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19th Hole

Gary Player, sad for the Old Course, calls for bifurcation



Ross Fisher fired a final-round 11-under 61 at the Old Course at St. Andrews to capture the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Fisher’s new course record didn’t sit well with legend of the game Gary Player.

He tweeted this Sunday night.

The Old Course was lengthened substantially ahead of the 2010 British Open. Rory McIlroy fired a 63 that year. At least one player has carded a 62 in the previous five Dunhill Links.

The most telling and significant tweet from Player, however, came in reply to a reply, as it were, to his original tweet.

That reply reads, in part, “we have been questioning the ball, equipment & conditioning for 50 years. #bifurcation”

Gary Player bifurcationThus, the Black Knight is casting his lot with the notion of separate equipment regulations for amateurs and professionals.

The drum has been steadily beaten since the USGA’s 2004 limits on head size and COR by those anxious about the constant need to lengthen courses and the obsolescence of certain classic tracks.

Geoff Shackelford told Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Monday he thinks the game’s governing bodies are seriously considering further regulations.

“I think that those kinds of rounds get the attention of a lot of people and make them wonder if something’s out of balance and if the skill factor has changed… And they’ve been very quiet lately, so my suspicions are up that I think the discussions are going on.”

Will something happen? Should something happen? Why is this something we care about it golf? The lowest score wins…why do we care if it’s 59 or 79? What do you think, WRXers?

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  1. Matt Aitken

    Oct 11, 2017 at 3:31 am

    In many videos at Gary’s clinics, he’s saying, “Just you wait, the size and strength of the athlete’s the game of golf is going to see moving forward is going to be remarkable, they’re going to be driving par 5’s”…. the next, like in a thread like this, his ego pops up and he doesn’t like it.

    Just make your mind up Gary. You’re a total legend though, respect. But make your mind up fella.

  2. TC

    Oct 10, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    The course rely’s on difficult weather conditions to be a big factor of how difficult it will play. Also, new equipment is only part of the “issue”. New equipment doesn’t account for people swinging significantly faster, does it? (NO.).

    A links course that doesn’t have wind, and isn’t overly dry, usually ends up being a wide open space that can be taken advantage of. It’s still over 7000 yards, and lower scores have been shot on courses that are longer, and higher scores hold records on courses just as “short”.

    Maybe there’s also a little something to the knowledge that modern day golfers have, after learning how people have played some courses for a couple hundred years? If you think that change needs to happen because records from 50 years ago have been broken, then I’d say you’re a little bit too nostalgic. Today’s players are better, period, and there’s more great players than ever before, but for those of us with perspective, the greats of the game from many years ago won’t lose their merit.

  3. Jacked_Loft

    Oct 10, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Heck, they make 325 yard par fours now just to bring a little excitement back into the game. If the tour switched to 80% flighted balls, 50% of the players wouldn’t be able to break par on a 7500 yard track. JN/GP and anyone else who preaches rolling back the ball are 100% right in my eyes.

  4. James Stewart

    Oct 10, 2017 at 6:02 am

    If they continue to allow the ball and clubs to go unchecked, courses will soon be 8000yards. Agreed that evolution makes a stronger, fitter player, BUT is he/she BETTER? Messrs Player, Miller and Nicklaus have a lot to say and they have earned the right to say it. To say they are irrelevant is an insult to them. The Old Course is pretty benign when the wind isn’t blowing but when bunkers that trapped players 20 years ago are not even in play it makes the course a bit of a joke. So are you suggesting that you leave things as they are and every record be blown away because technology allows it to be blown away rather than by skill?

    • People....

      Oct 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

      I bet you still drive a model T… Technology is a part of life and the progression of the world. Air bags, cruise control all make daily life more fun and better. Cars are faster why is it so hard to just let the technology change the game as every other part of your world is changing.

  5. dapadre

    Oct 10, 2017 at 5:52 am

    It is what it is, development wont be held back. There was a time that it was seen as impossible to run a 4 minute mile or break the 100 under 10 seconds. we didnt elongate. Why do we only look at making the holes longer, why not make them more difficult. The greens smaller, hole placement, tighter fairways, more punishing bunkers. Instead of making course advantageous to long hitters as most of the courses now are, make them more for shot shapers, make pros be able to work around a course since the distance they got covered.

  6. George

    Oct 9, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    why cant pros play different balls than amateurs. Baseball pros play with wood bats.

