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“I play golf.” Be proud to be a golfer

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More than just a cool slogan on a hoodie, the words “I play golf” have had such a strong impact on me throughout my life.

Like any kid growing up, I had a variety of interests… but ultimately, sports ran my life. Whether it was watching or playing, I lived for basketball during basketball season, football during football season, and baseball during baseball season. But ever since I could walk, I took a strange liking to golf in particular, and it never had an “off-season” to me. In the spring, summer and fall months, I went to the range (often forcing my mom to videotape my swing for hours), to the golf course with my dad, or hit pitch shots in my backyard until sunset or long after. In the winter, I chipped on the carpet in our living room, or I swung a golf club in a mirror working on my positions. I was obsessed with the game.

IplayGolfWRXDetroit

Often times, however, it was a personal obsession; something I kept to myself. Kids can be cruel, and playing golf was more of a reason to be ridiculed than praised for me while growing up. So I always told people “I play basketball,” or “I play football.” Rarely did I say, or at least say proudly, “I play golf.”

But as time went on, and I went from playing golf in junior events, to high school matches, to playing golf in college, I started saying it more and more proudly. My college peers, probably from all of the student-athlete gear I’d wear to and from class, knew I played a sport at Rutgers. They’d ask, “what do you play; baseball or lacrosse or something?” And I’d answer, “No, I play golf.”

IplayGolfWRXGrafitti

I was being borderline cocky with my answer, if we’re being honest. I liked playing Division I golf, plus I had worked so hard to get there I felt entitled to that bravado. It also felt good to not hide my passion for golf amongst my peers anymore like I did when I was younger. Some people even thought it was pretty cool I played golf.

A funny thing happened my junior year while on the golf team at Rutgers, however. A tumor popped up into my spine, and the back spasms were so bad I needed immediate surgery. Back surgery at 20 years old is far from ideal for anyone, but as a collegiate golfer with big aspirations, it could have meant the end of my career. And it almost did.

I was forced, both physically and by my doctors, to red shirt my senior year. That meant I did not in fact play golf. For awhile, I couldn’t even stand to putt, let alone work on my swing at the range. “I play golf.” Maybe those are words I’ll never say again, I thought at the time.

"The Blackout" hat by @Back9usa

“The Blackout” hat by @Back9usa

Sometime during my senior season, however, I began swinging the golf club again. Then I started playing golf again. Then I started scoring pretty well during practice rounds, and I felt I was “back.” But this time around, I had a new appreciation for the sport that I’ve always loved.

After graduating from Rutgers, and with a year of eligibility still left to play collegiately, I took my (mostly diminished) talents to Hawaii; a Division II school called Hawaii Pacific University. When people asked me at HPU what sport I played, I proudly — not with embarrassment, apprehension, or some unwarranted cockiness —  told them “I play golf.”

IplayGolfOneway

The words “I play golf” may have different meanings to you, depending on your perspective. Actually, I had a swing coach one time who would repeatedly ask me, “Do you play golf swing or do you play golf?” to which I’d answer “I play golf.” But, to me, the words “I play golf” on this hoodie represent a lifelong relationship with golf that went through ups and downs, but today I’m proud to be a golfer, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to play the game I love most. And to anyone who gets made fun of — kids, adults, whomever — for playing golf, I say screw em; be proud of who you are and what you love. Life’s too short to be ashamed of yourself, and golf truly is the greatest game ever played, isn’t it?

If you’re proud to be a golfer, purchase your “I play golf.”  hoodie here.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Laney

    Nov 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Such a well-written and poignant article. And the hoodie is dope AF.

  2. Mad-Mex

    Oct 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    “Back surgery at 20 years old is far from ideal for anyone, but as a collegiate golfer with big aspirations, it could have meant the end of my career.”,,, what a narcissist hit piece! Really? I can easily introduce you to a dozen men and women 20 years old who had one or both legs blown off, I can also introduce you to a dozen or more young men and women who work while attending high school or community college paying their way and helping their family. GOLF is a LUXURY !!!

    Let’s see how long before this one is deleted too.

    • Jack

      Oct 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Yeah, what a loser for being upset about losing out on a lifelong career dream. Hey people have had legs blown off, so no whining about back surgery!

      Actually you know what, the guys with blown off legs should shut their holes too, I know people who DIED in combat, so these guys with two working limbs and a heartbeat should just shut the hell up too I guess.

  3. Dave

    Oct 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

    The comments here are funny.

