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Is the BioMech putting sensor/app an essential for improvement? Here’s a deep dive interview

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A couple of years ago, Dr. Frank Fornari and BioMech created a stir with the BioMech Acculock ACE putter, a radical new putter design that integrated the principles of biometrics, the science of motion. The putter was designed to be used with a specific type of putting stroke that would be proven by the BioMech team to be the ideal method for putting. The putter developed a cult following, but the BioMech team is back with a tool that just might break into the mainstream.

Fornari’s team has developed the BioMech putting sensor and app. The sensor attaches to any putter and transmits data about each putt to an app that can run on any iPhone or iPad. It provides key data on what the player is doing, when they are doing it and why they are doing it, making the BioMech sensor effective whether you are a player, an instructor or even a manufacturer. With the golf industry driven more than ever by technology, the BioMech sensor could become as essential to putting and the short game as Trackman is to the full swing. I had a chance to sit down with some of the key personnel at BioMech to talk about the sensor and app, and why they are confident that they have the product that will change the way people learn, teach, practice and play.

Joining the conversation were BioMech CEO John Douglas, Dave Edel of Edel Golf, Director of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy Laird Small, and PGA Tour Professional Heath Slocum.

GolfWRX: So, let’s talk a little bit about the beginning of BioMech because I know John that you have a serious and complex background when it comes to science and learning technology and that sort of thing. How did you connect with BioMech and how did BioMech actually get connected to the game of golf?

John Douglas: Well Dr. Frank Fornari, who’s our chairman and founder, started BioMech. We met each other through some private equity and healthcare investment opportunities and started working together on a variety of notions and ideas we thought that we could bring to market to help improve quality of life. BioMech is a motion science company. We are scientists, engineers, clinicians, doctors and we’re focused on improving quality of life through improving quality of motion whether that activity is rehabilitative or whether you’re recovering from surgery or whether that’s actually putting a golf ball, and so it’s part in parcel to what we do. Now, what we do that we believe is unique in terms of technology is we try and take the highest technology that we can put into a format that people will use and deliver the most scientifically accurate and quantitative results in a format that people can easily understand.

GolfWRX: Right.

John Douglas: I started my career early on at Apple and candidly the take away from that for me was that the best technology is the technology that evaporates. It disappears, okay? It’s transparent because people don’t actually care about technology, what they care about is that they want to phone their mom or they want to get in touch with somebody or they want to send a message to somebody.

GolfWRX: Totally agree, I always say nobody knows how a refrigerator works but…

John Douglas: We all rely on it, right?

GolfWRX: Yes.

John Douglas: So, long story short, the intention is to take the highest resolution, most valid information and deliver it in the easiest to understand form to help people understand whatever it is they need to do to make them better.

GolfWRX: Outstanding. So, from concept to product, how many integrations did you go through and what the ups and downs of getting that done? Do we have enough time?

John Douglas: No, we can talk briefly about this but there are literally thousands, if not tens or even hundreds of thousands of cases of iterations to get everything just right and it’s about a five-year arc for the tech platform that we’re talking about. We’ve got real time sensors that operate over Bluetooth and optionally over Wi-Fi for stadium applications or sports applications, but they deliver the information in real time and by that we mean is 120 milliseconds for immediate delivery, immediate feedback.

GolfWRX: Imperceptible, really.

John Douglas: That’s exactly right and we’re able to do that from multiple points and because of that and because of the real-time nature we’re able to provide a Pavlovian experience where we’re reinforcing good behavior and moving people away from bad behavior.

GolfWRX: I’m imaging all the readers Googling “Pavlovian.” Laird Small, you are a Hall of Fame instructor. When you look at technology like this, because you’ve used thousands of things, to teach golf. You’ve used a stick in the ground, you’ve used a safety pin, you don’t need a lot. So, when you look at this technology, what convinced you that this is essential to the learning experience.

Laird Small: I think the first thing is ease of use and it’s extremely easy for the golf professional to use or even for the player to use. Also, how dependable is it and how accurate is it from a feedback and information standpoint and the fact that the information that this gives is spot on and it allows the player and the coach to be able to dial in exactly what it is that they want to work on in their putting stroke. It gives that information instantaneously, and what we find is that in this platform that we use, the golfer is truly so engaged in using it that it’s almost addictive. They can see their numbers change over time and they can see it change immediately, so by doing that, they want to continue to work on it because they’re seeing real time progress. So, it makes practice fun and usually practice and putting is very boring.

