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The USGA might have a problem with PGA Tour yardage books

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Less than a week after introducing the “Lexi Thompson Rule,” or New Decision 34-3/10, the USGA sent a signal that it has something else on its radar. Namely, defending the art of green reading.

Viewing the issue through the lens of Rule 14-3, the USGA expressed concern over, it seems, the green detail in professional yardage books. Rule 14-3 bars a player from “the use of any artificial device or unusual equipment … for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play.” Thus, in a roundabout way, the green-mapping technology used to create the highly sophisticated and detailed pro yardage books is troubling to the guardians of the game.

The USGA-R&A’s full joint statement reads:

“The R&A and the USGA believe that a player’s ability to read greens is an essential part of the skill of putting. Rule 14-3 limits the use of equipment and devices that might assist a player in their play, based on the principle that golf is a challenging game in which success should depend on the judgment, skills and abilities of the player. We are concerned about the rapid development of increasingly detailed materials that players are using to help with reading greens during a round. We are reviewing the use of these materials to assess whether any actions need to be taken to protect this important part of the game. We expect to address this matter further in the coming months.”

Reading between the lines, it certainly seems the “concern” is centered around yardage books that show slope and topographical information. You know, like these.

Credit: Golf Digest/Tour Sherpa

Credit: Golf Digest/Tour Sherpa

Credit: Golf Digest/Tour Sherpa

Credit: Golf Digest/Tour Sherpa

Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status, told Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura the worry centers around the following:

“The increased level of detail that the USGA and the R&A has seen of late, both in printed and electronic form, that has prompted the study. It is fair to say all materials will be reviewed, but the original intent was not focused on basic printed yardage guides found at most golf courses, but those with an increased level of detail/sophistication.”

This led Stachura to connect the dots, writing, “It seems conceivable that green charts instead of contour lines measuring the percentage of slope…might someday reach a stage where all putting locations might be determined to have a certain break like two feet right or six inches left.”

Yardage books in general have long been contentious on the PGA Tour, but the USGA largely hasn’t had an issue with the pocket course maps until now. It will be interesting to see if the folks in Far Hills ultimately rule on the level of detail in Mark Long’s (and similar) yardage books.

If you ask PGA Tour pro Luke Donald, he seems to agree with the concern.

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Don

    Jun 1, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Give them lasers for yardage use only. let them carry there own bags read there own greens. Spoilt children these pros are.

  2. Mat

    May 30, 2017 at 2:25 am

    So, here’s a question… if the USGA generally allow rangefinders that don’t allow slope, how is it they’re being provided with slope information? How has that been allowed to become a cottage industry?

    Personally, I think this is all a waste. I think the slope algorithm in the current rangefinders aren’t a big deal. Frankly, whatever speeds play is good, and those books don’t sink putts. But this type of grandstanding just annoys players. But please start making the pros play like we have to. Let them have a laser, but take their books. Or don’t, and clarify that slope information is ok. What drives me batty about the USGA is they approach it as if it’s this new thing. It’s not.

  3. Kyle

    May 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    But they want to allow range finders? i don’t understand

  4. Dave R

    May 8, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Personally I think you would have to have studies in rocket science to even read this thing. I would not know which way to turn the thing up down or sideways. But then I never went far in college never got to map reading.

  5. GH

    May 3, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    The game has gotten too concerned with low scores and records. We also should go back to not allowing to mark the ball on the green and play stymie. It’s about who navigates the situations to win the tournament, not about just getting low scores

    • PG

      May 4, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Stymie is awesome for match play. It would be fun to watch. During stroke play it could be abused and would be unfortunate if it affected the outcome.

  6. Dace

    May 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I would like to see this stopped.
    Along with that I would also like to see caddies actually just caddy.
    Carry the bag, give distance from the ball to the pin and little else.
    Keep them off the greens and lets see the pros use their own skills to navigate the contours.
    Simplify the rules also, ball on tee not to be touched again until it is on the green.
    Any unplayable/lost/hazard ball, drop at the original point of strike with a shot penalty.
    Remove all line of sight relief.
    As mentioned above remove all grandstands from the green area.
    Also in agreement with Brandon … Brandon May 3, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Actually I would like to see a 90 second shot clock with 3 60 second extensions per round, but that is me personally.

    The game is too slow and the rules too complex.
    We are losing a generation to the game, almost no one understands the rules now .

