LIV Golf Will Fail
The following newsletter is sponsored by Grass Clippings. We highly recommend drinking a warm glass of milk before reading. *As always, none of the below information has been fact checked or confirmed in anyway.
/ˈjərnēmən/- Origin unknown
1. the term journeyman typically refers to a worker or athlete that is reliable but not outstanding. They've typically been around the block as their value is such that they are always needed, but expendable at the same time. Some see a journeyman as a knock while others see it as a badge of honor.
Example: Josh Mccown was an NFL quarterback that played 17 seasons for 12 different franchises including 1 in an alternative professional league (USFL).
Used in a sentence:
"Son you need to work hard now. I want you to be something special. I don't want you growing up to be a journeyman like your grandpa."
With that said, welcome to the Grass Clippings Monthly.
In this issue:
Billy's Monthly Insights: *observations from the month of June
- The Greatest Round of Golf
- War of Worlds - LIV Golf vs PGA
- Pick Your Spots - We Go All In
- The Youth Movement
Updates from the Shop
- Shop Summer Schedule
- New Products
Investing 101 *a Hail Mary approach
- We are Back Baby
- Gilmore's Caddy Breaks through
- Top 10's
1. The Greatest Round of Golf
Folks, I don't know how this story finally came across my desk, but it did this past month. It's sad because I've been a golf fan my entire life and I never knew the truth. Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have been atop my list of greatest golfers of all time and yet there was once a man far better than the two. I also thought the bar for the best round ever shot was established with Jim Furyk's 58 that he carded at the 2016 Travelers Championship. Well folks, there was a round of golf recorded with witnesses that absolutely blows any record out of the water. The former supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-IL *now deceased, was apparently a natural golfer. In 1994 during his first round of golf ever played at Pyongyang Golf Club, he shot a round of 38 under par with 5 hole-in-ones and no worse than a birdie on any hole. Park Young Man, the club professional, told the International Herald Tribune, "He is an excellent golfer". Yeah no kidding Park. Now obviously there was some doubt cast upon this round, but we know it's true because there were 17 bodyguards who were there to witness. Now alternative stories came out shortly after that Kim Jong- IL actually had 11 hole-in-ones, but the most trusted and reputable media outlet in North Korea has stood behind the claim of just 5 hole-in-ones which is a much more believable. To think this was his first round of golf and for him to find such success leaves us golf fans wondering what could have been.
Now the fascinating rumor that is making the rounds is that the LIV Golf tour is actively recruiting Kim Jung -IL's son and current supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. There isn't any documentation on whether Kim Jong-un has in fact ever played a round of golf, but he comes from the same blood line and that seems to be enough for the Saudi's. Media pundits have gestured that if the Saudi's are willing to pay Ian Poulter roughly $30 million to join the LIV tour what's stopping them from throwing a gaudy number at Kim - say $500 million. Now the LIV Tour is beyond excited about the potential of adding arguably the son of the greatest golfer of all time, but they may run into a financial problem. See after the first LIV Tour event in London, the head of the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia stated that if a player were to shoot a perfect round of 54 they would write that player a check for $54 million dollars. Now I'm not a math mathematician, but if Kim Jong-un we're to join the LIV Tour odds are he would shoot 54 or well below on a regular basis. This commitment could in fact potentially bankrupt their sovereign wealth fund and I can't imagine Kim Jong-un would react well if the Saudi's went back on their word. We could potentially be looking at a geopolitical crisis and a potential bankcruptcy between two controversial countries all centered around golf. Regardless, I would find it very entertaining to watch Phil Mickelson introduce Kim Jung-un to his Hy Flyers team. A team of Phil Mickelson, Bernd Wiesberger, Matt Wolf, and Kim Jung-un could be a perfect balance of personalities to separate themselves from the pack. At the very least, it a story worth monitoring.
2. War of Worlds: LIV vs PGA
It’s fairly obvious that the PGA Tour was either blindsided by the new tour or they didn’t view it as a real threat. Regardless, golf is in for a facelift. When you look at the reaction from the PGA, it makes you think the PGA Tour is in fact undergoing an existential crisis. BUT like anything people tend to overact. I, Billy Dobson, firmly believe for several reasons that the PGA Tour will emerge a stronger tour as a result. Having watched the first LIV Golf event I can say that in no way shape or form is the LIV Golf Tour threatening the PGA Tour. First off, the shotgun start is a horrendous idea. I personally like to watch the end of a golf tournament where leaders are stacked on the back nine leading to the crescendo of the event. You’re not going to get a finish like the latest US Open on the LIV Golf Tour. Watching Charl Schwartzel putt out for the win was a bit awkward when the entire field was still playing. It felt more like a top golf event than a professional golf tournament. People are calling it a mass exodus of talent, but when you actually break it down it's a much different story. It’s more like players riding off into retirement.
