Connect with us

19th Hole

GolfWRX Morning 9: A firm U.S. Open favorite emerges | Is wanting an “old school” U.S. Open problematic?

Published

on

Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note to start your day.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below. Feedback is always welcome–send everything from news tips to complaints (hopefully more tips than complaints)!

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

June 11, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans, and a good U.S. Open week as well. I’ll be chatting with Sergio Garcia for a few minutes this afternoon at the Adidas flagship store. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to ask El Nino.
1. A finish in style a U.S. Open favorite makes
Dustin Johnson was dominant, excellent, etc. at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, holing out for eagle and the win, as you’ve surely seen.
  • Explaining DJ’s weird reaction: He didn’t know if it went in
  • Not his first brush with walk-off wins: At a junior golf tournament in South Carolina, DJ was on the receiving end of a walk-off W. None other than Kevin Kisner holed out to beat him by a stroke: “[Kevin] actually skulled it, too…It hit the flag and went in and beat me by a shot.”
  • PGATour.com’s Jonathan Wall rightly points out, “Johnson likely won’t lose sleep over the fact that no player has ever won the U.S. Open after winning on Tour the week prior, simply because Johnson doesn’t seem to lose sleep over much of anything when it comes to his day job. Ever the unflappable athlete, he has overcome more than his fair share of on-course turmoil without so much as a scar.”
2. A Shot clock Master
Journeyman Mikko Korhonen dominated at Diamond Country Club en route to  his first European Tour title at the Shot Clock Masters.
  • Entering the final round ahead by 5, Korhonen ultimately topped Scotland’s Connor Syme by six.
  • Most significantly, however: Only four players were hit with penalties during the week. Rounds were rapid. Players (publicly at least) praised the format.
3. A Curtis Cup crushing
Look, amateur golf isn’t a massive cauldron of fan interest, and that’s even more true for women’s amateur play (not that it should be; but these are the numbers, folks). That said, you don’t have to be a champion of the nobility of the institution of non-professional play to appreciate the quality of the U.S. side’s performance at Quaker Ridge.
  • Kristen Gillman was at the fore for a U.S. singles sweep Sunday; the most lopsided result in Curtis Cup history. The 20-year-old University of Alabama talent, topped 16-year-old Annabell Fuller 5 and 4 to wrap up her perfect week.
  • The Americans won 17-3. The team broke the record for margin of victory of 11 set at Denver Country Club in 1982.
4. Woods the contender remains an enigma
An AP investigation…
  • “His irons are sublime, his driver for the most part long and straight….If we’ve learned anything from his latest comeback, Tiger Woods can still putt a bit, too….A decade ago that would have made him the overwhelming pick to win the U.S. Open.”
  • “Heck, a decade ago he won the U.S. Open basically on one leg for what, incredibly enough, was his last major championship win….But as Woods docks his yacht near Shinnecock Hills this week, he’s still a golfing enigma of sorts. His scores are decent, if not spectacular, but he’s yet to win and has only been in serious contention once in nine tournaments this year….Is the real Tiger finally back?”
This year’s tournament, as the unbylined bit is right to suggest, isn’t expected to be a Woodsian romp. Why? A few possibilities are put forth.
  •  Woods’ age–is the slow decline in putting here
  • The aforementioned putting
  • Opponents no longer roll over and die when he’s near the top of the leaderboard
5. The problem with wanting the U.S. Open to get back to its old self
Firm, fast, narrow, tall grasses aplenty! “The USGA needs to get back to its roots,” the chorus sings. While this is a seductive stance, it’s not without potential pitfalls.
Geoff Shackelford identified a few.
  • Venue Selection Division: The identity was lost with Erin Hills and Chambers Bay for many. Even though Shinnecock Hills is links-like in appearance, the designs of the aforementioned and their setup opened the USGA up to criticism.
  • Anti-progressive Setup Set. It’s hard to believe folks are clamoring for the days or chip out rough 3 yards off the fairway while the drive 30 yards wayward finds matted down rough. Nor can I fathom how anyone wants to go to some of the game’s greatest places only to smother out the best design features to match the U.S. Open setup “identity.” As long as the players can carry a ball 300 yards or more and use wedges to hack out of rough, the old ideal isn’t coming back.
