Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frost And The Snowman

Just two weeks before the Masters begins and four weeks before the Quail Hollow Championship gets started, let’s take a tour of this week’s Back Nine:
1. FROST AND THE SNOWMAN Charles Frost, an assistant pro at the Quail Hollow Club, recently ventured into that rare spot where the thought of shooting 59 – at Quail Hollow – crossed his mind.
Not for long, but for a moment.
Frost was playing the member tees at Quail – called the ‘three birds’ and measuring a tad over 6,300 yards – when he went low.
He shot 6-under par 30 on the front side then kept making birdies. By the time Frost reached the par-4 16th hole, the start of the so-called ‘Green Mile,’ he was 10-under par. Simple math – but hard golf – told him three birdies could get him to 59.
His sand wedge approach shot into the 16th green hit the flagstick and stopped 15 feet from the hole. Frost missed the birdie putt and knew then breaking 60 was officially unrealistic.
Still, he birdied the watery par-3 17th to get to 11-under with one hole – the treacherous 18th hole – remaining.
“It was fun, a lot of fun,” Frost said. “But the last hole wasn’t much fun.”
Needing a par to shoot 61, Frost instead produced the full David Toms. Remember when Toms won the inaugural Wachovia Championship despite making an eight on the last hole?
Frost made an eight to turn 61 into 65.
“It’s still not bad,” Frost said.
What happened on 18?
“A comedy of errors,” he said.
It started with a tee shot in the creek, which he tried to play out. He splashed his second across the fairway into the trees, pitched back into the edge of the creek and, well, it added up to eight.
The good news?
Frost had already shot 61 at Quail Hollow once before, the course record from the member tees.

2. SPEAKING OF QUAIL HOLLOW Charlotte’s annual PGA Tour stop may be missing a title sponsor’s name this year but it won’t be lacking for grass.
Club and tournament officials went heavy with the rye overseed and there should be enough of the green stuff to making hitting fairways a priority.
Sorry to get agro-technical on you but here’s what they mean: Rather than put 100 pounds of seed per acre on the course, this year they put 450 pounds of seed per acre.
That translates into a lot of broccoli.

3. MAYBE NEXT WEEK While talking at Quail Hollow Championship media day this week about a three-week stretch of tournament golf he hoped would ignite his season, Anthony Kim said he felt close to a breakthrough week.
It won’t be this week.
After leaving Charlotte Monday, Kim began feeling badly in Orlando and was admitted Tuesday to a local hospital where he was treated for dehydration. He withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week.

Among Luke Donald’s various ventures is his own wine label, which recently released its first chardonnay.
Donald takes an active role in creating the wines, made in conjunction with the Terlato Wine Group. A claret was released last year followed by this year’s chardonnay, patterned after white burgundies Donald likes.
It retails for $30 a bottle and, having sampled it, the chardonnay is a nice addition to Donald’s already impressive portfolio.

5. GIVE FLUFF A DAY OFF If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to caddie for a professional golfer, here’s your chance to find out.
The highest bidder will win the opportunity to caddie for Jim Furyk in the Wednesday pro-am at the Quail Hollow Championship through an on-line auction. It also means Furyk's regular caddie, Mike 'Fluff' Cowan gets the day off.
All proceeds from the auction will go to charities, including the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund and the Wounded Warrior Project.
To participate in the auction, go to for details.

6. MARK YOUR CALENDARS If you want to play in the second Charlotte City Amateur, entries will open on May 4.
It’s worth giving it a try because of where it will be played – Aug. 14 at Carolina Golf Club, Aug. 15 at Myers Park and Aug. 16 at Quail Hollow.
Qualifiers will be held July 13 and 27 at Pine Island Country Club. For more information, visit
The event donated $7,500 to The First Tee of Charlotte from last year’s event.

With only 11 of the top 25 players in the latest world rankings accepting Arnie’s invitation to play at Bay Hill this week, the field isn’t as strong as it has been.
However, it does include one Tiger Woods, which makes it a superior field.
Who’s the pick this week?
It’s a long shot but he’s more than overdue and desperately wants to get in the Masters – Charles Howell III.

-- This being the time of year when courses aerate their greens, shouldn’t they also reduce greens fees while you’re putting on sand and through a million little holes?
-- If you’ve ever thought about wearing a white belt, here’s the only rule you need to remember: It shouldn’t sag in the front when you’re wearing it. In other words, if you’re bigger than a 32-inch waist, don’t even think about it.

“I’m not that smart, so I just let my business people take care of whatever business needs to be taken care of. I know that at one of the tournaments this year we didn’t have courtesy carts, and I’m sure that will be the case, because from what I hear from people a lot smarter than me, the car industry is really having a tough time right now.” – Anthony Kim when asked if he’s noticed any effects from the recession while playing on the PGA Tour this year.