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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Life's Little Moments and A Monster of a Course...

After a successful week at the PGA Championship, I postponed my trip to Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Wyndham Championship for a couple of days.  Thanks to my job and the travel demands it requires, I miss most of the “little moments” that take place in my children’s lives.  Whether it’s their first steps, first words or the trips to the ball field or dance studio…I have and will continue to miss almost everything.  I know, I know…I play a game for a living and I will be the first to admit that I am very blessed and fortunate when it comes to my career.  However, no success or achievement will ever replace those “moments” that I have lost along the way.  It makes me sad to look back over the last five years and think about how much the road has taken from me.  With that being said, there was no way I was going to miss another “first”…especially when my last tournament was only a few hours away.  I left Kiawah Island immediately following my round on Sunday and drove home to see my little shadow, Jake, begin his journey into Kindergarten bright and early Monday morning.  He begged me during the week of the PGA Championship to “please come home so you can take me to my first day of school.”  Without even blinking, I assured him that I would be there.  I played chauffer to and from school on Monday and then Tuesday morning before I headed north to Greensboro.  I cannot tell you how excited he was to have his Daddy (and Momma and Libby) alongside him as he walked through the halls and into his classroom.  I will always remember his face, his excitement and his thankfulness that I was there.  And to me…that’s better than any amount of success I will ever achieve on the golf course.

The 2012 Wyndham Championship was in some way, more of an experiment than a tournament.  After putting a new putter in place on the Sunday of a Major (crazy!), I kept it in the bag to see what it could do for an entire week.  The unexpected change at the PGA Championship was the first new look in almost two years!  I decided to switch the normal size Winn grip on my TaylorMade Spider putter for a bigger/fatter one (Super Stroke), which I truly believe gave me better feel on the greens.  I didn’t have a 3-putt during the entire week and I definitely made more putts beyond 10 feet than I had with my old putter.  In terms of statistics, I finished the week near the top in the two most important Putting Stats complied by the PGA Tour (6th in Putts per Green in Regulation and 13th in Strokes Gained).  In my opinion, the experiment was a success and I am looking forward to what it can do in the coming weeks.

I left Greensboro after another made cut and headed north to begin the most important stretch of the PGA Tour season…the FedEx Cup Playoffs.  New York City is the site of this week’s tournament (The Barclays) as we begin the first leg of a four-tournament elimination style format.  The infamous PUBLIC golf course, Bethpage Black, plays host for the week and from all indications…it is going to be a Monster.  In fact, when Lucas Glover won the U.S. Open here in 2009, it was regarded as one of the toughest Opens in history.  Players were unable to reach the fairways on several holes due to the extreme length.  I played the course for the first time on Tuesday and it certainly lived up to its reputation.  My swing coach, John Tillery, made the trip up from Georgia on Monday and we worked extremely hard on all areas of my game.  I feel really good heading into tomorrow’s first round and I am excited about the upcoming challenge that is Bethpage Black.  If I can drive the ball well off the tee then I WILL find myself in contention come Sunday.  Ball striking is a premium and judging from the last few days of practice…I am ready. Besides, shouldn’t I get a nod from the Golf Gods or have some sort of an advantage when the course’s name is Beth? I certainly hope so!  

This week’s question comes from James in North Carolina.  He writes:  Blake, what is the key to your success in the Majors?

Thank you James for the email and question.  I truly believe that my success in the Majors is a result of three things.  Number 1:  My Game Plan.  I have a very conservative but aggressive game plan.  The conservative approach begins at the tee with my main focus being the fairway.  My goal is to find the widest part of the fairway…regardless of what club it takes to get there.  Fairways are a premium!  For example, at this year’s U.S. Open I hit a 3wd or Hybrid off the tee on the treacherous 630 yard par 5, 16th hole just to make sure I hit the fairway.  When I am able to find the fairway, I can then play more aggressive and attack the tough pin locations.  Hacking it from the rough makes for a very, very long day!  Number 2:  My Mind Set.  Every Player knows that when they tee it up at a Major, they are in for a battle.  Birdies are hard to make while Ol Mr. Bogey is usually lurking around the corner.  You have to be prepared mentally to accept a few hiccups along the way but strong enough to bounce back from them.  As many of you know, I have a very even keel and laid back personality.  This certainly helps in my Profession when things aren’t going according to plan.  Golf can be a rollercoaster and if you let your emotions get the best of you...Good Luck!  Number 3:  My Overall Game.  I have always been a Player that has thrived on the tougher courses and setups.  I normally drive the ball well and as I mentioned earlier, fairways are a premium.  My iron play, short game, and putting are certainly respectable and I am able to contend in the Majors because these aspects of my game usually keep me away from the Big Number. 

