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Clubs Are Low Tech, High Value

October 09, 2003|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

For anyone who thinks St. Andrews is an old club, check out the really old golf clubs on display in Beverly Hills.

One of the three oldest irons known to exist, from the 1600s.

The oldest known club to use metal in a shaft, from the 1880s.

The first metal wood produced for sale, from the 1890s.

One of the four oldest known clubs made by the first recorded club maker in North America, from the mid-1880s.

In conjunction with Jeff Ellis' coffee table book, "The Golf Club," the Antique Golf Exhibition has what may be the most valuable collection of the oldest golf clubs ever assembled.

Ellis says there are only four fundamental items needed for golf -- a course, a player, a ball and a club.

"Most of the old courses are gone, and those that remain are quite different," Ellis said. "The old golfers have tee times on the other side, only the balls and the clubs remain for our first-hand examination."

Oddball clubs are also in the display at 184 North Canon Drive, clubs such as the stymie, fork shaft, spring face, backspin, cylinder, roller and anti-shank. The free exhibit runs until Nov. 15.


News item: Hale Irwin, who is playing this week at the Turtle Bay Championship on Oahu, has won it three times in a row and four times in all.

Reaction: He should play in Hawaii more often.


Before he won the American Express Championship, Tiger Woods had made four putts of 25 feet or more all year. He made three last week. Even more substantial is the three-year deal Woods signed last week with the consulting firm Accenture. His estimated take: $8 million a year.

According to Accenture's announcement, here's what the company has planned for Woods: "The majority of the advertisements position Woods in situations during golf matches that demand optimum performance in competitive environments with a focus on winning."

That's good, unlike the situations during golf matches where Woods is just slacking off.

Also, Woods is the first player in PGA Tour history to win at least five tournaments in five consecutive years. He has topped $6 million in prize money for the third consecutive year.


More Tiger: His victory was his 39th, tying him with Gene Sarazen and Tom Watson, who, like Woods, attended Stanford.

Said Woods: "I guess I'm tied for lead Cardinal."

Woods used a new prototype driver from Nike called the Ignite and averaged 312.8 yards off the tee. He was averaging 299.3 in 15 tournaments before the American Express Championship and now Woods is at 300.2 yards, which ranks 11th.


It's an important day for Annika Sorenstam, who already has had more than her share this year. Not only does she turn 33, she also officially meets the final requirements for the LPGA Hall of Fame -- her 15th event this year to complete her 10th season on tour.

Sorenstam, who has won 47 times -- five this year, two of them majors -- will be honored at a small ceremony on the 18th green today after she completes her first round of the Samsung World Championship at the Woodlands, near Houston. She will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and the LPGA Hall of Fame in a ceremony Oct. 20 at St. Augustine, Fla.

"I have come to a point in my career where I do feel kind of satisfied with what I have done," Sorenstam said. "A few more majors, and then I will be full. I will be very complete and happy."


News item: Delta, the official airline of the PGA Tour, installs its first practice putting green at an airport.

Reaction: Wait until they install the first driving range.


In case you've been puzzled by the silence from Martha Burk and wondering what the National Council of Women's Organizations has been up to, wait no longer. Last week, she called for John S. Reed, the interim chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange, to resign his membership at Augusta National Golf Club.


James Caan, Billy Crystal, Chris O'Donnell, Joe Pesci, Pete Sampras and Sylvester Stallone are among the celebrities expected to play in the fifth Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation tournament Oct. 20 at Riviera Country Club. Details: (323) 938-7529.... The 16th Five Acres Invitational tournament will be held Monday at San Gabriel Country Club. The event benefits the foster family services of the Altadena therapeutic treatment center for abused, neglected and at-risk children. Details: (626) 844-1430.... The Centinela Hospital Medical Center presents the Clippers Foundation charity tournament Nov. 3 at Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda. The event benefits the Centinela Hospital Medical Center and the Clippers Foundation, which aids children's charities. Details: (213) 742-7514.

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