These are just the coolest tee markers on the face of the planet. I suppose the only way to one-up these would be at the Johnnie Walker Classic. My home course uses rotting birch logs with the ends painted to indicate the various tees. The short hitters get to the tee box first and kick them forward. By the end of the day they've played a course that's 500 yards shorter. There's no risk of theft however, which is good.
The John Deere Classic is a favorite spot among tour players. By being so close to the Open Championship however, it's tough to attract the world's top ranked players. The "elite" are either in Europe thinking an extra week will transfer their links games by osmosis, or they're home resting. I still can't come to grips with pro golfers and resting being linked. Nevertheless, the Deere organizers jump through hoops to show their appreciation for the guys that do show up. They charter a Boeing 767 to leave immediately at the conclusion of the tournament and fly the players butts to the Open Championship venue. This year they've promised the players will be very close to Royal Birkdale by 8:00 AM on Monday. How can you beat that?
The host, as usual, is the TPC Deere Run. It's a birdie fest with the average winning score since 2000 being 18 under. Get out the red pencils. The course, in Silva, Illinois, is a par 71 and plays to 7,257 yards. Jonathan Byrd defends. If you like action and tons of birdies, this is a gotta see.
Woody Austin, Aaron Baddeley, Kenny Perry, Zach Johnson, Mark Calcavecchia, Camilo Villegas, and Bubba Watson. Keep an eye on Jamie Lovemark, 2007 NCAA individual champion. There's plenty of stars here to make for a nice event. It's all big time to them as they accumulate Fedex Cup points and try to ensure their status for 2009.
Average Golfer's winning pick...........Bart Bryant. Kind of out on a limb, but Bryant shoots at pins wherever he plays. That's perfect for here.
Average Golfer's sleeper pick............Dean Wilson. Good solid all-around game. Just a hunch.