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Morning 9: Casey was right | U.S. nabs Walker Cup | Should golf be fun?

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

September 9, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. The man to beat, indeed (One of Casey’s wedges shot earlier this year pictured in the featured image)
Golfweek’s Bill Speros on Paul Casey’s pre-round proclamation…”Paul Casey warned anyone who would listen entering the final round of the European Open that he was the player to beat on Sunday.”
  • “Casey delivered on his warning with a 6-under 66 to scratch out a one-shot victory at 14-under over Matthias Schwab, Robert MacIntyre and Bernd Ritthammer on Hamburg, Germany’s par-72 Green Eagle Golf Course.”
  • “Casey, 42, earned his 14th European Tour victory and his first since winning the KLM Open in 2014.”
  • “The Englishman Casey – ranked No. 17 in the world before the long-awaited victory – called himself “dangerous” after finishing the third round just one shot back of MacIntyre and Ritthammer.”

Full piece.

2. U.S takes first Walker Cup since ’07
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine with the details of the Stars & Stripes’ impressive triumph…”For the first time in 12 years, the Americans are Walker Cup champions on foreign soil.”
  • “Vanderbilt senior John Augenstein earned the clinching point Sunday afternoon at Royal Liverpool with a 4-and-3 victory over Tom Plumb as the U.S. took eight of the 10 matches in the final singles session, erasing a one-point deficit after three sessions and turning it into a decisive 15.5-10.5 victory.”
  • “Great Britain and Ireland, which had won two straight home Walker Cups after the Americans captured the Cup in 2007 at Royal County Down, earned just 3 ½ points on the final day.”

Full piece.

3. The cost of televising the cup
Geoff Shackelford commenting and quoting Ryan Herrington…”As most have figured out by now, the 2019 Walker Cup can only be seen on social media or via late night highlight shows after getting extensive Fox Sports coverage in 2017.”
  • “Ryan Herrington reached out to the R&A to find out how their deal with Sky and Golf Channel eluded the Walker Cup and also provides background on prior event coverage. He got this statement regarding the creation of a world feed ala other R&A championships:”
  • Delivering high quality, live coverage from an event such as the Walker Cup is a complex and increasingly costly exercise. We decided for this year’s match to concentrate our resources on producing compelling highlights packages for our broadcast partners and high-quality content, including highlights, player interviews and behind the scenes footage, from our social and digital media channels. We have a responsibility to spread our investment across nearly 20 amateur events throughout the year and we believe we have achieved the right balance for this match.”

Full piece.

4. Can we agree? 
An interesting angle from Eamon Lynch…”Courses are the currency of golf, yet the reality is that most of them are of no value.”
  • “To be fair, every course is loved by someone. They anchor communities, commerce, childhood memories, friendships. But from the standpoint of architectural merit, most are products of the Xerox school of golf course design, exhibiting only a faded sameness that you’ve seen previously, and in sharper focus.”
  • “Great golf courses are living works of art, so it’s fitting that notions of what constitutes greatness are as subjective as in any other art-form. What is loved by me, may be loathed by thee. Courses – and opinions thereof – are the one thing all golfers share, and the best of them are reminders that the real charm of this game has nothing to do with the PGA Tour or its stars. It lies in the land we walk (or, more often these days, drive).”
  • “Every golfer I know maintains a wish list of courses they hope one day to play. For most of us, it exists only in the mind, fetched out for grill room fantasies. For at least one friend of mine, it is a spreadsheet tended with the wistful care of a Victorian love letter. Checking off the contents of this list is a lifetime’s quest.”
5. Gotta read the fine print…
A golfer made a hole-in-one he thought won him 5 grand. Woo hoo? More like boohoo.
  •  Golfweek’s Bill Speros…“A discounted round and the lack of a $5 fee prevented Minnesota golfer Matt Dorgan from cashing in a $10,000 prize after making a hole-in-one.”
  • “Dorgan fired the ace using an 8-iron on the par-3, 16th hole at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo in August.”
  • “…Dorgan then learned that the course’s $10,000 hole-in-one prize offered through Swing King was on the same hole that he aced – and that the special moment was video taped.”
  • “Swing King manages hole-in-one contests at golf courses nationwide and shoots video of each attempt.”
  • “…It turns out Dorgan played with an employee of the course and got a discounted green fee. Only full-fee players are eligible for the contest. The contest also requires a $5 entry fee, which Dorgan did not pay.”

