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Morning 9: Tiger’s knee surgery (and new normal) | POY award and what matters | Lee Elder

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

August 28, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. While his back has rightfully been the focus of injury concerns, remembering Tiger Woods’ knees are a veritable Swiss cheese of arthroscopic entry and he’s had no shortage issues beneath his patellas is hardly encouraging.
1. Knee surgery for Tiger
Our Gianni Magliocco…”On Tuesday, Tiger Woods announced that he had “an arthroscopic last week on his knee to repair minor cartilage damage.”
  • “Within the statement posted to his social media, Woods’ doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Vern Cooley, explained that he expects Woods “to make a full recovery” and that there was “no additional problems” post-surgery.”
  • “Woods is scheduled to play in the new Zozo Championship in Japan in October, and the 15-time major champion ended his statement by stressing that he fully expects to be ready to compete by then.”
  • “I’m walking now and hope to resume practice in the next few weeks. I look forward to traveling and playing in Japan in October.”
  • The Zozo Championship will take place in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, from October 24-27.
2. Illustrating what matters
The AP’s Doug Ferguson says “It would be a shock if Koepka didn’t win” Player of the Year once player ballots are tallied…
“Rory McIlroy was asked before the Tour Championship began if he could build a case for himself if he were to win the FedEx Cup, and he did a reasonable job answering. He would have three victories, same as Brooks Koepka. He would have top-10 finishes in 74% of his PGA Tour starts (14 of 19). Yes, Koepka won a major at the PGA Championship and was runner-up in two others (along with a tie for fourth). But is player of the year about certain weeks or the entire season?…”
  • [After the Tour Championship McIlroy said] “I know it’s going to sting because he most likely will win the player of the year,” McIlroy said. “But he didn’t win the FedEx Cup, so I know it’s going to sting him for a bit. But I just wanted to tell him he’s playing so good. He’s the No. 1 player in the world and he’s had a great season.”
3. Falling out of love with the game
Sam Torrence, eight-time European Ryder Cupper, 44 times a winner as a professional has fallen out of love with the game.
  • Andy Roberts at GolfMagic: “…Torrance admits he has quit playing golf for the best part of two years now since last having played on the European Senior Tour.”
  • “I’ve kind of lost the love for it,” Torrance told BBC Radio 5 Live.
  • “I’m not very good. The hardest thing is I’m mediocre compared to what I was.
  • “I said to my manager, ‘tell me my scores over the last three years and my finishing positions’. She looked it up and she told me I was 200-over par and my best finish was 35th.
  • “So it was time. That was two years ago and I’ve not played since. It was tough to let go but I’m glad I did it when I did.

Full piece.

4. A costly finish for Cantlay
All the focus on the funny money players at the Tour Championship competed was directed at the top finishers, but how about the other side of the coin?
  • AP report…”Getting to East Lake meant a shot at the $15 million and a spot in the majors and World Golf Championships. But it was the wrong time for a bad week.”
  • “Cantlay, the Memorial winner with a pair of top 10s in the majors, began the PGA Tour’s postseason at No. 6. He tied for 12th at The Northern Trust and held his position. He was runner-up at the BMW Championship and moved to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup, starting the Tour Championship with a two-shot deficit.”
  • “Cantlay opened with a 70-71 and was six shots behind going into the weekend. But a 75-73 weekend at East Lake sent him to a three-way tie for 21st. Second place in the FedEx Cup is worth $5 million. With a tie for 21st, Cantlay received $478,000.”
5. Tiger’s new normal
Steve DiMeglio wrote this regarding the 15-time major champion (amid a larger look back at 2019)
  • “After delivering the season’s greatest triumph – heck, the decade’s greatest triumph – Tiger Woods showed golf fans what his future might hold. And it didn’t look good. At 43 and following eight surgeries to his left knee and back, Woods couldn’t practice, play and train enough to be competitive after he won his fifth green jacket and 15th major title at the Masters.”
  • “He played just 17 rounds and six tournaments after winning the Masters in April, and he didn’t earn a trip back to Atlanta to defend his title in The Tour Championship, where he capped his remarkable return to the game after spinal fusion with a victory in 2018.”
  • “His play was mostly listless after he looked so robust among the Georgia pines. He missed cuts in the PGA Championship and Open Championship, withdrew from the Northern Trust.”
6. On breaklessness
Christopher O’Day at Fansided writes…”Even if you take a look at golfers 71-125, those that didn’t make it to the BMW Championship, they will still only get one month off. Likely, they are going to jump on some of these early tournaments to try and score some easier FedEx Cup points for the upcoming season and enhance their chances of making it to the 2019-20 playoffs.”
  • “Give them a break. Golf is a demanding sport. Playing 72 holes in four days isn’t always easy, and it isn’t easy on your body either. Now do this 30-35 times a year, with never longer than a one month break.”
  • “I can’t imagine putting this kind of stress on my body and mind. For those guys who are young and single, I can see how it would give them a leg up on the competition, and that it wouldn’t bother them too badly.”

Full piece. 

Here’s why, Chris: The PGA Tour exists to create playing opportunities for its members before it exists as entertainment for fans. Maximizing those opportunities, both in terms of tournaments per year and purse/bonus money is a top priority. There are 52 weeks in a year. In a sense, then, it’s surprising there isn’t a tournament every week. If nobody’s playing for weeks or months, players aren’t making money. The Tour isn’t responsible for individual player schedules, pacing, or breaks. I don’t believe this is a bad thing, and unlike many in the media, I’m not pining for an extended offseason.
7. Lee Elder speaks
The Great Lee Elder’s My Shot (with Guy Yocom) is must-read stuff…
A taste…”I’m best known for being the first black man to compete in the Masters, back in 1975. The victory that got me into the Masters was the Monsanto Open in late April 1974. I beat Peter Oosterhuis in a playoff. After I holed out, the PGA Tour’s tournament director, Jack Tuthill, directed me to a police car. That surprised me, because I expected the trophy presentation would be outdoors. I said, “What’s going on, Jack?” Jack, a former FBI man, explained that death threats had been coming in all morning and that it would be safer if the presentation was indoors, back at the clubhouse. Jack said driving there in a police car would be safer than a golf cart. I agreed and understood the situation. It wasn’t the first time a black athlete had received death threats, and it wasn’t the last. But I was thrilled to win.”

Full piece.

8. Zuback reflects
Good stuff from Michael Shamburger (Bamberger? no Shamburger) at Golf Channel chatting with the famed long driver.
  • “When it comes to long-drive champions, Jason Zuback’s name is at the top of the list, right next to Sandra Carlborg (Women’s Division). Over the course of his career, Zuback won a total of five long-drive titles, with four of those coming in succession between 1996-99…It is by far the most dominating run in long-drive history, as there is no other male long-drive competitor with more than three titles to their name.”
  • “”When I started, you’d see maybe a little bit on TV and stuff in magazines,” said Zuback. “I’ve always gravitated to the power element of sports, whether it be sprinting, hitting home-runs, or hitting a hockey puck as hard as I could. I always loved to take a rip at it and try and it hit hard.”…That mentality served the Canadian well when he entered his first long-drive competition.”
  • “I was playing in a Monday qualifier for an event on the Canadian Tour, the Alberta Open,” said Zuback. “I got paired up with a couple of guys and one of them mentioned that there was a qualifier for this big long-drive event, and that I should give it a try because he had never seen anyone hit it as far as I did. There were close to 100 guys that were trying to get through the local [qualifier], and I think I ended up winning by around 50 yards.”

Full piece.

9. Best drivers
(In case you missed it yesterday…last time I’ll mention, I swear)…I’m proud of the best driver piece we put together, so I want to call your attention to it in case you might not have seen it.
I wrote on Instagram: We believe in fitting foremost-especially if you’re going to invest hundreds of dollars in a driver. We believe the best driver for you will depend on a number of factors, not the least of which are your swing speed and (the other half of the battle) the shaft. Accordingly, we surveyed 13 of the best fitters around to see which drivers they were fitting players in three swing speed categories into, as well as their recommendation for the most forgiving driver overall. In short, what’s presented in this graphic is the shortlist of what we believe to be the best options in each category. If you don’t have access to a fitter, we don’t believe you’ll go wrong picking from the list. However, the BEST way to select the BEST DRIVER for you is to test the short-listed drivers in multiple configurations with multiple shafts under the eye of a reputable fitter on a launch monitor. Don’t settle for what works for a robot, what wins a gold medal, or what your buddy says is great.

