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This Comeback Better Be Different, Tiger

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First of all, let me be the first to say that I am a HUGE Tiger Woods fan and want him back in the game; golf is much better off with him around. That being said, I am growing tired of the talk of his latest “comeback” already, and it hasn’t even begun. Will this really be the time he takes it slow and only competes when he’s physically ready? Or will he be 4-over par at the turn in his next outing and withdraw… then say he needs more time to heal and needs more reps, and then disappear for six more months?

Golf needs Tiger, but I’m not so sure Tiger needs golf any longer, nor do I feel that he is as invested in the sport as he was previously. And who could blame him? He’s made tons of cash, won a bunch of Majors, and has endorsements that will keep him relevant for many years to come. However, I think he knows that his quest for Jack’s 18 Majors is over… really over, and I think it has deflated him. And maybe he’s having fun just being at home, being a father, and being a memory.

This brings me back to my first thought; this comeback better be real and it better last. As usual, he’s cleared by the doctors, he’s back to hitting balls and posting videos, and he says he’s getting ready from a health perspective. But does anyone believe him 100 percent? I don’t. In my opinion, we’ll see the same thing as last time and the time before that; one bad tournament round and he’s out. The fact of the matter is that I don’t think he can handle being second best, or third, or 1164th (his current world ranking), to today’s players and I feel that when he comes back and cannot be the “old” Tiger instantly, he won’t be able to handle it mentally and emotionally. Therefore, I feel that if he cannot be patient, and come back this time at 100 percent, I feel the end of Tiger’s career is approaching quicker than most hope.

Also, from a professional perspective, let’s face it, Chris Como hasn’t had enough time to mold Tiger back into Tournament shape. Anyone can hit the ball well on the range — we all know that. Chris is surely doing the best he can with what he has been given, but he can only do so much if his player isn’t committed or healthy. Tiger’s all but lost his edge and he knows it, but can he deal with being just another good Tour player and not the best any longer? And put in the work required at the pace that’s necessary for his body? I don’t think he can.

So my message to Tiger is this: Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your message to your fans, but most of all DO NOT come back until you are ready. Missing a cut or two does not mean the comeback is a “failure” either, as long as you’re 100 percent committed to the game. We are tired of hearing “I’m back,” only to watch you leave again and again. No one will blame you if you say “enough is enough, my body can’t handle it.” In fact, we’d embrace you more if you just told the truth.

But until then, we’ll hope this time is different…

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

62 Comments

62 Comments

  1. JuNiOR

    Oct 25, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Stay single keep hitting it hard with the midnite hostess at Denny’s new girl every night then be honest about it and you might be in the right frame of mind at that point to be a PLAYER again.

    But if making the cut is the ultimate goal, time to reevaluate the why’s, even if it’s for the all mighty dollar.

  2. Schwartzman

    Oct 21, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Everybody is an expert on golf, clubs, Tiger, politics, religion and sseexx.

  3. Someone

    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Who are you to make demands of Tiger? He has done more for golf than you have done in your lifetime. If Tiger wants to make an attempt to keep coming back, let him. It is his right and he has earned the opportunity to keep trying. Whether he wins or fails is a matter of him getting up there and trying, but not trying at all equals failure, especially when it is in his primary career. You are ridiculous for trying to put stipulations on an athletes comeback. How about we as readers demand your articles actually be written with some quality, tact, and validity? How about we demand that you stop coming back to post on this site until you post something of meaning instead of click bait. You are ridiculous for thinking that you have any stake in whether or not Tiger can come back to golf. He is a grown man and well accomplished in the field of golf, both on and off. Take some time to think about what you write next time. Don’t furnish your personal feelings in an article and try to brandish it as a material. The site isn’t asking for your personal feelings about the happenings of golf, it’s asking you to provide insight that readers can’t get since we all have lives that consist of more than golf. Your article should have been titled, “Tiger’s coming back, but here are a few things that could hold him back from success…” and then at the end you could add on your “personal feelings” about the situation. Other than that, this ‘article’ is a worthless rant with no real golf insight, just all personal feelings about tiger’s comeback, as if he owes you ANYTHING…

  4. Jose Canseco

    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:03 am

    He should just hang it up and admit to HGH and roids that made him, like me, in the 90’s.