Full piece.

6. Turning pro
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”Five members of the 2019 U.S. Walker Cup team are turning professional following their victory at Royal Liverpool.”
  • “Akshay Bhatia, Brandon Wu, Steven Fisk, Alex Smalley and Isaiah Salinda head to the paid ranks to try to follow in the footsteps of former U.S. Walker Cup stars like Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and scores of others who become PGA Tour stars.”
  • “Just two Great Britain & Ireland players are turning pro: Scotland’s Euan Walker and Englishman Tom Sloman. Harry Hall will try his hand at stage one of the European Tour Qualifying School as an amateur. The Englishman can maintain that status if he fails to advance.”

Full piece. 

7. Should we stop expecting golf to be fun?
That’s the contention from legendary club designer and industry figure Barney Adams.
  • Here’s what he thinks. “Industry ads aimed at promoting participation have the same theme, “Play Golf Because It’s Fun.” I disagree with the presentation, but admittedly it takes explanation. Fun is considered, light, enjoyable among other adjectives. Golf hasn’t been around for centuries evoking a unique passion because it’s “fun.” It’s hard and frustrating yet we come back sometimes-even ignoring weather we wouldn’t otherwise be outside in.”
  • “Why?…Because it’s rewarding! Not on the whole, that’s reserved for the very few who are excellent players. “Rewarding” for the masses will be a well-played hole, even a singular shot. We are rewarded in small victories, not mastery.”

Full piece.

8. What to do with Arnie’s armory? 
Golfweek’s Roxanna Scott...With 19,000 pieces of memorabilia from Arnold Palmer’s career in addition to thousands of his clubs sitting in storage, it’s only natural to wonder what will become of Arnie’s prized possessions on what would have been his 90th birthday.
  • That’s a lingering question as his family, friends and those who run his businesses and foundation gather at Bay Hill in Orlando and in Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to celebrate his life Tuesday. Palmer died Sept. 25, 2016, at the age of 87.
  • “It’s definitely part of our strategy to find the best ways to showcase his memorabilia and to tell his story and continue to inspire people and to keep the legacy strong,” said Jon Podany, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises and president of the Arnold and Winnie Palmer Foundation.

Full piece. 

9. Major winners’ WITBs
With no PGA Tour action this week, we rounded up the major winners’ bags.
Check out the gear Tiger won the Masters with, Brooks Koepka used at Bethpage, Gary Woodland bested the field at Pebble, and Shane Lowry secured the Claret jug with.
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GolfWRX Spotlight: Golf Drawn’s custom golf art

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I recently converted an extra bedroom in my house into a home office (golf-themed, of course). In my search for stuff to put up on the walls, I came across a company that was doing something different. They had a booth at this year’s PGA Show showing off some of their unique work, and when I dug in a bit more, I realized it was a really innovative product for the golf community. So, I reached out to the people at Golf Drawn to see if they could help me create a piece for my office.

Golf Drawn is a custom design and illustration service that specializes in creating original, hand-drawn course routing designs of your favorite club. Any club. That’s the best part. They can draw any course in the world using the wonders of satellite imaging.

Goat Hill Park

Brooklawn on Wood Canvas

Streamsong

“We began just as we still do now, by drawing up folks’ home tracks,” said Anthony Malky, Owner and Creative Director at Golf Drawn. “Whether it was a par three, municipal course, top-100, or whatever. Our whole deal was that we would draw any course….and we still do. There’s yet to be one that we couldn’t execute.”

If you’ve spent any time looking around for golf art or memorabilia, you realize how big a deal that actually is. The top-100 courses get all the love. Golf Drawn is filling a void out there and providing custom art focused on your favorite local course.

“We receive the course request from you and get to work on creating the design,” said Malky, “Once the design is complete, we send you proofs, and then you choose background color, labeling, frame and any additions.”

Popular additions to the framed prints include images of the scorecard table, compass to show direction of the course routing, alternative club logos, etc…

And Golf Drawn can then put that routing design or logo on a tee-shirt, sticker or other items if you like as well. Every new design requires a one-time design fee to get the work completed. But once that design is done, it is free to put on any framed print or tee in the future for anyone. Tee-shirts are becoming a rather popular item on the website.

