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Greg Norman praises ‘rebel’ players ready to compete in controversial Saudi International

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There has been much speculation as to whether the new Greg Norman-led Asian Tour will be able to snipe some of the world’s best golfers during the 2022 season.

As reported by Golf Digest Australia, it appears Norman is confident in doing just that.

Yesterday, organizers of the Saudi International, which is set to take place at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club from February 3-6, confirmed 25 of the golfers who will be making the trip to Saudi Arabia.

The list of stars is quite long and headlined by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson. Additionally, many of golf’s European Tour stars will be joining the field, including Adam, Tyrrell Hatton, Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey.

In response to their commitment, Norman praised the “rebel” players for standing up to what he called “anti-competitive threats” in a memo sent to the golfers:

“I want to share my undivided support and endorsement for the stance taken in announcing your participation in the Saudi International,” he wrote.

“You are standing up for your rights, as professional athletes, and for what is right and best for the global development of the sport of golf.

“Without this change, you will never realise your individual and collective value, or elevate the game to the levels it deserves. Simply put, the anticompetitive threats and actions these professional bodies have taken are designed to prevent fair competition, limit the game’s growth, and harm your ability to realise your true value. 

“I wanted to reach out directly to share the respect I have for you and the strength of your actions, and also to voice the level of support you have from so many sectors of the industry, who are greatly encouraged by your leadership and the new horizons in golf’s future.”

The Saudi International will be played directly opposite to a brand new DP World Tour event, the Ras al Khaimah Championship, scheduled to take place in the UAE the same week.

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15 Comments

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  1. Pingback: PGA Tour pros given green light to compete in Saudi International, but with conditions – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: The PGA Tour Is Brawling With Greg Norman, and Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson Might Be the Casualties – ReadPay

  3. George

    Dec 2, 2021 at 12:49 am

    Norman is a collectivist airhead who kisses up to genocidal head-choppers now. Saudi Arabia has done nothing to improve its miserable human rights record. See Yemen.

    If you hate the USA so much, leave Greg.

    • Gerry T

      Dec 4, 2021 at 4:51 pm

      Wow… grow up! SMH Greg isn’t the airhead.

      • Mike

        Dec 6, 2021 at 9:56 am

        Geh comeback. Get another vax and stay in Canada.

  4. Mike B

    Dec 1, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    When player’s names are mentioned (past and present) it’s always followed by he won 18 majors. Or he won 15 majors. Or 6 majors. Not, he won 20 million dollars or 10 million dollars. The PGA and European tour has been very good to these professional golfers. If they want to go play in Saudi Arabia for the money, let them. But they are no longer allowed to play in PGA or European events.

    • Gerry T

      Dec 4, 2021 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks for your humor. That would mean we could play on the PGA tour. Playing on this tour gives them more opportunities. I guess ratings mean nothing to you.

  5. R Bryan

    Nov 30, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    The filthy Saudis can pound sand. Norman ought to be ashamed to work with these evil cretins, but he’s following the money.

    • Chris

      Dec 1, 2021 at 9:08 am

      Don’t be naïve, you think the US gov isn’t every bit as evil? Or imagine if some Indian player refused to play the euro tour cause of the history of imperialism haha we’d be rolling our eyes… Everyone’s gov does/has done bad stuff and taken advantage of ppl I can’t believe ppl think UAE is somehow worse.

      • gwelfgulfer

        Dec 2, 2021 at 10:29 pm

        Most of that bad stuff was in the past, not like chopping heads off people who call you out for being the POS that you are… Get over yourself kiddo…

      • Gerry T

        Dec 4, 2021 at 4:57 pm

        Exactly Chris! And here in Canada we have a PM wonder boy who doesn’t give a horse’s arse about our gas and oil industry. He would rather be a globalist dunce and support his Saudi bosom buddies. How does that make our country look? Biden is no less of a joke!

    • Ray

      Dec 1, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      Typical Internet Noise, without actual facts.
      The usual…
      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. Erroll Miller

    Nov 30, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Adam Scott, European, not!
    Zander, European, not!