  7. Bif

    Oct 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Mr Player:
    There already is bifurcation! The Tours let the Pros wear METAL spikes. But we, the public, are not allowed. And the Tour players are not allowed to wear shorts.

    • Bif

      Oct 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      I really want to wear metal spikes but I cannot. And I am a very good player with the utmost respect for the game.

  8. Jgolf

    Oct 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Ross Fisher did indeed fire a course record 61, but he did win the event. Tyrrell Hatton won the event and Fischer finished solo second, three strokes behind. None the less, it was an awesome round of golf. Let’s not give the equipment all the credit. There is a considerable amount of data
    out there showing that the today’s ball and drivers aren’t going much farther than ten years ago.
    Straighter maybe, but not much farther. Today’s young tour pros employ a much different swing
    the driver than golfers of ten years ago, let alone GP’s days. And yes, it’s the equipment that has allowed them to do it. But that’s evolution as JDean points out.

  9. Marnix

    Oct 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    For various reasons, a reduced flight ball for the pros is really the only alternative to the current situation. Most courses don’t have the space (or money) to keep putting the championship tees further and further back, and tricking up courses with more bunkers or rough will only make the game harder for recreational players, who as a group really haven’t improved much despite the modern equipment. So if you want to stick to the concept of par (2 good strokes needed to hit a par 4 green, and 3 for a par 5 green) then we need to add additional regulations to the ball. I, for one, would like to see that.

    • Jacked_Loft

      Oct 10, 2017 at 9:53 am

      +1 I don’t need “excitement” generated from a 325 yard par 4. If you would count how many times a pro played a 3 on such a par 4 by trying to drive to green, you could imagine how seldom they could make par on a 220 yard par 3 when playing a 80% flighted ball. For a 240 yard par 3 they would need to hit a 3 wood then.

  10. Paul

    Oct 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I, for one, enjoy watching tournament golf when par actually has some value. It looks like it’s time
    for tournament organizers to really toughen up courses and worry less about the egos of the tour pros. My wife, who isn’t a golfer, commented Sunday that “it looks like the pros are playing on another easy course”, unknowingly referring to St. Andrews. There are only about three courses played yearly on the US tour where par has any meaning anymore and this year it meant nothing at the US Open. Sort of sad!

  11. D Louis

    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Just another old timer that can’t accept that things can change and maybe that they are better golfers nowadays….let it go Gary

  12. ibogeyalot

    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    does he expect the game to be stuck in his generation ie: clubs , balls , and stuff , the times change old man get over it. he is not relevant anymore and has to chirp , just like johnny miller.

    • DrRob1963

      Oct 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Mr Player and Mr Miller have earned the right to chirp all they want!

    • Webbstar

      Oct 9, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      The difference from hickory shafted persimmon to steel shafted persimmon were not gains in distance but gains in accuracy. Course architecture remained virtually the same as far as the length of courses went. It was not until the advent of the Big Bertha driver that gains in driver distance from a design aspect began to move the ball forward in terms of distance gained. This new technology has moved rapidly forward and ended with the USGA/R$A placing a limit on the COR of golf clubs. They had to do this because what looked like a huge driver (Big Bertha) back in the day now looks like a 3 wood compared to todays modern drivers. As someone who plays both modern and classic clubs I can tell you my Bridgestone J40 goes 20 yards farther than my Cleveland Jumbo Persimmon with my 105 mph swing speed. I am a 3 handicap and have been playing golf through this whole transformation
      and I have to admit when pros on the senior tour hit the ball further now than when playing in their prime something is not quite right. I like to choose the set I play based on when the course was made. Pre 1990 I play persimmon, post 1990 I play modern. If I play an old course with modern clubs it’s usually driver and wedge/short iron all day. If you put pros on a course meant to be played with persimmon we should not be surprised that they go super low. People like to think that golfers today are much better athletes but I don’t think that is the case or one of our modern pros would have driven the green at cheery hills. Golf is a skill sport, being in great shape certainly helps but it is not the most important thing or John Daley would have never made it as a pro let alone won two majors. Anyone who thinks that modern technology has not accounted for the massive driver distance gains should go pick up an old persimmon driver and put it into play and see what that fitness guru Gary Player is talking about.

  13. JDean'

    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Golf has and will be changing until the end of time, no need to change equipment or balls. Evolution, better conditioning, better agronomy etc.. Get over yourself, and quit trying to be relevant in the modern golf world.

