Blog/News

Blog 200, 5/9/12 - Vikings Earn Berth at Nationals

With a gritty second-nine comeback, following a dismal front nine, Western Washington finished fourth at the NCAA Div II West/Central Regional Wednesday, thus earning a trip to Nationals.

Blog 199, 5/3/12 - The Irrepressible Englishman

On Thursday, Bellinghamgolfer had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Bill Waite, an Englishman on a 25-day golf marathon he hopes will raise funds for research into Parkinson's Disease. Waite has planned a grueling itinerary for himself which won't be easy to finish as, remarkably, he has Parkinson's himself. 

Blog 198, 4/30/12 - Better Late Than Never Review of 'The Big Miss'

Most people who are going to buy a copy of 'The Big Miss' have probably done so already. But there may be a handful out there still pondering. I know, this review comes awfully late. I've just had a lot on. Sorry.

About 20 years ago, I used to take the train up to London or down Brighton once, sometimes twice, a week with my best mate to attend a concert. Actually, 'concert' is far too grand a term for what were small-time events featuring largely unheard-of bands in back-street clubs. Although only in his mid-late teens, my mate wrote gig reviews for the New Musical Express (NME), Britain's slightly less glossy equivalent of Rolling Stone.
It was cool having a mate who contributed to the NME. We didn't get VIP box seats, backstage passes, or anything like that, partly because the venues we went to didn't have bar stools let alone box seats, and partly because he operated incognito which is to say had he contacted the venue or band prior to the gig and told them he was coming, the response would have been "Yeah? And?" or something similar.
Anyway, every time my copy of NME arrived, I'd go straight to the gig review section and find the write-up for the gig we had attended. And every time I read the review, I'd say to myself "Huh?"
Sometimes I wondered if we had actually been to the same event.
My mate, who ended up going to Cambridge University, was something of an intellectual and had a spectacular vocabulary on him. No doubt he was brilliant, but not once having read a review of his could I be sure if he had actually enjoyed the gig, or if he thought the band was any good.
Which brings me to Hank Haney's 'The Big Miss'.
I read a dozen or more reviews before purchasing the book myself (no free review copies here you understand), but couldn't work out if the reviewers were recommending it or not. I don't want to start reviewing reviews but it seems to me the point of a product review is either to recommend the product or urge readers not to spend a cent of their hard-earned cash on it.
The most telling factor in deciding the worth of a book surely is how quickly you want to read it. I'm an absurdly slow reader as a rule, but finished 'The Big Miss' in less than a week keeping it close at hand at all times. There are passages that won't interest many and which lend little to the book like those in which Haney describes his schooling and how he broke into teaching golf, but most of the time I read with an intense interest. Haney has a lot to say, and the fact the book was ghost-written by Golf World editor Jaime Diaz helps it immensely as the text is perfectly organized.
Having met Haney about a year after he began coaching Woods, and seen how excited about the job he still was, it is a great shame their relationship ended the way it did and left Haney caustic and full of insecurities. I don't care much for the bitterness that sullies so many pages, but there's no denying it is a fascinating read nonetheless.
So yes, I'd recommend 'The Big Miss' unreservedly to anyone with even the smallest interest in Tiger Woods and his atypical life, but perhaps less enthusiastically to those interested only in the technical aspects of how Haney reworked Woods's swing (although there is plenty of interesting insight into why Woods had such trouble with the driver in particular) because, well, there aren't any pictures.

Blog 197, 4/30/12 - Rawitzer Finishes T13 at Pac-12 Championship

Matt Rawitzer strung four solid rounds together at the inaugural Pac-12 Conference Championship in Corvallis, Ore. last week, finishing in a tie for 13th on one-under-par.

Blog 196, 4/17/12 - Vikings Finish Second at Stanislaus Invite

Western Washington University had three players tie for fourth place in medalist play, but still finished second to host Cal State Stanislaus, at the 39th annual Jim Hanny Invitational Men’s Golf Tournament that ended Tuesday at the Turlock Golf and Country Club.

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