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Morning 9: DJ positive for COVID-19 | Thomas searching for speed | Koepka: Injuries are why I played poorly

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1. World No. 1 positive for COVID-19
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“Johnson, according to the PGA Tour, was experiencing symptoms, prompting him to take a test. Players are tested prior to travel each week and on site as part of the PGA Tour’s coronavirus testing protocols.”
  • “Obviously, I am very disappointed,” said Johnson, a 23-time PGA Tour winner who captured the Tour Championship and thus the FedEx Cup title last month. “I was really looking forward to competing this week but will do everything I can to return as quickly as possible. I have already had a few calls with the tour’s medical team and appreciate all the support and guidance they have given me.”
2. Koepka: Injuries are the “whole reason I played like crap”
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…“Twelve months later, Koepka has fallen from No. 1 in the world to No. 11. Koepka has seesawed on the extent his injuries had on his game, but speaking to the media at Shadow Creek Tuesday, Koepka was blunt in his assessment.”
  • “It’s the whole reason I played like crap,” Koepka said.
  • “Koepka said he has spent the past two months rehabbing his hip in San Diego. Though the injury occurred at TPC Harding Park, Koepka isn’t sure it happened at the golf course.”
  • “I think it’s just-I don’t know when it actually happened,” Koepka said. “I know I felt it at the PGA, or that’s when it became the worst trying to manage it and play through it. Just one of those things where if you’re not getting any weeks off to actually treat it, it’s hard to treat it on the road and do everything you need to do.”
3. The rise of “the Jupiter of the West” 
Adam Schupak for Golfweek…”The reasons for Tour pros to set up shop in Las Vegas are many, but the most cited are access to two TPC facilities – TPC Las Vegas and TPC Summerlin, which hosted last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – a hospitably sunny climate and no state income taxes.”
  • “Doug Ghim, a native of Chicago who played his college golf in Austin, Texas, for the Longhorns, was looking for warmer climes and followed friends to Viva in Las Vegas.”
  • “I hate humidity,” Ghim confessed. “That’s really why I chose it.”
  • ...”The Jupiter of the West,” they are calling it, and the list of residents include PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, Aaron Wise, Wyndham Clark, Norman Xiong and Maverick McNealy.”
4. Justin Thomas has a need for speed (and a plan to obtain it)
Schupak, again, this time on Justin Thomas’ pursuit of additional clubhead speed…and the (non-Brysonian) way he’s going about the endeavor…
  • “I’m not going to put on 40 pounds, I don’t have the height to do that,” Thomas said. “I’m going to look like a beach ball if I put on 40 pounds. I can get stronger in different parts of my body that can help me hit it farther and gain some distance, but I hit it plenty far enough to win tournaments and do well.”
  • “Instead, Thomas is emphasizing an exercise routine focused on his lower body while trying to maintain flexibility and mobility in his hips.”
  • “I’m not far off. It’s really about messing with some different stuff and different training and explosiveness to be able to pick up something,” he said. “There’s different ways to do it. I mean, the absolute No. 1 thing is I’m continuing to stay injury free and I’m continuing to progress in a good direction in terms of staying healthy and staying fit. But if I can do that while incorporating some more speed, then that’s big.”
GolfWRX Recommends 
 
We think a quarterly journal is the best complement to a website that publishes dozens of articles daily. And while that might not make sense to you now, it certainly will once you subscribe to The Golfer’s Journal and dive into some of the best golf writing and photography around. 
 
