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Justin Thomas rips USGA for new rule, which saw yet another Tour pro controversially penalized

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Update 2/3: The USGA has reversed the penalty assessed to Denny McCarthy

If the USGA thought that updates to the rules of golf would help modernize the sport and keep themselves out of the headlines, then 2019 has been a rude awakening.

Haotong Li’s penalty on the European Tour caused controversy in Dubai last week, and on Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a penalty called on PGA Tour pro Denny McCarthy had the golfing world enraged.

McCarthy received a two-stroke penalty on the 15th hole, after violating Rule 10.2b (4), which states that when a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made, his caddie cannot deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason. Despite re-setting, the 25-year-old was deemed to have breached the rule and was subsequently given a two-stroke penalty.

What followed, was a mini-mutiny amongst PGA Tour professionals, led by one of the game’s best, Justin Thomas. Despite being right in the thick of things at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Thomas took time to call out the USGA for their latest rule change, in a manner which is almost unheard of in modern sports. Thomas was outraged by the ruling, and on social media, the 25-year-old called it “ridiculous” and stressed how he felt the new rule “NEEDS to be changed asap”.

Thomas’ post is no doubt going to court controversy, but the American received backing from fellow pro’s Brandt Snedeker and Eddie Pepperell, who soon after joined the rebellion. The former tagged the USGA in his tweet and sarcastically stated “Good job simplifying the rules,” while Pepperell brutally slammed the entire ethos behind the rules of golf, with this ruthless tweet.

The USGA has been under fire for several high-profile blunders in recent years, especially in regards to its handling of U.S. Opens. With the new rules in place designed to simplify matters, the idea was apparently to keep themselves as just a backstory while letting the game of golf shine. But it has all gone pear-shaped yet again for the organization.

The audacity shown by one of the elite players in the game like Justin Thomas to call out the USGA proves that whatever patience had by the top professionals in the game has just about worn thin with regards to the governing body’s handling of the sport.

The decision to penalize players and their caddies for innocuous incidents, who possess no incentive to gain an advantage, is surely only going to lead to more controversy as we head towards major season. Just take a look at Rickie Fowler’s caddie here, who is wholly focused on his job and then becomes fearful of unintentionally infringing the latest rule implemented by the USGA.

Golf may be a gentleman’s sport, laced with history and tradition, but Friday night showed that, when feeling justified in doing so, Justin Thomas and his fellow pros are clearly not afraid to call out the powers that be. One can only wonder how the folks in Far Hills feel about such high-profile criticism.

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Rich

    Feb 23, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Justin Thomas is a whinger. He thinks he’s a hero because he plays golf well. Plenty of you out there mate. You haven’t got the market cornered on that. Hell, even JB Holmes can beat you down the stretch at Riviera. The rule is simple. Just play to it. Don’t have your caddie anywhere near you like of play when your anywhere near the ball. How hard is that!!!

    • FeelFreeToPunctuateProperly

      Feb 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      I’m confused as to how sticking up for a lesser-known player is whining. I get it, you don’t like the guy, but try and form a coherent thought, rather than just jumping at any opportunity to grumble about a player. This sort of comment adds nothing to the conversation.

  2. Shotmark

    Feb 15, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Contrary to their supposed intention, the way the new rules have been dumbed down seem to have the express intention of slowing down play. This rule is however spot on in my opinion.

    It puts the onus back on the player to line up shots/puts using their own skill and judgement rather than that of their caddy.

    The fact the new rule is causing so much consternation and debate suggests it was necessary. If the change had been seamless then that would suggest it hadn’t gone far enough.

    As to the entitled Justin Thomas being upset by the change, heaven forfend that anyone should do anything to offend this delicate snowflake. No doubt the fist person he hears defending the rule will be ejected from the course.

    • Rich Douglas

      Feb 17, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      No, it suggests that it is confusing and applied in a manner inconsistent with its intended purpose and outcome.

      The rule is aimed at players who have their caddies check their club face alignment at address. This is almost exclusively an LPGA tour thing. So the new rule is designed to have the caddie get out of their before he/she can align the player. Fine. But what constitutes being out of there is really vague. Hence, the confusion.

  3. Tim

    Feb 13, 2019 at 9:34 am

    This is a really old game.

    Really old.