 

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Morning 9: Hoage! | Another Romo sponsor’s exemption | First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner | Skins game details

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

September 20, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Another bite at the Hoge 
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…“Tom Hoge couldn’t keep pace with Joaquin Niemann over the final holes of last week’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, but now Hoge finds himself atop the leaderboard in the second event of the PGA TOUR season.”
  • “Hoge, who finished second to Niemann on Sunday, shot a bogey-free 64 on Thursday to lead the Sanderson Farms Championship before first-round play was suspended due to weather.”
  • “Hoge temporarily tied Niemann at The Greenbrier’s Old White TPC after making birdie on the 12th hole. Hoge bogeyed on two of his next three holes, though, and Niemann made six back-nine birdies to win by six strokes.”

Full piece.

2. Meanwhile, in Europe…
Round one at the BMW PGA…“Rory McIlroy made six bogeys and a double bogey in his last 11 holes to shoot 4-over 76 at the BMW PGA Championship, leaving the world No. 2 already 11 strokes off the first-round lead held by Matt Wallace on Thursday.”
  • “McIlroy’s round fell apart after his birdie at No. 5 that followed an eagle at No. 4, as he shot 42 in his back nine in glorious conditions at Wentworth.”
  • “One over for his round arriving at the 17th tee, he pulled his drive and wound up making a double-bogey 7. Another wayward drive led to a bogey at the 18th and he didn’t talk to reporters after his round.”

Full piece.

At the time of this writing, Danny Willett has an -8 second round going and is ahead by three at -12.

3. Romo planning to make the cut?
“The Forecaddie perused the Safeway Classic field next week and saw former quarterback Tony Romo will be playing on a sponsor invite. This was hardly earth-shattering given the former Cowboy’s appearance in three PGA Tour events and his passion for competitive golf.”
  • “But The Man Out Front also remembered Romo’s job with CBS where his uncanny ability to predict play calls has rapidly made him America’s most beloved football analyst. So what happens if Romo makes the cut in Napa when he and Jim Nantz are penciled in to work that Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game?”
  • “The Forecaddie hears CBS is just fine with Romo’s appearance and a backup plan is in place should he have the rounds of his life.”

Full piece.

4. First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Australian Lukas Michel rallied to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur final, 2 and 1, to punch his ticket to next year’s Masters and U.S. Open.”
  • “The 25-year-old from Melbourne trailed Joe Deraney for much of the 36-hole final at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., and Deraney held a 1-up advantage with just nine holes to play. But from there Michel turned the table, closing with birdies on four of his final eight holes. That included a birdie on No. 15, which gave him his first lead in 29 holes, and another on No. 16 to push his opponent to the brink.”
5. Stadium’s a goin’ up!
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…”The Waste Management Phoenix Open is more than four months away but construction at TPC Scottsdale has already started.”
  • “The Thunderbirds House and Grounds Crew got things going on Monday, Sept. 16, the earliest the construction has ever started, but workers need to get going now because of the time and material it takes to build the luxury suites, grandstands, bleachers and all the other infrastructure for the tournament that draws the largest crowds in golf.”
  • “In 2018, tournament organizers announced a weekly attendance mark of more than 719,000. Close to 217,000 fans were tallied on Saturday that year, always the most highly attended day of the year for the Phoenix Open.”

Full piece.

6. ZJ takes advantage
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…”‘Opportunity’ is a word used often at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The second event of the PGA TOUR season provides new players fresh off the Korn Ferry Tour the chance to gain experience, get a head-start in the FedExCup race and even earn that maiden victory and all the trappings that accompany it.”
  • “The PGA TOUR’s newest members aren’t the only ones who can change the trajectory of their career during this time of year, though. Veteran players, the ones with majors and FedExCups on their resume, also appear on the tee sheets of these early events. Many are trying to recapture that winning feeling or at least gain some confidence before the calendar changes to a new year.”

Full piece.

