The World Golf Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday that Retief Goosen, Peggy Kirk Bell, Billy Payne, Dennis Walters and Jan Stephenson are to be inducted into golf’s hall of fame next June. The five newest members received at least 75 percent of the vote from the selection’s committee, which includes legends of the game Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam.
Retief Goosen, who was selected from the male competitor category, twice won the U.S. Open amongst 36 worldwide victories. The South African reflected on the honor, stating: “It was a little bit of a shock. You forget maybe what you’ve done over the game through the years, and I’m glad that what I’ve done for the game has gotten me into this position.”
Jan Stephenson triumphed in the female competitor category. The Australian won the LPGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open and du Maurier Classic amongst her 16 LPGA Tour victories, and has expressed her overriding joy at the achievement: “I haven’t slept at all. Every time I woke up I was like, Why am I so happy? And it’s because I’m in the Hall of Fame! It’s so amazing.”
Peggy Kirk Bell was amongst three that emerged from the lifetime achievement category. Bell who passed away in 2016, was a major champion, and a leading figurehead of the women’s game. The American went onto become one of golfs top instructors and was the first woman selected into Golf Magazine’s World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.
Billy Payne, who was chairman of Augusta National from 2006 to 2017 is also to be inducted from the lifetime achievement category. Payne was the orchestrator behind admitting Augusta National’s first female members as well as establishing the successful Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. The 70-year-old was also a key figure behind golfs return to the Olympic Games in 2016.
Completing the inductees into golfs hall of fame for 2019 is Dennis Walters, who despite becoming paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 24 after an accident on a golf cart, went on to inspire many throughout the golfing world for both his amazing trick shot skills and his ability to overcome his tragic accident. Walters was until now the only USGA Bob Jones Award and PGA Lifetime Achievement Award winner not already in the Hall of Fame, and he spoke about the elation he felt when he heard the news: “I’ve had my speech researched for not getting in – the odds were so low. I didn’t think of anything to say if I’ve actually gotten in. This is the top of the mountain here. I’m still in a state of shock and disbelief, but I’m just really happy.”
The addition of the five new inductees brings the total number of members in the World Golf Hall of Fame to 160. The five inductees will be honored at Pebble Beach on Monday, the 10th of June 2019, which is the week of the 2019 U.S. Open.
GolfWRX Morning 9: Pro overcomes bad math to win | Koepka | Rory may not limit Euro Tour schedule after all
By Ben Alberstadt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
December 13, 2018
Good Thursday morning, golf fans. (featured image credit: PGA.com)
1. Overcoming bad math
Craig Dolch writing for PGA.com with the details of, a computational error that ultimately worked out in a club pro’s favor at the PGA Tournament Series.
Meanwhile, early at the Alfred Dunhill Championship…
3. Brooks on top, chip on shoulder
Eamon Lynch examines some of the criticism of Brooks Koepka and the reality as he sees it.
4. Rory to remain European Tour fixture?
Despite suggestions to the contrary…
While nobody knows what was said, it seems Pelley was pleased with the result.
5. Highlights from Valentino Dixon
A few of the best sections of Michael Williams’ excellent interview with Valentino Dixon, who served 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit – and took up golf course-related artwork as a hobby during that time.
6. The Rexys!
Rex Hoggard handed out his (annual?) Rexy Awards for outstanding achievements in the world of golf.
Here are two
7. GolfTV signs European Tour deal
Sports Pro Media report...”The wide-ranging deal with European Tour includes international multi-platform live rights, in selected territories, to all European Tour events and the next two Ryder Cups, as well as Discovery collaborating to further grow the golf body’s digital platforms. The partnership will bring coverage of the European Tour and Ryder Cup together on GolfTV.”
“From January 2019, Discovery will hold exclusive European Tour linear and digital rights in major markets including Italy, Romania, Russia,and Turkey. Additionally, GolfTV has digital streaming rights in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Portugal, Balkan countries, Eurasia, India, Latin America, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and a number of territories in Asia.”
8. The Ryder Cup is never over
Shane Ryan points out the competition has swelled in scale, as has the hype. Is this a good thing?
9. Maybe stagger the announcements, Rolex/PR folks?
(also, earthquake) The below via D.A. Points on Twitter.
Kevin Kisner reveals the level of hatred former college teammates have for Patrick Reed
Patrick Reed hasn’t made many new friends recently after he was the fulcrum of the messy fallout after the USA’s heavy defeat in the 2018 Ryder Cup. Reed’s outspokenness at the time didn’t provoke Tour players to voice their personal opinion on the current Masters Champion, but this week Kevin Kisner aired a stark revelation of how the Texan is view by his former college teammates.
Speaking to Golf Digest, Kisner talked about the level of animosity that Reed’s ex-college teammates still have for him, stating
“They all hate him — any guys that were on the team with him (at Georgia) hate him and that’s the same way at Augusta. I don’t know that they’d piss on him if he was on fire, to tell you the truth.”
