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Morning 9: Spieth latest non-fan of drop rule | Scott skipping WGCs?

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

January 10, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Further incredulity toward the drop rule
You have to feel for the USGA. They thought there were doing a good thing with the knee-height drop — speeding up play, making the process easier — but it’s starting to look like another helping of out-of-touch silliness.
  • Yesterday, it was Jordan Spieth (echoing Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau) sounding off on the new rule.
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”One that I don’t really understand necessarily is the drop,” Spieth said on Wednesday. “”You drop it knee height, but like, what’s the advantage of dropping it shoulder height? It’s actually probably a disadvantage, so why can’t you still do that? You should be able to drop it from shoulder to knee height in my opinion. It doesn’t do any good and honestly it’s like, a frustrating asterisk that I have to re-pick it up and re-drop from your knee.”
  • “According to the USGA, this alteration was made to increase the chance of a ball staying within the relief area.”
  • “Requiring the player to drop a ball (as opposed to placing it) retains a desired randomness about where the ball ends up,” reads the explainer in the Rules of Golf. “The player has no guarantee that the ball will come to rest on a desired spot or in a good lie. This is especially the case when a ball is dropped in more difficult conditions such as thick rough or longer grass.”
2. An interesting move
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”At 38-years-old Adam Scott is at the point in his career that he’s comfortable making tough choices.”
  • “His focus now is winning majors and qualifying for this year’s International Presidents Cup team, as evidenced by the fact that this week’s Sony Open is his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions in October.”
  • “It turns out that might be the last World Golf Championship the Australian plays this season….With players forced to make tough decisions this season because of a new condensed schedule on the PGA Tour, Scott conceded on Wednesday he took the path of least resistance when it came to his schedule.”
  • “I just kind of took the simple approach and thought I’ll just play the ones I like and that make sense to play out of the way,” he said. “Any inconvenience, whether it’s a big tournament or not, but at the moment I have not scheduled a World Golf Championship because they don’t fall in the right weeks for me.”
3. “A powerful message”
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Aon is adding to the momentum LPGA commissioner Mike Whan is starting to build in his quest to narrow the gender pay gap that so severely separates women from men in sport.”
  • “Aon is promoting inclusion while investing in what Whan hopes will become a movement in the game.”
  • “The company could have instituted its new season-long risk-reward competition for the PGA Tour alone, could have established the $1 million winner’s prize for men only. The men, after all, sell more tickets, draw more TV viewers and get more media coverage.”
  • “Aon stepped up, though, and offered the exact same deal for LPGA pros….”It’s just a powerful message,” Whan told GolfChannel.com. “We’re starting to see a series of pillar moments, where we are starting to create the kind of equality you see happening every day within companies that are sponsors.”
  • “Aon’s Risk Reward Challenge comes on the heels of CME Group’s announcement it will offer a $1.5 million first-place check to the winner of its LPGA event next year, a payout greater than the winner’s check in 33 of the PGA Tour’s 47 events. It comes with the LPGA’s sanctioning of the Vic Open next month, a co-sanctioned European Tour event that will offer equal prize money to men and women playing the same venue at the same time.”
4. FYI: Xander didn’t top that shot
If you were watching Sunday’s final-round coverage of the Tournament of Champions, you saw a curious, seemingly topped drive from Xander Schauffele.
  • X says he didn’t top it though. Here’s his explanation, per Digest’s Mike Johnson.
  • “OK, have to ask about that squirrely tee shot on Sunday on the 13th hole. Is that something that you just laugh off or is it more like, “Whoa? Where did that come from?”
  • “You know, I read a few things about how I topped that shot and I didn’t. That shot I hit was a bumped driver. You can tell from my swing speed that I was hitting it about 40 percent. I had been doing it all week, I just hadn’t been on TV when doing it and I knew I was going to take some crap about the ball speed because I just kind of chipped it out there. It’s a shot I hit when it’s super windy. I didn’t have a 3-iron in the bag so it was either a 4-iron or a 5-wood and I didn’t want to hit a 3- or 5-wood up in the wind and the 4-iron wouldn’t get out there far enough, so I decided to try and chip my driver. On No. 4 at Kapalua I was hitting the same shot and driving it low and watching it run. It’s a new addition to my arsenal.”
5. The story of the “W”
Great stuff from PGATour.com’s Helen Ross on the now-iconic “W” palm trees at this week’s tournament venue, spearheaded by Waialea member Ethan Abbott.
  • “A little more than a decade ago, Abbott began lobbying to alter the landscape. Club manager Allan Lum was on board. So was course superintendent Dave Nakama.”
  • “So Abbott made a video that included scenes from the iconic movie – particularly the spot where the money was unearthed – and made presentations to the club’s greens committee, the executive committee and the board of directors.”
  • “Quite a few people were supportive, but there were some, especially the old-timers, who felt this is not appropriate for their golf course,” Abbott recalled. “Now 99.9 percent of them have come around and said what a great, great thing it is and how much they enjoy it.
  • “But there are one or two, they’ll still kind of look sideways at me, but that’s the way it goes.”
  • As it turned out, the entire project only cost about $3,500 – and the money came from a gift already earmarked for a project on the course. And with several hundred coconut trees lining the fairways at Waialae, no one had to look far to find four that could be added to the ‘W’ project.
6. Monday qualifying…with a triple bogey
Crazy stuff from Jared Sawada in his bid to Monday qualify for the Sony, writes Golf Digest’s Christopher Powers.
  • “Through 16 holes the 27-year-old was eight under, with a field-leading nine birdies and just one bogey. As long as disaster didn’t strike, he would easily get another crack at the Sony Open.”
  • “Unfortunately for Sawada, disaster did strike, as he made a triple-bogey seven at the par-4 17th hole, dropping him to five under on the day. Another bogey would have ended his chances, but he salvaged par at the 18th hole to get in the clubhouse at five under, one off the lead of Talor Gooch and Brent Grant. Sawada’s 67 wound up being good enough for a 3-for-2 playoff with Andy Pope, a Web.com Tour veteran who has made just five career starts on the PGA Tour, and Corey Conners, who just finished his rookie season on tour. Conners notably took the lead into the final round at the Valspar Championship, but carded a final-round 77 to finish in a tie for 16th.”
  • “Conners and Sawada earned the final two spots, meaning Sawada pulled off an incredibly rare feat in still qualifying with a triple bogey. According to @acaseofthegolf1, a Twitter account dedicated to following Monday qualifiers throughout the PGA Tour season, no one has done what Sawada did in the last four years:”
7. AP Experience!
At Bay Hill this year…
  • Golf Channel Report…”Tournament organizers announced Wednesday that an interactive exhibit known as the Arnold Palmer Experience will be on display all week long when the PGA Tour heads to Bay Hill from March 4-10. The domed, 360-degree theater, built adjacent to the 10th hole, will be free for all fans to visit and will share highlights from the life and career of Palmer, who won seven majors and passed away in 2016 at age 87.”
  • The exhibit will also include areas where fans can compare their swing side-by-side with Palmer’s iconic move as well as a chance to test their shot-making on some of the toughest holes of Palmer’s course design career.”
  • “After the tournament concludes, plans are in place to leave the theater open to Bay Hill guests for several weeks before traveling to Palmer’s birthplace of Latrobe, Pa., in advance of what would have been his 90th birthday in September.”
8. Suitors for Golf Digest?
…in which the mainstay publication is playing the part of the Bachelor.
  • Geoff Shackelford writes…”In an item unusually light on details by Keith Kelly standards and feeling more like a reminder to interested suitors that Golf Digest is still for sale, the New York Post media writer says new PGA Tour International TV distributor Discovery is interested.
  • The billionaire Newhouse family has a minority stake in publicly traded Discovery, but the family connection is not necessarily giving the programmer any advantage. It will come down to price and Discovery’s long-term strategy on golf.”
  • “Discovery actually has some live-streaming golf in Europe connected to the PGA tour but does not have any golfing channels in the US and currently has no print within its empire.”
9. A little golf history you may not have known…
Courtesy of Forward Golf Grips (@forwardgolf) on Twitter.
Always thought GW was a 2-iron guy….
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  1. Travis

