Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saucon Valley Old Course and the PennaGA

The venerable Pennsylvania Golf Association (actually little brother to the GAP in a lot of ways) is visiting the Old Course at SVCC that absolute paragon of Country Club envy-ism-wanna be there stuff. Hmmmmm 60 holes, three full courses, more clubhouses than you can count and pastoral beauty everywhere.

The current Tenth Hole Par 4 (they have routing variations of the second nine to boggle the mind at SVCC Old) Fazio bunkers evident.

Is that pastoral or what?

Fourth Hole Par 3 from tee

Fifth Hole Par 4 from landing area

Sixteenth Par 4 Biarritzy Green

Problem is they have uninteresting, if not lousy land for a golf course, let alone three. It is a flat and boring site with a meandering stream here and there to keep it soggy and not much architecture to be seen. The only exception is a few very interesting Maxwell greens they had the good sense to put in, but overall it is a very good stroke play course (Which almost by definition excludes much interesting character).

Sure - in spite of very soft greens (Number nine yesterday on the Old) a par 3 had shot put crater ball marks from these quality players well-struck spinning balls, the scores will be relatively high, but so what?

They took one of the few restore-able Herbert Strong courses around that hasn't been plowed under and plowed it into a Tom Fazio course. So now just like all the others he has done we see his trademarked framing terrifying (nauseating, actually) bunkers and flattened greens (the few remaining) devoid of all of their character in the name of speed.

They could have made an homage to Strong, but chose otherwise. There are a few Maxwell greens, but that's about it. Stylistic homely bunkering, YCCH.

There's so little Strong, why didn't they let him plow under the even more awful parcel that is the Grace? What a boring place that is to play. Florida courses have more elevation changes than the Grace, you can walk that one on your hands if you are so inclined. And yes, to dispel any doubts I am indeed disparaging the (lack of) architecture at SVCC. Even the nice land at the Weyhill was butchered by the know-nothing Gordons. The best Gordon course is Deerfield in Delaware, the only place that gives any clue that they learned anything from their association with Mr.Flynn. Unless you consider that there is any Gordon left at White Manor when Bobby Weed got done with it. Boy that place went up a bunch of notches!

A PAINFULLY FAIR time will be had by all with graduated thick delicious salad for rough and coddling framing to guide the wayward golfer around this utterly simplistic test of golf. Beautiful, pastoral country club golf for the architectural nincompoop. And yes, if you can't tell, I am very bitter that they took the remaining Herbert Strong out to put modern Fazio drivel in.

Yes I am. Honestly, SVCCis a wonderful fantastic club with ordinary pasture pool golf courses.

Now the good stuff!

An interesting rules situation and why I absolutely detest the bunkering of Tom Fazio's Crew. They cannot build a proper bunker, plus they are ugly and will never make www.bunkerfetish.com when I get it up and running. A properly constructed bunker would not have caused this set of circumstances. This is what happens when architectural style trumps function. There are massive overhangs on all of these newly constructed bunkers, and they all look the same - like rolling waves.

Short story:

The player hit in this bunker, struck his second; he and his two co-competitors heard a thump, could not find the ball ahead of the spot where he hit and could not find the ball in the sand (trying to uncover as allowed by the rules). He declared that he was "hitting another ball" rather than "I am hitting a provisional ball", or "I am hitting four" and chose a club with more loft and plugged in the grass face of the bunker. He and his co-competitors were as seen in the photo when my pal and rules maven Tommy Paul and I came on the scene. Digging in the face of the bunker did not yield the original ball. The "next ball" (for lack of a better name) was plugged in the dense bluegrass face of the bunker but out of the hazard - yielding the following scenario which the competitor refused and subsequently WD'd.

Photo of ruling scene

He had the option to drop twice and then place the ball where it was dropped if it did not (unlikely) remain; if it did not remain - he had the mandate to place it in as near as possible a conforming spot to allow a shot to take place (to the right - on the bunker cape I reckon) but chose to go home. I will ask John V of http://wordpress.freedrop.com to rule, but this is what Penna GA Honcho Mark Peterson and Tommy P. agreed was the resolution and know-a-little-to-be-dangerous I concurred).