In a book written in 2016 by author Shane Ryan, it was revealed that there had been cheating and stealing accusations leveled against Reed from his teammates at Georgia while he was playing for the university. Reed denied the claims, though was subsequently removed from the team in 2009.
It’s worth noting that, Kisner, though a graduate of the University of Georgia, did not attend the school at the same time as Reed, and none of Reed’s teammates from his time in college, including Tour pros Brian Harman, Harris English, and Russell Henley would confirm Kisner’s view to Golf Digest.
Kisner’s revelation comes after an anonymous member of the U.S. Ryder Cup side told the New York Times after this year’s team event that Reed “is so full of shit” and that the 28-year-old “has no clue how to play team golf”.
Reed held his tongue following those incendiary remarks, but whether or not he will do the same after Kisner’s statement remains to be seen.
Valentino Dixon on his time in prison, his golf art, gratitude, and hope
Valentino Dixon, who served 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit — and took up golf course-related artwork as a hobby during that time — joined Michael Williams on the 19th Hole podcast.
While the full interview doubtless represents one of the most important and impactful GolfWRX podcasts to date, we wanted to present a few excerpts for the more textually inclined.
On the events that led to him spending 27 years in prison
Valentino Dixon: “This was Buffalo, New York…I grew up in a bad area, a drug infested area, a lot of violence and stuff like that and these guys pull up, they start shooting, they shoot a friend of mines and another friend of mines return fire, ended up killing the guy. Anyway, long story short, when the shots rang out I was inside the deli across the street and I actually ran out afterwards and ran to my car, I pulled off.
“Shortly thereafter I was pulled over and taken into custody and questioned and ultimately charged with shooting three people.”
“I knew that I was going to be cleared or at least I felt I was going to be cleared because there was 80 witnesses. So I said, there’s no way that they’re not going to straighten this out and I’ll be out the next day, but that didn’t happen. Two days after I was arrested, this friend of mines turned himself into police, told them what happened. Actually the physical evidence matched his story, they found the dead guy’s gun on the scene and they disregarded him, told him that they didn’t believe him. Seven witnesses came forward, they disregarded those witnesses.”
“I found myself going to trial ten months later, my lawyer promised the jury that he was going to call these witnesses and introduce this confession and did not do it, and this is all on public record. I had a public defender and the jury found me guilty. I didn’t know that later on the jury foreman went to the judge and asked the judge, “Hey, why his lawyer didn’t call the witnesses he promised us?” The judge told him not to worry about it, to go home and sleep well and the judge never revealed that this happened.”
“It was our local paper that went to the foreman and said, “Hey, what happened during the deliberations?” He said, “Hey, I went to the judge and told him I didn’t feel right about this, that something was wrong here.” Anyway, the judge denies that that even took place. I was given 39 years.”
On getting started doing golf course art
VD: “Right. Well, I was known as the artist in Attica. I spent, out of the 27 years, I spent 25 of those years in Attica. So over the years I had publicity on my case because the local newspaper had came to believe in my innocence, but there wasn’t a judge in Buffalo that would do anything about it. So the warden and the officers in Attica knew that I was innocent of the crime and would always check in on me and look in and see if I was all right and everything like that, but they knew that I drew also. So the warden came to me one day and asked me could I draw his favorite hole, which was Augusta, the 12th hole at Augusta.”
“I’d never golfed before. I mean, I’m from the inner city. So it was like all right, I guess I can do it. I knew nothing about golf. I drew the Augusta 12th hole. He loved it. Other inmates loved it and one of the inmates encouraged me to draw more golf holes. I said, “What are you talking about? What for? That doesn’t even makes sense.” He says, “I love the golf course, I think you should draw more.” He planted the seed.”
“A week later I went around and I got some old golf magazines, Golf Digest magazines, and I start pulling out the pictures that I loved. The guy gave me some really old ones that he had in his cell. So I start pulling out the ones that I liked, the ones that I thought was pretty and then from there I started drawing them. Whenever I put my mind into something, I just go in and really hard. So for months and months, all I did was draw golf courses. Okay. “
“Eventually I started reading the columns out of the Golf Digest magazine and I came across Max Adler’s, called Golf Saved My Life. I kind of put the two together because it was like golf was saving my life because being there was really, really stressful and hard and every day was a challenge. I have friends that committed suicide. I didn’t know if I was going to be the next person that my mind was going to snap.”
On the positive reception his art got in Attica
VD: “Well let me tell you this. Right. Like I said, there’s so many guys … I mean guys that done killed three, four people were stopping at the cell saying, “Wow, I love that golf course.” These are guys that had never golfed before. So I’m saying if these guys love the golf courses that I’m drawing, I can only imagine how golfers would feel, because I mean these guys never golf. Maybe one out of 10 have golfed. You know what I’m saying?”