  • Mike Davis Disdain Marching And Chowder Society: If you do not fall into one of the first categories, chances are your desire to see the U.S. Open return to its old ways stems from simply not liking the role Davis has played in trying to move the U.S. Open into the new century while retaining some of the old identity.
6. How good do you really have to be to play high-level college golf?
Writing for GolfWRX, Brendan Ryan explores the question, looking at the scoring averages from top programs.
  • “Although the sample size is small, teams who compete at the national level (including playing regionals) need difference makers who in college can average 73 or better. Historically, the data suggests that difference makers usually have scoring differential that is negative, and they are ranked in the top 100-150 in their class.”
  • “How good is the 20th ranked player in the class? According to Junior Golf Scoreboard, the 20th player in the 2018 class has a scoring differential of -3.92, and the 20th player for the 2019 has a scoring differential of -2.51.”
The rest of Ryan’s conclusions are well worth digging into.
7. Mickelson’s rock
Maybe you remember Phil Mickelson’s bunker shot at the par-3 17th at Shinnecock in 2004. Lefty’s final-round effort at the penultimate hole was uncharacteristically poor and sounded the death knell for his bid to win the tournament. Turns out, it wasn’t “just” a bad shot that befell Phil.
  • Dave Shedloski...:”Only Fred Funk, his playing partner in the final round of the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, has known Mickelson’s secret. He distinctly heard the clunky, discordant sound emanating from the front left bunker as Mickelson played his second shot at the par-3 17th hole.
  • Instantly, he knew what had happened and solemnly watched the predictable result as Mickelson’s ball raced past the cup-above it, in fact-to a place on the oil-slick green where the left-hander easily could three-putt.”
8. Unlike any other: Sweetens Cove
Peter Schmitt played the emerging Tennessee gem whose positive reputation seems to swell daily–he returned with takes galore.
  • “What do you say about a 3,300-yard, nine-hole course in rural Tennessee with a prefabricated shed for a clubhouse, a port-a-john for a locker room, and a practice green the size of a coffee table? For starters, it’s the most enjoyable golf experience I’ve had in years.”
  • “Picture a world-class, challenging, and ridiculously fun golf course. Now strip off the 15,000-square-foot clubhouse, the pro shop, the driving range, the short game area, and even the superfluous nine holes you can’t remember anyway. Now, go ahead and shave another 300 yards off the tips. That may sound sacrilegious, but once you’ve distilled the experience into only what is necessary, you’re left with something that takes you back to when you first fell in love with golf. Maybe even something that takes you back to the birth of golf itself.”
Bold words. More from Schmitt.
9 ICYM: Rickie Fowler is engaged
If you’re looking for an angle in to bet (or not to bet) Rickie Fowler at Shinnecock this week. Fowler proposed to girlfriend Allison Stokke, a former collegiate All-American pole vaulter, over the weekend (she said yes). Evidence below.

Again, subscribe here if you’re not already signed up!

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf

Published

on

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.

2019-rules-of-golf

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.”

Simple.

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?

Your Reaction?
  • 50
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW2
  • LOL10
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB0
  • SHANK42

Continue Reading

19th Hole

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

Published

on

ho-sung-choi-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.

 

 

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway

Published

on

In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway

@kevinmarkham

Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.

@kevinmarkham

Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.

@IrishGolfPhotos

Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway

@DBloom451

There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.

@stacy_sobieski

Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.

@MeetInGalway

As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.

@WriterVicYates

If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.

@IndoSport

But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

Your Reaction?
  • 11
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW3
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending