There’s been some news in the news lately, you might have noticed. Like, we had an election, and I could stop right there, but then there’s the Tiger Woods re-entry into competitive golf, and it got me thinking I needed somebody to tell me how I ought to be thinking about what I’m thinking about.
It’s getting to be old news now that a major golf manufacturer is releasing irons in sets of one length, but it was the news that gave me an excuse for an overdue check-in with Craig Foster.
When you talk about golf equipment with Foster, which you should do if you care even a little about your sticks, you also get to talk about music, politics and the biomechanics of the putting stroke … and maybe then you’ll talk about playing golf, which he doesn’t do because he can’t give the time to playing it well and he can’t stand playing it badly. He’d rather be playing music, anyway, which he does very well.
After all that, he might mention he’s a cancer survivor.
He was gobsmacked by the election of He Who Will Not be Named.
“To make a golf analogy, we just had a big tournament,” Foster said last week as Hilary Clinton’s popular-vote lead climbed over 2.5 million votes. “Clinton won the gross, (Dickhead) won the net.”
He sees real meat in the conflicts of interest with the president-elect and his worldwide businesses. Jimmy Carter, he reminds, had to sell his peanut farm when he was elected.
“He has a new job now,” said Foster of Dickhead. “When you get a new job, you have to quit your old job.”
Foster’s prediction, made week before last before the first round of the Hero World Challenge, was that Woods would finish “in the middle half to the bottom in the event, because he’s just not sharp.” Spot on.
His main business in golf is Craig’s Custom Clubs, which he operates out of his home in the capital of Grey Goatee Nation. A batch of Northwest playing professionals go nowhere else with their clubs; rank beginners should count themselves lucky if somebody tells ’em they really need to go see Foster to be fitted for their first sets.
He wasn’t taken by surprise when Cobra Golf, a few weeks back, announced its new King F7 One Length and King F7 Forged One Length iron sets featuring traditional lofts from 3-iron through pitching wedge, all at the length of a 7-iron.
Bryson DeChambeau, 23, is the only current PGA Tour pro using all-one-length irons, and he endorses the Cobra sets in ads.
“If he wins a tournament or two and is a solid guy for the next few years,” Foster said, “it could really be the next major change in golf equipment.”
Foster keeps the faith in his patented DynAlign putting alignment method, which uses the natural biomechanics of the forearms and wrists to firm up the putting stroke.
He hears the chatter about “taking the hands out of the stroke,” the supposed benefit of the jumbo putter grips some players swear by. With DynAlign, he says, a player’s dominant hand is very involved in the putting stroke.
“I’ve been preaching this for at least 20 years,” he says. “I haven’t wavered — I believe in it more than ever. It really is a superior way to putt.”
Not too long back he had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his intestine. Call it successful. He takes a new immuno-suppressant drug to keep things on the straight and narrow.
“I’m very, very fortunate,” he says.
Practicing music pays off better than practicing golf for Foster.
He plays guitar, piano and saxophone … On the sax, “I’m just a blues tooter,” he says. “It’s kind of my luxury instrument. I don’t get any time to work on that.”
He’s a regular busker in and near the Olympia Farmers Market. His band is set to play Dec. 16 and 17 at the Little Creek Casino near Shelton, Wash., and he’s looking ahead to playing the newest and biggest casino in the northwestern region of Grey Goatee Nation in the near future.
“I just learned a couple great John Prine songs,” he says, “’Crazy As a Loon’ and ‘Please Don’t Bury Me.’”
He also just picked up “John Barleycorn,” the English folk tune based on a Robert Burns poem made most popular in modern times by the Steve Winwood/Traffic version.
“It’s really epic, just an exquisite song,” says Foster.
“I learn great songs all the time.”