The Local Knowlege


Video: Manny Ramirez whiffs two more times...on the golf course

Manny Ramirez, former perennial all-star for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, struck out 1,813 times in his long career, 16th on the all-time list.

So perhaps we should not be surprised that he is seen here whiffing a few more times, though the game is golf and the ball is stationary. The occasion was the recent David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic, his annual charity event in the Dominican Republic.

Hey, it’s a hard game.

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Larry David talks about being moody on the golf course, the controversial Seinfeld finale and the awful New York Jets

Larry David's love of golf hasn't gone unnoticed. The 67-year-old has teed it up with President Obama and has chatted with David Feherty on the Golf Channel. The show he helped create, Seinfeld, referenced golf quite often throughout its nine seasons. ("Was it a Titleist?")

Bill Simmons interviewed David for a recent BS Report podcast, and David offered some quintessential Larry David-esque golf wisdom:

-- “Playing well makes you play poorly.”

-- "Last weekend I was playing great, then I tried to match what I was doing and I REALLY fell apart. It was awful."

-- "I'm not good company on the golf course. I'm intense, I'm focused and I'm not all that charming...I'm so moody."

David seems quite charming to us!

David also talks about that widely disliked Seinfeld finale: "I got so much grief from the Seinfeld finale, which a lot of people intensely disliked, that I no longer feel the need to wrap things up."

And, of course, Simmons and David wrap up their chat by talking about the awful New York Jets: "Good luck with your Jets," says Simmons, "I hope you lose this weekend." "Ugh, I hope so, too," says David.

A tormented soul, on the golf course, in the workplace, and as a sports fan.

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5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. The Royals meet The King: Prince William and Kate Middleton attended an NBA game -- well, if you count arriving midway through the third quarter as attending an NBA game -- and met Lebron "King" James after. It was a cute story until everyone started making a big deal about LeBron potentially "breaking protocol" by putting his arm around Kate to pose for a picture. Calm down, people. They're just people, too.


2. Johnny Football: Johnny Manziel will make his much-anticipated first NFL start when the Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Manziel is replacing quarterback Brian Hoyer, who after a good start to the season has been playing like, well, Brian Hoyer of late. Good luck, Johnny. We don't want rumors of a Golf Digest cover jinx to start circulating.

Related: NBA stars who love playing golf

3. Roger Goodell: Imagine you make a big mistake. Then you try to cover up that big mistake. Then you lie about trying to cover up that big mistake. Then you get caught lying, but don't face any repercussions. And you keep your job. A job that paid you $44 MILLION last year. Imagine?

4. The Golden Globes: This year's nominees were announced on Thursday and we're fairly happy about them. HBO's "True Detective" is in the "TV movie or miniseries" category so it -- and Matthew McConaughey -- will sweep everything and Showtime's "The Affair" was nominated for best drama while co-star Dominic West (McNulty from "The Wire"!) is up for the best actor award. Great news, but no "Veep" for best comedy? What a joke.

Related: Our favorite golf movie scenes

5. MLB winter meetings: There's plenty to talk about from the annual get together in San Diego. Did the Cubs overpay for Jon Lester? Will the flurry of moves by the Dodgers and Red Sox pay off? Will the Yankees sign Max Scherzer? Will the Mets make any moves of real significance? OK, scratch that last question. Even the Royals -- the people and the baseball team -- spend more of their own money than the Mets.

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Watch Kevin Nealon humorously describe his most amazing golf shot ever on The Tonight Show

We know how much Jimmy Fallon loves golf from his Golf Digest cover shoot and interview in this year's June issue. So he must really enjoy when one of his guests on "The Tonight Show" brings up the game.

Related: More photos of Jimmy Fallon's Golf Digest shoot

That happened Wednesday night when comedian Kevin Nealon told quite a story about a shot he hit once at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe. According to Nealon, he hit a female spectator, who was standing on the beach, in the forehead and the ball caromed to about a foot from the hole.

Nealon said the magical shot (the woman was OK even though she thought he was NBC's Matt Lauer for some reason) occurred on the 18th hole, but we assume he meant the 207-yard, par-3 17th at the Edgewood Tahoe South Course. Of course, when the former Saturday Night Live star tells the story it's a lot funnier. Check it out:

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Apparently Golf Digest cover boy Johnny Manziel also plays football

And all this time we thought Johnny Manziel was just a 7-handicap with a really good publicist. 

OK, we're sort of kidding. But Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner who headlined our December Golfers Who Give Back Issue, now has a chance to be something more than the world's most celebrated backup quarterback. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Manziel is likely to inherit the Cleveland Browns' starting job from the beleaguered Brian Hoyer, who went 14 for 31 with two interceptions last weekend against the Colts.

