Monday, June 30, 2008

Tiger's Injury Issue of GolfWeek

I spent time on the phone trying to add accuracy to the issue and even got a name quote. I'm glad that they chose to emphasize "Depends on how much wear and tear there is". That really is the key. Such early intervention and such a violent hyperextension of the knee with the golf swing and you get problems.

By now, everyone knows all ten of their friends and the two family members they didn't already know had had their ACL's done; there's a bunch of them out there and they run from soup to nuts. A virgin hyperextension injury with a rupture and no secondary damage or pre-existing disease, do a cadaver graft (Allograft) and they do wonderfully.

At the other end, say some OCD, a lateral meniscus tear requiring a meniscal transplant and significant OCD requiring drilling and/or an osteochondral allograft and whoo-eee those are some variable parameters and outcomes.

Just remember, every ACL reconstruction is not the same. Many think they are better than new, because they took their knee for granted before. An ACL reconstruction is never better than before. It is never better than the original, in fact some surgeons are performing multiple bundle procedures to try and imitate the original model, but it's a lot more work and the evidence does not support an extra benefit versus the current "Gold Standard" procedures. Balderdash to that kind of "Better than new" nonsense, I wish I had two pre-1995 knees, when your body accommodates to changes slowly, your memory helps you change your standards.

We'll leave out the full-blown postero-lateral corner insufficiency, true dislocations and more sordid affairs for this discussion. We pretty well can guess that those are not in play.

We don't know what the post-Open MRI showed, so we don't know about any surprises on that, but since the team had the MRI to look at, they had no surprises.

Well done GolfWeek, no out-on-a-limb stuff, good anatomical drawing lots of corroboration from multiple sources, glad I could help.

Wishing Tiger well,

the redanman

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Monty, Monty, Monty

What is it about Monty? Personally I love the guy and root for him, I'm not ashamed to say. Love those eyebrows, too. He and Paula, separated at birth?

He's a chap that in spite of the dour, scowling almost constipated look he carries has amassed one fine record in The Order of Merit over the years.

Did he become completely derailed by not winning the USGA Open won by Els at Oakmont? He also must have suffered greatly after Ogilvy won at Winged foot when Phil shot himself in the foot at THE Foot.

I got a short glimpse of him playing in France on TGC this morning after getting up late and hurriedly getting dressed to play golf with Mrs. redanman. She pointed out that he was still wearing the colours of Yonex ("Are they still in the golf business?" she asked) and he was playing reasonably well. He came out of today I do not know how well, and I need to get ready to go and see Mr. Craig Ferguson tonight, but Laidlaw and company were singing his praises. Ryder Cup! (Bad news, Valhalla, home of the stacked cow patty green complex)

Once the great hope of Scottish Golfers, he has withered and particularly suffered under the Reign of the Tiger. Perhaps we'll see him flourish in the next year or two? After all, Sergio upon winning the Players this year thanked Tiger for not showing up.

Will Monty make the Ryder Cup? Equal second in France after 54. He'd be a good addition with his experience if more game returns.

I've always enjoyed his smoothness, he seems an enigma in that he can be so volatile in personality and so smooth as a swinger. It's almost ironic, in sense that this cal appearing man on the outside harbours so much intensity.

Well, by now we know he finished solo second and now the Scottish Open and Open championships are coming soon. I look for him to have a good summer season an see how he fares in his Ryder Cup quest.

Speaking of which, redanman-favored Taylor Made-Adidas has secured a "long-term contract" for Nick Faldo's services. A extra little free advert when he gets the voice over on commercials and TGC breaks to a Taylor Made ad directly before or after his commentary. Nice move, TM-A.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Open Letter to Michelle Wie

Dear Michelle

Send Mom and Pop packing. Finish University.

Start Over.

You'd be nine off the lead yesterday if we give you a par instead of your nine; that's not going to make it for a while. Just study hard, maybe even put the clubs away until school's over. A Stanford degree is worth a lot and will open doors for you, even if you never get the game you never had that we were told you had.

Truly, Best Wishes.

the redanman

p.s. When school is done, to help your abysmal putting, try Dave Stockton or Stan Utley, not Dave Pelz.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

From Media Sources (All the same if you check)

(Doctor) Rosenberg said he was confident going into the surgery and that nothing has changed his opinion.

"I am pleased with the results," Rosenberg said in a statement on Woods' website. "There were no surprises during the procedure, and as we have said, with the proper rehabilitation and training, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Woods will have any long-term effects as it relates to his career."

... as usual we are being told information that has lots of wriggle room to it and no specifics anywhere. As I said, we'll know at three months.

This time Rosenberg is hedging a bit:

with the proper rehabilitation and training, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Woods will have any long-term effects as it relates to his career

-highly unlikely - not the 100% that some know-it-alls have been proclaiming including "Stronger than before" which is based upon bench data of ACL graft constructs.

There were no surprises

Since we don't know the latest MRI (pre-op, the one that surely was done and was not released to the media) and we don't know "What was expected" this is a little better than meaningless. Wishing Tiger well, see you in three months on this topic or until we learn whether or not he is being treated for an infection. (also highly unlikely)

Of note the ACL (plus ???) surgery was done nine days after the last day of competition as opposed to the 10-21 days I was quoted as saying with the reservation "when the inflammation was down". Tiger did say that he wanted it as soon as possible and he went one day early - either that or Rosenberg won't change his surgery day even for Tiger (previous Tuesday surgeries, for the slow).

Good. Good Luck and all that, I am tired of this for now.

My best guesses

-A token appearance at the Target, maybe even drinking beer in a cart? (JK) lighten up folks

-Plays the Masters, maybe warms up in Middle East for $(several) million appearance

-Takes up to 18 months to win first "Hoganesque Major" . We're not going to see a slam dunk.

-Quits at 19

A day late, sorry about that. Hey I'm in NYC! I got things to do.

You got a problem with that? :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Also on (today)

Pick apart Hannigan bit by bit, but remember baby boys, he has there longer than you, and with a better seat.

Today's younger sports fans more or less figure their heroes are the best.

Tiger's "one of the best", he's not the "Best". That perhaps is an insoluble question, "Who was the best"?