GolfWRX: If there’s anything that can make the putting practice experience more fun, then you’ve achieved something.

Laird Small: Right and the sensor is so small, it weighs about three quarters of an ounce and you put it right on the putter itself.

GolfWRX: I know there is a particular BioMech putter that advocates a style of putting but the sensor can be used on any putter?

Laird Small: Yes, any putter. Any putter, any stroke, any grip that you chose to have on the putter or grip type, it goes right on the instrument, and it only weighs three quarters of an ounce, so you can’t feel it on the club itself. Now, what’s so cool about it is that you can travel with it all over the place because most putting teaching is done indoors on large machines or it’s cumbersome and there’s stuff on the putter that actually disrupts the weight of putter. With the BioMech sensor, you go out on the putting green or what’s really cool, is you can go out on the golf course. See, what people are really interesting in is transferring the skill. They’re interested in transferring the skill from the practice facility to the golf course, and the question they always have is, “How come I can do it on the practice facility but I can’t do it on the golf course?” So, what you’re able to do with BioMech is to test what you do on practice facility and now go over to the golf course and actually see what happens and compare the data to see how your habits are either the same or how they have changed which gives great insights to the learning process and what each individual does.

GolfWRX: And it’s saving data that you can retrieve as an instructor later and it can also be sent real time to an instructor, correct?

Laird Small: Correct, we are able to see that right away.

GolfWRX: That’s fantastic, especially with a person like you who’s working with students literally all over the country, if not all over the world.

Laird Small: Correct. That’s exactly right, because usually a player calls in, “I’m struggling with my putting.” And okay, the questions have to be; What are you doing? What’s the ball doing? Is it going left, is it going right? As a remote instructor, you don’t know what’s actually happening, but these metrics are accurate so you’re able to see it and say “Okay, do this”. So, the conversations are easy and what it also does is help the player to trust their technique and that’s what’s so important. Once you can trust your technique and you can let go of it, you can actually just focus on the target and execute, and that’s what’s so spectacular about it. Most players, as you know Michael, have a dozen putters in their closet.

GolfWRX: At least.

Laird Small: And so then how do you know which one works for you correctly? “Well, I’ll try this one or I’ll try this one and now the magic’s gone away from this one.” So, what this sensor allows us to do is confirm that each putter has different properties to it, different weights, design, different concepts. It allows us to tell exactly which putter preforms better for you, and then you can stay with that putter and work towards perfecting the motion with that putter. That’s why I was so excited to introduce Dave Edel to this product because it really helps the putter fitter and it helps the manufacturer as well.

GolfWRX: Very interesting stuff. Dave, let’s go to you. You’ve seen technology like this come and go, so the idea of having a putting analysis system that isn’t exactly ground breaking here. There are a number of data out there so, from your perspective, as a top level manufacturer, what makes this exceptional as a tool?

Dave Edel: Well, I think it comes down to the fact that, as a putter maker, to me it’s not about me making putters to sell a widget, for me it’s about a conceptual understanding of how people can get better and the tools needed to do that and for years, putting diagnostic applications in been in the industry and they’ve evolved but they’re still, like I said, very cumbersome, they’re-

GolfWRX: Expensive?

Dave Edel: Yes. And they’re basically, they’re there to show the flaws in what someone’s doing but what I look at from a manufacturing standpoint and not from a manufacturing standpoint but more from a conceptual standpoint is to build my company around the core fundamentals of how people get better. So I build the putting fitting that has 25 million variations in it. What does that mean? It means it gives me the tools to give to Lawrence and every other fitter and teacher out there the ability to quantify why that variable is better. Now, let’s say I change aim from someone who aims a foot left, right? Now they’re been married to their motion for five years or their whole life that was an inside out blocking motion to offset the left aim, they get my putter that aims better and now they miss right instead of maybe making the put and what it allows me and the people involved in Edel is the ability to take a diagnostic like this which is portable, which is taken all the best analytics in the industry can offer and they go on steroids and they take care of everything I need to have happen and how does it report, what can I study, what can I give to the person so they can take that putter and now work on their stroke in a way that is beneficial and my putter never gets thrown under the bus, right? For, “Wow, I’ve got this expensive putter and went through the fitting process, totally believe in it, can roll the speed, but I miss it right every time.” Well that’s because your stroke, you don’t understand your stroke pattern. You understood it for the other putter but you don’t-

GolfWRX: And like you say, when you have a system that gives you, what? 25 million variations, you said?

