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Mackenzie Hughes questions updates to Rules of Golf: “Most of them missed the mark”

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Earlier this year, the R&A and the USGA decided to modernize the rules of golf for 2019, in a move that was considered long overdue by most golf fans.

However, not everyone is happy with the changes, and on Thursday, PGA Tour professional Mackenzie Hughes took to social media to question some of the new rules.

Hughes when discussing the rules for 2019 on his Twitter page, stated how he felt that most of the rule changes had “missed the mark”, and his examples for the rule changes that he was most displeased over included the new procedure for dropping a ball, as well as the new damaged club rule.

The Canadian’s post provoked a discussion which allowed Hughes to elaborate on why he isn’t too enamored with one certain rule change.

While his countryman, Graeme DeLaet, used the platform to lambast the authorities, calling it “absurd” not to implement an updated anchoring ban, with many players still using their forearm to anchor the club.

Hughes and DeLaet aren’t the only PGA Tour professionals who have questioned the updated rules for 2019 either. At the PNC Father/Son Challenge, Jim Furyk although bullish that the R&A and USGA had made changes that will improve pace of play, cast his doubts on the new rule that will allow players to repair spike marks before putting.

“If I had to be skeptical of one rule, it would be tapping down spike marks. I think pace of play. I think moving the time you look for your ball (before it is declared lost) from 5 minutes to 3 minutes is going to insignificantly improve pace of play. But the tapping down of spike marks could tend to drag things out a bit.”

GolfWRXers, do you feel that the R&A and USGA missed the mark with some of their rule changes, or are these PGA Tour pros being a little too pedantic?

Let us know what you think!

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Kumat63

    Dec 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Agree with Graham 100% on the anchoring thing. Either ban all anchoring, entirely (and require the club you putt with to be the shortest one in the bag–to avoid the Adam Scott/Langer blatant cheating) or, get rid of the ban itself. Personally I don’t care either way, but the current rule is ridiculous.

  2. C. Winn

    Dec 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Really like the change (practice) that allows play (stroke) after first round (day) of 2 day competition. Well done.

  3. Nigel

    Dec 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    To answer Hughes’ question; what we accomplished by moving the drop from shoulder height to knee height is a penalty for not dropping the ball from high enough. They got rid of the ridiculousness of penalties for things that didn’t matter – like dropping the ball from below shoulder height which most people we guilty of.

  4. Peter

    Dec 24, 2018 at 11:41 am

    searching for a lost ball is not what hinders the pace of play on the pga tour. These guys are good, and it’s pretty rare that they can’t find their balls quickly with the help of marshalls and spotters. walking up to your ball and then taking 5 minutes to make a decision and swing the club however, is a big problem on tour, and thats something that needed to be addressed.

  5. Dan

    Dec 23, 2018 at 1:09 am

    Since when did it become so important to speed up pace of play? Pros get there a couple hours beforehand to putt, stretch, hit balls, some workout a bit, see a masseuse sometimes, do an interview or press conference questions afterwards. We should just add the time to the score and bastardize the whole thing. All these rules are to try to simplify a game to stuffy and complicated for the youth to get into. I don’t go play and brag to friends on how fast the round went. The round is my day. If you want to play fast get a golf video game on the x box and play in 30 min in your boxers. The round takes the time it takes 4 hours instead of 4 1/2, who gives a shit. I’m sure advertisers love a sped up game so we can watch Big Brother or any other of the useless crap on TV. Sports are the closest thing to unscripted drama, why speed it up, don’t slow it down but geez, what’s the hurry? Gotta look at my phone more it’s been 4 hours, I’m getting the shakes.
    Venty Venterson

  6. smz

    Dec 22, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Only 5% of all golfers worldwide play by the Rules… and the remaining 95% just hack and hope they can break 100 honestly…. while carrying a veritable WITB arsenal of weapons/toys.

  7. James

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Can’t wait to play behind a group doing the flag in, flag out dance. I’m assuming they’ve heard curse words before…

  8. James

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Who is McKenzie Hughes? I like any rule that shortens the time to look for a lost golf ball. Gives me more time and the right to yell at slow groups in front of me.

