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Mackenzie Hughes had to balance Tiger Woods fandom with playing his own game Saturday at The Players

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27-year-old Canadian Mackenzie Hughes was paired with his idol, Tiger Woods, during Saturday’s third round of The Players Championship.

It’s an “only in golf” situation in the world of sports, isn’t it? Most of the guys who grew up watching Michael Jordan, and later made it to the NBA, would never have a chance to play alongside Jordan as he poured in 50 points. However, in a golf sense, Mackenzie Hughes had that experience Saturday.

Hughes had never spoken with Woods ahead of their third round pairing. The Canadian had a front row seat for a vintage Tiger Woods performance—a moving day 65 that looked like it was going to be even lower. (Hughes availed himself nicely, firing a 68 to finish at 5 under)

Hughes had to balance his Woods fandom with trying to post a score, and he talked about the experience after the round.

“It’s 90 degrees but I can assure you I had goosebumps and shivers at times out there when you hear some of the roars and realize, ‘Hey, I’m playing with Tiger Woods!’ It was fun.”

“I’ve always been a huge fan. It was kind of fun, him out there thinking like I’m asking stuff about him,” Hughes said. “But I pretty much know everything about him because I’m a huge fan. I tried to play it cool and not sound like a total dork.”

Saturday had to be both surreal and super for Hughes. Cool moment. Can you imagine, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Must be the Arby’s: Beef Johnston deadlifts 485 lbs

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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…

Per PhysicalLiving.com

“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?

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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

Only 24 percent of golfers are women. 18Birdies, LPGA Tour partner to do something about it.

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Women make up 50 percent of the population but only 24 percent of golfers. Why is this? A joint effort between the LPGA and 18Birdies attempts to understand what limits women’s participation in the game and how to do something about it.

Announced today, the 18Birdies-LPGA partnership seeks to leverage the two organizations’ resources to boost the number of female players.

18Birdies and research firm, Fusion Hill, conducted a joint ethnographic research study, “It’s His Game, Not Her Game,” that underpins the partnership. The study looks at barriers to women’s golf participation and motivations among women who do play.

Among the study’s findings…

  • Many women golf under the guidance of someone more experienced and thus don’t have a passionate sense of “ownership” of their games.
  • Many women often lack the social network that’s key to enjoying golf for many men.
  • Many women feel guilty prioritizing golf over traditional family needs.
  • Women often enter the game knowing less about golf and sports in general, making them less confident.
  • Most women learn golf from a significant other who is relatively advanced, thus from the start, golf is “his thing.”
  • Many women say golf is an expensive sport in terms of greens fees and investing in equipment/clothes for infrequent play is a barrier to entry.

Based on these data points, 18Birdies and Fusion Hill put together the following recommendations to engage and retain the female golfer.

Even ardent skeptics who would suggest the company is merely trying to find a way to get more women to download its app have to acknowledge the value of the heavy lifting 18Birdies has done for the golf industry.

Heck, even if you disagree with the specific recommendations (which I think are on point), at worst, industry organizations, club manufacturers, courses, and pretty much everyone under the “golf biz” umbrella now has a heap of actionable data at their disposal for dealing with something few would say isn’t a big problem.

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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