  7. Bob Jones

    May 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Why not go all the way and make the pros play like the rest of us do? Ban yardage books (except for notes they personally make during practice rounds), ban daily pin sheets, ban caddies. Make them pull their clubs around on a cart and hunt for sprinkler heads to get their distances. Really! I’m not kidding. Once a year I would like to see a tournament played like this.

  8. Duncan Castles

    May 3, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Fully agree that the governing bodies should ban the use of detailed green charts during competitive rounds. They both slow down the game and reduce the need to develop and deploy one of golf’s key skills.

  9. JLBIII

    May 3, 2017 at 8:35 am

    For the last 15 years, I’ve used my feet to read greens. I would never use a mapped chart because it would change my trust and confidence in what I feel.

  10. Ron

    May 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Good idea! Caddies should also not be able to give players any information other than distances and wind direction. The player ought to be able to figure out what club to hit and how to hit it. That goes for alignment too.
    And, USGA, address the ball in motion rule, where the wind moves the ball on the green. The player who doesn’t cause the ball to move should be able to replace it in its original spot without penalty.

  11. Jack Nash

    May 3, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Great idea. Let’s make a 6 hr round 6 1/2 while watching a pro do laps on a green before they decide to get over the ball. Next thing you know there’ll be a 24 sec. clock.

    • Brandon

      May 3, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Actually I would like to see a 90 second shot clock with 3 60 second extensions per round, but that is me personally.

  12. Ron

    May 3, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I’m curious who and what kind of tech creates these topographical green maps? Must be already in the yardage books given to the players before the tournament.

  13. Gordy

    May 2, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    I wish they’d ban the grand stands behind every green that stops the ball from going 30 yards past the hole on a bad shot.

    • Adam P Smith

      May 3, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Agree 100%. In fact last week in China at the European Tour event the 18th hole had water cutting in to the green on the right side with the flag (for round 4) inaccessible some 6 paces from the water. Immediately left of the green was a stand, the closest to a green I’ve ever seen. What happens? More than one pro took dead aim at the lower portion of this stand from 150-180 yards away and bounced the ball onto the green and close to the flag; closer than could have been achieved by a normal shot. Utter madness on the part of the tournament director and officials…those guys need sacked. It’s golf not billiards!

  14. larrybud

    May 2, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Yeah, I can see how this is a problem since nobody seems to miss any putts…. lol I mean, who cares? You better ban all yardage books then, and sprinkler heads with numbers on them, since those numbers were derived from laser range finders.

    Stupid is as stupid does, sums up the USGA nicely.

  15. avg_joseph

    May 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    If all players have access to this same information what does it matter? If the information is out their and they are banned during tournament play, all you are doing is giving a leg up to players with better memory/photographic memory…

    Access to this information speeds up play as well. Do you really want to have these guys(and gals) with millions of dollars on the line taking longer to read putts on their own? If pace of play is such an important issue to the USGA why would they take detailed information out of a players hand that is going to make the pros take longer to do their job? If anything, Courses that have this information should give these to any player with the knowledge to use them to help speed up play!

    • Adam P Smith

      May 3, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Nonsense, use of these green-reading books slows play down; are you Stevie Wonder? But slow play isn’t the real issue in this: skill and judgment is what golf is founded upon not having fancy, cheat-bibles like these.

    • drkviol801

      May 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      I don’t see a problem either, nobody has an advantage over one another with these technological breakthroughs, and it results in better quality golf

  16. chinchbugs

    May 2, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    About Time! This game was getting too easy!

  17. Taylor

    May 2, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I thought the yardage books just had blank green shapes and the pros filled them out as they read the greens. The advantage to the more veteran guys whom have played the greens more and have had many different looks. I didn’t know they were given how the topography of the greens were.

  18. Mark

    May 2, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Good grief. I had no idea they were that detailed. Let us get back to the player and only the player lining up his putts. And these maps should be banned. The club player uses his own eyes so why not someone supposedly more skilled?

  19. ROY

    May 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

    So if I can bring a topographical map why not a wind gauge?? Could extend my 18 foot ball retriever, stick it on the top of that and be a little more certain about what the winds speed and direction is.

    • John

      May 2, 2017 at 11:55 am

      you might be the only guy who knows some rules of golf AND carries an 18 foot ball retriever.

