Monday, December 28, 2009

Roberto Clemente was simply the best ever . . . .

New Year's Eve is just a few nights away and thoughts of 2009 will give way to resolutions for 2010. The end of the year for the last 37 years has always been a moment for me to reflect upon the greatest baseball player I ever saw: Roberto Clemente. He met his untimely death on December 31, 1972 in a plane crash while taking supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. He was more than a Hall of Fame baseball player and never forgot his native Puerto Rican heritage. Best arm ever to play right field. He routinely would throw out a batter who just singled to right and took a big turn toward second base. BTW, he would pick them off with an underhanded throw, like a softball pitcher. He could throw a ball on the fly from the warning track in Forbes Field directly to the waiting catcher crouched behind the plate with the ball never touching the ground. Bob Prince, fabled Pirate broadcaster, described this type of throw  as a "frozen rope." It sure was. I once introduced Roberto to my BFF, Tom Murray, while we were waiting outside the ball park. #21 was a complete gentleman and never once let on he did not know me from the man in the moon. Take a few moments to learn more about this great man go here .
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three Amigos: Tiger, Charles, and Michael

Vegas, high stakes gambling, women, power, etc. You get the picture. If Tiger was rolling with Charles and Michael, how was this kept on the down low? What did Tiger do differently to expose his transgressions? He differentiated himself from these two when he voiced his vows to Elin. If Tiger was single, this hurricane would have been long gone. For now, there does not seem to be an end in sight.  

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Would Divorce Give Tiger a Mulligan?

Perhaps, a clean break is what is needed here to get all concerned parties back on track. Elin has been rumored to be in negotiations with Reebok for a shoe deal. Why not? Good for her. Take all the money you can garner and move on. Same for Tiger. The sooner it is decided, the better for them both, as well as the entire golfing world.
Who among us has never benefited from a mulligan?

For the latest on the divorce Go here . . . .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Voted. And the Winners Are . . .

Thanks to all of my social networks for offering their favorite golf gift suggestions. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIN, have all weighed in how to spend a total of  $100 on 3 golf gifts. I was overwhelmed by the response and most grateful for everybody taking the time to do so. The analytical decision was very clear for two great gifts and most clouded about a third choice due to hundreds of  single items recommended. Thus, no consensus  for third gift. I must admit I am partial to sustainable things and like our two winners for just that. They will last you longer than the expensive golf shirt you bought and, after washing just once, now looks like the tee shirt your uncle wears to mow the lawn. Or the dozen golf balls long gone to their great reward. Something reusable, long lasting, and endurable is what we need here.

And here they are . . .
First gift creating the most buzz on social media networks for golf Christmas gifts:


Should you have a golfer in your life that loves to play private courses but does not want to join any of them, this is the ideal gift. Do they want to play that private course down the road but don't know a member? Now there's a way to test drive private courses across the country without risking the trespassing charge. A new online service called provides access to tee times at private clubs. Boxgroove with over 70  participating courses and over 650 members, some of whom hold memberships at private clubs and may be willing to host other members. The company plans to be in 30 states by summer 2010 and eventually to take the service international. A sustainable gift that keeps on giving. Just click on the banner below for more information regarding the extra awards you receive with a gift subscription.
A true value for $49.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

REVISED Forecast for Tiger's Majors

In an earlier post this month I articulated Tiger would rebound to surpass Jack's 18 major wins. Now I am not so sure. His fall from grace started on Thanksgiving weekend and three plus weeks later it continues to spiral out of control. This "story" still has legs and remains A1 in all news cycles. It has become a sports soap opera of epic proportion. Not just for golfers anymore; everyone is on the Tiger saga coverage. Will he survive? When will he play again? Will he EVER play again. These are questions most of us golfers have. The personal side of this should remain just that. It is none of our business to go there.The entirety of it has to have an impact on his golf, just as it will with his personal life. No longer will he be the same Tiger.

So, . . . I need your help to make up my mind on his quest to pass Jack on the major title scale. Will he achieve more majors than Jack's 18?  Leave a comment and please express your view. Thanks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Golf is a Sustainable Gift

Two years ago my granddaughter, Cece, was asked by her mother if she would like to attend golf camp during the summer at the University of Richmond. She was 8 at the time and said she would only go if I went with her. Camp was specifically designed for adults to attend with a youngster. Of course I went. We had 2 PGA instructors very talented with teaching youngsters Cece and I learned a great deal and had a special bonding that golf buddies enjoy. Priceless time for me and the best golf experience I ever had. As a gift for doing so well, I bought her first set of clubs at the end of the camp. We have been best golf buds ever since. This summer Cece went to the golf school sponsored by the First Tee of Richmond, VA. This time I was merely the chauffeur for Cece and Thomas, a neighbor. What a great learning experience, this was. The First Tee Life Skills Experience is one of the unique features that differentiates The First Tee from many other successful junior golf programs.  Through the Life Skills Experience, participants learn valuable lessons about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude; how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences and how to define and set goals from the golf course to everyday life. Cece and I play together as often as we can. When she visits we play and practice at our club for several hours. In fact, this year she was my scramble partner for the annual family tournament. Now, 9 years old, with 2 years of play and instruction she was well versed in the rules and etiquette of the game. We shot a respectable 78 and I needed to use her drive on one hole after splashing my drive.

