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Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus hit out at today’s golf ball and green reading books



As is tradition, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player opened up the 2019 Masters alongside Tom Waston on Thursday morning as the honorary starters of the event. Afterwards while in the press center, both Nicklaus and Player spoke together, and the two men had some harsh words to say regarding the harm that they feel modern technology is doing to the game of golf.

Nicklaus has long been outspoken about the dangers that modern technology could cause the game, and on Thursday, the 18-time major champion railed against the modern day golf balls, believing the extra distance they now provide players with has gotten out of hand.

“The golf ball has gotten ridiculous. I have so many things on that. The golf ball from 1930 to about ’95 gained about six yards. From 1995 to 2005, about 15 yards, and that’s a big difference. Probably the organizations won’t tell you that, but that’s exactly about what happened.”

Like Nicklaus, Player believes the current technological innovations are damaging to the sport, and the three-time Masters champion fired a stark warning on Thursday concerning the possible consequences of a lack of action on the issue from the game’s organizations.

“We’d better start thinking. They are going to hit wedges to all the par-5s, and golf courses like St. Andrews, this marvelous golf course, is completely obsolete. They can drive probably six greens. So I don’t know where we’re going.

And our leaders of such have got to get together now and form a ball for professionals that’s different to the amateurs. Let the amateurs have anything they’d like. … But we have got to stop this, otherwise it’s going to be a joke, in my opinion.”

The South African also hit out at the use of green reading books, which are banned from Augusta National but allowed at several stops on the PGA Tour, describing the process of using the books as an aid on the greens as “artificial.”

“Bobby Locke was the best putter that ever lived, and Tiger Woods was the best putter and so on. I never saw him take out a book to read the damn green. To read the green, you’ve got to look at a book. Well if you can’t read a green, you should be selling beans. It’s part of the game. Where are we going? Everything is so artificial.”

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. Joro

    Apr 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    It is simple, make the courses tougher to stop the 300 + yd. Drives that make long holes short and is ridiculous. I am sure the ball has a lot to do with it but the main thing is length, fast fairways , and no real trouble for being super long and straight. Face it a Drive and Wedge on 13 at the Masters is just plain BS. Put something out there so the players cannot hit it that long without a huge risk. In fact narrow fairways, real rough, and other obstacles will keep things down.

    I know the manufactures are producing the length for all that it is worth, like the Car companies are using fast as a sales point although 90% of the buyers have any business going fast and the Death rate shows it. If in fact they don’t cut it back where will it end? Five Hundred yard Drives and having to chip back to the Green. Of course not, it only affects the Pros and long hitters and when Joe the Hack sees Tiger hit it over 300, or Rory 350 he has to have one,,,, as if he can get it off the ground.

    It has gone too far and time to get back to skill and keep everyone in the Ballgame, not just the Gorilla.

  2. daniel

    Apr 13, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Since it’s the masters. Why don’t we do what Bobby Jones did when the Niblick/SW became a thing bunker plays were no longer a challenge for the pro, so he decided too add water and a lot of it. Hence recreating golf courses isn’t a new thing, just a change of the times.

  3. Bobby

    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:44 am

    And to add a solution to my previous comment…. move tee boxes back ten yards theres plenty of room and grow out the fairway alittle to stop the ridiculous run out of 30-40 yards we see at every pga tour event…you say the amateurs can use any ball we want but ill tell ya my ball dont roll out more than ten yards on most amateur courses i play and iam a 3 handicap who gets plenty of distance….. easy fix

  4. Bobby

    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:37 am

    So they are saying its a major problem that the ball gained 15 yards and now they hit wedges to greens? So if they back it up the 15 yards what are they gonna use 9 iron? Stop it….. Yes equipment is getting too good i somewhat agree but the other issue is the amount of money they can win has brought in real athletes….. Say what you want but the older guys never looked no where near what Koepka and Rory look like today. All the young kids are big athletic guys too…. Tiger was the first of the real
    Athletes and look how he did against the others of his time…..

  5. Glenn D.

    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:37 am

    And they wonder why rounds are taking so long to play. They’ve needed to add yards to every hole to accommodate the “new” length golf balls go. Like playing an extra hole. An extra 1/2 hour or longer?

  6. Simms

    Apr 13, 2019 at 1:01 am

    That PXG on Gary’s hat makes anything he has to say about equipment BS. Sorry boys it is like all sports the more education we get the better the players and equipment get. I would not worry to much about golf because Pro golf is big dollar entertainment and the Country Clubs they play and high end public courses are all that will be left in years to come…Public golf is on its last legs with courses being worth more closed then open and the ones open are fighting a loosing battle trying to match green fees with operating costs, public golfers are not going to pay over $45 dollars to play more then once a month and tee sheets even on the least expensive courses are still not full.