      • Anthony

        May 3, 2017 at 6:58 pm

        he’s that guy that holds people up behind while he retrieves 15 balls from the lake instead of just his own 😉

      • Anthony

        May 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        he’s that guy who holds up play while retrieving 15 balls from the lake instead of just his own hahaha

  20. DB

    May 2, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I believe the charts get even more complicated/detailed than what is pictured.

    And I think they should be restricted at some point. Laser rangefinders that calculate slope are banned from tournament use. What’s the basic difference between that and a fold-out chart that details every little slope in the green?

  21. RG

    May 2, 2017 at 7:03 am

    More ridiculousness from the USGA. Graphite shafts, titanium golf clubs, range finders and four piece multi material golf balls are good, topographical maps bad! ridiculous! the toothpaste is out of the tube.

  22. H

    May 2, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Lemur?

  23. Matt Gates

    May 2, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Seriously USGA….

    This is completely ridiculous. These guys talk about growing the game but yet have zero clue as to what it takes to actually pulls off what current PGA tour pros do. Its actually a little disgusting that these dinosaurs are guiding a sport that so desperately needs an injection of life.

    This still comes down to execution. You HAVE to be able to execute exactly what it says on the books, whether its yardage or the slopes on a green.

    Pathetic…..

    • Brian

      May 2, 2017 at 9:22 am

      What does the use of detailed topographical maps by Tour Pros have to do with growing the game?

      • Joey5Picks

        May 2, 2017 at 3:55 pm

        My question, as well. The two are not related in the slightest.

    • Aaron

      May 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

      ya dumb response, nobody else has access to these charts and even if they did talk about slowing the F out of the game….I can’t stand the USGA but 100% agree with this concern. Putting at all levels is fun to be a part of and the art of the “guess” is great at all levels……

    • Judge Smells

      May 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      cant wait till you see kids at Junior tournaments making topographically maps of the green during their practice round so they can be like Dustin Johnson referring to their green map

  24. DMACK

    May 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I have been playing the same courses for years and am still trying to figure out and remember all the breaks. I definitely think green reading is a big part of the art of putting. The green contour map like shown above can be viewed as equipment that aides the golfer. It’s at least worth a debate. (Can I order such a map for my home course, surely could eliminate some 3 putts.)

    • Scott

      May 2, 2017 at 7:57 am

      DMACK, I was told by a guy at Golf Galaxy that there are highly detailed yardage books out there now (or on their way), but I was told they are a bit pricey. Might be worth it for a few courses though.

    • Zach

      May 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

      We can provide you one…www.flaghunting.com
      Or email us at Zach@flaghunting.com. Not nearly as expensive as people think

  25. Daniel

    May 1, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    If reading a green is an integral part of the game to be preserved where does that leave us with rangefinders? If judgement of a putt is a skill to be preserved and rewarded why not yardage estimation?

    But, I don’t need a thing to make the game harder and I’d wager the bulk of golfers don’t either. Furthers the argument that rules bifurcation is needed in some degree.

    • H

      May 2, 2017 at 3:06 am

      You can’t use rangefinders in professional competition. So that’s what this is implying, that perhaps during play, these contour-Aimpoint maps will be banned, only to be used during practice rounds, as the rangefinders are.

  26. Adam

    May 1, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I assume, then, that these things are why pros look COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY BEWILDERED when they miss something inside 10 feet? They look at these sheets, it tells them one things, they go with it, they miss, they curse the world. How much reliance is on these books and how much of it is actual green reading?

  27. Double Mocha Man

    May 1, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    It is an interesting sort of “give an inch, take a foot” quandary for the USGA. A topographic map for backpacking is good, a topographic map for reading greens is cheating. Unless you’re camping out on the steep ridge on #14 green at Pebble Beach.

    • Adam P Smith

      May 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

      You are funny but you are 100% correct!

  28. Paul G

    May 1, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    seems like luke donald needs to heed some advice from Kendrick Lamar – sit down, be humble.

    wow, players doing what they can while adhering to the rules to help gain information about a course? crazy talk. USGA, stop screwing things up every chance you get. Let your DVR-committee do your bidding to get your rulings right. USGA puts out that they want to allow rangefinders or measuring devices but want to dial back the information you can put in your yardage book? smh.

    • TR1PTIK

      May 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I don’t think their issue is necessarily the level of detail within a yardage book as much as it is how that information is obtained. However, you could not achieve the same level of detail by simply walking a green and rolling a few putts. I agree with the USGA and with Luke Donald though. Green reading is an acquired skill and a bit of an art. Players should be allowed to record slope information in their yardage book, but without the assistance of special equipment. They should only be allowed to make note of the things they can visibly see and physically feel. They should not be able to use any type of technology to help them measure the various contours of a green. Plain and simple. And no, I don’t believe this is in any way similar to using a rangefinder that ONLY measures yardage. Yardage is a far easier measurement to obtain through other means and I believe the use of rangefinders can only help pace of play.

      • Kim

        May 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

        These contour maps are made by digital mapping of the greens. It would be impossible to enforce a rule banning the maps as players could review in privacy off the course. They should be banned on the course during play, including practice and tournament rounds.

        • TR1PTIK

          May 2, 2017 at 1:51 pm

          I think that kind of goes without saying which is why it wasn’t said. Lol. Anyone can do whatever they want off the course.

    • H

      May 1, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Who the F is Kendrick Lamer

      • Poetic Justice

        May 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        I thinks he’s the guy who emailed the usga regarding his disdain for these pga tour yardage books and started this whole quandary.

      • Judge Smells

        May 2, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        hes lexi thompson’s caddy

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Keegan Bradley Puts Srixon Z-Forged Blades in the bag

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This week at the BMW Championship, Srixon staff member Keegan Bradley switched irons from the cult classic Z745 to the company’s current Z-Forged blade irons.

For most players, an iron change is not something you would do during the playoffs, but when talking to the team at Srixon, Keegan had been trying to replace his set for a little while. The Z745s were getting on in years and with recent swing changes, he was also looking for more consistent numbers and distance control. That’s an impressive request from one of the top-50 ballstrikers on tour

Let’s take a quick look at his stats

  • 12th in Proximity to Hole with an average distance of 34.2″
  • 16th in Strokes Gained Approach with .642
  • 38th in Greens in Regulation at 68.45%

His new Z-Forged Iron setup is 4-PW with Nippon Tour 120 X shafts.

Although Keegan started the BMW Championship in 66th place in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, he still has a chance of making it to the Tour Championship with a solid weekend in Chicago.

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Senior golf: Practical suggestions for lowering your scores

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This is the second article is our senior series. I was away for a while, so let’s get back to helping you seniors! If you missed the first article, take a look.

I live just a few yards from the green of a par 3, and it never ceases to amaze me the number of times I see two shots turned into three. Or more. All golfers, (particularly seniors) looking to cut their scores need to pay attention, not just to putts, but to the simple up and down opportunities that they missed. The par three by my house plays anywhere from 160 to 200 years, has a pond bordering the green on the left, and out of bounds (MY HOUSE) on the right. So it’s not an easy hole, and golfers miss that green all day; but even the poorer shots will come within 15, maybe 20 yards of the green. I see no reason a player should leave that hole with anything more than a bogey. Yet I see fives and sixes more than you can imagine…a chip shot is a very simple shot to learn.

MOST of your senior golf years should be spent chipping, pitching and putting.  Here’s why:

After a certain age. or perhaps when one has played a certain number of years, your golf swing can be changed slightly at the most! By slightly I mean this: Let’s say you are a 15 handicap player, you are hitting around five greens a round in regulation. If you make huge improvement in your swing, you may get to seven greens a round in regulation (the average of a 10-handicap player). That still leaves you 11-12 times per round OFF THE GREEN. Now, it’s true of course that swing improvements can also lead to missing closer to the green, but even here we are talking perhaps a pitch instead of a chip from the edge. BOTH these shots are within the skill set of most any golfer if they think and play differently around the greens. Hitting more greens is not always in that player’s capability, but getting the golf ball in the hole in fewer strokes IS!

I’ll use the green by my house as an example: the green is over 25 paces (75 feet) long. Like most courses, carts are kept on the cart path on all par 3s. I can’t begin to tell you how many players leave the cart with ONE, maybe TWO clubs regardless of the length of the shot. Those clubs are very often a wedge (of some loft) and/or a sand/lob wedge. Again most golfers are short with their tee shots (on all holes not just par 3s). So now they are standing in front of chip possibly 70-80 feet long with a 55-degree club. They either stub it or skull it, leaving themselves in double-bogey (or worse) position. That club selection is like taking a hit on 16 in blackjack when the dealer is showing 6!