  5. Mike

    Oct 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hogan came back and he was really bad. Then again he was a real man

  6. Mr Muira

    Oct 21, 2017 at 6:41 am

    LOL!!!…Amuricans.

  7. Moses

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    You’re starting to sound like Skip Bayless.

  8. Jack Nash

    Oct 20, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Why is Woods coming back?

    $Sponsors$

    • Schwartzman

      Oct 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Icy Hot Back Patches …… together with Shaq?!!

  9. Garry Pierce

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    who is this BOZO? Looks like he is trying to ride TW for 15 minutes of fame. How tRumpian of you Tom.. you’re fired

  10. moses

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Tiger doesn’t owe you a F’ing thing. He can attempt to come back as often as necessary and as long as his body allows it. If his body won’t allow it then that’s just the way it is. Tiger gets to ride off into the sunset any which way he sees fit.

    • Jacked_Loft

      Oct 21, 2017 at 6:32 am

      +1. What an arrogant article. Famous comebacks: Nikki Lauda, Lance Armstrong, Bobby Baun, Jack Youngblood, Michael Jordan…just to mention a few. Remember that Tiger fractured his Tibia and then went out and won the 2008 US Open? 91 holes on a bum leg, and you’re telling him not to play games with his comeback?

      • Jose Canseco

        Oct 21, 2017 at 8:05 am

        But Armstrong was juiced. As was Eldrick.

    • Dr Troy

      Oct 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Well said, Moses.

  11. RP Jacobs II

    Oct 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    “All but lost his edge” ????????

    That edge went out the window the evening that he pasted the fire hydrant.

    The aura of invincibility was gone and with it the “edge.”

    In my eyes he was the Greatest Player ever and the second Greatest Champion.

    Excellent article and thoughts!!

    Very Nicely Played?????

    Cheers????
    RP

  12. Robert Parsons

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Nobody scripts comebacks like we do. Period.

  13. Milton

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I always find it interesting when a person says “let me start off by saying, I’m a big fan of ____” before they rip the person their a big fan of a new one. I like TW, he brings an exciting element to golf. He has the 2nd most majors of anyone that played the game. At his best he revolutionized the game. However I’m not a Tiger fanatic. I like anything that helps our game. My only concern is that the writer of the article acts as if Tiger owes us something. As is TW owes it to us to come back healthy or not come back at all. If he comes back and fails, at least he tried. If he comes back and wins, well cool good for him. The guy says I’m a big Tiger fan then literally rips him to shreds.

    Thats not what we typically do in golf, but sadly it’s becoming the norm.

  14. Jay

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:08 am

    The tough part about the Tiger comeback is that he’s admitted numerous times that he’ll never be able to practice the way that he used to when he was at his peak. So, in that sense, the old Tiger is definitely gone for good. However, if he can have sustained health (physically and mentally) for a 4-5 year period, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d win again because he’s just that good – and if he can do that, he can win majors again for sure.
    BUT, I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think this latest surgery is going to magically fix everything – unless his swing is built to protect his back, he’ll continue to have issues and will fall into the same pattern.

  15. Darryl

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Quick straw poll, how many people on this site will quit the game if Tiger doesn’t return? The result is how badly the game of golf needs him.

    • Andrew

      Oct 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

      They left already. Your idea is correct regardless. Any industry that devolves into relying on the shallow wants of the cool kid bandwagon is already dead. Golf didn’t stoop that low but it tried thanks to the ignorant hype of a few clown children who make a living in golf but never took a real economics class. The game of golf transcends any 1 man, even 100 men, and thank God for that.

  16. OB

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Washed up, finished, kaput, gonzo, no good no mo’ …. believe it

  17. jgpl001

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Tiger was one of the greatest ever and he took golf to a whole new level. This comeback though is nonsense and will not happen. Age and time away means the world of golf has moved on. Even back at full fitness he wouldn’t make a cut on the web dot com tour

    Very sad, he had an astounding career, but he just needs to leave it so now and stop the nonsense

    • Garry Pierce

      Oct 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      who are you to decide what TW does? How about you quit posting!