  4. LD

    Oct 30, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Looks like they also added enough “likes” to prevent the article from being the shank that it is. Pathetic.

  5. 2putttom

    Oct 29, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    ” for playing golf, I say screw em; be proud of who you are and what you love. Life’s too short to be ashamed of yourself, and golf truly is the greatest game ever played, isn’t it?”

    . spot on

    • C.B.

      Oct 30, 2017 at 2:21 am

      We all know it was you who caused it all to happen with your incessant nonsense

  6. Stevens

    Oct 29, 2017 at 11:57 am

    The game is doing just fine now without the Tiger Woods bandwagon of fickle children. Please don’t encourage them to return.

  7. Tim Gunn

    Oct 29, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Make it work!

  8. The dude

    Oct 28, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This is a joke right???

    • Sr. Golfer

      Oct 29, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      If anybody walked into my golf club wearing that hoodie and baggy pants they would be quickly escorted out the front gate. So yes, it is a joke, a bad joke.

  9. Phil

    Oct 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Golfer’s Anthem:
    O say can you see, the golf ball on the tee,
    What so proudly we play to twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad fairways and bright greens through the perilous OBs,
    O’er the sand bunkers we watched, were so gallantly swinging!
    And the driver’s fast flare, the balls flying in air,
    Gave proof through the green that the flag was still there;
    O say does that golf-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    • AP

      Oct 30, 2017 at 12:14 am

      No kneeling…. stand up and sing proudly.

      • C.B.

        Oct 30, 2017 at 2:20 am

        You really enjoy talking to yourself, don’t you?

  10. Duncan

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    #curmudgeon Take the hate elsewhere. Grow the game bro

    • Closing time

      Oct 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Are you serious? You still have brought nothing to the table accept apparent hate probably stemming from jealousy…you’re that guy who looks at me and our group of players who are for most part finishing/finished baseball careers, and came to a private country club with full sleeve tattoos accumulated while bouncing around country playing baseball and golf when not playing ball…it’s those like you so quick to judge, I’ve seen it literally. Yet guys I’ve crossed paths with on web. and PGA Tour are the last to decide someone’s character by appearance. Occasionally 2 NFL players joined us this summer, and its you a full grown man asking for autographs after passing judgement for the way someone looks. Cheers to you, and hope you change the way you think…the close minded miss out on life

  11. Duncan

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Your serious? Let me guess… over 60 curmudgeon.

  12. Duncan

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Great article. Make golf great again. I am in the same boat. Much cooler to say your a race car driver or basketball player than a golfer. Golfer I am.

  13. 8thehardway

    Oct 28, 2017 at 12:15 am

    ‘The hoodie, you own it, you better never let it go.’

    Your heartfelt shame-to-pride journey is bookended with ads for the $39.95 hoodie you wear in the accompanying eminem-inspired photo shoot? I’m calling a Slim Shady on this infomercial.

  14. alfred

    Oct 27, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Good stuff!

  15. Terry

    Oct 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I dont get this article

    • Duncan

      Oct 28, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Troll, hater. Must have been banned. You can smell it.

  16. RonL

    Oct 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    How about these slogans?:
    Golf is my passion
    Golf is for lovers
    Golf is power
    Golf is happiness
    Golf is wonderful
    Golf is important
    Golf is golf

  17. Scott

    Oct 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I have played golf when it was kind of cool (maybe kind of cool?), then not cool, then very cool, and now, not that cool. Not sure that I was ever laughed at or made fun of. I never really care what people think. So heck yeah! I play golf!! Always something I could do with my dad. He woudl needle the $^!t out of me and piss me off to no end. What I wouldn’t give to have any of those days back.

  18. Travis

    Oct 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I’d buy a hoodie if it didn’t say “GolfWRX” right on the hood. What a stupid location for that…

    • M. Vegas

      Oct 27, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Back the blue!

      • Morpheus

        Oct 28, 2017 at 2:14 am

        You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

    • Duncan

      Oct 28, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      hater. How about be proud and grow the game. #curmudgeon

  19. 037

    Oct 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    So you ran away to Hawaii, where there is nothing else to do but play golf and surf and thought you were cool saying you played golf? Boohoo. I don’t think you were in a challenging environment to say that with any power. You should have gone to some cold weather poor industrial town and say that in the middle of the town square where people have never even come close to golf and see what happens then

  20. SteveK

    Oct 27, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    In a word(s) …. OCD ….. and everybody wants to ‘play’ for fun, but only a few want to ‘perform’ for the satisfaction of accomplishment.

