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19th Hole

What the heck were these golfers doing? The photographer explains.



Perhaps, you’ve seen the photo floating around social media the past couple of days. An extreme example of the #alwaysbegolfing mindset: a group of golfers play on, seemingly unfazed, as a volcano spews ash in the distance.

At the aptly named Volcano Golf and Country Club in Hawaii, photographer Mario Tama captured the incredible image above, Tuesday.

While the photo is pretty unreal. Some questions pop immediately to mind: How close is the volcano? Was this reckless, or was the course full and was nobody in any real danger

Fortunately, Jaclyn Reiss of the Boston Globe tracked down the photographer for a chat.

The Los Angeles-based Getty Images staff photographer told the Globe that he was trolling Hawaii’s Big Island for a good spot to get photos of the volcanic activity.

“We went up there and I wasn’t really expecting to see anyone golfing. I figured it would be empty…Shortly after I got there, the plume started kicking up pretty strongly.”

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, HI – MAY 15: A man drives a golf cart at a golf course as an ash plume rises in the distance from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island on May 15, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey said a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano’s Halemaumau crater Òhas raised the potential for explosive eruptionsÓ at the volcano. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While some golfers abandoned the course accordingly, not this group.

“I was trying to get that shot, and as I was shooting, I heard these guys call out to me that I was in the way of their game and could I step aside…They were very gracious about it. Obviously, it didn’t occur to me that I was impeding on someone’s game. So I walked over to the left and got some shots of them as they were teeing off.”

Apparently, though, the golfers weren’t in any danger.

“There was no seismic activity — the ground wasn’t shaking, there was no noise,” he said. “The way the wind was blowing, the plume was going away from [the] golf course. It wasn’t hazardous to breathe. If it was over the golf course, everyone would’ve left.”

While ash was spewing as high as 12,000 feet in the air, it wasn’t blowing toward the golf course, and the lava eruptions were 25 miles away.

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  1. Brett Weir

    May 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    When in Rome…

  2. Jamie

    May 18, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Problem #376 of what is wrong with American society: Rampant gawking and trying to make those who don’t gawk appear to be crazy. FFS.

  3. nyguy

    May 17, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I thinks it’s silly to question what the golfers are doing, so much dramatics. What about all the people behind them just doing nothing.

  4. DaveyD

    May 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    You gotta have a hobby. Why not golf?

  5. 2putttom

    May 17, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    whole new meaning to the word “fore”

    • Peter X Green

      May 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Pyroclastic flow is a fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter that moves away from a volcano reaching speeds of up to 700 km/h… which is somewhat faster than a golf cart.

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Aaron Rodgers wants Hosung Choi as a partner, Adam Hadwin’s disbelief, and a fan keeps Phil Mickelson informed



Adam Long was a shock winner at the Desert Classic, and Shane Lowry captured the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, his first title in almost four years. But here are some things you may have missed over the last week, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere.

Aaron Rodgers Wants A Piece Of Hosung Choi

Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, made his request to play with internet sensation Hosung Choi at next month’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am…

…who wouldn’t want to play with him, right?…

…And it looks like Rodger’s is getting his wish.

Jerry Kelly’s Impossible Eagle

Rodgers’ partner at Pebble Beach last year made one of the craziest eagles ever seen at last week’s Champions Tour event in Hualalai.

Adam Hadwin’s Disbelief

While over on the PGA Tour, Adam Hadwin didn’t do very well at hiding his shock that this putt from Phil Mickelson didn’t drop on Sunday evening.

Fan Keeps Mickelson Informed

Speaking of Lefty, a fan was courteous enough to inform the 48-year-old of the situation in the NFL game between the Saints and Rams. What a gentleman.

Alan Shipnuck Critiqued

While acclaimed writer, Alan Shipnuck, received some positive feedback from a reader last week.

The Content Committee

The European Tour released this funny video of some of the European Tour’s biggest names brainstorming for ideas to boost content on the Tour. I’m all in on “Monty’s Pythons” by the way.




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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf



We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.


But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”


We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing




Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.



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