  18. 8thehardway

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Tiger wants to be golf’s Eldrick (then Elder) Statesman. The job’s open and it’s the perfect role to counterbalance his past, regain role-model status, offer an enduring mea culpa for those into moral judgements, be a hero to his kids and elevate his status beyond the sport the defines him… in all, a very satisfying arrangement.

    There won’t be a lot of tournaments, and the early ones an indication of conditioning more than competition, but the prospect of another Jack-at-the-1986-Masters performance will start gaining traction, which is another way of saying sponsors will shower our Arnie-Jack amalgam with endorsements.

    The quest for Jack’s 18 Majors isn’t a thing anymore… he can’t sell it and nobody’s buying it; but the optics of immortality has more than one focal point and he’s a consummate lenscrafter.

  19. The dude

    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Great Article Tom!…..it’s what almost everyone is thinking… I’ll bet he doesn’t play though…his swing kinda sucks…and his short game peaked 13 years ago… his ego won’t allow bad play…which is inevitable. I predict a showing at the masters followed by a withdraw….citing back issues of course

  20. MB

    Oct 20, 2017 at 3:00 am

    How many millions is he going to make just from appearance fees? That’s all he’s getting ready for! Lets admit it. He’s not going to be playing the Sr circuit, so he’s going to try to collect as much as he can while he’s still able to swing a bit. For the good players and competitive players who were successful during and post-Woods era of extra dollars it may have been nice, but for the rest of us, it was like watching a bus load of unruly children got dropped off and ruined it for everybody else sort of thing, out there on the courses, that had to also had to spend millions more in maintenance and rules keeping, as well keeping the peace about the place as these unruly beginners and non-golfing beer-guzzling poorly behaved behemoths tore up the place.
    It’s best if he just didn’t play but started hanging out with Deepak Chopra and brought about enlightenment and peace to the world on the whole and the world of golf behavior.

  21. TexasSnowman

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Tiger as we knew him is Not coming back. If everything goes right for him on this latest comeback (doubtful), he will return, suffer no major injuries and be a top 40 player. He could win a few tournaments and maybe even catch lightening in a bottle and contend in a major or 2 for old times sake. Odds of this actually happening: ~10%. More likely, his body will not cooperate and he will officially retire and play an occasional tourney for nostalgia value.

  22. JD

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I normally completely enjoy Tom Stickney columns but not this one. Story has been written 100 times, part of me suspects it was only written because of the amout of clicks anything about Tiger gets.
    Here’s my opinion:
    The man has done enough to shoot whatever he wants, wherever they’re lucky enough to have him. It’s not even a debate, at this point it’s like getting a chance to watch Nicklaus or Palmer. How he plays is beside the point, that he’s playing is enough. Ratings will go way up because he’s maybe the best to ever play and he makes people excited about the game. He’s Tiger Woods.

  23. Walt Bismarck

    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

  24. prime21

    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    This comeback better be different? Or else what? You’re going to write a nasty article and follow that with some advice on how to fix his swing? Tiger has 100% EARNED the right to do whatever the heck he wants as it pertains to playing on the PGA Tour and if it weren’t for him, it is highly likely that your business would not be as good as it is if he were to have never played the game. Show the man the proper respect and wish him Good Luck, then stop watching if you already think you know how it is going to play out. But please, do not try to tell Tiger friggin Woods what to do or how to do it, you simply have no right. I realize you’re a big WRX Superstar now, but I think telling Tiger how he should handle his comeback takes arrogance to a whole different level, does it not? I often give you “Likes” for your instruction pieces. If they would create a new vote, this one gets an “EPIC FAIL”!

  25. UnclePhil

    Oct 19, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Comeback?! Comeback to what?! 2001? Or no, maybe 1996 for you nostalgic clowns! 2005? Ain’t nothing comin’ back!! Maybe my latest driver will get taken back if it continues to act a fool! Ceremonial golfer at best, tourney host the most. Dude, hit da bricks, take care of your kids my friend!

