Weir’s coach change; Forest City on the block?; Everybody getting high at Mystic

Mike WeirMike Weir’s decision to dump his swing coach garnered stories in the Globe and the Star yesterday, with the Star’s often caustic Dave Perkins wading into the issue:

The news comes that Mike Weir is finally changing something in his golf life, namely his swing coach, and the thought strikes, “What kept you?”

Not that Mike Wilson, a fine guy, doesn’t know his stuff. It’s just that something obviously needed to be different as Weir completed his second consecutive winless season on the PGA Tour. A couple of weeks ago, he stood 31st on the PGA Tour’s money list, needing to advance one spot to play in the Tour Championship that began yesterday in Atlanta. It’s an event he won in 2001.

Trouble is, after playing at Disney World and Innisbrook, he actually fell two spots, his frustration boiling over to the point he was reprimanded and fined by the PGA Tour for cursing on the course.

I hadn’t heard that Weir had actually been fined, and at Disney at all places. Maybe he offended Minnie with his four-letter words about his inability to perform on Sunday. Regardless I bet you Wilson was history after Weir cursed out Mickey Mouse.

The Globe’s Rubenstein clarifies that Weir didn’t say anything was up with Wilson when the pair spoke recently.

Weir, meanwhile, is 36 and should be in the prime of his career. Tom Kite once said that a golfer doesn’t mature until he’s about 35. But Weir’s best golf came in 2003, when he won the Masters and two other PGA Tour events. He also won the 2004 Nissan Open in Los Angeles, successfully defending the title he’d won the year before.

He’s been off form since, especially this year. He’s had chances to win, but has faltered badly in final rounds, where his stroke average is 72.53; that’s 172nd on the PGA Tour. He’s not come up with the goods when he’s most needed to call on his swing, which was once so reliable.

If Weir planned to release Wilson, he gave no indication of it as recently as last week. In an interview from the Chrysler Championship in Tampa, Weir said Wilson was with him and that things were looking promising.

Perkins’ story is here. Rubenstein’s can be found here.

According to an industry source yesterday, Forest City National in London, Ont. is the latest golf course to go on the block, with the facility’s owners wanting slightly more than $7 million for the course. Having grown up in the London area, and having done my undergrad and graduate degree in London, I used to play Forest City National fairly frequently. But the course always had problems delivering the degree of service you’d expect from a facility trying to be the premier public course in the city. Since then Firerock has come on and eclipsed Forest City, surely hurting its round count and average green fee. Maybe ClubLink is interested? The organization scooped up the decidedly less than average Greenhills in Lambeth, but have nothing else in the area. Bob Poile told me entering the London market was a mistake, but maybe it is a mistake that can be fixed. However, Forest City’s price might be high considering the land is leased.

Speaking of high, yesterday I also received a funny note from someone claiming to be a former employee of the troubled Mystic GC near Ancaster. There’s no way to verify the veracity of the note (though insiders say it is accurate), but among the highlights of the comment were:

Remember how many times we almost got hit by balls?

Well, that might come with the territory, but my favourite was this:

Also, we were high every day.

Good to know.

Anyway, despite the cold weather, it looks like Ontario might have one more golfing week. I’m playing Sunday in London, and hopefully Monday as well.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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