Thankfully, this week’s tournament at Bethpage Black will play like a Major!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Lousy Shot...

With the help of Ol’ Mother Nature, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, stood its ground and provided the field in the 2012 PGA Championship an extremely difficult test.  Resting against the sandy beach and shore of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean Course used all of its resources to challenge the participants in the last Major of the year.  Other than a calm Thursday morning, the wind whipped over the landscape of Kiawah Island and played havoc with every player’s golf ball.  No one was immune and I was extremely happy to see the tough conditions. 

I arrived to Kiawah on Sunday afternoon and after waiting out a heavy rainstorm, I played and practiced till dark.  The course was in immaculate shape and it was evident from the very first hole that ball striking was going to be the key to the week.  Tight fairways, shaved areas around the greens, and deep waste bunkers awaited each and every player.  I teed off late on Thursday afternoon and the wind was blowing between 15 and 20 mph.  As I mentioned earlier, the morning wave played nearly their entire round in 0-5 mph wind and their scores reflected the mild conditions.  I hit the ball extremely well and finished the day at one under par (71)…well back of the morning wave leaders.  My putter didn’t show up once again and my two three putts in round one left me less than satisfied.  I woke up Friday morning expecting the same “mild conditions” that the other wave experienced but the trees and flags at the course indicated a very different animal.  Winds in excess of 25 mph greeted my wave of players as we made our way to the course.  My goal for the day was simple…no bogeys.  I knew this accomplishment would soar my name up the leaderboard and I set out determined to achieve my goal.  I battled the wind and tough conditions until the bitter end.  15 straight holes of bogey-free golf were more than ANY other player in the field.  An untimely 3-putt ended my streak and another bogey on the following hole derailed a really good round of golf.  The average score for Round 2 of the PGA Championship was almost 79 and believe it or not, there were MORE scores in the 90’s than the 60’s!!  My score of Even Par (72) certainly wasn’t bad and it climbed me up the leaderboard but as you can imagine, I walked away disappointed thanks again to my putter.   However, all was not lost.  I was in contention in only my 2nd Major and just a few shots back of the leader.  I have always had a knack for playing the tough golf courses well and this past week was no different.  Round 3 found me paired with former Masters Champion Trevor Immelman and in a tie for 7th place.  I hit the ball well but once again, my putter let me down.  After 10 holes, I was a disappointing 3 over par but it wasn’t because of my ball striking.   My putting was dismal and it showed in my score.   Heavy rain and lightning forced everyone off the course with instructions to return ready to play at 7:30am.  26 holes awaited me on Championship Sunday and I was determined to make up the ground I lost on Saturday.   I came out and once again, I hit the ball well but my putter let me down (didn’t I just say that!).  I missed only one green during the completion of my 3rd round but unfortunately my cold putter didn’t erase the bogeys from the previous day.  A round of 75 plummeted me to a tie for 25th place heading into the Final Round.  Extremely frustrated, I walked up to my locker and searched for answers.  Over the last five weeks I have worked tirelessly on my putting but for whatever reason, the ball has refused to go into the hole.  I reckon that my Odessey putter of nearly 2 years had officially ran out of gas!  I took a chance and grabbed the TaylorMade Spider (Prototype) putter that was built for me on Monday and headed to the putting green.  To change putters in the middle of a golf tournament is crazy but to change putters before the final round of a Major is INSANE.  I figured that since the putts obviously weren’t falling that it couldn’t get any worse.  It was worth the gamble.

The final round of the 2012 PGA Championship found me in a pairing with two Major Championship winners…Jim Furyk (winner of the U.S. Open) and Louis Oostevein (winner of the British Open).  I hit the ball well for the 4th consecutive round and THANKFULLY I made a couple of putts along the way.  It is almost embarrassing to write but after my 20 foot birdie putt fell on the 16th hole, I can honestly say that it was the FIRST PUTT that I made during the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT OVER 12 FEET!  Think about that…69 holes before I made a putt of a decent length!  I followed that birdie up with another one (a bomb!) on the long and difficult par 3, 17th hole to keep the momentum going.  A nice 5 foot par putt on the 18th hole completed my BOGEY-FREE round of 67 and vaulted me up to a tie for 7th place.