All I know is
-I don't know squat about how to put Tom Morris, Jr. into the picture.
-Jones did it in his spare time and puked a lot, so he quit very early
-Nelson quit while he was ahead, was a bundle of nerves, too and arguably played against weaker opponents (I say balderdash to that last)
-Hogan really dominated and came back from his last few oranges and a car with stolen tires before he nearly died in a car crash and overcame more than most of you can even begin to fathom. He was one tough son-of-a-bitch. As best I know, Earl never met Hogan, doesn't sound like it.
-Nicklaus was stupid good and forever, too. Look it up if you weren't there.
-Woods is a work in progress. Woods is his own worst enemy. His swing has been killing his game and he is unfortunately surrounded by syncophant arse-sniffers from his "team" to various media who have declared him (and Michelle Wie) the "Best" since age 17. I wish they'd just let the legends write themselves.

Only time will give us the answer, we must be patient.

Drugs, Pain and You and You and You

First off a little education about "Pain Killers".

Really want pain killers? Real pain relief? "literally Anaesthesia". General Anaesthesia is more akin to a controlled drug overdose and local anaesthesia like the dentist shoots in your gum takes many forms, It directly affects how nerves work, motor and sensory. Athletes "shot up for a game" like a football player, might get this.

Narcotics or Opiods - Morphine, heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Oxycontin (Time-released multiple doses of oxycodone - Rush L.'s drug of hypocritic downfall) are in their effects not very dissimilar to drinking heavily, making you less aware or less attached to your pain. If you do something really painful, like move a broken long bone while on narcotics, you'll still feel it, you'll just care less and for less time - you're basically distracted. that's why these are properly referred to as sedative hypnotics.

Ibuprofen (in all forms since it's now generic), Celebrex, Bextra, Naproxen, Vioxx, Sulindac, - these are not pain killers. Yes they have some direct pain reducing properties as do aspirin (None exceed it but have arguably better side effect profiles) but they primarily help musculo-skeletal pain by reducing inflammation (Anti-Inflammatories, NSAID's). Certainly they don't mask anything. If you have acute pains, they just make them a little less, perhaps. They mostly help dull, aching pain except that of spasms - for which almost nothing works. These work by blocking inflammation mediators, the old ones - Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen are all shotgun, i.e. COX 1 & 2. Cox 2's have a very checkered history of complications, some deeply suppressed, some come to light (hypertension (^ BP) and frank cardiac problems including death rates increased enough to consider cause-effect relationships. Just an aside about "side effects". All drugs have effects and side effects, the "side effects are just the ones we don't like.)

So anyway, I've heard a lot of folks with various amounts of credibility apply all this to El Tigre. what can we surmise?

- We know he wasn't given general anaesthesia

- It's unlikely he had local anaesthesia; there's be too much risk of unintended consequences if he hadn't tried it beforehand. No evidence to either side, just applying good reasoning. I also personally think it would border on unethical for the administrator of the local anesthesia blocks unless a licensed doctor or P.A. or N.P.. Any of these travel with Tiger?

- Opiates? Why not, who hasn't played with a beer or two on board? Heck, some social players I have played with weren't at their best until at least their third drink (by the second hole).

- NSAIDS almost certainly. Your guess is as good as mine, they're all second to Aspirin in absolute efficacy, though. Let me repeat that: All the billions of $, £, and € spent on NSAIDS, none is more effective than good old Willow tree Bark's aspirin.

Conspire away.

Anyone tired of Tiger's Knee yet? :)

The New PGA Tour and your game

Same courses, though.

As good as Tiger Woods has been for golf increasing the money pouring into it and new fans (Not sure golf needs them), for me the game has gotten to a point that I usually look to the women and the Euros and other non-USA tours for the suspense of competition an more importantly the competition.

As a bit of a purist towards golf, it has been as it was during the Nicklaus heyday which I was around for (It was best the short time Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were at their peaks and also Watson and Trevino) too one-sided especially in the video media. Not that jack and Tiger weren't magnificent, they were so dominant that it became hard to appreciate the variety in golf.

This week in Hartford Cink stepped up and I think I heard something from him during or after the USGA Open about taking advantage.

Other things I hope to see
-A resurgent Els
-Sergio come to his apex without the spectre of Tiger
-Mickelson, once a great amateur with unlimited promise, dump all the gurus and just play golf. Following him around, I thought he was the "Next Nicklaus" at Cherry Hills in 1990.
-More little guys step up and take the ring.

We'll have a different tenor without the possibility of Tiger in the weekly line-up, but we'll still get the required 20 hours plus per week from the Golf Channel. I can't really blame them, he's multi-billion dollar cash cow..

American Golf has stagnated as players at every level that don't completely ignore the rules of golf and just get outside to drive the balls and the carts, but rather focus on

"Wahaddya shoot?"

card and Pencil mentality I have heard it called and it's true, sometimes it's just great to play a little pasture pool or whatever you want to call just getting out and playing a quick one (wherever or whenever you can) for some exercise and a little friendship or solitude.

I constantly hear of golfers who have come back from Scotland or Ireland to the US and moan about not getting to play the "whole course". None of these folks tell me about the 68's they were embarrassed to shoot or even the 78's or sometimes not even the 88's, they bemoan that it was unfair, the greens were slow and people kept pushing them to play faster on the Old Course (especially). And they mumble something or other about being happy to be home to "real golf"

US Golf has become a bit laborious; I think the PGA playing stroke play has something to do with it and I think the handicap system which surely encourages sandbagging or reverse sandbagging (to have that "3 handicap card" in the wallet.

I think more people should just get out and play for fun, but then again, there's that $100 green fee ....

Tiger will play again, so enjoy this, the summer of your game, and maybe we'll see Sergio win in England and Els in the PGA.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm Astonished

I'm short on time this morning, so more later, if you please.

I'm not astonished by what Tiger accomplished, I am astonished how poorly understood medical conditions are understood by the golf writers of the world, how they take what IMG feeds them and seldomly if ever backcheck "the facts". I am astonished by the wives tales out there - too many to mention, but I also blame the members of my chosen profession - Orthopedic Surgery for failing to take the time to truly explain to patients and lay people - rather passing themselves off as gods who do magic. Boys and girls, most of the time the body does most of it with a little help from the doctor. It's the doctor's job most of the time to not screw things up.