If a course has been renovated or simply no longer exists, Golf Drawn has worked directly from old photos or original course plans to recreate the old track you remember. And, of course, Golf Drawn can do the famous courses as well. It’s a great way to commemorate a favorite round, hole in one, or once in a lifetime score.

My local club is Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. They already had a design drawn of Colonial, so it wasn’t hard to customize what I wanted and finish the order. I added the columns logo to the top left corner and script location on the bottom right.

So how did this all begin? Anthony Malky grew up in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. He caddied at Oakmont Country Club for over a decade…and even got to play the course on some Mondays. He loves golf, just like we all do. And he started drawing courses as a hobby.

“I began drawing up the clubs that meant a lot to me,” Malky said. “After some time, at the urging of others I made an Instagram. I had a ton of course designs done and figured might as well post them for folks. From there, the Instagram took off, that turned into a website…then the custom orders started coming.”

Fast forward a couple of years, and Golf Drawn now has an entire wholesale catalog of unique products, over 250+ club accounts, and products stocked in shops around the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. That is pretty impressive for a business that does everything in-house with a fully customizable product. And keeping prices low has always been a goal for Malky, as he remembers a time when he wanted to buy golf art himself but found everything to be overpriced and low quality.

Sticker Variety Pack

“We’ve tried to keep our prices, minimums at wholesale, all low and cost effective,” Malky said.  “That was part of the initial start too, allowing people to get their course drawn up, framed, etc. for a price that anyone could pay. Not some outlandish design fee or commission type setup.”

Prices per print with framing included

The supply is working hard to keep up with the demand. Golf Drawn is still a small operation and Malky does all of the designs himself. There is a team that helps with operations and a few sales reps across the country, but the business definitely remains small. That is intentional. Malky believes that allows Golf Drawn to offer a personal, high-level service to each individual customer. And it allows the company to remain focused on the reason they got started in the first place.

“It’s always been about shedding light on and propping up courses and places that otherwise wouldn’t be,” Malky said.  Giving attention to and making that local municipal course look as good as a top-10 track. Getting the par-3 course by your house designed, framed and up on a wall, highlighted in a way that many people have only seen the big courses like Pebble, Pinehurst, Oakmont. It’s always been about highlighting the places and the memories that mean so much to people.”

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Report: 2020 Open Championship set to be cancelled; R&A releases statement in response: “continuing to work through options”

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This year’s Open Championship will be cancelled outright by the R&A due to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from Golf Digest.

Per the report, an unnamed source has divulged to the publication that the championship will next take place in 2021 with St. Andrews hosting the event. Royal St. Georges, due to host the 2020 Open Championship, would instead host the 2024 edition.

According to Golf Digest’s source, insurance has played a pivotal role in the decision making. As with Wimbledon, the Open Championship has an insurance policy that protects itself against a global pandemic if the event is cancelled by a specific date.

On Wednesday, the R&A officially announced that the 41st Curtis Cup would be played in 2021 while the organization also moved the British Amateur and British Women’s Amateur from June to August.

Though unconfirmed, this would mark the first major championship of 2020 to be cancelled outright, with the Masters and PGA Championship having been officially postponed.

*UPDATE*

On Thursday morning, in light of the speculation surrounding this year’s Open Championship, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, released a statement where he said the R&A are “continuing to work through our options for The Open this year.”

“We are continuing to work through our options for The Open this year, including postponement. Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve. We are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can. We will give a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so and thank everyone for their support and understanding in this challenging situation.”

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Report: Woods-Mickelson Part 2 likely to happen in May and will feature two other sporting superstars

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Earlier this week, Phil Mickelson teased “The Match” Part 2 on his social media, and according to a report from CNBC the exhibition, though unconfirmed, is likely to take place in May and will include both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

On Monday evening, golf journalist Robert Lusetich stated that the potential “The Match” Part 2 would likely involve NFL legends, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in a two on two contest.

Now per CNBC’s report, who claim that “a person familiar with the negotiations” confirmed the story to them, the contest is organized by AT&T’s WarnerMedia and the PGA Tour, and would likely take place in May with the proceeds going towards coronavirus relief charities.

The report also claims the event would likely not be a pay-per-view contest, with plans also in place to feature big names throughout the PGA, NFL, and National Basketball Association.

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