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Morning 9: Rory to return to No. 1 | What Faxon told McIlroy about putting | Feral hogs take over Texas course

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.
February 4, 2020
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. Our Brian Knudson did a heckuva interview with Callaway’s Roger Cleveland. If you’re looking for something to watch check it out!

 

1. Rory to return to No. 1
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…“Rory McIlroy will ascend to the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking when it gets updated next Monday, despite not playing this week.”
  • “It will also happen regardless of this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am…McIlroy is currently just .2 points back of Brooks Koepka, who is not playing this week either. Nor is World No. 3 Jon Rahm, leaving the door open for McIlroy to make the move to No. 1.”
2. …sounds off
On a number of subjects, including…”on playing with Tiger Woods in the final group on Sunday of the 2018 Tour Championship, where Woods beat McIlroy six shots (McIlroy shot 4 over in the final round)”
  • “It’s the Tour Championship and I’ve got myself into another final group and I’m playing with Tiger Woods. It’s something you dream about growing up, final round, big tournament, Tiger Woods. I didn’t know if I would ever get this opportunity. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Brilliant. … I was never in the lead. I was always playing catch-up, but that’s beside the point. It’s the final group, Tiger, and I just want to give a really good account of myself. To take the fight to him. To make him work for it. If he wins, well, it’s not great, but it’s good for the game. And I understand the bigger picture, but I’m going to make him earn it. And I never made him earn it. That’s what bothered me. And what bothered me even more was I came away [thinking], ‘I know I can play better than that. I know I can beat him.’ But I’d made it too much about him, and not enough about me. … It was an opportunity to beat Tiger Woods and go down the stretch with him. ‘This mythical creature in the red shirt’. And I just didn’t get into the right place mentally.
  • “It’s tough. Everyone was like “Wasn’t that a great moment?” And I’m like, ‘No, it was f—— s—!’ It was terrible. I birdied the last to shoot 4 over! And I got the bigger picture that it was wonderful for golf, and I’m sure I’ll look back and think ‘That was pretty cool,’ but it hurt. It really hurt. I was probably the only one at East Lake that day that was disappointed.”
3. McIlroy’s unorthodox putting lesson from Brad Faxon (and the fruits thereof)
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…”In the first part of McIlroy’s latest (fantastic) interview with the Independent’s Paul Kimmage, the 30-year-old describes a three-hour meeting of which the majority was spent talking over coffee. And when it was finally time to go out to the practice green, Faxon made an odd request.”
  • “He said, ‘You just have to know what to work on – bring your putter, a sand wedge and a five wood,’ McIlroy tells Kimmage. “So we went onto the putting green and he got me to putt from eight feet. I hit three putts with the putter and holed one of them; three with the sand wedge and holed two of them; and I holed three in a row with the five wood.”
  • “He says, ‘I wanted to prove something to you. A lot of putting nowadays is very technical and mechanical – you have to have the right length putter with the right lie and the right loft. That thing (the five wood) has 19 degrees (loft) and is about ten inches too long and you’ve just holed three in a row. That’s what you need to get back to. It needs to be instinctive.”
4. Webb’s power surge
Brian Wacker at Golf Digest with the story of Webb Simpson’s pursuit of more distance… “…it at least helped that Simpson could uncork a 318-yard drive down the middle on the first sudden-death playoff hole, leaving only a wedge into the 18th green at TPC Scottsdale to set up a 10-footer for birdie and the victory. Not bad for a guy who came into the week 160th on the PGA Tour in driving distance.”
  • “Three years ago, Simpson hired a trainer in an effort to try to keep up with the Joneses. Or at least guys named Brooks, Rory, Rahm, JT, DJ and Tiger. Those are the only players (mostly bombers) higher than Simpson in the Official World Golf Ranking after what was the sixth PGA Tour victory of his career and first since the 2018 Players.”
  • “We set out on a journey to get longer, but very carefully because precision, accuracy, distance control is something for me that’s always been a strength and has to be a strength for me to play well, because I don’t hit it that far,” Simpson said. “We have picked up a mile-and-a-half to two miles an hour [clubhead speed] for the last two years and so we have made jumps. But I just didn’t want to do it overnight.”
5. Banishing the broomstick and a new beginning
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…”But the most amazing part of the 34-year-old’s resurgence is how good of a putter he’s become since snapping his old putter over his knee and framing the pieces in his trophy room. Before the breakup, Simpson was solid on the greens, averaging being ranked 36th in strokes gained putting his first six seasons.”
  • “To be honest with you guys, I’ve never putted this well in my life,” Simpson said after that Players win. “And I think if I had stayed with the belly putter, I think I maybe average 35th to 60th every year in putting. So very average.”
  • “The numbers certainly bear that out. Upon making the switch ahead of 2015, he went a dismal 174th and 177th in the all-important stat the next two seasons. But after improving to 88th in 2016-2017, Simpson, following a move to a claw grip, finished fifth in 2017-2018 and 11th last season. He’s currently No. 7 this season.”