7. Hovland’s “home” debut
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”Viktor Hovland has never failed to shoot in the 60s on the European Tour. Not even once.”
  • “Of course, the three-under-par 69 with which the 22-year-old Norwegian began the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday is also his first round as a professional in a European Tour event. Which did not go unnoticed.”
  • “Interviewed by Sky Sports and the BBC after his seven-birdie, four-bogey trip around the famous old Burma Road, which left him four off the lead of England’s Matt Wallace, Hovland was then surrounded by a posse of the U.K.’s print media. And still then he wasn’t done. Three journalists from his home country-one from VG, the biggest-selling newspaper and another from NRK, the most-watched television station-are here to cover his debut on the Old World circuit.”

Full piece.

8. Molinari speaketh
An interesting question for Francesco Molinari in a New York Times interview…”On a personal note, does it bother you that soccer players get more adoration than golfers in Italy?”
  • After last year, I get stopped a lot more often and get asked for autographs and pictures. It’s the recognition of the results I’ve had and things I’ve accomplished in the last two years. And it feels nice. I love it when it’s young kids. Part of what I do is because I was that young kid looking up to Costantino Rocca and all the Italian players that were on tour. It’s great to know that I’m doing the same now with the younger generations.”
  • “But I’m not the kind of guy who looks for too much public attention. Footballers get a lot of love, but they also get a lot of hate as well when they don’t play well. Italians are very passionate about sports. Football is a tough sport to be in. I’d rather golf.”

Full piece.

9. ICYMI: Skins game details
News from yesterday, in case you missed it. Our Gianni Magliocco…”The upcoming skins match in Japan involving Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama is set, with a prize purse of $350,00 up for grabs.”
  • “The opening six holes of the event billed as ‘The Challenge: Japan Skins’, will be worth $10,000 each, with the value of holes increasing as the match continues – with the potential of there being a total of $100,000 on the line on the 18th hole.”
  • “The event is scheduled to finish under the lights, and according to the release, will feature “special in-match challenges and surprises.”
  • “Viewers in the U.S. can watch the skins match live on Golf Channel, while those outside the U.S. will be able to tune into the event on Discovery’s GOLFTV. Viewers in the UK and Ireland will need to pay a subscription fee for the service.”
  • “Coverage of ‘The Challenge: Japan Skins’, which takes place on the week of the Zozo Championship, begins on Oct. 20 at 11 PM ET.”
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Morning 9: Red lights for slow play? | Thorbjorn still suspended | Rory on Solheim slow play

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

September 19, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Red lights for slow play at Wentworth this week
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”A lot of the time players are unaware that they are out of position,” said John Paramor, the European Tour’s chief referee. “So we felt that we would like to find a method that would tell them when they are. So we are trialing this week a system where they will have that information on five tees [Nos. 4, 7, 10, 13 and 16]. The previous group’s time will be recorded when they walk off the green. Then that time will be deducted from that of the next group, who will then be able to tell if they are within time.”
  • “Specifically, each monitor will operate a color-coded system, similar to a traffic light. If the number shown is red, then that group can expect to be monitored by the rules team very soon thereafter. If it is green, the players are in good shape and in position with the group ahead. Amber means the group is only slightly out position, but the players should be aware that they are going to have to move a little quicker.”

Full piece.

2. Thorbjorn stays suspended
BBC Staff report…”Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will remain suspended from the European Tour until his court case is finished.”
  • “The 29-year-old Ryder Cup winner made his second appearance in court on Wednesday, charged with sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.”
  • “Olesen, of Chelsea, south-west London, has also been charged with assault by beating.
  • “…Olesen, who has been granted unconditional bail, did not enter a plea at a short hearing on Wednesday at Isleworth Crown Court.”

Full piece. 

3. Why Rory re-joined the European Tour…
From a Press Association report…”Everyone has to look out for themselves and next year I’m looking out for me,” McIlroy said during the DP World Tour Championship in November, before describing the European Tour as “a stepping stone” ahead of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January.”
  • “However, following a meeting with European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, McIlroy took up his membership before the May 1 deadline and can begin earning points for the 2020 Ryder Cup when qualification begins with this week’s BMW PGA Championship.”
  • “Asked what led to the change of heart, McIlroy said: “My wife. She said to me, ‘what are you trying to do, or what sort of point are you trying to make?’.”

Full piece.

