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19th Hole

The eternal debate: What would PGA Tour pros shoot on average golf courses?

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It’s fitting that in the same week that the PGA Tour (somewhat curiously) revealed its new slogan, “Live Under Par”/#LiveUnderPar, GolfWRX member borker brought up one of the age-old questions in golf: Just how much better are the pros than us average duffers And further, what would the average PGA Tour pros shoot, should he find himself pegging it at the local muni?

Saying that a Tour pro’s handicap is +5 may not be as striking as, say, this nugget from borker, “John Rahm played Canyon West somewhere in Texas [and shot 59]. Looks like it is rated 72.6/136 from the back .” He included an image of Rahm’s score, but here’s a better shot c/o Compleat Golfer.

But GolfWRX member niccho has done one better with his comment, pulling a 2007 Washington Post article by Eli Saslow from the archives wherein Steve Marino (not the Tour’s most accomplished golfer) tees it up with a scribe at a Washington, D.C. muni.

From that piece…

“[Marino] shot a 68. Make that an ugly 68…The par-4 first hole was emblematic of Marino’s round. He crushed a drive 320 yards down the right side of the fairway, almost all the way to the green, only to find the ball settled in a pile of twigs. Marino wasted his next shot chopping the ball out into the grass, and then he pitched his third shot to within 12 feet of the pin. He struck what felt like a pure putt, but the ball ran over sand and stopped a few inches short of the hole. Marino stood on the green and shook his head. “Ridiculous. Just ridiculous,” he said. Then he tapped in for bogey.”

As many members point out in the thread, it’s difficult to hole a ton of putts at ye olde muni, and canning anything from distance is out of the question. Thus, even if a pro finds 18 greens in regulation, expecting him to make even half the putts is unrealistic.

Marino himself spoke to this in the WaPo article

“It’s just kind of like you hit it and guess where it goes on this course,” Marino said. “I don’t think I’d ever shoot over par on a course like this, but I’m not sure I could ever go really low. On nice courses, you know when you hit a good shot that you’re going to get rewarded for it. So if you’re playing great, you score great. Here, you just never know.”

Returning to the subject of Rahm’s 59 at Canyon West, wcbjr says this

“There is nothing difficult about Canyon West. Being from the area, I’ve played it a dozen times or so. But that is still a ridiculous score with the current course condition. Greens and Bermuda coming out of dormancy, and I believe it was very windy that day.”

That said, Rahm was certainly putting on better greens than Marino was in ‘07 at East Potomac.

What say you, GolfWRX members? Ever played with a pro at a pristine country club track under normal conditions? What do you think a PGA Tour card holder would shoot at the roughest muni in your next of the woods?

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Daniel

    Apr 17, 2018 at 8:22 am

    About 10 years ago I was working at a CC just outside Charlotte, NC. A member came out one day with Johnson Wagner. I talked to the member later and he told me Wagner shot 64 and didn’t make any long putts or chip in….These guys are good.

  2. Todd Dugan

    Apr 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    This is pretty simple. Pros have handicaps also, usually. +5 is pretty typical for a PGA Tour pro. So, if your course is rated 70 from the regular men’s tees, for example, on a slightly better than average day, a Tour pro would shoot 65. Some days lower, some higher. People will try to obscure this reality, mostly to make themselves feel better, but it’s simple math, really.

    • John

      Apr 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      You dont seem to understand how handicaps work lol, shooting handicap is meant to be an achievement… I play off 2 (no social rounds, comps only) if I shoot 2 over that’s a good score

      • Todd Dugan

        Apr 15, 2018 at 3:10 pm

        Your handicap index is the average of your 10 best scores out of your last 20. Not an “achievement”, but “better than average”, as I said.

        • ROB HARRIS

          Apr 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

          NOT TRUE.
          YOUR HANDICAP IS 80% OF THE BEST 10 SCORES OUT OF YOUR LAST 20. AND YOU THROW OUT THE HIGH ONE AND THE LOW ONE OF THE 20.

