2013---Today, I am bringing Craw's Nine to Crawford's Clubhouse. Smart move on my part since it a popular segment in Crawford's Court, so why not bring it over here to golf. With that said, here is Craw's Nine things I would love to see happen and need to happen in golf for 2013.
1. Golf needs more people involved like the readers of Crawford's Clubhouse, who are passionate, opinionated and fiery, plus know the game, but always for most part respectful.
2. Golf needs more David Ogrins, who gives us great golf lessons in Crawford's Clubhouse. David cares about the money last, instead as one of America's top instructors, he wants to grow the game and he is continually taking classes and studying techniques for his students to benefit and help grow the game.
3. Golf needs more Jim Gibbons, who gives us a lesson on golf rules often in Crawford's Clubhouse. Jim cares about the history of the game and its integrity and wants everyone following the rules of the game, no matter what their skill level.
4. Golf needs more Tournament Golf Foundations. As they are known, TGF puts on a classy, flawlessly run and family friendly event each year in Portland, Oregon, for the annual LPGA stop. A lot of people in the sports world could learn much from Tournament Golf Foundation.
5. Professional golf on every TOUR needs more characters. Most of the characters are average at best players, which dilutes their effectiveness. Oh for the days of Lee Trevino, Doug Sanders and Chi Chi. Somebody please step up.
6. Golf needs every owner/operator to think about how they can treat their customer better when they leave the property, not just when they arrive on the property. Outside of a few courses, customer service is a lost art in the golf business.
7. Golf needs more driving ranges, shorts courses and places to learn the game. We have lost almost all Par 3s and driving ranges, for the game to survive, they need to come back.
8. Golf needs a new big super star, someone who wins three to four tournaments in a row and then acknowledges the fans for part of his/her success.
9. Golf needs more Greg Crawfords, who has never lost respect for the game, honors the game and feels a high level of responsibility to promote and grow the game as part of Crawford's Clubhouse.
Steve Stricker---Yes, Steve Stricker is an independent contractor, so he has the right to play in only 10 tournaments in 2013 as he says he plans to do. But that does not mean I and anyone else can't have an opinion about him doing so.
We all know Steve Stricker is a great guy, kind of bland and certainly a wonderful golfer. But are you like me, getting kind of sick of people in sports using the old "I want to spend more time with my family" excuse. Can anyone say Urban Meyer.
Steve, just come out and say you are sick of golf and you have millions, so you do not have to work. Not to mention you said you were playing 10 events because you want also to start a Foundation, but as of today, you have no name for the Foundation, no mission and no goals.
Steve Stricker is perfect example of why the TOURS should pay only the top 25 spots in every tournament. Golfers often get paid for playing poorly, which is sad and make too much money, then semi-retire. Now if they want to become employees as compared to independent contractors, then fine. But Nick O'Hern finished 150th on the money list in 2012, yet still made $490,000. Take out his travel, he still grossed probably $300,000, which is 10 times the amount the average American makes in a year.
Just think of have much more exciting golf would be if only the top 25 people on each TOUR got paid each week. I would guarantee that TV ratings would climb dramatically and more importantly, the caliber of play would be much better.
Must Plays---As you plan out your golf in Oregon or plan to visit my home state, I like to give you some must plays for 2013.
Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Oregon is a must play. Fun course, reasonable rates and easy to walk. The course is owned by one of the true gentlemen in golf, Jim Pliska, even one more reason to play the course.
Put it on your schedule, you will not be disappointed.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
GregCrawford@csnnw.com and twitter @wchoops #askGregCrawford