5. “The course more exclusive than Augusta National”
Gotta love a good teaser headline! Leonard Shapiro on the late Robert H. Smith’s backyard track…“Smith, who died in 2009 at age 81, decided at first to put in a natural grass putting green not far from the main house. Then he had three regulation holes built in 2003, “just to see how he liked it,” according to Ben Rogers, Heronwood’s long-time farm manager who still oversees the care and maintenance of the entire property.”
  • “We built six more holes in 2005, added three more in 2006 and then got final approval from the county (Fauquier) to do the last six holes and make it 18,” Rogers said. “When Mr. Smith first said he was thinking about a golf course, I thought he was joking. One day he looked at me and said, ‘I think I’m going to do it. What do you know about building a golf course?’ I told him absolutely nothing. Then he said, ‘That’s okay, we’ll learn it together.'”
  • “The entire course was completed in 2007, laid out over a 130-acre swath of land that had once served as cornfields and pastures for the estate’s considerable horse and cattle population. Now, 13 years later, it remains one of the most private golf courses in America, if not the world.”
6. Shadow Creek: A secret golfing wonderland
Ben Everill of PGATour.com profiles the famed Vegas course…”In the early days, the course was completely exclusive, tee times beyond rare. Not needing or wanting publicity, Shadow Creek is said to have turned down a spread in Sports Illustrated.  Things have opened up a little since 2000, when the property was acquired by MGM.”
  • “You can play there at charity events like Tiger Woods’ annual Tiger Jam, if you are so inclined. But it still remains pretty exclusive on weekends. Stay at an MGM property and you can try to play during the week. It will cost you around $600, but you’ll feel every bit like celebrity.”
7. Wunder: Loving this, concerned about that
Our Johnny Wunder…
I LOVE that it’s launch season for the OEMs. Like kids at Christmas, the writing, looking at, testing, and learning part of this gig is a true blessing. I will say that it IS a time of mass chaos. Embargos, soft launches, retail and the like all seem to hit roughly in the same general time frame, so this year I will remind myself to go slowly through it and appreciate this awesome industry.
This Golf Channel thing is concerning. I’m not 100% sure of what the future holds for TGC, but as a lifelong watcher, I will say that the content flow seems to solely rely on tour coverage. I’d love to see a reboot with new golf content creators getting the opportunity and resources to show the world what they can do. How about a WRX equipment junkie show? I’d watch.
8. 100 Years of Latrobe Country Club
The King’s logtime personal assistant, Doc Giffin, reflects on Latrobe at 100 for Kingdom magazine…“The touches of the caring hands of three generations of the Palmer family permeate the history of Latrobe Country Club as it celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020.”
  • “It began a century ago when a teenager named Milfred Jerome Palmer-better known by his nicknames Deacon or Deke-joined the crew that was starting to build a nine-hole golf course on the edge of Latrobe, a small industrial and mining town some 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania.”
  • “It continued through the next 50 years as Deke Palmer served the club’s membership as grounds superintendent from 1926 and, six years later, as the golf professional. Over those years he raised a family that included his first-born, Arnold, who was destined to become one of the most famous and popular athletes in history.”
9. CJ Cup photos
Our photo sampling this week includes four general galleries packed with imagery, in-hand looks at the new Ping G425 driver and woods, drool-worthy putters and more.

 

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GolfWRX Classifieds (10/22/20): Adams MB2, Olson putter, Titleist TS3 head

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

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

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

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

Member Bradh972 – Adams raw MB irons

A set of Adams MB2 in this condition doesn’t come up that often – these are highly sought after and considered the peak of Adams golf irons.

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

Member ThatCAGolfer – Olson Legacy putter

Made in America, one at a time, Olson putters are some of the nicest around. Now here is your chance to snag one for an attractive price in brand new condition.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Olson Putter

Member Taylormadehunter1 – Titleist TS3 driver head

With the announcement of the new TSi Series from Titleist, you can expect to see more TS driver on the market and for a great price. This TS3 head comes with extra weights and is hot melted, and ready to go.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TS3 driver head

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

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What players really think about fan-less events | dam Scott positive for COVID-19 | PGA Merch Show to be virtual