Dave Edel: Yeah.

GolfWRX: Right so now you are mechanically able to respond to the data of what looks good and what works well. You can respond to that. So, that’s what I like. The idea that you can respond technically to what you get statistically.

Dave Edel: Exactly. Right. I mean, people need ways to quantify it and if you go on the putting green, why if in the past you’d get a sensor that would say, “Oh, I missed the put two degrees open.” Yet the ball went left.

GolfWRX: Right.

Dave Edel: The person’s saying, “How do I understand that?” Well, it’s the three axes of how that putter works in space, time, and motion and any one thing could be sending the ball in a different direction than maybe another sensor would say. This BioMech sensor is so sensitive and the application is so fantastic that it’s actually tracking in space, time, and motion in the stroke, where that putter faces and what velocity that head is moving and capturing the face rotation rate that makes that ball move so I can make a great putter. And then I can have that person go away and get the BioMech sensor and go get even better.

GolfWRX: Actually, what it all comes down to.

Dave Edel: I’m a performance-based company. That’s all I care about. I don’t care about selling people putters, I care about them getting better. I should be able to sell a putter if I do that and if I have that consciousness.

GolfWRX: Sadly, you are not in the majority in that.

Dave Edel: And, by the way, I should say we have had the great benefit of working with these wonderful gentleman in the development of this product and part of the way we look at the world in terms of building products, is that this is always an interactive experience, that no product is ever done and the best ideas for how we can improve communication and deliver this kind of information always come from our clients and from our partners and these folks are great at that.

GolfWRX: Beautiful. So, we’ve talked to the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker; let’s talk to the guy who has to actually go use this and make a living on it. So, Heath Slocum, as a player, it is literally all about performance for you. All you care about is does this thing make the ball go in the hole and you being the engine that drives that. From a player’s prospective, you’re a talented person, obviously, and you know how to make adjustments much more than anybody, how did you come to find that this is an effective tool for you that doesn’t hinder your natural ability, rather it helps you and augments your natural ability.

Heath Slocum: Well, like you said, it’s all about performance when you’re playing on the PGA tour and you’re trying to make a living with anything, with your equipment.

GolfWRX: Even if it’s a stick in a coke can.

Heath Slocum: Absolutely. So, I’m looking for the best equipment and the best technology out there that helps me find a quarter of a shot a day. I mean, we’re talking nothing. A shot a tournament just completely adds up at the end of the year. I was fortunate enough to become a partner with BioMech and to see where this was going and to see how this could actually help my own golf game, right? So, I’m always looking. Fortunate enough for me, Dave Edel not too long ago, and he fits me in a putter that he tells me is good for me, compare it to what I putted with for 15 years and to get better results. I’m able to take what he’s doing and to marry that with a sensor and to actually be able to see it, use it, quantify it, and then actually put some of this data together to make not only my sessions better but to walk myself in right before I go out and play.

GolfWRX: Right.

Heath Slocum: It’s such an easy tool to use. I get some of my best strokes when I’m playing my best; now I’ve got them locked in and I know what I’m doing and so if I struggle I can always go back and look and find the stuff and I don’t have to keep searching. I have it there, it’s easy to use and I can use it every single day.

GolfWRX: You know, it’s very interesting what you just said because of the whole saying that goes, “Same blank, different day.” But it’s really “different stuff, different day.”

Heath Slocum: Absolutely.

GolfWRX: You go out there and think you’re doing the exact same thing but you’re not so this is a way to say, “Why am I missing this to the right?”
Heath Slocum: Well, right because our own field gets in our way a lot of the times. Our perception is not always completely accurate-

GolfWRX: For me, it’s completely inaccurate.