- Phil Mickelson: Aside from his recent PGA Championship win, Mickelson is almost unwatchable week to week. His need to hit “bombs” makes him look more like a weekend scramble partner than someone people are lining up to watch. Oh and he posted a three round total of 10 over par in the first LIV event. The $200 million spent on a 51 year old might go down as one of the worst contracts ever agreed to.
- Brooks Koepka: You don’t have to be an avid golf fan to realize he’s on the back end of his career. Since Keopka’s last tour win at the Phoenix Open in 2021, he’s faded into oblivion. He’s battled what he calls a “sore knee” which has limited his appearances and his performance. Imagine Tom Brady sitting out because of a “sore knee”. Folks, if the PGA Tour is going to lose stars and I use that term lightly, Keopka would be one of the ones you’d want to lose. This is what retirement looks like
- Dustin Johnson: Here is the one player you could argue is a tough loss for the PGA Tour, but I’d disagree. Johnson’s star power has been diminished over the past two years and fresh off a marriage with a clearly demanding wife I’d be shocked if the LIV Tour doesn’t dump Johnson in the next 2-3 years.
- Patrick Reed: I think I speak for most in the golfing world that Patrick Reed and his shark tooth necklace won’t be missed on the PGA Tour.
- Bryson Dechambeau: The only thing interesting here is the romance between Bryson and Brooks Keopka.
- Ian Poulter: The fact that the LIV Tour paid him roughly $20-30 million begs the question - do the Saudi’s actually watch golf? I wouldn’t tee it up with Ian Poulter if he paid me $10,000 let alone spend my free time watching him shoot a 77 on youtube.
As you can tell, the talent isn't overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination. All the LIV Tour has done is spend a ton of money, put on a mediocre event, and forced the PGA Tour into action. The new proposed tournaments by the PGA Tour and the increased purses will be plenty to retain its top talent. LIV Golf will continue to pluck low hanging fruit from the PGA which will only make the PGA Tour more competitive and more fun to watch. Best case scenario for the LIV Tour is it becomes the newest option sandwiched between the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. There's a contingent of older PGA Tour players like Luke Donald or Rory Sabatini who show up week in and week out to do the song and dance. Best case scenario, they make the cut and cut a check for $17,000. They're caught in what's called "golf purgatory" biding their time until their biological clock hits 50, so they can join the Champions Tour. These players may well become the LIV Tour's bread and butter. I'm not trying to pick sides, but people are attracted to tradition and history. We'll find out over the next few years how much money the sovereign wealth fund is willing to spend. For the time being: long live the PGA Tour. Full Article
3. Pick Your Spots - We Go All In
Folks this takes me back to the 2021 Grass Clippings Open when I wrote my Calcutta draft preview on tournament fan favorite Robert Takahashi and Preston Pilcher. I wrote in the 2021 betting guide that success in life stems from the ability to pick your spots. Identify a unique opportunity and go all in. I encouraged gamblers to bet the house on the said Takahashi/Pilcher team because I truly believed they were predestined to win the 2021 Grass Clippings Open. Truth be told they actually finished in 41st place, missed the cut, and returned no money to their investors, but regardless the notion of "picking your spots" is still very true.
Now the Phoenix Suns themselves are in a very similar situation. Unless you've been living under a rock you've most likely heard that All-NBA forward Kevin Durant has requested a trade from his current team the Brooklyn Nets. Not only did he request a trade he has informed Brooklyn that his preferred destination would be the Phoenix Suns. According to wegententerprises.com, Kevin Durant is statistically the best NBA player of all time. Over his career he's averaged 27.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while making 11 All star games - winning Rookie of the Year, 1 MVP, 2 Finals MVPs, and 2 NBA Championships. If you need reminding, the Phoenix Suns have never won an NBA Championship. So again this is our time to go all in and when I say all in I'm not kidding. If I were in the Phoenix Suns war room today, this is the proposed trade I would be sending the Brooklyn Nets.
Phoenix Suns Receive :
- Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets Receive:
- Deandre Ayton (sign and trade)
- Mikal Bridges
- Cam Johnson
- 4 - 1st round draft picks
- 3 - 1st round pick swaps
- Full ownership stake of Lake Pleasant and surrounding land
- Rights to the Suns Gorilla
- 10% ownership stake in local private business - Discount Tires
- All rights and ownership to the city of Wickenburg and accompanying businesses
- Al Mccoy's expiring contract
Folks, I know this would be uncomfortable for most and we would have to move mountains (literally) to get this done, but we're talking about a Top 5 NBA player of all time and a chance for the Phoenix Suns to win multiple championships. As our slogan says, "we are the valley" and even if that means we have to actually give up some of it well so be it. It's time we rally together as a city and do what it takes for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Get it done Sarver!
