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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
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. 
 
GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
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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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Morning 9: Could Phil be the greatest senior golfer ever? | Tiger’s best statistical performances | Morikawa’s interesting Masters plans

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1. Could Phil Mickelson be the greatest senior golfer ever?
While he acknowledges Phil won’t actually turn to the senior circuit full time, Shane Ryan’s thought experiment considering what it would be like if he did is an excellent read.
“…If Phil did turn 100 percent of his energies to the PGA Tour Champions, just imagine what he could accomplish! The G.O.A.T.s right now are Hale Irwin, with his record 45 wins, and Bernhard Langer, with his record 11 majors. And sure, Mickelson has a very long way to go, with his two victories and zero majors. But! If he started now, how long would it take him to get 10 wins? Five majors? In a non-pandemic year, there are just shy of 30 events on the PGA Tour Champions calendar and five majors. Within three years, on his current form, I’d put Mickelson conservatively at 15 wins and six majors. That’s one win every six events, and while that would be a ridiculous pace on the PGA Tour, it doesn’t seem all that radical for Phil among the AARPers.”
“There’s a chance that this is coming off as an insult to Mickelson’s new old peers. That’s not my intention; I know the level of play is extremely high. I know that just because Phil has gone 2-for-2 so far, it doesn’t mean he’d continue at anywhere near that same rate. The fact remains, though, that he has an age advantage on his competitors, and an uncommonly strong game for a 50-year-old … as you can tell by the lack of other 50-year-olds who are still competitive enough to finish second in a World Golf Championships events after their golden birthday (Mickelson did just that at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude in August). Plus, he seems to be in the best shape of his life, he’s hitting the ball a mile and though he’s sustained a couple of down years on the greens, he’s at worst an average putter by PGA Tour standards. In other words, the man still has his touch.”
2. The best statistical performances from Tiger’s 82 wins
Justin Ray, writing for PGATour.com, breaks down Tiger Woods’ best statistical performances in a fascinating article.
“Off the Tee: 2009 Memorial Tournament…Woods’ performance at the 2009 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide was a statistical masterpiece off the tee. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, but didn’t do it how you may think. Woods hit 87.5% of his fairways, tying his highest percentage as a professional in a PGA TOUR event. That included a run of 18 straight fairways hit to conclude a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk.”
  • “Non-ShotLink division: 1997 Masters: To this day, partly because of the course changes that came after Woods’ 12-shot win, a 21-year-old Woods holds the Masters Tournament single-week average driving distance record, at 323.1 yards. Woods’ advantage over the field average that week was an incomprehensible 46 yards per drive (277.1). For perspective, Bryson DeChambeau averaged 322.1 yards off the tee in 2019-2020, 25.7 yards further than the TOUR average for the season.”
  • “Woods also hit 47 fairways for the week, one fewer than he hit two years prior as an amateur. Since statistical tracking began about 40 years ago, there are two instances where a player averaged 310 or more yards and hit 45 or more fairways in a Masters. Both were Woods (1995 and 1997).”
3. Bob Mathers!
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…“Bob Mathers is the only player in the Golfweek Sandestin Amateur field marking his Titleist 6 with his grandkid’s initials. The event at Sandestin’s Raven Golf Club drew in a field of mostly college players looking for tournament starts in a fall season marred by COVID.”
  • “Mathers lives 20 miles up the road in Niceville, Florida. He retired on Sept. 1 after 32 years as a pilot for Delta Airlines. When a friend told him about the event, he assumed it was only for college teams. He googled it and determined he was eligible.”
  • “There’s at least a 40-year age difference between Mathers and most of the other players in the field, but he lands squarely in the middle of the pack – T-24 in a field off 55 players after opening rounds of 75-73.”
4. “The attention of the entire golf industry” 
Geoff Shackelford writes…“Lauren Ohnesorge’s of the Triangle Business Journal takes a look at the USGA’s testing center move to Pinehurst and it’s certainly exciting to see the potential development of talent, turfgrass and museum exposure to more eyeballs. “
  • “But the notion of a manufacturing center remains very odd in Ohnesorge’s characterization.
  • “As N.C. Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland outlined in an August letter supporting the project, made available through a public records request, officials envisioned a golf cluster in North Carolina.”
  • “Having the Test Center in Pinehurst will focus the attention of the entire golf industry on North Carolina and will very likely attract many golf equipment manufacturers and suppliers to not only Moore County but also the region so they can be in close proximity to the Test Center,” Copeland wrote.”
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. 
 
GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. Great question…
“National Club Golfer staff…“Golf consistently ranks in the top ten of the most popular sports on the planet. And its numbers are growing. The game has an overall reach (play, watch or read about it) of approximately 108 million in the United States, which equates to 1 in 3 Americans over the age of six. In 2019, 34.2 Americans played golf. And it’s not declining either, with 2.5 new players last year alone (it was 1.5 million in 2011).”
  • “So what makes golf so popular? What’s the sport’s secret? As a from-the-cradle golfing nut I’d argue that it’s just blatantly obvious, but the real answer is of course a little more nuanced.”
6. Morikawa’s Masters plan
Geoff Shackelford writes…“Perhaps it’s familiarity with the course through television. Or maybe a change in how players view local knowledge. Plenty have been burned by not seeing the course in tournament week conditions, which get pushed Wednesday evening after the practice round. So it was not a huge shock to see Collin Morikawa plan to take a modest approach to his first Masters.”
  • “From today’s ZOZO Championship press conference, the first event for Morikawa in his native southern California since winning the PGA Championship in August”
  • “I don’t want to put any of these things in my head where I’m going to have to show up and, man, this is going to be so much harder to prep for than another event. I think I’ve done a really good job every course I’ve gone to for the first time in figuring it out and I feel like I’m very prepared. I never feel on a Thursday like, oh, man, I wish I had one more practice round. I don’t think that’s going to be the case at Augusta. Yes, I’m going to want to be out there a little more just to figure out some greens, figure out the slopes, but I’m not going to just go out there at 8:00a.m. in the morning and leave at 6:00p.m. just because it’s Augusta National. I’m going to spend my time-wisely and really get my rest because at the end of the day you want to feel as prepped and pressure fresh by Thursday.”
7. New Donald Trump golf course cleared for development in Scotland
AP report…”Authorities in Scotland have approved plans by President Donald Trump’s family business to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire, despite campaigning from environmental activists.
  • “The Aberdeen council published documents Friday showing it gave full planning permission for the development, subject to some conditions such as measures to minimize the flooding risk at the site, located on Scotland’s northeast coast.”
8. Rockstar Billionaire founder makes “Monster” real estate deal, on property linked to Tiger Woods
Darrell Hofheinz, Palm Beach Daily News …“Weiner sold the oceanfront house for a recorded $41.77 million and the smaller house for a recorded $6.42 million, the records suggest. He bought and sold the properties as trustee of a revocable trust in his name.  Weiner is the creator of Rockstar Energy Drink, which he sold to PepsiCo last spring in a deal reported at $3.85 billion. Weiner has an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion, according to Forbes.”
9. LPGA’s “Drive on for the future” 
Cool stuff. From the LPGA Communications team…“The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Foundation announced today the “Drive On for the Future” Virtual Scramble, a two-person scramble fundraiser with the goal of bringing the golf community together to empower and inspire more girls through the game of golf.”
  • “The tournament was inspired by the recent success of the Virtual Pro-Am and Virtual Scramble hosted by the LPGA Professionals and LPGA Amateurs, respectively. From Aug. 28 to Sept. 13, over 1,100 players and 191 teams raised $56,185 for the LPGA Renee Powell Grant, the LPGA Amateurs Women on Par Scholarship and the LPGA Professionals COVID-Relief Fund.”

 

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