Heath Slocum: Correct, so that’s the thing. Now I have a tool that I can go out, every single day, whether I’m just practicing, actually doing some drills or whatever I’m doing trying to prepare for a tournament, and it’s right there with me all the time. I can always go back, and all the analytics and my best putting sessions are there; I call them my “fuel”. I can actually go back and look at these numbers and this will tell me right away, instantaneous, whether I am actually doing what I feel and if not, why and how I can actually get those parameters back to where they should be, back to where I actually putt my best.

Laird Small: What’s so cool about this is that what players do when they struggle, they tend to go away from their thought process and the methodology so then they go to something else. They’re searching and what happens is it becomes it becomes they’re going down these box canyons that they’re never going to get anywhere with and what the best players do is they stay on track and on task with what their goals are and with what their concepts and philosophies are about putting or swinging the club or whatever it is, and they repeat that. What the technology helps you to do is say you’re still doing the stroke right, you’re actually really good, but perhaps your mindset changed that day. So, you can actually really go back and say, “Hey, my physicality of the stroke is okay, but my mindset was off.” So, you can really go do the proper work. It’s so important for people getting better because what happens is as soon as something goes wrong, they’re off doing something different; they change a putter, they change a concept, the change their grip. Whatever, that’s really frustrating for the player and for the coach.

Laird Small: And what’s so important is, putting is the most precise part of the game.

Dave Edel: As a manufacturer and putter fitter, people come to me and whether it’s a tour player or it’s a good amateur, or just a non-proficient player, they come in and say, “Boy, when I putted my best…” They’re always telling me about what they used when they putted their best and tour players are notorious for coming back and going, “I won the tournament doing this.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I know.” But they’re looking for that guy again or that gal…they’re looking for who they were, what happened in that two-year stretch where “I was unbeatable, I played the best I ever played.”

GolfWRX: There you go.

Dave Edel: It’s not that it was perfect, it’s just what they did and for some reason it matched. They’ll be able to do this now if they have a BioMech because now they can archive what they’ve done or the sessions that worked the best and they can keep going back on a daily basis and find their Scooby snacks.

GolfWRX: Let’s talk about some of the practicalities of how to get one into players hand. The product is in fact available right now, John, yes?

John Douglas: It is indeed.

GolfWRX: Talk about what are we using? When you get the product, what comes in the box?

John Douglas: The app is a subscription-based app, it’s available on the Apple App Store and it’s currently available in the United States and right after the PGA show, it’ll be available in most of the rest of the world. What comes in the box is a sensor and an international charging cable and adapter that can be used anywhere in the world. It also comes with shaft clips that are designed to be married with different kinds of putters in terms of the width of the shaft. One of the reasons we took that approach it makes it very, very easy to roll the sensor off of one putter and try it on another putter, and it makes it very easy to compare on a given day with different putters and make dynamic decisions.

GolfWRX: How big is the sensor? What are we talking about attaching to the club?

John Douglas: The sensor itself is about say two inches by an inch.

GolfWRX: So unobtrusive; you won’t feel it.

John Douglas: Three quarters of an ounce, 21 grams and no, you should not feel it at all. The sensor itself is available on our website or if you purchase the subscription to the app through the app store, it’ll walk you through the process of getting a sensor at the end of getting your subscription automatically.

GolfWRX: Right, and it’s the sensor and app that work together. Buy the sensor, get the app and then subscribe.

John Douglas: Yes. What the subscription gets you in addition to being able to use the app in general, is you get to multiple devices. So, for instance, if I’m using my iPhone and I’m out there practicing and I’m having the app talk to me as I’m putting out on the green but I’m not interacting with the technology at all, I’m just putting and I can hear my face statistics, I can then go back to the club house afterwards and I can pull up my iPad and I can review things in greater detail; I can share reports, I can compare what I just did to what I did a year ago at the same time. The idea is to allow that information to be shared thoroughly. And if I’m working with an instructor, the instructor subscription provides additional reporting, additional metrics and the ability to link to any number of students so that as an instructor I can actually go in and look in real time at the putting session and the putting activity of any of the people I’m partnered with. So, instructors can link to other instructors or other professionals who might benefit from the data that’s being generated.

