PRESS PASS
Sean O’Hair 
 
It’s your chance to trash-talk Sean O’Hair
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
By Joe Logan

If you’ve got serious game and you don’t mind putting your money where your mouth is, have I got a golf partner for you: Sean O’Hair.

 

When O’Hair recently sat down with local golf writers, his only two complaints about living in the Philadelphia area are the harsh winters and the lack of peers to practice with and play against.

 

"They need something for better players here," said O’Hair, from Chadds Ford, who is entering his 10th year on the PGA Tour.

 

Even as a kid in Texas and Florida, O’Hair says he never liked spending all day on the range.   He liked to play.   He believes that is how you keep your game sharp and get better.  Looking back, O’Hair believes that one of the best things his estranged dad ever did for him was to drop him off at the golf course every day and let him fend for himself.

 

"It taught you how to compete, it taught you have to be social, it taught you how to be a man," said O’Hair.   "I look around here and it’s tough to get that money game going."

 

It’s hardly a secret around the PGA Tour that some of the fiercest golfing isn’t during the official tournaments; it’s in high-stakes matches during practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday.  Same thing happens during off weeks, when PGA Tour pros are at home in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and California.

 

It’s hardly a new idea.  As O’Hair pointed out, "Those guys like Snead and Hagen, they didn’t beat balls.  They went out and played for money.  No one does it any more."

 

If you’re a gambler but you’ve got no game, don’t bother applying.  O’Hair really wants your competition, not your money.  He’s got plenty of money.  "I don’t want to play with some chop that’s 20-over," he said.  "I’m sorry, I just don’t.  I don’t feel like looking for golf balls all day."

 

Truth is, O’Hair concedes that he probably has nobody to blame but himself.  Because he didn’t grow up here, he is not particularly plugged into the local amateur or club pro scene.   Plus, he’s got a wife and four kids under the age of 10.

 

My guess is, when word gets out that O’Hair is looking for a game(s), he might be surprised how many amateurs and club pros are willing to throw down, if only to meet him and test themselves against a PGA Tour pro.

 

I asked O’Hair why he doesn’t call Brian Quinn, the golf coach at Temple, about working out with the Owls on occasion.  Temple players have won the last three Philadelphia Opens.

 

"I guess I could," said O’Hair.  "Maybe I just haven’t made the effort.  I played with that one kid from Temple.  He’s really good.  He hits it a feakin’ mile, and he is cocky.  That’s who I want to be around.  I would love to call up a college team and say, "Let’s go play.’"


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My favorite round of 2014 and other odds & ends
Friday, October 24, 2014
By Joe Logan

As the sun begins to slowly set on the 2014 golf season, a few odds and ends come to mind:

 

--- Once or twice a year, I’ll get a call from an old friend I grew up with in a small town in North Carolina.  He’s quite successful and he’s an out-of-town member of Merion.  He brings up friends or business associates for a weekend of golf at Merion, and he’ll occasionally invite me to fill out their foursome. 

 

My friend was up a week or so ago, and I got one of those calls.  We played Merion on beautiful fall Sunday morning.  If golf gets any better, you couldn’t prove it by me.

 

The day left me with a few lasting impressions:

 

(1) Merion truly deserves all the accolades and U.S. Opens.  It is a special place in American golf.  No matter how many times I play it, I find something else to appreciate.

 

(2)  Your good friends in life are your good friends for life.  Alex and I have known each other since before kindergarten and we’ve never lost touch.  We’ve played golf together since we were about 9, and I swear his swing hasn’t changed a bit.  I’m convinced that your golf swing is as personal as your fingerprint.  How these Tour pros remake their swings every year or so is beyond me.

 

(3) Life is precious.  Alex updated me on another of our boyhood friends who is battling cancer.  It didn’t sound encouraging.  This is one of the most vigorous guys I have ever known.  You never know when your time is coming, so don’t waste a day.

 

--- My goal for the season was to get my handicap back down to the high single digits.  I would have settled for 9.9 USGA Index.  It didn’t quite happen.  I’m ending the season with an 11.4 Index.

 

For somebody who was once as low as a 3, that’s discouraging.  But on the other hand, at my worst, when I had bum hips, then newly-replaced hips, I was a 15 Index.  So I’m fighting my way back to self-respectability. 

 

Actually, my swing feels better than it has in years.  I’m getting stronger and I no longer worry on every swing that one or both of my titanium hips will pop out and I’ll crash to the ground in agony.

 

--- Two of my good golf buddies are sort of sideways with each other now.  I don’t know how long it is going to last, but I hope they are back to normal soon.   It’s weird and uncomfortable.

