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19th Hole

Multiple major champ says the pros should be made to play Persimmon woods



Bifurcation – ‘the point or area at which something divides into two branches or parts.’ (Merriam-Webster dictionary.)

Not a word heard very often, or at all, but now one ingrained into virtually every golf story in the past 48 hours, and now legendary player Tony Jacklin has joined other professionals in suggesting something other than the proposed Model Local Rule, where compettion organisers could enforce a ruling to ensure the players use a ball that travels shorter than balls currently used by professionals and amateurs alike.

The idea is not new. Indeed, the concept of differing balls used by the two sectors of golfer was debated on here as far back as 2017,  but with technology moving apace and with players getting stronger and fitter, the two rules makers have proposed a move to stop the huge hitting players that “threaten golf’s long-term sustainability and undermines the core principle that a broad and balanced set of playing skills” that should “remain the primary determinant of golf.”

Whilst everyday golfers will always try to match their professional counterparts, it is a rare thing to hear any comment that it’s unfair that they can’t hit the distances of Bryson, Rory, Cameron Young et al, particularly as distance does not always equate to accuracy.

Player such as Long Drive World Championship runner-up Bryson DeChambeau called the move ” the most atrocious thing that you could possibly do to the game of golf,” whilst current PGA Champion Justin Thomas (wearing a manufacturer’s cap) said the proposed move was “selfish” and that it ignored the fact that “we [the professional golfers] are athletes now.”

On Wednesday, two-time major winner and twice winning captain of the European Ryder Cup side added his opinion to the debate surrounding length.

The 78-year-old took to Twitter to suggest the way to overcome the bombers is to bring back persimmon woods for the professional elite.

Many replies were in agreement, suggesting the smaller head and sweet spot meant the driver used to be the hardest club in the bag to hit and the reason why classic courses were so difficult.

The last player to win a The Masters using a persimmon wood was Berhard Langer in 1993, with players such as Justin Leonard and David Love keeping one in the bag after the majority had moved on to metal beasts.

Whilst it seems as though viewers like to see reachable par-4s, there is a particular delight in watching the guile required around the classic, shorter tracks such as this week’s Copperhead, host of the Valspar Championship.

Whilst Jacklin seems to concede the days of four-iron or five-iron to par-4s is a thing of the past, the current move is certainly trying to get close to it.

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  1. Pingback: Multiple major champ says the pros should be made to play Persimmon woods - SOCAL Golfer

  2. WoodenHead

    Mar 18, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I agree. And /or limit the ccs on clubs under 20 degrees.

  3. Oberto

    Mar 18, 2023 at 8:06 pm



    Mar 18, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    Stupid. The game (& the world) has progressed since Tony won (around 1970). This would kill the sport from a viewing perspective.

    • Shallowface

      Mar 19, 2023 at 10:38 pm

      Just the opposite. It would actually make it interesting again.

  5. P Cross

    Mar 17, 2023 at 10:55 pm

    BAD saying previous golf champions were not athletes is ridiculous….Jack was way stronger then him..

  6. P Cross

    Mar 17, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    Thomas should filmed on a practice ground hitting persimmon drivers and balata balls and recording his distance….it would be interesting to see how much distance he at least 30 yd

  7. Jordan

    Mar 17, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Bring back Ford Model T’s for Nascar too while we’re at it. These are dumb takes, and just from people salty they didn’t have these clubs available to them when they were 30.

  8. Jerry

    Mar 17, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    Persimmon woods and hickory shafts … what’s not toot like?

  9. WoodenHead

    Mar 17, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    I agree. And/or set a maximum size for cc’s for all clubs under 20 degrees.

  10. Jerry

    Mar 17, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Persimmon heads and hickory shafts … what’s not to like?

  11. Tom54

    Mar 17, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    Works for me..I still have several old MacGregor persimmon drivers I’d love to sell??

  12. Jason

    Mar 17, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t think persimmon, but I do think that driver head size, length, and c.o.r. should be dialed back.

  13. RRR

    Mar 17, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    They could also just as easily SHRINK the driver head again, back to the same size as those persimmons, like when metal came into being to replace the woods. Leave the ball alone, and change the driver head size rules back from the 460cc down to 200cc or something.
    Or, they could also just as easily reduce the COR, make it 0.750 instead of the 0.830 is it now, for example, and match the CT reduction with it

  14. John Miles

    Mar 17, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Actually, Nick Faldo used a persimmon driver to beat Greg Norman in the ’96 Masters.

  15. Tom K

    Mar 17, 2023 at 11:52 am

    Gutta percha balls too.

  16. Gary Johnson

    Mar 17, 2023 at 11:40 am

    The problem is getting the finishing materials (primer varnish, polyurethane varnish) designed for wood golf heads.

  17. JahSteve

    Mar 17, 2023 at 11:25 am

    Feel like it could be equated with MLB and Pro leagues using wooden bats. While most rec leagues use aluminum i believe…

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19th Hole

‘Never be buddies’ – NHL star hits back at Brooks Koepka following golfer’s heckling



Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed all take part in this week’s LIV Golf Orlando, their own prelude to the Masters starting on April 6th.

So, of course, at Wednesday’s presser, they were asked about their preparations, what would happen if one were to win at Augusta and, naturally, about ‘Cone-gate,’ a recent incident involving Koepka, a traffic cone, and an insult hurled at NHL defenceman Aaron Ekblad. 