    At its inception, the game was simple. The rules were essentially self evident. There were no issues. The objective was to get the ball in the cup in as few strokes as possible. The player with the fewest strokes wins. THAT IT.

    Sitting in a room and brainstorming situations like caddie helping a player line up.. This type of thinking will result in these types of moronic situations. Whatever minuscule damage that may come from a caddie helping a player line up his next stroke, pales in comparison to the chaos that comes from making rules to prevent it.

    Count every stroke, play it as it lies, OOB is OOB and dont worry about the conversations that the caddies are having with the players. Its just two humans talking. It has nothing to do with the objective of the sport: THE PLAYER WITH THE FEWEST STROKES WINS.

  4. Jd78

    Feb 8, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Will the pga tour please say to hell with the incompetent buffoons at the USGA and create their own rules. How many more golfers are they going to screw over with their ridiculous rulings, and how many more US opens will they ruin before it happens?

  5. CJ

    Feb 4, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I love that JT is speaking his mind and they are taking notice!

    • Joe Damiata

      Feb 5, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      It’s good to see a tour pro with some stature voice his opinion. Previously, pros were afraid to speak up, worried by the threat of a fine. If something is wrong, then these guys are the ones who will cause the USGA rules makers take notice. Well done JT.

  6. Art Williams

    Feb 4, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    I was under the impression that if the golfer backs off the putt and then resets, no penalty occurs. I read above, I think, that that is what ultimately happened. As to RicKie’s penalty it seems absurd. He did everything correctly. The ball was in play and through no action of his gravity or something (wind?) took over and the ball trickled down the embankment into the water. He needed to reset it again with another penalty? Crazy. It should be like a ball on a green that moves. Replace it and play on.

  7. BallBuster

    Feb 4, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    I think Thomas and all should quit whining about the rule. It’s a good rule. No outside influence in the actual stroke. Just like 99.9% of golfers do every day. Thomas wonders how it makes golf better? It makes it more dependent on your individual talent and ability to perform on your own and not be pampered. What if your caddy has a better sense of aim than the other guy but you as a player suck more under pressure?

    Doubt Ben Hogan or Jack Nicklaus ever had his caddy give him the “roger all systems are go” call before he hit the ball.

    As far as backing off after he had his caddy behind him then readdressing the ball to play… geez, just another F’n thing we need to slow down play.

    • Scooter6

      Feb 5, 2019 at 8:04 am

      Well said! It is a legit rule that takes care of a problem that was getting out of hand, particularly in the LPGA.

      • OnInTwo

        Feb 7, 2019 at 8:02 pm

        I agree, it’s a good rule. These pampered pros just basically need to play like the other estimated 60 million golfers play. Why don’t those folks have to worry about incurring that penalty? Because they don’t have a caddy. Surely the men and women, who are now “pros”, played the game without the advantage of a human tool in their early development and while they are “off”/playing leisurely with friends. How difficult is it for the caddy to give advice, encouragement, sustenance, pyschoanalysis, and assurance that a participation trophy will be issued to the player while standing to the side of the line of play? Unless of course there is some advantage to having all of that presented from behind the player. Yea, ah huh, kinda what I thought.

  8. Ron Garland

    Feb 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Who cares what the USGA thinks? When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. And they are dead wrong.

  9. Joro

    Feb 4, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    As usual the “Rulers of the game” have stuck their size 20 foot in their big mouth, are continuing the phuqing up of the game. New rules are stupid rules and not many get them, other than the geniuses in here. Face it when Riickies ball rolled into the water after he placed it, thought it was done and walked up to the Green only 2 see Gravity take over and the Ball rolled into the water. Okay, so it rolled by it self, but a Penalty? that is totally ridiculous, yet that is the rule, which is total USGA Bull****.

    Golf should be hit it, go find it and hit it again. No freebies, no drops, nothing. Hit it in the water or OB take a drop, add a stroke and hit it again, and most of all add a big penalty for being slow. They don’t need a watch to see if a player is slow, if they are fine em with a meaningful amount that they will remember.

    Hit, find it, and hit it again.

    • 9Lb. Hammer

      Feb 4, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      Return to troll school dude. You have failed miserably. All you have succeeded in doing is making a laughing stock out of yourself.