GolfWRX: So, you have sort of a crowd sharing situation, where this information is available and can benefit a multitude of people, however many you to choose to include.

John Douglas: That’s right, and to be very clear, only to those people that you choose… The other thing I wanted to mention is that there’s video that’s available with this also, so you’re syncing the video of the putts and you see an animation of how the putter head is moving in space alongside video of the putt and I think that’s interesting because earlier putting analysis systems where camera based. It was all about measuring off of these pictures and a lot of it, I found, was kind of nonsense. You had to be in a particular place and it cost $500 dollars an hour to use and that sort of thing. But now, we have this accurate science available in terms of measuring movement of the putter head and you’re marrying it to the visual of your actual stroke. A very useful feature.

Laird Small: And so many people learn visually. That’s one of the main modalities, so they can see the technology and then they watch their stroke and the metrics change, all of a sudden it creates this wonderful picture that says, “Aha! I see it now and I see exactly where I do it.”

GolfWRX: I mean, how many people swing into a mirror? It’s kind of that same concept.

Laird Small: But it creates that awareness in real time so what you want to do is catch people in the act, so they need to catch themselves in the act in the act of what they’re doing.

GolfWRX: You wanted to jump in, Dave?

Dave Edel: We don’t require in any way, shape or form that you aim the camera at the putter. So, for instance, for people who are suffering from some type of dyskinesia or the “yips” or what have you, you may want to monitor what your head is doing during the putt and be able to synchronize that and watch that with what the putter face is doing. You can watch different dimensions.

GolfWRX: Great point, really good point. So, how much does it cost to get this into our toolkit?

John Douglas: The sensor itself is $299. The app subscription is $20 a month/$200 a year for players, and the instructors subscription is $50 a month/$500 a year.

GolfWRX: Are they in the field right now? Are we seeing anyone using it on tour? Have you seen any other tour players who’ve had some response to this, without naming any names?

Heath Slocum: There have been numerous tour players that I’ve had on the sensor and the feedback is been nothing but positive. The funny thing is that I’ve been using it for so long from the very beginning that I’ve had a lot of time to analyze in my own putting, what I’ve learned is that with some of the guys put on this thing, I can actually help a little bit, just to say, “Look, everything’s with your stroke is absolutely amazing so let’s look at your alignment, let’s look at your read but your stroke is great.” Or I can tell that you’re not closing the face enough, and Dave Edel can tell you a lot about this, but maybe just try a putter that swings a little more. And you actually see the results right in front of them and you show them and they’re like, “Wow!” It’s that easy sometime and again, I think more and more guys, now that is it available, are going to start using it.

GolfWRX: Success breeds desire.

Heath Slocum: Absolutely.

Laird Small: And to his point, players can’t get better if they’re focusing on the technique. So, if they can let go of their technique and the technology helps to confirm that, and Dave Edel’s equipment helps to confirm that as well, they just have to focus on the target. When they focus on the target and they let go of that stuff, now they think about reading the green, the right speed. All of a sudden golf becomes what it should be, a game.

GolfWRX: They stop playing swing and start playing golf.

Laird Small: Right, people don’t know how to get to that point.

GolfWRX: There you go, that’s the lead. Dave, from that manufacturer standpoint, you’ve made some of the most desired putters out there right now. Have you designed anything that’s working backwards from your experiences now with BioMech? Have you taken this and incorporated this system and its ability to create and track data and store data into your design?

Dave Edel: I think that, first of all, I’m a PGA professional that built a golf company with intent to make people better at golf. So, what BioMech will help me to do, the more I use it, since it’s a cloud-based scenario, is take all that data from people that are involved in our network and that information can come back to us and say what’s actually happening, what’s actually providing measurable results and improvements in people. That’s phenomenal.