There was good news and bad news with my 2nd Major of the year.  The good news is that I hit the ball well for four days, battled hard and stood tall against the tough and windy conditions, didn’t make a bogey in the final round of a Major, and finished in tie for 7th place against a very strong field.  The bad news is that I fell ONE LOUSY SHOT short of qualifying for the 2013 MASTERS!!   Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…yes that was me throwing up!  One shot…seriously…one shot!  One putt was all it would have taken…one lousy putt and I would have qualified for MY World Series.  Oh well.  I battled hard and fell short.  I will get to Augusta when I get there.   Who knows…this week in Greensboro, North Carolina, may be MY week to win a tournament and qualify for Magnolia Lane…The Masters! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two Calls to the Bullpen and My 2nd Major...

Since my last entry, poor putting has continued to plague my golf game.  Two consecutive missed cuts ended a streak of Saturday and Sunday tee times that dated back to April!  The first mishap occurred in Mississippi at the True South Classic.  Scorching temperatures played havoc on both players and caddies…especially the ones in my wave.  After playing only a couple of holes on Thursday afternoon, thunderstorms with heavy rain and lightning forced us off the course.  32 holes were in store for me on Friday and unfortunately my caddy Barry was feeling the heat…literally!  Temperatures near 100 degrees provided little relief and after watching Barry’s health decline as the day progressed, I became very concerned.  After pleading with him for quite a while, I finally was forced to call a medic with five holes remaining.  He was shaking uncontrollably and his face was ghost white.  Bogeys and birdies were the least of my concerns and the cut line quickly became a distant thought.  The medical staff arrived immediately and began working on Barry.  I was forced to continue on to the next hole and luckily, my good friend and former UGA roommate Davis Thomason was walking outside the ropes.  I made the “call to the bullpen” for a relief Caddy and the two of us tried to make enough birdies to play the weekend.  Two birdies during the stretch just weren’t enough as I missed the cut for the first time since April (definitely not a bad run!).  However, like I said earlier, my concerns were definitely on Barry for most of the day and I finally made the decision (against his strong wishes) to shut him down.  It was a very scary situation and after completing my round, I rushed over to the medical tent to check on Barry’s condition.  He was still hooked to IVs but his complexion and overall well being looked better.  I cannot thank the medical staff enough for their thorough care…not only for Barry but also for the other 10-12 guys that “fell out” during Friday’s scorching marathon.  In times like that, Golf definitely becomes secondary.

After a disappointing week on the golf course in Mississippi, I flew to Toronto, Ontario for this year’s RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.  I sent Barry home for the week so he could get his health turned around and in shape for the rest of the year.  I went to the “bullpen” yet again but this time I brought in my swing instructor, John Tillery.  We both viewed our week together as a great opportunity to fine tune things before the FedEx Playoffs as well as a chance to lock up a spot in this year’s PGA Championship.  With the end of the season right around the corner, it is imperative that I am sharp during the Playoffs and playing my best.  I have certainly been close to some pretty special things over the past few months but for one reason or another, things haven’t quite gone my way in the end.  JT and I set out to make sure that when August arrived, that I would be pumping on all cylinders.  Hard work was once again the theme in Canada…not only at the course but also at the home we had for the week.  My good friend, Don Schroeder, lives in Burlington, Ontario, (just 20 minutes from Hamilton Golf & Country Club) and to both of JT’s and my delight, he has a Golf Simulator in his basement.  JT and I spent countless hours every evening hitting balls until we felt satisfied about my swing.  The hard work showed up from tee to green but unfortunately my putter decided to play Houdini yet again.  My second missed cut in a row lead to a short week in Toronto but in hindsight, it was probably a blessing for two reasons!  First, the early exit from Canada allowed me to go home and actually enjoy an off-week.  In fact, Saturday night was only the 7th time that I have slept in my bed since the first week in April (almost 4 months!!).  I cannot tell you how nice it was to be at home with my family.  I practiced everyday on my green behind the house and for the first time in a long, long time, I was able to tuck my kids in their bed. Secondly, by missing the cut in Toronto I didn’t hurt myself as far as my standings were concerned.  I slipped a little in the FedEx and Money List but most importantly, I still qualified FOR MY 2nd MAJOR of the year!