    • REGIS

      Feb 4, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      The only people who actually play by the rules are professionals and top amatures in tournaments. Most avid amatures don’t understand the rules and that’s fine. Play whatever rules your regular 4 some or group is comfortable. How many times has someone in your group actually gone back to the tee and reloaded after a ball is lost in the rough? How many groups play a breakfast ball or Mulligan. Most charity tournaments sell them to raise money.

      • Peter

        Feb 5, 2019 at 4:16 am

        What, the other groups in my Saturday comp aren’t following the rules?? Well, that explains a lot!

  10. Guia

    Feb 3, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Read the rules, follow the rules, quit whining.

    • Antonio

      Feb 3, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      +1. IS it so difficult to understand the rule? These guys are getting spoiled

    • Tartan Golf Travel

      Feb 3, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      You clearly don’t understand what happened. The tour has already reversed the ruling!

      • Antonio

        Feb 4, 2019 at 5:59 am

        If it were up to me I would change several rules. In the meantime if I break a rule, whether I believe it is a stupid one or not, I just assume it. Now these guys can brake a rule simply because they have not taken the time to read them and then make a lot of noise and influence changes as it has happened.
        Nonetheless I think any pgatour pro proposal to modify any of the rules has to be heard but not once you have broken it. I have not heard or seen JT proposing specific changes to the new rules up until now

    • B

      Feb 4, 2019 at 10:35 am

      He did follow the rules, that’s why the tour overturned the ruling. Pay attention man.

  11. Tartan Golf Travel

    Feb 2, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    The ruling was moronic as are most things the USGA does. The spirit of the rule is fine. Make the player line himself up but Li’s Penalty was terrible and this one was just absurd. The tour and USGA have already backed off. Don’t get use to the new rules. The USGA will update them very soon. Guarantee the drop will be amended to say above the knee. This one with lining up is just very subjective but the only way you can do it is I’ll know it when I see it. The only people abusing this anyway was the LPGA.

    • Robert

      Feb 4, 2019 at 11:47 am

      You’re already being penalized. How about simply being allowed to place the ball. Would save a lot of wasted time dropping, then re-dropping.

      • smarterthanusga

        Feb 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

        amen…..so dumbass that they bend over and drop from knee height and it still always rolls anyway.. what is really dumbass is that they play lift-clean-and PLACE about a quarter of the time anyway so what’s the big deal about placing the ball???

        ps..still say the usga should have put in place driver drop zones…to save the morons in front of me from hitting 3 drives each. there’s drop zones by ponds so what is the difference? put the driver drop zone say 200 yards out or whatever from the white tees if they want to add a bit of a distance penalty too.

  12. A. Commoner

    Feb 2, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Major professional sports organizations make their own rules of competition; why not professional golf? The tours need to totally direct their own affairs. ‘Seeds of discontent’ have been slowly germinating over some years among professionals and amateurs alike. It is inevitable the “governing bodies” will, in time, extinguish themselves. Ineptitude and irrelevance will not save tradition.

    • Regis

      Feb 4, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      The PGA tour does have its own rules.(like the one ball rule) They supplement the USGA/R&A rules. If they chose to the PGA tour could always adapt a separate set of rules governing play in their tournaments

  13. Phil

    Feb 2, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    It would probably be easier, and fair, if the “reset rule” applied to the entire golf course or, did not exist at all. It does not make sense that this rule’s application depends on where the player is on the course.

  14. Lovejoy

    Feb 2, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Thomas,Pepperell and gang need to grow up and shut up.
    The rule change has been made and as ‘professionals’ you would assume that all caddies have also been informed and told that under no circumstances should they encroach on the stipulated area.
    The situation was highlighted in Dubai but Mr McCarthy has either not taken it on board or believes it doesn’t apply to him.
    The player and caddie were stupid not the penalty.

    • 9Lb. Hammer

      Feb 4, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      The player and caddie failing to observe the rule are stupid. Contrary to what you seem to thing that has less than nothing to do with the fact THE RULE IS STUPID. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

      Defend the rule leaving this particular violation out of it.

  15. 15th Club

    Feb 2, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Oh bring it on! Nice that Eddie Pepperell when ageist and complained about “cantankerous old men.” No sure what a millennial douchebag like Eddie Pepperell knows about administering the Rules of Golf.

    • Shallowface

      Feb 2, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      The perpetrators of ageism will have to get old themselves before ageism is treated with the same much deserved disdain as racism is treated today.