Full piece.

6. Harding blasts Euro Tour
Guess the slow play reforms still require refinement! Golf Digest’s Joel Beall with the story of Justin Harding’s discontent…”Following his final round at the Saudi International, Harding ripped into the Old World circuit for, in his eyes, a lack of regulation on slow play.”
  • “Turtles should be monitored AT ALL TIMES [at] European Tour,” Harding wrote on Twitter. “We as players who don’t take an age should not be responsible for them. Nor should our round be affected by their inconsiderate behavior. Pretty simple really.
  • “F1 doesn’t say to [driver] Lewis Hamilton… ‘Hey pal just slow down because the guys behind can’t keep up.’ If the other 120 players in the field act properly why are we as players forced to play with these guys if they couldn’t give a ****. Week in week out same story, same guys.”

Full piece.

7. Two holes-in-one, one round
Ken Willis, The Daytona Beach News-Journal with the wild tale of Gary Choyka…”The odds are so impossible to grip mentally, accomplishing such a thing led everyone to offer Gary Choyka an obvious piece of advice.”
  • “They all said I should go play the lottery,” he said…But Choyka had already enjoyed a small windfall, plenty enough to cover rounds of drinks at LPGA International after a recent hole-in-one.
  • …”Choyka’s ace on the par-3 third hole at LPGA’s Jones Course in Daytona Beach, Florida, was matched a couple hours later with yet another hole-in-one on the par-3 14th”

Full piece.

8. Daniel Berger notched a top-10 finish with 9-year-old TaylorMade irons
Excellent stuff from our Ryan Barath…”At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, former Callaway staff member and 2015 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Daniel Berger went back to a nine-year-old (in golf years that’s ancient) set of 2011 TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons-and recorded a top 10 at TPC Scottsdale.”
  • “…From pictures on the range at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the rest of Berger’s bag consisted of a Callaway Epic Flash driver and fairway woods, Callaway Apex 3-iron, Callaway MD4 wedges, and an Odyssey putter-no word on his ball of choice at this time.”
  • “It’s not uncommon to see a player go back to a comfortable set of clubs, especially irons, but to see a player go this far back is more unusual. The only other recent example would be Steve Stricker going back to a much older set of Titleist 755’s. The big difference, from what we can tell, is Berger’s set appears to be NOS (new old stock) and a recently built set, based on their condition.”
  • “When talking to those in “the know,” the 2011 TaylorMade Tour Preferred series of irons-including the MB, MC, and CB’s-were some of the best irons ever made by the Carlsbad-based OEM (I will personally admit to owning two sets of the MC’s and an MB set).”
  • “The distinct design feature of the 2011 Tour Preferred MC CB irons was the weight screw in the back of the head that kept mass centered right behind the sweet spot of each head. This feature, something we have seen before and that continues to this day from other OEMs, allows for precise controlling of head weight without altering the CG to maximize performance.”

Full piece.

9. Feral hogs overtake Texas course
Via Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…”No matter how much of a weekend hacker you may be on the golf course, you haven’t come close to damaging a property the way a “plague of pigs” (yes, you read that right) has in Texas.”
  • “According to a report from Houston’s KSAT, 35 to 50 feral hogs have wreaked havoc at Lockhart State Park, ruining the terrain and leaving nothing but muddy patches in their wake. This is nothing new for the golf course, which is still playable, but park official Austin Vieh said this year is “the worst they’ve seen so far.””
  • “Park rangers have been trapping and removing hogs with hopes of preventing the unwanted visitors from returning. Hogs may love rolling in mud, but it doesn’t make them stupid. Rangers have to move traps and come up with new tactics because the hogs have apparently become aware of the traps and are avoiding those areas.”
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Morning 9: U.S. Open could feature fans after all | LPGA skins match? | Singh WD’s from Korn Ferry event