I am astonished that Tiger is being hailed by some as somehow more brave and having accomplished more than Ben Hogan did after his automobile-BUS accident. Hogan took on a bus.

I you thing a fractured pelvis is a trivial "will heal" sort of injury, look it up.

If you think multiple fractured ribs and a clavicle fracture from a bus accident do not require alteration of a golf swing, you don't understand the golf swing.

If you think pulmonary embolisms requiring then-life-saving and multiple complication inducing inferior vena cava ligation (!!!) is trivial and has little or no impact on a person's overall health, you need to learn a lot.

Hogan had quite an ankle fracture; somehow an ACL tear and unstable knee are worse than this injury alone?

Americans especially tend to think very short-term and take for granted what has happened in the past and minimize it. Hogan's feats post accident were truly amazing, "thy" really mean it when the historians say it was doubtful he'd ever walk and even live at one point.

If you think that Tiger going against his doctor's requests (can't seem to see how they were orders) is more noble than Hogan following his doctor's reccomendations, you've got your priorities different than mine.

Tiger will likely do fine, but also remember Ernie Els - he's as close as anyone pure talent-wise as Woods (save for putting) , but has 5% of the mental game still is rounding into a game that works as well for him and he has indeed changed his swing (which we well now Tiger can do). Don't try to tell me that Tiger is somehow a notably better athlete than Els, Els as a teen chose between reaching his peak in tennis vs. golf.

Tiger has been absolutely phenomenal.

Beyond that we have to sit and wait now. We'll know how he's coming along in about three months and it will depend on what IMG releases, so at this point, given that he's everyone's billion dollar cash cow, there's a lot of nail-biting out there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Pain, function, impact and outcome for Mr. Lyons

Today class, we are dealing with Mr. Lyon, a famous country club golfer who always goes for the highest bid in the Calcutta at Shady Rolling Green Acres Hills C.C. Mr. Lyon won yet again, but he appears to have some medical problems that need attention

Since we are little kids we are taught that pain is a bad thing and that bad pain is a bad thing. People who work through the pain often take on Herculean proportions in other's eyes. We use pain to get sympathy, be taken more seriously and sometimes to imply that somehow we are more noble. Pain has many causes and knowing what is the pain generator is a key thing.

What is of interest in this whole Mr. Lyon thing is the focus on the pain. Feiter Nesoog got his ass in a sling he tried to wriggle out of claiming Mr. Lyon was faking. Why? Because athletes do just that and he was just guessing as most of the rest of the club was. Feiter observed Mr. Lyon's function. Bad result - grimacing, good result - no grimacing, but Feiter appeared to overlook one thing - what function was Mr. Lyon exhibiting when he was grimacing. Don't think for a second that I'm implying faking or even embellishment. Mr. Lyon managed his pain fairly well, but he may not have really understood it.

Mr. Lyon had the pain of the stress fractures which is a constant, known entity that a fine athlete, a well-motivated injured or ill person can deal with by "owning it". That takes a bit of effort, but one can do it.

Function, that's the key. How is your function impacted? The stress fractures didn't likely impact Mr. Lyon's golf swing or even his walking, but I am certain that he was loaded up with the ice afterwards because you deal with "owned pain" eventually.

There's another kind of pain -paroxysmal - that means that it comes on instantly, surprisingly, never insidiously but always in a shock. It takes us by surprise. Perhaps that's what Feiter was observing and not understanding and winding up looking like a total bonehead. One thing I think was happening is easy to explain. When Mr. Lyon during the member-guest swung with more than a certain force, he caused something to happen in his ACL-deficient knee. That thing called a Jerk or Pivot Shift gave him paroxysmal pain and we all saw the results. Grimacing, favoring limping - all that that got Feiter in the crapper. What we also don't know is what was the state of Lyon's meniscus cartilages at this point - was he damaging them more - or not? No guarantees.

In simplest engineering terms a "jerk" is not a guy saying that Mr. Lyon was tougher and suffered more than Hogan (that's just misinformed), but rather a change in acceleration of in this case two different surfaces of a knee joint. In true engineering or physical circumstances this can be a very important fact to calculate such as in the wear of a structure due to harmonic oscillations or repeated force applications. In the knee we cannot calculate these but rather we see the effects - Mr. Lyon's knee specialists who stick the scope back in there will see what the medial and especially the lateral meniscii have thought about all this jerking they've been subjected to.

Pivot Shift is the very specific term used for a test and this specific Jerk (google both, I don't have time); in short this involves an intact PCL and the resultant loss of secondary stabilizers in an ACL deficient knee. (I warned you I could go 40 pages). Specifically, the lateral (Outside) part of the Tibia (lower knee bone) rotates forward to varying degrees - when subjected to torque - as relates to the its normal articulation with the Femur (upper knee bone). This happens during the last 30* of extension or straightening of the knee such that extended the shift will occur and bent more than 30* the knee will snap back into place. Caught in all of this is the lateral meniscus, ergo the site of the impact and determining the outcome.

In a golf swing based upon posting the knee in full extension at and just before impact, if enough laxity is present and enough force applied, the jerk will occur and in a chronically inflamed knee this does cause a paroxysm of sharp, quick, intense pain. Few people can deal with a paroxysm and hide it. That's likely what we saw.

So how did we get there?

Mr Lyon's left knee has always been under stress at impact, that's been key to how he swings with such violence. We also know that he has had a "Partial ACL Tear" (there is no such thing) for a long time. Remember he had "Fluid removed from around the ACL"? (Gooogle that)... He had one since before that surgery. He's simply loosened the secondary stabilizers over time (natural history of ACL injuries) to the point that he has had full ALRI (antero-lateral rotational instability) develop and has put his knee in jeopardy of needing much more extensive surgery (or not, if he's lucky).

The stress fractures just developed because Mr Lyon is likely an exercise addict (I don't know Him, but multiple sources suggest this and replicate each other). As I said yesterday, these are trivial.