I thought it was a cool situation/ruling.

Interesting thought - since the margins of a bunker extend theoretically downward but not upward if the ball were found say six inches deeper into the turf (closer to the green), past the margin of the hazard, it I think could have been ruled "Plugged through the green" and entitled to a free drop without penalty. Don't know.

Since it was not found, the other scenario was in effect. These bunkers are so artificial, they make Pamela Anderson look like Catherine Deneuve.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wie Dominates Again

Well, not in golf anyway.

I am perplexed (and have been called many a name) for criticising the pre-coronation by many of the media of one MW by known associates aka friends in golf. Another crime I have apparently committed is not thinking that Michelle Wie deserves any special treatment. I have however pointed out where she objectively is and has been without extrapolating Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Mickey wright or Annika Sorenstam greatness for her. She hasn't done much except win the USGA WAPL, get mega-hyped, sign a very lucrative Sony multi-millions endorsement and screw up way too many times. I'm not sure much of it is her fault directly, but that's irrelevant to the current situation because this time she is at fault.

She is a golfer with a lot of notoriety, a long-flowing beautiful textbook David Leadbetter swing, good physical attributes, getting a Stan-foo education with a bucket of money in her pocket for an 18 year old. She does not posses a particularly good short game, any history of winning, an obvious understanding of the rules and responsibilities of a tournament golfer and is in the news yet again.

The ugly details of the episode are too well-documented elsewhere for me to regurgitate them here. Many cried foul because she was DQ'ed after completing the third round to remain in competition. Some say that she should not have been so charged after the late discovery of the "technical aspect" violation. It was not in the best interest of her co-competitors to pull her off the course mid-round, I say. There's also that minor technicality that the Competition had not yet closed.

As I posted on John Vander Borght's excellent Free Drop Blog:

John, I was only joking about the pee part, not the rule part; that is very clear and professionals who don’t know the rules really do need to. I do not think this is a stupid rule as many on the internet seem to think it is.

Call me a nerd, OK, I’m a nerd - but when the Roberto De Vincenzo episode did not cause a set of circumstances to change this rule the latest Michelle Wie episode should surely not.

This rule that allows the committee to set up the circumstances that constitute “scoring”. As written it must remain unchanged because it affects every tournament from the Open Championship (the most important of them all) to the Dirt Track Muni Invitational in Dust Bowl, ND.

Rule 33-1
THE COMMITTEE MUST establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played.

Can’t be more clear than that.

That really sums it all up.

-The scorecard rule is well-known
-The Scoring must take place as the Committee determines it will be
-It is the Competitor's responsibility to know the scoring requirements for each tournament
-This rule is Black and White (I admit some golf rules are perhaps less so!)
-This is not a stupid rule, it is a very very good rule that is very well-defined and applicable to the myriad of tournaments that take place world-wide in golf
-It is indeed unchanged since Roberto De Vincenzo lost the Masters - who doesn't know that story that competes?

As I said back in June -

Michelle, please take a break, it really is very sad to watch.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wyoming Valley Country Club

No, it's not in the Mountain West, it is in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (The locals pronounce it Wilk's Berry.) Sorry I don't have any photos just yet, HEY! it was pouring!

One Albert Warren Tillinghast designed the current course which opened in 1925 on an existing 9-holer. It currently, albeit a "small course" version at under 6200 yards, is as true to Tillie's designs as about any place you'll find. According to the club's website, "Andrew Derr and John Conyngham were key factors to the establishment and construction of the Wyoming Valley Country Club". I spoke with the club's unofficial club historian "Doc" for a while and he could not remember who was the original designer, more to come later when I get some photos, too. Doc is a Urologist, one of the first and although 92 is spry and has the mind as sharp as any.

The land was owned and leased from the Glen Alden Coal Company and purchased in 1957 by the members according to Doc. Sure, the bunkers have become a little stylized, rounded and clean, but the greens are wild and wicked and even in the rain they are a slippery challenge. The 8th hole has a deep swale in the fairway, a reminder of it coal mining heritage. the par 3's are devilishly good and there is a very solid Hell's Half-Acre hole that stands up even today.