  26. TeeBone

    Oct 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Totally unfair. Tiger was healthy enough to play in his recent comebacks, but re-injured his back under the stress of tournament competition. He didn’t just “quit”. Besides, these guys are independent contractors. They only get paid when they perform. They don’t owe anybody anything.

  27. henry

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I agree w everything you said – except that golf needs Tiger. Yeah he might make the casual fan who only knows who Rickie and Jordan are watch a tournament here or there, but unfortunately most of those people have forgotten about Tiger. The PGA Tour is in the best place its been in quite some time.

    • prime21

      Oct 19, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Seriously? Check the ratings from Tigers last two tournaments and compare them to any event thereafter. The reality is that Tiger STILL moves the needle better than ANY player on Tour and will continue to do so until he decides to pack it in. Does the PGA Tour NEED Tiger? No, it doesn’t. It is strong enough to exist without him, but only because of him. Is the PGA Tour better off when Tiger is present, absolutely. Whether you like him or not, Tiger is still THE MAN and there is nothing you can do about it!

    • Jay

      Oct 20, 2017 at 11:20 am

      The tour is DEFINITELY not in “the best place it’s been in quite some time” – no way. As much as the TV folks like to ingrain that in us to change perception – it’s all fraudulent. Ratings are down, sponsors are bailing, and if the trend continues, I’m pretty sure we’re getting to the point where purses will decrease, the TV $ will decrease as well, and tournaments may be eliminated. None of the top young golfers really move the needle, honestly. They’re all supremely talented, but they don’t bring in casual fans, period. All hard core golf fans (WRXers) will always watch no matter who is playing, but this isn’t about that. If golf is truly going to “grow the game” as they claim (or even just maintain), it needs an epic Tiger comeback or make some drastic changes to the game as a whole.

      • henry

        Oct 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        I guess im just stuck in my own mind of how awesome the tour is right now – im one of the obsessed that watches every tournament. And golf-wise, the tour is in a fantastic spot, but I guess that doesnt always equate to the bigger picture of the tour’s success. Cheers.

        • Garry Pierce

          Oct 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm

          awesome in parity? tour sucks. They need an ALPHA male. The group has no BAD GUY or Good Guy. I have a hard time calling Phil a good guy with his MAJOR moral character flaws. He should be in prison for insider trading. But Phil squeals and rats out a guy

  28. farmer

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    The notion that Tiger is going to rework his swing for the next three or four months and then roar back into competitive golf like it’s 2013 is absurd. He will be 42 before the “real” 2018 season starts, coming off a year layoff, with multiple back surgeries since his last relevant year. What has been released tells of him working out twice a day, now he will start also doing serious swing work, this is the same path he’s been down before. There will be tremendous buzz when he reappears, a boost to tv ratings, but he’s going to have to show something for it to last.

  29. MW

    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Golf doesn’t need Tiger. It’s doing just fine without him as it has with all the greats once they leave. Certain people such as the author of the article seem to need him, but golf is bigger than any one player. If he comes back, great, if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. You have to accept that one day he won’t be able to compete again, and that may be now, and other greats will come along. If you can’t accept that you better end up finding another sport. May I suggest bowling?

  30. Methislife

    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Golf is loosing money and more importantly it’s loosing participants. Tiger can only help spark more people’s I treat in golf. If you think otherwise… you a fool. Tiger is the reason money is in golf and that’s pure fact. Tiger brings the numbers.

    Now, will tiger actually come back to being anywhere close to top 10 player? Could happen, would be awesome if happened, but will most likely not happen…

    Saying tiger past off course actions have ruled out any support for his return is funny. He didn’t cheat the game, he cheated his wife… boo hoo, he got divorced and she got a lot of cash. You all are a new breed of internet fools. Not angry trolls but self righteous attention seekers. I bet you all are the ones who complain about minorities at the course ha. You know it’s true. Deep down.

    • Guia

      Oct 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Your mother raise anyone who isn’t a troll?

  31. Mike

    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Pat Perez has won 3 times all in the fall or in Jan/Feb Camryn. He also never had the mental issues of Eldrick.

