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Morning 9: Origin story of the famed Bethpage “warning” sign | Sea change in player prep for majors?

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

May 15, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Tuesday tedium
Geoff Shackelford on the vibe at Bethpage and a possible sea change in player preparation
“…Sadly, this Tuesday tedium may be the new normal.”
  • “Players are increasingly focusing on saving energy by skipping or minimizing practice rounds. They’re choosing their press conference words carefully to avoid unwanted drama – though Woods and Koepka did their part. So we’re mostly left to wonder if a 53-year-old former winner will be able to navigate muddy puddles in his topless buggy.”
  • “It’s hard to say who started this accelerating trend of players doing all of their “prep” and “reps” before tournament week. With green books, smarter caddies, wiser instructors and more information than ever to scope out a course, practice rounds just aren’t as necessary. Even their equipment is so dialed in that we don’t get too many stories of players struggling to make a high-profile adjustment. That’s because plenty of rest is required to cope with five-and-a-half hour rounds in an era with the new condensed schedule making players pace themselves.  Led by, you know who, the Masters champion.”
2. “Just perfect”
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Despite the cold, gloomy conditions, Kerry Haigh smiled brightly when the PGA of America’s chief championships officer was asked about this week’s conditions at Bethpage Black.”
  • “As you can see or I’m sure some of the players have seen, the greens are just perfect. The fairways are beautiful. The rough is growing,” Haigh beamed.”
  • “If you asked me 3 ½ weeks ago, you always think, is spring ever going to come and are the trees going to bud and is the grass going to grow?” Haigh admitted. “Thankfully for all of our lives, that’s happened, and hopefully will continue to do so.”
3. Fox commentator makes it to U.S. Open sectionals
ICYMI, the Forecaddie on Shane Bacon’s impressive feat…
  • “The Forecaddie knows there are fantastic stories behind every U.S. Open local qualifier. So with an apology to the many other fine tales out there that Golfweek will be tracking down as we build to full Sectional Qualifying coverage, The Man Out Front couldn’t help but notice Shane Bacon’s successful effort at Phoenix Country Club.”
  • “You know him as Fox’s second lead announcer after Joe Buck, but social media followers know Bacon’s got a sweet move even if he is a lefty, something The Forecaddie won’t hold against him after posting 68 on his home course to advance to the Sectionals.”
  • “I’ve probably done local 8 or 9 times, sniffed the line a couple of times, fired awful numbers more,” Bacon wrote after being one of seven to advance from Phoenix on May 13. “It’s a small accomplishment in the landscape of golf, sure, but teeing it at 9:40 this morning and finding out at 2 pm you’re through is why we play, it’s why we care and it’s why we love the competition of the sport.”
4. Rory doesn’t think people fully appreciate the magnitude of Tiger Woods’ Masters win
Interesting take from the Ulsterman…
AP report…”Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy was still in awe Tuesday, two days before the start of the year’s second major, the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.”
  • “I still don’t think people understand what he did in April and coming back, and with everything that he’s been through,” McIlroy said. “It’s unbelievable. Whether it’s the greatest comeback in sports, that’s probably up for debate, but from what I’ve experienced and the things that he said when I’ve been around him, to be 2½ years ago from looking like maybe not playing golf again to winning the first major of the year and being the favorite going into the second major of the year, I mean, that’s unbelievable.”

 

