Golf Gets International & The Virtual World Get Smaller

When I was a Sophomore in high school I fell in lust love with a Swedish exchange student. So of course, I applied for the exchange program, assuming I could convince the administrators to send me to Stockholm where Lars and I could happily continue the romance. But that didn't happen.

I cried a river when I found out my destination would be La Paz, Bolivia. Ultimately though, it was awesome. The city was beautiful, the people were friendly and I learned to speak Spanish.

I've used Spanish a lot over the years; for work and in social situations, and it's definitely added a dimension to my life. In fact, one of my favorite golf blogs (I have a lot of favorites, but this is a favorite favorite) is Fuera de Limites, which is written in Spanish. The blog covers golf stories from all over the world, but the European and Spanish stories naturally have a depth that's hard to find elsewhere. I've gotten to know the editor Pablo Herrero and one of the writers, Ovidiov quite well from social networking, and I spent many memorable Sundays this past summer watching golf tournaments with them...virtually...on Twitter. It was always fun, especially when Sergio was in the mix.

Earlier this week Pablo was in Andalucia, Spain at Valderama for the lead up to the Volvo Masters. When he mentioned (on Twitter) that he had seen Ian Poulter, of course I asked what the fashionable Brit had been wearing. Pablo immediately beamed me the photo above, and ... there was Mr. Poulter teeing it up in the Tartan back jumper from his Autumn/Winter 2008 collection. I love that collection, and that ...jumper... in particular. It comes in three colors and each has tartan trousers to match. Ian chose to wear black trousers though, evidently choosing a more understated look.

That's the thing that's so awesome about golf on the internet. One can follow tours and tournaments in all parts of the world, and connect with international players and bloggers... and fans. The future of golf, decidedly, seems to be going global too. Anthony Kim and Camillo Villegas have just announced that they'll be joining the European Tour and Phil Mickleson has reportedly been flirting with the idea as well. Others are expected to sign on as well, as the international tournaments get bigger ...and more lucrative.

And then there are the ladies. With the state of the US tournaments seeming so tenuous, the LPGA's Asian swing, going on right now, must be causing some players to think about where the future lies. Check out this thought provoking story on Styled to a Tee for more on that.

As that sweet but annoying ride at DisneyLand has been chanting for decades now, "it's a small world after all".

Photo of Ian Poulter: Pablo Herrero