And that brings us to this week...the 4th and final Major of the year.  The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  In what some are predicting as the toughest PGA Championship test in years, I am excited and ready for the challenge.  This is my first PGA Championship and I will certainly use my U.S. Open experience from earlier this year to help with my preparation.  I arrived to the island on Sunday morning and stayed until dark working on my game.  Monday morning brought a similar work ethic as I was the first player to tee off at 7:15am.  My game plan is simple...fix the putting issues that has ailed me since my putter was accidentally bent five weeks ago and prepare for another U.S. Open type tournament.  The winds are expected to howl thanks in large part to the ocean that sits only a few yards away from the fairways!  The course is in immaculate shape and it should be an extremely tough test of golf.  I fully expect to play well this week and who knows…if my putter behaves, I just might find myself with a late tee time and a chance to win on Sunday.  Redemption from the U.S. Open?  We will see.

This week’s question comes from Erin in Georgia.  She writes:  Blake, Each week you are paired up with different players. How does the PGA decide who you are paired up with and when do they let you know who you are paired with?

Erin, thank you for the email and question.  Players on the PGA Tour are grouped into different categories according to their status.  There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 categories and players can move in and out of different categories depending on their play throughout the year.  For example, I am currently in category #20 (Top 125 on Prior Year’s Official Money List) and during my Rookie year on Tour I was in category #26 (2-25 Nationwide Tour Prior Year/Top 25 & Ties Qualifying Tournament).  Tournament fields begin with category #1 and move downward until their “number” and field size is met.  During the first two rounds, I am paired with members of MY category.  However, after the cut is made on Friday, I am paired with players who are next to me on the leaderboard.  So regardless of category or status, the weekend pairings are an “open market” and I play alongside members of any category.  Tuesday is the answer to the second part of your question in regards to when we receive our pairings for the 1st two rounds.  This is because the Tour waits for the Monday Qualifier to complete and by Tuesday, most players are on site and registered.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Watching the Board and Buying Shoes?...

In last week’s entry, I answered a question from one of my followers about whether or not I looked at the leaderboard during my round.  I answered with a “definitely yes” and ironically I found myself watching the board during last week’s John Deere Classic.  After shooting a disappointing round of even par 71 on Thursday, I found myself well behind the leaders and on the wrong side of the dreaded cut line.  To add to the drama, in my two previous trips to Moline, Illinois, and the John Deere Classic, I failed to make the weekend by ONE lousy shot each time.  Unfortunately, Friday’s second round was shaping up to end exactly the same way!  After overcoming continuous and constant adversity throughout the round, I found myself needing to make a birdie on my final hole to make the cut.  To make matters worse, my round was finishing on the HARDEST hole on the course…#9.  After finding the fairway from off the tee, my ball was sitting197 yards away from a difficult pin which was located on top of a  steep ridge and only three yards from the edge of the green!  I took the “all or nothing” approach as I grabbed my 7-iron from the bag.  A slight miss-hit would definitely not cover the ridge and the result would ultimately lead to a disappointing par and ANOTHER weekend off at the Deere.  I was determined to change my fate as I dug down deep and hit a high, towering 7-iron toward the pin.  My ball easily covered the ridge and rolled within 5 feet of the hole.  As I approached the green and marked my ball, Mr. Adversity showed his ugly face one more time.  Huge spike marks stood between my ball and the hole and unfortunately I had only one option…roll right over them.  Divots in the middle of the fairway, plugged bunker lies, strange and sudden shifts in wind directions, and a timely car alarm in my backswing on my 17th hole were just a few of the hurdles I faced during Friday’s round.  I smiled when I saw the spike marks and figured…WHY NOT!  The day and comeback wouldn’t be complete without one last test, right?  Well, thankfully…I passed the test.  My ball found the bottom of the cup and I earned one of the coveted weekend tee times.  Sure, I wasn’t and will never be pleased with “just making the cut” but this week was different.  I fought through the adversity and played some pretty good golf along the way.  Putts frustratingly rolled over the lip and I just couldn’t get any momentum going.  My second round score of 67 moved me inside the cut line and guaranteed me a paycheck for the week.  However, I wanted and expected more.  I played solid on the weekend with rounds of 68 – 67 but unfortunately, the putts just didn’t fall.  I finished the 2012 John Deere Classic in a tie for 25th but once again, I walked away disappointed.  A top 25 in a PGA Tour event is certainly nothing to frown about but I feel that my game is better right now than I am showing.  Good things are on the horizon and I am excited to see what lies around the corner.