  9. shawn

    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    The USGA is just a shill for the OEMs… and they proved it when they fired Frank Thomas and replaced him with a TM VP to head up club design oversight.
    Frank was.. frank.. and honest about the attempts by OEMs to scam recreational golfers with annual club design changes and to juice up the equipment to the detriment of the game of golf. Tour players are only advertisements for the equipment industry.

    • A. Commoner

      Dec 22, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Really like your post. Frank Thomas may have been under appreciated or even unknown by some but he was (continues to be) a huge asset to the game. ‘More expertise in his little finger……..’

  10. darrell

    Dec 21, 2018 at 11:12 am

    They still haven’t addressed my main issue. When is a swing………a swing? At what point does it count as a stroke? Why is it up to the player to decide whether or not he was actually attempting to hit the ball?

    Allow players to place the ball instead of dropping. There are so many rules issues that come into play by dropping, players don’t know how to proceed.

    Bottom line…….don’t forget……the rules are made by a bunch of amateurs.

    • James

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      If you’re over 70 you should be allowed to anchor!

      • Scheiss

        Dec 21, 2018 at 11:42 pm

        No. If you have to anchor you should have to be forced to quit golf in shame in front of everybody you know as you make that announcement in front of them

        • Jack Nash

          Dec 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm

          LOL!!! And your playing partners can split your clubs between them.

      • smz

        Dec 22, 2018 at 12:47 am

        If you’re over 70 and you need to anchor, you should quit and take up shuffleboard. Nothing worse than an old far† struggling to walk, swing, putt and constantly searching for his ball…. and buying new clubs annually in the desperate hope of not making a mess of his game.

    • James

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      A swing is a swing when you intend to hit the ball. Own up to it.

  11. A. Commoner

    Dec 21, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Could this writer begin putting more substance into his articles? Sham credentials? About the topic, Hughes and DeLaet are right about these puffed ego birds missing opportunities to make timely decisions to strengthen both the game and the appeal of the game. (Yes, some extrapolation there.) This group of new rules or revisions is both comedic and tragic. As an aside, we can handle a slow poke in our group, even on the course. Slow play on the tours does not matter to us at all. Not our problem; let the pros take care of it if they want. It’s their business.

  12. kevin

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:37 am

    imagine on average a player taking an additional 20 seconds to look the line of their putt over and tap down spike marks…and i think this tapping motion will become habit whether there is a spike mark or not, similar to the wipe of the putterface before addressing the putt. 20 seconds per putt per player. a group of 4 amateurs averaging 34 putts a round minus 4 gimmies, this adds 40 minutes to a round.

    whether the math is spot on or not….this rule will add to length of a round and offset any good other rules may have

    • josh

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

      The average player is doing this already in recreational rounds. It wont change the length of your weekend round at all. Are you telling me that the people in your group on a sunday afternoon round aren’t tapping spike marks in their line?

    • smz

      Dec 22, 2018 at 1:01 am

      We have a club player who takes a minute or two to read and prepare for his putt. I got so annoyed I stomped all over his line of putt and the others applauded me… he froze. He is absent from club play now.

    • smz

      Dec 22, 2018 at 1:03 am

      We have a club player who takes a minute or two to read and prepare for his putt. I got so annoyed I stepped all over his line of putt and the others applauded me… he froze. He is absent from club play now.

  13. David

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Dropping knee height decreases the chance will bounce or roll outside of the club length. “Placing” allows people to tee it up and will take longer. It’s a legit compromise and will make the action of “dropping” less formal and quicker.

    The spike marks should be able to be tapped down. They also should allowed relief from divots in the fairway. No reason yo should be penalized b/c of the person in front of you. There should also be a penalty for unraked bunkers. Sucks to penalize for bad etiquette, but that’s todays golfer.

    I 100% agree with Graham.. anchoring of any kind should be banned. Clubs should hang from the hands down.

    • kevin

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:39 am

      the issue with a divot in a fairway is what defines a divot. there is a big difference between a 4 hour old divot, a one day old divot, a 3 day old divot….etc.

      at what point does every questionable lie in fairway need a ruling as to whether the spot is an old divot or not.

      • Dv

        Dec 21, 2018 at 9:57 am

        We should get relief from all divots regardless of being 1 or 3 days old. A fairway shot should not be penalized for hitting the fairway. Plus it give the fairway time to heal.