4. Rory on Solheim slow play
Martin Dempster at The Scotsman quoting McIlroy…”I think it’s a start,” said the world No 2 of a GPS tracking devices being used to monitor each group’s position on the course, with the data to be displayed on five tees to inform players where they stand in relation to the groups around them.”
  • “Get all the latest news, analysis and expert opinion with an online subscription Subscribe Today”
  • “Look, it’s not a great thing for our game. I don’t want to single out particular people, but I watched a lot of the Solheim Cup at the weekend, and it was really slow. As much as you want to sit there and watch and support the European girls, it’s just hard not to get frustrated with it. If I’m a fan – and I am a fan of golf – I want the best for the game. It’s hard because there’s different scenarios where you have to take your time. It was tough conditions up there. It was windy. It was tough.”
5. The PGA Tour is also using GPS slow play tracking…
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”The PGA Tour began using GPS tracking devices this year at “numerous” events, including The Players in March, as well as information provided by ShotLink.”
  • “We’ve used ShotLink data for some time to work with players over the years and maybe show them areas of their game where they might take a little more time,” said Tyler Dennis, the Tour’s chief of operations. “These [GPS] devices are the last missing piece. How long does it take to reach a tee, how fast do they walk. These are things that we can now see.”
  • “The Tour announced last month a plan to review its pace-of-play policy using data generated by ShotLink and Dennis explained that players have been asked at various events this season to test the tracking devices, which are simply placed in a player’s golf bag.”

Full piece.

6. Vice captain Karlsson 
Via RyderCup.com…”European Captain Padraig Harrington has named Robert Karlsson as his first vice captain for The 2020 Ryder Cup against the United States at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next September.”
  • “The 50-year-old Swede twice represented Europe in The Ryder Cup – including partnering Harrington twice in foursomes at Valhalla in 2008 – and he will return to the backroom team in the biennial contest having been vice captain to Thomas Bjørn at Le Golf National in 2018″
7. Distinguished service
Via the PGA.com staff…”Barbara Nicklaus, one of the game’s most successful ambassadors and admired advocates for the healthcare of future generations in addition to being the wife of the greatest champion in golf history, has been named recipient of the 2019 PGA Distinguished Service Award.”
  • “Nicklaus, 79, will be honored Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the PGA of America’s 103rd Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. Since 1988, the PGA Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.”

Full piece. 

8. Jack discusses the Concession 
And in news related to her husband…the Golden Bear recently discussed the most famous gimme in pro golf history…
  • USA Today, Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio...”Jacklin left his putt two feet short, while Nicklaus ran his attempt five feet by the hole. But Nicklaus drained his comebacker and then extended his hand in a gesture that was criticized by a few at the time but heralded by many more ever since.
  • “I knew going down the 18th hole as long as I didn’t lose the hole, we would retain the cup. Jacklin had a 25-footer and I had a 17- or 18-footer. He ran it up close and I ran it five feet by the hole and thought ‘Oh what an idiot,'” Nicklaus said. “I had a downhill left-to-right slider that I made, and I knew the match was essentially over from the standpoint of losing. I didn’t think of all this at the same time, but Tony had been the first hero that England had had in a long time. If he would’ve missed that putt, the British press would’ve barbecued him.”
  • “Instead of Jacklin facing a knee-knocker to earn the first tie in Ryder Cup history, Nicklaus bent over and picked up his opponent’s marker and conceded the putt. The two finished equal and the matches ended up 16-16. “

Full piece. 

9. Bhatia ready for the big time
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”At just 17 years old, Bhatia bears the fresh face and thin frame you might expect of a typical high school senior. His golf game, however, is ready for the big time. At least that’s the assertion of Bhatia and his close-knit team, as the teen sensation gets ready to make his pro debut this week at the Sanderson Farms Championship without ever setting foot on a college campus.”
  • “Bhatia’s game is well-regarded in the amateur ranks. He won the prestigious Jones Cup, was ranked No. 5 in the world and just this month helped the U.S. to a Walker Cup victory at Royal Liverpool. Bhatia received social media well-wishes Wednesday from former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, whose academy in South Carolina has been a frequent destination for the bespectacled southpaw as he honed his game.”
  • “Bhatia’s fast track to the pros has not been an overnight decision. When he made his PGA Tour debut in March, missing the cut with rounds of 74-72 at the Valspar Championship, he told reporters that he and his parents had talked about his option to skip college since he was in the eighth grade.”

