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Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk on how to make golf (and its apparel) more cool

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GolfWRX recently spent time in Los Angeles investigating the relationship between golf culture and skate culture. As part of our trip, we spent time with Iliac’s Bert Lamar, who happens to be longtime friends with skate legends Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero.

Related: Our golf trick shot with Steve Caballero

Below is our Editor Andrew Tursky’s talk with Tony Hawk, where they discuss how to make golf cooler, how to attract young kids into the sport, how golf apparel can improve, why he likes the range more than the golf course, and the skate trick he’s most proud of.

Watch the full video, or read along in the transcript below.

Andrew Tursky: What’s your relationship like with golf?

Tony Hawk: I played as a kid with my mom, actually we took golf lessons for a while. And then I tried to pick it back up and I was really skating a lot and succeeding and then I just couldn’t find the time. But I enjoyed it, I mean, I liked the challenge of it.

AT: What would you change about golf to get someone like you playing a bit more? 

TH: That’s a good question. I think, it’s really just the time constraints. And I feel like you need that long periods of time to get better at it, but at the same time like, my life is super hectic and always moving and going places and so I feel like if I had an hour two then that would make it a lot easier for me and then I feel like you can do obviously 9 holes or whatever. But maybe if that’s more the directive that might help.

AT: How would you change golf to get someone like you when you were 15, like how could golf a little bit more cool? 

TH: I think maybe just to highlight the social aspect of it because I feel like that gets lost on kids that you actually have this time to hang out with your friends and you have a couple hours to joke around and do whatever but you know, play it seriously. I feel like that’s sort of not the goal. I don’t know, I liken it to, for instance if you go gambling; I like to play blackjack. Not that I think it’s the best game, but it’s more social. You’re hanging out with your friends and your joking around and stuff like that and I feel like that element of golf is something that could be highlighted more, especially for kids.

AT: What’s the connection with skateboarding and golf? Like, all the young skateboarders coming up right now are playing golf, and they’re two seemingly opposite sports. So what’s the connection there with skate culture and golf? 

TH: I think it’s just the challenge. I think golf is constantly challenging; no matter how good you are at it, you can improve your game. And the same goes for skateboarding. And the idea that it’s an individual pursuit. Sure, you’re competing with other people and you’re trying to get better scores, but at the same time, you can always just do it yourself and try and get better at it. And that is definitely the attitude for skating, that’s the mindset.

AT: How can golf apparel change a little bit, what do you think about that? 

TH: (Laughs) Uh, I don’t know. I guess golf apparel, if anything, could be more edgy. And I feel like that is coming to fruition. But before it was definitely, it was uniform. It was like this is what you wear, this is the look, collared shirt. You had to fit into this mold, and I feel like that is changing quite a bit.

AT: In the age of social media now, with Twitter and Instagram and all that, how can we get m0re 10, 12, 13 year olds involved with golf?

TH: I think it would be through the influencers that they follow. And the people that do play golf and don’t promote it; that do it but aren’t making a big deal about it. And trying to bring that more to the forefront of what they share. But for sure, I was talking about earlier, like the pro surfers a lot of em are really good at golf because they have so much down time when they go travel and are waiting for waves. I feel like if they were to sort of promote that a little more, that that’s what they’re into, then more kids would get into it, because, you know, those are their heroes.

AT: Well do us a favor, next time you’re at the range, put it up on Instagram. 

TH: Hah, yeah, I’m definitely not the most adept at golf, but I don’t mind hitting balls and not chasing them.

AT: So last question, I’ll do a skate question for ya. What’s the proudest trick that you’ve landed throughout your career. 

TH: Well I mean a lot of people associate me with a 900. I think that trick for me because it sort of marked the end of my competitive career. For me, it was something I had been working on for almost 10 years of my life. So that was a big moment for me and totally unexpected. But I think that something in terms I’m more proud of internally; an Ollie 540 cuz I feel like for me that opened up a whole new direction in terms of being able to spin and not hold your board, and something I literally thought was impossible a few years prior to that. I know it’s not the most groundbreaking trick nowadays, but I still feel like it changed my perception of what I could do on a skateboard.

