Tiger Gets His Calamity Jane, Takes To Social To Share The Spoils Of Win No. 80

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One of the coolest—dopiest to the kids reading out there—trophies in golf arrived at Tiger’s house and he promptly posted multiple shots of the 2018 Tour Championship’s Calamity Jane trophy.

Because the world revolves around FedEx and the gobs of money they are paying for the FedExCup, the Calamity Jane may be a 2019 casualty of the Tour Championship shifting to a handicap tournament resolving only the FedExCup.

So enjoy!

Go Figure: PGA Tour LatinoAmerica Finale Headed To Trump Doral

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Last I heard the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica was played in…drum roll…Latin America.

Also, multiple sources have reminded me that the PGA Tour was one of several organizations to scold the now President Of The United States for his comments about Mexican immigrants.

The then-candidate Donald Trump then assailed the PGA Tour when it moved the WGC at Trump Doral to Mexico City.

Voila! We have a match made in heaven: Ponte Vedra is jumping at the obvious natural fit by bringing the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica finale to Trump National Doral’s “Golden Palm” course.

Brentley Romine with the confusing details for Golfweek. Did I say confusing? I meant synergistic fit.

Rounds Played Down A Bit Due To Weather, USA Has 24 Million Or So Golfers Still

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard much on rounds played or the number of golfers in the United States, so I enjoyed the various numbers dropped by CNBC’s Dominic Chu during a Morning Drive appearance.

The growth fanatics won’t be pleased to see golf is stuck on 24 million or so numbers, but 82% of those players consider themselves committed. As Chu notes, there is no longer a sense that the sky is falling on Wall Street or anywhere else that people obsess about the numbers.

Anyway, good stuff from Chu’s chat with Cara Banks:

Tiger Admits Lack Of Conditioning Caught Up With Him At The Ryder Cup

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Speaking at an exhibition in Pebble Beach, Tiger Woods reflected on win No. 80, the Ryder Cup and next year’s Presidents Cup captaincy.

While his haters will gripe, I admire his willingness to admit the heat, stress and thrills of his playoff play took on him physically after not being prepared physically to play as much as he did. From Dan Kilbridge’s Golfweek story:

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

Turns Out The Tiger Woods Foundation Is Secretly Working To Combine Art And Science To Make More Putts!

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We always knew those special kids supposedly studying everything but golf at the Tiger Woods Foundation’s learning center were really just plotting to combine art and science to help Tiger make more putts.

Just look on Instagram!

Is Brexit To Blame For The Apparently Impending (Re)Demise Of The British Masters

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With Sky Sports ending its four-year run of the rejuvenated British Masters, Global Golf Post’s Colin Callander considers the various reasons for this historic tournament’s demise (again).

In light of the incredible state of English golf, a Ryder Cup win and moderate success of the event with its revolving host concept, Callander ultimately wonders if uncertainty over Brexit is scaring off potential sponsors.

Not explored but another potential factor: tax implications of appearing in multiple sporting events in England.

Her Majesty’s Corgies must eat well!

Johnny "Could make golf more fun to hear than to watch"

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Great stuff from AP’s Doug Ferguson on the retirement of Johnny Miller, including this gem on Craig Parry that lit up the switchboards.

''The last time you see that swing is in a pro-am with a guy who's about a 15-handicap,'' Miller said. ''It's just over the top, cups it at the bottom and hits it unbelievably good. It doesn't look ... if Ben Hogan saw that, he'd puke.''

Parry got the last word, of course, holing out a 6-iron from 176 yards in a playoff to win.

Except that wasn't the last word.

''I was in Ponte Vedra going back to the Honda Classic, and my phone is blowing up,'' said Tommy Roy, the longtime golf producer at NBC. ''It started percolating down in Australia, and you had radio stations demanding Johnny Miller be fired.''

Jaime Diaz looks back on Miller’s career in this Golf Central essay:

Miller joined Golf Central Wednesday to discuss his impending farewell at the 2019 Waste Management Open:

On Golf Central we debated his greatest legacy: player or broadcaster. I said player. Matt Adams said broadcaster. You decide!

"Is it a Hall of Fame or a mausoleum?"

