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

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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 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 @giannimosquito

63 Comments

63 Comments

  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

      Ditto

    • 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

      Ditto

    • 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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News

Morning 9: Tour Championship | Brooke Henderson | Decline of cookie-cutter swings

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 23, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1 New normal
After 1…Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, and Justin Thomas are all tied at the top.
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister…
  • “I guess it was a little bit strange,” said Casey when asked about teeing off eight shots behind. “It was nice once everybody was on the golf course.”
  • Unlike previous TOUR Championships in the FedExCup era, there’s only one leaderboard needed this week. Once the leaderboard started to fill up Thursday, and players knew exactly where they stood, it seemed, well, a bit normal.
  • “It didn’t feel that much different, to be honest with you,” said 2016 FedExCup champ Rory McIlroy, who started five shots behind Thomas but shot a 66 and is now just a stroke off the lead. “… I sort of had the mindset this week that I’m starting on even par, and I’m going to try to shoot a good four-round total and see where that leaves me at the end of the week.”
  • Said Koepka: “You could say I played it like a five-day event. I knew I was three down and … by the time the turn comes, try to get back to all square.”

Full piece

2. Brooks in the buff
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on BK’s ESPN Body Issue shoot…
“Koepka said the photos were taken at The Floridian in the spring and prompted him to lose 22 pounds in four months. Although he was pleased with the photo shoot he did acknowledge that there were some strange moments.”
  • “Getting naked is a bit weird; the first time you actually pull that robe off in front of 30, 40 people,” said Koepka, who was tied for the lead at East Lake after an opening 67.
  • “He said the weirdest moment came on a tee box as the photographers attempted to get a “face on” shot while Koepka’s swing coach Claude Harmon III was giving a lesson around the corner.
  • “I see Claude teaching this maybe 12-year-old kid, and his mom is just over here. I’m like, this is awkward. And Claude’s peeking around the corner laughing,” Koepka laughed. “You know, it’s fun. I’m pretty sure everybody that was at the golf course saw me that day, but whatever.”

Full piece.

3. Women’s Canadian Open
Defending champ, national hero is one back…
Golf Channel’ Randall Mell…”Henderson, 21, picked up right where she left off a year ago.”
  • “With a 6-under-par 66, she seized sole possession of the lead through the morning wave at Magna Golf Club. A strong gallery was there early to support her bid to win the national women’s open in back-to-back years.”
  • “To get a solid round like this in in front of them I think is really a confidence booster for me,” Henderson said. “Gives me a lot of momentum going into the next three days.”
  • “Henderson’s ball striking was sharp. She hit all but two fairways and all but two greens in regulation and converted seven of the birdie opportunities she gave herself, against a single bogey.”

Full piece.

4. Mr. East Lake?
Golf Channel’s Carson Williams…”There’s something about East Lake that seems to bring out the best in Xander Schauffele.”
  • “Just the style of this tournament being a limited field. It’s pretty exclusive,” Schauffele said. “It’s very relaxed. For how important and how topnotch this tournament is, it’s a very surprisingly relaxed week.”
  • “Schauffele certainly looked relaxed in Thursday’s opening round of the Tour Championship. He began the day at 4 under, six back of leader Justin Thomas, but quickly made up the ground and ultimately signed for a bogey-free, 6-under 64 to take a share of the lead with Thomas and Brooks Koepka.”
5. Scandinavian Invitation
AP report…”Wade Ormsby holed a 4-iron from 196 yards for eagle on his way to shooting a bogey-free, 8-under 62 at the Scandinavian Invitation, giving him the first-round lead in the European Tour event on Thursday.”
“The Australian’s eagle at the par-4 14th hole came in an opening-nine 28, after starting his round at No. 10. He also rolled in six birdies, including three straight from the 16th hole.”
6. Grayson! 
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Former PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray opened the Albertsons Boise Open with a 7-under 64 to grab a share of the lead in the second leg of the Korn Ferry Finals.”
  • “Murray won the 2017 Barbasol Championship, but his PGA Tour exemption for that win expired earlier this month. He was sidelined for much of the summer with an injured back, not playing on Tour after withdrawing from the Valero Texas Open in April. But Murray made a pair of rehab starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, including a T-2 at the Rex Hospital Open, and is participating in the three-event Finals as part of a medical extension.”

Full piece.