 

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Morning 9: Secrets of wedge stamping | Woods’ GF dismissed from wrongful death suit | Golf art masterpiece

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

September 18, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
5 USC!
Adam Woodard at Golfweek hyping the Trojans! 
“There’s no denying the NCAA Championship-level talent on hand this week at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M.”
  • “Since its inception in 2014, the event has boasted the best field in women’s Div. I golf. But if you ask preseason No. 1 USC, this week’s competition at Royal Golf Club is no more difficult than one of its pre-tournament qualifiers.”
  • “If you ask (Gabriela Ruffels), probably the biggest driver in her improvement is having to compete at home every week in qualifiers,” head coach Justin Silverstein said of his 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion.
  • “Silverstein’s squad returns eight players – five of whom were Golfweek All-Americans – from last season’s team that won seven events. Just how good are the Trojans on paper…”

(Find out in the) full piece.

6. Knee injury for Rose
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Rose withdrew from Wednesday’s pro-am at the European Tour’s flagship event citing a knee injury.”
  • “Last Thursday I slipped and jarred my knee,” Rose said in a statement. “Since then I have been getting treatment on the injury and I have been working hard with Justin Buckthorp and my medical team away from the course in order to ensure I am able to play in this week’s BMW PGA Championship. I am doing everything I can to be fit to play on Thursday.”

Full piece.

7. Who needs an equipment makeover?
I don’t agree with the premise, but it’s a witty piece nevertheless! E. Michael Johnson at Golf Digest rounds up players in need of an “equipment makeover”
“Henrik Stenson…It’s hard to knock a former major winner who also sits at No. 31 in the world ranking, but it’s time for Henrik Stenson to retire some clubs in his bag, notably the Callaway Legacy irons and Callaway Diablo Octane 3-wood (above). We know he has the strongest level of comfort with that fairway wood. But it dates back more than a decade (it debuted in 2008), and the Grafalloy Blue shaft in it goes back another five years to 2003. It’s one thing to have a “trusty” club in the bag. It’s another to have something that leads people to believe you might have stolen it from the USGA Golf House Museum. As for the irons, Stenson used this model to win the FedEx Cup … in 2013. We applaud loyalty, just not this much.”
“Bubba Watson…”I hate changing equipment,” Bubba Watson told Golf Digest in 2013. When it comes to his irons, that’s a bit of an understatement. The two-time Masters champion has used his Ping S55 irons since the 2012 BMW Championship (save for a few weeks with a different set). This after using the company’s S59 irons since 2004. So change comes slowly for Bubba. There are reasons, however. For starters, Watson is the ultimate “feel player,” noticing the slightest of differences. His specs are also not typical. His S55s are a half-inch longer in length with an extreme heel grind on the 3- through 5-irons. They’re also one degree upright, and the grips are massively oversized with 10 wraps of tape on the top and 12 wraps on the bottom. Still, having the same irons for seven seasons would seem to indicate it’s time for a change-even if you don’t like it.”
8. The craziest thing you’ve ever done for golf? 
Ryan Barath frames his trip to Sweetens Cove for the Oil Hardened Classic…
  • “Let me start by saying that I’m not a “Bag Tag Barry” or really a bucket list course kinda guy. Yes, I have courses I want to play, but at the moment the highest on the list starts and ends with the Old Course at St. Andrews – because, simple – it’s St. Andrews. Beyond that, my “hoping to play” list pretty much the standard classics.”
  • “But it doesn’t mean that I haven’t gone WAY out of my way to play, especially when you think about the recent 1600-plus mile journey I just took to Sweetens Cove to play in the First Annual “Oil Hardened Classic” run by Eternal Summer Golf Society.
  • “Sweetens has been on my radar since I first heard about it, and if you are at all interested in course architecture I’m sure it has been on your radar for a while too…”

Full piece.

9. The golf art you didn’t know you needed
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Phil Mickelson’s foray into social media the past year has produced its share of art works. But the masterpiece-or should we say, Masters piece-that made the digital rounds on Monday takes that phenomenon to a new level.”
“Matt Landers is a painter specializing in oil canvasing. A fact we only know thanks to this thing of beauty…”

 

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