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That’s the very appropriate question posed by Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch a week after we learned of the latest inductees, including one who was worthy long before she passed away.

From Lynch’s column:

The tardy selection of Peggy Kirk Bell isn’t the first time the Hall has soured what ought to be a special achievement.

Last year’s ceremony was in New York, a lavish affair so tedious and drawn-out that I feared some older Hall of Famers present might make the “In Memoriam” list before the evening ended. Earlier that day I met with Ian Woosnam, one of the inductees. Woosie won the Masters, was ranked World No. 1 and had more than 50 career victories. I asked if it rankled that he didn’t get the call to the Hall until he was almost 60 years old, after years of seeing others with less impressive careers cut in line.

“What do you think?” he answered with a thin smile.

Part of the problem lies in the vetting and selection of candidates. That is determined by two committees, both stacked with officials from various Tours and governing bodies. Honorable people all, but it stretches credulity to assume that every decision is free of institutional or personal bias toward particular candidates.

From there he goes into the selection that expedited the Hall’s ongoing run-ins with credibility: Monty.

We discussed all of this silliness on Morning Drive today, including the reason to even care about having a great HOF, the oversights, the issues with voting politics caused by shifting away from writers as voters, and, most of all the ongoing issues with having a Hall full of too many oversights to ever just enjoy the current class.

 

Johnny Miller Really Is Retiring To Spend More Time With His Family

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I’m getting weepy just thinking how weepy Johnny Miller will be at the 2019 Waste Management Open when he hangs up his IFB, questions his last club selection and takes his well, well, well earned retirement to really, truly genuinely spend more time with his family.

From G.C. Digital’s item and Golf Central where Miller will be talking more extensively on Tuesday’s show about his plans after nearly 30 incredible years as the most concise, prepared and opinionated analyst golf television has known.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Johnny To Retire, Azinger To Replace While Still Working For Fox

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The Forecaddie with fantastic news for golf fans grappling with the thought of Johnny Miller retiring and no standout, no-brainer replacements.

Except one.

Will we get a Paul Azinger-Tirico-Faldo cameo of their old ESPN days on some weekday telecast on Golf Channel (Faldo can’t work on NBC, I don’t believe)? Maybe at The Open?

Golf Lives: A Look At Genuine "Grow The Game" Courses

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As golf’s leaders fuss over their PSA’s and other feel good grow the game efforts, we all know the sport will only really sustain players and passion if there are fun, relaxed and maybe a tad quirky facilities.

Callaway and Vice’s collaboration on Golf Lives is highlighting three “Home Courses” in Washington D.C., Portland and Gothenburg. This is just Season 1, so if you have nominations for similar places to highlight, please post in the comments here or message me.

Each piece, around 6 minutes, highlights the best of these places. I’m particularly enamored with Edgefield’s vibe and character, though having been to Wild Horse can attest to what a perfect golf facility they’ve created (and maintained).

The series can be seen on CallawayGolf.com or on Callaway TV on Apple TV and Roku. And below.

The description for volume 1:

“Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity amongst African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not only a uniter of people, but of generations.”

Beer drinkers and golf bag inventors will especially love Edgefield, described here but not mentioning the “Cartender” and the home-made bags created by a local:

“The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of Northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club.”

And the final film from Dave Axland and Dan Proctor’s Wild Horse design in Nebraska is explained this way:

“In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat equity later, their prairie land masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.”

USGA, R&A Budge In Final Green Reading Book Ban

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The full release is here. Golfweek’s Brentley Romine has the highlights of the final announcement.

Here is what was gleaned from the feedback period of the green reading book limitations presented this summer:

Some of the changes made to the original proposal following the feedback period include the removal of: (1) the proposed minimum slope indication limit of 4% and (2) the prohibition against using handwritten notes to create a copy or facsimile of a detailed green map.

Additions to the original proposal include: (1) a new size limit for the printed book/material (restricted to pocket-size), (2) a new prohibition against magnification of putting green information and (3) a new requirement that any hand-drawn or written information must be in a book or on a paper meeting the size limit and must be written by the player and/or his or her caddie.