 

--- I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the PGA Tour’s wraparound season.  Yesterday, I tried watching the first round of The McGladrey Classic in Sea Island, Ga.  After about five minutes, I was so bored I was starting to tidy up around my house.  Golf should be winding down this time of year, not winding up.

 

---  About this time last year, I wrote a blog post about my favorite round of the year:  It was at the Militia Hill Course at Philadelphia Cricket, where I was a guest of my daughter’s boyfriend, Quinn.   Rounding out the foursome was Quinn’s dad, Mike, and my son Travis, who had just returned from a year in Kuwait with the Pennsylvania National Guard.

 

This year, for my favorite round, I’ve got to go with the same course and the same folks, minus Travis, who was out of town that weekend.  The reason?  After we’d hit our tee shots on the 18th, Quinn came over to me sitting in the cart, next to his dad, and said, "I’m planning to ask Kelly to marry me and I’d like to have your blessing."

 

Now, is that a fine and proper young gentleman or what?  I was honored and thrilled, and I know Mike was proud of his son.

 

It’s hard to top that for best round of the year.

 


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Oh, no, I’m becoming One Club Guy
Monday, September 22, 2014
By Joe Logan

When I was in high school, I played most of my golf with my buddies.  Our families all belonged to a little small-town country club down South and we were, for better or worse, the golf team.

 

But some days, I (or we) would get paired on the first tee with an older gentleman who was gray-haired and must’ve been retired because he seemed to play golf every day.  Nice man.  I don’t remember much about him, except that he was what I have come to think of as a "One Club Guy." 

Oh, he had a driver, or something that more or less qualified as his driving club.  Driver clubheads were much smaller back then, and his was small even by the standards of those days.  It was permission, like drivers used to be, and it was all scuffed and scratched from years of use.

 

One Club Guy also had an ancient-looking putter that he probably inherited from his Dad, or maybe bought at K-Mart 30 years earlier.  And he had some kind of rusted-out lofted club, like a 9-iron/PW, that he used around the greens and whenever he was in the bunker.

 

But by far, One Club Guy hit most of his shots with One Club, this kind of clumsy-headed mid-iron-looking thing that served the purpose of about nine clubs, from his 3-wood down through his 8-iron.  I suppose it was sort of forerunner of today’s hybrids.  At the time, I’d never seen anything like it, and I have no idea where he got it.

 

One Club Guy would hit his driver off the tee (unless he was playing it safe with the One Club), then he would proceed to bunt that One Club thingy up the fairway until he got to the green.   He could only advance the ball 75-100 yards at a time, and he wasn’t very good anyway, so you can imagine how many times he might whack that One Club on a par 5.  Over the course of a typical round, he must’ve hit that club 40 times or more.

 

What has me a little concerned is that I might be gradually becoming One Club Guy. 

 

I’m not quite there yet.  I still carry 60-, 56- and 50-degree wedges, and I still hit my PW thru 6-irons, and I’ll pull the 3-wood once or twice a round.  But I’ve got this 22-degree TaylorMade hybrid that I hit, I don’t know, 15 times a round.

 

I’ll often hit it twice on a par 5, I hit it on all long par 3s and, increasingly, I hit it on any shot from about 160 yards through 205 yards.  If I’m playing to an uphill green, I’ll even hit it from 150 yards.  I haven’t carried a 3-iron in years, I pulled the 4-iron out of my bag around three years ago and I’m not sure why I still lug around my 5-iron.  I’m even hitting my 6-iron and 7-iron less than ever.  Why should I hit them when my trusty One Club hybrid will do the trick?

 

There are bigger things in life to worry about, and I do – when I’m not obsessing about my slow, worsening slide into One Club Guydom. 

 

I worry about what kind of world we’re leaving our kids.  I worry about the clown car of yahoos that Congress has become.  I fret over the world of crap going on in the Middle East, and it has gotten so I watch less and less pro football because I get queasy at the sight of another player lying motionless on the field after getting blindsided to the head.  There is all kinds of stuff to keep me up at night.

 

When you put it that kind of perspective, I suppose, the prospect of getting paired on the first tee with some kid who thinks of me as his One Club Guy is not so bad.   Still, I’m not happy about it.


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NCW[9/22/2014 7:42:30 PM]
Your new nickname shall be "Uno"

Bobby Rydell and Don Cannon 
R.I.P. Don Cannon, radio legend, golfer
Friday, August 22, 2014
By Joe Logan

There can’t be any fan of Philadelphia radio who won’t be saddened to learn of the death this morning of WIBG-AM and WOGL-FM legend Don Cannon at the age of 74.  For a time, Cannon also hosted "Inside Golf" on Comcast SportsNet.  He will be missed.