The course was placed where it is to allow trolley line access to the club. Later when the motor car became more prevalent, the original clubhouse burned down and the 18 holes were in place, a new approach to the course was created from the roadway requiring the previous first hole to now become the sixth creating the current routing layout. The original nine was founded as the fifth oldest in PA and the forty-fifth in the USA with the clubhouse opening on October 17, 1896. History seems to indicate creation of 15 holes and even the remaining three of the original were re-designed by Tillie.

It is an absolutely outstanding example of Tillie's work and would likely be a top 100 course if it were over 7000 yards with today's equipment. As it is, it is positively a thrill to play being as scenic as it is challenging and even at 6200 yards, a challenge to all levels of players. But on the other hand, not challenging 1 or 2 out of every 100 golfers due to length and equipment changes is honestly no deficit.

For now you can view its routing by using your favorite map program and searching Wilkes-Barre, PA and then using a little of your noggin.

I'll have some photos later this summer and more to say.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Missed ...

Missed it by that much.

Good on ya Padraig.

Open Sunday

Before I go fight my battle today, I have to say that this has been what golf needs to more often be, a truly testing game with no presuppositions from the media in the USA affecting what we get to see.

As badly as the media is pushing for Norman to win his third, we have gotten to see so much more than usual and that's wonderful.

Three stories today, one a winner.

Norman wins his third, makes history as one of golf's great redemptions slashing and putting his way to victory over every man and nature. The Great White Shark, indeed.

K.J. Choi, a Wee Ice Mon on his mission to become the first Asian man to win a Major Championship. He has the nerve, the tenor, the skills and mental game to do it.

Padraig Harrington, almost considered a fluke winner by the uninitiated with last year's victory at Carnoustie, perhaps the greatest venue that just spits out broken players validates his victory of last year and puts his name in the ring as one of the game's greats.

What choices, and from these will come the champion, I don't see a 63 from curtis or Garcia, the two other best chances if you think that will happen.

Taking a Flyer: Norman has never been one to truly close the deal too many times and won't today. It will come down to Choi and Harrington. Gut tells me Choi, emotion tells me Harrington.

If somehow Norman does it, it will supplant Nicklaus in the 1986 Masters. Choi wins for Asia, Harrington for Europe.

I want it to be Europe's day, but I'm taking the Flyer that it is Asia's day. We'll know in hours if I was right or wrong.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Old Time Golf

I for one relish the uncertainty of a golf tournament. The excitement of uncertainty of this Open Championship is something we don't get very often any more. We are usually forced to watch Tiger over and over and while certainly he is a player for the ages, he is a rare talent and all that, there is more to a professional major than the world's number one player. But that's where the money is and it is no more plain than the difference in the usual Tiger major media coverage vs. the current one.

If he had been in this tournament we would have been subjected to repeated re-plays of his foibles, mishaps, bad breaks, cussin' and swearin' and he likely in the end he would not have won as his poor weather skills are far behind his good weather skills. In fact he may be the greatest fair weather player ever. Yes, that's what he is, finally the undisputed best (of something certain)!

Camillo Villegas - finishing with 7 birdies and five in a row. If he stays hot, it could be a story of some proportion. Go Gator!

There is such a big question mark about whether or not Greg Norman of Thursday and Friday will be Greg Norman on Saturday and Sunday. Will it become a story of the order of Nicklaus at the Masters 1986? Right down to the dramatic par save on the 18th today (Friday) Norman has been exciting and stellar, the way he used to be, a fairly long time ago in golf time.

We have to wonder if K.J. Choi, one of my personal picks to play well, not necessarily win, will continue his solid play and then stay out of the apparent slump that he has endured. He has done very very well, more than the punters had expected of him by an order of magnitude. Always a tenacious stalwart, he has been in a true slump for him lately and is on form the first two days. I want to see it continue as I enjoy the Hogan-esque way that he goes about his business, maximizing his efforts and minimizing his mistakes.