I see BioMech as the last spoke that we needed to integrate a process, a concept. That’s the way I’ve looked at this since day one. I looked at an information platform that allows people to enter and get what they want out of it in terms of what their stroke needs to do, what their putter needs to do. How does my putter need to be weighted? How does aim work? How do I think when I’m making these motions, when I think this way or whatever? Without a diagnostic to measure something that our mind lets go, we wonder. But if we can eliminate as much confusion as possible, it could be quite a transformative scenario. This is the beginning of the new era of golf, I believe, because BioMech is doing special things. I don’t usually get wound up over this sort of stuff. I’m wound up on what’s going on with BioMech.

GolfWRX: I’ll let you have the last word on that. Thank you very much to BioMech, to Heath Slocum, Lawrence Small, John Douglas and Dave Edel. Thanks so much guys.

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. iye

    Jul 18, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    FBI/CIA/NSA…. planning elimination of POTUS…. believe it!

  2. JMM

    Jul 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Agree with Bad Putter, this sounds fantastic but the monthly subscription will box out most recreational golfers.

  3. Bad Putter

    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Excellent interview and cool product. The fees do seem high and definitely a barrier to entry for a recreational golfer, but I hope have an instructor in my area that has one.

  4. Neil Murphy

    Jul 17, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Looks similar to the Ping putting app, for which, you had to put the iPhone in a cradle and attach it to the putter shaft. Data appears similar. I remember that the app was free and the cradle cost about $30.

    • James T

      Jul 18, 2018 at 9:25 am

      I remember that the app was free. And the duct tape was almost free, too. (Had to, there wasn’t a phone cradle to fit my phone at the time)

  5. Ian Baker Finch

    Jul 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Looks similar to data from a SAM device. Does it give recommendations on length/ lie angle?

  6. robert

    Jul 17, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Lol…… looks like a testacle for your petter.

  7. James T

    Jul 17, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    So John used to work for Apple. All well and good. But when will this device and app be released on the more popular platform, Android?

  8. alan

    Jul 17, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Hallelujah!!! My putting woes are solved…. a Biomech Acculuck ACE putter and a sensor to tell me why I’m sooo baaaad on the greens. 😮

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News

Morning 9: Rory: I’m not joining LIV | Masters ratings | Nelly: We just need a stage

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up to this week’s RBC Heritage.

1. Rory: I’m not going to LIV

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach…McIlroy said neither he nor his agents have ever discussed a potential deal to lure him to the LIV Golf League, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

  • “I honestly don’t know how these things get started,” McIlroy told Golf Channel while on the practice range at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the site of this week’s RBC Heritage. “I’ve never been offered a number from LIV, and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV. Again, I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me.
  • “It doesn’t mean that I judge people who have went and played over there. I think one of the things that I have realized over the past two years is that people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves, and who are we to judge them for that? But personally, for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour, and it’s never been any different.”
Full piece.

2. Masters ratings down

Yahoo’s Jay Busbee…”Ratings for the full Masters week are now out, and 2024’s version ranks as the lowest since the COVID-impacted years of 2020 and 2021. There was a brief moment when four players shared the lead at the 2024 Masters, but Scottie Scheffler took care of business quickly enough and strolled to what qualifies as an “easy” Masters victory — a four-stroke triumph that wasn’t in doubt for most of the second nine.”

  • “Perhaps as a result, Sunday’s final round averaged 9.59 million viewers on CBS, according to Sports Media Watch, a 22.8% decline from last year’s 12.06 million. Scheffler’s win two years ago averaged 10.17 million viewers. Worth noting: Sunday’s final round was down 20 percent against last year’s victory by Jon Rahm, but last year’s final round fell on Easter Sunday, which created a significantly higher out-of-home percentage of viewers — 21 percent in 2023, as opposed to 9 percent this year.”
Full piece.

3. Chevron gets purse boost

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“Chevron’s commitment to the LPGA went a step higher on Tuesday with the announcement of a purse increase to $7.9 million in 2024. The move brings the tour’s first major in line with the purses of other championships. The U.S. Women’s Open purse of $12 million paces the tour, with the KPMG Women’s PGA second at $10 million. The AIG Women’s British Open purse checks in at $9 million while Amundi Evian is $6.5 million.”

  • “Chevron, which moved the event away from Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, to Texas, last year, has increased the purse by $4.8 million since assuming title sponsorship in 2022. The company has committed to title sponsor the event through 2029.”
Full piece.

