January 21, 2015

[Ed. note: the rumors have been floating around for weeks. No, not that Tiger Woods has decided to return to play the Waste Management Open here in Phoenix after a thirteen-year absence – that’s big enough news in and of itself. But that The Great White Shank has decided to terminate his decade-long association with the Superstition Springs Golf Club and its practice facilities and transfer his base of operation to Papago Golf Course in Phoenix. The press release follows:]

There’s a saying from The Bhagavad Gita: “It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

After much consultation with my team and advisors I have chosen to end my relationship with Superstition Springs Golf Club in Mesa, and will be moving my formal base of operations to Papago Golf Course in Phoenix effective immediately.

This is no reflection on the people or the facilities at Superstition Springs. Over the past decade I have come to know every inch of its driving range, chipping area, and putting green. I have met some very nice people there and have grown particularly fond of that hitting space on the far left side (adjacent to Alex Black‘s reserved practice area) with the moguls to the left and the 100-yard marker (which has never spent a day 100 yards out) smack-dab in the middle of my own little fairway. I will remember fondly the shady area on the west side of the practice green – especially on those blazing hot days of June and July when I’m doing my final Goodboys prep. The putting green was always a good challenge. And the course itself? Well, let me just say I won’t miss the fourteenth and seventeenth holes with all that water; only once in all the times I’ve played there have I ever been able to bogey either of them.

So why am I changing locations? Papago’s slogan is “We Love Beginners”, and after so many years of learning and playing golf (not to mention having five Goodboys Invitational championships under my belt) I feel like a beginner learning the swing and the game all over again. While only ten minutes from the airport, Papago’s location is such that I always feel like I’m being whisked away from the world as soon as I turn down that winding desert road that leads into it. Papago is also humble: there’s no clubhouse and function room setting here – just a pre-fab building with a tiny pro shop and small snack bar – and the staff is always friendly and accommodating. In short, it’s no frills, just the way I like it as I embark on this new phase of my golf experience.

I retain my commitments to the clubs (Callaway RAZR X) and balls (Wilson Orange 50 Compression Elite) I play. (While I appreciate the white “Shankapotumus” logo balls given me by last year’s EXEC-COMM as a token of appreciation, I just don’t see myself playing white balls anytime soon.)

A final word concerning my swing coach, Alex Black. At this time there is no plan to change swing coaches. I know where Alex is and how to reach him in times of need. He has helped me out greatly over the past couple of years, and only now as I am reconstructing my swing from the ground up am I able to understand some of the suggestions he has made during our time together. I wish him all the best in his association with Superstition Springs.

Now it’s time for me to get back to work. There are balls to hit.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:07 | Comments Off on A Fresh Start
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