 

I got to know Cannon more than 25 years ago, when I covered the local radio scene for the Philadelphia Inquirer, before I ever wrote a word about golf.  What I remember most is that Don Cannon enjoyed life about as much as anybody I’d ever met.

 

Off the radio, Cannon was an avid and pretty good golfer.  We must have played a dozen rounds together over the years.  Once, I was his "guest" in the weekend Member-Guest tournament at his club, Cedarbrook CC.  We didn’t win anything but we laughed a lot.  As much time as Cannon spent on the golf course at Cedarbrook, he probably spent more time in the card room, just off the locker room.

 

In 2000, I played a round with Cannon and his best buddy, Bobby Rydell, the teen heartthrob, for a story for the Inquirer’s Sunday golf page. 

 

Here’s a passage from that story about Cannon’s game:

 

Cannon is a different story. He's got game. His legs weren't much to look at in those shorts, but his swing was. It's fluid, natural and athletic, the swing of a man who has aged well and has entirely too much leisure time on his hands. Cannon maintains a 13 handicap at Cedarbrook, but it has been lower - single-digit lower - and he still pulls off the occasional shot that is beyond the grasp of a 13-handicapper.

Cannon's problem, in as much as a man as happy with his life as Cannon is can have a problem, is that into each round he sprinkles a few chunks, tops, chilly-dips, foozles and flame-outs, which cost him big-time.

That recent day at Blue Bell, for example, Cannon opened with birdie-par-birdie-bogey, before stone-cold topping one into a festering pit of nastiness at the fifth, setting the stage for a dreaded double-bogey.

"Man, I had it for the few first holes," Cannon moaned in frustration.

Rydell, good friend and sage counsel that he is, looked at Cannon with pity. "Remember," he said, "you never own it, you only rent it."

Cannon nodded at the grim reality and drove on.

Cannon actually comes with a certain golf pedigree. When he was growing up in Yonkers, N.Y., when dinosaurs still roamed the planet, he caddied at Elmwood Country Club. But he had actually started playing the game in third grade with a couple of neighborhood buddies, Wes and Jon Voight, who were pretty serious about the game because their father was a club pro. Jon Voight, you may know, would later have some success as an actor.

 

 

Here’s WOGL-FM tribute to Cannon.

 

Here’s Cannon’s cameo appearance in the original "Rocky" film.

 

Here’s the official obituary:

 

 

Don Cannon The legendary voice of Philadelphia Morning Radio passed away Friday morning August 22, 2014 after a brief and sudden illness. He was 74.

 

Don Cannon’s voice was a top rated morning radio fixture in Philadelphia spanning five decades starting in 1969 with WIBG (WIBBAGE) through his retirement in 2004 from WOGL 98.1. "Cannon in The Morning" entertained millions of people each day for thirty five years as the handsome and entertaining radio star on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, and WSNI and Oldies 98.1 WOGL. Don also spent time on the management side of the industry as Program Director of WSNI and WPGR. From 1990 until his retirement in 2004 WOGL FM 98.1 was home to the legendary "Cannon in the Morning"

 

Cannon, born Dominic Canzano is considered by many as one of the main originators of conversational, irreverent humor based personality morning radio that opened the way for future talent like Howard Stern. First to release top selling comedy albums based on his on-air humor and listener pranks, Cannon is a member of The Broadcast Pioneers who regard him as the "Dean of Philadelphia Morning Radio" because of the benchmarks, success and contributions he made to the community and industry.

 

Throughout his career and into his retirement, Don worked with hundreds of charities, raising millions of dollars throughout the region and was awarded the March of Dimes Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

Cannon an avid golfer was also the host of "Inside Golf" on Comcast Sports Net.

 

His signature voice and style that was a morning staple for 35 years in Philadelphia and then globally online for listeners tuning into WOGL,com is also part of motion picture history. Cannon’s signature voice with a smile was part of a pivotal scene from the original "Rocky" motion picture. As Sylvester Stallone readied for his run throughout Philadelphia it was Don Cannon’s energetic voice on then WIBG that was Rocky’s soundtrack to drinking his signature raw egg drink.

 

Cannon is survived by his wife Terri and sons Chris, who continues the family dynasty in Philadelphia broadcasting as a talent and manager, Russell in Las Vegas, grand children, family and millions fans who will never forget their moments connecting with the legendary Don Cannon.

 

A service for family, friends colleagues and the public is schedule for Sunday Levin Funeral Home 4737 Street Rd, Feasterville-Trevose, PA 19053.