    Jan 11, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    The rule should be changed to state that a player must drop no lower than knee height. If a player wants to drop from middle thigh, belt height, belly, chest, whatever, let them do so. They say these rules are to “speed up the game” but how does it speed up the game when you need a guy out there making 100% sure it’s knee height and making you re-drop it if it isn’t?!

  2. 15th Club

    Jan 10, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    So I read the quotes from Jordan Spieth, and it is a stretch to suggest that he has any serious complaint with the new drop rule. Spieth had one concern/suggestion, which was to allow a drop from anywhere between knee and shoulder height.

    Well, uh, okay. But since we are talking about Tour professionals who are seeking every imaginable advantage under the Rules, they will all drop from the lowest legal height. Who would drop it from higher than required?

    Indeed, I saw some hilariously hysterical quotes from Tour players who thought that shorter players would have an advantage in dropping, over taller players with longer legs. I am not making this up. Sometimes I think that there are people whose first reaction to anything the USGA does is to criticize first and ask questions later.

    The only sensible statement I have heard in the entire controversy came from the USGA, justifying the drop-rule change. They want to continue the randomness of a “drop,” but they want to decrease the occurrence of dropped balls from a height where they bounce into an area requiring a re-drop. That is a simple, sensible explanation. I have yet to hear a simple, sensible complaint about the new rule.