  16. Dan

    Feb 2, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    How about the premadona pros just play the game with the rules . Rules are rules. Sick of all kinds of so call pros dictating what a what should not be. You make ridiculous amounts of money don’t like it find another sport. Plenty of new young pros behind you that don’t need to listen to the big boys wine.

    • 9Lb. Hammer

      Feb 4, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      “premadona”, “so call pros”, “dictating what a what should not be”, “big boys wine”

      I bet those “so cal pros” can wrote and speak English a lot more proficiently than it seems you can from behind the anonymity of your keyboard and an internet connection.

    • OnInTwo

      Feb 8, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Totally agree with you Dan. It’s incredible, but typically millennial. Whiners. Play like we play (don’t want to hear, but they play better, you know what I mean- pre troll comment), that’s why the rules aren’t bifurcated. So we can see how well experts do it.

  17. dat

    Feb 2, 2019 at 11:59 am

    No one outside the pro level on TV enforce this crap. And you wonder why people view golf as a masochist game.

    • antonio

      Feb 3, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      Are you serious? Most of the people I know (low, mid and high cappers) play by the rules. That’s golf

  18. Mike

    Feb 2, 2019 at 11:41 am

    If it was Phil Michelson they wouldn’t have assed a penalty. Total bs!!!

    • Eddie

      Feb 2, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      Yeah….that’s not true, but your hyperbole surely hides a point in there somewhere.

  19. Travis

    Feb 2, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Seems like the caddie was just talking to the player about the shot. If the player backs himself out and realigns himself then there shouldn’t be a penalty. The caddie wasn’t there telling him his aim was perfect and he’s good to go. The game of golf can be so dang simple it is unbelievable, yet somehow the morons at the USGA find a way to screw it all up. They should give the rule book to a committee of 20 or so professional golfers across all Tours and I guarantee those guys could come up with a simple and universal rule system that would benefit all golfers Pros and Ams.

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Morning 9: Spiething again? | Daly requests cart for The Open | Ben Hogan doc coming

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

May 24, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Finau leads, Spieth 1 back at Colonial
AP report…”If Jordan Spieth is going to end a victory drought that’s approaching two years, he picked a good place to give himself a chance.”
  • “Spieth opened with a 5-under 65 at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday in his second Texas homecoming in three weeks — coming off his best finish of the season at the PGA Championship — and trailed Tony Finau by one shot. Roger Sloan joined Spieth in the tie for second.”
  • “Back when he was collecting trophies regularly three years ago, Spieth won on the cozy course made famous by Ben Hogan, and that was between a pair of second-place finishes in Fort Worth. So when it comes to feeling good about his game, Spieth’s in the right place, just a few miles from his hometown of Dallas.”
2. Meanwhile, at Oak Hill
AP report…”Scott Parel took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Thursday morning to shoot a 4-under 66 and take the first-round lead in the weather-delayed Senior PGA Championship.”
  • “The gusting afternoon wind, which buffeted flags and shook hospitality tents across Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course, hadn’t yet fully arrived when Parel closed with birdies on the par-4 17th and 18th. Retief Goosen, Marco Dawson and Ken Tanigawa were a stroke back.”
  • “The round was completed just before 9 p.m., about a half-hour after the sun set, and 14 hours after the first group teed off. The long day was the result of late-morning thunderstorms that caused a delay of 2 hours, 15 minutes.”
3. Bronte!
And another AP report…“Bronte Law chipped in for eagle on the par-5 third hole and shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the Pure Silk Championship with Anna Nordqvist and Jennifer Song.”
  • “Law added a birdie on the par-4 seventh – her 16th hole in a bogey-free round at windy Kingsmill Resort.”
  • ”Started finding myself with a good score. Nothing more to it,” Law said. ”On days like this when it’s windy just got to keep grinding all day, take the chances when they come.”
4. Finau’s grip switch paying dividends…
Tony Finau is in the grips of the claw…
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister with Finau’s remarks…
  • “It’s something that I’ve kind of been thinking,” said Finau, who entered this week ranked T-100 in Strokes Gained: Putting this season. “It’s an itch I wanted to scratch … To me, it was just perfect time. … If I feel like something is better, I’m not afraid to change, no matter the results.”
  • “In truth, the move to the claw may not be as dramatic as it seemed. Finau said he often has practiced with the claw in order to make sure his left hand is in the proper position.”
  • “I’m left-hand dominant when I roll the stick,” he explained. “I used to putt cross-handed for about five years. Been putting conventionally now for a couple years.
  • “But I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great … Standing over the ball, the most important thing is, do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not? Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt?
5. Strong start for (Edoardo) Molinari…
After 1 in Denmark…
  • “Edoardo Molinari will take a share of the lead into day two of the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA after high winds made scoring tricky in round one at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.”
  • “The three time European Tour winner had got to seven under but, as the winds increased, he gave up two late bogeys to sign for a 66 and a share of the lead at five under alongside Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares and English trio Tom Murray, Matthew Southgate and Paul Waring.”
  • “Defending champion Matt Wallace – fresh off finishing third at the US PGA Championship – was in the group at four under, with 46 players within three shots of the lead.”