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News

People are going crazy over these Jordan 1 Low Golf sneakers!

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Nike’s next installment of Jordan Golf sneakers is releasing in the U.S. today. This time, we don’t have to guess if the sneakers will sell out — we already know they will.

The Nike Jordan 1 Low G was released in Korea on January 14, and it was a sight to behold. According to The Korea Times:

“Pitching tents hours before the opening of Nike stores so as to be the first to get inside, customers sprinted into the stores like a mad mob. A witness to the scene at Shinsegae Department Store in Daegu said it was ‘scary to see them running like zombies.'”

Reports say that most of the customers were there to make a profit on the secondary sneaker market, a market that’s been growing exponentially for years now, with pairs reportedly selling for up to $670.

As far as the sneaker go themselves, they’re relatively toned down for all the hype they’ve created. The sneaker is essentially the Jordan 1 Low ‘Wolf Grey’ but with Nike’s traction sole.

They’ve been advertised as “everything you need to play 18 holes in comfort” by Nike themselves.

Check out this video to get a better idea of wild the scene in Korea on January 14.

Jordan 1 Low Golf mayhem

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2022 American Express

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GolfWRX is live this week from The American Express at PGA West in La Quinta, California as the PGA Tour begins its West Coast Swing.

We got an in-hand look at the new Mitsubishi MMT Putter Concept putter shaft (as well as the inside story here), Fujikura Ventus TR Blue shaft (story here), Vokey SM9, new Cobra drivers, new TaylorMade putters, as well as plenty of peeks inside player bags.

Check out links to all our photos below!

Gallery threads

Spotted threads 

WITB threads

Join the discussion and see what GolfWRXers are saying here. 

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Equipment

Patrick Reed on PXG driver deal, new Grindworks “Barrett” wedges (plus 2022 WITB)

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Prior to PXG’s recent announcement, Patrick Reed was an equipment free agent and had the freedom to play with any driver he wanted.

Without any mandates from a particular OEM, Reed was free to test and use different drivers from various manufacturers. And, throughout the majority of 2021, that’s what he did. Seemingly every week, Reed was using a driver from a different company, searching for his right fit.

By the end of the year, he finally found it. Starting in October 2021, Reed used a PXG 0811X Gen4 driver (equipped with his usual Aldila Rogue 125 MSI shaft) for the remainder of 2021.

Three months was an eternity in Reed’s 2021 free agency world of ever-changing driver choices, so it was no surprise when PXG announced the endorsement deal at the start of 2022. He was already using the company’s driver for a relatively extensive period, so the deal happened organically.

Following his T-15 finish at the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui – his first event as a member of the PXG Troops – I briefly caught up with Reed on Tuesday at the 2022 American Express in Palm Desert to ask him about the driver and the deal.

“The driver’s been amazing,” Reed told GolfWRX. “Being in that free agency market, I’ve been able to use whatever I want. I’ve tested every driver from Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, Ping, PXG, and this one I feel like gives me the best opportunity to make my golf swing and hit the shot I want to, and at the same time have the speed I’m looking for. So, for me, the driver’s unbelievable.”

While the PXG driver has been in his bag for months now, he did show up to the 2022 American Express with a few new clubs.

In addition to the Grindworks irons that he’s been playing the last few years, Reed now has new Grindworks “Barrett” signature collection wedges in the bag (Barrett is the name of Reed’s son). As per the company’s website, the wedges are officially called “Grindworks + Patrick Reed – The Barrett Wedge Collection.

Designed by Niimi Kiyonari, the same craftsman who designed Reed’s irons, the Barrett wedges are the result of two years of close work with Reed to get exactly what he wants out of his wedge.

“We’ve been working really hard on designing the wedges through Grindworks,” Reed told GolfWRX on Tuesday. “They’ve been really good. It’s still a work in progress, trying to tweak them a hair here and there, but for me, it’s going to be a game-changer, because, let’s be honest, you have to be perfect from 130 yards-and-in nowadays on Tour, because that’s where you score every time.”