"Oh wise and pompous one, what would you have done?" (Hey, I'm trying to explain here, don't shoot the messenger).

Armchair quarterbacking with 20-20 hindsight is sure easier than making the decision in the moment, but some of it would depend on what the hypothetical patient (Mr. Lyon) might or might not listen to. Mr Lyon seems stubborn and we don't know the exact timetable of the instability, but Mr. Lyon's ortho guy called the ACL deficient knee long time ago. We don't know what Mr. Lyon did with that.

Certainly since fall 2007 or so Mr. Lyon might have worn a brace, but they only help so much. He might have been perceived as vulnerable rather than stoic, so it may not have fit his needs, but Mr. Lyon certainly could have gone at the ball with less that a full chop and not pivot shift or jerk that left knee. But he'd have eventually wound up in hte O.R. again and may not be done yet.

We'll follow Mr. Lyon carefully.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tiger Woods and me and Rich Lerner

Surprising news in the golf world today, shocking actually, that Mr. Tiger Woods the 108th USGA Open Champion indeed has an ACL deficient knee - and more. But those that follow this writer should have known it was coming. We do know now that he is not a model patient either, how much has he hurt his future being so bull-headed?

What to do now?

*Tiger apparently has two Tibial (shin bone) stress fractures - these will heal since he didn't break them through last week (You can do this). These are less of a big deal than you might think. It is most likely that running for training did this. Running really isn't all that good for you, there are other ways to get cardio. Running always reminds me of that cartoon Shoe - from late political cartoonist Jeff MacNelly. Shoe is a great big fat know it all bird and there are all his regulars, Skyler, Roz and the Senator Windbag, etc. Anyway, one day Skyler was reading in the paper where he read aloud that "Doctors agree that running is good for you". Shoe, ever the curmudgeon glibly replies with his cigar hanging off to the side "Especially if they're Orthopedic Surgeons." They can also be called G.I or March fractures (stress fractures) because green recruits get them in basic training. Heck Tiger's getting older, he needs to lose the running. Enough said, they'll heal, since he didn't fracture through, it's a nothing.

*ACL Deficient Knee

How much do you want to know? I could give you about 40 pages easily. I've done too many of these myself to count starting from doing a softball player in San Jose who got a full-page article out of it for her and me back in the early 1980's to the last one in PA in 2002 that I did just before health caught up with me and I had to abandon the ortho surgeon's life.

During that time I also personally had a knee (not patella) dislocation in Bermuda that I reduced myself. I needed and had my own ACL done - maybe 5 weeks later. More on that later and what it means in all of this, but it really wasn't all that painful, but then again I (skillfully) shoved that sucker back in place within 10 seconds before the muscles even had a chance to start hurting. The near-compartment syndrome I had that night was another story, I went back to the Hospital for some hydrocodone. Later I puked my guts out and just dealt with the pain.

So anyway I worked the quad, got the range of motion back, we got the swelling under as good of control as we could and when the knee inflammation was down we got the surgery done. I had peripheral lateral and medial meniscus tears by definition, but they healed by the time I had the surgery and other than some shear articular cartilage damage and shredding on the medial meniscus that needed cleaning up everything went OK. Except I had such a big capsular tear posterior-laterally that my leg swelled 2-3x normal size at surgery (at least that's what Pete, my usual surgical assistant who scrubbed in on my surgery to keep old Dougie boy honest said). It still works OK 11 or so years later.

I am also because of what I currently do as a consultant in Occupational Medicine somewhat an expert on orthopedic rehabilitation anyway. I got a lot of OTJ just from myself.

I know the golf swing very well.

Does that give me enough cred?

Tiger, what about Tiger?

We'll likely know about Tiger at about three months post op.

We don't know what his "cartilage damage" is. If he's shredded his lateral meniscus and needs a transplant as well as an ACL done, that knee is not going to be very happy very soon. We still don't know the state of his articular cartilage (see original article below), his handlers have been rather mute about the truth and although he is the world's most dissected athlete his medical data is private and protected by HIPPA. Big problems for anyone leaking an MRI or an operative note. To that extent, it's his own damn business. considering he's a cash cow for thousands of people, it's actually a serious bit of fiscal information that is critical for many to know.

There is only so much speculation one can do at this point about his future. He'll certainly play again and barring an infection, arthrofibrosis, pulmonary embolism, very serious articular (joint) damage (and several other things) he'll certainly live and play a high quality of golf again.

Will he play as he did before?

I dunno (Insert dumbfounded, shirking smiley character here), but I beginning to wonder if I really don't think so. Look at Els, he did everything by the book, took care of it and did not screw it up by disobeying his doctors and he's still struggling, what 18 months later? Same knee, he did a lot less to it, you decide.

This whole story is not even beginning to sniff Hogan. I understand TGC's Rich Lerner implied this. So Rich Lerner, e-mail me, I'm in your old hometown. We need to talk, maybe you should have me on the show.

The Fable of the Goose and the Tiger

BBC reports that Retief Goosen feels that Tiger is faking it since his grimaces and hystrionics were only present following bad shots. He offers evidence that during good shots there was not a similar reaction, therefore it was an acting job. C'mon, Retief, that's not really very nice. You haven't read my treatise on the knee, either.

I've got to definitely go the other way and say those that are Tiger lovers really need to worry about their man, there's lot to the story and the entourage doesn't want it out. Watch for more surgery, maybe even an ACL job.

Retief needs to work on his game a little bit it he wants to have a little more credibility. He's been a little too far out of the picture for a guy with such a history and game. Retief is one of a dozen or so players truly capable of reaching the heights that Tiger has reached, but don't get me wrong, there's lot in that word capable. Tiger's mental game has been keeping him on top and what most certainly has gotten him there.

Is it a lifetime development task to get to the point that Tiger has reached in mental toughness? He relies on an up to 125 mph swing speed with his driver that has taken its toll on his knee, but the mind still is as strong as ever, maybe even more so.