Full European Tour report.

 

6. Ben Hogan doc
Geoff Shackelford discusses the upcoming Golf Channel documentary about the Hawk…
  • “Producer Israel DeHerrera kindly let me screen parts of Hogan knowing my affinity for all things Ben Hogan and research into the Hawk’s Los Angeles years. All I can say: it’s the film you hoped would be delivered on Hogan’s incredible life and times.”
  • And a bit of the press release…
  • “Hogan (trailer), a two-part biopic on 64-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Hogan chronicles one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history, reflecting on the Texan’s indelible impact on professional golf in spite of a near-fatal automobile accident that put the prime years of his career in serious jeopardy. Coming from humble beginnings, the film examines Hogan’s incredible journey to becoming one of the greatest golfers of all-time, serving as the inspiration for the 1951 motion picture “Follow the Sun”. Being presented with limited commercial interruption by Charles Schwab, Hogan’s two parts – Monday night’s “Perseverance” and Tuesday night’s “Perfection” – will be narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kyle Chandler, and be produced for GOLF Films by 13-time Emmy Award winner Israel DeHerrera.”
7. Monahan talks gambling again
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…
  • “Speaking at the Sports Business Awards Wednesday night, Monahan implied the Tour is working on new gambling developments that will be announced by the end of the year.
  • We’ve spent a lot of time over the last two and a half years clearly understanding all of our options and getting ourselves in a position where we can participate,” Monahan said. “Participate with the right partners, and participate in a way that we think resonates with fans. Without getting in front of it, I think you can expect to hear developments from us in the second half of this year.”
  • “The Tour has been testing an upgraded version of its data system called ShotLink Plus, according to Sport Techie, and Monahan has already announced a deal with IMG Arena to distribute data directly to betting operators.”
8. Daly requests cart for Open
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”After driving his way around Bethpage Black last week, John Daly has submitted another request to use a cart when The Open heads to Royal Portrush this summer.”
  • “Daly petitioned the PGA of America under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the use of a cart at last week’s PGA Championship, citing his ailing right knee. While a similar request for the U.S. Senior Open was denied last summer by the USGA, he was approved by the PGA and used a cart en route to rounds of 75-76 and a missed cut on Long Island.”
  • “We have received a request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open, and it is currently under consideration,” said an R&A spokesperson.
9. Heckuva putting performance
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers points out that…“Starting on Colonial’s back nine, Spieth was four under through eight holes before a double bogey on No. 18. But while big numbers have been derailing the 25-year-old Texan all season, he rallied to make four more birdies (against one bogey) on the back nine, including one on his final hole after knocking an approach shot to six feet on the par-4 ninth.
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Tony Finau goes to the claw grip; fires a 64 to take the early lead at Colonial CC

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Tony Finau tied his lowest round of the year on Thursday at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and the impressive opening was fueled by a move to the claw grip on the greens.

Finau’s 64 has put him on top of the leaderboard after day one at Colonial Country Club, and after his opening round, Finau explained to reporters the reason behind the change-up on the greens this week, stating

“I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great I feel like, and standing over the ball the most important thing is do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not. Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt? So for me, I needed to switch something.”

The switch proved very effective on Thursday, as Finau gained over three strokes on the greens on a day where the American managed to hit just three fairways in total.

Finau previously used the cross-hand technique on the greens earlier in his career for a period of five years, but this is the first time the 29-year-old has made the change to the claw grip in tournament action despite using the technique at times on the practice green.