    • Willem

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:47 am

      The R&A has put out a document to explain, amongst other things, why they did not implement rules regarding unraked bunkers and divots.
      This what it says:
      This from the R&A:
      Preserving the Fundamental Challenge of the Game

      Play the ball as it lies –

      In its simplest form, golf is about playing the ball from tee to green by hitting it with a golf club, and not otherwise touching the ball. A fundamental challenge of the sport is to deal with whatever position your ball comes to rest in – whether good or bad. While there are some necessary exceptions (such as obstructions and other abnormal course conditions), the essential nature of golf means these must remain exceptions rather than the norm. Therefore, the new Rules do not provide relief without penalty from situations that some golfers complain about, such as when their ball comes to rest in a divot hole on a fairway or in footprints in a poorly raked bunker. In addition to being contrary to the fundamental principle of playing the ball as it lies, providing free relief in such circumstances would make the Rules harder to apply (for example, what is the difference between an irregularity of surface and an old divot hole?) and could slow down play when there are difficult questions about what is or isn’t a divot hole.

      As a club golfer who sees the effect on revenue with fewer and fewer members, I am extremely ambivalent about the anchoring ban. We have lost some of our older players who have stopped playing because their putting was destroying the enjoyment of the game. I’m all for something which will keep amateurs playing for longer. The pro’s should have their own rules. They play a vastly different game from us in any case.

      • James

        Dec 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm

        If you’re over 70 you should be allowed to anchor!

        • smz

          Dec 22, 2018 at 12:46 am

          If you’re over 70 and you need to anchor, you should quit and take up shuffleboard. Nothing worse than an old geezer struggling to walk, swing, putt and constantly searching for his ball…. and buying new clubs annually in the desperate hope of not making a mess of his game.

    • Benny

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Well said David!

    • jc

      Dec 24, 2018 at 11:51 am

      but with the new shoes, there are very few spike marks…now you have the waffle pattern or little depressions where the large round soft spikes are left..

  14. DB

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Don’t care about drop height – whatever. It’s fine.

    The main issue is the failure to update the anchoring ban. Either find a way to ban long anchored putters or don’t. Right now we’re stuck in a middle ground where guys have found a way around the current rule.

  15. Brandon

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:42 am

    The flag stick thing is what will hurt pace of play the most. If 2 people in a 4some want it in and 2 want it out and they are all bad putters then that’s going to be an awful lot of trips to the hole location to remove and replace the flag. Not to mention the extra spike marks near the cup from the increased foot traffic. At the amateur level this is going to really slow things down.

  16. Mike

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I’ll start tapping down spike marks once my putting improves to the point where they start costing me strokes.

    So never.

  17. vince guest

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Got to agree about knee height, makes no difference at all. Plus, do you get penalised if you forget and drop it from shoulder height? And if not then just carry on as before.

    • Willem

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:16 am

      You won’t get penalized if you drop from shoulder height, but it would constitute a drop using an incorrect method and you would be penalized one shot if you played the ball without redropping with the correct method (ie. from knee-height).

    • Benny

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Hi Vince
      No penalty. Just pick it up and drop from knee height. Couple videos on Youtube that go over the new rules and thats one of the questions. No biggie.
      If you drop from shoulder and play it, no penalty either. You simply play on and lost the chance of a knee height drop.

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News

Morning 9: Knox leads in Mexico while Niemann plays for something greater | LPGA: Charley Hull leads | Most memorable U.S. Women’s Opens

