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September 02, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Rick Perry rips Obama's 'prodigious golf habit'

In a less-than-subtle jab at President Obama's love for golf, Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry sent a fundraising request to supporters Thursday asking them to "open their pocketbooks to the amount of $76 — exactly the number of rounds of golf Obama has played since entering the White House," according to Arlette Saez of ABCNews.com. The e-mail read in part:

“In honor of his prodigious golf habit, I ask you to donate $76 today — a dollar for each round of golf Obama has played since becoming president.

“31 months, 12 days and 76 rounds of golf later, we still await the president’s plan to create jobs. Or, more precisely, his next plan following the failed stimulus that spent our children’s inheritance, exploded the debt and led to greater unemployment. Now the president wants a mulligan.

“Help us yell a pre-emptive ‘fore’ before the president takes a three-iron to the economy and makes matters worse.”

Yikes, somebody get this guy a speechwriter!

Have long putters "neutered the skill factor"? 

Pop riddle: It helped Adam Scott snap out of a slump, it led Keegan Bradley to PGA glory, and now Phil Mickelson is dabbling with it. Religion? Nope. HGH? Not that we know of. The cabbage soup diet? Wrong again! It’s the long putter, and it has some folks asking, “Is it cheating?” Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel explores:

“If it was cheating you’d see every single person using it,” said Spencer Levin, who switched to a belly putter late last season and has become a convert. “I don’t think it is the cure-all. You still have to be good to use it. But there’s no doubt, you give a good putter a long putter and he’s only going to get better.”

...One man’s cheating is another’s second chance, and, despite the escalating debate over the long putter’s use on Tour, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no going back.

“Once something is approved it’s difficult to go back,” said Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet Company, the parent company of Titleist, FootJoy and Pinnacle. “The statistical evidence here, similar to the grooves, one of the things that no one ever measures is the guy who plays 18 holes and leaves himself on the right side of the hole for 18 consecutive holes, he’s going to have fewer putts than the guy who is on the wrong side of the hole.

“How do you do any kind of statistical analysis, long putter vs. short putter, to argue that inherently we’ve neutered the skill factor as a result of benefiting technology? I don’t know how you do that.”

Shocker! Another woeful golf movie…

The critics’ scorecards are in for the new Robert Duvall golf movie, Seven Days in Utopia, and let’s just say it’s no Godfather. More like Gawd-awful. I haven’t seen a movie panned this mercilessly since She-Devil. First, the plot, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle:

The protagonist for "Seven Days in Utopia" is an angry young fella (Lucas Black) who has a well-publicized meltdown on the last hole of a Texas golf tournament, then crashes through the fence of a wise old fella (Robert Duvall) on the drive home. Turns out the wise old fella is something of a Golf Whisperer: He peers inside the broken heart of the exasperated youngster and understands all that ails him.

And now the carnage, courtesy of just about every newspaper in the land:

“…A cluttered, empty drama that uses (or tries to use) golf, painting, dinner-table prayers and fly-fishing as pathways to enlightenment.” — The Seattle Times

“…though the drama has its heartfelt moments, it unrolls as flat as the Texas terrain...” — The Los Angeles Times

“The movie is terrible partly because it’s badly written, directed, and conceived and partly because it lacks the necessarily thematic coherence to accomplish proselytism of any kind. It’s handing out leaflets that don’t say anything. — The Boston Globe

“A stultifying hybrid of athletic instruction film and Christian sermon…” — The New York Times

“I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again.” — Roger Ebert

All the rotten-vegetable throwing aside, there is at least one compelling reason to go see the flick: K.J. Choi makes a cameo, playing the role of a “fearsome golfer.” Yep, the K.J. Choi.

Seven Days opens Friday.

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