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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy doesn’t want new caddie to look him in the eye, per video



Not that now is the best time to be having fun at Rory McIlroy’s expense, but long-serving parodist is doing just that…and it’s pretty funny.

McIlroy tied for 22nd at the PGA Championship before revealing the rib injury that has plagued him since the winter is worse than we knew, causing him back spasms and numbness in his arm. He indicated he’s taking an undetermined time off to rest and deal with the issue.

So, while we may not be seeing the Ulsterman for a while, we might as well…laugh, right? “Golf impersonator” (not sure if that’s a full-time career) Steven Connolly sent the site this video of “Rory McIlroy explaining to the press what he is looking for in his next caddie.”

Per the video, the new caddie must:

  • Never call him Rory on course, when he’s on course, his name is Rocky.
  • Never look him in the eye.
  • Laugh at all his jokes on the golf course.

To see Rory’s other “requirements,” check out the video.

Even if the video isn’t your specific cup of tea, you have to respect the quality of the impersonation and the synching with the video. Further, golf needs all the original content and levity it can get. Think of the amount of this sort of stuff in, say, football.

Anyway, get well Rocky, err, Rory, and good luck with that caddie search!

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19th Hole

Who would you most want to trade swings with on Tour?



Equipment expert Brian Knudson and Editor Andrew Tursky cover a wide variety of topics in this episode including golf movies, golf swings, and Jake Owen making his pro tournament debut. Watch and enjoy the video below!

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19th Hole

The great “golfers don’t get paid enough” debate



Do professional golfers stack as much cash as they ought to? Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Sam Snead would certainly say so (even allowing for inflation).

Even so, everything is relative, and (on court/course/field) athlete compensation is a function of ad dollars, sponsorships, and television deals, as we all know. In golf, it’s pretty simple tale we’ve heard time and again: Purse sizes swelled during the Tiger Woods era as sponsorship dollars flooded into the sport and more people tuned in.

Today’s PGA Tour pros are the beneficiaries…except they’re still being short-changed, GolfWRX member MaddMaxx suggests in a forum thread he dedicated to the topic.

Jordan Spieth: $34.5 million
Salary/bonuses: $5.5 million
Endorsements: $29 million

So he made 5.5 million. The pay of a 3rd string baseball player, a soccer player who shows up.
A fairly good hockey player…..

Which sport so you think is the lowest/highest paid when considering:

the talent/ability required
hours of practice
pressure situations(stress)
have a life outside the sport
life after the sport

I think golf is the most underpaid.

Your-away argues the opposite

“He will also be making millions much later in life than any other sport, soccer players are generally done by there mid 30’s, he will just be reaching his prime. I think good pro golfers have it pretty good.”

RSinSG offered some perspective.

“It’s all about putting people in stadium seats or in front of a TV.  Ticket sales = more salary. A group of athletes who are even more underpaid are all female athletes. They play just as hard, practice just as long but since the viewership is so small the pay is proportional.”

Seth Pistol called to mind the athletes with arguably the worst lot

“Salary is based on demand, not based on skill.  not only ticket sales but TV contracts, endorsement opportunities, merchandising, etc etc etc.  Golfers get paid pretty well in my opinion.  Think about the hundreds of Olympic athletes who scrape by.  These athletes are no less talented or dedicated but their sport is “unpopular” and therefore $$$ is non-existant.  Those are the guys who really get screwed.”

MattyO1984 writes

“I am of course biased in all of this because Golf is my number one sport but in comparison when you consider that the winner of the tennis US Open received, $3.7 Million this year, compared to the $2.16 Million that Koepka got, I think you can argue that golfers, in the world of sport, are underpaid.”       

Raynorfan1 thinks this is lunacy

“This is crazy talk. In the HISTORY of mens tennis, only 54 guys have made $10M (in aggregate for their career)…compared to 174 in golf. Tiger Woods has made almost exactly the same amount as Roger Federer ($~110M), but Federer has had the more dominant career.

“Then look down to #10 on the career money lists – for golf, it’s Steve Stricker at $43 million. For tennis, its BORIS freaking BECKER. Stricker has won basically nothing (no majors). Becker won 6 slams and made a total of $25M.”

And these are just culled from the first 15 replies. And the thread is only a day old! In other words, the thread is blowing up and the takes are red hot.

How can you not have a strong opinion on the issue of player compensation? Join the discussion!


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19th Hole

Is it really that hard to make it to the PGA Tour?



Most high handicappers delude themselves into thinking that with the right tip from a golf magazine, they’ll be par shooters. Likewise, many a scratch player believes (if only he had the practice time!) could make it to the professional circuit.

In that vein: How tough is it really to make it to the PGA Tour? More specifically, how large is/what constitutes the divide between mini tour players and those with PGA Tour cards?

GolfWRX member wmblake2000 devoted a thread to the topic. He writes.

“I met a young guy at the range today – 23 yrs. This kid had a stunning swing, professional grade. So much speed, just beautiful to witness. I never really saw him putt chip nor, obviously, play. But the boy was impressive and has serious talent.

“I asked him what he was doing – trying to make the pga tour, of course. Next year he’s going to play the South American tour, which I had never heard of. He said top 5 make the tour. Out of 100+. The average driver carry distance on this tour is 297, he said. His point was, the guys on this tour could all play.

“Now, distance and swing isn’t the same as scoring under pressure but, damn, this kid looked good to me and his odds of making the pga tour are very slim at best.”

The early replies are stellar. WRXer bcinstinct pulls this quote from an NPR interview with John Feinstein from when the sportswriter was doing his research for Tales From Q School

“If you walk down the range at the first stage – there are 14 first stage sites of Q School every year – and just watch the guys swing a golf club, you couldn’t tell the difference between them and the guys on the tour. They can all hit it 300 yards, they all have beautiful swings.

“The difference is that the guys at the top level can play under the most pressure. That’s where you separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls in professional golf. It’s your ability to repeat your swing under pressure and to make putts under pressure. Tiger Woods, in 2005, had 485 putts on tour of five feet or less. He missed none of them. That’s one of the reasons he’s Tiger Woods.”

The insights and anecdotes that follow make this a must-read thread even though it’s nary a few days old.

And at the risk of stomping on any dreams: For anyone who hasn’t grown up competing as an elite amateur and at least been recruited by a top college golf program, it’s incredibly, incredibly, unlikely you’ll ever make it to the PGA Tour.

Anyway, check out the full thread.

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