Sitting T100 for strokes gained: putting this season, Finau told the media on Thursday that the time was right for a change this week at Colonial CC, saying

“But I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great. I needed to switch something. Decided to try the claw today and it worked out. If I feel like something is better, I’m not afraid to change no matter the results. I’ve been playing OK. I feel like it was just time. Like I said, I think it was just time to scratch that itch and see how it goes.”

Finau begins his second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge today at 12.44 PM ET alongside Brian Harmon and Patton Kizzire.

 

 

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Morning 9: What clubs would a mid-handicap hit at a major? | NCAA Women’s champs | Marty Jertson speaks

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

May 23, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. What clubs would a mid-handicap hit at a major?
Cool stuff from Golf Digest’s E. Michael Johnson…
  • “A USGA study once suggested that average golfers only hit the green from the rough 13 percent of the time. But that was data collected at a resort course, not major championship rough. It’s probably safe to say that the average chopper would never hit the green from the rough at any distance that required a full swing. Indeed, Cobra Connect’s data from Arccos shows that an Average Joe hits the green only a third of the time with only his 8- and 9-iron and his wedges, clubs he’d only be using on Bethpage Black’s two par 5s. Maybe.”
  • “In fact, according to the numbers, he would only hit the green on about one in four chances with his 6- and 7-irons, one in six chances with his 5-iron, one in eight chances with his 4-iron and just one in 10 chances with a 3-hybrid. And about that 3-wood? According to the numbers, the average golfer’s GIR percentage with that club, as they say, has no grade point average.”
  • “All of those missed greens (and the attendant tragic golf despair and perhaps some measure of physical injury) then would be compounded further by plenty of around-the-green misadventures and misplays. Arccos data suggests the average 15-handicap gets up and down less than one in five times. Furthering this ugliness would be all those 3-putts, which Arccos data suggests might happen on at least four holes a round, particularly at major championship speeds.”
An example of the calculations…
1st hole, par 4, 430 yards
Koepka: Driver, half-lob wedge
Average Joe: Driver, 3-wood
2nd hole, par 4, 389 yards
Koepka: 4-iron, gap wedge
Average Joe: Driver, 6-iron
2. NCAA Women’s champs
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard with the report…“For the seventh time in program history, Duke is the 2019 NCAA Div. I Women’s Golf National Champion after defeating Wake Forest 3-2 in an all-ACC final match at Blessings Golf Club.”
  • “I couldn’t feel more proud than I do right now,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. “We’ve had a tough team all year long and they were tough this week.”
  • “It was Duke’s anchor, Ana Belac, who put the first point on the board in the national championship match. The Blue Devil junior defeated Wake Forest freshman Vanessa Knecht 5&3 to give Duke the early lead.”
3. A confident Spieth following PGA
Golfweek’s Steve Dimeglio…”His history bodes well as Spieth seeks his 12th PGA Tour title. And his solid performance in last week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black restored some much sought after confidence and has him energized at Colonial.”
  • “This is the best I’ve felt in quite a while. I’m very happy,” Spieth said after he tied for third in the PGA Championship, six shots behind victor Brooks Koepka.
  • “…But on a course that favored bangers like Koepka and fellow Bash Brother Dustin Johnson, who finished second, Spieth rode four days of strong putting and worthy iron play to get into contention on the weekend.”
  • “I knew that it was unlikely on this golf course that I was going to have a chance to win, and that’s a humbling feeling for me,” Spieth said. “But I knew that if I played the course the right way, had the right mentality, kept putting the way I’ve been putting, that I would be in it and having a chance to make some noise.
4. Oak Hill weather
AP Report…“It didn’t take long for Jay Haas to be reminded of how gusting winds can wreak havoc on players attempting to navigate the narrow fairways of Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course.”
  • ‘”Got here on Sunday night and played nine holes Monday, and it was blowing, what, 25, 30 (miles per hour),” Haas said with a laugh Wednesday, a day before the Senior PGA Championship opens.’
  • “In some ways, the 65-year-old’s experience was no different than his previous visit to the Rochester suburbs 11 years ago. That’s when Haas overcame frigid conditions, heavy wind gusts and a one-stroke final-round deficit to finish with a 7-over 287 and win his second Senior PGA title.”
5. Johnny’s back