  32. M. Vegas

    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Golf needs a guy that hits 5 wood off the tee, pulls it left of the green or air mails it, putts cuz he can’t chip, 2 putts for bogey, and then withdraws when’s he plus 6 thru 8….
    Yea we need that

  33. Derek jacks

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    What a dumb post! Woods doesn’t owe anyone anything as far as golf so don’t get the ultimatum that things be better this time around. Who r u????

  34. Chip

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Sorry his body can be as predictable as he wishes, Tom.

    • Mike

      Oct 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      You’re right, it’s just his physical issues keeping him from being the Tiger of old. Nothing mental going on there.

  35. Bruce Ferguson

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    With all the young talent on the tour these days, I’m not optimistic over Tigers return. One thing for sure, if he ends up being frustrated on the course, I don’t want to hear cursing, or see spitting on the green or slamming a club in the ground. Be the man . . . count to ten, relax, regroup, focus.

  36. Andrew

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I was a Tiger fan, then I grew up and learned to be honest. Golf suffers when he is around now. He is a disgrace as a man and a person. Shame on the sell-outs who ignore his history of womanizing and phony remorse. You’re just as phony as Tiger.

    • hays

      Oct 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I’m so glad you know the guy on a personal level. you say you “grew up”…doesn’t sound like it

    • golfreality

      Oct 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      you left out drug addict

  37. Philip

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I think you have it backwards … golf does not need Tiger – sponsors and OEMs liked the increase in revenues associated with Tiger, however, the system of golf is adapting quite well. On the other hand, I think Tiger needs golf! It is his entire life – if he was more balanced during his peak then he could walk away feeling complete … unfortunately, that isn’t what has happened and even if Tiger walks away officially – I don’t think in his head that he would truly be okay with that. It is what it is.

  38. Malcolm Herbert

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I agree with 99% of the article, but strongly disagree that golf needs Tiger and tiger doesn’t need golf. I think golf does not need tiger at all. I agree that it’s better off with him, but the game is healthy enough and we have enough young and exciting talent that golf will be more than ok if we never see tiger touch a club again. Also, I do think that tiger thinks he needs golf. There are things in using life that are more important, like his kids and health, which suggest he doesn’t need golf, but tiger thinks he needs golf. He can’t walk away, it’s become a part of him that he can’t live without. Every time he leaves, he comes back as quick as possible- often too quick- and seems like he takes the first chance he can to come back. While I hope he can separate his life from golf to the extent that is healthy when it isn’t necessary, it seems like golf is always the first thing on his mind, and who can’t blame him. But it feels like he needs golf, and I know, while golf wants him and could use him, we don’t need him.

  39. Andy c

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Golf does not need Tiger….it existed before Tiger and will exist after Tiger, The business of golf ie. those that make a living from the game may need him but the game of golf does not.

    • xjohnx

      Oct 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

      You’re right from an overall standpoint but, I think the interpretation is that golf has been suffering over the last few years and needs a shot in the arm. There is not one single person on this planet except Tiger that can really bring that in the direct way that Tiger can. Nobody is saying golf is going to become obsolete without Tiger, the point is golf needs Tiger RIGHT NOW.

      • Philip

        Oct 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

        Okay, so golf gets a quick shot … and then what? It does not address the long term. Hey, I enjoyed Tiger’s aggressive shots as much as anyone, but if he does that he likely won’t last one tournament and how much fun would it be for everyone to have a “safe” Tiger constantly in the top 10 – nipping at the more aggressive players and occasionally winning a tournament here and there.

      • Andrew

        Oct 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Golf is doing just fine now and does not need a shot in the arm, John. Tiger is less of a shot in the arm and more like a black eye. Golf suffered long-term because of Tiger. He represented a loss of decency and integrity that takes a generation to heal. Golf is better now without him and healing properly. The Tiger bandwagoners who don’t love golf or deserve it are gone, off to the next cool thing. Good luck and good riddance.