Again, I know studies show that ballstriking is primary. Of course, you have to get your swing to the point where you can get the ball in play off the tee, but let me ask this question: when ballstriking is as good as it is going to get, you will still miss plenty of greens. What then? Are you doomed to shoot 94 because your swing cannot change greatly? The answer is NO, if you think better, and learn to hit short shots better. A big change in a golf swing requires time and athleticism. Short shots need technique and feel, but MUCH less strength, flexibility or general athleticism.

As a general rule, I teach most of my students the following priority list when near the green

  • PUTT whenever you can
  • CHIP if you can’t putt
  • PITCH only when you must.

Putting and straightforward chipping or bumping-and-running is a MUCH higher percentage shot. Do yourself a favor and play the shot that you are most capable of NOT the one you’ve seen on TV. Look, you’re probably not gonna hole a chip or pitch, so where do you want to be on your next shot?

Many of you have heard of the “rule of 12.” I’m going to try to explain this as simple as possible and suggest quick math for the course.

  • Pace off the distance you want the golf ball to fly and land two paces (5-6 yards) on the green. NO FURTHER THAN THAT!
  • Let’s say that distance is 4 paces (two yards off the green, two yards to land on the green).
  • Now pace from that point to the hole. Let’s say for the sake of simplicity the hole is 8 yards (25 feet or so) from the landing spot.
  • You have a 2 to 1 relationship of carry to roll.
  • Here’s how to do quick course math in your head: 12-2=10 iron, PW
  • If you have 3X roll vs carry, 12-3=9, iron.
  • If you have 4X roll vs carry, 12-4=8 iron. and so on…
  • This is NOT CAST IN STONE, it is merely a guide.
  • NOTE:  This applies to chipping only; next time I’ll deal with pitching. And course, just like putting uphill, downhill, into grain, down grain etc. have to be taken into consideration.

 Simple drill:  Put a headcover two paces on the green. Chip to it, no further! See what club it takes to reach various hole positions.

No one knows better than a golf instructor of nearly 40 years how difficult it is to get someone to change their habits. I can’t tell you how many times I have suggested people try another approach around the green, and invariably they go right back to their “favorite club.” It’s your choice, but PLEASE practice your short game most of the time!

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Morning 9: U.S. Am, BMW report | Tiger’s start | ROY race

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 16, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Round 1 report
AP report on Justin Thomas’ opening-round 65…”On the range, Justin Thomas had no idea where the ball was going. Some five hours later, he had a share of the course record at Medinah.”
  • “Ultimately, all that mattered Thursday in the BMW Championship was taking a good step toward an important goal. Thomas already is set for the TOUR Championship next week and the chase for FedExCup and its $15 million prize. That’s not what interests him.”
  • “It’s about winning tournaments,” he said.
  • “He made his first birdie after hitting a tree on the fourth hole, leaving him a 5-iron he hit to 2 feet. His last birdie was a putt from about 60 feet on the fringe from the back of the 16th green. He did enough right in between for a 7-under 65 and a share of the lead with Jason Kokrak.”

Full piece.

2. U.S. Am
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard on the action from the Round of 16…
  • “The afternoon session on Pinehurst No. 2 began with a handful of lopsided matches, highlighted by Parker Coody’s 6 and 5 loss to Spencer Ralston. Before his Round of 16 loss, Coody had been cruising through match play with victories of 7 and 6 on Wednesday and 5 and 4 in Thursday’s morning Round of 32.”
  • “Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree followed suit shortly after with a 5 and 4 victory over Blake Hathcoat, with 17-year-old junior golfer Cohen Trolio defeating Alex Fitzpatrick by the same margin. Fellow teenager Palmer Jackson, 18, earned a 2 up victory over Isaiah Salinda, who earlier this Spring went 3-0 in match play to help lead his Stanford Cardinal to the NCAA national championship.”

Full piece.

Other matches: Austin Squires topped John Pak…William Holcomb V beat Pierceson Coody…Karl Vilips eliminated Brad Dalke…
3. Green in front
EuropeanTour.com report…”Gavin Green picked up where he left off 12 months ago with an opening 64 to take the first round lead at the D+D Real Czech Masters.”
  • “The Malaysian made his debut at Albatross Golf Resort last season and was one of four players to match the course record with an opening 64 before he went on to post the lowest 36 hole total in tournament history.”
  • “Another eight under par effort handed him the solo lead after 18 holes this time around, as he led the way from England’s Lee Slattery and South African Erik van Rooyen.”

