Phil, buy my watch! Shackelford Vs. Titleist blogger

Apparently getting hit by one of Phil Mickelson’s errant bombs off the tee can be a good thing — especially if he smashes your watch!
Golf’s favourite chubby Masters winner hammered with a tee shot at Doral over the weekend, breaking his watch. When Mickelson arrived on the scene, he went into his golf bag, grabbed two c-notes that he apparently keeps for just this circumstance and handed them to the fan.

This description of the incident comes from the Sun-Sentinel:

Phil Mickelson’s second shot on the par-5 10th struck a fan sitting around the green. The shot hit the man on his wrist, breaking his watch, while the ball bounced near the green 55 feet from the hole. After completing the hole, on which he made par, Mickelson walked over to the spectator and gave him a golf ball and money. Mickelson said he wasn’t sure what brand of watch it was but knew one thing for sure, “It wasn’t a Rolex,” he said.

Great golf blogger and critic Geoff Shackelford has had a great debate going on about Titleist’s comments about media bias when it comes to the golf ball. On this thread, literally dozens of comments were left about the issue, including several from occasional PGA Tour pro Sean Murphy. The thread can be found here. If you haven’t been following this, here’s the story so far: It started with a column written by Steve Elling of the Orl ando Sentinel about various issues relating to the distance the golf ball travels. Titleist answered back with an unsigned editorial alledging “media bias” when it came to the issue of golf balls and how far they travel. In my mind, I’m not biased, but professional golf is becoming increasingly ridiculous when it comes to distance. Now 350 yard drives are common place. I’d suggest we take the golf ball/club combination back 5% right off the top. That would still make Tiger Woods and JB Holmes among the longest in the game, but their average distance would be closer to 290 than 310. It would make a two club difference in most cases and bring some longer irons back into play. I’m not a fan of bifurcation — having pros play one ball and ams play another — and I don’t think a 5% pull back would have much of an impact on the casual player. Of course I say this as TaylorMade prepares to launch a new driver/club combo that they say is longer than the ProV1.

In passing…. Golfweek has replaced Pine Valley as its best classic course in America with Cypress Point … with golfers shooting the lights out at Doral over the weekend, when does the Blue Monster lose its nickname and become known as the Blue Pushover? … At one time Dick Wilson created the toughest golf courses in the business. But with all the changes to Doral and Rees Jones blowing up the tough Blue Course at Royal Montreal, what great courses does Wilson have left? Deepdale? … apparently Tiger’s Sunday Nike shirt was “coral” and not his typical final round red … speaking of Tiger, he hit less than 50% of his fairways en route to winning at Doral. Maybe Stephen Ames was right after all….

Related Articles

About author View all posts Author website

Jeff Lancaster

Jeff Lancaster is the Publisher of

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Did you mean driver/ball combo: “new driver/club combo”?

    The problem with reducing the distance the ball travels (regardless of whether you do this to the ball, the clubs, the shafts, or any combination) is that it will affect different players differently. If you reduce ball speed, Tiger will be affected more than Fred Funk. If you increase ball spin, perhaps Tiger figures out how to overcome it again and benefits again, or maybe it punishes Funk more than Tiger.

    I’m also in favor of capping the length of a driver. Vijay and a few others (Phil) have been trying 47″ shafts lately. That’s scary.

Leave a Reply