        • Dr Troy

          Oct 19, 2017 at 2:32 pm

          Andrew- Golf is doing fine now, yes. However, if you dont think for a second that TW will not entice more people to watch more golf, then you are young and naive sir. Obviously, you have a disdain for him and thats your choice, but there are a TON of Tiger fans that will watch regardless. Most could care less of his personal life, as so many stone throwers on here obviously do. And as far as a “black eye”, how about you ask some TOUR pros how much extra money is in their bank accounts because of Tiger. The sport of golf has no black eye, nor really ever did(I think you are confusing it with the NBA). Your reference to “healing”?? Really?? What happened, did we all go through mental and physical torture?? Ok…Sure.

        • Snowflake

          Oct 20, 2017 at 12:30 am

          You probably don’t think you’re a racist. MAGA. Ignorant.

          • Mat

            Oct 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

            Based purely on what’s written above, I don’t think he’s racist either. You must put in a lot of time in the gym to be strong enough to walk around with that enormous chip on your shoulder.

          • LD

            Oct 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

            I agree with Mat. Care to point out his “racism” in his post? Astute user name, BTW. Absolutely perfect.

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Opinion & Analysis

A Letter from the Editor: Big changes are happening at GolfWRX

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For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Andrew Tursky. I recently went from the right-hand-man of former GolfWRX Editor-in-Chief Zak Kozuchowski, to running the show here at GolfWRX as the Editor-in-Chief myself. In my new role, I’m going to help GolfWRX fulfill its fullest potential as the best golf website in existence, and that means making a number of immediate changes, all of which I’ll highlight below.

First, a look back. Over a decade ago, GolfWRX started as a small community golf forum for golfers to discuss golf equipment, courses, instruction, rules, bargains, and everything else golf related. The forums continue to grow everyday, and they’re stronger than ever with over 250,000 members who are the most knowledgable and passionate golfers on the planet. They also helped us determine the Best Driver of 2018. Additionally, sometime around 2011, Kozuchowski took GolfWRX.com from simply a community golf forum to a golf media powerhouse by adding a front page section of the website, equipped with ultra-professional editorial. He built a team of Featured Writers — consisting of some of the biggest names in the golf industry — to help produce content that readers love and need. Since 2013, I’ve been helping Zak run the site by writing/producing original content myself, and working with the Featured Writer team. Currently averaging over 1.8 million unique readers per month, GolfWRX has been doing just fine. But I believe so strongly in the GolfWRX brand that I don’t want to settle for “just fine.” I believe we have more to offer, and I want every golfer in the world to garner entertainment or knowledge from our website.

As such, and building upon the foundation that is GolfWRX.com and the forums, I’ve been empowered by the “powers that be” at GolfWRX — you know, the guys who cut paychecks — to grow and shape the best golf website on the Internet.

So what does that mean going forward? Well, that’s what I wanted to discuss.

Here at GolfWRX, we’ve always been great at telling stories through the written word and images, and we will continue to do so with our Featured Writers team and legion of golf writers who love and know the game of golf. But after taking over the editorial direction of the website, I also wanted to help give GolfWRX a voice and a face. There are so many amazing people in the world of golf, and I wanted to provide platforms for us to help them tell their stories… to provide our readers the chance to see how golf clubs are made, how courses are designed, why professionals play certain equipment, and so much more. I wanted to bring readers where they’ve never been and hear from the people they’ve never heard from. Here at GolfWRX, we have the opportunity to speak with amazing people and play golf at amazing courses, and it’s about time the GolfWRX readers got to enjoy those experiences with us.

Therefore, we’re implementing our own original video and radio initiatives.

On the video-end of the spectrum, GolfWRX has recently hired Johnny Wunder full-time to the GolfWRX Staff. He’s a Hollywood producer (check out his new film Josie, starring Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, that was recently in select theaters across the country!) and is also the new Director of Original Content at GolfWRX. If you’ve enjoyed the Bob Parsons interview, Paige interview, PXG Gen2 Editor’s Journal, or how PXG irons get built, you have Mr. Wunder to thank. Also coming soon are experiences with Mike Taylor at Artisan Golf, David Edel, Bert Lamar of Iliac Golf, the Criquet Golf team in Austin, a short game series with Gabe Hjertstedt, a new fashion series and much more. We’re extremely excited to bring our own original content to the world, and help highlight the people in golf who we think deserve a platform. See the things you’ve never seen, go places you’ve never gone, and meet people you’ve never met; that’s what we want to do with our new GolfWRX original video content. We truly hope you enjoy it, and learn a lot from the content we produce.

