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A new golf competition at Topgolf, Shotmakers, is coming to Golf Channel. Will you watch?

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Topgolf’s runaway success and unique golf experience has fostered a new golf competition, Shotmakers, which premiers on Golf Channel, April 9.

Billed as “an innovative new golf competition where precision shotmaking meets intense strategy,” the competition blends entertainment, golf, and technology.

Nine co-ed teams will compete at the Las Vegas Topgolf in elimination-style, head-to-head competition. Precision shotmaking, strategy, and, and decision making in a pressure-packed environment will define the competition.

“Shotmakers is a great opportunity to introduce a progressive approach to golf competition, featuring dynamic personalities from across the sports landscape,” said Phil Piazza, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming. “Shotmakers also will showcase what Topgolf has been doing for 17 years – evolving the narrative around golf and redefining golf participation.”

The 18 competitors include a former PGA TOUR professional, mini-tour professional golfers, an Olympian, former collegiate athletes, a former World No. 1 World Long Drive competitor, a trick-shot artist, decorated military veterans, and champions from the Topgolf Tour.

Shotmakers is co-hosted by 3-time college national player of the year Amanda Blumenherst and golf host Shane Bacon, along with Golf Channel reporter Chantel McCabe and social media correspondent Alexandra O’Laughlin. Shotmakers will feature seven rounds of competition airing two nights a week at 9 p.m. ET beginning April 9 and concluding April 30.

Here are the teams, per Golf Channel.

IMPACT, sponsored by CDW:
SUSANA BENAVIDES (27, Cochabamba, Bolivia) Professional golfer, only Bolivian-born golfer to compete on the LPGA Tour, former top-ranked amateur in South America.
TOMMY BIERSHENK (44, Greenville, S.C.) Former PGA TOUR professional, two-time All-American at Clemson University, golf course owner.

SHARKS, sponsored by Corona Premier:
TANIA TARE (29, Auckland, New Zealand) Professional golfer, trick-shot artist, record-holder for lowest single round while competing for Florida International University with a 63.
MAURICE ALLEN (36, Pine Hills, Fla.) Former World No. 1 World Long Drive competitor, 3-time World Long Drive winner, All-American at Florida A&M in track.

STRIKERS, sponsored by Travelocity:
VICTORIA LOVELADY (31, Sao Paolo, Brazil) Professional golfer currently competing on the Symetra and Ladies European Tour, Olympian who represented Brazil in 2016 Rio Olympics.
ROBBIE BIERSHENK (41, Greenville, S.C.) Driving range owner, former mini-tour player, featured on Golf Channel’s Chasing the Dream series.

LIGHTNING, sponsored by MGM Grand:
KENZIE O’CONNELL (26, Denver, Colo.) Golf teaching instructor, Women With Drive ambassador.
CHAD PFEIFER (36, Caldwell, Idaho) Professional golfer, decorated U.S. Army Corporal (retired) who credits golf saving his life, two-time Warrior Open champion, amputee (lower leg).

SEEKERS, sponsored by Waste Management:
CHRISTINA LECUYER (35, Conway, Ark.) Professional corporate/charity golf host and media personality, two-time All-American from the University of Central Arkansas, former professional golfer.
MATT COUSENS (26, London, England) PGA teaching professional, 2017 Topgolf Tour Championship runner-up with fellow Shotmakers competitor Brad Barnes.

WARRIORS, sponsored by Avis:
NIKKI BONDURA (25, Sacramento, Calif.) Golf lifestyle blogger, co-owner of Women With Drive.
BRAD BARNES (23, London, England) 2017 Topgolf Tour Championship runner-up with fellow Shotmakers competitor Matt Cousens.

ACES, sponsored by Topgolf:
TISHA ABREA (24, Murrieta, Calif.) Professional golfer competing on the mini-tours in 2018, co-owner of Women With Drive.
JAMIE PUTERBAUGH (33, Carlsbad, Calif.) PGA of America professional and teaching instructor, 2016-17 Topgolf Tour Championship finalist with fellow Shotmakers competitor Peter Campbell.

RINGERS, sponsored by Massage Envy:
HAILEY OSTROM (24, Phoenix, Ariz.) Professional golfer currently competing on mini tours.
ANDREW BACHELDER (36, Fort Worth, Texas) 2015 Warrior Open champion, decorated U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant (retired) who credits golf with saving his life.

HAWKS, sponsored by Topgolf:
CHELSEA PEZZOLA (25, Scottsdale, Ariz.) Professional golfer, standout junior golfer at IMG Academy, two-time Academic All-Big Ten at University of Michigan.
PETER CAMPBELL (33, Carlsbad, Calif.) Former PGA TOUR professional, golf instructor, 2016-17 Topgolf Tour Championship finalist with fellow Shotmakers competitor Jamie Puterbaugh.