  21. Phil

    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Fried Eggs golf should do a rap video with this hoodie on.

    • Colonel

      Oct 28, 2017 at 2:18 am

      Yes…. rap and golf go hand in hand ….. yo’ bro’

  22. JT

    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I’d love to play a round with you Andrew. I found this game about 6 years ago and have been obsessed ever since. I only wish that I had found this game earlier. Very cool hoodie.

    To the other commenter, thank you for your service! I say never be afraid to say you served.

  23. me

    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Re. ‘Golfer’ post above… It sucks that you feel that way. Golf is awesome! It’s a great sport and is great for the soul, esp when compared to other sports imo.

    Thank you for your service in the military… my family and I are LUCKY to have people like you. Never be ashamed, b/c if people make you feel that way about being in the military… you don’t want to be around them anyway. THANK YOU!

  24. Golfer

    Oct 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Until recently there were two things I did not like to share with others: That I play golf and that I was in the military. Nowdays I share the golf connection with virtually everyone and the military connection with a select few.

    Thank you for your article Andrew.

    • LaBraeGolfer

      Oct 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Golfer sorry to hear that you felt ashamed being in the military. Where I come from our military men and women are our heroes. I have a fair amount of family that served. Thank You for your service!!!

    • 2putttom

      Oct 29, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      +1 thank you for your service

    • Mad-Mex

      Oct 30, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      My BS meter went off after reading this,,,,, and yes, I am a 20+ year Vet and I am indifferent about playing this GAME,,,

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Equipment

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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Spotted: Justin Rose is testing a new TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” wedge

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On Twitter today, Justin Rose posted a photo of a never-before-seen TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” 60-degree wedge. As the name suggests, it appears the toe portion is raised; we’ve seen this high-toe design from other manufacturers, and the benefits of those designs included increasing face area on open-faced shots, and shifting CG (center of gravity) to where it’s more beneficial for wedge play (likely higher for more spin and a lower flight).

The wedge is also stamped with “MG” to suggest it’s a “milled grind” wedge, much like TaylorMade’s popular wedge line that’s in stores now. There also appears to be slots behind the face, likely to also shift CG to where it’s deemed more beneficial.

Talks of a TaylorMade wedge with a high-toe design were actually started by Dustin Johnson a few weeks ago in a press conference. His full comments on that wedge are above, and you can join the discussion about the wedge in our forums.

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GolfWRX Exclusive: Patton Kizzire speaks on first PGA Tour win, WITB, new 718 irons

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Patton Kizzire nabbed his maiden PGA Tour win at last week’s OHL Classic, outlasting a late charge from Rickie Fowler. He raised his first Trophy with a bag full of Titleist equipment and a Titleist ProV1x.

Following the event, our Andrew Tursky had a revealing chat with Patton about the win and the clubs he used to do it.

GolfWRX: When you’re leading down the stretch, are you leaderboard watching? Does a big name like Rickie Fowler chasing you have any effect on your mentality/gameplan?

Patton Kizzire: For most of the tournament, I try not to look at the leaderboard. I took a long look on 15…and I just wanted to make sure nobody was ahead of Rickie and closer to me, and I just went from there.

GolfWRX: Do you get defensive or less aggressive down the stretch? Are you aiming away from pins, or are you ‘head down, keep it going’?

PK: It’s all situational. On difficult holes, maybe [I] play a bit more conservatively. I certainly wasn’t willing to take any chances with a three-stroke lead. I was playing the percentages. I maybe didn’t hit the best shots of the tournament there toward the end. The beginning of the back nine — 12, 13, 14 — were not my best tee shots. But I certainly wasn’t trying to play defensive. I was trying to play aggressively to conservative targets.

GolfWRX: Were there a lot of nerves coming home down the stretch?

PK: It was a little nerve wracking, but it wasn’t my first time in contention. I was able to draw on some of my near-misses, especially the Safeway Open last year. I was in a very similar spot on the weekend on Sunday, and I didn’t get it done, but I was able to look back at that and learn a little bit.

GolfWRX: It looks like you don’t do a whole lot of switching. You’ve still got a 913 Hybrid in the bag and a putter that’s been in the bag for years, too. What does your testing process look like when Titleist comes out with new equipment?

PK: Titleist has been really consistent for me since I was 15…I’ve played Titleist equipment almost exclusively since I was 15 or so. Every year it seems they come out with something new, and I have so much trust in it. It’s a pretty seamless transition. I don’t switch much. I try to put the new irons in play, the new driver, the new woods.

