Being A Mile High Has Nothing To Do With Dustin Johnson This Week
As if professional golf isn’t already obsessed with distance, this week at the BMW Championship in Denver we’re going to be bombarded with a fables about how long so and so hit a drive, how the players hit the ball too far in the modern game, equipment is too good, etc. Wednesday is hardly over and we’re already hearing such things from golf journos on the scene. What you have to take into account is that the host site of the BMW, Cherry Hills, is roughly 1 mile above sea level. This means that the ball travels at least 10 percent further than normal. Ten percent of a 300 yard drive equates to 330 yards at Cherry Hills. That’s a big difference and something to keep in mind while hearing tales of the long ball this week.
All that being said, Rory is going to hit some crazy long fucking drives his week. Rors and Jason Day have two of the highest ball flights on tour. This is a statistical fact that the PGA Tour keeps track of. Their extra height on tee shots will probably equate to even more than a 10 percent increase than most players are getting. For example, a few years ago in preparation for the BMW, Cherry Hills increased the height of the net at the back of their driving range from 60 feet to 90 feet. Today, standing roughly 270 yards from the net, Rory flew his ball over the net and on to the avenue that sits on the other side of it. His ball was likely still going up as it crossed the net. Then on the 1st hole, which is also an elevated tee shot, he did this:
Schupak is of course referencing Arnie driving the green to spur his 7 shot comeback victory at the U.S. Open held at Cherry Hills in 1960. To commemorate that shot several players took a hack at the green with a persimmon driver during their mid-week practice round. Players used an old balata ball too. Rory got his attempt the closest at 49 yards short.
What everyone is forgetting is that the tee has been moved back a bit since the Open was played there 54 years ago. Even so, today’s experiment goes to show how great of a shot Arnie hit.
The Picks Are In
As I predicted, European Captain Paul McGinely elected to take Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher, and Ian Poulter with his 3 wildcard selections announced on Tuesday. Those were fairly obvious choices. As I also predicted, US Captain Tom Watson took Hunter Mahan and Keegan Bradley with his first two picks. Watson took Webb Simpson with his final pick. Watson seemed to try to justify the pick with how Webb performed at Medinah and 2012. With Bradley, Mahan, and Simpson as his picks he often brought up the topic of redemption.
Bradley earned all the clout you can by going 3-0 with Phil Mickelson before falling to Rory on Sunday in the 2012 matches. That pick was automatic. Hunter was on a winning team in 2008 and has all the motivation one can ask for with what happened to him in 2010 and being left off the team in 2012. Still, Mahan earned the selection with his Barclays victory. Webb……???? He won two matches with Bubba Watson at Medinah, lost another, and then let Ian Poulter thump him in singles on Sunday. Yet Watson thinks that makes him a worthy pick? The bottom line is there was no right answer here. If Simpson doesn’t go 3-1 or better Tom’s selection will be questioned, that is a given, and even with the questions I have about picking Webb, I’m not sure there’s a better option out there. #slimpickns
And They’ll Be Wearing…
The picks are in, the teams are final, now we get to sit back and wait 24 days for the matches to begin, talk about possible pairings and match-ups, and…..the ugly fucking clothes our red, white, and blue boys will be wearing. Take a look at the images released by Ralph Lauren today.
Not a lot of guys can pull off red pants, or plaid pants, or even tartan pants. Patrick Reed is going to look like a flotation device in that outfit to the far right. Shit I’ll never want to buy for myself is becoming the standard in Team USA Ryder Cup apparel. Corey Pavin (or his wife) went off the reservation in 2010 with these (though the best of the bunch, seeing Americans in black doesn’t really seem right).
And don’t forget the whole rain suit disaster thanks to USA logos being sewed into the gortex. Then there was this mess from 2006 at the K-Club (courtesy of @NoLayingUp).
Last but hardly the least offensive, the 1999 Sunday shirt from Brookline……oh my.
I’m blaming, the captains, the clothing companies, and the inexplicable abortion of the K.I.S.S. mantra. Keep It Simple Stupid. So here are my rules for selecting Ryder Cup swag:
1. Red, white, and blue only. Other colors should be considered blasphemy.
2. No stripes, crests, symbols, or graphics that aren’t the Ryder Cup, American flag, stars, stripes, etc. And especially no corporate logos or clothing company logos. Too many players have deals with other companies that could cause a conflict.
3. No. Red. Pants.
That’s it. It is that easy. Stick to that and you can’t screw it up. Hopefully our boys look better and are holding the cup when they get to Hazeltine in 2016.