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
December 4, 2020
Good Friday morning, golf fans. .
1. Meanwhile, in Playa Del Carmen…
AP report…“Russell Knox shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday at breezy and wet El Camaleon Golf Club to take the first-round lead in the PGA TOUR’s Mayakoba Golf Classic presented by UNIFIN.”
  • “The 35-year-old Scot birdied five of the last six holes on his opening nine, then played the final nine in 1 under with a bogey on the par-4 second and birdies on the par-5 fifth and par-4 sixth.”
  • “…Chile’s Joaquin Niemann was a stroke back with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and American Tom Hoge. Niemann is donating his entire prize money and $5,000 for every birdie and $10,000 for an eagle to help pay for a drug for his 2-month-old relative in Chile.”
2. Euro: Sullivan stays on top
Reuters report…”England’s Andy Sullivan carded a second-round 66 on Thursday to lead by three shots at the halfway stage of the Golf in Dubai Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.”
  • “Overnight leader Sullivan shot five birdies and an eagle on the seventh hole of the Fire Course after a blip on the third that resulted in his first bogey. He went 17-under for the tournament.”
3. LET standout Hull leads LPGA VOA
LPGA.com staff…”England’s Charley Hull shot a 3-under 68 on Thursday and holds a one-stroke lead heading into the second round of the 2020 Volunteers of America Classic at Old American Golf Club. With six birdies, four of which recorded on Nos. 2-7, Hull managed to record her career-best VOA Classic 18-hole score.”
  • “I was so cold out there,” said Hull in a beanie and red parka. “I played pretty solid. The golf course is playing so much different than it did last year. It’s playing a lot longer, which I prefer. I struggled swinging the last two holes, I just got so cold. Along that lake you just get like freezing,” said Hull of her finish with a bogey on the penultimate hole.
4. Where things stand for the Tour entering 2021
Larry Bonahnnon, syndicated in Golfweek…”Unfortunately for the PGA Tour, the West Coast swing is shaping up to look like most of the last seven months played during the COVID-19 pandemic. While hopes of a vaccine grow stronger every day, that vaccine won’t change much for PGA Tour events in January and February. Events will still be played without fans and under strong restrictions including testing for players, volunteers and staff. Normal still seems a long way away for the Tour and other sports.”
  • “Could things change by the end of the West Coast swing? Will April and the Masters mean fans on the golf course again? Or is it likely that things won’t return to normal until late in the summer when the vaccine has had a chance to reach more and more people. For all the promise of the vaccine, large gatherings don’t seem like they will happen for perhaps even another year.”
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5. Most memorable U.S. Women’s Opens
John Strege at Golf Digest runs ‘em down…
Here’s his inclusion in the No. 2 spot…Babe’s comeback from cancer (1954)…”Fifteen months after undergoing cancer surgery, Babe Zaharias, at 43, became the oldest player to win the Women’s Open, running away with the title by 12 strokes at Salem (Mass.) Country Club, her third Women’s Open victory. “My prayers have been answered,” said Zaharias, who had missed the 1953 Open due to the surgery. “I just told the Lord to let me play again, and I’d take care of the winning. Today, we sealed the bargain.” Indeed, her performance was described in Golf World magazine as “the greatest sustained golf ever in a women’s championship.” At year’s end, the Associated Press voted her the female athlete of the year for the sixth time. Zaharias would not have a chance to defend her title a year later, forced to miss the championship because of back surgery that revealed the cancer had returned. She died in September 1956, at 45.”
6. Annika Sorenstam Named New President of IGF
USGA report…”The International Golf Federation Board elected three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Annika Sorenstam as IGF president, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The election took place during a virtual meeting yesterday focused on long-term strategic planning and progress toward next summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Sorenstam succeeds Peter Dawson, who notified the board that he would not seek reappointment when his current two-year term expires at the end of the year.”
7. The coolest thing about Tiger, according to Justin Thomas
Golf.com’s James Colgan, quoting JT…“Probably the coolest thing for me is seeing him spend time with Charlie, just seeing how much he loves being around him [and Woods’ daughter Sam] on the golf course,” Thomas said. “He is such a good dad and he loves being around his kids.”
  • “JT isn’t the first to notice the importance of Tiger’s family in this latest stretch of his career. Woods’ emotional embrace with his children and mother, Tida, was perhaps the most memorable scene from his 2019 Masters win.”
  • “Still, Thomas says, Woods’ dedication to his kids might come as a surprise to some.”
8. Fowler with a Goofy round…
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers: “That hole was the par-4 12th, his third of the day. Fowler arrived there off a birdie-birdie start, but made a quadruple bogey 8 to quickly fall back to two over.”
  • “I think prior to this, one of my best days with some big numbers … I mean, Augusta [first round in 2013], I doubled 1 and I doubled 10 and shot 68,” said Fowler, who also double bogeyed the par-4 third. “This has to be the lowest I’ve shot with a quad, though. That doesn’t happen a whole lot.”
  • “According to PGATour.com’s Sean Martin, this was the first time in 885 career PGA Tour rounds that Fowler has ever shot under par while making a double bogey and an “other.”
  • “Following the early quadruple, Fowler added two more birdies before making the turn. After the double bogey on No. 3, he closed with four birdies over his last six holes, including his final two to finish in red numbers.”
9. Golf in the snow? Intriguing…
CBC’s Desmond Brown…”GolfNorth says golfers who hit the winter links won’t be hitting off the tees. Instead, they should look for a stake and tee off from behind it…The greens will not be in play so people will not be putting on normal greens. There will be a flag stick in front of the green,” Garside said.
  • “Your teeing area will be in front of the normal teeing areas on the golf course.  “It’s just more of an outdoor activity where people can spend some time with their family, friends and go and have a good time — people getting some exercise, and get you out of the house during COVID.”
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Morning 9: From “idiot” to first-round leader | Brooks’ blunt assessment | Kiradech returns to action