Golf is a lifetime sport. Golf is sustainable. If you give one gift this year, give the gift of golf to someone you love. In no time, you will have a BGFF (best golfing friend forever) like I have with my granddaughter, Cece.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The bear says, "It is none of my business."

Gentleman Jack Nicklaus clearly stated his feelings and attitude toward Tiger's transgressions when he stated, "It is none of my business." Need he say anything more? You get his message from the get go. We should all be a little more like Jack. That's right; time to move on to something  else. We need to separate Tiger's talent from his morals. Tiger still has his problems but the offended outrage serves no worthwhile purpose.
You no doubt admired Tiger for his golfing achievements and talents and are encouraged here to do so again. Those of you who are delighting in his fall from grace viewed him as a role model. That was your mistake to begin with. Charles Barkley did not mince his words when saying, "I am not a role model, I am a basketball player." Charles being Charles. What you see is what you get. Just like John Daly. Both of these characters are still popular. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tiger's next move: Become Roy Hobbs

The Natural. I love this movie. Tiger should rent it and morph his comeback after Roy Hobbs, the baseball phenom who disappears after being "wronged" by a woman. Hobbs goes completely invisible for many years and then one day, signs on with the New York Knights and helps them win a pennant and world series.Tiger needs to go away for a while and let the Tour go on without him. Stay low. No commercials. No Ryder Cup. No majors. Take a year off. Put your life and family back in the best possible shape you can make it. When the burning desire to win golf tournaments returns, so should you. Until then, say nothing. Do nothing. Go away, like Roy Hobbs and re-invent yourself.

Here is a review of the movie.

An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league in this magical sports fantasy. With the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree, Hobbs lives the fame he should have had earlier when, as a rising pitcher, he is inexplicably shot by a young woman. Written by Keith Loh {}
  Read More about the 1984 Movie, The Natural

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How about some good golf news? How about John Daly?

When will the Tiger  schadenfreude (delight in another person's misfortune) slow down and stop? There is some positive golf news deserving of our attention. I am speaking of the magnificent John Daly makeover. The bad boy of golf, loved by the masses for his cantankerous lifestyle and booming drives, has taken positive steps in re-inventing himself. Something Mr. Woods will need to do. The difference between these two is we knew the real John Daly from day one and we accepted him for being just that. Thank you, John, for being honest with us.
Now that John Daly has his weight problem sorted out, he figures a movie about his up-and-down career -- and life -- might not be far behind.Just before heading out to the revamped Hyatt Regency resort course for a practice round ahead of the Australian PGA, the slimmed-down Daly, who has lost 115 pounds, entertained an early morning news conference Tuesday with his cinematic plans based on a new book he would write himself.

Read more

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

America's Best New Courses of 2009

America's Best New Courses of 2009 are all about old school.All four Best New winners were designed by senior golfers with decades of grit, experience and wisdom under their fingernails, working the old-fashioned way: by hand, in the field, not a blueprint among the four winners.
All four are courses built for the purest of reasons, the sheer enjoyment of the game, to be played on foot, using landforms that encourage the old-style bounce-and-roll game, where you play to a spot and let a slope feed the ball to the target, and only fools fire directly at the flag. And the winners are . . . .

Another Duke Star to the LPGA Tour

Duke star Amanda Blumenherst easily passed her first big test as a pro on Monday when she closed with a 4-under 68 to be medalist at LPGA Tour qualifying, one of 20 players to earn cards for next year. Blumenherst was a three-time NCAA player of the year who won 12 times at Duke. Playing on the Champions Course at LPGA International for the final round, she played without a bogey and finished the 90-hole event at 9-under 351.

Read More About Amanda

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday Nght Live Spoofs Tiger

Tiger Woods and his marital problems proved a tempting target for "Saturday Night Live."In a skit and multiple "Weekend Update" jokes this weekend, NBC's comedy institution took on the golfer, who has admitted to letting his family down with "transgressions" that came to light following a strange Thanksgiving weekend car accident outside his Florida home.
In one skit, actor Jason Sudeikis portrayed Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Situation Room" reporting on a news conference that Woods (played by Kenan Thompson) and his wife (played by Blake Lively) were holding outside his home. After Woods admitted to "multiple" transgressions, his wife looked surprised and the screen quickly shifted back to Blitzer.

Adam Scott on the way back?

Adam Scott won the Australian Open for his first pro victory in his home country, shooting an even-par 72 on Sunday to beat Stuart Appleby by five strokes.Scott won 14 times worldwide since turning pro in 2000 before breaking through in his native land. He finished at 15-under 273 at New South Wales Golf Club.

 Read more

Jim Furyk Wins

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Jim Furyk dressed in red and played the part Sunday, holing a clutch par putt and hitting his best shot of the day on the final hole to win the Chevron World Challenge for his first victory in more than two years. He said the choice of color was a coincidence, not a statement.
Even so, it was a fitting conclusion to a week dominated by talk of Tiger Woods.
Read more

Hey . . .Ho! Hey . . .Ho! Hip Hop Hooray!

