Wednesday, January 14, 2009

'09 Sony Open Preview - Average Golfer Boycotts U.A.E. Events

The PGA island hops this week to Oahu for the Sony Open. Waialae Country Club is the host in Honolulu, Hawaii. KJ Choi is the defender. He'll have to contend with the likes of last week's winner Geoff Ogilvy, Zach Johnson, and the resurgent Ernie Els. 26 of last weeks 33 starters are playing this week. Notable exceptions include Anthony Kim and Vijay Singh. Hometown hero Yadd Fujikawa is in the field after shooting a Monday qualifying 68. One player not here that has been a regular is Michelle Wie. Ms Wie chose not to play, therefore removing herself from the list of potential sponsor's exemptions. A wise move I'd say as she plans to increase her stock on the LPGA Tour.

Last week and this are like day and night regarding the golf course. Last week's Plantation Course was long, downhill, and wide as a mall parking lot. At 7,068 yards it places a premium on accuracy, evidenced by the fact that in last year's tourney only a tad over 50% of the fairways were hit. There are only two par fives, one on each nine, to further protect par. Els is the only two time winner having captured the event in 2003, 2004. Previous winners include David Toms, Brad Faxon, Paul Azinger, and Jeff Sluman. Those names are enough to prove this as a shot maker's course.

Tune in tomorrow for a glimpse of abundant sunshine and bone warming temps. Based on where I am, (seems like Siberia), it will be a refreshing change.

Average Golfer To Boycott Golf Tournaments in the U.A.E.

It's peeing in the wind, but this Average Golfer can longer support the idea of golf tournaments being held in countries that treat women like it's the Middle Ages, have Draconian laws with no regard for human rights, and abuse foreign workers to build their palaces and international attractions. Covering or mentioning these events is supporting the idea that the hallowed game of golf can be used to gain prestige and tenure in the international community. It's a version of "Pay no attention to my left hand, it's not doing anything." That concept and the nations that harbor it won't be promoted on the site. For more specifics I refer you to an earlier Average Golfer post.

I'll preempt the naysayers that will undoubtedly point out that we don't live in a perfect country and have our own skeletons in the closet. Yes, that's true to a degree, but women can vote, alcohol can be consumed by people other than tourists, an African-American man can become president, and homosexuality isn't regarded as "impossible to exist". Please call me wrong, I'm just scratching the surface here. On another front, I considered boycotting Tiger Woods due to his involvement with golf course development in Dubai. I don't write this to make money, so I'd certainly survive with or without Mr. Woods. Upon further review, in this global economy, I would have had to boycott virtually every aspect of professional golf using much less than six degrees of separation. Rightly or wrongly, I chose to make my stand on the direct connection route. I elected this week to pontificate due to the location of the European Tour event.

Til' next,


  1. Yeah! Let's boycott the Masters too. The should let women be members of Augusta.

  2. and I thought women had their issues... come on Bobbio, don't flip now. put that line up of your picks.

  3. Aussie,

    Apples and oranges. Last I checked, in my country and yours, women could vote and leave their homes without being accompanied by a male relative.

    Women are free here to establish a "private" club with women only.

  4. Hatter,

    Choi, Ogilvy, Els. Yeah, I know safe picks. My picks have been less than spectacular of late.

  5. Aussie,

    Sorry, forgot. Thanks very much for the visit and your opinion.

  6. Hey that's true thank goodness. I was just bringing it back to golf. Do you think private clubs excluding some people are good though? There's a few examples here in Oz and a few in SA that spring to mind. All a bit snobby and elitist. I suppose you can do what you want if you own a club though.

    I'm always reading. Like the site!

  7. you two think im going to keep silent? the masters can stay the way it is. lpga and pga need to stop trying to change things. aussie why would you want a woman to play with men at the masters? why would anyone want women to play at the masters with men. Every time a women plays with men in minor tournament we rarely make the cut. This is just some pr crap that is floating around to make some prick happy. Why pick on the masters, let boycott the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and British Open. you never hear that argument. I would love to see something like this happening but as it stands now, a better plan needs to be done because no one has thought this out, just blabbling at the mouth. Duval hat said it all Blah, Blah, Blah. Ok Im Through.

  8. "I suppose you can do what you want if you own a club though."

    Your words, and how I feel.

    "I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me as a member." -Groucho Marx

  9. Hatter,

    The LPGA has language excluding men. The PGA doesn't have language excluding women. Hence Annika and Wie have played in events.

  10. I admire your commitment to stick to your beliefs--regardless of what others think. Free thinking is the foundation of this country. As a former Washingtonian, I always loved inauguration--whether I voted for the winning candidate or not. Very few places have such a peaceful and celebratory transfer of power. I have always found it very moving.

    As for the other issues, Women not playing Augusta is far from a denial of human rights, although I'd love to play the course.

    As for separate tours, most sports have separate competitions for women and men. So what's the big deal? I'm glad the hype of women playing the PGA Tour has died down a bit. Let's focus on the game. Besides, two tours gives me all the more golf to watch. :o)

  11. I know, they also sucked score wise, if the lpga would have had their tournament there it would have been a different story, plus all that was for show, annika i can see playing against the men , wie - please, oh please (show) did they offer Lorena to play !!

  12. Nothing like a good slave built palace...
    You've got my support as well.

  13. Hatter,

    I'm quite certain Lorena could wrangle an exemption if she chose.

  14. picks, Weekley will start great, Clark will make a move, hang around the 20-25, im watching Azinger for some reason, Ogilvy naaaa, and my man Scott will do something. See you got me side tracked...trying to throw me off.

  15. Well, it is quite an interesting point of view. Even more interesting is your approach towards the situation. No wonder there have been so many people discussing it out here. ‘Aussie Golfer’ has a point doesn’t he? Should the people of Augusta be painted in the same colour just because women cannot play at the Augusta golf club. This doesn’t even have anything to do with the fact that they play at the Masters or not. Just the fact that they cannot be members is an outdated philosophy.

    Quite clearly, with this stance, you have chosen to wrap the government, that sets the draconian law, and the people of the country in the same bracket. I personally feel it is akin to saying that anywhere in the world, what the people are, will be dictated by what the government of the place does and if that is the case I really do think that there will be very few people, if any, that you would put in the ‘good people’ category.

    I think you captured the paradox very clearly in your post where you go on to explain that once you start taking such a stance, there is hardly any one or any place that can be separated by the activities around it.

  16. Rob,

    Thank you for your thought provoking and insightful comments.

    Regarding the Masters.....It may be outdated thinking, but it's not illegal to have a private club with the membership of it's own choosing. To compare the one sex policy regarding membership of a private club to the refusal to grant women the same basic human rights as men is like comparing a paper cut to a gun shot wound.

    Your right, if we only allowed "perfect" countries to hold international sporting events, there wouldn't be any. For me it's a matter of degree. The treatment of young Mr. Robert, as linked in my post, proves that the most basic of human rights are denied in the U.A.E. That, coupled with their human rights records in many other areas, was the basis of my decision. I don't believe countries should be allowed to buy themselves a seat at the table of 21st century nations while sweeping their human rights records under the banquet hall carpet.

    Again, thanks for your input. That discourse is the primary reason I publish my opinions.