  7. the koob

    Apr 12, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Bifurcation seems logical. But don’t take my ball away from me. I want my MTV.

    • D

      Apr 12, 2019 at 11:16 pm

      They already do bifurcate.
      The Pros get to use metal spikes

    • PG

      Apr 13, 2019 at 8:28 am

      The tee boxes already “bifurcate”.

  8. Brendan Welch

    Apr 12, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Why don’t they just make everyone play blades or all play the same lofts?

  9. Acemkr9

    Apr 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I love the comments on here! Most of the people railing against Jack and Gary have never hit a persimmon or a balata! They grew up being indoctrinated on length. Golf is going the way of baseball the uneducated baseball fan wants 7 home runs a game not a pitchers dual, The uneducated golfer wants to see 350 yard drives and 27 under it’s simply the times and unfortunately TV is the culprit they always want more people and more people, you then pull in the uneducated sports fan who doesn’t understand the art of the sport or the tactical parts of the sport. They simply want to view something, yell at the players and ruin the next sport!

    • Alan

      Apr 12, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      I didn’t notice Jack and Gary dropping back to Hickory and Haskell balls from their modern technology advantages.

    • Aztec

      Apr 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      You mention ‘uneducated’ 3 times but your grammar is terrible. Kind of funny, eh?

  10. Kim

    Apr 12, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    JN has been whining about this for ages, as previous posts have mentioned, perhaps jealously. If you want to eliminate the “bombers” set the course up like they did at the Ryder Cup. There is virtually no rough at Augusta. Punish the wayward shot more severely. The changes on 5 seem to have had the desired affect. Narrow the fairways. These guys are better athletes, yes, technology is better, embrace it. Going backwards is not the answer.

    • acemkr9

      Apr 12, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      Actually if you had any historical knowledge instead of just an opinion Jack in his prime was the longest hitter on tour, Courses actually starting adding bunkers because he flew the original ones!
      Alistair McKenzie in his book ‘the Spirit of ST Andrews warned of the ball going to far! You should read it!

  11. Harry Adam

    Apr 12, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Whatever is decided, it would be a great mistake to differentiate equipment rules between amateurs and professionals.

  12. Tom54

    Apr 12, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    I guess it’s only fitting that two of the names greatest champions are now fussing about how far the modern ball and equipment are making the game unfair. I guess it comes with the territory once you have become honorary starters for the Masters. Pretty sure they wish today’s ball and clubs were out in their heyday. If we have maxed out the ball and the clubs,then it must be the player. Courses can handle 325 yd drives but if they start averaging 350+ then maybe there is a problem. Until then sit back and marvel what talent it takes to propel a golf ball around a course like they do.

    • acemkr9

      Apr 12, 2019 at 6:25 pm

      “Until then sit back and marvel what talent it takes to propel a golf ball around a course like they do.”

      bwahaahhahahaahahaahaahahaahahahaaah Jack Nicklaus has 18 majors and you think he doesn’t know what it takes! I marvel at peoples comments!

  13. Jow

    Apr 12, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Nicklaus is clearly right. If you value the historic courses around the world, the technology cannot get longer perpetually. These courses will not change in kind.

    If you’re ok with Augusta, St Andrews, Bethpage etc becoming easier and easier as time marches on the I suppose it’s not an issue for you.

    It would be great if we could make clubs easier to hit without always adding length.

  14. Bob Jones

    Apr 12, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    In the 1960s, Bobby Jones described how Augusta plays in the Masters. You can read it in his book, Golf Is My Game. For example, hole No. 16, 190 yards, he described as a 2, 3, or 4-iron. Now it’s a 7, 8, or 9-iron. Don’t tell me these guys don’t have a point about distance. As for the Masters not allowing green reading books, hear hear!

  15. Darrin Lygrisse

    Apr 12, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    I will disagree with Jack on one thing…it’s more the driver than the ball, or a combo of the two. The modern driver with a spring face COR launches the harder ball when you have a high swing speed. The long get longer, the short hitters have gained very little. It takes speed to make that face flex, the rich got richer, the short got shorter in a relative sense.

  16. Tom

    Apr 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    The older folks probably said the same thing when they switched from hickory. You can’t fault advancements in technology.

  17. LLL

    Apr 12, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Lets go back to lumber

  18. Bryan

    Apr 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Hmmm…the modern golf ball did not seem to make Merion obsolete in 2013, did it?