“So it really gave me the boost, the determination it gave me and inspired me to keep pushing it. I felt like, wow, this is something that you really like doing now because I got satisfaction out of other people looking at my drawings and loving them. This is what motivates me.”
On how he spent his time in prison
VD: “Well the thing is, is this. God was always with me. I prayed a lot. I prayed every day. Okay. And I just stayed positive. I read hundreds and hundreds of self help books, motivational books, anything to fill my mind with positive things and energy so that I wouldn’t become negative or fall into that whole negative thing that you see. I’ve seen a lot of prisoners fall into where they lose hope, they become bitter, angry, upset with the world and all that other stuff. I was determined not to allow that to happen to me. So I had to push my willpower to the max.”
“At the same time, I was drawing up to 10 hours a day. So I was really like, listen, if I got to become the best artist in the world in order to get my freedom, then that’s what I’ll do. And this is why I mean I pushed myself to the limit. I’ve done some golf drawings that were … these are all drawings now, not paintings. I’ve done some drawings that people have never even seen. I got a 60 by 90 drawing.”
On his artistic style
VD: “…I had to develop my own style over a course of I would say 20 years. Just every day I had to learn from error. I didn’t have no teacher, so I had to learn through trial and error of what to do, what not to do, how to blend colors, what worked, what didn’t work, how to layer everything on top of each other. My goal has always been to make the drawings look like a painting.”
“Take the whole paper out of it. So when you look at it, you’d say, “That ain’t done on no paper.” That’s the whole goal there. So I had to put so many colors on top of each other to get that painting effect and then drawings are so much more strenuous than paintings because I know how to paint also. But drawing is so much more strenuous because there’s no shortcuts. You got to sit there for … I might sit there for two hours and just do one little corner because you got to get all the detail in there. You know what I’m saying? So it’s way more work that goes into what I do in regards if I was painting. I mean if I’d had done this stuff in painting, I would have thousands of golf painting.”
On gratitude and his perspective
VD: “I’m a very grateful person. I don’t want to sound too religious or anything like that, but we should always be grateful to the creator for what the things that he’s given us. So I mean, I was in a bad situation. I’m sitting in the cell and I’m looking at the people around me and the people around me is doing 10 times worse than me and I had to be grateful. So that’s how I look at it. We had these little eight inch TVs that we could buy on commissary for like $149. Okay. So, right. Yeah, they would beat us on every level that they could. So I’m watching this TV when I can and I’m looking at the world. I’m looking at what’s going on with people out in society.”
“I hate to say it. I was in the worst prison and I’m in a six by eight cell and I felt like I was more blessed than a lot of people on the outside, but people are really struggling out there and doing really bad. Here it is, God preserved me, he kept me in shape, he kept my mind sane, he gave me this talent, he gave me a loving family.”
“So I had to count all those blessings and say, “You know what? I could really be twisted up in here and messed up. So you know what, don’t be bitter, don’t be angry, don’t complain, don’t cry, count your blessings, push your willpower to the highest level. Just push, push, push, push and be the best artist that you can be in the world.” That was my goal.”
All images via Valentino Dixon’s website. His golf art is available for purchase here.
Details on Jordan Spieth’s switch to the new Titleist TS2 driver
Spotted: “Titleist CNCPT-01” irons, via Instagram
Phil Mickelson WITB: The Match
Why flaring your left foot out at address could be a big mistake
Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic
Did Justin Rose confirm his switch to Honma?
Cobra launches new King F9 Speedback drivers and fairways
Bryson DeChambeau’s Winning WITB: 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Review: Miura MC-501
Matt Kuchar’s winning WITB: 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic
Adam “Pacman” Jones talks handicap, lowest score, shows off new clubs
The trick-shot artist, golfing dynamo, and general internet phenomenon that is Matty sat down for a quick nine questions with...
Tweets of the Week: Best golf posts from Twitter over the last week
Louis Oosthuizen cried tears of joy after winning the South African Open, while Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman triumphed at...
Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 2. Old Tom Morris Links, Donegal
In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses...
Tweets of the Week: Best golf posts from Twitter over the last week
Jon Rahm triumphed in the Bahamas, Cameron Smith got the job done down under, and Kurt Kitayama was victorious in...
Equipment3 weeks ago
Phil Mickelson WITB: The Match
Equipment3 weeks ago
Review: Miura MC-501
News3 weeks ago
The Refund: Bleacher Report, cable providers to give viewers money back for The Match
News1 week ago
Spotted: Callaway Epic Flash, Epic Flash 3-wood
Equipment1 week ago
Callaway Epic Flash, Epic Flash Sub Zero hit USGA conforming list
Equipment2 weeks ago
Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2018 Hero World Challenge
Podcasts2 weeks ago
The Gear Dive: Ryan Palmer finally switches irons…after 9 years
News1 week ago
Ryan Palmer on switching irons, learning the game in Texas, and why he doesn’t have an equipment contract