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GolfWRX Morning 9: McIlroy: Golf isn’t the most important thing in my life | Greenbrier’s military history | Year of the Irishman



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.

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.

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

By Ben Alberstadt (


July 5, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. Hopefully, nobody is feeling the effects of one too many hot dogs and a late night watching fireworks today.  
1. McIlroy: ‘There are other things in my life that are more important than golf’


Rory McIlroy was his usual candid self ahead of the Irish Open (presented by his foundation). While some might say the remarks below were a calculated attempt to draw attention ahead of the tournament which benefits his charity, it’s more likely the Ulsterman was merely speaking his mind.
  • “Nothing is going to change in my life whether I win a major or not,” said McIlroy on the eve of the Irish Open. “I’d be disappointed if I didn’t but I don’t panic. It doesn’t keep me up at night.”
  • “Look, if I didn’t win another major for the rest of my career, nothing is going to change in my life whether I win one or not, but obviously I don’t feel like I’ll have fulfilled my potential,” he said.
  • “But at the same time, you know, there’s other things in my life that are more important than golf.
  • “I’d be disappointed but again, it‘s not going to change things. I don’t panic. It doesn’t keep me up at night.”
While you have to applaud his sincerity, can you imagine Woods or Nicklaus saying the above in the prime of their careers?


2. The Greenbrier and the military


“We’ve always tried to find some way to have that military tie-in and I think we just decided it was time to take it a step further and really show that commitment,” says Cam Huffman, director of communications for The Greenbrier.


And take it a step further they did with one of the morse interesting tournament names of on the PGA Tour:  A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier


While their will be plenty of interesting takes on the military tie in, Helen Ross drops some knowledge about the Greenbrier’s military history.
  • “The military connection at The Greenbrier dates back to the Civil War. The Old White Hotel, which stood on the property before The Greenbrier was built, was actually used as a hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers at one point or other during the Civil War.
  • “The Army even bought the hotel during World War II and used it as a hospital for the wounded. Known as the Ashford General Hospital from 1942-’46, it was dubbed “The Shangri-La for Wounded Soldiers and Airmen” as service members were able to use all the facilities while they recovered. German POWs tended to the grounds and worked in the mess hall, among other duties.
  • “…Eisenhower later decided that The Greenbrier would be the perfect place to build a secret facility to house Congress in case of a nuclear attack. So construction on what was called “Project Greek Island” began in 1958.”
  • “Workers were told it would be a conference facility, and in fact, some of it was used for that purpose. Beyond those concrete walls that were 3 feet thick, though, was a facility that could house more than 1,000 government officials – complete with metal bunk beds and its own communications system.”
3. Remembering the year of the Irishman


The year: 2008. The golf world: dominated by a man from the Emerald Isle Jeff Shain of the NYT reflects.
  • “One began with a wrist injury painful enough that it nearly prompted him to withdraw. The other featured a bout of dehydration that left him flirting with the cut line.”
  • “In both cases, Padraig Harrington came away with a major championship.”
  • “Things fell into place,” the Irish pro, 46, recalled with a wry smile. “But you know, that’s what happens in this game. Those wins kind of find you.”
  • “It’s been 10 years since Harrington swept through the British Open and the P.G.A. Championship, grabbing the limelight in a summer void of Tiger Woods once reconstructive knee surgery followed Woods’s epic United States Open triumph.”
  • “Historical looks at Woods’s 19-hole playoff victory at Torrey Pines in San Diego were a staple of last month’s U.S. Open run-up. Now as Harrington sets for his 23rd consecutive Irish Open, which begins Thursday at Ballyliffin Golf Club, his double conquest commands attention.”
Shain does an excellent job of the aforementioned: read it.
4. Back to the espresso machine…


Sam Locke, who works in the cafe at Paul Lawrie’s academy, qualified for The Open. He was back to his post behind the counter the next day.
  • James Corrigan writes...”Sam Locke did not have time to allow his Open dream to percolate. A little more than 12 hours after qualifying for Carnoustie, the 19-year-old amateur was back making coffees in the café where he works in the Paul Lawrie Academy.”
  • “Locke could have taken the day off after seeing off experienced professionals and earning one of three spots on offer in the 36-hole shoot-out at The Renaissance Club. But Lawrie, his fellow Scotsman, who, of course, lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie in 1999, was not surprised to see the Aberdonian across the counter….”He makes a mean latte does our Sam,” Lawrie tweeted. “He’s got loads of time to prepare… He’s a top lad who deserves all the plaudits coming his way.”
5. (Some) pros celebrate the 4th as you’ve come to expect