Reading Mike Stachura’s Golf World account, the author sounds pretty skeptical of Thomas Pagel’s claims on behalf of the USGA suggesting that the limitations will still limit these books in competition.

The new interpretation, however, seems to shift from some of the original proposal’s fundamental convictions. In July, Pagel said, “Basically, the books are giving them a recommended line, and that goes too far. The skill of reading a green was diminishing, quickly going away. And we wanted to make sure it was retained.” But there were two factors that seemed to sway the decision away from specific restrictions on the information in any green-reading book. One was history, and the other was enforcement.

“First, we know the ability to take notes has been part of the game for a very long time, and we did not want to get away from that,” he said. “I also heard loud and clear about the challenge of enforcing the rule. Players were asking, How do I know if my notes are OK? and How do I know if the notes another player has on the other side of the fairway are OK?

Will this turn out to be another anchoring ban that ultimately leaves people wondering if players are skirting the rule? I hope not.

Not Everyone Is Excited About Congressional's Restoration Program

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Congressional Country Club, soon slated to host a PGA of America event every other year for the rest of our lives, has a Keith Foster restoration of Devereux Emmet’s design in its immediate future. With that is tree removal apparently carried out in a questionable manner for Montgomery County, reports the Washington Post’s Jennifer Barrios.

After inspecting the grounds and comparing aerial photos with photos received as part of a complaint, authorities said the club appears to have removed roughly half an acre of tree cover in recent months — possibly in preparation for hosting several high-profile tournaments in coming years, including the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

A club member, who triggered the investigation by tipping off a local environmental group, estimated that 1,000 trees were taken down on the 358-acre property. The member thinks it happened in the colder winter months, when the courses are less utilized.

“I am [upset] because they’re ruining my club,” said the member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from club officials, but added that dozens of fellow clubgoers are also concerned.

“I think they don’t want members to fuss,” the person said. “I think it [was] also quietly done so it didn’t draw attention from the county.”

Too late now!

Calls Should Come Any Day Now For Thomas Bjorn To Solve Brexit

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Is he a Hard Brexit guy or more of a Soft Brexit type? Given that he gets a standing ovation these days for walking to a first tee en route to an inevitable round starting in the 70s, the Captain Thomas Bjorn lovefest is now hitting full stride. Comparisons to Churchill seem inevitable. 

Alistair Tait of Golfweek on what the victorious 2018 Captain is planning now that he managed to craft winning lineups, drive his buggy without injuring a spectator and keep his players from bad mouthing their week. Oh, and he’s not pulling the I-told-you-so-card on his Sergio selection, as he’s entitled to do. 

Take the Dane’s “controversial” decision to select Sergio Garcia as one of his wild-card picks. Bjorn was pilloried from all points – including this one – for picking the out of form Spaniard. If Bjorn had any reason to say “I told you so,” this was his opportunity. Instead, he took a dignified stance.

“I’m not one to sit there and say I told you so, because Sergio could have showed up and not won points,” Bjorn said. “He could have played well and lost matches. That happens in the Ryder Cup.

Now, I’m happy the Europeans are enjoying this victory, but as we discussed on Morning Drive, the excessive celebration flags are about to start flying.

Trophy Wrap: Leishman Is CIMB Worthy, Pepperell Takes British Masters, Chun Claims The Hana, Langer Wins No. 38 In The SAS And Tennant Wins US Senior Women's Am

Marc Leishmann fended off—who else?—but Justin Thomas along with 54-hole co-leaders Gary Woodland and Shubhankar Sharma to take the CIMB Classic and the solar panel trophy for the winner.

Because it was just too bloody cold for anyone to go back outside, Eddie Pepperell posed inside Walton Heath’s clubhouse to celebrate his Sky Sports British Masters victory. Alistair Tait with details of the win for Golfweek.

In Gee Chun takes the turquoise jacket and a matching lamp base in the KEB Hana Bank:

Bernhard Langer won again on the PGA Tour Champions, his 38th title. This time it’s the SAS Championship and a piece of crystal he can pawn to buy a non-white belt with.

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Trophy No. 38 for @bernhard.langer. 👏🏆

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And it was a few days ago, but congrats to Lara Tennant for winning the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. The 51-year-old had her father on the bag! Scott Lipsky with the the story of Tennant’s 3&2 win over Sue Wooster.