5. The new Woods narrative
TW himself on his changing tale…
  • Mark Cannizarro at the NY Post…It’s great to be part of the narrative,” Woods said Tuesday in his first public remarks since his fifth career Masters victory in April, which also happened to be his 15th career major championship. “My narrative spans 20 years now, just over 20 years. If you look at most of the players or the players that have had the most success on Tour, you’re not measured by, like an NFL football player when you get in the Hall of Fame after nine years. If you played out here nine years, you haven’t really done that well. You’re measured in decades. Because the nature of the sport, we’re able to hang around a lot longer and still be relevant.”
  • …”Whether I’m dominant or not going forward, that remains to be seen,” Woods said. “What I know is I need to give myself the best chance to win the events that I play in, and sometimes that can be taking a little bit more breaks here and there and making sure that I am ready to go and being able to give it my best at those events.”
6. Brooks’ major math
A Jack Nicklaus-esque breakdown…
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…Koepka has won just twice outside the majors, in 2015 at the Waste Management in Phoenix and last fall at the CJ Cup in South Korea. While many contenders head into weeks like this with lofty aspirations, Koepka arrives at Bethpage State Park with a confidence level befitting a man who’s running out of room on his mantle.
  • “I think you keep doing what you’re supposed to do, you play good, you peak at the right times,” Koepka said. “I think sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win.”
  • …”There’s 156 [players] in the field, so you figure at least 80 of them I’m just going to beat,” Koepka said. “You figure about half of them won’t play well from there, so you’re down to about maybe 35. And then from 35, some of them just – pressure is going to get to them. It only leaves you with a few more, and you’ve just got to beat those guys.”
7. The story of Bethpage Black’s famed “warning” sign
George Willis of the NY Post talked with Mike Asheroff, former deputy regional director for the Long Island State Parks…
  • He said the sign originated on Memorial Day, either in 1981 or ’82, maybe even 1980. Asheroff said he was sitting having coffee with Eric Siebert, who was the parks superintendent at the time, when Siebert’s two-way radio alerted them of an altercation on the golf course.
  • “We went out there and some guy had decided he was going to teach his wife to play golf on Memorial Day on the Black Course,” Asheroff told The Post in a telephone interview. “There were four or five empty holes in front of them and a foursome of very angry Asian golfers behind them. They were getting upset with the man and the woman and their English wasn’t good. To hurry them up, they hit several balls into him and his wife. He turned around and hit the balls back at them. They all became extremely angry.
  • “The park police showed up. We managed to get this guy off the golf course. His wife was mortified. We refunded his green fee and told him to go away.”
  • Here’s where the legend of the Black Warning Sign is born.
  • “I turned to Eric at that point and said, ‘Give me a piece of paper,’ and I scribbled out the wording of the sign and said, ‘Get the sign shop to make this up and put it by the park register and if anybody wants to play golf on the Black, point it out to them.’ That’s how the sign got out there,” Asheroff recalled.
8. Woods on Daly’s cart use
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…
  • “Speaking to the media at Bethpage Black, Woods was asked his thoughts on Daly using a cart at the PGA Championship. Last week the PGA of America granted the 53-year-old, who is in the field thanks to the lifetime exemption earned from his 1991 PGA Championship victory, access to wheels under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Daly suffers from osteoarthritis in his right knee.”
  • “Yet Woods, realizing the opportunity before him, was stoic in his response: “Well, I walked with a broken leg, so…” Woods replied, letting out a brief smile after a beat.”
9. What Brooks is cooking
Golf Channel’s Jason Crook…”It may not get the same hype as the Masters Champions Dinner, but the PGA Champions Dinner delivered the goods on Tuesday night at Bethpage.”
  • “Defending champion Brooks Koepka’s menu included a choice of Miyazaki beef imported from Japan, roasted Long Island duck or branzino filet for the main course, sandwiched between an appetizer of spinach and goat cheese salad topped with fried pork belly and carrot cake for dessert.”

 

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (7.17.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Pitcha Ninja with a great shot from Tuesday at Royal Portrush.

Nerds covers from EP Headcovers.

Scott Sackett showing how Tiger is preparing for shots around the green this week.

American Flatsticks paying homage to Rory McIlroy.

Olson Putter Co. showing their final stage of completion on this Timascus putter.

Mike “Fluff” Cowan, anyone?

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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Tour Van Intel @ The Open: P790 UDI seeding, possible new putter for Tiger, Bryson with PXG wedges, Spieth in T100 irons

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Whispers from the tour vans at The Open Championship, via our Johnny Wunder’s crack reporting. JW has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world of reps, techs, new builds, and new product. Here are his notes on equipment switches of note from Royal Portrush.

1. Tony Finau had a Ping Blueprint 2-iron built up. The strategy here is self-explanatory: knee-high fastballs.

2. Tiger Woods was seen testing a heavier headed Scotty Cameron proto that is a replica of his famous wand that he’s used to win 14/15 majors. In addition, he also added lead tape to the back of his famous Scotty. The strategy here is to create a heavier head feel which is helpful on slower greens.

3. Do we see Bryson Dechambeau with PXG wedges in his bag?! The rumor is after messing around with a friend’s wedges during a practice round, he liked, he wanted, and he now has. Where this will go from here is anybody’s guess.