Full piece.

4. Tiger’s start
Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek“On a day when most players were in the Diamond Lane rising to the top of the leaderboard as venerable Medinah Country Club was vulnerable after recent rains, Woods got stuck in the slow lane and got lost in the leaders’ rearview mirrors.”
  • “Woods put his signature to a pedestrian 1-under-par 71 on a day when nearly half the field was speeding along in the 60s. While breaking par was a victory for Woods after he was forced to withdraw from last week’s Northern Trust with an oblique strain, there was little to celebrate.”
  • “Once I got on the golf course and felt how soft the greens were, it’s like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go. We’ve got to make birdies,'” said Woods, who did make three in his first five holes but only one after that. “I didn’t feel any tightness in my oblique at all, so that was a positive, and I just need to clean up my rounds and get going. Seems like the whole field is under par. The golf course is soft. Even though it’s long, it’s just gettable.”
5. ROY race
Cameron Morfit at PGATour.com…”It was hard to miss the symbolism as Sungjae Im, 26th in the FedExCup and the current favorite for Rookie of the Year, stroked putts on the practice green after an opening-round, 2-under 70 at the BMW Championship at Medinah No. 3.”
  • “That’s because behind him, meeting the press after his 5-under 67, was Collin Morikawa.”
  • “…Five rookies have advanced to the 69-player BMW Championship: frontrunner Im (FedExCup No. 26), Morikawa (57), Cameron Champ (58), Adam Long (65) and Wyndham Clark (68).”
6. The fateful call
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”Speaking on Wednesday night as part of his induction into the Western Golf Association’s Caddie Hall of Fame, LaCava regaled attendees with this simple back and forth between him and his current boss, Tiger Woods, circa 2011.”
  • Woods to LaCava: “Are you interested [in being my caddie]?”
  • LaCava: “F*** yeah, I’m interested!”

Full piece.

7. Viktor! 
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker…”When the PGA Tour regular season ended a couple of weeks ago, former Oklahoma State star Viktor Hovland found himself on the wrong side of getting his card straight out of college, coming up an agonizing 67 FedEx Cup points short.”
  • “Naturally, there was a swell of support that he should be granted one anyway, since in five of his starts he didn’t earn any points because he was an amateur. Among the finishes that didn’t count: A T-12 at the U.S. Open and a T-32 at the Masters. Had he been retroactively awarded those points, he would have earned enough to qualify for the Playoffs and more importantly gotten a card for next season.”
  • “I knew going in that most likely the way I had to make my PGA Tour card was through the Korn Ferry [Tour] Finals,” Hovland said from this week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Ohio, where he continues his quest to earn a PGA Tour card. “So I’m looking forward to getting off to a good start here at Scarlet.”

Full piece.

8. Top instructors on slow play
Digest’s Matthew Rudy chatted with some of the biggest names in instruction about pace-of-play in pro golf…
  • “Jim McLean (Jim McLean Golf School at the Biltmore, Coral Gables, Fla.): It’s a major issue. Slow play ruins golf, whether you’re talking about a tour event or a regular weekend round at a public course. How many tee times is a course losing when a round takes five and a half hours?”
  • “Mark Blackburn (Greystone Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, Ala.): Yes, it’s an issue for the Tour, but I wouldn’t call it a universal issue. So much of it has to do with course design. In the U.S., you’re usually riding, and the tee boxes are far away from the previous green. I walked 11 miles following [student] Chez Reavie in Kapalua. That takes time. A course with water and sand? It just takes longer. They’re not having the same problems in the U.K., where the classic courses have tees and greens that are closer together. You’re playing in two and a half hours over there.”

Full piece.

9. Screw the haters
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”During the Wednesday round he recorded a video for another user’s Snapchat account, which was subsequently recorded and made the rounds in a more public manner.”
  • “In the video DeChambeau remains unapologetic, noting that despite the viral putt he was “never on the clock last week” at Liberty National.”
  • “I’m out here, doing the right thing, having a great time with the pro-am guys, killing it,” DeChambeau said. “And honestly, we’re on these guys’ asses all the time. Last week I played under time par, this week we’ll do the same thing.”
  • …”Y’all can say whatever you want, but we’re having a f—ing awesome time,” DeChambeau said. “So screw all y’all haters, no big deal. I still love you all, even though you hate me.”
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