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Morning 9: Power of the hoodie continues for Hatton | Down with golf attire snobbery | Avg. driving distance for male golfers by age range

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]
October 16, 2020 
 
Good Friday morning, golf fans. Welcome to a hooded-sweatshirt rich edition of the Morning 9 (sorry, crewnecks).
1. Power of the hoodie?
AP report…”Tyrrell Hatton felt grumpy from not getting much sleep, and then he felt he was in a dream when he was 5 under through the opening five holes of THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK.”
  • “The reality of Thursday was that even coming off an emotional win at Wentworth and a long trip from London across eight time zones, Hatton hasn’t lost his touch. He tied the course record of 7-under 65 for a one-shot lead.”
  • “It’s fair to say I’m pretty tired at the moment,” Hatton said. “Still struggling a little bit with jet lag. As you can tell by my voice, picked up a little bit of a sore throat on the way over. Today was a long day. Very happy with my score, and I just need to try and get back to the hotel, have a good rest and hopefully sleep better than I did last night.”
2. Xander refreshed after busy stretch, golf-less respite
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…“The grueling stretch of championship golf that had consisted of two majors, a World Golf Championships and the FedExCup Playoffs inside seven weeks had finally taken a toll. The 25-year old was second in the FedExCup and hasn’t had a result worse than 25th since mid-June.”
  • “So he left his clubs tucked away for 10 days and figured he might have a little rust returning at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK. Not so much.”
  • “Five birdies in his opening seven holes catapulted him up the leaderboard and helped him on his way to a 6-under 66 that left him tied for second and just one shot off Tyrrell Hatton’s lead.”
  • “I got home from the U.S. Open and for some odd reason I didn’t want to play golf. It was just one of those things,” Schauffele admitted. “It was probably one of the first U.S. Opens that really took a chunk out of me. Took about 10 days off… started practicing shortly after that. Didn’t feel too rusty. A few chips and a couple mental mistakes I did…, but definitely happy with the 6 under.”
3. Match 3 coming together
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…“This year will go down as the year of the pandemic, but in the golf world, it will also be the year of the exhibition. Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods revived their original friendly rivalry this spring to play a second version of “The Match.” They brought in Tom Brady (Mickelson) and Peyton Manning (Woods) as partners.”
  • “Next up? Charles Barkley and Stephen Curry. According to an article in Sportico, those two will join the next version of The Match, to be played Friday Nov. 27 (in other words, on Thanksgiving weekend). The major professional tours will be off that week.”
4. Tyrrell’s take on Hoodiegate
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…“Was Hatton surprised by the semi-controversy?”
  • “A little bit, mainly because I’m not the first person to wear a hoodie; there’s been so many guys that have worn hoodies,” he said Thursday at the CJ Cup, where he took the lead with a 7-under 65. “It’s crazy the amount of people that obviously don’t agree with it. If it looks smart and you’re comfortable to play in it, then I really don’t see what the issue is.”
  • “And it’s funny, I reckon half the guys, if they put that hoodie on and swung a golf club, they’d love it. They’re realize how nice it is and how easy it is to swing in it. It’s not like your standard casual fashion hoodie – they’re the ones that are really soft, very stretchy, so movement is not an issue.”
5. Tour pro shot 59 and didn’t even know it
Golf Digest’s Tod Leonard…“Fifty-nine watches don’t happen on mini tours. They exist in a Golf Twitter vacuum except for a tiny legion of hard-core enthusiasts. There are no scoreboards. Guys turn in their scorecards at the end of a round and a calligraphist puts pen to cardboard and then everyone knows what they shot. Sometimes, even the players themselves don’t exactly know their score when they walk off the final hole, even if they’ve reached golf’s magic number.”
  • “Former Georgia Tech standout Luke Schniederjans made 11 birdies and shot 59 on Wednesday in the second round of the GPro Tour’s Mimosa Challenge in Morganton, N.C. But he apparently wasn’t aware of the sub-60 score, thinking that Mimosa Hills Country Club played to a par of 71. It is a 70.”
6. Down with golf attire snobbery!
That’s the position of John Craven for IrishGolfer.ie…Inspired by Hatton’s now-infamous hoodie, he writes…
  • “Winning Europe’s blue riband event by day, loitering outside a chicken shop by night, the exposure that this modest garment received at the hands of social media over the weekend was nothing short of extraordinary, and sadly highlighted an attitude still rife within golf circles to this day; one of elitist snobbery that has plagued the sport for as long as I can remember.”
  • “Of course, some will disagree, pointing to a rise in memberships and packed tee sheets as proof enough that golf, as it presents itself today, is onto a winner. But it’s taken a global pandemic to increase golf’s popularity, not the initiative of a bunch of blazers no doubt happy to accept the credit for the upturn. When life goes back to normal and other sports return to full playing schedules, it will be little things like relaxing dress codes that could make a big difference when it comes to retaining the new faces we’ve attracted by accident in 2020.”
7. Average driving distance of male golfers by age range 
Something, hopefully tasty, for you to chew on via our Gianni Magliocco…“Earlier this week we took a look at the average driving distance for male amateur golfers in each handicap range, and it got many of our members curious as to how the average driving distance would look if it were broken down by age.”
“Well, thanks to Arccos Golf, we can take a look at that.”
  • “Arccos Golf conducted an annual study culminating in the company’s distance report published in February, which included the average driving distance of amateur golfers in different age categories.”
  • “The data is based on the average taken from over 26 million shots hit from golfers from scratch level to a 25 index. Here are the findings for 2019:”
  • Average Driving Distance By Age in 2019:
  • 10-19: 234.2 yards
  • 20-29: 239.7 yards
  • 30-39: 233.7 yards
  • 40-49: 225.9 yards
  • 50-59: 215.4 yards
  • 60-69: 204.5 yards
  • 70+: 190.4 yards
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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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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2020 Zozo Championship

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GolfWRX is live from the 2020 Zozo Championship, which takes place at Sherwood CC this year following the cancellation of the tour’s Asia swing.

With a loaded field that features Tiger Woods, there is plenty of WITB intrigue, as well as a number of Japanese players, whose setups are always worth taking a look at.

Check out our 12 general galleries and a selection of special collections below, including plenty of Woods, Mickelson, and McIlroy photos.

General galleries

Special galleries

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums.

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