At 7-6, the Browns are still in the playoff race, and they think Manziel, who led an 80-yard touchdown the previous week, is their best bet of getting there -- beginning this week against the Bengals. That's good news for Manziel fans, and apparently it's also welcome news for Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who referred to Manziel as a "midget" in a radio interview on Monday (Manziel is a hair shy of 6-feet tall, which is a perfectly respectable height for people who are not NFL quarterbacks).

Anyway, best of luck to Manziel, although the important thing is to stay healthy. Golf season is only a few months away.
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5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf this weekend:

1. Tiger Woods: Something tells us Woods hitting his first competitive shot in four months into someone's back yard wasn't quite what people clamoring "he's back!" had in mind. Woods was dreadful in an opening 77 that was four shots worse than anyone else. And it was pretty easy to see where he spotted the field those four shots. Woods chunked -- and we mean chunked -- FOUR chip/pitch shots during the round. No matter the excuse (rust, new wedges, new coach, etc.), it was still stunning. You're probably thinking "I could do better than that!" You're right.

2. Golden State Warriors: The NBA's most fun team to watch (Well, except maybe for the "Lob City" Clippers) is also currently the NBA's best team. An 11-game winning streak has the Warriors with a 16-2 record entering Friday. Stephen Curry is the headliner, but this team is deep. First-year head coach Steve Kerr chose Golden State over the New York Knicks (4-16). Good choice.

Related: NBA stars who love playing golf

3. Anthony Davis: To be honest, I haven't really watched him play since his Kentucky days (to be fair, the New Orleans Pelicans haven't exactly been living on national TV). Wow, has he -- and his eyebrows -- filled out. Wow, is he a total beast. Davis is averaging 25 points and 11.5 rebounds on 57-percent shooting. Oh yeah, the power forward is also leading the league in blocks AND steals. What does he have in common with LeBron, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Curry? He's one of the five best players in the league.


4. "The Shawshank Redemption": Speaking of bests, it was 20 years ago (that's scary) that I first watched this movie and proclaimed it "the best movie ever." Being 12, I probably said stuff like that a lot at the time, but you know what? I've never said that since. Not once. Last week I decided to watch this classic from start to finish for the first time in years in honor of its 20th anniversary. Yep, it's still the best.

Related: Our favorite golf movie scenes

5. The Coca-Cola "guinea pig": Even more scary to someone who has made soda a big part of his daily diet since childhood was this experiment done by George Prior. After drinking 10 cans of regular Coca-Cola (and cherry Coke -- mmm, cherry Coke) per day for 30 days, Prior gained 23 pounds (from 168 to 191), went up 7 percent in body fat (from 9 to 16) and generally felt terrible. Fortunately, I switched over to Coke Zero about four years ago, ditching all that toxic sugar for pure artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium. I know, I'm quite the health nut these days.

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NFL kicker makes game-winning field goal, shoots 67, and gets challenged by David Duval. Sort of

Josh Scobee is one of the NFL's best kickers and he's also one of the best pro-athlete golfers around. So we weren't too surprised when he tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he had just shot a 67 at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

Still, a 67 during the season? Just two days after kicking the game-winning field goal -- a 43-yarder with 28 seconds left -- to beat the New York Giants and give the Jaguars a rare win? That's impressive.


But there's more to the story. David Duval responded to Scobee by saying "Nice round," and Scobee answered, "Thank you! You ever get back to Jax? We should tee it up." To which Duval replied:

Again, that's David Duval, the former World No. 1. Asking for strokes -- and yardage -- from an NFL kicker.

The Grind: The Dufners attend the Iron Bowl and LPGA players feast

Of course, Duval, a Jacksonville native and Jaguars fan who is now ranked outside the top 1,000, was probably kidding. Probably.

For a kicker, Josh Scobee is a pretty intimidating force these days.

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Barack Obama and Derek Jeter really seemed to enjoy their round of golf together

Michael Jordan recently said President Barack Obama wouldn't be in his dream golf foursome. Another one of sport's biggest names, though, really seemed to enjoy his time on the course with the most powerful man in the world.

The First Golfer: Photos of President Obama playing golf

On Saturday, Derek Jeter, fresh off wrapping up a 20-year legendary career as a New York Yankee, teed it up with Obama at Las Vegas' exclusive Shadow Creek Golf Course. The two -- along with Democratic Party donor Stephen Cloobeck and Las Vegas Sun newspaper owner Brian Greenspun -- reportedly played in about five hours.

Jordan, who called Obama a "hack" golfer had been worried about pace of play with the President. But despite the lengthy round, Jeter and Obama played an additional nine holes. We wonder if Jeter was using the clubs he received from the Houston Astros as one of his many retirement gifts:


Last year, Obama played with Tiger Woods. In Jeter, who Golf Digest last listed as a 30-handicap (although that number should get better quicker now that he's done with baseball), the 18-ish handicapper Obama seems to have found a more competitive celebrity match.