Two of the highlights during the week included our Annual family adventure at the John Deere Big Dig and an evening at one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at, Duck City.  The Big Dig is located at the John Deere Test Site and for one day, the families of the PGA Tour are allowed to climb aboard heavy equipment and make a mess of the property.  Holes are dug with excavators while dozers move a ton of dirt and rocks.  The fun family atmosphere is full of games, fireworks, and smaller equipment for the kids.   We had a blast and it is certainly a mandatory event for the Adams family each year.  Duck City is located just across the river from Moline in Davenport, Iowa.  My caddy, Barry Williams, is friends with the owners and has been talking about the restaurant for months!  On Friday night, I took Beth and my two wild monkeys there for one of the best meals I have ever had.  Sea Bass, stuffed Pork Chops, and a Cajun Ribeye were brought and devoured at our table.  I highly recommend a trip to Duck City if you are ever in the area…you won’t be disappointed!

This week’s question comes from Mark in Alabama.  He writes:  Blake, what is the best tip on buying the right golf clubs and equipment?

Mark, Thank you for the email and question.  In my profession, I am very fortunate and lucky to have access to all the “latest and greatest” technology and equipment.  However, all because something is new doesn’t mean it is better!  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the following statement…”I went out and bought this new Driver and I cannot hit it any better than my old one!”  My response is always the same…”Was the Driver fit for you or did you just walk in the store and buy it?”  The answer is ALWAYS the same…”I just bought it.”  Well, there is your problem!  The MOST IMPORTANT part of buying new equipment is being FIT PROPERLY for that equipment.  I always use this analogy when I explain its importance…Would you ever walk into a shoe store and grab a random box of shoes off the shelf, pay for them, and then try them on once you got home?  NO! You have no idea if that box of shoes is a size 6, 12, or your perfect size.  Buying golf clubs is the same way. Technology has improved so much that every Golf Club Company now produces a head that is playable and very good (although, I highly recommend TaylorMade clubs!!).  However, regardless of what Club Company you choose, you MUST find the right Golf shaft for YOU!  Shafts are built for every swing speed imaginable and unless you match the two together…you are just buying a random pair of shoes! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Respectable but Definitely A Disappointment...

In only three years of existence, The Greenbrier Classic has quickly become one of the Tour’s favorite spots.  The hospitality at the Resort is second to none and the activities away from the golf course are truly special.  Concerts fill the night air while fishing, off road driving, skeet shooting and kayaking occupy the daylight hours.  There is a casino inside the infamous Greenbrier hotel, which as you can imagine, can make or break a person’s week!  Luckily for me, I walked away from the tables with a little more in my pocket than I had when I arrived. 

Beth flew up to The Greenbrier on Wednesday alongside my former UGA roommate Davis Thomason and his wife Lynn.  We had a great time during the week and the 4th of July concert of Lionel Richie and Toby Keith was definitely a highlight.  Davis would probably say that his “highlight” occurred when I introduced him to the legendary CBS announcer Jim Nantz.  The two of them spoke for a while and I can still remember the time I met Mr. Nantz three years ago.  His voice is one of the most recognizable sounds on television and it is the centerpiece for almost every high profile sporting event.  He is a walking encyclopedia and I am very fortunate to have spent a good bit of time with him over the last few years.  

Even though a tie for 17th place was certainly respectable, I definitely walked away from the hills of West Virginia a little disappointed.  I hit the ball well the entire week and after shooting a bogey free round of 64 on Saturday alongside my playing partner Vijay Singh, I entered the final round in a tie for 7th place.  However, from the very first hole on Sunday, things seemed a little out of whack.  Weird and crazy bounces are a part of the game of Golf and not only are they unpredictable…they are expected.  You will never hear me complain or whine about a bad bounce or break because I understand that the game is played with a round ball and on a surface that isn’t perfectly flat!  However, my final round at The Greenbrier was one of the strangest and most frustrating rounds of Golf that I have ever played.  Great shots some how turned into good shots and good shots unfortunately turned into mediocre shots.  Sudden switches in wind direction and strong and unexpected gusts left me scratching my head throughout the day.  As I walked off the 18th green with a disappointing round of 70 I couldn’t help but wonder “what if.”  I played well enough to win but once again the week belonged to someone else.  I will continue to work hard because I know that MY time is coming…and it is near!

This week’s question comes from Wes in Georgia.  He writes:  Blake, Do you look at the Leaderboard during your round?