Give some props to the Oregon Ducks for a super season and a place in the BCS Rose Bowl where The Ohio State Buckeyes await. Don't miss this one if you are fascinated and interested in imaginative offense. I mean the kind you played as a kid in the back yard when you drew up the plays in the dirt. These guys are fun to watch. Give credit to head coach, Chip Kelly, and offensive coordinator, Mark Helfrich for coming up with never before seen plays like the option to the flanker who actually jogs backwards on the snap. [You have to see it.] Hope they include this in their Rose Bowl package. They also have perfected the "fly sweep" that would make Steve Spurrier, the creator of this play, very proud. Great athletes on both sides of the ball. Give Coach Kelly some props for advancing the Spread Read-Option Offense to the next level. Wonder what kind of uniform and colors they will run with for the bowl? Wonder if Chip Kelly would be interested in the Virginia job?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Easy Way to View My Posts

Some fans of the Retired Coach's Blog have asked to be notified whenever a new post is available. Since I am limited to just 10 email addresses for this feature we have searched and discovered a way for everybody to receive my post directly without having to visit my blog to check and see if there is anything new. The solution is a RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed.  Should you be unfamiliar with RSS take 3 minutes to upgrade by viewing this   Video on How to Use RSS 

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright?

As every athlete knows, embarrassment is the most dreaded and feared outcome. Tiger is no different. How will he react to his humiliation? My take on this is he will transform himself into an even better golf champion. This year he won six times by hitting 1,000 balls a day as well as spreading his protein around the globe. He is a blue chip, thoroughbred, world class athlete that comes along once in a blue moon. Since his protein spreading days are (hopefully) behind him, he will spend more time hitting practice shots than cocktail waitresses.
He has 14 majors. Jack has the most with 18.  As a result of his "transgressions", Tiger will rededicate himself to winning majors. I am setting the OVER/UNDER line at 19 Tiger majors.Take your pick: Over or Under 19 majors (lifetime) for Tiger.Please share your pick and the reasons for it by leaving a comment on this post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bill Sferro [Retired Coach Blog] Announcement

Greetings from the Retired Coach Blog. You are receiving this message as an example of the blog- to-your-email feature. It means, as the blog is updated you will receive the update directly via email. This feature is available to just 10 email addresses and you made the cut. It is your chance to be on the Varsity.

In case you do not wish to have this sent to your email just send me an email and you will be removed from the list. Thanks for playing.

The Day Bobby Bowden and I Crossed Paths

Back in the day, 1975 or 1976 when I was the head mentor at Western Connecticut I was recruiting a blue chip QB from Waterbury, CT.  I had all the features and benefits of a great WESCONN education down to a science and was actually able to secure a visit to this young man's home. Got there around 4 o'clock and did my thing, you know, the dog and pony show. Well, when I finished I was sort of set back when his dad shouted, "He's here!" Not knowing what was going on I decided it was time for me to leave.

When I got outside and headed for my state vehicle, a 1971 Ford, I saw this enormous Lincoln Continental parked across the street with two giant bodyguard types sitting in the front and a cool dude wearing aviator shades and a golf sweater in the back seat. One of the big dudes opens the rear door and out steps, Bobby Bowden, head coach the West Virginia Mountaineers,  looking like he just stepped off the golf course. He never saw me; but I never forgot that moment. You can probably guess where the blue chipper went.
Well, here we are many years later, he is 80 and I am nearing 66. He has a 388–141–4  record (Second all time) and I am blogging about his achievements. Small world. He did a fanatastic  job at Florida State and should be highly respected for taking a university with no name recognition and no football track record to national prominence. Well done, Bobby. I wonder how it would have turned out if the QB took my offer.

Getting Ready for Another Volunteer Assignment

  In 2 weeks I start my orientation and training for the Traveler's Aid Volunteer Program at Dulles International Airport.  Kind of looking forward to having something to do besides golf.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wildcats Win! Wildcats Win!

 Holy Cow, Batman. This is not your father's version of Northwestern Basketball! Tonight the 'cats claimed NC State as their 6th victory 65-53 giving the Wolf Pack their first loss of the season. Defense, once again proved to be the key ingredient. Well done.

Big Ten - ACC Challenge

Last night I tuned into the Penn State vs UVA game and witnessed the recruiting legacy of former coach, Dave Leiato at work. Great effort in the first half, tail dive for most of 2nd half and then a flurry at the end to make it appear the game was close all along. It was not. UVA had no answer for Talor Battle who had a career best 32 points,with 28 of those coming in the second half. Battle is who they thought he was. New coach, Tony Bennett, seems to be focusing his rebuilding on defense. It will take some time to get his type of players on board.  A .500 season this year will be a stretch.

The Northwestern Wildcats travel to Raleigh to face off with NC State tonight at 6:00 pm. 'Cats coming off recent Chicago Invitational Tournament championship. Keep the momentum rolling!!