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19th Hole

Sounds like Justin Thomas has the formula for continued success



Considering, you know, he was just named the PGA Tour’s 2016-2017 Player of the Year and all, Justin Thomas is coming off a pretty decent season. He won five times, including the PGA Championship. He was third in season scoring average at 69.35. He shot 59 at the Sony Open and 63 at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

So, yeah, it was a good year, and Thomas had some interesting things to say after collecting his POY trophy.

You can’t let up one bit

Thomas learned the imperative of pouring in birdies in college.

“I love going low. I love making birdies. It’s something I honestly, as crazy as it is, I really think it speaks a lot to the courses that we played in college at Alabama. They weren’t exactly the hardest golf courses, but they were pretty good courses, but you could really score on them, and that’s something that Coach [Jay] Seawell would preach to us.”

“When you go out and play professional golf, you need to know how to make birdies, and you need to know what you’re doing when you’re six-under through nine or have a chance at 59, because you can’t let up one bit.”

Improved course management has been key

Of course, you can’t fire at every pin. Thomas explained caddie Jimmy Johnson has helped him keep the pedal down when he’s cruising and play more conservatively when he’s slightly off.

“I felt like I’ve always had the firepower to do so, but it was just about keeping the pedal down and keeping that aggressive mind frame when you’re playing that well,” he added. “That was something I was able to do, and Jimmy [Johnson, his caddie] did a great job, as well, helping me not change my mind frame and our game plan when we’re playing really well and just continue to attack, and yeah, I posted a lot of low numbers over the last couple years, but especially this year.”

“You could look at me now versus me probably in my rookie year, and I’d say that’s the difference – it’s just experience. You have to pick your spots.”

The combination of stellar birdie making and shrewd bogey avoidance; powerful stuff.

Goals for 2017-2018

Much was made of Thomas’ ambitious goals for 2016-2017, nearly all of which he completed. Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, JT shed a little light on his goal-setting formula.

“I don’t know who I heard it from back in college or whenever it was, but you just have to break it up. You have to have two to four goals that are very achievable, two to four goals that are in grasp but will be tough, and two to four goals that are maybe a little bit out of the realm and are going to be very difficult to do, but are somewhat achievable if you have a great year like I did this year.”

Seeking advice from the right sources

When asked what he’d to ensure an equally good or better performance in 2017-2018, Thomas offered a wise reply: talk to the handful of guys who have been able to sustain high performance.

“I’ll probably spend some time talking to Mr. Nicklaus about or Tiger because those are guys — those are the only people — or even Jordan, those are the only people I know that have had such success in one season multiple times, and they’ve had to deal with resetting their goals and reevaluating.”

We talk a lot about Thomas’ prodigious birdie making, the raw power he generates with his 155-pound frame, his “Ambassador of Tour Sauce” status. But it sounds like Thomas has learned the critical lessons of course management and standing on the shoulders of giants. Which is to say, he could easily be the 2017-2018 Player of the Year as well.

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  1. mlecuni

    Oct 6, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Seems like a good guy, i really hope he will keep his head on his shoulders

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19th Hole

ATV-riding vandals wrecked a golf course; county offers reward for information leading to arrest



Vandals on a pair of ATVs began tearing up Putnam County Golf Course December 30, damaging both fairways and greens. Per a report, the clowns have returned to the New York course at least three times this month.

As you may have guessed from its name, Putnam County Golf Course is a municipal track, so taxpayers are stuck with the bill for course repairs.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell told, “The Putnam County Golf Course has been a premier destination in the Hudson Valley with its lush greens at public prices. We cannot allow individuals to misuse the golf course at the expense of the taxpayers.”

As such, the county is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of these idiots.

Anyone with information can call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300 and the Carmel police at 845-628-1300.

Hudson Valley GolfWRX members, let’s bring these ATV-riding a-holes to justice.

(h/t Kevin Cunningham,

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19th Hole

Curtis Strange didn’t like Jon Rahm’s behavior during CareerBuilder playoff. Is he right?



Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry filled their plates at the birdie buffet CareerBuilder Challenge to each finish at 22 under par. The pair battled in a four-hole playoff, with Rahm emerging victorious.

Good stuff if you like watching pros pencil circles on their scorecards, right? Not for Curtis Strange. The two-time U.S. Open winner didn’t like the pair’s chumminess between shots during the playoff, and he did what angry people do in the year 2018: He tweeted about it.

Hat tip to Alex Myers at Golf Digest for spotting this (as one Twitter user commented) “get off my lawn take” from Mr. Strange.

Here’s Strange’s dad tweets, curious punctuation and all, as well as a sampling of some of the replies.

So, what say you, GolfWRX members of all generations?

Plenty have maligned the friendliness of the current crop of young talent. Rahm, for his part, has been characterized as more of a volcano than a gentle breeze on the course in general, but this specific bit of chatter is doubtless bothersome to the old-school hardline set.

Clearly, Rahm wasn’t adversely affected by the dialogue. Was Landry? Was your enjoyment of the telecast affected? Let us know.

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19th Hole

Is this the worst “my clubs were stolen” story ever?



Tom Owen. Remember the name, because this unfortunate gentleman may have the worst tale of club theft in recent memory.

Now, the experience of having one’s bag pilfered, never to be seen again, is awful. Your clubs are simply gone, and you have no idea who took them and where they went. Tom Owen had the first part of that experience, however, he knows exactly where his clubs are…and he can’t (legally) do anything about it.

Therese Henkin New Zealand’s Howick & Pakuranga Times originally reported the story.

Mr. Owen’s bag, with its thousands of dollars of equipment and his cell phone, was lifted December 15th from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point, New Zealand.

“They took everything, all my clubs, my bag, trundle, golf balls and my mobile phone which was tucked away inside the bag,” he told the paper.

However, as this is the 21st century, Owen was able to track his phone (which was in his golf bag) to a nearby residential address on Pigeon Mountain Road.

Presumably overjoyed, he called the police to report the theft and the location of his stolen property. One can only imagine his despair when he was told the authorities would be unable to lawfully search the premises and thus could not recover his clubs.

After reporting the incident, Owen was surprised to learn that police were not able to search the premises for the goods.

A police spokesperson explained.

“While we understand people may think police can use the tracking system people use on their phones and then send a patrol car to retrieve the property, under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police officers do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone. If police resources are available and the technology can pin-point a specific address such as a household, Police are able to knock on the door and make enquiries, but not enter.”

Obviously, Owen isn’t a fan of the law, and he thinks it puts victims in a bad position. He’s right: Knowing the authorities can’t do anything, but knowing where your stolen phone, etc, is, do you risk your life taking the law into your own hands?

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it. If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does this make any sense? Do you join Owen in calling for a rewriting of the law?

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19th Hole