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
December 3, 2020
Good Thursday morning, golf fans. .
1 From “idiot” to first-round leader
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”When it comes to self-assessments, Andy Sullivan’s description of his golf game prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was as blunt as it gets.”
  • “I was being an absolute idiot,” Sullivan said.
  • “The numbers certainly supported that. The 33-year-old Englishman, who less than five years ago was a top-30 player in the world and a European Ryder Cupper, dropped outside the top 150 in the world rankings during the coronavirus break, a downward trend sparked by a few years of mediocre golf.”
  • “But things changed when the European Tour restarted this summer. Sullivan tied for fourth at the first event back, the British Masters, and two starts later notched his fourth career European Tour victory, at the English Championship. He’s now No. 72 in the OWGR, and on Wednesday in Dubai he equaled the best round of his tour career, an 11-under 61, to take the first-round lead at the Golf in Dubai Championship.”
2. Brooks’ blunt assessment
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…”The year 2020 will go down in the record books as a lost year for Brooks Koepka. Injuries to his hip and knee didn’t heal properly and prevented him from being the cold-blooded closer who won four majors between the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills and the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.”
  • “Koepka made a valiant effort at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and the PGA Championship to claim a victory, but he enters this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico with one last chance to avoid being winless in 2020. Asked to sum up out how he would describe his golf year, Koepka took the high road.”
  • “I don’t know if I could say that without getting fined,” he said. “Pretty bad.”
  • …“It couldn’t have got much worse than it did over the summer,” he said. “My body wouldn’t let me do things that I wanted to do.”
3. Aphibarnrat making first start since COVID-19
Chuah Choo Chiang for PGATour.com…”The burly Thai, who is nicknamed “Asia’s John Daly,” arrived at the Mayakoba Golf Classic following a tie for 11th at the Bermuda Championship early last month. It was his best result on TOUR since finishing T8 at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea last year.”
  • “After being home-bound in Orlando with the coronavirus, Kiradech started practicing two days before flying out to Mexico on Sunday. He spent two hours at the driving range on day one and doubled his range time the next day. He credited time spent with his swing coach Mike Walker in the U.K. in October for his recent resurgence in Bermuda.”
4. Andy Ogletree’s grind for PGA Tour status begins
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…”After garnering so much attention next to Woods at Augusta – and making a Sunday trip to Butler cabin – Ogletree returned home to small-town Mississippi last week. He helped his dad Jim put on a local community Thanksgiving. Ogletree hopes to get back home for Christmas, when he can make the rounds, see everyone and celebrate recent milestones.”
  • “Like turning professional and making his first start as a pro at this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic.”
  • “Ogletree, 22, made four other Tour starts this year before the Masters, including at the Charles Schwab Challenge, RBC Heritage, the Memorial and the U.S. Open. He missed the cut in all four. Before those doors opened for Ogletree, the 2019 U.S. Amateur champion, he hadn’t ever played a Tour event. It was a transition that felt similar to the one from junior golf to Georgia Tech.”