To get a feel for what the competition will look like, check out this tweet from GC.

So, what do you think, GolfWRX members? Will you watch?

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Apple Barn Rat

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I think Top Golf is for Bottom Feeders.

  2. kevin

    Mar 13, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    normally i would care less about something like this….but if they can combine actual good players with interesting personalities and not try to hard to manufacture drama it might be a watch.

    but i’m guessing the format will be set up in attempt to manufacture a certain outcome and the episodes will a few shots and a ton of commercials.

  3. C

    Mar 13, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I think it *could* be fun to watch, but it will be riddled with commercials and unnecessary commentary/interviews.

  4. HeineyLite

    Mar 13, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Ah no!!!! Golf Ch. other than when they show actual golf is very good. Other than that horrible… Morning Drive… Yawn

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19th Hole

Ricky Barnes DQd at the Byron Nelson

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Ricky Barnes took a trip to Dairy Queen at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Barnes was disqualified following his second round 1-over 72. He signed for a three at the par-4 sixth hole, when in fact he had made a par.

Ultimately, he won’t rue his impromptu trip to get a Blizzard: Barnes was 3 over and was in no danger of making the cut.

Because this is the world we live in, Barnes apparently found out about the DQ via LuckyTrout Golf Pool on Twitter.

Of course, no scorecard error will ever top “What a stupid I am,” Roberto De Vicenzo signing for 66 when he shot 65, handing the green jacket to Bob Goalby at the 1968 Masters. Such an unfortunate legacy for a man who won hundreds of tournaments around the world.

Also unfortunate: Ricky Barnes is on the way for being remembered as a man who never lived up to the promise he showed at that same tournament, The Masters, as an amateur.

Let’s hope that changes.

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19th Hole

WATCH/LOOK AWAY: Jordan Spieth misses a 15-inch putt

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Aren’t you glad there isn’t video of all the 15-inch putts you’ve missed? I certainly am.

Unfortunately for Jordan Spieth, his failed attempt from little more than a foot at the Byron Nelson was captured on video, and it will exist on the internet for all eternity.

Spieth, who has struggled with the flatstick lately, stood over a short par putt at the par-4 15th hole, and well…

Spieth is currently 183rd on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained: putting, losing .412 strokes per round to the field on the greens.

But at least he hit the hole, right?

Here’s the offending weapon: Spieth’s trusty Scotty Cameron 009.

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19th Hole

GolfWRX members debate: What should the World Golf Hall of Fame criteria be?

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There have been a couple of controversial inclusions on the World Golf Hall of Fame. This isn’t to rehash, say, Fred Couples earning a spot, but rather, take a look at entry criteria.

More specifically, GolfWRX member playar32 writes

“I know the actual criteria is 15 tour wins, or 2 majors/Players championship. But what’s YOUR minimum?…For example, if a player won a “B” tournament every year (the one opposite a WGC event), every year in a row for 15 years, but missed the cut in every other event, would you still considered them HOF?”

It’s an interesting point. Specifically, the World Golf Hall of Fame criteria for an active male golfer is as follows.

“A player must have a cumulative total of 15 or more official victories on any of the original members of the International Federation of PGA Tours (PGA TOUR, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and PGA of Australasia) OR at least two victories among the following events: The Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship.”

Further, a player must be at least 50 or five years removed from competition.

Here are some other WRX members’ takes.

Bladehunter says

“15 tour wins and 2 majors for me. Otherwise almost every 1 major winner out there is in.”

McCann1 says

“If we won’t remember your name without the HOF in 50 years I think you shouldn’t be in.”

Fowlerscousin says

“If any of these three criteria are met: 3 or more majors. Minimum 5 Ryder cup appearances. 15 tour victories.”

Hawkeye77 says

“Whatever the criteria are, don’t ever think about it unless someone whose speech I want to hear gets in.’

Golfer929 has more stringent standards

“20 Wins. 3 Majors. 2 Ryder Cup/President Cup appearances. 100 total weeks inside Top 50 OWGR.”

Golfgirlrobin says

“I’d like to see them go to some sort of point system like the LPGA uses. Factor in everything that’s important and let the chips fall where they may.”

You’ll want to check out the rest of what GolfWRX members have to say in the thread.

There are a ton off questions to consider when thinking about which current/recent players should make the HoF.

A few…

1. Should the standards be on par with other sports? If so, what does that look like?
2. If the WGHOF should be more/less stringent, why?
3. How important are major victories? Why two and not three?
4. Why 15 wins and not 10? Or 20?

All important questions, and ones which the golf fans of the world should be able to weigh in on, rather than merely a selection committee of 16 people.

Let us know what you think, GolfWRX members!

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