4. Shipley on “notegate”

Alex Myers for Golf Digest…”So what was up with “notegate”? During his hilarious spot with McAfee, Shipley reiterated there was no note from Woods, and that he was only looking at the moderator because he was so confused where the question was coming from:

  • “I looked over at the moderator like ‘Who the hell is this guy?'” Shipley says in the clip. “Because it just didn’t happen. I was so confused and so shocked in the moment.”
Full piece.

5. Nelly: We just need a stage

Iain Carter for the BBC…”Korda is the first American to win four consecutive tournaments on the LPGA since Lopez won five straight 46 years ago. This astonishing streak made the then rookie front page material for Sports Illustrated.

  • “Korda’s feats have yet to transcend the golfing village, and perhaps that suits her as she “tries to stay in my bubble”. But the American Solheim Cup player does recognise that more could be done to tell the increasingly compelling story of women’s golf.”
  • “I feel like we just need a stage,” she told reporters here at Carlton Woods just north of Houston. “We need to be put on TV.
  • “I feel like when it’s tape delay, or anything like that, that hurts our game. Women’s sports just needs a stage. If we have a stage we can show up and perform and show people what we’re all about.”
Full piece.

6. Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s event!
Full piece.
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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

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GolfWRX is on site this week at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. Plenty of golfers who competed in the Masters last week will be making the quick turnaround in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as the Heritage is again one of the Tour’s Signature Events.

We have general albums for you to check out, as well as plenty of WITBs — including Justin Thomas and Justin Rose.

We’ll continue to update as more photos flow in from SC.

Check out links to all our photos, below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying and join the discussion in the forums.

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Morning 9: Aberg: I want to be No. 1 | Rory’s management blasts ‘fake news’ reports

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we look back at the Masters while looking ahead to this week’s RBC Heritage.

1. Shane Ryan: Appreciate Scottie’s greatness

Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan…”This is what’s called generational talent, and we haven’t seen it in almost 20 years. Steve Stricker read the tea leaves when he picked Scheffler for the 2021 Ryder Cup—a decision that was richly rewarded—and starting in 2022, he was off to the races. The only hiccup was a few putting woes last year, but even that only served to highlight how remarkable his ball-striking had become—instead of winning, he was finishing third. When he fixed the putting, with help from a new coach and a bit of equipment advice from Rory McIlroy, he soared yet again to the top of the game, but this time he seemed more indomitable, more inevitable, more brilliant.”

  • “The sustained success of the last three years has officially made him the best professional golfer since Tiger Woods, a conclusion supported by analytics, the eye test, and every other metric you could dream up. With fewer majors, he has nevertheless leaped past Spieth, McIlroy, and Koepka in terms of pure ability. He doesn’t have their legacy, yet, but if we’re talking about peak performance, he’s already surpassed them.”
  • “He’s so much better than everyone else, which is a sentiment that is both commonplace—I saw it on Twitter over and over again—and revelatory. It’s the thing you say because there is nothing else to say. You’re left with the wild truth, which words can describe but never capture.”
Full piece.

2. Aberg: I want to be No. 1

The AFP’s Simon Evans…”The 24-year-old finished second, four strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler, after carding a final round 69 but he certainly won many admirers among the patrons at Augusta National and beyond.”

  • “And his performance has filled Aberg with self-belief.”
  • “Everyone in my position, they are going to want to be major champions. They are going to want to be world number one, and it’s the same for me, that’s nothing different,” he said.
  • “It has been that way ever since I picked up a golf club, and that hasn’t changed. So I think this week solidifies a lot of those things are there, and we just need to keep doing those things and put ourselves in positions to win tournaments, ” he said.
Full piece.

3. Homa’s honest answer on double bogey

Golf Channel staff report…”But Homa’s tee shot at No. 12 bounded off the putting surface and into a bush. After a healthy search, Homa found his ball and had to take an unplayable lie. He made double bogey, effectively ending his bid at a maiden major title.”

  • “Homa tied for third, seven shots back of Scheffler. Asked about what happened on the fateful 9-iron, Homa offered two replies.”
  • “The honest answer is, it didn’t feel fair. I hit a really good golf shot, and it didn’t feel fair. I’ve seen far worse just roll back down the hill,” he said.
  • “The professional answer is, these things happen.”
Full piece.

