The Tiger effect is back. What is the Tiger effect? It’s when more people want to start playing golf, get back into golf, and buy golf stuff because they’re inspired by Tiger Woods. It happened what Tiger won his first Masters in 1997, and it’s happening again following his 5th. How do I know? Do I have any data? No data, just anecdotal evidence.
I was at Woods to Wedges in Williamsville filming a piece for the upcoming Tee 2 Green TV special for NBC 2 in Buffalo the day after The Masters and the place was buzzing. Constant traffic to the golf shop. It was later afternoon, but Donna and Kevin from the WTW said it had been liked that all day. Something they haven’t seen in years. Just a few days ago at the golf dome in Tonawanda, the line to get a bucket of balls was 20 deep!
Could it be that Tiger’s win coincided with the start of spring and the golf season for most us in cold weather states? Sure, but ask your pro or friends in the golf industry and I bet they tell you it’s been busier.
My youngest son is 9 and participating in PGA Jr. League for the first time. He’s excited to play, so much that he had been asking to go golfing (as he calls it). I took him to our home club Fox Valley last Thursday to get out on the course for the first time this season. He was been before and enjoys, but is more enthusiastic this year because he gets to wear his new golf hat and team uniform. I asked our golf professional for appropriate tee box distances for him, ones they would be using in the PGA Jr. League matches. We settled on 150-175 for the par 4’s, 100 for the par 3’s and 200 for the par 5’s.
My son got off to rough start with a 7 on the first hole (I usually make par or double there), but bounced back with a 6 on the par 5 2nd. The third hole saw another double followed by a near miss par on the 4th. Then it happened on the 5th hole, a par 5.
His tee shot from 200 yards had some distance, but faded to the right past a tree that has given me trouble from time to time. There were 2 other trees in his sightline, giving him a small window for his second shot from around 80 yards. He didn’t even bother to consider his options (he’s 9 after all) and swung his 7 iron as hard as he could. The ball found the small the window and headed towards the left side of the green, coming to rest just short and too the left in the rough. He thought that the ball went into the penalty area left of the cart path, which is pretty close to the green, but I told him he was fine. For his third shot, he played an aggressive chip that ran past the hole location to the back collar of the green, giving him a 20 foot downhill slider for birdie. I did not give him that information, as I was trying (key word) not to coach him or influence him on the course. I want him to have fun and not worry about his score. His birdie attempt was the perfect speed, but offline to the left. When the ball came to a stop, he had a foot left, and promptly tapped in and said “I had a five”. As I lined up my 15 footer for par (I would miss it), I told him “That’s great! You made par!” The words “I did?” were quickly followed by a fist pump after I assured him 5 strokes on the par 5 were indeed a par.
He would go on to double bogey the next few holes and tell me he was ready to go, and we would play a full 9 holes the next time. I can’t wait, and look forward to seeing that fist pump again.
-A big thanks to Michael at Hook and Gaff Watch Co. for providing the golf watch for our giveaway on Masters Saturday. Our winner Rick sent me a photo of the package he received from Hook and Gaff. Not only did Rick receive an awesome watch, but Hook and Gaff included a golf hat, beer koozy, and a personalized thank you not from CEO Michael Sims. That’s classy, and I ask that you check out everything Hook and Gaff has to offer right here.
-Tell your friends about the Tee 2 Green Club so they can get in the action on our weekly newsletter and great giveaways. One giveaway coming up on PGA Championship Saturday will be a rangefinder from our friends at Michelob Ultra!
-If you’re thinking of joining a club this year, please check out one of the CBIGG clubs (Fox Valley, Tan Tara, and Brierwood). They have great membership packages, and if you mention Tee 2 Green when you join, you’ll receive a $500 credit!
-Set your DVR for the Tee 2 Green TV special coming to WGRZ Channel 2 on May 4th at 7:00 AM.