If the Goose wants to talk trash, he ought to start a little smaller than the Tiger-beast. Gotta go with Tiger on this one, the knee is that bad. I just wish I knew more and better specifics, but I think I'm narrowing it down. He's no Ben Hogan, just a way good golfer with a bum knee from bad swing ideas of the modern era, and he's more vulnerable now, but far from done yet. Expect to see Tiger chasing #19 even if he plays two majors a year and nothing else until he has to apply for a cart by USGA criteria.

I'll try and find out if he was technically eligible for one at Torrey. What a mind-mess that would have been.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Final crying and gnashing of teeth

Now that it's all over, in retrospect it was a much more interesting USGA Open to watch than I ever expected, but not due a whit to Torrey Pines.

As I posted earlier, it could have been played virtually anywhere on any US Open "Ideal Course" which TP was. That said, there are in my opinion at least two thousand courses in the USA easily better (out of 17, 000).


TP is great for the best players in the world. It was hard and fair and enough of that. Just 7 or 8 just like it. Let's say:

-One in New England (if they can find flat enough ground)
-One between Philly and New York (leave the best US Courses alone)
-One between D.C. and the Carolinas (undo the rape of Pinehurst #2)
-One between Atlanta and St Louis
-One in Texas
-One in Chicago
-One in the far western plains
-Torrey Pines
-One in NoCal
-One in Bend, OR

No more great old courses to be ruined!

Anyway, it was great golf, a great match if you will; the Mrs. and I watched the whole damned thing, both rooting for Rocco, the PA guy (and the old guy and the "guy not Tiger".

Great things about this USGA Open:
-Great Competition head-to-head in playoff
-Hope for the great old courses in the USA
-Hope for the rest of the golfers in the world

Why hope for the rest of the professional cadre? (Don't tell me that his knee held him back, he played just fine)

If a 45-year old with a bad back who once used a broomstick to putt can miss two short putts and hook his last two drives to present Tiger the USGA Open, you would finally think that all these Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy and the like might recognize that They, too can beat Tiger.

The only thing is if Tiger ever learns that he should take 10% off his full swing, he'd move it up yet another notch and save what little is really left in that knee. I'm pretty well convinced that he has O.D. in that knee and/or an ACL deficient knee. After all, he did say after the presentation that he was taking a lot of time off now, that means it's 50-50 for the Open Championship, I suppose.

Perhaps he is pivot-shifting the knee with that final snap move. That move with that knee when he swings hard and is causing the pain, if that's the case, he's got some serious decisions to make.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Torrey Pines the Morning After

Yesterday at the O

Fourteen as a short drivable par 4 was a non-sequitur. It was never designed as such and does not consequently work all that well as one.

Rees is not responsible for 14, but he has done a primary design of a decent drivable par 4 as such and has done an OK job. The good ones tend to work well when they are designed similar to the last 225-330 of a really good par 5 with some sort of hazards other than the greenside ones to negotiate.

Exhibits A B & C are Riviera #10, Easthampton #2 and even TPC Scottsdale #17. A central hazard and/or great angles makes the hole exciting. Fourteen at TP is just a funky long par 3 in this configuration, IMO.

As regards Tiger's wild drives getting him a real break, the really wild drives coming to rest where spectators handle them and free drops are given could be handled by OB lining each side of the fairway at the edge of the quality high grass. No need to drop, just re-tee. It would be boring and non-dimensional, but hey, this is the USGA Open and that's how it's supposed to be - painfully fair.

Just do it. That's what Phil Knight say, isn't it?

I for one want to see Rocco truly win it today; maybe Tiger won't be quite so wild and get his due - the cabbage. The Old Guys will maybe get another Major. Heck, we all know that Tiger will have at least 25 (and 10 Green Jackets) when he's done (Or 19 and then go have knee surgery) so I hope Rocco earns this one; and yes, I do know I am in the really small minority, am a racist, live in the past, am fat (but at least I am tall) and anti-Tiger to boot, so save the comments, I've been told all that enough.

And please, no "Hogan-esque" comments when Tiger wins. If you think that - then you need to read up on Bantam Ben, the Wee Ice Mon, the biggest bastard that ever played the game at the highest level. 'Cause you don't know Hogan.

Back to TP

Here's a Reesification (done by fazio) of a great classic course in the name of "hard and fair" for those that can't recognize it.

It is just what the USGA wants. If the game is going to evolve into the modern smash and grab with professionals and elite amateur players so different from the average player, just take a bunch of modern thoughtless, non-strategic designs and USGA them up and have an Open Rota like the famous organization.

Imagine this. Take Rees's Golf at THE Bridge on Long Island. Narrow all the fairways to 22-28 yards depending on where you are on the course, make the course hard as a rock, line every fairway with graduated rough and allow no spectators on the property to avoid negating the rough's impact and in the process, never visit Shinnecock again. Take what you did with GATB and repeat it in six or eight other areas round the country and voila!

A perfect USGA Open every time. Throw Fazio a few bones as well. Each of them can design a painfully fair, narrow thoughtlessly bunkered course anywhere.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

A big wish to all the fathers out there. Go play a six hour round and watch and see if at 13 the luck ran out for Tiger.

Today's questions?

1 - Will the knee hold, man that thing is not doing well even if Tiger is handling it well.

2 - When will Tiger play again?

3- How soon to the next knee surgery?

A final comment on the knee. I really can't validate the comments on Tiger hobbling out there on his knee "a la Hogan".

Tiger's knee compared to Hogan's injuries is several orders of magnitude. Hogan never gets enough props for what he accomplished after what he endured. The HBO Special Back Nine at Cherry Hills: The Legends of the Legends of the 1960 US Open (Which is rather good) will educate some, but one must read Gene Gregston's - Hogan: The Man who Played for Glory or Curt Sampson's Hogan Biography to get the whole story of the kind of medical problems that Hogan had. Not small stuff.

It is comparable perhaps to Ernie Els surgery. Tiger plays similarly post op to pre-op (with a few more funny faces thrown in) just as Ernie's game is no different past the usual ACL post op time to his pre-op. (Both left knees, BTW)Both with not really much impact.

Woods and Rocco both did a great job and Westwood hung in there until the end. Sentimentally I go for Rocco, reality tells me Woods is
3 x more likely to win.

No sense trying to suspend reality!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Open at Torrey Pines

The USGA Open is progressing as usual, slowly and tediously.