We’ve also started three great podcasts — the “19th Hole with host Michael Williams,” “Two Guys Talkin’ Golf,” and “Gear Dive” — with plans to expand in the very near future. Check all of them out here on SoundCloud, or here on iTunes.

The 19th Hole is hosted by Michael Williams, who was the PGA Mediaperson of the Year in 2014 and is a longtime titan in both golf media and radio in general; he has produced and hosted shows on CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Voice of America. Michael is a true professional, knowledgeable golfer, and knows how to conduct one heck of an interview. So far on the show, his guests have included Greg Norman, Bob Vokey, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Scott Van Pelt, Byron Scott, Michael Breed, Louis Oosthuizen, Jim Nantz, Roger Cleveland, Mike Taylor, and many more.

Two Guys Talkin’ Golf (TG2), is hosted by equipment expert Brian Knudson and myself, a former Division I golfer and GolfWRX Editor. Together, we discuss all things golf, but mostly focus on golf equipment… and the occasional hot take. TG2 welcomes guests on the show as well, ranging from GolfWRX forum members to club builders to Tour professionals to caddies. If you’re hungry for more equipment knowledge and high-level golf conversation, TG2 is your type of podcast.

The third, and all-new podcast, is called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder. What you can expect is a weekly podcast where Wunder interviews anyone who’s anyone “in the know” of golf equipment… and he’s going deep. To give you an idea, his first guest was legendary clubmaker Larry Bobka who made Tiger Woods’ old Titleist irons.

Also, as I discussed before, GolfWRX is great with telling stories via the written word. To make sure we continue to do so, we’ve hired Ben Alberstadt who’s been writing for GolfWRX for over 5 years now. He was previously a freelance journalist who worked with a variety of media and news outlets, and he now wears the GolfWRX hat full time. I cannot be more excited to have him aboard the ship because he’s a true, hard-working journalist and he’s great at telling a story in his own unique style. If you’ve read any of his stuff, you know what I mean.

And as for me, I promise to continue providing GolfWRX readers with the content they want and need to read/hear/see on a daily basis. It’s my duty to help our readers be the most knowledgable golfers and golf buyers, and be entertained while learning more about the sport we all love. I simply love GolfWRX and our readers/listeners/viewers, and I want you to have the best website of all time to visit every day… a website to be part of and proud of.

What do I ask from you GolfWRX readers? Your feedback! If we write a bad story, tell us why you think it’s bad. If we publish a video you like, tell us why in the comments or on social media. If you love the new podcast, tell us that you loved it and support by subscribing. (If you want all of our podcasts transcribed, we’re working on it!) We want to have the best website in the world, and we want to provide information to golfers in the way they want to consume it. We care deeply about your opinion. GolfWRX began as a forum community, and we will always be a community. Personally, I was a GolfWRX reader myself before ever writing for the site. So was Alberstadt and Williams and Knudson and Wunder. We love golf and we love GolfWRX. We want to see it thrive, and you, the readers, are a huge part of that success.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this letter, and I hope you continue to be a GolfWRX reader and participant. And if you do, make sure to tell your golfing buddies how much you love the site… in real life or on social media. The more we grow, the better stories and podcasts and videos we can create. I love and appreciate the opportunity to be your GolfWRX Editor, and I won’t let you down!

 

Hit em between the tree line,

Andrew Tursky

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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Just as in 2017, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will once again provide a change in format for the players this week. Players will team up once more at TPC Louisiana for a combination of Best Ball (Rounds 1 and 3) and Alternate Shot (Rounds 2 and 4). Unfortunately, the change in format means that there is no DraftKings this week.

