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Some guy played all 359 Donald Ross courses in the U.S.

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Brad Becken has shown up all his fellow members of the Donald Ross Society. Becken, a retired Goldman Sachs executive, has done something interesting with his presumably generous amount of retirement dough: played every known Ross course in the United States.

That’s right, the former exec has teed it up at all 359 known Donald Ross courses in the States.

Now, the issue of defining a “Donald Ross course” is a complex one, but Becken is operating from the Ross Society’s canon. Nine hole expansions, collaborations, renovations by later designers. All muddy the water.

“If Ross designed a course, and it still exists, we still consider it a Ross course–even if other architects have touched,” Becken told Golf Digest.

He caught the Ross bug relatively late in life after playing Hope Valley C.C. in Durham, North Carolina. He went on to play every Ross track in the state and never looked back.

Becken, who is not an adept golfer, told Digest he most enjoyed how Ross’ courses are suited for all skill levels

“I’m not that good of a golfer, but it doesn’t matter on a Ross course. There’s always a way for higher handicappers to play it. It’s brilliant how playable they are for so many different golfers.”

The final course Becken played? Rolling Rock Club in Laughlintown, PA. It took him eight years to complete the circuit.

What do you think GolfWRX members? Insane? Inspiring?

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Rich

    Dec 29, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    And only a rich person could do this. I love golf but this is what’s wrong with our sport. Great for him, but how many other people could afford to do all that even if they wanted to.

  2. Benny

    Dec 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Would love to see the list. I have a few Ross courses in my state and New England alone has many. Would love to know which ones so I can check this guys legitimacy. One course near by is not easy to get on.

  3. Joe

    Dec 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Favorite course of all time is WBYC – have been lucky to have jumped on it a few times – it is just a lovely private course.

  4. Jcjmw

    Dec 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I am so jealous!!!

  5. rex235

    Dec 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Brad Becken-

    ..After 359 Donald Ross golf courses-

    …Which one is your favorite?

  6. BD57

    Dec 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I grew up on a Ross Course – Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York. Wonderful course, I was very lucky.

  7. Peter M

    Dec 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    “Some Guy?” Why would you write a headline like this? You have all of the relevant information at hand.

  8. Brian

    Dec 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Amazing, so jealous, Ross is my all time favorite designed, if I could only play one designed for the rest of my life it would be Ross, kudos to this guy!!!

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19th Hole

Is this the worst “my clubs were stolen” story ever?

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Tom Owen. Remember the name, because this unfortunate gentleman may have the worst tale of club theft in recent memory.

Now, the experience of having one’s bag pilfered, never to be seen again, is awful. Your clubs are simply gone, and you have no idea who took them and where they went. Tom Owen had the first part of that experience, however, he knows exactly where his clubs are…and he can’t (legally) do anything about it.

Therese Henkin New Zealand’s Howick & Pakuranga Times originally reported the story.

Mr. Owen’s bag, with its thousands of dollars of equipment and his cell phone, was lifted December 15th from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point, New Zealand.

“They took everything, all my clubs, my bag, trundle, golf balls and my mobile phone which was tucked away inside the bag,” he told the paper.

However, as this is the 21st century, Owen was able to track his phone (which was in his golf bag) to a nearby residential address on Pigeon Mountain Road.

Presumably overjoyed, he called the police to report the theft and the location of his stolen property. One can only imagine his despair when he was told the authorities would be unable to lawfully search the premises and thus could not recover his clubs.

After reporting the incident, Owen was surprised to learn that police were not able to search the premises for the goods.

A police spokesperson explained.

“While we understand people may think police can use the tracking system people use on their phones and then send a patrol car to retrieve the property, under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police officers do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone. If police resources are available and the technology can pin-point a specific address such as a household, Police are able to knock on the door and make enquiries, but not enter.”

Obviously, Owen isn’t a fan of the law, and he thinks it puts victims in a bad position. He’s right: Knowing the authorities can’t do anything, but knowing where your stolen phone, etc, is, do you risk your life taking the law into your own hands?

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it. If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does this make any sense? Do you join Owen in calling for a rewriting of the law?