Is Justin Thomas’ photo above refreshing? Fun? Funny? Inspirational? I don’t know. I guess I’m getting old.
  • Applaud the pros’ patriotism, yes, but I’m not sure how life-enhancing images of red-white-and-blue beachside brofests are from the Fowlers and Thomases of the world are. Good to see them letting loose in the collegiate fashion, enjoying their lives, and proud to be Americans, I suppose.
  • Am I being more cynical than usual? Pass me a red Solo cup…
6. Lincicome prepares to battle the boys


Lincicome will tee it up in the Barbasol Championship in two weeks time, where she hopes to make the cut (something no woman has ever done on the PGA Tour).
  • Golfweek’s Forecaddie wrote this of her preparations…”Brittany Lincicome recently played Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., from the tips at 7,470 yards. She hit hybrids into half the greens, three-putted twice and shot even par. During off weeks Lincicome typically plays from the back tees with her husband, a long-drive competitor, and club pros. That’s all she knew from high school, too, playing No. 1 on the boys’ team.”
  • “Lincicome has no plans to visit Keene Trace Golf Club outside Lexington, Ky., before competing in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship on July 19-22, opposite the British Open. She once did an early visit for a U.S. Women’s Open and felt like she put more pressure on herself as a result. The eight-time LPGA winner plans to arrive Tuesday and play a nine-hole practice round, as she would for any other tournament. She hopes to be included in the Wednesday pro-am.”
7. Composite course fun: Most difficult major test


Golfweek’s Brentley Romine wonders…”What if a golfer had to play a round on the 18 toughest holes in recent major history?”


“Using scoring averages from the last 25 years of majors and a par-70 template (35-35 with 12 par 4s, four par 3s and two par 5s), here is arguably the most difficult “composite” major venue.
“Grab your clubs – and some Tylenol plus a few Band-Aids – and we’ll see you on the first tee. And don’t sweat being over par – the composite total score for these holes in majors since 2003 is 78.65 (versus a par of 70)”


His first selection.…1st Hole: No. 1, Oakmont Country Club…Par 4, 482 yards…U.S. Open (2007, ’16)…Scoring average: 4.515 in 2007



8. For your listening/viewing pleasure


GolfWRX dropped a pair of tasty media morsels yesterday, ICMYI in the course of your 4th of July revelry.
  • First, Johnny Wunder talked with company engineer Marty Jertson about Ping’s new i500 irons…as well as the incredible fact that Jertson qualified for this year’s PGA Championship.
  • Second, Andrew Tursky talked with David Edel about the making of Bryson DeChambeau’s U.S. Am-winning single-length irons…and got an in-hand look.
9. Place your bets!


The favorites for the Greenbrier (c/o Bovada)
  • Tony Finau: +1200
  • Bubba Watson: +1400
  • Phil Mickelson: +1600
  • Russell Henley: +1800
  • Webb Simpson: +1800
  • Xander Schauffele: +2200
  • Joaquin Niemann: +2500
  • J.B. Holmes: +2800
  • Brian Harman: +3300
  • Charles Howell III: +3300
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Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic



Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship



Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Danny Willett spotted with new Odyssey prototype putter, putter shaft



You may have seen Danny Willett’s name near the top of the leaderboard at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. At 10 under, the Englishman sits one stroke behind fellow countryman Matt Wallace.

You may not have seen, however, that the 2016 Masters champ has a new Odyssey prototype putter in the bag.

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

All the company would say

“Willett first put in his new gamer last week at the Nedbank Challenge. Willett’s prototype putter also features a new prototype Odyssey shaft to help improve the consistency of the putting stroke.”

Willet has historically favored his blade-style Odyssey O-Works #1 W. More recently, at the Turkish Airlines Open, we spotted him with an Odyssey Versa Jailbird Black. However, the prototype in question is clearly a heel-shafted mallet with a different insert than the 1 W or the Jailbird. The insert looks to be the White Hot Microhinge. Obviously, the two-tone, potentially multi-material, shaft, and the technology therein, is notable as well. Also apparently two-tone, the putter head, which looks similar in shape to a Tank Cruiser and similarly has a pair of sole weights.

Do we need the TG2 to break down the few photos we have like the Zapruder film? We’ll continue digging, in the meantime, let us know what you think, GolfWRX Members!


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19th Hole