Video: Jim Nelford Talks 1984 Crosby, Near-Death Experience On Morning Drive

Really extraordinary stuff here from Jim Nelford as interviewed by Gary Williams and Jaime Diaz on the 35th anniversary of his loss to Hale Irwin. Some of the great footage may have been taken out due to rights issues but Nelford is all you need to hear.

The 1984 Crosby went to sudden death after Irwin’s tee shot bounced off the rocks and back on to 18 fairway. Irwin also hit a horrendous pop-up off 16 tee in the playoff and then a miraculous long iron from the bunker. You can see the 18th tee shot in this best of compilation:

New Pod To Check Out: 1Up With Gary Williams And First Guest Jack Nicklaus

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Nice get and outstanding first effort from Gary Williams, hosting the “1 Up” podcast with Jack Nicklaus as his first guest.

Warning, golf ball talk early and oh how I love concern for the millennials entering the discussion. The Golden Bear knows how to pull at the golf executive heartstrings!

There is much more, of course, so subscribe away!


Pebble Beach's Fairway Contours May Be About The Only Thing To Glean For June's U.S. Open

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With this week’s rains Pebble Beach can’t get much softer, so watching Sunday’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am finale won’t yield much insight into what we’ll see for June’s U.S. Open.

One major correction, according to Golf World’s Dave Shedloski after discussing the setup with USGA officials on site this week, is the 11th fairway’s shrinkage at least allowing those who hit the fairway to have the best angle of approach.

One exception is the fairway at No. 11, an uphill par 4 of 390 yards leading to a shallow green that slopes severely from back to front. Hall says the fairway has been shifted to the left, leaving an easier approach, especially for players who take on the hole with driver. “The fairway direction before left a difficult second shot. You weren’t really rewarded for being in the fairway,” Hall said.

In 2010 the USGA attempted to bring trouble down the right into play but it left players in the left rough with a better angle of approach with their approaches. Given today’s bomb-and-gouge approach and the possibility of driving the ball closer to the green, it all may not matter.

New tees at 9 and 13 will also likely be used after getting an initiation at the 2018 U.S. Amateur.

Phil Mickelson's "Overnight" Driver Swing Speed Jump...

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I’m less interested in Phil Mickelson’s off-season speed bump from a distance regulation perspective and more from a mentality boost he says this gives him. However, it is still an amazing leap at age 48 and back to using last year’s Rogue driver.

Some of the improvement is health related, as Steve DiMeglio writes:

He hit the gym to build up his strength and explosiveness, especially in the offseason. He had a biomechanics study done and looked at the kinematic sequence of his swing to pinpoint his strengths and weaknesses. He spent hours working on his putting and iron play.

Further, he hired a nutritionist and is steadfastly adhering to a new diet. Sugar, for instance, is a no-no, and for a man who rarely said no to any dish or a second helping in the past, that takes will power.

“There are a lot of things that you can do to help your body heal, recover, and get strengthened,” Mickelson said.

And from Kevin Cunningham’s Golf.com item on Phil as he’s contending in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“So at the end of last year, even though I played poorly, I had something happen where it seemed like overnight,” Mickelson said on Friday, “it had really been a year in the works, where my driver speed, it shot up 5, 6 miles an hour, which rarely ever happens to anybody, yet alone somebody in their late 40s.”

Here’s the interesting part confirming that launch angle, bomb and gouge mindset is vital in Mickelson’s eyes:

“I think that’s going to lead to some good things,” Mickelson said. “If you’re going to be crooked off the tee, you sure as heck better be long and that’s kind of the way I’m trying to approach it.”

Of course he’s been incredibly accurate so far this week.

Tony Jacklin: Sergio Deserves A Suspension, Made Fool Of Himself, Needs Break From The Game

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Tony Jimenez with a Daily Express story after talking with English great and former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin about Sergio Garcia’s antics last week in Saudi Arabia.

“It was worthy of more than disqualification. I’d have banned him. Damaging greens on a golf course is an offence that deserves a suspension.

“The European Tour have said the incident is over and it’s time to move on. Well, if he’s not going to be banned, then I’d like to see him take a self-imposed break from the game.