7. Timing Bryson
Joel Beall and the Golf Digest folks kept tabs on Bryson at East Lake…
  • “This comes with a caveat. DeChambeau was often the second player to hit, his drives a good 30 to 40 yards farther than Reavie. As such, he often had a generous amount of prep that wasn’t clocked (we didn’t time him during Reavie’s setup and shot). Even with the asterisk, DeChambeau’s average time of 43.57 seconds is more nuanced than the number conveys.”
“Almost half his approaches took less than 30 seconds, with a personal-best of 20.34 seconds at the par-4 eighth. However, there was no middle ground. If he wasn’t pulling the trig fast, it was a drawn-out process, even on a punch-out at the fifth (one minute, nine seconds) that went all of 30 yards. Aside from the third hole, there wasn’t much wind to calculate, and DeChambeau mostly kept his ball out of trouble. That he spent more than 40 seconds in three instances, including the punch-out, after waiting on Reavie (37.82 seconds average on approach) was somewhat odd. Although it did lead to this gem from a marshal on the fifth: “He’s trying to make Thanksgiving dinner when all he needs is a PB&J.”
8. Cherishing the experience
AP Report…Vancouver’s Michelle Liu was excited about striping her opening tee shot Thursday at the CP Women’s Open, but the 12-year-old left her history-making LPGA debut frustrated.
  • “Definitely wasn’t my best performance, I would say,” Liu said after opening with a 9-over-par 81. “My chipping wasn’t where it needed to be.”
  • Liu became the youngest player to tee it up in the 47-year history of Canada’s national women’s open, but she shed some tears of frustration in the end.
  • “Pretty disappointed about my score,” Liu said.
9. Decline of the cookie-cutter swing? 
 
Golf Digest staff….”We asked four top teachers from Golf Digest’s national and state rankings to discuss how (or if!) this new “freedom” will trickle down into the amateur player’s weekend game.”
What does a player like Matthew Wolff mean for golf?
  • “Rick Silva (Movement 3 Golf, Highland Park, Ill.): If you had walked down the range at a tour event the past 20 years, you’d have seen a lot of the same swings-almost robotic ones. I think the resurgence of individuality on tour is a great thing, and a real opportunity. It’s going to give tour players and recreational players permission to go beyond the numbers they see on a launch monitor or the images in a video to find what works for them.”
  • “Nick Clearwater (GolfTEC Vice President of Instruction, Denver): If I was a casual observer of golf from my couch, I’d be excited about the future of the sport. There are all these young players with fresh attitudes and different swing styles. It’s exciting. But how some of the swing stuff moves down to the average player is going to be terrifying! There are still plenty of people who think that the most noticeable thing is the most important thing, and the starting point for what you should be working on.”
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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Albertsons Boise Open

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GolfWRX bypassed the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship in the early part of the week (we made it there Thursday!) for the road less traveled this week: The Korn Ferry Tour. Specifically, we have a full buffet of photos from the range at the Albertsons Boise Open, including a full plate of WITB looks.

Here are 10 interesting photos from the Albertsons Boise Open.

This spread of Scotty Cameron Circle T putter covers will have enthusiasts drooling

Is this tee marker edible?

Name a better-dressed pro than Morgan Hoffmann…

Brandon Crick’s Pingman-stamped Glide wedge

The TaylorMade Boise Open headcover features a Boise St. blue turf background

D.J. Trahan’s Grateful Dead dancing bear headcovers are money

J-Gore! Cheers to the 2002 champ!

Sweet orange paintfill on Kevin Doughtery’s PXG 0311T 4-iron

Idaho (potato) fries aplenty on Scotty Cameron’s superb Boise Open headcover

I was unaware Will Zalatoris nickname was Beavis. But a look at this wedge and a look at this photo have me pretty convinced it is

All our galleries from the Boise Open

General galleries

WITB, special galleries

 

 

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Morning 9: Rory offers simple slow play fix, isn’t sure about TC format | Brooks favors the Euro plan | Sunjae Im!

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 22, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Rory’s simple slow play fix
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard reporting...”The Northern Irishman has always been one of the most outspoken players when it comes to pace of play on the PGA Tour but enough is enough.”
  • “I saw [the European Tour] released a four-point plan, but I only read the headline. I didn’t go deeper into it. I’ve had enough of the slow play stuff,” McIlroy said. “I had two hours of it last week at the [player advisory council] meeting, and that came to nothing.”
  • “Although he didn’t know the details of the new European pace of play policy, McIlroy did offer a solution for slow play when he pointed out that pace of play won’t be an issue at this week’s 30-man Tour Championship.”
  • “Seriously, it’s like traffic, right? You get 156 in the field, and it’s hard to get those guys around quickly. Even last week, 70, there was no mention of pace of play,” McIlroy said. “I’m in a privileged position that I can say that because I’m going to get into a field of 30 or 70. Obviously, guys that are not quite in my position would disagree with that. [But] if you want to speed up play, cut the field sizes.”

Full piece.