4. Harbour Town ahead

RBC Heritage field notes, via Adam Stanley of PGATour.com…”Scottie Scheffler is, for now, set to tee it up at the RBC Heritage. He was clear to say that if his wife, Meredith, would go into labor during the Masters, he would head home to be with her, so it’s safe to assume that same rule will stand at Harbour Town. Scheffler has not shot an over-par round all season and has three victories (and one runner-up). He made his debut at Harbour Town last year and finished T11… Matt Fitzpatrick looks to become the first golfer to go back-to-back at the RBC Heritage since Boo Weekley in 2007-08. Fitzpatrick, a playoff victor last year, has two top-10 finishes this season. He has just one missed cut at Harbour Town over the last six years and he finished fourth in 2021 to go along with two more top-15 results in a three-year span (T14 in 2018 and 2020)…”

  • “Jordan Spieth is hoping to continue his run of fine play at Harbour Town after a playoff loss last season and a playoff win the season prior. Spieth has five top-25 finishes at the RBC Heritage in seven starts… Justin Thomas earned a spot in the field after remaining in the top 30 (he’s No. 30) in the Official World Golf Ranking despite a missed cut at the Masters. Thomas, who finished T25 last season at Harbour Town, has two top 10s on the season… Ludvig Åberg, who is tops in the Aon Next 10, will head to Hilton Head for the first time. Åberg has had a fabulous 2024 campaign thus far with four top 10s (including two runner-up results) and is knocking on the door for a victory… Hideki Matsuyama was the only eligible player who did not commit to the RBC Heritage, while Viktor Hovland – after a missed cut at the Masters – withdrew from the field on Saturday.”
Full piece.

5. Reed’s caddie’s needle

Our Matt Vincenzi…”After a particularly bad drive during his third round on Saturday, Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain, also his brother-in-law, made a snide but factual comment to Patrick.”

  • “Your driving has cost us a lot this week,” Karain remarked.
  • “Reed didn’t disagree and told reporters after the round that there was nothing good about his round…
  • “A reporter then asked: “It’s a good thing he’s a family member, right?”
  • “Yeah, exactly. I’d probably be dragging him up that last hole,” Reed said. “I swear.Just what you want to hear as you’re looking at the ball in the tree, and he goes, ‘You need to drive it better.’ Thanks, Kessler. I appreciate it. Great words of wisdom. Drive it better.”
  • “This may be the last major for Reed for a while, as the 33-year-old has not been invited nor qualified for next month’s PGA Championship.”
Full piece.

6. LIV wants Hovland next?

Ewan Murray for the Guardian…”Rising speculation that Viktor Hovland will be the next high-profile golfer to be coaxed to the LIV tour will increase the need for Ryder Cup Europe to apply a simple qualification process for golfers on the Saudi Arabian-backed circuit.”

  • “LIV is forging ahead with plans for 2025, which include new events and the recruitment of more players from the PGA and DP World Tours. The rate of turnover is likely to be increased by the number of golfers who had three-year contracts when joining LIV, which will expire at the end of 2024.”
  • “Chatter on the range at the LIV event in Miami this month and again at the Masters largely surrounded Hovland, the world No 6 who starred for Europe in the defeat of the United States in Rome last year. Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, who also played in that team, have subsequently joined LIV. Hovland missed the cut at the Masters and promptly withdrew from the PGA Tour’s $20m stop in Hilton Head this week.”
Full piece.

7. Rory’s management: LIV reports are ‘fake news’

Brian Keogh for the Irish Independent…”A report that Rory McIlroy was on the verge of an $850million move to LIV Golf has been slammed as “fake news” by his management.

“Fake news. Zero truth,” McIlroy’s manager Sean O’Flaherty said in an email.

London financial paper “City AM” reported today that sources have told them that McIlroy “could” join LIV Golf

The paper reported that “two separate sources have told City AM that they believe a deal is close. It is claimed that LIV Golf chiefs have offered world No2 McIlroy an eye-watering $850m to join, plus around two per cent equity in the competition.”

Full piece.
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