          • ROB HARRIS

            Apr 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm

            IS IS MUCH, MUCH EASIER TO SCORE ON A COURSE THAT IS IN PERFECT CONDITION WITH PERFECT GREENS THAT HAVE HARDLY ANY GRAIN AND FAIRWAYS CUT AS LOW AS MOST MUNI GREENS SO YOU CAN GET THE CLUBFACE ON THE BALL.
            AND EVERYTHING SET UP WITH PIN PLACEMENTS AND PERFECT DISTANCES TO FLAGS, BUNKERS, ETC.
            PRO GOLFERS ARE SPOILED BEYOND BELIEF..
            I AM A PLUS 2 AMATEUR AND WON MANY TOURNAMENTS.
            IT’S VERY HARD TO SCORE ON A GOAT RANCH

  3. acew/7iron

    Apr 14, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Would they get to use the books that show all the slope on every green?

    That alone should save anybody 5 strokes on the day even on a course you have never seen.

  4. A. Commoner

    Apr 13, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Such nonsense. Why not just debate “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

  5. Man

    Apr 13, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    They would struggle to get out of rock hard bunkers with no sand in them.
    They would also struggle to concentrate when they know there’s no money reward at the end, so they just won’t get into playing that well because they won’t care.
    This is a non-debate. You’ll never be able to see them do their best at your local mangled muni.
    But the first hole example in the article comes close to what they would experience at most of our local munis.
    The only person who might have had a laugh doing it and playing properly and scoring well on such poor conditions would have been Lee Trevino as he grew up on hard pan and bad lies

    • SteveK

      Apr 14, 2018 at 12:50 am

      “…money reward…” you say?!!
      So if there is no money involved they would casually score in the 80’s?!!
      But if there is a money wager and competing with another pro they would score in the 60’s ??!!!

      • Man

        Apr 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm

        You better put up a decent sum. Otherwise yup, they’re not going to care about a casual meaningless round at the janky local muni.

    • The Law Professor

      Apr 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

      It is true that Lee once claimed things were easier for him when he first came out on tour, because he was so used to playing under horrible conditions. Read that years ago–of course, one never knows with Trevino, who’s not above spinning a good tale when the cameras or on or with a reporter and a notebook at the ready.

  6. ogo

    Apr 13, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    The only way a tour pro would find a local golf course challenging is to only carry a 7-iron, SW and putter…. to play par golf. 😀

  7. PG

    Apr 13, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    https://www.reddit.com/r/golf/comments/6ymle2/when_a_tour_pro_returns_home_for_midweek/

    Saw this a while back, I would suggest this would be fairly typical score for a touring pro on a “normal” course.

  8. Aaron

    Apr 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    In 2001 during The International at Castle Pines Golf club a friend of mine who was playing reached out and asked if I could help them get on at another local course in Castle Rock. I was able to arrange a round for them at Red Hawk Ridge. I’m not going to throw out names as I don’t have their permission to do so but as we stood on the first tee I was very curious as to what I was about to take part in. All 3 guys birdied the 1st and 2nd holes and none of their approach shots were outside of 10 feet. It was more of the same with a barrage of birdies an eagle and a few pars that were attributed to lipped out putts. As they were playing they were having a blast giddy with excitement and talking about wishing the courses on tour were easy like this. As we neared the end of the front 9 a small crowd of people including the Head Pro were out there following the action. At the 9th tee the guys decided to cut it short at 9 holes. The results were pretty incredible. The best player in the group who at the time was top 30 in the world and got inside the top 10 a couple years later shot a 27 on the front 9, the other 2 guys who were outside the top 50 in the world shot 30 and 31. I was a club pro at the time and shot a 34. The crazy part of this is that all 3 players failed to make the cut that week. It was an eye opening experience for sure.

  9. Rev G

    Apr 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head. It all comes down to putting and if the greens are true enough for them to make putts. If they play a public course with good greens I would say 65 is going to be their average score and better if they’re on that day. If the greens are iffy then 68 – you gotta figure they’re going to reach all the par 5’s in two and maybe one or two par fours – But they’re also going to get screwed on a few holes simply because of the conditions.

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19th Hole

Augusta National chairman personally instructed players not to play LIV events, lawsuit claims

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More interesting information continues to surface from the 105-page lawsuit filed by the “LIV 11” on Wednesday.

According to the court documents, Augusta National Golf Club allegedly attempted to persuade golfers to not join LIV Golf.

“Augusta National, the promoter of The Masters, has taken multiple actions to indicate its alignment with the PGA Tour, thus seeding doubt among top professional golfers whether they would be banned from future Masters Tournaments,” the document states.