4. TaylorMade has distributed several Proto P790 UDI 2-irons this week. Tiger, Rory, Fleetwood, DJ, Rahm, all testing amongst others.

5. Jason Day is testing a new TaylorMade Spider X Chalk which would be the first switch he’s made from his Red Spider Tour in a long time. DJ is as per usual testing new putters he was seen with a Spider Copper Mini. What he will land on for the Open is anyone’s guess.

6. Jordan Spieth is now into a set of Titleist T100 irons: 5-9, Project X 6.5 shafts.

Per Titleist…

“While Spieth waited to put the T100’s in the bag until the season’s final major, he is not unfamiliar with the iron. In fact, according to lead Titleist Tour Representative, J.J. VanWezenbeeck, Jordan was clearly the most influential player in the development process.”

“It was over two years ago that Jordan and [Titleist Director of Iron Development] Marni Ines had already started discussing what Jordan was looking for in a next generation iron,” said VanWezenbeeck. “The keys for Jordan were sole, offset, and overall look. As we created early prototypes and discussed specifics with Jordan and other players, we found an opportunity to take everything we learned with the AP2 line and build an entirely new iron. There was an obvious challenge to surpass the most played tour iron in the world.”

“The final T100 prototype was revealed to Jordan and other select players during a Titleist photo shoot at Scioto CC during the week of the Memorial.”

“Jordan immediately commented that the offset and top line was everything he wanted,” said VanWezenbeeck. “As we moved to the tee, Jordan kept commenting to Marni about how the club set up and the look was just what he was looking for. Knowing we succeeded in those categories, now the question became, ‘are you getting the performance of the AP2 line and more, despite being in a sleeker chassis?’ His performance and responses at the hitting session confirmed we succeeded at what we set out to do.”

7. Webb Simpson is also into a set of Titleist 620 MB irons: 5-9, True Temper Dynamic Gold TI X100 shafts.

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Under Armour reveals what Jordan Spieth will wear at the 2019 Open Championship

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Under Armour has revealed the apparel Jordan Spieth will wear this week as he looks to win the Claret Jug for a second time, which includes an Open Championship limited-edition of the Spieth 3 shoe.

The limited-edition Spieth 3 features a navy colorway featuring pops of gold and maroon, which is a nod to the Royal Portrush Golf Club logo. The shoes also contain a collar lining mimicking the iconic carpet pattern seen throughout the clubhouse.

Spieth will wear a mix of UA’s Playoff Polo and Tour Tips Polo throughout the event, as well as the brand’s Storm Full Zip and Storm Daytona Half Zip as he navigates Royal Portrush.

The 25-year-old will also wear a mix of the company’s Showdown and Vanish pant, as well as donning UA’s Braided 2.0 belt for all four days. Spieth will complete his look by wearing a mix of the brand’s Official Tour Cap 3.0, JS Washed Cap, and JS Tour Cap throughout the four days.

Here’s a rundown of what the three-time major champion will be wearing this week.

Thursday

  • UA Official Tour Cap 3.0 ($35 USD)
  • UA Vanish Polo ($70 USD)
  • UA Showdown Tapered Pant ($80 USD)
  • UA Braided 2.0 Belt ($40 USD)
  • UA Spieth 3 Golf Shoes ($200 USD)

Friday

 

  • UA Elevated Jordan Spieth Tour Cap ($35 USD)
  • UA Tour Tips Seamless Polo ($85 USD)
  • UA Vanish Tapered Pant ($100 USD)
  • UA Braided 2.0 Belt ($40 USD)
  • UA Spieth 3 Golf Shoes ($200 USD)

Saturday

 

  • UA Jordan Spieth Washed Cap ($28 USD)
  • UA Playoff Polo 2.0 ($65 USD)
  • UA Showdown Tapered Pant ($80 USD)
  • UA Braided 2.0 Belt ($40 USD)
  • UA Spieth 3 Golf Shoes ($200 USD)

Sunday

  • UA Elevated Jordan Spieth Tour Cap ($35 USD)
  • UA Tour Tips Seamless Polo ($85 USD)
  • UA Vanish Tapered Pant ($100 USD)
  • UA Braided 2.0 Belt ($40 USD)
  • UA Spieth 3 Golf Shoes ($200 USD)

 

 

 

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