This week the PGA Tour swings through Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J., and Golf Channel's Jason Sobel went out to learn what the pros like about golf in New Jersey. In a report that's sure to cause my colleague and lifelong Jersey resident Steve Beslow to pump his fists with rage, Sobel discovered that many pros despise playing golf in the Garden State.
John Rollins got a taste of it while driving to Plainfield Country Club on Wednesday morning with his wife and young daughter in advance of a practice round.
"It was where the two lanes merge into one lane," he recalled shortly thereafter. "I saw that the lane was getting ready to merge in, so I slowed down and let the guy pass. I guess he thought I was driving recklessly or being crazy or something. You could see him just throw his arms in the air.
"When I merged right back in, within 100 feet he pulled his car off to the shoulder. His window is down and as I'm passing by, I'm barely even looking at him, but my wife looks over and he's got his hand out of the window flipping us off. He stopped his car just to do that, then he just kept on going."
Hey, this is Jersey. It's where people don't back down to anyone and don't mind making their feelings known. Got a problem with that?
Actually, some players do. While many maintain the proximity to New York City and the delectable Italian food are their highest regarded parts of the Garden State, others aren't so impressed by their surroundings. Asked his favorite thing about being in this state, Kris Blanks said, "I only have to be here for a week."
Naturally, the report prompted a swift reaction from NJ.com:
Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Are our driving manners impeccable? Even the senior citizens have road rage. But come on, Jersey isn't that bad … is it?
Phil OK with long putterIn case you haven't heard, the belly putter has become the hottest equipment topic of the season. This week Phil Mickelson became the latest pro to share his thoughts on the long wand, and surprisingly, he's fine with it, according to CBS Sports' Steve Elling.
When Mickelson was asked for his views on the belly putter, which has become a major PGA Tour talking point after three consecutive events have been won by players using longer-shafted models, the tendency was for listeners to duck. Mickelson, somewhat remarkably, said he doesn’t have any major objection to the long-putter devices, which are anchored to the abdomen or across the chest as a means of steadying the putting stroke.
But once he got rolling, it was trademark Lefty.
"I think that there's more to it than just starting the ball on line and putting," Mickelson said Tuesday. "You have to read the green correctly. You have to start the ball on line, which the belly putter I think really helps, but you also have to have the right speed.
"If it were going to be banned, it should have happened 20-plus years ago. But now that it's been legal, I don't think you can make it retroactive. There have been guys that have been working with that putter for years if not decades. I just don't believe that it should even be a consideration."