5. Tiger Woods returns to action this week at Torrey Pines, one of the three PGA Tour venues where he’s won eight times. (Bridgestone and Bay Hill are the other two.) He’s also won seven times at Doral and five times at the Memorial. What does it mean that almost half of Tiger’s 79 Tour wins have come at the same handful of venues?
SHIPNUCK: It means there's only 13 or 14 courses he plays every every year and it makes sense he's dominated on a handful of them.
GODICH: It means that Tiger is the best player on the planet. Think about this for a minute: Even if your throw out all of his victories at those five venues, he'd still rank in the top 10 in career PGA Tour victories.
VAN SICKLE: It means Tiger sure gets lucky a lot. Horses for courses is true, and that's one big darn horse. He knows what he likes and that's where he plays. It's smart.
RITTER: It means that he likes playing the same venues. Nothing wrong with this -- he's earned the right to cherry pick his schedule -- but it would be great for golf, and the lower-wattage events, if he added a Frys.com Open to his plate more often.
SENS: What it means is that Tiger plays a limited schedule and cherry picks his non-majors, which, more than often, puts him at courses that suit him best. That said, the fact that he keeps winning as often as he does -- despite injuries, psychic struggles and probably most important, much greater competition than any other candidates for greatest player ever -- only further solidifies him in my mind as the most dominant golfer of all time.
BAMBERGER: It means he is a creature of habit. I wish he would mix it up, but that's not in is nature.
PASSOV: When Tiger likes what he sees, the other guys are playing for second.
6. In the February issue of Golf Magazine, Johnny Miller, Steve Stricker, Annika Sorenstam and many others share the best golf advice they ever got. What’s the best golf advice you’ve ever received?
SHIPNUCK: "Hit the inside of the ball." Courtesy of Tiger Woods.
SENS: Play fast and don't whine.
VAN SICKLE: I liked what Paul Azinger said in a Golf World column I ghost-wrote for him years ago when he said, essentially, don't believe everything you read instruction-wise in Golf Digest. Even though he was being paid by the Golf Digest Co. to do the column. Readers loved the piece, but the bigwigs at the magazines were irate.
PASSOV: In honor of Bob Hope's tournament, I'll toss out this nugget: When Hope asked Arnold Palmer how he could cut eight strokes off his score, Palmer replied, "Skip one of the par-3s." Honestly, I've been fed some fantastic tips over the years to help with shots or situations, but most lasting is something I read as a kid. Sam Snead once advised to grip the club as if you were holding a baby bird in your hands. The gist of it was to hold on just tight enough, but with a gentleness and lack of tension. To me, tension is ultimate swing-killer, so I try to go back to that as often as I can.
BAMBERGER: Take a two-week break from the game and then quit altogether. That, and breathe.
RITTER: One of my old high school coaches used to always say, "Swing through the ball." Not even sure what this means (where else would I swing?), but now that I think about it, my scores haven't improved at all since high school … Was this question meant to be depressing?
GODICH: Don't quit your day job.