On the company’s website, Kiyonari writes the following about working with Reed on the wedges, and how they’re different:

“The idea of creating Mr. Reed’s wedges intrigued me. When Mr. Reed asked me to design his new wedge, I immediately realized that Patrick was after feel and nothing else. Feel permeates Patrick’s game through the core and is not to be compromised ever.

“So, the next question entered my mind… how do you go about designing a wedge that is unparalleled in the market and that you can only describe through feel at impact? Patrick had absolute faith in my ability to take his words, direction, and his eye for the aesthetics of the clubs and develop and synthesize all of the information and create what would be the perfect set of wedges.

“At first, I was tempted to dismiss the project, only because the feel is so subjective. How would I know from person to person what feel people want to be achieved? But in working with the irons with Patrick, I realized his aptitude for knowing what feeling people as well as the best players in the world are looking for… as well as what they were not looking for. It took us well over a year and a half just discussing the details with Patrick. The alloy to use, the shape to forge, how many grooves to cut and not once during all this time did Patrick waver about the technology or processes, all he wanted to achieve were his grinds….the grinds he had been trying to duplicate with each win, with each practice, wedges that would no longer need grinding and lead tape, he wanted his wedges and he wanted me to create his ‘go-to’ set of wedges, no grinding or lead tape necessary, ready for game- time.

“It took over two years of prototypes, discussions, changes, and sacrificed so many samples to achieve exactly what we all wanted. As a surprise to Patrick, we named his signature Wedges ‘Barrett’ after his only son.”

Reed had three Grindworks Barrett wedges (51, 57, and 61 degrees) in the bag on Tuesday at The American Express, although he appears to still be testing out the 61-degree version against Titleist Vokey SM9 and SM8 lob wedges.

As a side note, I also asked Reed about the relationship with Grindworks and how it started in the first place.

“Justine,” Reed said. “Justine (Reed’s wife) contacted them whenever I was trying to figure out what direction I was trying to go with clubs when I was in free agency. We just asked them if they’d build us a set of clubs, and I’m thinking they’re just going to send a blade that they’ve already made with my specs and just send ’em to me. After about 500 emails and 8 different CAD designs, we designed the entire set from scratch.”

Below is an in-hand look at each of the new Barrett wedges and a company description of each new design.

Grindworks PR-B51

“The Grindworks Barrett 51 wedge is all about ‘smooth transitions.’ This wedge is intended to give you the shotmaking from the fairway giving players optimal spin, with the ability to control trajectory, and create the shot you want or need into the greens.”

Grindworks PR-B57

“The Grindworks Barrett 57 grooves are stamped lower and also closer to the leading edge giving it an overall straighter look but also keeps the forgiveness needed not to ‘dig.’ The intention with this 57-degree wedge was to give heel and toe relief, a wider sole, and smooth transitions from the heel to the toe.”

Grindworks PR-B61  

“A ‘High-Toe Look,’ but not a high toe. The 61-degree wedge has a nice straight leading edge, but transitions to the bounce smoothly so it does not dig. The grooves are stamped lower and are set deep into the wedge for optimal spin and performance. The bounce of this wedge is lower with heel and toe relief which allow for play on multiple surfaces and different lies and gives a player a multitude of shots, enhancing playability anywhere around the greens or from the fairway.”

Below is everything that Reed had in his bag on Tuesday ahead of the 2022 American Express. To see what GolfWRX members are saying about Reed’s equipment, and see all of our photos, check out the full Patrick Reed WITB 2022 forum thread here.

Driver: PXG 0811X Gen4 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 125 MSI 70 TX

3 Wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees), TaylorMade Stealth Plus (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 130 MSI 70 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Phenom Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: Grindworks PR-202 (4 iron), Grindworks Patrick Reed Forged 101-A  (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Grindworks Barrett (51, 57 and 61 degrees), Titleist Vokey SM9 (lob wedge), Titleist Vokey SM8 (lob wedge)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #3

Click here to see all of our photos of Reed’s equipment.

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