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Jim Thorpe Faces Tax Evasion Charges

Jim Thorpe, the man with one of the most interesting swings in all of golfdom, is in trouble with the IRS. Unlike a slew of recent cabinet appointees and other high level government job seekers who have neglected to pay taxes, Mr. Thorpe has been charged with four counts of failure to file an income tax return and three counts of failure to pay income taxes. These charges carry a maximum 7 years in jail and up to a $3.2 million dollar fine.




Jim Thorpe, the man with one of the most interesting swings in all of golfdom, is in trouble with the IRS.  Unlike a slew of recent cabinet appointees and other high level government job seekers who have neglected to pay taxes, Mr. Thorpe has been charged with four counts of failure to file an income tax return and three counts of failure to pay income taxes.  These charges carry a maximum 7 years in jail and up to a $3.2 million dollar fine.  We’re into high stakes stuff here, and not for the first time.  Mr. Thorpe was investigated by the IRS for failure to file tax returns for the years 1992 through 1995.  He was not prosecuted because he said he relied on the advice of two accountants. 

Mr. Thorpe has played in more than 300 Champions Tour events, earning more than $13 million.  His earning from his PGA Tour career netted him more than $2 million.  In addition he earned endorsement fees from Harrison Sports, Callaway Golf, and from sponsors such as Foxwood Casino.  The government also states he earned more than $1.7 million gambling,  which he used to continue gambling.  That last statement is indicative of the mastering of the obvious by federal prosecutors.  Hey, the guy won $1.7 million and took his winnings and was never seen inside a casino again.  Sure, and I eat one potato chip and close the bag up until tomorrow. 


A long time ago I was instructed by a high priced attorney there are three people you never lie to;  your lawyer first,  your clergyman second, and any representative of the IRS because the penalties for that are so severe.  That advice has stood me in good stead ever since.  So I have to wonder why after one incident with the IRS would Mr. Thorpe provide any reason at all for that agency so come snooping into his affairs a second time.  I have to believe, as with the government appointees whose dirty laundry was hung on a very public line, it’s because he thought he could get away with it.  Now before you jump to conclusions that I am convicting Mr. Thorpe without knowing anything about the details of the case here’s what his attorney Mark Horwitz had to say:  "We look forward to having a trial," Mr.  Horwitz said this afternoon. "We don’t think he’s willfully violated the law. That’s not to say he doesn’t owe the tax; but we don’t think he’s guilty of a crime."  That says to me he owes the government some money, but like the public figures this was not due to any criminal behavior but rather an honest mistake.  Pardon me if that doesn’t stretch my belief system just a tad far. 

Mr. Horwitz continued, "I think the timing of it is sort of interesting in the sense of what we’ve just seen coming out of Washington with a Cabinet secretary and some other Cabinet-level appointees," he said, referring to the tax troubles of some of President Obama’s nominees.  I have to agree with this, it does open the argument that folks in the government get treated differently than folks outside that exclusive club.  I also have to wonder why they have chosen to prosecute a professional golfer, after all this wouldn’t make the local paper were I the object of this investigation. 

I just don’t comprehend the prosecutor’s thinking in this case.  It would seem to me ill conceived and ill timed,  but then with all the other craziness going on in the country today I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  It serves as a reminder to never ever mess with the IRS. 

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  1. flyer

    Mar 19, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Tax evasion is a crime, but tax avoidance is a moral obligation. It keeps our government honest, or at least attempts to. If Thorpe crossed the line he should be forced to pony up and possible pay additional penalties, but good for him for trying. He should have used a better tax lawyer.

  2. Jiovanne

    Mar 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    There are individuals on this post who are attacking government as if it were the main issue here. Yes, sometimes the tax issue isn’t fair but we must all pay taxes. Why does Jim think because he makes more he can just evade? What makes this more interesting to me is that he’s a very outspoken individual on the growth of the game and minority involement in golf. As a role model and voicebox you’d think he’d be a little more carefull with what he does. Think before you speak.

  3. Steve

    Mar 15, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Mr. Thorpe has spent the better part of his life training & practicing for professional sports. So, he trains himself to a level in golf where most of us only dream of playing. However, when he gets to professional level our federal government decides they are owed part of his spoils. For what effort has the government decided they deserve his money? Perhaps funding entitlement programs, making our corrupt politicians more affluent seems a good idea for some. But, please consider that Mr. Thorpe has put forth a lot of effort to be able to compete at his level & I for one think as likely Mr. Thorpe does; that government is not entitled to a darn nickel of it.

  4. Jason

    Mar 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    The argument that people in the government get treated differently has been open for decades, are you just now realizing this? And of course this makes the news….Jim Thorpe is somewhat ‘famous’. Who are you? Some beat writer for the wrx? You’re right, I’m sure nobody would really care if you didn’t pay your tax.

    And a note to Mr. Thorpe, pay your taxes, please. The freeloaders in this country need you now more than ever.

  5. Jackson

    Feb 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    what a leech on society. the government may rip you off but Mr. Thorpe is freeloading off other tax paying citizens. It’s not like he really needs more money. Totally lost respect for this guy.

  6. Dayton

    Feb 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    How could anyone be so stupid. What possible defense could there be for not filing a return.

  7. Gary

    Feb 19, 2009 at 12:06 am

    The IRS couldn’t go after Mr. G because of the SOL. However, I do not think he is fit to serve in any governmental position.

  8. Watch

    Feb 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Plan A: Do not get caught.

    Plan B: If caught — either in intentional evasion, or in an honest mistake — do not go to jail. Make nice.

    Our federal, state and local governments rip you off twenty ways to Sunday already. No matter what the illegal law says, Big Jim does not owe the government money. But they’ll manage to steal it from him anyway.

  9. Paybax

    Feb 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    So in the US you have to pay tax on your winnings? So does that mean you can claim your losses as well?

  10. Mike Crozier

    Feb 18, 2009 at 1:14 am

    won 1.7 million gambling??? daly and mickelson should be taking lessons from this guy.

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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take



1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”


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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?



1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping



At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

Member Ksears – Brand New Mizuno MP20 Irons

Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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