Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Golf List Mania

We were thrilled at the opportunity to review this new golf book referred to as "The most authoritative and opinionated rankings of the best and worst of the game".

As golfers everywhere dust off their clubs and begin the long overdue march to the 1st tee, celebrated golf writers Leonard Shapiro and Ed Sherman aim to fill our heads with all things "golf" and present Golf List Mania.  This book is a never ending source for argument and careful examination.  From best courses to biggest chokes, most underrated to worst dressed golfers, there's a list for everything, including lists written by the top names in golf like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and more.

Here's a quick preview of what it looks like...

Top Lefties
As a fellow left handed golfer, I figured I'd share this list of some of the games top lefties.  As a lefty who has endured a lifetime of people saying, "You're standing on the wrong side of the ball (Ha! Ha!)", I had to write about my true golf heroes.  They showed that you can succeed from the wrong side.  It's a short list, but a proud one.

8. Ernie Gonzalez.  Gonzalez played on the PGA Tour in the late '80's, winning the 1986 Pensacola Open.  It was Gonzalez's lone clam to fame. However, given the shortage of lefties, the title was good enough to put him on the list.

7. Sam Adams.  Like Gonzales, Adams was another one-timer, winning the 1973 Quad Cities Open.  However, he's got a distinction that Phil Mickelson can't match: Adams was the first American lefty to win on the PGA Tour.

6. Russ Cochran.  Cochran provided me with one of my most memorable moments as a lefty.  I was on hand to watch Cochran overcome a 5 stroke deficit to Greg Norman in the final eight holes to win the 1991 Western Open.  Okay, Norman folded like a cheap tent.  No matter, Cochran took advantage for his lone PGA Tour victory.  All told, Cochran had 60 top ten finishes in his career.

5. Bubba Watson.  He is the left handers' big power hitter. Born in Baghdad, Florida (not Iraq), Watson unleashes missiles off the tee.  Early in his career, he hit a 398 yard drive at the Sony Open in Hawaii.  Even right handers are in awe of Watson.

4. Steve Flesch.  Flesch worked his way up through the Asian and Nationwide Tours before finally achieving success on the PGA Tour.  He was the Tour's Rookie of theYear in 1998 and broke through with his first victory in New Orleans in 2003.  He's also one of the gam's good guys.  That shouldn't be a surprise: He's a lefty.

3.  Mike Weir.  Weir isn't just a hero for lefties.  The Canadians also revere him.  He's in the icon team photo with Wayne Gretzky.  Weir's victory in the 2003 Masters sparked a national celebration up north.  Lefties rejoiced, too.

2.  Bob Charles.  The New Zealand native was the patron saint of lefties for more than a generation.  When you named top lefties in golf, the list began and ended with Charles.  He became the first lefty to win a major, claiming the 1963 British Open.  All told, he won 67 tournaments worldwide, including 23 on the Champions Tour.  In 2008 he recorded another first by becoming the first lefty inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame.

1.  Phil Mickelson.  Mickelson actually is a righty (so is Charles for that matter), but he found true happiness swinging from the left side in golf.  Mickelson has had many ups and downs in his career, and several of his biggest screw ups are documented elsewhere in this book.  But when it comes to the Babe Ruth of lefties in golf, there is only one: Phil Mickelson.

I encourage you to get yourself a copy of Golf List Mania, great entertainment and provides endless topics for discussion.  Golf List Mania can be purchased online for $15 by clicking here.