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]
October 22, 2020 
 
Good Thursday morning, golf fans. May you own the home stretch of your weeks the way Henrik Stenson’s did the “Dreams” Challenge.
1. What players really think about fan-less events
The Undercover Caddie (yes, I know some readers think UC is fake news, but I believe the source is a legitimate one)…
  • “What’s it like on tour without fans? You came to the right place. I’ve seen what the players have said, and though I’m not calling them liars, they aren’t being honest, either. In their defense, what are players supposed to say? We’re glad fans are at home. They’re pests. This makes our jobs so less demanding. Come on. No one is that boneheaded.”
  • “Listen, everyone misses fans. Most players are alphas; they enjoy entertaining you, and there’s no drug that feels as good as doing what you love and getting loved for it. On the caddie front, no one ever accused us of being introverted souls. But the fact is, life at the golf course is easier without spectators.”
2. Adam Scott positive for COVID-19
BBC report…”Former world number one Adam Scott has pulled out of this week’s Zozo Championship in California after testing positive for coronavirus.”
  • “The PGA Tour confirmed on Wednesday that the 40-year-old Australian will not play at the Sherwood Country Club.”
  • “Scott said his “focus now is on recovery” for the rest of the season.”
  • “In a statement, the PGA Tour said Scott “will have the PGA Tour’s full support throughout his self-isolation period under CDC guidelines”.
3. Mickelson nervous for fans in Houston
ESPN’s Bob Harig..”Mickelson said Wednesday he might skip the tournament, which announced last week it would be the first PGA Tour event in the United States to allow spectators, capped at 2,000 per day.”
  • “I think that they will do a very good, safe job in having 2,000 people at the Houston Open,” Mickelson said at Sherwood Country Club, where he is playing in this week’s Zozo Championship. “However, for me personally, I don’t like the risk that having that happen the week before the Masters. I just feel like the week before the Masters, like that’s a big tournament we have and I just don’t want to have any risk heading in there.”
  • “So it has made me question whether or not I’ll play there. But then I have to give the Tour a lot of credit and confidence in the way that they’ve handled the entire year and I’m sure they’re going to do a great job at keeping the players safe in that environment.”
  • “But because I haven’t seen it before, because it’s the first one out on the Tour with some people, I’m unsure and I don’t want to take any unnecessary risks. I don’t go out to dinner, I don’t go out and socialize, because I want to make sure that I have an opportunity to compete in the Masters.”
4. PGA Merchandise Show will be virtual
Golfweek’s David Dusek…“In an announcement that should come as a surprise to almost no one, PGA Golf Exhibitions and the PGA of America announced on Wednesday that the 2021 PGA Merchandise Show will be an all-virtual event.”
  • “The three-day event held annually at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, typically attracts more than 40,000 PGA of America professionals, manufacturers, media members and golf industry insiders. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing throughout the United States and the rest of the world, the safety of everyone involved took precedence.”
5. No fans for USWO
From the Golf Channel Digital team…“The U.S. Women’s Open will be conducted without fans because of ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the USGA announced Wednesday.”
  • “The Women’s Open, originally slated for early June, was rescheduled for Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston.”
  • “Following extensive consultation with health officials, we have decided that hosting the U.S. Women’s Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships. “While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to welcome fans and their unmatched energy at Champions Golf Club, we know this is the right decision for the community and players.”
6. Tiger talks distance debate in Zozo press conference
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard “…Whether the game’s rules makers should consider dialing back some of those gains, however, is a completely different question.  “[The rules makers] should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie’s out of the bag now,” Woods said. “It’s about what do we do going forward and how soon can they do it? You’re not going to stop the guys who are there right now. Guys are figuring out how to carry the ball 320-plus yards, and it’s not just a few of them.”
7. Record golf equipment sales 
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…“Golf Datatech, an industry research firm, announced Wednesday that United States retail golf equipment sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third quarter. If that number sounds significant, it is, the first time sales in July, August and September have ever exceeded $1 billion in Q3, and serves as the second-highest quarter ($1.013 billion in Q2, 2008) of all-time.”
  • “For comparison, Q3 sales are up 42 percent over the same period last year, spurred by purchases of golf bags, wedges and irons.”
  • “The story keeps getting better as golf continues to surge coming out of the shutdown, and Q3 equipment sales suggests that 2020 will likely end up positive for the entire year,” said John Krzynowek of Golf Datatech. “While the US economy will not enjoy a ‘V Shaped Recovery’ in 2020, if golf continues on this trajectory we will be there soon.”
8. Tiger’s toughest test?
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“But the biggest challenge for Tiger may have nothing to do with the conditions or his uprooted schedule. Since the Tour’s restart in June, Woods, along with a few other players, have talked of how difficult it is to focus during rounds without fans at events and nowhere will that be more evident than at the Masters, a tournament defined by Sunday roars.”
  • “There’s no other place like it. It echos there, it travels,” he said. “When you know the pairings, you know where certain players would be at that particular time and you can figure out who’s doing what, and the roars for certain people are louder than others, and then you hear eagle roars and hole-outs on 16, or whatever it may be. It’s unlike any other place in the world.”
9. A thin slice of golf’s recent success pie
The Denver Post’s Kyle Frederickson…“Colorado’s golf renaissance is real.  Public golf courses operated by the City of Denver report a roughly 20-percent rise in rounds played this year and that’s despite being closed for several weeks due to the coronavirus. Ed Mate, executive director of the Colorado Golf Association, said: “I’ve heard from some private clubs, anecdotally, that they’ve increased their rounds by 100 percent in a given month.”  The CGA compiles an annual survey of public course operators, and prior to this year, the state averaged about 1.5 million-1.7 million rounds played. That number is about to rise, by a lot.”