Jason Day: Roll Back The Ball? Better Move The Tees Up!

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In a new Golf World interview with Brian Wacker, Jason Day is asked about the prospects of a limited-distance ball at the Masters and the possible effect on the game.

First off, people would still play the Masters. But if they did that, then they better shorten the tees again. If we have limited-flight balls, we're going to have 4-irons into No. 7 and things like that.

Oh no a long iron! We can’t have that!

You see, the idea is to actually make long par-4s long again and par-5s risky again and maybe even get back to getting the fairways at Augusta National running instead of grainy and slow fairways. But go on…

But do I want the ball to go shorter? No. Why? Isn't it fun watching Dustin Johnson crush a drive over a lake 300 yards away? No one wants to see someone plod it down the right and not take it on. That's boring.

If you push trying to rein it in too far, then people will stop watching golf. People want to see risk.

Actually, when everyone can carry it 300 yards, the thrill of such risk taking is gone because it’s no longer risk. The reward for being genuinely long off the tee has been muted either because so many can do it, or because the courses have no chance of keeping up. That’s boring to watch.

The problem is the architects—some of them, anyway—decided that because the ball is going forever, they need to make courses longer to make them harder. No, you don't. Just be a better architect.

Psssssssst…most architects of the courses you play are….dead. They can’t be better architects.

Even after hearing these rationales for so many years, I’m still surprised at the level of misunderstanding about what is genuinely fun and satisfying to watch.

Video: The Great Distance Debate With Lucas Herbert And Mike Clayton

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Nice work by Mark Hayes, Mike Clayton and Golf Australia to do some more extensive testing with various driver-ball combinations with professional Lucas Herbert. And most admirable of young Herbert to subject himself to the old clubs at his peril (he’s continued his fine year since being reunited with this Taylor Mades, in case you worry after seeing some of the shots hit with persimmons).

Anyway, I’ve spoiled the results above but I think you’ll enjoy watching this not only to see what the results are, but the impact of driver head size:

PGA Tour Closing In On Alameda's Corica Park For Curry Tournament, Two-Week 2019 Off-Season

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I’m not sure what’s more eye-opening in Ron Kroichick’s update on plans for a 2019 PGA Tour stop in San Francisco and hosted by Steph Curry: that a true public course is likely to host, or that it would me just two weeks between the end of the Tour Championship and

First reported by Golf.com as the likely venue, Kroichick confirms and then notes where this likely new PGA Tour stop will fit:

Tour officials have not announced the dates of this potential tournament, but it’s tentatively slotted for Sept. 19-22, early in the 2019-20 season. The current 2018-19 “wraparound” schedule started last week in Napa, takes a break in December and ends with the regular-season finale Aug. 1-4. Then the FedEx Cup playoffs run for three weeks, ending Aug. 25 with the Tour Championship.

The tour is expected to take a two-week break before launching its season Sept. 12, 2019, at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Curry’s event would be next, followed by the Safeway Open in Napa, Sept. 26-29, one week earlier than in recent years.

At Least Team USA Helped Coin A Spectacular New Term: Crony Captainism

Peter Kaufman restructures distressed assets as an investment banker and takes a businessman’s approach to America’s latest Ryder Cup rout in Europe.

In it he spawns a spectacular phrase that will make Patrick Reed happy, assuming he reads MorningRead.com.


1. End crony captain-ism. Let’s stop the parade of old PGA Tour players as captains. No more, Whose turn is it? Or, Which of my buddies do I want to hang around with in Paris? I hate to pick on U.S. captain Jim Furyk – he seems like a nice-enough fellow – but he is the most recent glaring example of what needs to change.

Furyk chose his pals Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods as captain’s choices, and it’s clear that they had huge influences on everything Furyk did, or did not do. They are a combined 90 years old (really). They also are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the category of Most Ryder Cup Points Lost in History.

But they are “very experienced”! Very experienced at losing, actually. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. Their losing Ryder Cup scar tissue has scar tissue on top of scar tissue. They just do not play nicely with others. That is not a recipe for success.