Wes, Thank you for the email and question.  I ABSOLUTELY look at the Leaderboard during my round.  As an athlete who played every sport growing up, I think it is only natural to “check the score.” Golf is very different from the other sports I used to play because I cannot directly effect how someone else plays.  Unlike those other sports, I cannot play defense on anyone and prevent them from making birdies!  The golf course is my opponent and I can only control MY golf ball.  However, I use the Leaderboard as both motivation and a guide.  It shows me to either “get on my horse” and make up ground or try and create a bigger lead.  The Leaderboard also shows me how difficult the course is playing each and every day.  The scores paint a very telling picture of course conditions, pin locations, and good Ol’ Mother Nature.  The Leaderboard is a very valuable tool and as you can see, I use it for a variety of reasons.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ol' Mother Nature and a Great Organization...

Our Nation’s Capital was my home for the week and thanks to a disgruntled visit from Ol’ Mother Nature, the AT&T National at Congressional took a pretty hard hit under the chin.  Violent lightning and winds recorded at 80 mph hit the area late Friday evening.  Hundreds of trees were uprooted, tents were sent airborne, and several grandstands were flattened.  The damage was incredible and even though tee times were pushed back several hours on Saturday, many people believed that the course would be unplayable until Sunday.  However, thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, I found myself with a tee time only 3 hours later than normal!  Incredible.  When I got to the course, trees were everywhere!  The tennis court was destroyed, fences were demolished, and several buildings and trailers had enormous trees lying on top of them.  I couldn’t believe the amount of damage that Ol’ Mother Nature had created.  In what I believe was an extremely smart move by the Tour, no spectators or volunteers were allowed on the course during Saturday’s round.  But wow…what a strange feeling that created!  Saturday of a PGA Tour event and not a soul was on site!  The grandstands (the ones that stood strong during the storm) were just sitting there…empty.  There were no cheers, no applause and no encouragement all day.  In fact, when I was fortunate enough to hole a difficult chip shot on the 11th hole, there wasn’t a sound…not even a peep from outside the ropes.  I looked at my playing partners and jokingly said, “Dang, tough crowd!”

Congressional Country Club was the host of the 2011 U.S. Open and it played extremely difficult.  I drove the ball well (#2 in Driving Accuracy for the entire field) but my irons weren’t very sharp and a balky putter led to a mediocre finish.  I made the weekend (which in my Profession is a good thing) but I didn’t play anywhere near my best.  I finished the event in a tie for 49th and lost to a man who chalked up his 74th career PGA Tour victory.  Tiger won for the third time this year and this W was pretty special for two reasons.  #1.  He won the event where he was the Host and #2. He passed Jack Nicklaus on the list for career victories (now #2 behind Sam Snead).   As I drove to West Virginia for this week’s event, one thing was disappointingly clear…I am now 74 PGA Tour wins behind Tiger!  Wow…I better get on my horse!

This week’s event, The Greenbrier Classic, will once again be special.  In what has become one of the Tour’s favorite stops, the Players and Fans are in for a treat.  Music will once again be the theme for the week as Toby Keith, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, and Bon Jovi take the stage beginning Wednesday.  I am playing tomorrow morning with my good friend, Kenny Perry and I am looking forward to our time together.  He has been a huge blessing to me during my time on the PGA Tour and I am grateful for all his insight and support.  He spends most of his time on the Champions Tour these days so our normal Tuesday game isn’t so normal anymore!  Beth is coming in town on Wednesday without our two precious but wild monkeys.  It should be a great week of relaxation for her.

This week’s question comes from Jim in Indiana.  He writes:  Blake, I know that the PGA Tour is very supportive of charities.  What charities or organizations do you support?

Jim, Thank you for the email and the question.  Most people don’t realize this fact... Each year, the PGA Tour donates MORE MONEY to charities and organizations than the NBA, the NFL, and Major League Baseball COMBINED!!  Charities are a huge part of my life.  I try and support as many as I can each and every year.  From fundraisers to general donations, I try my best to help out others.  Obviously, it is impossible to give to everyone who asks but I do my best.  Rather than list every charity or organization that I contribute to each year, I would like to mention one that is very dear to my heart.  The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is truly one of the best organizations that I have ever been a part of.  Their impact on young men and women is incredible.  I contribute to their National fund every year and attend yearly fundraisers and events.  I was both humbled and honored when the FCA approached me for their support in my hometown of Eatonton, Georgia.  With their help, I am hosting an FCA Golf Tournament at Cuscowilla on September 24th of this year.  The event will provide a platform to impact and spread God’s Good Will on a countless number of men and women.  I am honored to be a part of this great organization and I encourage each of you to support FCA or any charity that is dear to your heart.  I am providing information to the Golf Tournament below as well as on my website (  Please get involved with something in your community for the sake of those in need.

FCA Golf Tournament Information:  under Schedules Tab/ Community Appearances