2. Rory unsure regarding new Tour Championship format 
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”While saying Wednesday that he understands many of the reasons for the new format, he also said “come back to me Monday and I’ll tell you whether it’s worked or not.”
  • …”If we’re at the PGA Tour trying to do the season of championships, where it starts at the Players in March and goes through the four majors and culminates with the FedEx Cup in the end, if the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game, like some of these other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?” McIlroy said Wednesday at East Lake Golf Club.”
  • “That’s my only thing. I get it from a fan experience point of view. I get it from giving guys that have played better throughout the year an advantage. But at the same time, it will make it sweeter for a guy that starts at even or 1-under par and goes all the way through the field and wins. Or if Justin Thomas shoots the tied low score of the week and doesn’t end up winning. … I don’t know.”

Full piece.

3. JT wants the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup
Good to hear he didn’t endorse finishing third if it’ll secure the cup…JT isn’t keen for a repeat of 2017
  • AP report…”Justin Thomas lived it two years ago when he capped off his best year by capturing the FedEx Cup with a runner-up finish in the Tour Championship. Thomas was thrilled to win the cup and its $10 million prize, but felt like a loser in the immediate aftermath because he was second in the Tour Championship to Xander Schauffele.”
  • “As the No. 1 seed, he starts Thursday at 10-under par with a two-shot lead under the staggered start. It’s possible that Thomas could finish the most under par and win the FedEx Cup, even though he doesn’t have the lowest 72-hole score.”
  • “And yes, he will be paying attention…“You guys probably won’t believe me, but, yeah, it will irk me,” Thomas said of such a scenario. “I want to beat everybody every week I play.”

Full piece.

4. Can anyone really win the FedEx Cup? 
Shane Ryan investigates…
  • “…a player starting at even par has to overcome a 10-shot deficit against the top player, but he also has to overcome a variety of smaller deficits against 25 other players. That compounds the problem, but one way we can try to answer the question is by examining other big comebacks in PGA Tour history. A look at final-round comebacks shows us that one player, Paul Lawrie, managed to take back 10 strokes in a single round, though it did require Jean Van de Velde’s infamous collapse at the 1999 Open Championship”
  • “…But Stewart Cink also roared back from nine shots down, and eight players have managed the feat on Sunday from eight shots back. In some respects, the task facing the “start-at-even” crew in the Tour Championship this weekend is much easier. First, they have 72 holes, not 18, to overcome a 10-stroke deficit. Second, the competition is 29 players, not the 70-or-so who typically make the cut at a “normal” event. They have a longer time to beat a smaller number of players, and by that reckoning, chipping off 2.5 shots per round seems far from impossible.”

 

5. In case you missed it: U.S. Prez Cup team top 8 set
Brooks Koepka
Justin Thomas
Dustin Johnson
Patrick Cantlay
Xander Schauffele
Webb Simpson
Matt Kuchar
Bryson DeChambeau
6. Olesen pleads not guilty
BBC report…”Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen has appeared in court charged with sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.”
  • “The 29-year-old Ryder Cup winner has also been charged with assault by beating…He indicated he would plead not guilty when he appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.”

Full piece.

7. Brooks favors the European plan? 
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch…“Koepka has been an outspoken critic of slow play, calling for stiff penalties against lallygagging PGA Tour players. He was asked about a policy announced this week by the European Tour that cracks down on idlers by imposing stroke penalties, not the meaningless fines used this side of the Atlantic.”
  • “Perfect. We should adopt it,” Koepka replied. Then came the surgical insertion of the needle.
  • “I think you’ll see some urgency to play. It doesn’t matter how quick you walk. It doesn’t matter how quick you do anything.”
  • “The “quick walk” argument – that hoofing it to one’s ball faster excuses taking more time than permitted to execute the next shot – is the flaccid defense of Bryson DeChambeau, a notorious laggard and someone with whom Koepka has sparred on the issue.”

Full piece.

8. Cole Hammer time…for you to win the McCormack medal
Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington…“On Wednesday, the USGA and R&A announced that Hammer remained the No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and thus had secured the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading men’s player at the end of the summer.”
  • “With the honor comes exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and the 2020 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, so long as Hammer remains an amateur when playing in the majors.”

Full piece.

9. Alone in anonymity?
Sungjae Im has hardly gotten the recognition he deserves this season…
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…“One of the tour’s premier talents walked East Lake in anonymity Wednesday afternoon. Hard to do, given there are just 30 players at this shindig. When he passed a group of fans, necks strained to see the name on the bag, followed by a common chorus of whispers. Who’s that? … that’s not Hideki, right … wow, pretty nice shot. The man would nod as he made his way through, paying no heed to their ignorance. He doesn’t even blame them.”
  • “Hey, I’m surprised I’m here too,” Sungjae Im says with a laugh.
  • “In the Year of Young Guns, from Cameron Champ’s auspicious start to the torrid summers of Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland, only one-Im-is standing at the Tour Championship.”
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