TEED OFF
By Robert Bicknell
 

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August 26, 2007

A Rose by any other name would NOT be a GintyÖ

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, or so the saying goes. In my case, the smell is not the main criteria as I tend to focus on the thorns. Sure, its still beautiful and smells great, but it can still cause you pain if youíre not careful.

However, there are still times when a rose should be called a rose. Just as a three-wood shouldnít be called a "fairway metal". What idiot with too much time on their hands thinks up this garbage?

In the old days, golf clubs were known as irons or woods because of the material they were made of. When "metal woods" first appeared, they kept the term "wood" because of the distinctive shape of the club and disregarded the type of material.

Somehow, hearing an idiot announcer say something inane like "sheís gonna have to go with the fairway metal on this shot" makes me want to drive a golf ball through the TV.

The latest tools of the trade are now called "rescue clubs", which is a term I can actually tolerate, even though its not a "new" invention, because if my old wet brain recollects correctly, it used to be called a "Ginty" or seven-woods.

Didnít Callaway come out with an entire like of fairway woods which served the same purpose about 10 years ago? I seem to remember seeing a "Heaven wood" (7-wood) and the like in the used club bins.

I also seem to remember a line of clubs by Spalding called "Cannons" or something like that and everyone of the clubs was shaped like a wood. Fortunately, the marketing mavens didnít try to call them "iron woods."

A tournament by any other name would be just as irritating.

For example, I am sitting in the airport on the way to another Gannon Vietnam Open Championship tournament, an event which could also be renamed the "Yucca Invitational" and bear the same results as far as I am concerned.

My wife has given up trying to talk me out of going to these events because her argument of "you never win, you get sunburned and mumble about yucca for weeks afterward" just doesnít sway me. To understand my position on this, you have to look back to the old days and how the American tour pros felt about "The Open".

Getting there was a pain in the butt, they had trouble playing links-style golf , the food didnít appeal to them and the hotel rooms were like shoeboxes, yet the better players would rather lose a leg than miss the event.

I head south for the Gannon and the Swing for Life for just about the same reasons. Sure, I have almost zero chance of winning, but I never really tried to win at either event. Iím just happy if I manage to hit a few good shots, make a few putts, have a good time and touch base with people I havenít seen in a long time. The weather is usually decent, the food is great and the professionals get a chance to compare notes.

Itís a chance to mix business with pleasure, while supporting our "cousins" in the south.

But, the Swing For Life, on the other hand, holds a little more seriousness for me as it is the most successful one-day charity golf tournament in Vietnam and I take deep pride in being one of the original founders.

Yes, I know that I continue to trumpet this fact each chance I get, but when youíve only done a few selfless things in your life, you blow that horn as loud as you can and hope its heard upstairs.

Each year SFL raises over $70,000 for very worthwhile charities. Itís a serious event that can help to bring about serious changes to the lives of people who seriously need all the help they can get.

SFL has helped the poor and needy by paying for eye operations, wheelchairs, bloodmobiles, building health care facilities, and a lot more.

So, with that in mind, I pack my bags and head south secure in the knowedge that I am helping a worth cause.

And that a yucca by any other name is still a yucca.


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