By Lang Whitaker
April 11, 2005

After successfully avoiding a terrifying urge to see Fever Pitch, I settled in to watch Tiger at the Masters (in HD!) while multi-tasking by simultaneously playing my 2009 Braves season on MVP Baseball's incredible Owner Mode. (Fever Pitch is my favorite sports book of all time, and I'm morbidly curious to see how they've screwed it up. If you haven't read the book, by the way, run out and buy it right now.)

Anyway, I'm still laughing about Tiger and his caddy's awkward double-high five after Tiger holed out that chip on the 16th. Didn't Tiger go to Stanford? Let's organize a sit-down between Tiger and Dusty Baker. How can someone be so unbelievable at golf and so terrible at the high five?

I've been thinking about golf a lot the last two weeks, ever since I wrote about my problems cracking the century mark. I asked for help, and you all inundated me with tips.

While most tips were practical, a few were about lifestyle choices. Reader JK in Port Saint Lucie, Fla., wrote, "I improved my game dramatically by not drinking until the fifth hole. I used to start drinking on the first hole and by the turn, I would be buzzin' pretty good. I have since started drinking on the fourth or fifth hole which helps me not fall apart towards the end. If you don't drink when you golf, that could be your problem as well."

Stephen in Santa Monica, Calif., added, "I did break 100 once (and only once in three years) -- in fact I scored 93. I was running on two hours of sleep and was so hung over, all I wanted to do was step up, hit the ball, get back in the cart, take a swig of water, close my eyes and wait to die. I don't know if it is a sustainable strategy, but at least it might get you a hall pass from your wife for a night of boozing with your buddies."


Several people suggested I put away the driver and the 4-iron and rely more on the shorter woods and irons in order to gain control. The thing is, those probably are the two best clubs in my bag. I hit those two well, with more control than any other long clubs I own. (In fact, I've never used my 3-iron because I like the four so much.)

Kevin Krawczyk suggested I imagine the green covered in water. John Barrett wanted me to focus on a single dimple behind the ball. Mark Mills instructed me to "watch women's golf; those chicks aren't strong, but they hit the ball great because they are fundamentally sound." My old basketball coach Terry Massar wrote in and told me to "grip it and rip it." Mike Legg urged me to think "it's in" before each putt. Many people told me to buy a lob wedge. Just as many told me not to. Andrew Dolan gave me a mantra: "Slow down and keep your head down."

The most common suggestion was that I take a lesson from a pro. I don't have a problem with taking a lesson, except that I just don't have the time right now. I barely can fit a round of golf into my schedule, much less a lesson. Also -- and I know this is probably very ignorant of me, but still -- I'd kind of like to break 100 on my own. Perhaps I never will, but for now I'm committed to doing this uneducated.

That said, most readers understood that my problems all seem to come close to the green. I accidentally deleted the one e-mail that resonated with me, which suggested I imagine a 3-foot ring around the hole, and instead of aiming for the cup, aim for that ring. This is something I can do; the one simple idea that I believe will shave strokes from my century.

I'll get out on the course soon and report back. Until then, I'm trying to figure out how to get one of those putting greens on the roof of my apartment building. As Borat would say, "High five!" Right, Tiger?

I was sitting at my desk at 6 p.m. on Friday when my assistant, Sam, came walking over and caught me playing this.

"It's, uh, research," I said. So I guess I have to link to it, now. Pretty fun, either way.

Google introduced its new map service this week, and it's a stunner. You can search for places using the address box, but it more fun to click, scroll and zoom in using the bar on the left of the map. When you get close enough to whatever you're looking for, click on the "satellite" link on the top right and prepare to have your mind blown.

I suppose we should be a bit worried that such technology exists that we can now see pretty much any location in the United States. But if you're a sports fan, it's pretty cool to check out Augusta National, Yankee Stadium and all the movable-roof stadiums to see whether or not the tops were open or closed when they were taking pictures. It took me 10 minutes to scroll around San Francisco and find SBC/Should-Be-Mays Park, but once you find it, it's well worth the effort. Still can't find Area 51, though.

If you're a Falcons fan, make sure you pick up your Ron Mexico jersey before next season starts. If that's not in the playbook, it should be.

Do they accept write-in votes? I'm all about this guy getting elected. Hopefully he'll name Scorecard Daily an official "plank" in his platform. I also love the way he's totally into character -- check his quotes in the story.

Avast, mateys.

Lang Whitaker is the online editor at SLAM magazine and writes daily at

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