“As an initial matter, the links between the PGA Tour and Augusta National run deep. The actions by Augusta National indicate that the PGA Tour has used these channels to pressure Augusta National to do its bidding. For example, in February, 2022 Augusta National representatives threatened to disinvite players from The Masters if they joined LIV Golf.”

Greg Norman has consistently claimed that he’s attempted to reach out to Jay Monahan and ANGC Chairman Fred Ridley, but to no avail.

The lawsuit claims that the major championships has been a strong deterrent preventing players from joining LIV Golf.

“The threat of exlcusion from the Masters (and other majors) is a powerful weapon in the Tour’s arsenal to deter players from joining LIV Golf”.

While none of the majors have yet banned LIV players from playing in their events, they’ve spoken out in opposition to the breakaway golf league.

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19th Hole

Adam Hadwin made the wrong comment over his wife’s outfit…and he’s now paying the price

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World ranked number 84, Adam Hadwin, is well known in golf circles for having a lighter approach to the game.

The Canadian has a Twitter bio that reads, “living the dream a day at a time!” and often posts about his family life and honest views on his current game.

However, despite having 30,000 fewer followers on the social media site, his wife Jessica is the one making more noise with some of her posts over the last few months.

We’ve had a clip of daughter Maddox’s reaction to her father’s hole-in-one at the Memorial, and the hilarious tweet regarding flat packed furniture, just two days after his best-ever finish in a major — tied-seventh at the U.S. Open.

However, she may well have trumped the lot with the revelation of her husband’s reaction to her new outfit:

Jessica is also unimpressed with the reaction of Team Adam, tweeting, “The best part (or worst?) was he said it in front of two male employees who proceeded to absolutely trip over themselves trying to run to his defense. Telling me “oh I don’t think he meant it like that…see what he meant was…he just wants to make sure you’re comfortable.”

It wasn’t long ago that fellow PGA Tour player Adam Schenk found that roasting your wife in public does not pay dividends, and you may think lessons were learned from that. It appears not.

Hadwin’s current status:

Good luck, Ad.

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19th Hole

Jessica Korda in contention at Women’s Open despite having to wear borrowed clothes!

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Month after month, we read of golfers turning up at courses without their clubs. Almost every time it is down to their chosen airline ‘misplacing’ them, and leading to the players having to beg or borrow a set, or have their sponsor or manufacturer get them a spare set with urgency.

It isn’t often we read of players losing their clothes!

After yesterday’s first round 5-under 66, Jessica Korda revealed she had been wearing borrowed clothes all week whilst waiting for the return of her suitcase, stuck in transit, in Zurich. Whilst she travelled via Switzerland to Muirfield, some of her clothes did not.

On 31st July, Korda tweeted her plea to Swiss International Air Lines:

 

After the four-birdie, one-eagle round, the six-time LPGA Tour winner pleaded she was still seeking a reunion with her luggage.

“If anyone knows anyone at the Zurich airport that would like to put my suitcase on the one flight a day that they have coming into Edinburgh, I’d deeply appreciate it,” she said.

“I know where it is. I have an air tag on it. I can’t get anyone to actually go get it,” she explained.

The current Rolex #14 then credited her benefactors. “Monday I wore Megan Khang’s pants. Tuesday, I wore my sister’s pants and Wednesday I wore Alison Lee’s pants. And today I’m wearing FootJoy pants.”

Anything else missing besides the pants?

“Sponsor’s hats,” she said. “Wearing a Muirfield hat right now. A lot of my warm stuff. My hand warmers. My hands get really cold, so I wear gloves all the time. I’ve got a lot of heat patches for my lower back and my vitamins. Don’t have that.”

The episode may well have given her some impetus for the tournament.

“I gave up on it (the case) by Wednesday,” she said. “If it comes here, great, but if not, it is what it is. At this point,I’m playing a golf tournament.”

Despite all that, Korda is well positioned to have her best finish in 11 tries at the Women’s British Open, the best so far being a tied-fifth at Birkdale in 2014.

“You have to stay on it here at all times,” said Korda of the tough course.

“It’s links golf. I swear, every time we come to Scotland, it’s just like the same stuff. You’ve just got to be really prepared and take it for what it is.”
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