“I think he needs time to realise how fortunate he is, at 39, to have everything money can buy, a young family and everything to be grateful for,” said Jacklin, the most successful captain in European Ryder Cup history and winner of the 1969 Open and 1970 US Open.

“To see his frustration spill over the way it did last week shows he’s not in a well-balanced state of mind. There seems to be an anger within him and golf is a game you can’t play angry.”

He will and the European Tour will not discourage it even if time off is in Garcia’s best interest.

To recap, Garcia vandalized greens, leaving damage behind for other players to deal with. He threw a bunker hissy fit for the ages over a bad rake job the day prior. European Tour Chief Keith Pelley says the matter is closed.

Garcia is set to play in Los Angeles next week.

Phil Hits All His Fairways And It's Not Even Close To The First Time

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Phil Mickelson hit all fairways in his AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am opener and believed that was a first.

But as Steve DiMeglio notes for Golfweek, the bigger surprise was just how many times Mickelson has accomplished the feat for someone, uh, mildly accurate off the tee during his illustrious career.

“So history was made today,” Mickelson said. “To the best of my knowledge it’s taken me 27 years and a few months to hit all fairways in a single round in a competition. I may have done it before, but I don’t ever recall doing it.”

Well, Mickelson has done it before. Six times on the PGA Tour, in fact. But let’s cut his memory some slack. The most recent time he accomplished the feat came 21 years ago in the Farmers Insurance Open.

His total recall aside, Mickelson was impressive throughout his round. His seven birdies swamped his lone bogey on the fifth hole and he stood in a tie for third place behind pacesetters Brian Gay and Scott Langley, who also played the Shore and shot 64.

Mickelson also made news by adding the Genesis Open at Riviera where he’s a two-time champion. He had previously decided to skip the event but after a missed cut in Scottsdale, gives the tournament 7 of the world top 10.

NY Times Obituary: Alice Dye And Her Impact On The Sport

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Alice Dye’s passing has left many in the golf world to reflect on her impact and while the obvious go-to’s are TPC Sawgrass’s 17th or keeping Pete from doing something really dumb, I keep coming back to tees.

Not sexy, but if you ever talked to her you know how passionate she was about better tee design for all, and in particular women and beginners. She penned an essay on the topic for my Masters of the Links (1997, Sleeping Bear Press) and did more than any architect in golf history for tee design.

So it was nice to see her passion and the positive influence Mrs. Dye had on player enjoyment highlighted in substantial New York Times obituary by Richard Goldstein:

Ms. Dye championed forward tees that make formidable courses more playable for most women as well as for male players outside the pro ranks.

“I worked very hard on trying to get the two-tee system for women,” she told the PGA of America. “I was successful in getting the yardage down between 5,000 and 5,200 yards.”

Prior to Alice, forward tees were not close to properly designed for women. By expanding the number of sets, she also quietly made more men comfortable playing shorter sets of tees while allowing women to enjoy the strategies intended by architects. Couple those factors together, and Alice Dye was instrumental in more enjoyment tied to millions of rounds played. For that alone she should be enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

We discussed the mark she left Monday on Morning Drive:

Opportunistic Whining? Tours Had A Seat At New Rulemaking Table

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You all may recall chief Keith Pelley chirping on behalf of outraged European Tour players at the sheer non-game-growing new rule that cost Haotong Li two strokes, though as I noted at the time you didn’t hear PGA Tour players griping because they clearly were more up on the new rules. And Pelley was taking his tour to Saudi Arabia, so a distraction card was also being placed on the table.

When the PGA Tour players started running into issues in Scottsdale, the inevitable cries of rulemaking unfairness were followed by the cheers from current and former players for the PGA Tour finally showing the amateurs in St. Andrews and Liberty Corner how it’s done. The PGA Tour’s statement after the McCarthy episode:

“It is clear that there is a great deal of confusion among players and caddies on the practical application of the new rule during competition, as well as questions surrounding the language of the rule itself and how it should be interpreted,” the Tour announced in a statement on Saturday. “As a result, with the full support of the USGA and the R&A, the rule will be interpreted whereby the two aforementioned situations as well as future similar situations will not result in a penalty.”

One problem, the PGA Tour and the European Tour were all in on the new rules meetings, as was the PGA of America.

Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com takes a tough but appropriate stance on any PGA Tour player and executive revisionist history.