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1. Singh bows out of Korn Ferry opener
Adam Woodard reports we will unfortunately not be getting the Singh/Schnell pairing we were hoping for…“Vijay Singh caused quite a stir a few weeks back when the three-time major champion’s name appeared on the field list for the Korn Ferry Tour’s first post-pandemic event at TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course June 11-14.”
  • “On Sunday, the PGA Tour confirmed Singh has withdrawn from the Korn Ferry Challenge. Golf Channel was first to report.”
  • “Singh riled up golf Twitter – Korn Ferry Tour pro Brady Schnell, in particular – with his initial decision to enter the KFT event. Being a lifetime PGA Tour member, The Big Fijian was eligible to enter the event because he wasn’t playing in the Tour’s return to play that same week at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.”
2. Still no fans at Colonial
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Despite a revised state order that would allow fans to attend next month’s Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, the PGA Tour plans to proceed without fans for at least the first four events when play resumes.”
  • “The PGA Tour’s primary focus continues to be the health and well-being of all involved with our tournaments and the communities in which we play,” a statement from the Tour read. “We plan to resume play at the Charles Schwab Challenge with the event – and the three to immediately follow – closed to the general public.”
3. Lynch on player mics
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch has a few thoughts on one of the most-discussed matters coming out of The Match 2…“The most compelling possibility raised by “The Match II” is having players wear microphones during tournament play, and this week the European Tour said it will encourage players to be mic’d when it resumes action in July. The ET’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, exhibits more confidence in golfers agreeing to this than any of the people I know who produce live tournament golf for a living. Those producers will unanimously tell you it’s near impossible to get a simple walk and talk from a PGA Tour player, much less an intimate audio feed for 18 holes of competition.”
“The absence of mic’d competitors in tournaments isn’t because producers don’t want greater access. For all their garrulousness on social media, even younger Tour players maintain an old school mentality passed down from generations of Curtis Stranges and Raymond Floyds, who were as about as approachable as a piranha with toothache when they were working between the ropes. There is also a cost attached. “The Match II” was carefully stage-managed, with players held up along the way to ensure they were live at the right times. That won’t happen in tournaments with 156 guys in the field. Sure, you can stream a single group wired for sound, but for network broadcasts you’ll add the expense of a production staffer to monitor all the chatter for gems and a tape operator to cue it up (and armchair critics will still bemoan that it’s tape-delayed).”
4. Stymied LPGA skins match
Wherefore art the women in these charity matches? Apparently, we’d have already seen an LPGA skins match featuring top players, but for a lack of financial backing…
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols has the full story…
“It’s all in place:
  • “Two courses are interested in hosting
  • Twelve players have agreed to compete
  • If they can pay for TV production, Franzen says they have the full support of the LPGA to work with their broadcast partners
“The idea is to deliver two days of skins matches to outlets around the globe. Players will have the ability to choose which COVID-19 relief fund they want their winnings to go toward.”
“But here’s the deal: Franzen needs funding. Lots of it.”
5. USGA: USO could feature fans
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”But the United States Golf Association is now optimistic about keeping the championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York City and remains hopeful that spectators in some limited form will be able to attend.”
  • “The organization had been working on contingency plans to move the tournament to another venue, if necessary.”
  • “We are focused singularly on Winged Foot,” John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships for the USGA, said in a phone interview Friday. “Once we got the September dates, that was our thinking. Time is on our side. We did look at multiple scenarios, but given the recent news we felt we could focus there.”
  • “Winged Foot is a special place for us. And the golf course will be amazing. And to be able to do this in New York, where things have been so challenging, will put an explanation point on it. We see Winged Foot as our sole focus.”
6. Fill-in Tour event?
Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch, syndicated in Golfweek…“Columbus could be in the mix to host a second PGA Tour event the week before the Memorial Tournament scheduled for July 16-19, two sources confirmed to the USA Today Network on Friday.”
  • “The Columbus-based tournament would serve as a temporary fill-in for the John Deere Classic, which was scheduled to be held July 9-12 in Silvis, Illinois, but canceled on Thursday because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. It was to be the first tour event to include spectators.”
  • “…Other leading alternative site is Detroit with Lexington, Kentucky, and Carmel, Indiana, also possibilities. (This story was updated on Saturday, May 30, to include new information from the Akron Beacon-Journal, a member of the USA Today Network.)”
7. Mackenzie Tour cancels season
Carson Williams at Golf Channel…“Border restrictions, mandatory quarantines for those who enter Canada and gathering restrictions in all provinces because of the coronavirus pandemic were just a few reasons that led the tour to cancel its season.”
  • “With growing uncertainty surrounding the border and the 14-day quarantine regulations, among other factors, we’ve weighed all of our options and concluded that it is not feasible to play this summer,” Mackenzie Tour Executive Director Scott Pritchard said in a press release. “With the safety of the communities we play in mind, as well as the well-being of our players, sponsors, tournament-organizing committees, volunteers and golf course staff, we came to the realization that this is the best decision for everyone involved.”
  • “Mackenzie Tour members have been sent information detailing eligibility for the 2021 season. Those who have earned status at three 2020 Qualifying Tournaments will keep their status for next season. For the Qualifying Tournament entrants who have not yet competed, they will be guaranteed a spot for the 2021 event.”
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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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