4. The Youth Movement
I touched on it above about how there is growing concern of top talent leaving the PGA Tour. Names like Sergio Garcia, Bryson Dechambaue, Brooks Koepka etc.., but what people don't realize is the immense young talent coming up the ranks. We saw it at the US Open a few weeks back. A 27 and 25 year old in the final group starred down the leaderboard that contained the number 1 and 2 players in the world and neither blinked. At the time, neither had ever won on tour and the two performed flawlessly on the biggest stage and at golf's most prized tournament. Golf may have been a game of loose dockers and straw hats, but the landscape of competitive golf isn't anything like your grandparents generation. We're witnessing a new crop of talent unlike we've seen before. 26 year old Scottie Scheffler has already made more prize money than any PGA Tour player in history with a big chunk of the season to go. 4 of the top 5 golfers in the world are under 30. 25 year old Colin Morikawa already has two major championships to his name. Sam Burns, also 25, has 3 PGA Tour wins this year along with 5 other top ten finishes. Amongst all this greatness there is one name that has a soft spot in Billy Dobson's heart. Happy Gilmore's look-a-like caddy - Will Zalatoris.
Will Zalatoris was trying to earn a spot on the PGA Tour just two years ago while playing on the Korn Ferry Tour. Fast forward to today, Zalatoris has 6 top-10 finishes 3 of which are runner-up finishes in 9 major championship starts. There is only one other golfer who has performed better than Zalatoris in their first 9 majors - Tiger Woods. Heard of him? The crazy part is Will Zalatoris is still yet to win on the PGA Tour despite his historic success at the majors. For a sport that typically benefits experience, things looks much different. 20 is the new 30.
It's that time of year where you can literally cook a porter house steak on a black top parking surface in Phoenix, Arizona. I've tried it and it gives the steak a bit of a kick. With that being said, we don't view it safe to be traveling in said heat to the Grass Clippings Shop. Again, we're boarding up the doors for the months of July and August, but will be coming back with a bang in September. Although we're closed, all products can be purchased online. With that being said, we have a list of new products both in stock and on the way.
*A throw the ball investment strategy. Imaginary $10,000 is invested each month and we track the performance. "Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever." - Shane Falco. In other words, this is not finical advice.
As Frank the Tank so eloquently said in the scene above, "I am back baby". Folks, we've been on a tough road the last few months performing like an insolvent crypto fund. Frankly, we needed a big month and we needed it badly. I was truly concerned the message from the CFO this month was going to include that in fact this will not be a "throw the ball investment strategy" anymore. But here we are. We live to see another day. We once again pushed all our chips in last month's allocation. We placed the imaginary $10,000 on the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics and we were rewarded with a profit of $8,696.
Now that we found our footing with sports betting were are going to continue down this track. We'll revisit other markets when gas doesn't cost $5 a gallon or when our bets turn cold. As always, you can track the performance month to month in the link below.
Message from Killer the CFO:
As the CFO, I can firmly say I'm proud of Billy Dobson. He had led us astray the past few months, but has brought us back to profitability. I do have to say I admire Billy's commitment to being a reckless investor. Most would of jumped ship for a more diverse portfolio, but not Billy.
The $8,696 profit is much needed money in the bank to keep this operation afloat. Now I typically think betting on golf is a horrible venture, but I've learned that when Billy gets on a heater don't get in his way. I stand behind July's allocation.
Investment tracker doc can be accessed here.
****Top 10 betting odds aren't released until the week of a golf tournament. Link provided below to draftings to monitor the odds when published.
1. Will Zalatoris - Top 10 British Open (+Link) - $4,000
Folks, like I stated previously Will Zalatoris is on a historic run at the majors and I don't see any signs of regression. Honestly, I wanted to put the full $10,000 on him to win the British, but was afraid the CFO would consider that reckless behavior. Although Zalatoris has only played in one British Open which resulted in a WD, I remain steadfast in my belief that Zalatoris is primed for another top 10 performance.
2. Will Zalatoris - Winner British Open (+2200) - $1,000
I've learned to never doubt a gut feeling and my gut continues to point to Zalatoris. Here we are going to take him as the outright winner with some extremely juicy odds. The $1,000 bet would pay a whopping $22,0000. In this case, the juice is worth the squeeze.
3. Scottie Scheffler - Top 10 British Open (+Link) - $2,500
Folks, Scottie Scheffler is on another planet. He's already made over $12 million dollars in prize money this year and has either won or contended at every tournament he's played in. Fresh off a tied second place finish at the US Open I see no reason he doesn't continue on his march for player of the year.
4. Rory Mcilroy - Top 10 British Open (+Link) - $2,500
If the LIV Tour has accomplished anything thus far it's the fact that they pissed off Rory Mcilroy. He's once again playing like a motivated teenager and the ability to perform well on his home continent is the right recipe for a top 10 finish. In reality, it's Rory vs LIV Golf and so far Rory is winning.
Happy Fourth of July SG Fam!