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#Golf on Instagram: Crazy shots, cavernous bunkers, flying golf carts

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Oh, Instagram. The ‘gram is many things to many people. For golfers, outside of following your favorite pros and drooling over equipment, there’s the phenomenon of viral #golf content to devour. Generally, ridiculousness from the course or outrageous golf swings rise to the top. Occasionally, we like to take a look at what’s being devoured at the Instagram golf buffet.

No stone unturned…

How does a JLPGA Tour player extricate herself from a bunker as deep as she is tall? Watch and see. Priceless reaction!

The most innovative golf swing…ever?

Taking the split-hand path, this Ty Cobb-inspired golf swing is a wonder to behold.

That’s a handy shot…

A Scottish pro casually showcases the “over the rock wall from an elevated area to the green below” pitch. Everyone thinks they’ve got this shot until the ball is rocketing off the wall behind you and you’ve put a healthy gash in your nice new wedge.

We don’t condone reckless golf cart driving, but…

Look, this is stupid. And the worst part from a course care standpoint is the donut at the end. Don’t do that. Ever. That said, the ramping and few seconds of flight is entertaining.

When you got no short game but a damn good drive game to back it up ?????#sendit #goodforit

A post shared by ?? ?? ??? ?? ???SEND IT™ ???? (@senditofficial) on

#TrajGoals

Beautiful stinger of a shot with a Titleist 712U here. Absolute poetry.

Sniping pin seeker ????

A post shared by Zac Radford (@realzacradford) on

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19th Hole

Shane Lowry roasts rules officials for PGA Championship debacle

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Shane Lowry isn’t exactly thrilled with the ruling–or lack thereof–he got at the PGA Championship.

Viewers joined the drama in medias res late in the Sunday telecast, Justin Thomas waiting to play his pitch shot from beside the par-3 16th green. Lowry was 10 under at the time, four strokes behind Brooks Koepka (Thomas was 11 under). The Irishman’s tee shot missed the green, settling next to a camera tower.

It was unclear during the telecast what was keeping Lowry from playing as he argued with officials, and the commentators seemed to suggest Lowry ought to go ahead and play and stop obstructing Thomas. JT eventually played, hitting a poor shot and bogeying the hole. Lowry, after a near 10-minute delay played from his original position and bogeyed the hole. Running hot, he bogeyed the 17th hole as well to fall outside the top 10.

Now, Lowry is speaking on what happened, telling the Irish Times

“I think the referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision there, and if he did I would have had an easier shot…If you put (European Tour official) John Paramor or any of the good referees out there, and he would have given me full relief. But he wasn’t giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in a tree basically.”

“The camera tower was the issue. I took my drop there was another camera tower in my way, straight away I felt I should get dropped on other side and they were getting me to drop it in the middle of the tree. I can’t, so where do I drop it? They’re saying drop it here, I have a club length (to drop the ball) and it is still my way. He wouldn’t make a decision. The other referee said, ‘it is your decision’. I said, ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to play’. I didn’t want to wait around any longer.”

Thomas, for his part, didn’t blame Lowry.

“It had nothing to do with Shane. The rules officials were having a hard time coming up with a ruling,” Thomas said. “They were kind of looking at each other and saying, ‘Well, what do we do?’ And Shane’s like, ‘Look, just tell me if I get a drop or not.’ And I’m a quick player, and that’s why I went.”

You can see Lowry’s eventual shot and the position he was in here.

Look, we all know the Rules of Golf can be complicated in their application. We also know that if an official gives a player bad advice, the player isn’t protected if he violates the Rules by the mere fact that he was doing what the official directed.

Thus, in situations where officials aren’t sure, they have little incentive to offer firm guidance, which brings up a more important point: The Lowry situation wasn’t some outrageous and unforeseen development. With the tower in play, all officials should have been well aware of the players’ options. In general, you want all officials to be able to apply the rules, yes, but particularly in expected situations.

More than mere doofery, the debacle speaks to a lack of preparation that is utterly unacceptable. Equally unacceptable–and likely final scoreboard altering–is the amount of time it took to come to the (lack of) decision.