 

 


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Professor Joe Bausch 
30 new courses, 13 updates to Bausch Collection
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
By Joe Logan

We’re coming down the home stretch of another summer and Joe Bausch, Villanova chemistry professor and curator of the unique and comprehensive array of golf course photo galleries that is the Bausch Collection, has wasted no time.

 

Since my last update on the Bausch Collection, in early May, Joe has added another 30 new course galleries, plus revisited and updated another 13.  The total number of course galleries has grown to 223.

 

What can I say, the man is a machine?

 

Here is a list of the new galleries Joe has added to the Bausch Collection:

 

1.  The Ridge at Back Brook

2.  Moselem Springs

3.  Brookside

4.  Allentown Municipal

5.  Chisel Creek

6.  Mahoning Valley

7.  Abington

8.  Hideaway Hills

9.  Lakewood

10.  Llanerch

11.  Flourtown

12.  Penn Oaks

13.  Fairways

14.  Essex County CC

15.  Mays Landing

16.  Sunnybrook

17.  Arrowhead

18.  Somerset Hills

19.  Trump Bedminster Old

20.  Upper Montclair

21.  Quartette Club

22.  Oxford Valley

23.  Lancaster Host

24.  Green Hills

25.  Limekiln

26.  Twin Woods

27.  Doylestown

28.  Tumblebrook

29.  Beechtree (shot probably 4 years ago)

30.  Freeway

 

(Beechtree, as you may know, closed a year or so ago, but it was a Tom Doak design that Joe really liked and thought should be memorialized in the Bausch Collection.)

 

Here are the courses that Joe revisited and updated:

 

1.  Seaview -- Bay

2.  Berkleigh

3.  Glen Mills

4.  Hershey West

5.  Country Club of York

6.  Edgmont

7.  Trump Bedminster New

8.  Lancaster

9.  Philadelphia Cricket Club:  Wissahickon

10.  Radnor Valley

11.  Tavistock

12.  White Manor

13.  Plymouth

 

If you have never watched the video of Joe shooting a course, it’s worth a few minutes of your time.

 


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The autumn of Tiger Woods
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
By Joe Logan

The New York Times has a nice story today on the evolution of Rory McIlroy, as the young winner of the British Open seeks to charm a new generation of golf fans.

 

In it, Times golf writer Karen Crouse mentions that McIlroy’s ascension comes just as we find ourselves in the "autumn of Tiger Woods."

 

The autumn of Tiger Woods.   I love that.  It so perfectly describes the slow career fade-out that Tiger seems too helpless to stop or even slow.  But with every major, every tournament, we are faced with more evidence – doses of reality -- that Tiger’s run of domination is over, that he will never come close to recapturing what he once had.

 

Remember those days when it was a foregone conclusion that he would top Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors?   Heck, who didn’t think Tiger would ultimately win 25?

 

Now, we are left to wonder how long he will play.  We he retire at 40?  He always said he would hang it up when he could no longer win.  These days, does he still have the inspiration and desire?

 

It’s not time yet to think of Tiger’s career in the past tense, but it’s not too early to begin to ponder the great sports question:

 

Who was the greatest golfer of all-time?  Jack, with his 18 majors, longevity and a Masters title at 46?  Or Tiger, who shot across the sky like a meteor, a mesmerizing figure who dominated golf for a decade like even Jack never could?

 

 


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Your chance to see Applebrook GC and Bidermann GC
Monday, July 21, 2014
By Joe Logan

Every September, Pine Valley, the most exclusive club in Philadelphia – maybe in the country – opens it doors to the general public for one day.  It’s called the Crump Cup, named for the club’s founder.

 

Consider this a heads-up that non-members can get an up-close look at two more very good, very private clubs in the area in the coming days.  If you can make it to either one, or both, you’ll thank yourself.

 

On Wednesday Applebrook GC in Malvern, a 2001 Gil Hanse design, will host the Philadelphia Open, the most prestigious event on the annual calendar of the Golf Association of Philadelphia.  Applebrook isn’t long  by modern standards, 6,815 yards from the back tees, but it is choice real estate and, dare I say, one of the finest modern courses in the area, rich in subtleties and nuances.

 

It was also designed to be a walking-only course, which will become evident when you realize that several of the tees are only steps away from the last green, much like the first green and second tee at the Old Course in St. Andrews.

 

Then, next Monday, July 28, Bidermann GC in Wilmington, which I have dubbed the "Most Exclusive Course You Never Heard Of," will host a qualifier for the U.S. Mid-Am.   Again, we’re talking about a very place, which began life as a private course on a DuPont estate. 

 

GAP magazine story on Bidermann.

 

 


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