Our Gianni Magliocco...”Johnny Miller is back sharing his opinions on the game on Callaway’s new podcast: Real Golf Talk, which aired its first episode today (listen here on Soundcloud).”
  • “The longtime NBC golf announcer retired from broadcasting earlier this year, but Miller now features alongside avid golfer and television host Chris Harrison on the podcast, which will air six episodes in 2019 and eight in future seasons.”
6. Marty speaks!
Good stuff from PGATour.com’s Andrew Tursky talking with Ping’s (now legendary?) Marty Jertson…
  • Tursky: “Can you describe how tough the conditions were on the weekend, and put those weekend rounds into perspective? Like, what would say a 5-handicap shoot out there?”
  • Jertson: “Oh man. My caddie and I were talking about that a lot… ‘What would a scratch golfer shoot? What would a 5-handicap shoot out there?’ Let me put it this way: We had a hard time finding the golf balls in the rough with an army of spotters. So if you played by the real rules of golf where you had 3 minutes to look for your golf ball and you put a 5-handicapper out there, no joke I think they would shoot – if they followed the textbook rules – they would shoot 120 or more, because they would be losing so many golf balls in the rough and you only have 3 minutes to find it. Yeah, it was brutal. The ultimate test of precision and accuracy in terms of… you had to hit it both long and straight. You couldn’t do one or the other. You had to have both. That’s why I think some of the commentators and whatnot really like that style of golf.”
7. GolfWRX chats with Ryan Palmer
JN: Do you have a home field advantage here at Colonial?
RP: To a point, I guess. Obviously, I have played this golf course in every type of wind. I mean, I know certain holes play shorter than they are. So, a little bit of an advantage because I don’t put much stress into the golf course itself. I just know it. And of course, James, my caddie, knows it. And that is nice. But I do put more pressure on myself because I want to play well here
  • JN: What are your thoughts on not having a full bag club sponsorship?
  • RP: It is just a matter of playing with what I like. When I first got on tour, you would sign a full deal and it was pretty good. Now you are signing for balls and all 14 clubs. I love the Taylor Made driver but they cut out the driver only deals. They went just full line. Fortunately, with the help of Mike Chisholm and Chisholm Sports, I have some great corporate partners. United Rentals, a great deal with Unisys, RBC. I am able to have these corporate sponsors allow me to play what I want. I made some comments like ‘two hundred grand is not worth an equipment contract on tour because of what you can make that week.’
  • So, I got ribbed a little bit for making that comment but honestly it is not worth it in today’s game. We play for so much money now each and every week that by the time you get a $200,000 deal, you’re paying taxes and management, at the end of the day its worth a top 20-finish. And then you have to play those clubs all year long, whether you like them or not. So now I can play whatever putter or iron or driver I want. I am only under contract with ball, shoes and gloves. Footjoy and Titleist. I test and I tinker now and then but I always go back to what I have performed with in the past. I stand over a tee shot and I think, I know I hit this driver this way at this tournament at this particular moment. Why would I change?
8. Why it was great: Bridgestone’s J33R driver
For your viewing pleasure, a new video series from GolfWRX in general and equipment expert Ryan Barath in particular.
  • This video series breaks down why certain clubs maintain such a cult following, and what made them so popular to begin with.
  • The first club in this series is the Bridgestone J33R – a driver from 2005 that was both hard to find and extremely sought after. Ryan Barath breaks down some of the design attributes that still makes this a great club today.
9. Golf jokes!
Mark Townsend at National Club Golfer rounds up some of the worst…
Best golf jokes: Caddiesmack
  • A golfer walks off the 18th green, hands his putter to his caddie and says, “Kid, you’ve got to be the worst caddie in the world.”
  • The caddie replies: “Sir, that would be too much of a coincidence.”
  • Verdict: Not bad and a punchline that most of us weren’t expecting. Quick and to the point though how you’re going to bring this one to the table is anyone’s guess.
Best golf jokes: Clucking mad
  • A golfer sliced a ball into a field of chickens, striking one of the hens and killing it instantly. He was understandably upset, and sought out the farmer. “I’m sorry,” he said, “my terrible tee shot hit one of your hens and killed it. Can I replace the hen?”
  • “I don’t know about that,” replied the farmer, mulling it over. “How many eggs a day do you lay?”
  • Verdict: Better and unlike many of its golfing jokey contemporaries the punchline can’t be said to yourself about a third of the way in. Quite quirky for a golf joke and, told in the right manner, might be worth using.
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