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19th Hole

“Congratulations” to Brooks Koepka, and “thank you” to Tiger Woods

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In much the same way that Paul Casey’s breakthrough victory at the Valspar Championship earlier this year was, Brooks Koepka’s convincing triumph (and second major win this year) will be overshadowed by Tiger Woods’ bona fide contention in a major golf tournament.

Yes, Woods’ detractors will howl about Koepka not being given his due…about how the unflappable Floridan once again got the job done with a host of challengers bringing the heat amid the, well, sweltering St. Louis heat.

Koepka deserves all the credit in the world, and laurels ought to be heaped upon the bow-wristed-backswinging masher of the golf ball. However, the reality among most golf fans and 99 percent of general sports fans is that the faithful were hoping to see Woods’ first major victory in a decade. In his post round press conference, Koepka himself said, “Other than me, my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger… as they should.”

It doesn’t take anything away from Koepka’s win to acknowledge that the gravitational pull, of what was surely record viewership, was for a Woods’ victory. If anything, it’s another feather in Koepka’s Nike golf cap to (to mix metaphors) have paddled against that current successfully.

Starting the day four strokes ahead of Woods, it was always going to take a Koepka collapse at eminently gettable Bellerive. That didn’t happen, and from the seventh hole on BK was a veritable golfing colossus, pounding his drives down the fairway, hitting all but a handful of greens in regulation, and playing his final 12 holes in 5 under par.

On a day where the likes of Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler all faltered to one degree or another, Woods reversed his own 2018 trend of fading on the weekend with an inspired 6-under 64. Fans are right to be excited.

Inspired, the final round was, in vintage Woodsian ways: the man didn’t hit a fairway on the front nine and managed to go out in 3-under. Sure, he was the beneficiary of the favor of the golf gods and the trampled grass of the swelling galleries, but artistry like this towering hook at the ninth was a joy to watch.

Then, of course, for all the difficulty Woods had off the tee (both with driver and irons), he was masterful in carving approach shots toward Kerry Haigh’s attempted tucked pins. Consider this shot at the 15th.

Tiger Woods firing a 64 in a major on Sunday in the year 2018…at 42…after spinal fusion and wandering out of a personal abyss…was impressive. Indeed, today was a day most (even Tiger himself) doubted would ever come. Better writers than I can debate how many rungs below Ben Hogan’s comeback this is on the ladder of achievement.

More than its impressiveness, however, Woods’ Sunday charge at Bellerive was just plain fun to watch, wasn’t it? He stirred the echoes of the Tiger Woods of the early 2000 and mid 2000s. He showed that, should his back continue to hold up, he will contend in majors for, what, at least the next five years?

And if you like that sort of thing, you know, seeing one of the greatest of all time at the top of his game, you have to say, “Thank you, Tiger,” for taking the long, difficult, and often dark road back to serious contention in a major championship.

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19th Hole

This company made a putter out of a Notre Dame Stadium bleacher

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Call the leprechaun and fire up the Band of the Fighting Irish for the “Notre Dame Victory March,” here’s a putter even Knute Rockne would have approved of.

Members of the infamous (well, significantly less infamous than many other subreddits) r/Golf subreddit, the Bradley Putter Company posted the incredible flatstick below with caption.

“We made a putter out of an old Notre Dame Stadium bleacher. Our client found the wood online and sent it to us. We stabilized the wood for durability, protected the “15” seat number under a layer of acrylic, added internal weights to bring it to 350 grams, and face balanced it for true playability.”

If you aren’t familiar with Bradley Putters’ handiwork, the company was started in 2016 by Bradley Converse (obviously, he couldn’t call it Converse Putters), and, well, here are the basics from the company website…

“I got the idea to build golf putters out of burl wood. I called my friend Greg Dahl at Oregonburls.com, acquired some Olive burl, and made two prototypes. Within one week of the idea, I had putters in golfers’ hands. They loved the feel, and I knew we were on track. We don’t use any CNC machines, only saws, sanders, and a drill press. Our decades of experience with engineering and woodworking ensure tight tolerances and deadly accurate putters.”

Well played, Bradley, well played.

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