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19th Hole

A 40-second shot clock is coming to the European Tour



The European Tour will test a 40-second shot clock next June at the 2018 Austrian Open, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Practically speaking, there won’t be a play clock behind the green ala basketball or football (or the GolfSixes event earlier this year). Instead, a referee will with a stopwatch will follow each group.

A player won’t be penalized for a first offense. Instead, he’ll get…you can guess? A yellow card! Each additional offense will cost a stroke.

“What a brilliant idea, and long overdue,” Lee Westwood Said.

It seems the 40-second limit will only apply to “traditional” shots and won’t be ticking while a player is considering how to play from the edge of a water hazard or some such. It’s also unclear when exactly the clock starts ticking.

Andy Sullivan said, “It underlines how long 40 seconds is to play a shot and how ridiculous it is that rounds take so long.”

The European Tour first unveiled the shot clock concept (with a literal shot clock) at the GolfSixes competition in May. Paul Peterson ran over his allotted time and was hit with a one-stroke penalty at that event.

The PGA Tour, which last year handed out its first slow-penalty penalty since 1995, hasn’t disclosed any similar plans.

Seemingly all professional golfers not named Jason Day want to speed up play. However, one would expect plenty of blowback if this constraint is widely adopted.

One thing’s for sure, the Austrian Open, perhaps for the first time ever, becomes must-watch golf.

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  1. leo vincent

    Oct 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    This is absurd. Golf is not a game based on speed

  2. Travis

    Oct 10, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    There are many ways to speed up play besides this…

    (1) Let everyone use rangefinders. This would significantly speed up play, especially when people are off the fairway in awkward spots.

    (2) If a player is on the green, outside of 5ft, and putts their ball to within 5ft of the hole, make them putt out and finish the hole. Do you know how long it takes for them to walk up, mark the ball, walk away, the other person then putts to 3ft, marks, walks away. The 1st person comes up, places their ball, reads the putt, takes his time, makes it, walks off. Then the 2nd guy comes in and does the same. It’s probably several extra minutes on the green that could be avoided if you just make people finish out the dang hole.

    However, in the end, let’s not forget that it just plain takes a long time to WALK everywhere. When I watch PGA Tour, or any professional event, in person. They really do not take all that long over each shot or putt. Most of them are pretty quick about it. It just takes a heck of a long time for everyone to WALK everywhere. Especially if people get their ball offline…

  3. Jk

    Oct 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    A five hour round, you’re going to penalize people for taking 41 seconds to hit a golf shot that could cost or make them thousands of dollars. I don’t get it

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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