This one is a little different, though. A number of people who are of various backgrounds and golf skills skills that I know or my wife knows - so the information is no more than second hand have pretty much all rendered the opinion that TP is one of if not THE least memorable course ever to host a USGA Open. We're also talking folks who have played the course. They commonly lament the inability to recall any particular holes.

I personally have at least a half-dozen plays from over the years starting with an old college buddy Rick Kulas who along with his brother grew up in San Diego amd thoroughly introduced me to the course. Playing with SD County residents is the only way to go, BTW.

So anyway, I have to disagree. #12 was always a bear, no one can ever forget how long and hard that hole plays into the wind. #13 has that nice canyon dip that Rees actually really tuned up to reject shots. The bunkering on that hole is another story altogether. It can only be called ghastly. Number three is a nice little downhill hole and I do have to give props to Rees for the shaved bank there and elsewhere on the course. Ricks brother aced the 17th so I'll always remember that one.

That's about it, though.

In all fairness, the USGA got exactly the set up it wanted without ruining a world-class old-timey course in the process, so I say you go guys to that. This was certainly much better than ruining the fairway lines of Bethpage Black in the name of stupid effing hard.

Old Man Rocco just took over the lead just as I typed this so maybe there is some redemption coming.

I have my very favorite announcers, but one just got the boot from anything but my shit list today evermore. Jimmy Roberts - dissing Arnold Palmer direct to to David Fay's face and doing the usual swoon that all do for Tiger. I really don't have a great love for Tiger, but don't blame him, he's a rare talent and deserving of our awe. We just need to remember that the game is bigger than the world's best, no matter how good he is. It was a bit similar when Jack was in his prime, but the whole media thing is so much larger now.

NBC, just show us a nice balanced coverage without showing every Tiger fist pump, limp and wince three times. It doesn't leave much time for anything else.

Hopefully Rocco's coverage will continue and Ogilvy will move today, too.

Bad stretch for Rocco, great one for Eldrick. Will 14 be coming?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Originally on post-Masters Part ll

Conspiracy Corner or Not?

Whenever Tiger Woods has knee surgery, it requires an opinion from me. There is this time yet again - to an Orthopedic professional - a great deal of mystery surrounding exactly what is going on with Tiger Woods left knee. Once again we are told that he had some cartilage work done. Don't ever forget that there are two kinds of cartilage in the knee the articular cartilage which is intimately attached to the ends of the bone that make the articular or joint surfaces and also the meniscus cartilage, that most like a chamfered washer which more perfectly make the articulation of the upper bone(Femur) to the lower bone (Tibia). There are two of these medial (inner) and lateral (outer). The knee which has a lateral meniscus reduced in mass is much more poorly tolerated than that on the medial side, especially when on the periphery. We don't know which or if either is the site of the work.

His previous surgery we are told he had fluid removed from around his ACL as well as cartilage work, again, not specified. This professionally makes no sense whatsoever. Clearly his handlers are minimizing just what is wrong with his knee. Articular cartilage shear can be mowed like the grass to reduce its impact on the knee. It does not grow like the grass however, eventually one runs out of it. Mr. Woods is a very valuable commodity to his sponsors and to the media, the obsfucation is of little surprise to me.

The early swing component for Mr. Woods that had him hitting against an internally rotated and extended (turned in and straightened) left knee may very well be responsible for his knee woes but certainly has caused the continued problem. The idea of that sort of swing is to allow one to flail wholeheartedly at the ball with reduced chance of lateral translation (sliding). The knee does not like to be loaded in this fashion and I don't recommend this move to anyone who wants his knee to hold up. It can lead to ACL partial tears (there is no such thing as a partial tear), stretching of the posterior-lateral capsule - a most important and poorly recognized laxity, even by experienced OS - and joint cartilage shear.

If Mr. Woods has a condition called Osteochondritis Dessicans (Of the lateral aspect of the medial femoral condyle, certainly not inconsistent with the straight knee flailing mode), it could be just a matter of how long will his knee hold up, even though he has abandoned that particular flawed swing method. Couple this with an ACL deficiency of any kind on a left knee and it is not a great combo - add in the posterior-lateral corner laxity and you might not have a very happy knee. Certainly not for very long.

The continued need for his left knee to have repeated surgeries is leading me to further believe that the articular cartilage is the source of the problem requiring cartilage work. He is a world-class athlete so he will do well, that is 3/4 of the battle, however if indeed he has O.D. and / or articular cartilage shear, it could affect his career no matter what he and his team do. No surprise that the story has so much spin as told in very tightly controlled, non-informational press releases as we are subjected to. He may know what his last rehabilitation program was but welcome to a new one. I'm guessing 4-6 weeks is optimistic.

At least we are done with the grand slam rubbish for the year, but we are bombarded with the triplets: woulda, coulda and shoulda. Now we have the reaason - the left knee which caused him pain (I really doubt pain was the problem, but most laymen relate best to pain) but more importantly functional alteration. Maybe woulda, coulda shoulda had the knee surgery in the off-season rather than much more urgently than admitted two days after failing to win the Mahsters.

Much of the media has been ready to crown Tiger the King from the very start, but we now have a new wrinkle that keeps deepening. My guess is that Tiger Woods will one day retire from competitive golf. I'll take the Ladbroke odds for less than two weeks before the next knee surgery when he does retire.
This week we've seen Byron Nelson's eleven straight and the calendar (True) Grand Slam odds just change.

Arthroscopic surgery to remove fluid from around the ACL - hmmmm. Sounds like an ACL deficient knee to me.

As an update, it has been made aware to me from Geoff Shackelford's fine site that Tim Finchem expects 5-10 years of Senior (Champion's) Tour golf from Tiger after regualr competition. I'll take the odds on that right now that we'll never see Tiger give a rodent's derrière about any Senior title except perhaps the USGA Open so that he can increase the total of USGA Championships that he will have won to an ungodly record total.

To be more specific, I'll give really long odds right now that we'll never see Tiger Woods in something as fine but undistinguished as the very well run Commerce Bank Championship at the Eisenhower Red on Long Island (I'll have some from there pretty soon). Mr. Finchem, I want to share that pipe in your pocket the next time I need a dose of optimism.

the redandoc

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

RBS Wants you to Play

Hole shown is unfortunately not eligible to be a choice.