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5. John Wood is the latest caddie to become a full-time on-course TV reporter
Brian Wacker for Golf Digest…“Though the move marks a career change for Wood, who stopped working for Kuchar in August, it won’t be his first time behind the microphone. In 2015, Wood joined Mackay as an on-course reporter for Golf Channel at the RSM Classic. Two years later, Mackay parted ways with Phil Mickelson and joined the network full time. “I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the incredible team at Golf Channel and NBC,” Wood said. “They’ve set the standard in golf coverage, and I hope to bring an interesting perspective to their incredible production.”
6. Catriona Matthew on Emily Pedersen
“It’s been a fantastic year for Emily,” Matthew told BBC Sport.
“The 24-year-old’s success is all the more admirable given the way her form plummeted following a dispiriting Solheim Cup debut for Europe in 2017.”
  • “Pedersen was picked by skipper Annika Sorenstam for the match in Illinois but was comprehensively beaten in all three of her matches in Europe’s 16 1/2 – 11 1/2 defeat.”
  • “I really felt for her after the Solheim in Des Moines,” said Matthew, the 2009 Women’s Open champion.
  • “She was at the top of her game and she just kind of completely lost it after that Solheim.
  • “It just shows great character, I think, to come back. I’ve seen her over the last couple of years working really hard at her game, but golf is a lot in the head and I think it’s taken a lot of mental strength.”
7. Match 3 ratings
Geoff Shackelford…”I have no idea if the organizers find the .21 for last week’s The Match 3 a success or not given the bizarre sports ratings of 2020. As Mitch Salem’s roundup of last Friday’s cable numbers highlights, The Match was just edged out by WETV’s Love After Lockup with the coveted demo and landed 8th on the list of November 27, 2020’s most watched cable telecasts.”
  • “After the streaming debacle that was The Match 1, the absolute ratings stunner that was The Match 2—a higher rating than the final round of the rescheduled U.S. Open—the average of a million viewers is probably about right for a celebrity golf match.”
  • Check out the full post for all the links.
8. “Don’t be Rory McIlroy”
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on Abraham Ancer’s acquired wisdom…”I“I quickly realized that I made huge mistakes trying to play golf like other golfers,” he said Wednesday from the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
  • “Specifically, he wasn’t Rory McIlroy.”
  • “It was at the 2015 Frys.com Open, and Ancer was making his first start on Tour when he set up next to the former world No. 1 on the range.
  • “He starts hitting these irons that just take off straight up in the air carrying 210 [yards] into the wind and cold, like 5-irons,” Ancer said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t do that.’ I started thinking I need to hit it higher and farther, so I started tinkering and that was a terrible idea, but I just didn’t know better.”
9. Sea Island Women’s Am
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…”Sea Island, Georgia, has long been an important stop in men’s amateur golf, having hosted the Jones Cup tournaments (together with Ocean Forest Golf Club) since the early 2000s. Now, women will get the chance to compete there annually, too. The Georgia resort has announced the creation of the Sea Island Women’s Amateur, to be played for the first time July 27-29, 2021.”
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Morning 9: Pelley denies PGA Tour alliance spells doom | No fans for Farmers | Weiskopf on Rory