Will we continue to see quality play from David Duval, a player who has a very balanced approach to life that has muted his greatness at his own choice, good on him for that, by the way. It has been a few Opens since he has won at all.

Will the cut makers such as Els and Montgomery, favorites of a few and written off by many, but talented and experienced come forward? Andres Romero who also snuck in the cut - considering his tremendous result last year, does he have more in him?

Even as these stories unfold, we realize that these kind of stories are always there, but hidden because of the focus on Tiger in his era. This will be a memorable Open in one way or another and we will see it better that we might have. So as Sergio Garcia started his winner's speech at the Players this year, "First: Thanks to Tiger for not being here."

Indeed. Thanks Tiger.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weather and the Asterisk

Given that even a player the calibre of Geoff Ogilvy is such a little girl when it comes to playing against one Tiger Woods, there should not be an asterisk ever for any sporting event, time has taught us that with the Babe Ruth - Roger Maris asterisk, the one that started it all. Competitions are what they are and myths should remain what they are.

One thing that is not a myth is that Tiger Woods is the greatest fair-weather competitor in the history of the modern game. No one wins the Open Championship in the first 18 holes, but many has lost one, witness Phil Mickelson (who had nary a chance to begin with today) Ernie Els and others.

No asterisk need.

Who ever comes to pass as 2008 Open Champion will have defeated the field just as every other winner whose name is on the claret jug.

Perhaps an asterisk is needed when the Open Championship is played in hot summer weather without wind or rain.

Asterisk my ass-terisk.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Scottish Open and Loch Lomond

Do I want to play Loch Lomond? You bet yer arse I do, it seems like one of the prettiest places on earth to play golf and Martin loved it, good enough for me right there. Martin steered me to the King's Course, now one of my very favorite Parkland layouts.

But why is the Scottish Open there? Actually we do know the answer to that. It's just another reason why professional golf is hardly worth our time any more. If the Open Championship is the following week, why play in the home of golf's most un-Scottish places. Truly, Tom Weiskopf builds beautiful, well-thought out golf courses that are always of a certain quality or better but never truly stirring on architectural merit alone. It's an American golf course, and a wet one at that. Heck, it almost swallowed up Tom W himself in a bog on the site!
That's wet in my book.

As when I asked one of my pals (who knows his particular home state that I was visiting for the first time very, very well) whether or not I ought to play a certain Weiskopf course. This when there were a good half-dozen other quality courses within a half-hour of where this particular one was he said "You've played Weiskopf, right? You've played it." and sadly he is right. Just as with Hurdzan and Fry and the "Fazios", Arnold Palmer and to some degree Coore and Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus and LandMeister Tom Fazio himself, you know what you are to get with a high degree of certainty. It's called branding and it sells.

In Loch Lomond's defence, it is so damned pretty there I have to go and play it for myself at least once, but the Scottish Open fer chrissake, it needs to be a links course, period.

See other writer's pieces for more expansion on this thought; that's all I have to say because that's all of it in a nutshell.

Q: Scottish Open; next week The Open Championship?

A: LINKS , d-oh!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Golf Shirts

Golf shirts, I've got a million of them. If I'm not wearing a collared shirt with a tie, I'm probably wearing one. I'm always picking them up for one reason or another, they make great souvenirs. I've got my favorites and my not-so-favorites and then there’s the ones I detest. I have yet to truly warm to what I call plastic shirts - Antigua, Hang 'em Dry by Haley/Tehama, Cutter and Buck's Dry Wick, Fairway and Greene's Performance and even Adidas Clima-Cool, which so far seems to have the best option although some of them are awful, too. These shirts are just a modern updated more hi-tech version of the old Ban-Lon shirts we wore in the 1960’s. No matter what the labels say, you will start to stink after about 6 holes on a muggy day. Ycccch!