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson’s pursuit of average driving, Phil being Phil, and plenty more Mickelsonia from the wires today

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Phil Mickelson. We tend to forget the left-hander remains a divisive, swashbuckling figure as he settles into the home stretch of his PGA Tour career. We pretend that his outrageous risk-taking-masquerading-as-cool-calculation approach to the game is somehow something other than an affront to the plodding, conservative way the game was “meant to be played.” Phil Mickelson: Even those who can’t stand him have to be deeply intrigued by Mickelson the Man and Mickelson the Golfer. How can you not be fascinated? How can you not be frustrated?

The 47-year-old begins his season at the CareerBuilder Challenge this week seeking his first victory since the 2013 British Open. Thus, it’s not surprising to see a rash of Mickelson-related pieces populating the golf newswire today.

Here are a few morsels. Per Cameron Morfit of PGATour.com, Mickelson is pursuing “average” driving this year. The left-hander has historically struggled with the big stick and placed outside the top 100 in strokes gained: off-the-tee last season,

Here’s what Mickelson said about his pursuit of mediocrity off the tee.

“What’s funny is when you’re good at something, chipping, putting, wedges, distance control, all that stuff, it’s easy. It takes me a day or two of practice to get back to kind of an elite level. But to become just an average driver when you’re not good at it, it takes a lot of work. And that’s what I’ve been spending the last few years on, really trying to figure it out. Get the swing plane right, get shallower into the ball, get the weighting of the driver right. The whole mental approach to the driver. Just to get everything dialed in just to be average.”

“I just don’t want to give away shots off the tee. I don’t need to gain shots off the tee; I’ll gain them elsewhere. I feel like the short putting has been addressed. I feel like, and believe, that I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with the driver. And if that happens, I think 2018 could be a remarkable year, a year where I can win multiple times.”

Golfweek’s Brentley Romine has some interesting remarks from Jon Rahm. Rahm, of course, was coached by Phil’s brother Tim at Arizona State–a job Mickelson left to manage Rahm. Tim Mickelson then ditched that gig to loop for his brother after Bones Mackay dropped his bag to pick up a microphone. In other words, Rahm has seen the pair up close plenty of times, and had this to say about the difference between his approach to the game and that of the variable-obsessed Mickelson

“It’s really fun to hear how they (Phil and Tim) talk to each other, because Tim being my coach at ASU, I don’t need much – “Okay, it’s like 120 (yards), this shot, right?’” Rahm said. “And you have Phil, it’s like, ‘Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like 1 mph wind sideways, it’s going to affect it 1 yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They’re thinking (that) and I’m like, ‘I’m lost.

“It’s funny, he gets to the green and then it’s the same thing. He’s very detail-oriented. He gets there and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s a foot right.’ And he goes, okay, he reads the green, like, ‘Oh, it’s 1.8 degrees of slope here and this and that. And I’m there listening and I’m like, ‘Man, I hope we’re never paired together for anything because I can’t think like this.’ I would not be able to play golf like that. For me to listen to all that is really fun. And then you hear me and Adam talk, ‘180, a little breeze into, okay, hard six.’ … And it’s just opposite extremes completely.”

Different strokes before making strokes.

Then, there is this piece from Shane Ryan exploring the nature of Phil Mickelson, if you will, and suggesting he could impress this year. Of course, this is a wholly inadequate description of a piece for Golfworld you absolutely must read.

 

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19th Hole

What’s your favorite photo from the history of pro golf?

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Golf history, as we know, is rich. Dramatic storylines, pithy anecdotes, iconic equipment, and storybook shots are all woven into the vibrant tapestry of the game at the professional level.

It’s no surprise, then, that from the rough black-and-white of Old Tom Morris, open-stanced, gazing past the camera to his target, to the present DSLR shots, the history of the professional game is peppered with great photographs.

WRX member Christosterone started a thread with the question, “What’s your favorite tour picture and why?”

He offered this shot of “three reverse-c idols and a Texan.”

Of course, it only took one response, for someone to offer up this classic shot of Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan. One assumes that the fact that they didn’t care for one another only enhanced their badass postures.

 

Also, dicko999 (who better to post the following?), offered a cropped version of the legendary Presidents Cup streaker shot. Beyond the absurdity of the scene, the facial expressions make this shot great.

Just a fantastic thread that you’ll want to check out–and hopefully add a photo of your own to.

Check out the thread.

 

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