In 2003, two women golfers played in PGA Tour events. Annika Sorenstam played in the Colonial while Suzy Whaley teed it up with the men at the Greater Hartford Open. Michelle Wie played in her first PGA tournament, the Sony Open in Hawaii, in 2004. A few golfers, most notably Vijay Singh and Greg Norman, said that women shouldn't play in PGA events, just as men shouldn't participate in LPGA tournaments. But many others found reasons to applaud the women's attempts to compete on the men's tour.
While there are many ways to putt a golf ball, the two most conventional methods are the straight approach and the arc stroke, according to PGA instructor Jeff Ritter. Both swings accomplish exactly what their names suggest. Golfers using a straight stroke take the club head directly back, then swing forward; the club head remains along the target line from start to finish. Players employing the arc approach move their putters in a gentle curve, reminiscent of a normal golf swing in which a wood or iron moves inside the target line on the backswing, squares up at impact, then pulls back inside the line during the follow-through, says instructor Jon Paschetto.
Golf tournaments often provide good opportunities for sponsors eager to put their names in front of an audience whose members tend to earn above-average income. Local companies may generate goodwill by sponsoring a charitable event, while major corporations can gain television exposure via sponsorship of a professional tournament. Whatever their budgets, businesses can gain attention at large and small golf tournaments in numerous ways.
The exposure PGA Tour golfers receive on television makes them very attractive to businesses eager to have their names seen by golf fans from coast to coast. While golfers haven’t become walking billboards the way many race drivers have, it’s a very rare tour player who doesn’t at least wear a sponsor’s name on his hat.
An avid golfer, rock and roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper is a regular on the pro-am circuit and holds an annual charitable golf tournament in Arizona that attracts numerous celebrities each year. While Cooper is not big on discussing politics -- although he has let slip a few conservative opinions -- he has shared the golf course with several notable politicians.