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the Zozo Championship

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This week is the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Golf Club, and with most of the worlds top golfers including Tiger Woods playing and prepping for the November Masters, there is a lot going on around the range when it comes to gear and testing.

As a reminder, you can check out all of our photos in the GolfWRX forums.

New Fourteen irons and wedges

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The irons are a throwback to a classic “channel back” style iron with mass positioned towards the top and bottom of the face to increase vertical stability of the blade while also maintaining feel.

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Justin Rose with Artisan lob wedge

The little shop from Texas continues to make big waves with more wedges spotted on tour every week including in former world number 1 Justin Rose.

Xander Schauffele’s new Apex irons and testing putters on Quintic

Xander’s prototype Callaway Apex irons look a lot like the newly released 2021 X-Forged irons but with obvious Apex branding. We also can’t forget about putting, and it’s cool to see a Quintic high-speed camera system on the practice green getting players dialed in to launch conditions just like how they would for a driver.

Ricky using older generation Cobra Amp Cell Pro Irons

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If there is one thing pros love, it’s a set of older irons—they’re the golf equivalent of putting on a pair of comfy broken-in jeans. For Ricky and his custom Amp Cell Pro’s with tungsten toe inserts, there must be some magic there because he has previously used multiple newer sets of irons but continues to gravitate towards these.

Shigeki Maruyama testing new Bettinardi putter

Shigeki isn’t someone to shy away from testing putters, and this week he was spotted testing one of the new Bettinardi putters that debuted last week in Las Vegas at Shadow Creek.

Pros are “just like us” – Justin Thomas and Mac Hughes edition

Yes, tour pros are just like us except for the fact that they are exceptional golfers, but even JT likes help in his long game and has a Titleist T300 3-iron in the bag, and when it comes to breakfast Mackenzie Hughes happens to like ketchup with his breakfast sandwich—although personally, I’m anti-ketchup when it comes to breakfast sandwiches.

Mickelson testing older X-Hot 3Deep

We’ve heard rumblings, of Champions Tour terminator Phil Mickelson testing 47.5″ drivers in the name of speed and distance, but as a way to also have a “fairway finder” it appears that he is contemplating putting his old X-Hot 3Deep in play. (Being able to identify a multi-generations old fairway wood from a distance based on its paint scheme is part of the reason we are WRX)

Gary Woodland testing Ping G425 driver

With the launch of the Ping G425 woods on tour a few weeks ago, it’s no surprise to see more players testing them in prep for the Masters, and for the fact that, they are the next evolution of the well-loved Ping G410—Gary Woodland is no exception.

 

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