    • Caddy

      Apr 12, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Only because other features were harder. Greens were never much more than about 8 on the stimp until the early 1980’s. Now 12-13 is normal on tour. Bobby Jones would have thought that was ridiculous. Augustas greens were made for slow speeds.

  19. Rae Ashley

    Apr 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    I totally agree with Mr. Nicklaus and Mr. Player!!! Why shouldn’t Golf have a standard ball like all other sports? Plus, I just love to hear these duffers and hackers criticize two of the greats. Total disrespect and actually very ignorant!!

    • Anton kruger

      Apr 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      It’s not being ignorant or disrespectful it’s fact that technology has improved the game and athletes are better than these two old timers who have nothing better to do or say and use the masters as a platform to create controversy to get press coverage . They had there time . Respect the new generation and their better abilities

  20. Stump

    Apr 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Did Jack and Gary play hickory and gutta percha balls or did they play steel shafts and a balata ball? I’ll bet Jack could hit his steel and balata 21 yards further than the older guys hit their hickory and GP.
    Jack was complaining about the ball back in the 80s. Ironic that Gary was complaining of technology while wearing the hat of one of the most advanced and expensive equipment companies.
    Maybe we should all watch the Masters on our black and white 13″ TVs…for only the last 9 holes on Sunday instead of streaming it.

  21. David

    Apr 12, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Old men complaining… A tradition unlike any other.

  22. frank cichon

    Apr 12, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    It is not Rocket Science or Brain Surgery…..the rules are there, just enforce them. I have volunteered several times at the PGA Tour stop in Vancouver BC and could not at two Canadian Opens that we had here several years ago (both times more people volunteered than were needed) Have 2 timers per group with a stop watch and time each player ….first slow time a warning, second slow time a 1 stroke penalty , second slow time 2 strokes.We would see twosomes play inside of 4 hours overnight.

  23. dat

    Apr 12, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Has a lot to do with the physical fitness of the best players of today. That gains more yards, period. Equipment is not out of control, except the ball – so it is likely a combo of both the ball and the gym work ethic these guys have today.

    If Nicklaus or Player were playing today, and in their former “prime” shape – they’d get destroyed. If they were around today, and worked at the same level as today’s best – they’d probably still be great, but not win like they did back then.

    • Funkaholic

      Apr 12, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

      • Jim regan

        Apr 12, 2019 at 3:19 pm

        Agree! Hey watching the Masters today these guys were hitting drivers that CARRIED 280-290!! This is ridiculous. jack and Gary know what they’re talking about.

    • Boyo

      Apr 12, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      You’re out of your Vulcan mind.

  24. Jose

    Apr 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I get so tired of little short man syndromes. I saw a picture of Phil standing next to jack about 25 yrs ago and Phil made him look like the midget he is. What Jack never mentions is the pure Geometry of the game. If you hit a drive 280 yards and it’s on the right side of the fairway, then Dustin hits next on the exact line, he’s 30+ yards into the trees. Jack just needs to go away, his ego is bigger than his fat old gut he has hanging out. Fans go to watch pros to see them hut shots they can’t, which is why the LPGA doesn’t draw the numbers the guys do. They want to see things that amaze them, 240 yard drives aren’t amazing. You think golf is losing ground now, take amazing out of it and watch what happens.

    • Funkaholic

      Apr 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Nicklaus hit the old ball with the old clubs 341 yards in 1963, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you don’t respect legends like him, you have no business on the course.

    • Joseph R Dreitler

      Apr 12, 2019 at 3:02 pm

      Because you never saw Jack when he was 22 years old. He was 6′” tall and is now about 5’8″. It happens when you get old. Like most old men, he’s lost height, a lot of it. The training argument is bogus. YouTube the 1971 All Star game when 170 pound, steroid-less Reggie Jackson took a Doc Ellis fastball and it was still climbing when it hit the light tower on top of the upper deck. Point is that there are not just 3 or 5 or 10 big/super guys hitting it this far, most of them on the Tour are. Is making golf courses obsolete.

    • Boyo

      Apr 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm

      Another moron speaks.

  25. Mike Cleland

    Apr 12, 2019 at 11:21 am

    It is a shame to see what has happened to Golf. No one walks, everyone rides around in their little golf carts loaded with beer & pretzels. My son, who is 5’7” tall & never works out, regularly hits 325 yard drives & 160 yard pitching wedges in between smokes. We have $500 drivers & $300 putters, $250 green fees & $10,000/year dues on mediocre country clubs. It takes 5+ hours to play 18 holes. The USGA & R&A are clearly in the pocket of the equipment companies. Kids are not taking up golf because it costs too much & parents that can’t afford to play golf. Gee, why is golf not growing?