Hmm. Tiger. Jeter. Obama. There's still room for a fourth, Michael. . .

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5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. Woods v. Jenkins: By now you've heard all about the article Tiger Woods wrote for Derek Jeter's website, The Players Tribune, in which he voices his complaint about Dan Jenkins' satirical Q&A in the December issue of Golf Digest. But the whole situation leaves us with a much more pressing question than who was right or wrong. We wonder which one of Jeter's senior editors -- Russell Wilson, Blake Griffin or Danica Patrick -- had to post Tiger's story?

Related: Tiger Woods' long list of enemies

2. Buffalo: SEVEN feet of snow? In TWO days? In NOVEMBER? We feel for . . . Buffaloans? Buffalites? (*checks Google*) Buffalonians. Seriously, this is awful as Buffalo is on pace to match its annual snowfall (93.6 inches) by the end of the week. Wherever else you live that's being affected by this brutal cold front, just remember, it could be worse.

3. Giancarlo Stanton: Two weeks ago, the Miami Marlins slugger turned 25. This week, he signed a 13-year contract for $325 MILLION. In case you've never seen Stanton destroy a baseball, watch this:

The contract is heavily backloaded to allow the team to sign other players and Stanton has an opt-out clause after the sixth year if he's not happy with the team at that point. But that would mean Stanton walking away from the final seven years and $218 MILLION. Yeah, that's not happening.

4. Oakland Raiders: So this happened near the end of Oakland's upset win over Kansas City. Here's the funniest take (via @Hokey_Wartooth on Twitter) on the couple bozos celebrating a Raiders sack instead of getting back on defense, playing off that recent Geico commercial with Ickey Woods:


Thank goodness for ex-Giant and two-time Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck (miss you on the Giants, Justin!) alertly calling a timeout before the Chiefs had a free play with an 11-to-9 player advantage. Then again, what should we expect from a team that had lost 16 straight games?

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

5. Sexiest man alive: Chris Hemsworth? Really? The actor was chosen by People Magazine, which apparently forgot that Matthew McConaughey is still alive. Here is Hemsworth, who looks like a slightly manlier version of James Van Der Beek:


Sorry, don't see it. And here's Hemsworth with his actress/model wife, Elsa Pataky.


OK, so he must have something going for him.

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Ginni Rometty once shot 144. Here's why that's awesome

Ginni Rometty has worked for IBM for more than 30 years and became its first female CEO in January 2012. She serves on the Council of Foreign Relations, and Forbes lists her as the 10th most powerful woman in the world. It's fair to say when Augusta National invited Rometty to be its third female member, it was for reasons other than her golf game -- especially if you took a closer look at her handicap card.

Yet in a strange way, Rometty's 35.4 index reflects favorably on her as well. 


Take a look at the card for a second. It's really quite remarkable. Of Rometty's 20 most recent scores listed between July 2012 and July 2013, her best in that period is 105 at one of her home courses (since it was in March, we're going to assume it was her Florida course, Shadow Wood Country Club in Bonita Springs). There is only one other score lower than 110. 

And remember, those are her good scores. There are eight scores higher than 120. There are four scores higher than 130, including a whopper -- a 144 in December 2012.

It's worth noting that Rometty's 144 came four months after Augusta National announced it had invited Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice as members. Maybe Rometty was still disappointed she hadn't been included in that inaugural class. Maybe she was preoccupied with the coming holidays. 

Either way, it's easy to guffaw at Rometty's hacker existence. Already there's been plenty of snarky comments flying in the "I'm glad I don't have to play with her" vain, which is at least honest. To shoot 144 means you averaged a snowman on every hole (equitable stroke control says players with handicaps higher than 30 can take up to a 9 on every hole). That's a lot of strokes -- and a lot of times you might be tempted to yell, "JUST PICK UP ALREADY!"

And yet the other side to consider is that a 144 posted by the 10th most powerful in the world is an astonishing display of humility. No, you might not have enjoyed playing with Rometty that day. But imagine how she felt -- first in playing that poorly, then tallying up the score and entering it into GHIN for the whole world to see.

By then Rometty had been CEO at IBM for close to a year, where thousands of employees in more than 170 countries call her boss. Truth is you don't reach such stature without developing a healthy-sized ego. It would be very easy for her to gloss over her golf course struggles, as countless public figures with vanity handicaps have done before her.

Rometty decided otherwise, showcasing a scoring history that would make Charles Barkley wince. She probably isn't proud of the score. But she should be applauded for her willingness to post it.

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