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Morning 9: Back2Golf guidelines | Schupak: How golf “whiffed” during lockdown | Greatest COVID-19 era golfer

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1. Back2Golf
Our Gianni Magliocco…“This week, the game’s allied organizations introduced ‘Back2Golf’ – a three-stage national framework outlining operational guidelines for golf’s 16,000-plus facilities that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.”
  • “Reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), golf leaders and medical experts, the three-phase approach focuses on prolonged social distancing and enhanced sanitization practices – using measures set out by the CDC and The White House’s ‘Guidelines for Opening Up America Again’ plan.”
  • “The framework will progress at various paces depending on geographic location. Here’s a rundown of the three phases”
Phase 1
  • “Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents”
  • “All individuals, when playing golf, should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate physical distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.”
  • “Avoid socializing in groups more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (e.g., golf leagues, golf events, club meetings).”
Phase 2
  • “Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.”
  • “All individuals, when playing golf, should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate physical distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.”
Phase 3
“Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical unless precautionary measures are observed.”
  • “Low-risk populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.”
  • “All golf operations may resume as normal including unrestricted staffing of worksites.”
2. Mass courses remain closed
Golfweek’s Jason Lusk…“Massachusetts is the last state to have neither opened its golf courses nor announced when they can open after governors in Maryland and Vermont said that courses in their states will be allowed to resume play Thursday.”
  • “The governors of Maryland and Vermont made their announcements Wednesday, following on the heels of several other states to recently announce when golf could open in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Washington allowed the game to resume Tuesday, and New Hampshire’s courses are allowed to reopen May 11. Alaska remains closed because of seasonality.”
3. PGA Tour 2K21 
Daniel Rapaport at Golf Digest…“Ever since the discontinuation of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game series-and the one-off Rory McIlroy PGA Tour game from 2015-golf fans have been clamoring for a high-quality console video game option.”
  • “It appears that, amid this pandemic that has put the professional game on hold, our prayers have been answered.”
  • “A verified Twitter account called PGA Tour 2K released a 17-second preview for PGA Tour 2K21, and the account says full details on the game will be coming on May 14. The official PGA Tour Twitter account re-tweeted the announcement shortly thereafter. The preview features the famous island-green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, and we’re so excited for this potential game that we’ll overlook the ball being teed up driver-height for a 130ish-yard shot.”

Full piece. 

4. How golf “whiffed”
Interesting take from Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…“The news on Monday that four PGA Tour pros will be competing in a made-for-TV charity skins game warmed my heart like Linus from Peanuts being swaddled in his blanket. Oh, live professional golf – or at least something resembling it – how I’ve missed you.”
  • ….”As one of my industry friends pointed out to me, how is it every musician has managed to play a concert in their living room but we can’t get one cameraman to follow one of her favorite players around the golf course for a day to play a match? Show us how you practice. Show our government leaders in the remaining states opposed to golf course openings that fresh air on the course isn’t a bad thing. We are 50+ days into lockdown and we have one match lined up and another Tiger-Phil match on the horizon. Is that really all the industry has to show for itself (plus a country club showdown in Dallas that we didn’t get to see)?”
5. Return of the Wie?
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers….“The LPGA star is eying the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open as a possibility for her first tournament back. The event originally scheduled for June has been moved to Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “Logistically, it opened my eyes and I was like, ‘Whoa, like maybe it could happen,'” Wie West told ESPN. “I’m not making a decision right now, but my ears definitely perked up when I heard that the U.S. Open is going to be in December. Suddenly, it’s something that seriously needs to be discussed.”

Full piece.

6. The greatest golfer of the Covid era
Shane Ryan profiles the wild run of Nicolo Galletti, who is currently a force to be reckoned with on the Outlaw Tour. How he wound up teeing it up on the circuit is a plenty wild story…
“…There were the three injuries that derailed the slim lefty for months, starting in the late summer of 2019 while he was playing on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Galletti had netted a pair of top 10s the year before, and he finished second at a tournament in Argentina that April, but while practicing in August, he felt a strange sensation in his leg that turned out to be a torn oblique. It would derail him for the entire second half of his season, and that alone would have been a tough pill to swallow for the 25-year-old who had never dealt with a serious injury or been forced to take time away from the game.”
  • “It got worse. When he came back in November to play in the second stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School, he was sitting on a bag stand watching a friend hit balls after his second round when the entire structure collapsed and he threw his arm out to catch himself. The pain wasn’t overwhelming at impact, but the next day, after a few holes in the third round, he couldn’t move his wrist. He had to withdraw and soon found out the wrist was fractured. When he tried to come back in December for the final event of the Latinoamerica Tour, in the hopes of qualifying for the Korn Ferry, it was too soon, and he finished near the bottom.”
  • “If that felt like a major stroke of bad luck, what came next was almost absurd. Galletti spent his college years at Arizona State, and his roommate was Jon Rahm. He was invited to Rahm’s wedding in late February, just as he was on the verge of returning to the game. The day before the ceremony, Rahm had a bunch of games planned for his guests. At one point during the day, Galletti and a friend put on giant novelty sumo suits and prepared for combat. Galletti didn’t want to aggravate his wrist injury, so he was on the back foot when his friend knocked him over. As he went down, he rolled his ankle, and the result was a serious sprain.”
7. World Amateur Team Champ cancelled
Julie Williams at Golfweek...”Despite being six months away, the World Amateur Team Championships have been taken off the 2020 calendar. The event scheduled for the second half of October had already been moved from Hong Kong to Singapore after concerns over social unrest in its originally scheduled location. Now, the event has been canceled entirely.
  • Dating back to 1958, the World Amateur Team Championships include up to 72 countries competing in 72 holes of stroke play competition. Each country fields two or three players with the two lowest scores counting per round.
8. Pros in AZ Open
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“Next week’s Desert Financial Credit Union Scottsdale AZ Open isn’t a PGA Tour event but it will have plenty of Tour flavor with two-time Tour winner Kevin Streelman, Alex Cejka, Joel Dahmen and Nate Lashley scheduled to play the 54-hole event beginning Monday at Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.”
9. The Justin Thomas Foundation x Lee Wybranski
From Lee Wybranski’s website…“Help support No Kid Hungry and Team Kentucky’s heroic work with a purchase of this limited-edition artwork inspired by Justin’s most recent win in Hawaii.”
  • “Overnight, our world suddenly changed. Life doesn’t look the same as it did last month, last week, or even yesterday. We are all facing challenges, and we are here to help. We want to be a part of the good that comes out of uncertain times. Justin Thomas and Lee Wybranski have partnered to develop limited edition custom artwork for sale to raise funds for No Kid Hungry & Team Kentucky for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19.”

 

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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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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

Member Ksears – Brand New Mizuno MP20 Irons

Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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