Five questions to consider while waiting on your weekend tee time:
1. What happened to the PGA Tour's Texas swing?
The tour is in the middle of a three-week run through the Lone Star State but it isn't exactly crackling with excitement. There was a time when the Texas swing drew most of the stars but now it's fallen into a funk. The field at the Byron Nelson event this week is among the weakest on tour this year and there weren't many stars in San Antonio last week.
There's no easy fix. Falling between the Quail Hollow-Players combination and with the Memorial still two weeks away, it's in a tough spot. The field should be better at Colonial next week but the Texas swing is in danger of becoming the tour's new dead zone on the spring schedule.
2. Can Michelle Wie save the LPGA?
She's the tour's best hope. With the loss of Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa over the past couple of years, the tour has lost its best players. It's also lost its way in the U.S. The combination of sponsor issues, an expansion into more international markets and the absence of a major star hasn't helped.
That's why Wie's success is critical. She has crossover appeal, meaning she can draw in fans who might not otherwise pay much attention to the LPGA tour. She seems destined to win big. The sooner she starts, the better for the LPGA Tour.
3. What are the best golf bargains around the Charlotte area?
I want to create a list of the best places to play around here for the best prices. If you have a course you think qualifies, send it along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll post a list in the coming weeks.
4. Has this been the quietest week on the Tiger Woods' front since Thanksgiving weekend?
Think about it -- there's been virtually no Tiger talk since he announced he has an inflamed joint in his neck. He's entered the British Open but otherwise there's been almost nothing about TW. It's a nice break for us and for him.
5. Is Fred Couples a part-time Charlottean?
I'm not sure about that but he's been spending plenty of time around here recently. He's purchased season tickets to the Charlotte Bobcats games and he's been hanging around town. When a friend of mine stopped by Quail Hollow recently to pick up his golf clubs, there was Freddie in the pro shop, hanging around like one of the guys, fiddling with a putter. Nice guy to have hanging around town.