The course is long at over 7,400 yards, but it’s also very generous off the tee. TPC Louisiana offers the opportunity to go low, and players took advantage last year despite the inclement weather conditions. It took a Monday playoff to separate them, but eventually Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt pipped Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown by making birdie on the fourth playoff hole to take the title after both teams had posted 27-under par in regulation.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson 7/1
  • Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay 12/1
  • Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley 14/1
  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer 14/1
  • Jon Rahm/Wesley Bryan 16/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello/Sergio Garcia 22/1

For the first time, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar (14/1) will team up for this event. Last year, Watson played alongside J.B Holmes. The two performed well, finishing in a tie for fifth place. TPC Louisiana has been a course that has suited Watson’s game over the years, his prodigious length being a significant factor. Along with his T-5 in 2017, Watson has a victory and three other top-20 finishes at the course when the event was an individual stroke-play tournament.

While Watson can be feast or famine at times, Kuchar is Mr. Consistent. He hasn’t missed a cut in over a year, and he has been a top-10 machine over the past few years on the PGA Tour. Despite this, Kuchar hasn’t been able to convert many of his top-10 finishes into wins, but playing alongside Watson this week — who has already notched two victories in 2018 — may help his cause. Over their last 24 rounds, Watson ranks third for Strokes Gained-Off the Tee and eighth in Strokes Gained Total. Over the same period, Kuchar has been predictably consistent, ranking in the top third in the field in every major Strokes Gained category. It’s an intriguing partnership, with Watson’s explosiveness combined with Kuchar’s consistency, and it’s a cocktail that should prove to be a formidable force at TPC Louisiana.

Two men with the hot hand coming into this event are fellow Americans, Jimmy Walker and Sean O’Hair (25/1). Last week at the Valero Texas Open both men excelled, posting the highest finishes of their year thus far. Walker finished solo 4th, while O’Hair grabbed a T-2. It’s the pairs first time playing TPC Louisiana together, but Walker has some good course form to lean on. Back in 2012 and 2013, he posted back-to-back top-20 finishes, which shows that TPC Louisiana is a course that fits his game. Accuracy off the tee has never been Walker’s strength, but the generous fairways may be one of the reasons that he has performed well at this course.

O’Hair has been in good form as of late. The Texan has three top-15 finishes in his last six events, and last week he recorded his highest Strokes Gained Total at an event in years. Walker also seems to have turned a corner with his game. Along with his excellent performance last week, he managed a top-20 finish at the Masters, and his Strokes Gained-Total at the Valero was his highest since his 2016 PGA Championship victory. With both men coming off their best performances in a long time, they should be confident. The duo looks to be a decent value to mount a challenge this week.

Last year’s runners-up Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (40/1) are hard to ignore at their price this week. Brown has struggled mightily for form in 2018, missing six cuts out of 11 events played so far this year, but the prospect of playing alongside Kisner may be the boost that Brown’s 2018 is needing.

Kisner’s form has been strong as of late. He backed up his runner-up finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a T-28 at Augusta before grabbing a T-7 at the RBC Heritage. At Harbour Town, Kisner’s iron play was especially sharp, with his Strokes Gained-Approaching the Greens total being the highest since the Memorial last year. Despite Brown’s slump, in a highly tricky format to predict, the pair showed enough chemistry last year and an ability to excel in the format, which is enough for me to consider their price a little undervalued this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jimmy Walker/Sean O’Hair 25/1
  • Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown 40/1
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Podcasts

Gear Dive: Legendary club builder Larry Bobka speaks on Tiger’s old Titleist irons

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Legendary club builder Larry Bobka joins us in the first episode of our new podcast called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder, GolfWRX’s Director of Original Content. Gear Dive is a deep look into the world of golf equipment, and Wunder will be interviewing the craftsman, the reps and the players behind the tools that make up the bags of the best golfers in the world.

Bobka, our first guest, is a former Tour rep and club builder involved in some of the most important clubs of the past 25 years. From his days at Wilson Golf working with legends such as Payne Stewart, Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer, he transitioned into the Golden Age of Titleist/Acushnet building clubs for Tiger Woods, Davis Love, David Duval and Brad Faxon. He currently runs Argolf where he builds and fits handmade putters for Tour players and amateurs alike. He’s one of the Godfather’s of modern golf equipment.

Skip to 45:30 for the discussion about Tiger’s Titleist irons.

Check out our podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

What do you think of the new podcast? Leave your feedback in the comments below!

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19th Hole

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