inclusive as possible to boost participation.  Not sure how many golf bloggers there are so that may mean opening it up to perhaps golf writers.  Create our own convention with our own program, or join an existing one and gather together outside the official program for our own activities.  In either case, we’ll need to put a program together to generate interest for participants as well as those who want to bring family members and significant others.
  2. Choose the right time of year and location.  This will have to be in 2016 to leave enough time to plan and for folks traveling internationally to budget.
  3. Perhaps couple it with a noteworthy golf industry event like a trade show, or tournament, where we’d ensure that many more amateur and professional writers would be in attendance, or maybe do our event as a shadow event, or one that immediately follows the main event.  Again, anything to increase participation.
  4. Provide a  locale near a very accessible city, since many will need to travel.  Ensure the destination has ample entertainment, lodging, quality golf courses, meeting facilities, and food options.

Some options on time and place:

  • April 2016(est). Las Vegas Convention Center.  Attend the NMX show (New Media Expo).   This is a convention with 97,000 attendees and features tracks for bloggers.   Obviously this is easiest from an organization standpoint.  You attend, go to the sessions that interest you, and meetup outside of official hours for our own activities.  Here’s a link to the 2015 schedule grid.
  • January 2016. Orlando, Florida.  Shadow  the PGA Merchandise show.  The 2015 show had 41,000+ attendees.  Golf Writers Association of America are sponsors and are in attendence.
  • March 2016. Orlando, Florida.  Shadow the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.  Orlando is obviously a great venue because of the accessible facilities and entertainment options.  We could attend the tournament for one or more days, meet offsite, play at other courses, socialize and enjoy Orlando.
  • February 2016. San Diego, California.  Shadow the Golf Industry Show.  Predicted to have 14,000+ attendees.
  • Late January/early February 2016. Phoenix, Arizona.  Shadow the Waste Management Open.  Raucous party atmosphere with a good time had by all.  Same idea as Orlando/Bay Hill.

Do any of these sound good?  Shoot me a comment if you’re interested and with suggestions/preferences on time and venue.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Why Some Players Don’t Win Majors

photo by dailymail.co.uk
photo by dailymail.co.uk

The Masters is almost here and the non-major winners will be under the microscope again.  Why don’t they win?  Why do some players like John Daly win multiple majors when stellar career guys like Steve Stricker don’t?  How do guys like Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen (one tour win each) manage to make their only tour victory a major?  Of the guys that win, some overcome physical shortcomings, some overcome mental issues, but rarely will someone conquer both.  To be successful, they must have three characteristics:

 

 

Total commitment

-Belief in self

-Ability to avoid distractions for 72 holes

Of the players that win majors, you’ll always find two of the three on any given week, but the guys who lose have a major deficit in at least one. Of the winners, John Daly is the most fascinating and is the least likely multiple major winner in the history of the game.  With the charges of domestic violence, substance abuse, busting up hotel rooms, etc, Daly suffered from the most distractions, but his belief in self and ability to concentrate for the full 72 holes allowed him to prevail in the 1991 PGA and 1995 Open Championship.   Vijay Singh overcame poor putting for his entire career, but his commitment to excellence and belief in self were tremendous, and he won three majors.  Nick Faldo had just nine tour wins but six were majors.  Nick was supreme in all three facets.   Tiger Woods also excelled in each but when the distractions started, so did the current train wreck.

John Daly with the Claret Jug. photo by golfweek.com
John Daly with the Claret Jug.
photo by golfweek.com

Of the primary non-winners with double digit career victories (age/PGA Tour wins) let’s look at why they failed:

  • Steve Stricker (48/12): Lack of total commitment.  Total family man; nothing wrong with that, but 15 tournaments per year was a full schedule.  Sometimes didn’t travel to The Open when eligible to play.
  • Bruce Lietzke (63/13): Lack of total commitment.  Would rather be fishing.  Very similar to Stricker.
  • Kenny Perry (54/14):  Belief in self.  Came close at The Masters but didn’t believe he could win it at the end and choked.  Very humble, almost to a fault.  No killer attitude and has never believed he was a great player.

On the current list of Best Player to Never Win a Major, who’s got what it takes?  Let’s look at three:  Matt Kuchar (36/7); (Dustin Johnson (30/9); Sergio Garcia (35/8).

Matt Kuchar Best finish was T-3 at the 2012 Masters.  Has the belief in his abilities and is a relentless competitor.  Seems to stay in the moment and has an excellent short game.  Tough to judge his level of commitment.  I’m not wild about his recent swing changes with his closed stance and over the top move.  Historically, not a good ball striker in terms of driving length, accuracy, and GIR which is probably what’s held him back.  Best chance to break through would be at The Masters.  I have him at 50-50 odds to get a major.

Dustin Johnson Best finish was T-2 at the 2011 Open Championship but best chance to win was at the 2010 PGA (T-5) where he was assessed a two-stroke penalty on the last hole and missed out on a playoff by two strokes.  Could have the most physical talent on tour.  Obviously distractions were a huge issue in the past.  I love the changes in his pre-shot routine, especially with the putter, and they’ve been on display in recent weeks.  Still has a weak short game that will hurt in tournaments with fast greens like Augusta and the U.S. Open.  Best chance to win is at The Open where his ability to bomb it and the slower greens work in his favor.  Too soon to tell if he’s past the mental foibles but looks good in the short term.  70% chance to win a major because he’s young and oozing talent.

Sergio Garcia:  Best finish was T-2 at the 1999 and 2008 PGA as well as T-2 at the 2007 and 2014 Open Championship.  Clearly the most disappointing of the three.   What’s held Sergio back has been issues with commitment, a bad attitude, and poor putting, especially towards the end of tournaments.  He’s been so close, but the combination of mental and physical shortcomings has derailed him.  With all the second place finishes and late round failures, his major career is slightly reminiscent of Greg Norman’s, except The Shark won his first major at the age of 31 . At 35,  Sergio has improved his putting over the last couple of seasons but still struggles with pressure late in rounds.  His proclivity to choke will get harder to overcome with age and despite all the close calls, I have him at less than 25% to win a major.  Best chance would be at The Open, with the slower greens and home field advantage.

Ricky Fowler and Jordan Spieth are in the next group but are too young to be dinged for not winning.  Both have the talent to prevail, but as we have seen recently, will need to overcome a huge obstacle (Mr. Rory McIlroy) to break through.

Do you think anyone has what it takes to break through in 2015?  Predictions?