BY ROBERT GAUTNEY Contributing golf columnist
If you are one to wait until the last minute to plan for something, then you might want to mark your calendar for the annual LA Golf Show that will at the Anaheim Convention Center March1-3.
This is your chance to see and test the latest in equipment, apparel and gadgets and get free instruction from PGA teaching professionals. So if you are in the market for a new set of clubs, or perhaps just a driver, a putter or a sand-wedge, you can try different types to see which one really suites your swing or style.
This year, the show will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday March 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday March 2, and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday March 3.
There will be daily competitions in putting, driving and chipping in both real-time and via simulators and there is always a plethora of show-only specials where you can save a lot of money from regular retail pricing. Plus, you always walk out of there with a bag full of free stuff!
Advanced tickets can be purchased online (LAGolfShow) or you can wait to buy at the entrance. Adult tickets (13+) are $11, Seniors (60+) are $9 and kids 12 and under are free. Additionally, if you have a product(s) you would like to exhibit, contact David Stolber at Varisty Communications, Inc.
Tiger, Phil are 1-2 in earnings
It probably doesn't come as a surprise, but Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are No.1-2 in Golf Digest's annual rankings of the top earners in golf for 2012.
Woods earned a total of $86,124,386 in both on-course and off-course earnings while Mickelson was a distant second at $45,335267. I guess the infidelity scandal of a couple of years ago hasn't hurt Tiger all that much while Mickelson recently made headlines about his taxes on all those duckets he earned!
Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were No.3 and No.4, respectively, and all of their earnings were off-course with Arnie at $36 million and Jack at $28 million. Rounding out the top 10 (with their totals in millions) were Rory McIlroy (22.5), Ernie Els (18.6), Brandt Snedeker (17.4), Greg Norman (17), Luke Donald (14.3) and Gary Player (14).
Snedeker made the biggest leap from the 45th spot in 2011 to his current No.7 position for 2012.
The leading ladies were Ai Miyazato at the No.43 position with $5.384 million and Paula Creamer at No.44 with $5.375 million. Yani Tseng was the only other woman in the top 50 at No.48 with $5.015 million.
You can check out the entire list, including breakdowns of on-course and off-course earnings at http://golfdig.st/XUAmdQ.
Just as an FYI, the off-course earnings include such things as endorsement deals, appearance fees , bonuses, corporate outings, speaking engagements, licensing fees for video games and such, books and instructional items, architecture and more, while the on-course earnings are strictly from tournament play including PGA Tour and non-PGA Tour events.
PGA Tour at Torrey Pines this week
Speaking of Tiger Woods, he makes his PGA Tour debut this week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and will play with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson and Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, the former Golf Channel "Big Break" champion who now has two tour wins and is doing quite well.
You can watch the tournament on The Golf Channel on Friday and on both the Golf Channel (replay) and on CBS live this weekend.
The latest SCGA Fore Magazine on-line poll asks readers to rate what aspect of their golf games they would like to improve upon for 2013. Not surprisingly, the short game dominated with 37 percent for chipping and 31 percent for putting, or 68 percent related to the short game. Driving came in third at 22 percent with Bunker Play last but with a surprising 10 percent of the vote. Just goes to show you that the old adage "drive for show, putt for dough" rings true for amateurs as well as the pros!
-- If any readers out there have sons or daughters that are thinking about trying to play college golf within the next couple of years, the SCGA Youth on Course College Golf Summits will be Feb.5 and 13 at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim and at the University of San Diego. This is an excellent way to find out about preparing for college golf in areas such as recruiting, academics and what college coaches are seeking in student/athletes. The summits are held every year in February and August. Go online at the SCGA.org website and click on the "Youth on Course" tab and then the date you are interested in to register to attend.
-- Golf Digest's February edition has the annual rankings of America's 100 Greatest golf courses. Pine Valley GC in New Jersey switched places with Augusta National as the new No.1, while Pebble Beach GL was once again voted No.1 in the public course rankings and No.7 overall.
-- Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players that are now competing in college golf (Men and Women) is always encouraged by Tee to Green as are golf related stories and information you believe that the readers would want to know about. Send the info to the e-mail address listed below and thanks in advance!
Tee to Green appears weekly at Bakersfield.com/sports. You can reach Gautney @ email@example.com.