EUROPEAN TOUR CONFIRMED

The 2011 European Tour schedule will feature 50 golf tournaments, two more than this year, on 29 courses, with new events in Bahrain, Malaysia and the Italian island of Sicily.

The 2011 tour starts next month in South Africa and ends with the Dubai World Championship next December.

The European Tour said in a statement that from 2012 the schedule will be contained within the calendar year, starting in January and ending in December. The 2010 tour ends on Sunday.

Sicily will host a European Tour event at the Donnafugata Golf Resort in the south of the Italian island and Malaysia will host a second tournament, the Iskandar Johor Open, which has previously only been sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

The 2011 tour starts with four consecutive tournaments in South Africa, immediately followed by four in the Gulf as part of a desert swing. It includes the Volvo Golf Champions event in Bahrain. The Sicilian tournament will be the first to be held in Europe, in late March.

The Scottish Open, traditionally the last event before the British Open, will not be held in the town of Loch Lomond and a course has yet to be found. A new links course near the town of Inverness, Castle Stuart Golf Links, is reported to be favorite to host the event in 2011.

The tour leaves Europe in November and heads to China for the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, followed by more Asian events in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.

WESTWOOD TEACHES WOODS A LESSON

Lee Westwood just can’t get enough of one-upping Tiger Woods. First, the Englishman overtook the former No. 1 for the top spot in the world golf rankings, and then he schooled Woods on how to use Twitter.

Tiger’s Twitter flop. @TigerWoods made a huge splash last week when he tried to use Twitter as a prop in his media blitz to repair his reputation and promptly proved his online game was not up to par. Meanwhile, the guy who unceremoniously dumped Woods from his perch atop the golf world, @WestwoodLee, showed Tiger the line with his first-ever Twitter post on Wednesday.

“Couldn’t let [Ian] poulter have all the fun on here,” Westwood tweeted. “And when tiger joined I couldn’t let it just be just him and tiger!”

He was cheeky enough to then later tweet Tiger some adidas coupon codes!

What would Cink tweet? The emperor of tweeting, @stewartcink (1.2 million followers and counting), might take exception to Westwood’s view of golf’s Twitterati, but perhaps the Brit was just dissing U.S. golfers the way he and his fellow Euros have ditched the PGA Tour.

In any case, Woods posted his “Hello, world!”-ish tweet, typed a couple more insignificant tidbits and then disappeared into the Twit-o-sphere. Westwood, who’s attempting to hold on to his top ranking in Dubai this week, showed he’s got game off the course as well when he cyber-jousted with fellow competitor, Poulter.

Tweeting with Poults. “Not a bad start to the week,” Westwood said after carding an opening-round 3-under 69T in the Dubai World Championship. “Only trouble now is I have to play with the king of Twitter on tour! Poults! I’ll be quizing him for tips!”

Meanwhile, back on the golf course, Poulter and Westwood shared fifth place with a handful of other golfers after Thursday’s first round. They were four off the pace of leader Robert Karlsson’s 7-under.

GOLF SHOE GLOVES?

What are those things on Oliver Wilson’s feet? They are Vibram FiveFingers golf shoes, but they sure look like gloves for the feet.

Speaking to Wimbledon Tickets magazine, Patricia Hannigan wrote that the shoes give “each toe … its own individual pocket. The resulting look is slightly reptilian … with a cartoonish quality.” But Patricia calls them “more whimsical than horrible.”

Wilson wore the “glove shoes” during the Dubai World Championship, and even he said, as quoted by the UK Press Association, “They look horrific.”

But some golfers are more adventurous than others, and Wilson is clearly one of the more adventurous.

Fisher explained to the UKPA why he was wearing them:

“I’ve had them for the last three weeks after my trainer turned up wearing a pair. I practise barefoot sometimes and swing it better, so I’d thought I’d give them a go.”

How’d it work out? Wilson finished at even-par 288 in Dubai, tied for 35th place.

The Vibram FiveFingers Web site explains the rationale behind “glove shoes”:

“Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised. That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception.”

I’ll guess that most of you reading this wouldn’t dare show up on a golf course wearing “glove shoes.” Unless, that is, you were convinced they’d help your game. Golfers are willing to look all kinds of foolish if we think doing so will save a stroke here or there.

If you want to look good on the course (regardless of you’re shot playing) forget golf glove shoes and simply buy Galvin Green golf clothing!