AT: Do you still skate at all?

TH: I still skate. I’m actually goin to skate right now actually.

AT: Love it. Well we won’t hold you up anymore. Appreciate it. 

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Opinion & Analysis

This stat indicates Tiger Woods will win major 15 in 2019

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For Tiger Woods’ fans, it’s been over 10 years waiting for his 15th major victory. Even with PGA Tour win No. 80, plenty are already looking ahead to next year’s major.

Looking into Tiger’s performance at the majors in 2018, and more recently the PGA Championship, there’s exciting news for his fans. Tiger briefly held the lead at this year’s Open Championship, only to finish in a tie for sixth. But, it’s his performance at the PGA Championship, when he stormed home for second place thanks to a final round 64, and the recent statistics behind that tournament, that will get his legion of supporters brimming with confidence.

Going back to 2015, strong performances at the PGA Championship have proven to be a great form line for the following year’s major winners. In fact, if you go back further into the records, it extends for several years prior as well. Let’s take a look at recent PGA Championship results and the players that emerged from those performances that lead to major victory the next year.

The 2017 PGA Championship was one of the strongest forms lines in recent years. Justin Thomas won the tournament by two shots, but Patrick Reed, and Francisco Molinari tied for second. Reed went on to win this year’s Masters and Molinari won the Open Championship to capture their first major championships.

At the 2016 PGA Championship, Jimmy Walker surprised the field with victory, but an emerging talent in Brooks Koepka finished tied for fourth and would go on to secure his 1st major in 2017 by winning the U.S. Open. Interesting, Patrick Reed and Francisco Molinari were also just outside the top-10.

The 2015 PGA Championship was won by Jason Day, but current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson finished tied for seventh. Dustin went on to win his first major, the U.S. Open, the following year at the Oakmont Country Club. Also worth noting: Jordan Spieth finished second to Jason Day and went close to winning the Masters the next year only to finish in second place.

Fast forward to this year’s PGA Championship where Tiger finished second behind Brooks Koepka. Is it a sign that his 10-year major drought could end in 2019? And don’t forget, if Tiger has a great chance in 2019, then surely players that finished around him in that tournament, such as Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland, must have high hopes for 2019 too?

All this is true and only time will tell if the tournament form line stacks up.

Anyway you look at the 2018 PGA Championship results, it’s a great form line for 2019, and Tiger could well be in the mix in the big ones next year. With his body coping well with the rigors of the tough PGA Tour circuit, Tiger Woods’ fans can be feeling good about his chances for the 2019 season.

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: Boulder Creek Golf Club in Streetsboro, Ohio

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here! 

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was submitted by GolfWRX member JimGantz, who takes us to Boulder Creek Golf Club in Streetsboro, Ohio. Just 30 minutes from downtown Cleveland, Boulder Creek features over 100 feet of elevation changes, and when you look at the photos of the course, it’s easy to see why this track landed in our hidden gem thread. JimGantz gives us a concise description of the course, praising it for its nice blend of different hole types.

“Conditions are always top notch. Fluffy bunkers, thick-ish rough.  Staff are super friendly. Good mix of long and short holes which is something I like. I’m not a huge fan of playing a course where every par 3 is over 200yds. This track mixes it up.”

According to Boulder Creek Golf Club’s website, 18 holes with a cart from Monday-Thursday will set you back $40, while to play on the weekend costs $50. Seniors can play the course for as little as $25 during the week.

@BoulderCreekOH

@amgolferblog

@troymezz

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Flightscope’s Alex Trujillo on why all golfers need shot data technology

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In this episode of the GearDive, Johnny chats with Alex Trujillo Sr. Sales Manager for Flightscope about understanding data, how information can make sense to your average golfer, why everyone should utilize data, and the downside of too much data.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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