I wash my shirts and hang them on a flat rack to dry so they won't shrink, I never put my shirts into the dryer; the plastic ones dry so fast I just hang them on a hanger. My shirts last, one shirt currently in my summer white set is approaching 10 years old and unfortunately looks it. Maybe it's time for a new Pine Valley shirt? I don't iron unless it's necessary, using the rack and positioning the shirt in a good shape negates the need for ironing for all except the most anal OCD's on this planet and only a few shirts.

Several brands stand out notably these days for positive and negative reasons.

Ashworth: Long-time brand has never been a good value in my eyes because they are short bodied to begin with, don't wash and wear well and go downhill from there. I wind up looking like I'm wearing someone else's shirt. The button holes don't hold up and the sewing of the holes unravel quickly. Don't look for me to wear one of these any time soon.

Lyle & Scott: Originally seen in the USA on Greg Norman losing major tournaments, this is a very prevalent and very good quality brand from Scotland. I like the tighter-fitting sleeves (designed to play in the wind that Americans hate so much) they as all Euro styles fit snugly to the body. All types of cotton weights, they are long-lasting and a good value, I’ve never seen anything poly from them. Other high quality European brand is Oskar Robertson. Again, as with many Euro sizing it is no where near as "generous" as American sizing. Really big fellows can forget these altogether. Galvin Green: Not available in the USA. Swedish, very well made, smallish sizing, go up at least one size, very expensive. Not an unknown if you are in Europe and want a souvenir, better quality than Glenmuir - a less expensive value brand comparable in price/quality ratio to Cross Creek in the USA. Very good value for money, often sold direct to the professional thereby passing the savings on to the consumer. e.g. Seminole sells tons of Cross Creek, Brora features Glenmuir. Don’t pass these up because you don’t know the brand.

Polo Ralph Lauren Golf: America's standby, if not default golf shirt. I think more of these are available than any other brand, that's probably why there are so many. Their collars are the absolute worst in the business. That's what everyone sees first on you, too. After 10 wears the collar looks like it's ready for Social Security. The bodies lose their shapes on the rack the fastest of all. All this for $65-95 depending on where you buy it. Needless to say, I have a fair number of these, but I have shunned them for some time unless I just have to buy something. The just plain look like hell too fast, they don't hold up, especially the fancies. Whites hold up the best, but solid dark colors fade really quickly, much faster than any other shirtmaker.

Fidra: All their cottons are unmercerized as far as I know. They do make a performance shirt, but I have seen on reason to buy one. One warning about unmercerized cotton is that no matter what you do, it will shrink some, so buy it a little bigger than you like. The shrinking stops by the third wash and it is usually about a half-size worth. Named for an Island visible from North Berwick West Links (a definite plus) it is a very comfortable shirt that breathes the best of the heavier cotton shirts. It is a little hard to find, but John Ashworth of Ashworth fame (he no longer has anything to do with Ashworth, BTW) runs this operation. He learned from his mistakes at Ashworth. Some have very cool, complicated buttons to impress chicks with your style sense.

Fairway & Greene: The very first one of these I bought was when the brand was brand-spankin’ new. Then - they shrunk, lost shape, became short and tight as well as having inferior collars. Now? A clearly distant second to the US winner below but head and shoulders above the rest except for the often frightfully expensive good Italian shirts (most are bad because they are over-priced and poor value/quality) available in the US. Como is reliable, but it buffs up faster than average, getting that natty knotty look to it, but no where near as fast as Bobby Jones which is of terrible quality for such a company as Hickey-Freeman. I have discussed these with the good Italians just to encourage you to step up to the two worthwhile Italians if you want a good really expensive shirt. Hickey-Freeman with whom you cannot go wrong buying an outlet suit for $600 on sale since they are worth pretty close to the full $1500 you pay in Saks, Nordstrom and the like fails badly with Bobby Jones in my eyes. They lose shape, both body and sleeves and the affectatious material in the placket probably wants to be dry cleaned, but why wear a chemical-cleaned shirt to perspire in? Collars in the same class as Polo, so I cannot recommend them when for a few twenties more if you want a luxurious and incomparable four-ply cotton (only one in the golf business as far as I know that must be pressed but looks and feels fabulous, buy a Marbas, but expect to pay at least $140.

Then there is ..... Peter Millar: Also a purveyor of other luxury golf relateds such as cashmere and leather, their shirts currently get my vote as best all-around hands down, no contest and without peer. Best collars in the industry, period, a very wide variety of fancies - even fancy color-on-color and white-on-white fabrics. Great textures, Abalone buttons, button holes that don't stretch or unravel, it is worth the $95-115 you sometimes pay for these shirts. I have a white with light blue and gold stripes from Old Memorial, that is my default shirt for a hot but not ridiculous day and it gets a lot of use because it's attractive as well. Worn 30+ times, I'll have a photo of it here soon. These shirts hold their shape, dry well, wear well; what more can you ask? They are becoming fairly widely distributed at the best known clubs and the quality has held up. I have yet to give one of these away to Goodwill.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Crail Sixth Oldest in the World

Just a few photos from a mixed day weather-wise as relates to quality photos. The header for the website is from Crail's 17th tee, the best of the lot of photos that day. Write-up coming as is a lot of stuff on the redanman.com website.

Number 1 - Boathouse - All of Scotland seems in front of you

Two Tee - Owner of the Knowe - This is the kind of stuff Americans just don't get

Sometimes you don't know whether to look where you are going or where you've been, back up #2.

The Briggs - Blind green from the tee par 3 third

Fluke Dub - Fourth -A cape-ey tee shot

North Carr - Number 7 on the boundary, downhill to the left to a running green

Hell's Hole - 5 - and #6 Wormiston (green hidden)

more ...

Handicaps - The Great Shame

Handicaps are supposed to be the great equalizer of players of differing skills. Anyone with a single digit knows what a joke that is.

I think it has come the time for the USGA to consider adopting the method of handicapping the rest of the world uses, only supervised tournament scores to count towards a legitimate handicap.

The internet is rife with stories from pro-ms with celebrities helping their professional partners at the ATT and similar tournaments 25 shots over 54 or 72 holes.

One can find many a regional golf association with posted exceptional scores and their odds. We used to receive such information from the Colorado Golf Association - member guest tournament scores of net 64 or better three rounds in a row - statistically in the billions or more - happening routinely.

I find it despicable for these scores to not be posted because a two-footer was given somewhere and thereby not being played under the rules of golf.

What a shambles of the rules of golf.

Just post tournament or supervised "medal plays" as the UK residents have every weekend at their clubs to determine handicaps. Only 5 would count. As opposed to 20 (throwing out the worse 10 and taking a mere 85% of the "differential as is done now.

Personally, I'll only play handicap if it's a couples tournament.

One -Legged Golfer? Can't have it both ways.


No more one-legged golfer stuff, Tiger's been a golfer with a sore knee. Talk about mountains out of mole hills.

He had stress fractures of his Tibia, not fractures. The MRI criteria for "stress fracture" is pretty low. Look it up and you decide, what ever builds the Tiger Brand, and believe me, it is being built out of this, not just protected. Nice bit of P.R., actually.

How did he so incredibly tolerate all that pain during the USGA Open and now cannot sleep more than an hour or so? How can you have it both ways?

He walked without a limp most of the USGA Open, he did not hop. He pretty much did not wince in pain until he swung harder than he needed to, harder than he really ought to. He should have abandoned that swing long ago, I wrote on a website I do not own back in 2002 when the ACL was torn (Not "jogging" after the Open Championship). He perhaps had secondary restraints fail last fall, but that's not when the ACL became incompetent. He probably was cutting or had that leg hyperextened from running into a depression or hole or the like. One can run just fine with a torn ACL as long as secondary restraints are OK and you are not cutting (like a footballer - either kind). Can't have it all three ways. (Or more) How about a reality check?

So did he do his regular warm up (Johnny Miller saying 9 shots with each club in the bag (High, medium, low x L>R, R>L, straight = 9)) as some have said they witnessed him warm up in person at the USGA Open or just hit 5 balls and sit in the cart as Hank the exaggerator has said before the USGAO? Can't have it both ways.

As for his recovery, if he's only sleeping an hour at a time, if he's not being allowed to to range of motion of his knee and not weight bear at least some - and his doctors are happy, there's a bit going on. If Tiger's ability to tolerate pain is now somehow magically gone, oh hell, that's it. Can't have it both ways.

He will play again.

He'll never have a "normal" knee. I surely hope is world-famous doctors did not tell him that because it's just untrue.

He'll not do as well as he has predicted he will or he's exaggerating one way or the other. Can't have it ... ...

But and I repeat to end this sordid topic:

He is not and never was and never will be a one-legged golfer, not with those perfect weight shifts he did in the USGA Open.

There are one-legged golfers out there and it is demeaning to them to call Tiger one-legged, shame on the media who resort to such sensationalism.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

Is this the best, most innovative new course in America? Same say YES!

How about that Flag?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Divergent Path Exploration

Trying to help the layman. Look up the anatomical terms via Wikipedia (in another Firefox Tab) if you haven't been reading along up until now.

Yesterday's post was before I saw TGC's GC broadcast. (My posts are always timed UTC)

News: 3 weeks on crutches non-weight-bearing, no range of motion for 3+ weeks, "some cartilage stuff". "Told to stay off planes". "Leg swelled a lot on the flight home". "I've been in pain 10-12 years (loosely)". It'll be nice for it to be normal again (more or less)". Sorry, I didn't take notes, but these are close enough.

Malarkey. No simple ACL, not even close.

Normal again? No.

We're supposed to be awed that he did what he did on an abnormal knee and he's going to be better on his "better than new knee".


What are the surgeries? What happened in there?

1 - All the pivot shifting required a complicated lateral meniscal (LM) repair. No good LM, no good knee. Period. Very likely, perhaps most likely reason for altered post op course. This post op course suggests this as most statistically likely possibility. The delayed range of motion (ROM) really brings into play the need for another procedure to mobilise knee as it is more likely to get stiff. Earlier intervention (day 9) than ideal (14-21, in my opinion) suggests this repair was needed. These do work, but better on the medial side because the blood supply is better.

2 - All that pivot shifting and a lateral meniscus transplant was needed. Not good. Not at all good. Worse than #1 rehab wise, timeframe wise, however ..... potentially better outcome if it works and they had a good match of an Allograft.

3 - OCD was bad enough to require osteo-chondral graft. Really bad. Borderline awful. Not so likely, but still possible. No confirmed evidence of OCD.

4 - (Reconstruction Comments) Contralateral (opposite leg) hamstring for graft - not such a great choice in my opinion. Surgeons do what they are comfortable with, though and they could have done a multi-bundle recon. Nothing ominous. Or is it? Ipsilateral (same leg) hamstring is not at all my favorite and certainly you don't want to add further damage to that knee (One that already swelled a lot, etc., etc.). Patellar autograft not used. An already significantly damaged kneecap-thighbone (patello-femoral) joint could be cause and also not so good. Risk of patellar baja (lowered kneecap) with this option. (It happened to me; I can't squat all the way on that knee I had done). Autograft middle third of patellar tendon is still most surgeon's "Gold Standard".

Special note: Tiger clearly chose not to have an Allograft - probably would have been best option for early return, he may have not wanted someone else's tissue. Small chance of added complications.

5 - Significant swelling on the plane - worry about cumulative damages. Now's as good of a time as any to suggest strongly that the knee will not be "better than new", if you get my drift. "Told to stay off planes" - increased swelling - increased risk of DVT and PE (Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) and Pulmonary Embolism (clots going to lungs)) - just like Hogan. Those are bad things.

Tiger's a billion dollar baby and the economy is already in the shitter.
Don't shoot me, I'm just the guy with an education giving additional informational possibilities. Press releases can be rubbish.

Sounds like he's got an interesting road to travel.

Fortune Cookie says: May you live in interesting times. One never knows if that is a blessing or curse until after the times are over.

And just as Chairman Mao once said when asked about the long-term effects of the French Revolution:

"Too early to tell".

It is indeed too early to tell. Good Luck Mr. Woods.