Koepka, captain of the Smash GC team, was happy to answer the reporter’s question and had his fellow LIV players intrigued by his revelations:

Q: Brooks, sort of a viral clip from last week at the Panther game, I was just curious what’s your beef with Aaron Ekblad, and did you bring the cone from home?

Brooks: I did not bring the cone. He gave up a bad goal. It was a bad pass in the third. I’m a die-hard P’s fan, and he gave up a bad goal.

Bubba: What sport is this?

Reed: Hockey.

Brooks: Really?

Yeah, it’s all right. Yeah, he gave up a bad goal I think midway through the third, and I just felt like if they didn’t win that game, they weren’t going to make the Playoffs. Dedicated fan, man.

Bubba: What is that cone he’s talking about?

Brooks: There was a cone. There was a cone that was just outside, so I —

Bubba: Were you hydrated that night?

Brooks: Yeah.

Bubba: Now we’re getting to it.

Brooks: Absolutely. Listen, I’m a die-hard fan.

Bubba: Is your shirt on or off?

Brooks: It’s on.

Bubba: I ain’t gonna look at it then.

Brooks: But I’m a die-hard fan, man. When they do something good, I’m the first one to cheer them, I’ll text these guys.

Bubba: Did you not text him?

Brooks: I didn’t text him, no. I did not.

Well, Ekblad has since responded, and told Sportsnet’s Luke Fox that he doesn’t know Koepka and that they will “never be buddies.”

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka’s coach says he expects LIV golfers to struggle at next week’s Masters



With the permission of Augusta National, the field for next week’s Masters will include six former champions that made the decision to join LIV Golf.

Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson will all tee it up on 6th April, certain to show that the move to the rebel tour has not diminished their ability to still compete amongst the world’s elite.

However, Pete Cowan, coach to the likes of Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, says that he is “not optimistic” about the chances of the LIV players at the first major of the year.

In an interview with The Times, the 72-year-old short-game wizard said,

“I’m not optimistic about players who aren’t playing competitively on a regular basis,”

“It’s a big deal. Like any sport, if you’re not competitively sharp you struggle.”

To put that into context, the official world’s top three players have taken part in a total of 21 events between them, with number three Jon Rahm leading the way with eight competitive outings, one ahead of the world number one Scottie Scheffler.

In contrast, 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson has only played two events since the turn of the year – LIV Mayakoba and LIV Tucson – and the current LIV table leader Charles Howell has done the same.

As The Times states, the most active PGA athletes will have played ‘more than double’ the number of rounds compared to their LIV counterparts come the Masters. There is concern over the level of commitment and desire to win from the LIV players, with last year’s Open Championship winner Cam Smith finishing fifth and 24th in his two outings in 2023, and DJ ranking in 35th and 13th in limited fields.

It may be that it’s money for old rope, but the incentive to appear in one of the PGA Tour’s ‘elevated’ events must also weigh heavily on those that took the big bucks to jump ship in 2022.

Cowan doesn’t slate those that went for the money, agreeing it has to be a motivating factor in sport, no matter what the public persona might say.

“Whether they say they do or not, they all play for money,” he said, before continuing

 “They are selfish and they have to be to be very good players. Ask Rory how much appearance money he gets a year. They all need to get round a table because if someone is investing billions into my sport I’d be saying, ‘How can I accommodate you?'”

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19th Hole

Augusta National Women’s Amateur champ hit with brutal 4-stroke penalty to begin defense



When high school sophomore Anna Davis won the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, everything went her way.

From charging through the field on the final day with a 69, to seeing leader Latanna Stone finish double-bogey, bogey to hand her the title, the then 16-year-old admitted, “I’m still a little shocked. I literally… I’m speechless. I can’t even fathom what just happened.”

Fast-forward 12 months and the defending champion had a completely opposite opening round, the bad day highlighted with a four-stroke penalty on her opening hole.

In the first round of the ANWA at Champions Retreat, host for the first two rounds of the 54-hole event, Davis twice lifted, cleaned and placed her ball while it was in the rough, mistakenly believing it was ‘preferred lies’ from anywhere.

Davis was then told on the 4th hole that there was a chance the committee would penalize her, but it was only after she finished her round that they confirmed she had lost four strokes, and had to sign for a 9 on hole one.

Chairman of Competition Committees James B Hyler Jr explained, “During play of her first hole, Anna Davis lifted her ball and failed to replace it on its original spot on two separate occurrences. Under Rule 9.4, Ms Davis has been penalized two strokes for each occurrence of playing from a wrong place. Her score on hole 1 will be increased from 5 to 9.”

Davis, who made four cuts from seven outings on the LPGA Tour last season, followed her opening hole with a double at the fourth hole and bogey on the next, standing at eight over par after just five holes. However, she fought back with four birdies and no dropped shots through the last 13 holes, eventually recording a four-over 76, 10 behind leader Rose Zhang.

The 17-year-old told reporters that she had checked the ruling with the group scorer. She asked if the preferred lie ruling apply all over the course and says she was told yes. “I guess he didn’t know,” Davis admitted.

“Aside from hole 1, I played pretty good today,” Davis said. “I hit a lot of shots close. The putter wasn’t really rolling, but I hit good shots.”

“I felt pretty good with my game the next 14 holes after that. I hit good shots. I just tried to forget that the 1st hole happened. All I can really do is have that give me motivation to do well tomorrow and have a good round tomorrow.

I’m playing well so I’m confident that I can do well tomorrow.”

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