But something like a hybrid, you kind of have a club you fall in love with over the years, and I’ve been a little bit hesitant to switch that. The new balls, the new woods, the new irons are pretty easy for me to get into. And the Vokey team…have done such a great job with wedges”

And I have to mention the putter. The Scotty Cameron GoLo putter has been in my bag for about five years. And I owe a lot of my success to putting.

GolfWRX: Do you ever look to switch out your putter, or do you just kind of love that one and it works for you?

PK: I’ve toyed around with other putters here and there, but I always go right back to the GoLo. For whatever reason, maybe because I’ve used it so long, it just seems like what a putter should be. I feel really comfortable with it. I always gravitate back to the GoLo.

GolfWRX: What makes the wedges a good fit for you?

PK: The way they go through the turf. I like to have a strong leading edge to go through the turf. And the lob wedge needs to perform well around the greens and in the bunker. I’ve really been hitting my bunker shots well with my new 60 degree. I have different versions of the same wedges. Aaron [Dill] does great work in the truck. He kind of tweaks it here and there for me, and they perform like expect them to.

GolfWRX: How often do you switch out wedges?

PK: I get a new 60 degree the most…every four or five tournaments. New 56 and 52 every six to eight tournaments. I try to keep that 60 degree sharp. If we get to a course with firm greens and my wedge doesn’t have the bite that I want it to have, I’ll definitely give the Titleist guys a call.

GolfWRX: What kind of grind do you have on that 60?

PK: We call it the “Dufner grind.” I saw Jason Dufner had one like that about a year ago, and I told Aaron, “I want one like that.” I don’t know what the grind is, but it’s really good for me. [Note: The grind is a modified K grind.]

GolfWRX: One last question… How do the 718 irons look and feel different than the 716 irons?

PK: They don’t look a whole lot different. They’ve been holding their flight better in the wind. I’m able to get the long irons up in the air a little bit. That’s something I look for, being able to control the trajectory. I kind of imagine the shots that I want to hit, and the 718s are coming out on the flight that I want them to.

The good folks in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were kind enough to furnish us with some details about Kizzire’s setup.

Titleist tells us Kizzire switched to from the 915D4 driver to the 917D3 the first week it was available at the Quicken Loans National last year. He switched to the 718 irons to start the 2017-18 season at the Safeway. After missing the cut at in Napa, he has finished T10 (Sanderson Farms), 4th (Shriners Hospitals Open for Children) and then won the OHL Classic.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck had this to say about working with Kizzire.

“Patton likes traditional look throughout his bag but needs vertical help with his angle of attack.  A 10.5 degree 917D3 helps him with launch but still controls his swing.  The shaft is based on a platform he had success with us early in his career and he really loves the feel.”

“The 917 F2 was a perfect fit for Patton early on.  He loved the ball speed and having a 16.5 allows him get great launch out of a club he has had trouble with in the past.  Titleist Tour Rep Jim Curran worked extensively on finding him a shaft that felt good, was the proper weight, and yet still launched the way Patton wanted. Tour Blue 95 fit the bill – and Patton has been in it for a year.”

“Patton loves the look of traditional irons and the 718 MB fit the bill for his look and his desire to control flight.  Now, as he moves up through his bag, he has multiple options in 718 which really helps his game. He moves to 718 CB at his 5 and 6 irons, and then carries the 718 T-MB at 4-iron which helps gapping and ball flight at the top of his set.”

Vokey Design Wedge rep Aaron Dill regarding Patton’s wedges:

“Patton has a old school approach to wedge selection.  When he finds a wedge he likes he will rarely make a switch. He doesn’t blame the wedge for poor or mishit shots. His technique is smooth and accurate with mid to high ball flight. His 52 and 56-degree wedges have been in the bag for a while now, and his 60 has changed a little keeping the width but changing the bounce angle for conditions. He likes an old school look which is why we add offset to his 60.”

Kelley Moser on Kizzire’s Cameron GoLo:

“Patton has been using a Scotty Cameron GoLo model since his mini tour days. The one he is currently using was a backup that was made for him when he first earned his PGA TOUR card. He had a stock shaft and silver head version that he used for a long time, but he wanted to shake it up a little so we made him one with a black shaft and a dark finish. He loved it and after his victory said he’s pretty sure this one is in the bag permanently.”

Many thanks to Patton for the talk and the folks at Titleist for sharing some insights on the newly minted PGA Tour winner’s WITB.

You can see Kizzire’s full WITB here

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