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19th Hole

Jeff Golden issues statement on Florida Mid-Am incident



Jeff Golden is sharing more details about the events of May 16 at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

If you recall, police were summoned to Coral Creek Club during a rain delay in the Golden-Marc Dull final. Golden alleged Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face during a parking lot altercation. Dull and Hibbs both deny the incident occurred.

Rather than paraphrase or pull quotes, it seems appropriate to post the majority of Golden’s statement as is, since it’s his attempt to speak for himself and set the record straight.

“When my name was announced on the first tee, my opponent’s caddie immediately asked an off color question. I laughed off the timing of that question, along with many other examples of bad etiquette to come. Alcohol appeared to be influencing his behavior. I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor. On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated because I was forced to back off my shot two different times when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the match referee following our group.”

“The ruling that came from the caddie’s comments on the ninth hole started because of a simple question that I posed: “Was that advice?” I thought this was the only way to slow down the caddie, clean up the etiquette and play a gentlemanly match. I felt justified in my decision, especially since my opponent then asked his caddie, “Why did you say that?” The caddie recused himself from the match, but he didn’t leave the property.”

“…I didn’t even get my bag out of my car when the caddie reappeared and said he’d like to apologize. I most likely had a smile on my face, because I was ready to put the past behind us, and he punched me in the face. I was knocked to the ground, and by the time I looked up, he was walking away, to my surprise, toward the clubhouse. The pro shop is a separate building, so that’s where I immediately went for help. The inside of my mouth was bleeding and my face was throbbing. I realized my hand was also hurting –that’s what broke my fall instead of my head.

“The pro shop employee called the police and was extremely helpful, getting me ice and offering any help I needed. The police arrived, and the deputy concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to justify pressing charges. I gave a recorded sworn statement to the deputy recapping the events.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf. Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated “ex-caddie” punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

“The FSGA gave me one option when the rain stopped. I had to play. My opponent had the option to concede the match and take responsibility for his caddie, but he told me he had nothing to do with what occurred.”

Golden further indicated that he conceded the match because of “physical and emotional distress, pulsing pain in my face, dizziness and cuts on my right hand.” He indicated he was surprised the FSGA didn’t suspend the match.

With respect to that point, it’s probably worth pointing out that FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

“Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match. I think he was just ready to go,” adding police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

The FSGA hasn’t provided additional comment or modified that statement.

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19th Hole

Must be the Arby’s: Beef Johnston deadlifts 485 lbs



Update: Thanks to WRX member Sam who pointed out: “The correct term for that lift would be a rack pull (weight does not start on the ground).”

An Instagram video posted by the European Tour’s Performance Institute shows Beef Johnston readying for a deadlift attempt.

Fueled by Beef ‘n Cheddars and curly fries, Johnston steps in for an attempt at hoisting 220kg (485 lbs).

To the uninitiated (me), the feat certainly looked impressive. But just how impressive? I fired up Google to find out…


“Dan John, suggests in his book, Intervention: Course Corrections For The Athlete And Trainer, that the average weightlifter should be able to deadlift between 1 and 1.5 times their body weight. I think that’s a good general recommendation for most people who are interested in health, fitness, longevity, and quality of life. However, Coach Dan John also considers a deadlift using double your bodyweight to be a game-changer. So, there are certainly benefits to be had from doing more than the minimum.”

Johnston reportedly weighs 212 pounds. Thus, Beef lifted nearly 2.3 times his body weight.

Impressive stuff (don’t tell Brandel Chamblee).

WRXers who lift heavy things, what do you think?

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19th Hole

How could a child hitting a golf ball off his father’s face go wrong?



We’re bringing you this video in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere: Young Sam Blewett attempts to hit a golf ball off his father’s face, and…

Now, most people are assuming that this three-year-old lad had no idea what he was doing. His father orchestrated the video, told the son, who had never held a golf club nor had any concept of the game to hit the ball, and wood-chopping at the ball followed.

Hot take: I don’t think that’s true. The Instagram account is the three-year-old kid’s (managed by his mother), and he certainly knows how to hit a golf ball properly. See?

So, I’m positing that the kid saw an opportunity to whack his dad in the dome with a golf club and couldn’t pass it up. Yes, young Sam knew exactly what he was doing.

And more power to him. Cunning AND capable with a golf club.

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19th Hole