RBS is currently playing a little Architecture game with Jack Nicklaus.

GAME Takes you there to register and play. Let me know if you win.

Apparently you try and choose what holes Jack picked for a Dream 18 for THE Open Championship. There are five holes per choice, all from the Rota. This exaggerates the fallacy of choosing the best holes from many a course. One must choose holes that add up to a par of 72 and such schizophrenia ensues trying to match The Old Course with Carnoustie, Muirfield, Birkdale and Hoylake!

What does all this say about Jack's sense of routing and its importance in designing a golf course?
Errrrrrrr .... (A LOT!) See Castle Pines, Muirfield Village and Sherwood, just for starters. Anyway, the prize is worth trying to think like Jack. And that is really the key, it matters not a whit what you think, it matters what Jack thinks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Originally on post-Masters

Half-Full or Half Empty?

Nine hole courses are a pleasant anachronism of days past and are a bit New England-y somewhat spartan and frugal, not big enough to be important for Americans, that's for sure. Anthony Pioppi has written a nice little book about nine holers To the Nines concerning these little gems. Tom Doak in Confidential Guide to Golf Courses listed a single Pennsylvania course - Phowenixville Country Club. I had the pleasure to play it in last Sunday's GAP match - worth exploring on that hyperlink also known as the Suburban League matches.

It was a very fine nine-hole as well as "small" course having been listed only behind the sublime Whittensville course in Massachusetts by Mr. Doak in his Gazeteer list of nine hole courses, the rest being UK courses.

After the party we're still left with a hangover -musings on the Masters, the Majors and the Equipment

As is typically and currently after the Masters a bit of a lull settles in for most golfers. Personally I have always enjoyed watching the Masters as different and better somehow than the Wachovia and the John Deere but have never considered it any more than my third favorite major men's tournament. I preferred the USGA version of the Open Championship when younger and especially before the game got out of control. For quite a while now it has been the R & A Open probably out of a sense of history as much as the love of the links, but this Masters failed in so many ways.

Out of control in the sense that the game has fundamentally changed because of equipment. This occurred when two things happened - it was more of a very fast evolution than an explosion and no I am not calling for retro back to featheries, waistcoats and longnecks. One was the evolution of aerodynamics of the golf ball (really not the two piece ball vs. wound because that happened before with the feathery being replaced by gutta percha and then again with the Haskell ball. ). The Top-Flite two-piece ball came along and greatly increased distance for high velocity golfers but it wasn't until the two step dance of a reliable spinning cover with aerodynamic dimple patterns came that the ball revolutionized. This took perhaps five to ten years, more or less. Now polymer chemistry has given us reliable predictable, durable multi-layered heavily engineered balls that can be minutely optimized. In its more tightly refined example the world's best player has had a company engineer a single ball and USGA'd it specifically for him. The aerodynamics bit actually began a bit earlier at Titleist with their Pro-Traj and low-traj balls but now dimple sizes and shapes can be micro-managed to straighten, lift and drop a ball almost however you like.

The second evolution was the larger lighter heads made primarily of Titanium. That was a short evolution of only a few years.

I was at the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando the year that Cobra introduced Ti Titanium with literally a party atmosphere. It was loud and brash and disturbed the neighbors across the uncarpeted aisle as modern golf then really changed after that show. NO more than a year later everyone was engineering heads. Steel and other heavier, traditionally shaped and traditionally sized clubheads were a little bit more reliable and durable (cheaper) for everyone and slightly longer and straighter in the hands of the best players, but metal heads had been around since the late 1920's. Titanium allowed true engineering of the Driver - the one and only club that it really has created any significant difference. Additional more dense materials could be added in peripheral locations of the ever-enlarging head and face thinness allow an actual contribution from the clubface to the initial velocity of the ball - at least a lesser diminishment or more effective energy transfer (I'll leave more technical explanations than that to Frank Thomas as he has already done it. Inventor of the graphite shaft more or less, that has had relatively less impact than the applied science of engineering the driver head.) has been and continues to be a marvel of engineering. Cobra last year had LD3 - Three limited criteriae as mandated by USGA/R&A rules and now has begun to offer the L4V. Reaching the maximum allowable Volume, COR, Height, Depth, MOI and even color for all I know. No knock on Cobra, just making a point. Last year's media day they told us they's gotten 3 out of four and predicted all four. Yup, now we've got 'em.

In the true sense of irony - game improvement clubs and the ball changes which have made the handicap man's game more reliable have made an enormously larger impact on the game of the elite players. Time was professional golfers would scour old garages, roadside stands and club collector's walls for the magic driver. Now THAT driver is made every single week, sometimes ten times for the best players in the world right out at the back of the range in the tour van. Optimization, hell you can even have a lightweight, high kick steel shaft if you want it now. The hack gets 10-20 yards, the pro gets 50 and the back tees go back 200 more yards. Twenty years ago it was a struggle to move to the wayback tees; now it's a joke and not a ver funny one - especially if you are following these 10-handicap clowns.

Augusta National, already and always an antithetic nightmare for the local greenkeeper at your club, has found it necessary to combat the long-hitting elite player by doing all the wrong things. Things your greenkeeper cannot possible do except plant silly flowering shedding trees in the name of "beauty". ANGC has systematically been eliminating strategies created by Mackenzie by width by planting pine (the anti-christ of) trees to limit options just as the message is getting out that trees and golf courses co-exist poorly. Increasing green speeds to freakish levels to hold back the player in the onslaught against par at the Masters is another unattainable goal unless you want USGA spec flat greens. Coupling this with the unpalatable control freak attitude of just this way and no other and I find it harder and harder to relate to the Masters. Yet ...

What good can come of all of this? Perhaps the ANGC will one day create a demand for a new, less responsive (Distance and control) golf ball and help in the cause of architecture. Currently we are at a sad point in time where green is good, narrow is good, flat and fast is good (actually fast greens only take getting used to*) and strategy is reduced to hit the fairway, hit the green and make the putt. (* and higher COR faced putters can allow you to swing harder and have the ball rebound with less energy transfer in yet another area of golf club engineering.)