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
December 1, 2020
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. Welcome to the final month of 2020.
1. Pelley insists…
As he does better than anyone in the business, Geoff Shackelford provided context for and picked from the newswire items related to notable story…in this case, the surprise European/PGA Tour “strategic alliance…”
  • “Chief Executive Colorfully Coordinated sported a less-than-comforting black-on-black motif for Friday’s hastily-arranged Zoom to spin the European Tour’s “landmark strategic alliance” with the PGA Tour. “
  • “Based on the reports by those partaking in the call, Keith Pelley remained light on details about the surprising Thanksgiving Friday announcement. Skepticism was in order given that it’s traditionally a day reserved for only Grade A, First Team, All-World news dumps.”
  • “The Daily Mail’s Derek Lawrenson noted the 72 hour mention by Pelley and suggested the announcement was meant to torpedo an upcoming announcement.”
  • “The alliance has been years in the making but came together in the space of 72 hours as both tours look to kill off the upstart Saudi-backed Premier Golf League.”
2. No fans for Farmers
Golf Channel Digital team…”The Farmers Insurance Open will be contested without spectators because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was announced on Monday. The event is scheduled for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California.”
  • “We recognize that COVID-19 requires dramatic modifications to the operations of our annual event,” said Marty Gorsich, CEO of the Century Club, a non-profit organization that operates the event. “We have been working closely with the PGA Tour as well as the county and city of San Diego in our planning. The safety and well-being of everyone affiliated with the Farmers Insurance Open and our community remains our top priority. While we will certainly miss the energy our fans bring to Torrey, we remain focused on delivering a PGA Tour competition that showcases the best players in the game set against the backdrop of one of the most storied courses in the world.”
3. Lincicome positive for COVID-19
Golf Channel Digital team…”Brittany Lincicome has withdrawn from this week’s Volunteers of America Classic after testing positive for COVID-19.”
  • “Lincicome made an announcement on Instagram last week, saying”
  • “Although I have been very cautious, unfortunately I have tested positive for COVID-19. My husband and baby girl are both negative. I am now self-isolating and working on contract tracing with all those I have been in contact with. I have mild symptoms but am very disappointed to have to withdraw from the Volunteers of America Classic. I will be isolating at home until it is safe to resume my schedule. I wish everyone the best of luck and look forward to when I can return to playing on Tour.”
4. The odds of DJ playing this week never great…
“The Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine: “The Masters champion is deciding to extend his post-Augusta break.”
  • “Dustin Johnson announced Friday that he will not be teeing it up in next week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic, the final PGA Tour event of the year.”
  • “After much careful thought, I have made the difficult decision to withdraw,” Johnson said…”My mind and body are telling me it’s time for a break, so I look forward to sending some much-needed time at home with Paulina and the boys. I know this is disappointing news and I sincerely apologize to all my friends involved with the tournament.”
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5. Weiskopf on Rory
Adam Schupak talked with the venerable Tom Weiskopf about a range of subjects, including his belief that Rory McIlroy has caught the disease of complacency…
“I look at Rory McIlroy and I think golf is something just for Rory to do. I’ve said it for a while now that I don’t think he’ll win much more than the four he’s got or maybe five because I don’t see that determination and will to be the best. I think it is there in Dustin Johnson. I think he finally figured it out and this could propel him to win all four in one year.”
  • “GW: What is it about Rory that makes you think golf is just something “to do” for him?”
  • “TW: I don’t know what it is. Maybe the way he interviews. I don’t see any frustration. Life is good and it should be – he’s a multi, multi-millionaire and has a kid now – but I don’t see the Tiger attitude. It’s like he’s satisfied all the time. The guy is not a good putter…. I know Rory works out but I bet if you watched them both work out, Rory would be a lot of laughs and giggles and Dustin would be balls to the wall and forcing a little bit more on himself and that’s what he’s done. The way that he’s played this year, who the hell can beat this guy?”
6. Over 100k rounds played, but the city of London golf still loses $150k due to COVID-19
Brent Lale for CTV…”Tee sheets were packed nearly every day from opening to close after the courses opened in the middle of May. However starting two months later than expected made it difficult to make up lost revenue.
  • “We thought we would lose about $150,000 this year and we think we will be in and around those numbers,”” says McGonigle.
  • “Staggered tee times are usually at 8 minutes, and we began at 12 minutes. That’s about 360 people per day across four courses. With food and beverage and retail impacted it’s a difficult ground to make up.”
  • “The city says River Road Golf Club would have lost money even though the demand for golf was through the roof. Many city members were frustrated and even organized protests to object to the closure.”
7. Sirak: End of a long strange trip
Ron Sirak for LPGA.com…”In a month in which it wasn’t supposed to be playing, this week’s Volunteers of America Classic at The Colony near Dallas exemplifies adaptability and determination. Originally scheduled for Oct. 1-4, the VOA Classic changed dates, modified its format to exclude spectators and still provides women with what it is all about – opportunity.   “VOA serves on the frontlines of our nation’s COVID-19 response, helping those most at risk during the pandemic,” said Volunteers of America National President Mike King. “We know how important it is to take all necessary precautions to keep people safe, and holding this year’s tournament without spectators was the best thing to do.”
8. New leadership for Ping Europe 
Bunkered.co report…”Long-serving Ping Europe Managing Director, John Clark, will step down from his role at the end of this year, with current General Manager, Lisa Lovatt, taking up the position.”
  • “Lovatt, 51, will begin her new role on 1st January, with full responsibility for all of Ping Europe’s operations in Gainsborough, Cheadle and the four PING offices in Europe. She will report directly to PING Chairman and CEO, John Solheim.”
9. End-of-2020 call for submissions at GolfWRX
A new call for submissions at GolfWRX: Have your voice heard on the largest golf news website that publishes reader contributions!
Learn about the Featured Writer program in general, what we’re looking for with this call in particular, and how to easily submit your writing for publication.
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