  26. Chris

    Apr 12, 2019 at 11:00 am

    No disrespect to Jack or Gary, but they are playing a caricature of the two old muppets in the balcony. I understand their argument and concerns, but 1) these guys aren’t the same burger-eating, smoking, “everymen” of days of old. They are athletes. They hit a long ball partially because of the ball/equipment, but mostly because they have worked their arse off to be strong enough to unload a club like that. 2) These guys all have to putt and play a short game. The ball doesn’t help putting pressure. 3) Long balls go long into the woods too. It’s risk/reward – if you’re straight, great. If not, you’re no better off than a short knock. 4) Pick your battles – with the rules bumbling in the USGA and the US Open setup issues, introducing a new complication / controversy into the mix is just dumb and myopic.

    • dat

      Apr 12, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      100% Agree. These guys are now full blown athletes for the mostpart.

      Perhaps courses should focus on making long distance drives a major risk reward, narrow those fairways. Or, get the USGA/R&A to issue a joint ruling on golf ball limitations like they did with COR.

    • N

      Apr 12, 2019 at 3:49 pm

      No, it’s all equipment lol

    • acemkr9

      Apr 12, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      So they would hit a balata the same distance as the current balls because of their stature and strength? Obviously you never hit a balata with a persimmon!

    • Murv

      Apr 12, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      You got it right!

  27. R

    Apr 12, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Get rid of golf carts too, in between holes, and in between front and back 9s on Tour, and really see how long rounds take if they all actually had to walk every corner of the course without help. That should help eliminate more than half the courses on Tour easily that are all too big, too wide open.

  28. Brandon

    Apr 12, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Pretty simple to just narrow the fairways and make the rough unplayable for pro tournaments if they are worried about courses playing too easy.

    • R

      Apr 12, 2019 at 10:37 am


    • Jim K

      Apr 12, 2019 at 10:52 am

      It’s not so much a question of courses playing too easy; it’s about courses playing the way they were intended to be played. Narrowing fairways and growing rough won’t do that. It will just take the driver out of the game. It’s like baseball where a lot of people think the home run has become too big a part of the game. You could change that by moving all the fences back 50 feet, but that would also change the basic nature of the game. Restricting the ball in both sports would be the best way to restore the games to what they were intended to be.

    • Jim Garner

      Apr 12, 2019 at 10:55 am

      But all the folks that holler Bobba Booey and Uda Man would quit attending

  29. Thomas A

    Apr 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Player railing against modern technology, just signed a club deal with PXG. That’s rich.

    • R

      Apr 12, 2019 at 10:38 am


    • Justin Wheeler

      Apr 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      This was exactly my thought. Of course, they didn’t blame the equipment like drivers and irons. Watching The Masters now and seeing guys hit driver with 170+ ball speed. I’d be curious what the ball speeds were back in the day. It’s a combination of club, ball, strength and conditioning, efficiency, and agronomic conditions.

    • D

      Apr 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      That is a really good point.

  30. CC1718

    Apr 12, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Jack was one of the first guys to start making his own yardage books back in the day… I guess he can take some credit for the guys taking it one step further with the making green reading books… PGA should just give everyone an ipad and a GPS course app and maybe the pro game pace of play would speed up… Throw in a barometer too for DeChambeau so he can get his air pressure worked into his yardage…

    • Red Nelson

      Apr 12, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      I love the creative use of ellipsis. Or is this Morse code? dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot.
      “Help! I don’t know what I’m doing.”

  31. Gurn Blanstin

    Apr 12, 2019 at 9:14 am

    What do you have against grocers selling beans?

    I miss the rubber bands in the ole balata …

    • LoPro

      Apr 12, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      How many yards of rubber bands were in that ball?

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The DailyWRX: What’s buzzing on social media 6/5/2020



With everything going on, I wanted to find some humor out there…hope you all can find some time to have a chuckle, it helps.

I relate to this on so many levels…

My game therefore I am trash.

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Send this to a trash golfer ????

A post shared by Joshua Kelley (@holein1trickshots) on

It’s funny…

But the guy might do it cuz he’s so damn savage.

I’m in…

Once again…

I love the shots and tips that come out of these vids…..but these backyard setups continue to solidify that I have failed at life…SMH. My jealousy rages.

View this post on Instagram

Rainy Wednesday…we going skippin!

A post shared by R I C K I E (@rickiefowler) on

He is a literal walking ray of golden sunshine…

He’s inching up my list of favorite player…just sayin’.

DM @johnny_wunder for anything good


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



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



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, 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, 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…“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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