We now have seen a change where we have four men's majors wherein three are in the USA every year and all three are all just variations of the same theme. Time has come for one more major to go overseas - switch the Australian Open for the PGA and for the Masters to somehow find a way to distinguish itself again except by its exclusivity. It certainly did not feel like an old-timey Masters this year and Jim Nantz and that nauseating music both need to go. Both lead to too much alcohol consumption during the telecast, coupled with perhaps the least interesting competition of the Men's Major year and give us an even bigger hangover than the year before.

Oh and please, don't tell me the Players is golf's fifth Major, it's just the coach-class Masters.

What am I listening to?

Liam Finn

Rather different from the album version.
Also, try the Neil Young cover of Old Man.

Morrissey, for another

Yeah, I watch Ferguson, too.

Monday, June 09, 2008

JUST LIKE DAD! (F1 Corner)

We're being told that Lewis Hamilton is the greatest driver ever. Great team, great car, great Dad.

Last week his Poppa crashed a $650,000 Porsche by exceeding his driving limits, however, Lewis did not even need to leave the pit exit lane to exceed his.

Maybe Lewis needed more time playing Red Light, Green Light as a kiddo.

Kudos to Polish Driver Robert Kubica for being the first F1 winner from Poland. My Mother would have been as proud as she always was about anyone Polish doing well. She used to get so mad in the 1960's and 1970's with Polish jokes.

And to ING Renault: Please give Fernando a better car! I want to start enjoying his driving again. Alonso and Kubica! Massa has also

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Old Course, 2007

Great place to watch the EuroFighter manoeuvres -lucky bastards
Do they pilot that thing without a woodie?

Oh yeah, perhaps the world's greatest par 3.
You decide, I'll take the Eurofighter!

Home page for the EF Typhoon
Scroll down the above page if you are unaware of this magnificent piece of engineering.

The big boys do play it differently than you

Mike sank that one

Oh well, oh hell MrRPAR stayed out

Kohler's eyesore - at least it could be stuccoed black, no?

Perhaps the world's most famous green

I'd probably be happy to probably nourish that gorse bush some day.

Smarmy, I know, but it's entirely necessary and proper.

Not much to say, the Birthplace of Golf, the Holiest of Holies.

Carnoustie - coming on

Just how do you do that?

Friday, June 06, 2008

FBD visits Philly, D.C. and the BIG Apple.

Coming to America to conquer Lehigh, Pine Valley, duBois and Rolling Green - culture was also liberally added. Here are some of Martin's favorite spots.

Briefly considering taking the Liberty bell back to Allentown to the site it was hidden during the conflict.

One of the biggest surprises of the D.C. monument tour: the FDR

FBD meets FDR

Martin and I wholly recommend it.

In fact I think President Bush ought to go sit in each of the four "Rooms" and contemplate the words of FDR.

His favorite NYC building

Closer and more personally

Putting more faces with the names

From the hotel above Times Square

A Visit to Rolling Green

Long a favorite of many a Philadelphia Golfer, Rolling Green Country Club is certainly among the hardest Flynn courses these days with US Open rough and speedy greens to wreck a score and increase bar sales. It is routed clockwise outside and anti-clockwise inner for the most part.

It has five very tough Flynn par 3's (that is of course a redundancy) and finishes 5-5.

Attractive chipping area on #1

The par fours vary from short and attackable (#3) to impossible (#8)

number 2

I had an odd thought, one Wayne Morrison (World #1 Flynn expert) would remove my package for thinking, but after leaving #8 on this last visit I thought a reverse routed hole would have made better use of the lovely creek split fairway. (above)

We certainly had our bloodied packages handed back to us on the recent visit so RGCC has lost none of its punch recently.

#12, yet another ho-hum world-class short par 4 from Flynn.

This looks a little tight here, but believe me it's much improved.

Several areas such as 15-17 have been much improved by tree abatement and any course considering an entry into the 21st century as regards tree management would be well-served to visit Rolling Green.

UK Visitors at Lehigh Country Club

A little update: On two separate occasions recently, the Lehigh Country Club was invaded by Northern and Southern UK residents.

As seen during Martin and Nancy's tour and also with the London Golfer and Chappers, trees are down on Lehigh #7 allowing one to find a missing tee shot or at least figure out if the ball went in the water off the tee. This is just barely a "good start" at best!.

However ........... believe it or not, some members are complaining about "tree removal". Oh the humanity. Whatever, I can only educate so many and I only get paid to do it at work.

On to hole #14 Sissy Ridge rarely shown from the top is an imposing obstacle; well-negotiated, well-rewarded. One of my favorite holes on the course.

On the other side:

the lover-ley semi-punchbowl green.

To prove the existence of the London Golfer outside of his website, proof is hereby offered:

below successfully hitting #16, but not getting inside the redanman's ball.

in painful detail

In fairness, LG is a great young ( nearly a child!) fellow less than half my age and who looks to have a rather promising future. I am certain he doesn't mind a little good natured ribbing here. He rather impressed the ladies that evening.

Chappers and I on the other hand go back with N and R all the way to Dornoch when we shared each other's company at the 2 Quail for several meals of very high quality.

the redanman household welcomes our overseas friends.

Martin visits Lehigh

A nice comfy trip around Lehigh CC was effected within 24 hours of arrival. True Country Club tee markers were in evidence.

Posh, no?
Yuck, YES!

The whole country club thing is a bit much for me as I prefer my golf straight and down and dirty, no strokes asked for or given. The weather did cooperate.

Fat Bald Drummer Sent Home

After a lovely two week stay I just couldn't take it any longer and sent him and the fair Nancy a packing. Unintentionally, they spent many an hour on the tarmac at EWR last Saturday so I guess I am buying the next round since I kicked them out and didn't offer repast and lodging for just one more day.

complete details to follow.......


Welcome to the redanman site if you've come from The website is a bit more formal than the blog and I must say I was inspired by another to chronicle some courses a la "short Hits".

I hope to do more here ad lib and formal reviews at the site.