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Morning 9: U.S. Open could feature fans after all | LPGA skins match? | Singh WD’s from Korn Ferry event

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1. Singh bows out of Korn Ferry opener
Adam Woodard reports we will unfortunately not be getting the Singh/Schnell pairing we were hoping for…“Vijay Singh caused quite a stir a few weeks back when the three-time major champion’s name appeared on the field list for the Korn Ferry Tour’s first post-pandemic event at TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course June 11-14.”
  • “On Sunday, the PGA Tour confirmed Singh has withdrawn from the Korn Ferry Challenge. Golf Channel was first to report.”
  • “Singh riled up golf Twitter – Korn Ferry Tour pro Brady Schnell, in particular – with his initial decision to enter the KFT event. Being a lifetime PGA Tour member, The Big Fijian was eligible to enter the event because he wasn’t playing in the Tour’s return to play that same week at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.”
2. Still no fans at Colonial
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Despite a revised state order that would allow fans to attend next month’s Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, the PGA Tour plans to proceed without fans for at least the first four events when play resumes.”
  • “The PGA Tour’s primary focus continues to be the health and well-being of all involved with our tournaments and the communities in which we play,” a statement from the Tour read. “We plan to resume play at the Charles Schwab Challenge with the event – and the three to immediately follow – closed to the general public.”
3. Lynch on player mics
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch has a few thoughts on one of the most-discussed matters coming out of The Match 2…“The most compelling possibility raised by “The Match II” is having players wear microphones during tournament play, and this week the European Tour said it will encourage players to be mic’d when it resumes action in July. The ET’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, exhibits more confidence in golfers agreeing to this than any of the people I know who produce live tournament golf for a living. Those producers will unanimously tell you it’s near impossible to get a simple walk and talk from a PGA Tour player, much less an intimate audio feed for 18 holes of competition.”
“The absence of mic’d competitors in tournaments isn’t because producers don’t want greater access. For all their garrulousness on social media, even younger Tour players maintain an old school mentality passed down from generations of Curtis Stranges and Raymond Floyds, who were as about as approachable as a piranha with toothache when they were working between the ropes. There is also a cost attached. “The Match II” was carefully stage-managed, with players held up along the way to ensure they were live at the right times. That won’t happen in tournaments with 156 guys in the field. Sure, you can stream a single group wired for sound, but for network broadcasts you’ll add the expense of a production staffer to monitor all the chatter for gems and a tape operator to cue it up (and armchair critics will still bemoan that it’s tape-delayed).”
4. Stymied LPGA skins match
Wherefore art the women in these charity matches? Apparently, we’d have already seen an LPGA skins match featuring top players, but for a lack of financial backing…
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols has the full story…
“It’s all in place:
  • “Two courses are interested in hosting
  • Twelve players have agreed to compete
  • If they can pay for TV production, Franzen says they have the full support of the LPGA to work with their broadcast partners
“The idea is to deliver two days of skins matches to outlets around the globe. Players will have the ability to choose which COVID-19 relief fund they want their winnings to go toward.”
“But here’s the deal: Franzen needs funding. Lots of it.”
5. USGA: USO could feature fans
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”But the United States Golf Association is now optimistic about keeping the championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York City and remains hopeful that spectators in some limited form will be able to attend.”
  • “The organization had been working on contingency plans to move the tournament to another venue, if necessary.”
  • “We are focused singularly on Winged Foot,” John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships for the USGA, said in a phone interview Friday. “Once we got the September dates, that was our thinking. Time is on our side. We did look at multiple scenarios, but given the recent news we felt we could focus there.”
  • “Winged Foot is a special place for us. And the golf course will be amazing. And to be able to do this in New York, where things have been so challenging, will put an explanation point on it. We see Winged Foot as our sole focus.”
6. Fill-in Tour event?
Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch, syndicated in Golfweek…“Columbus could be in the mix to host a second PGA Tour event the week before the Memorial Tournament scheduled for July 16-19, two sources confirmed to the USA Today Network on Friday.”
  • “The Columbus-based tournament would serve as a temporary fill-in for the John Deere Classic, which was scheduled to be held July 9-12 in Silvis, Illinois, but canceled on Thursday because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. It was to be the first tour event to include spectators.”
  • “…Other leading alternative site is Detroit with Lexington, Kentucky, and Carmel, Indiana, also possibilities. (This story was updated on Saturday, May 30, to include new information from the Akron Beacon-Journal, a member of the USA Today Network.)”
7. Mackenzie Tour cancels season
Carson Williams at Golf Channel…“Border restrictions, mandatory quarantines for those who enter Canada and gathering restrictions in all provinces because of the coronavirus pandemic were just a few reasons that led the tour to cancel its season.”
  • “With growing uncertainty surrounding the border and the 14-day quarantine regulations, among other factors, we’ve weighed all of our options and concluded that it is not feasible to play this summer,” Mackenzie Tour Executive Director Scott Pritchard said in a press release. “With the safety of the communities we play in mind, as well as the well-being of our players, sponsors, tournament-organizing committees, volunteers and golf course staff, we came to the realization that this is the best decision for everyone involved.”
  • “Mackenzie Tour members have been sent information detailing eligibility for the 2021 season. Those who have earned status at three 2020 Qualifying Tournaments will keep their status for next season. For the Qualifying Tournament entrants who have not yet competed, they will be guaranteed a spot for the 2021 event.”
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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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