Although the Tour has had a voice in the rule-making room for some time, the USGA and R&A agreed to give the circuit, as well as the PGA of America, more influence over potential changes when the organizations found themselves at odds during the anchoring debate a few years back. The Tour, which is represented on the rule-making front by senior vice president of competitions Tyler Dennis, may not have veto power over potential changes but it does have a prominent seat at the table.

For the Tour to dig in against the new rule, or at the least the rule’s ambiguous language, just as public opinion against it was poised to reach a crescendo, seems opportunistic if not duplicitous.

Ultimately the mistakes lie in not having a soft unveiling of these rules and perhaps a few fall events to work out the kinks, not necessarily in the rules themselves. At least, most of them.

The Fisherman Is Ready For His Monterey Peninsula Debut!

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Hosung Choi has got an A-list partner in actor Chris O’Donnell and a pairing with Jerry Kelly and Aaron Rodgers for three days as Rodgers had hoped, including Saturday at Pebble Beach. (Full times and TV listings here.)

Choi’s already got a logo, a following, haters and who knows what else. But the 45-year-old has no plans to change his swing, writes Steve DiMeglio. Shoot, maybe by Saturday Peter Kostis will even have seen him swing and might have his first humorous observation since the mid-90s when Frank Chirkinian fed him a line!

While some pretty big PGA Tour names have arrived and some intriguing pro-am names are in town too, Choi adds a grace levity that will undoubtedly be squashed when Bill Murray comes into camera view.

Here is Choi, world 194, teeing off the 18th at Pebble Beach:

Clarifying Alignment Clarifications: Haotong Li Still Would Be Penalized

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Lots to unpack on the caddie alignment saga, so let’s start with the USGA’s release bullet points summarized here for Golfweek.

The update issued Wednesday could be confusing with so much language and follow up points when actually very little was changed.

So here’s a quick summary since my initial reading assumed Haotong Li would not have been penalized. Turns out, he still would be under this reading because his caddie was aware he was deliberately behind him when he took his stance and proved this awareness when he tried to walk away as Li moved into his stance.

Li could have backed off and things would have been fine. This escape clause now extends to all shots, not just the putting green exception.

As for Denny McCarthy in Scottsdale, the governing bodies concluded he had not taken a stance and therefore the initial penalty call was incorrect. So while the PGA Tour rescinded the penalty and the USGA/R&A took a hit from players jubilant that the Tour had their back, the change was actually made because of an incorrect ruling.

That said, the incorrect ruling stemmed not from official incompetence but the overall confusing nature of the rule and debatable nature of whether McCarthy took a stance.

Whew.

If you’re still wanting more, here goes…

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Feb. 6, 2019) – The USGA and The R&A have provided two clarifications to Rule 10.2b(4) regarding restrictions on caddies standing behind players, which take effect immediately. 

The purpose of Rule 10.2 is to reinforce the fundamental challenge of making a stroke and to limit the advice and other help a player may receive during a round. 

Rule 10.2b(4) ensures that aiming at the intended target is a challenge that the player must overcome alone. It states:

“When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made, the player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to the player’s line of play behind the ball for any reason. If the player takes a stance in breach of this Rule, he or she cannot avoid penalty by backing away.”  

Exception – Ball on Putting Green: When the player’s ball is on the putting green, there is no penalty under this Rule if the player backs away from the stance and does not begin to take the stance again until after the caddie has moved out of that location.”

The two clarifications provided today can be summarized as follows: 

  • Meaning of “Begins Taking a Stance for the Stroke”:  If a player backs away from a stance, the player is not considered to have begun “a stance for the stroke.” Therefore, a player can now back away from his or her stance anywhere on the course and avoid a breach of Rule 10.2b(4) if the caddie had been standing in a location behind the ball. 

  • Examples of When a Caddie is Not “Deliberately” Standing Behind the Ball When a Player Begins Taking Stance for Stroke: As written, the Rule does not apply if a caddie is not deliberately standing behind a player. It is clarified that the term “deliberately” requires a caddie to be aware that 1) the player is beginning to take a stance for the stroke to be played and 2) he or she (the caddie) is standing on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball. Several examples are given in the clarification to provide additional guidance.

The complete language to these two clarifications can be found here

These major clarifications confirm the recent rulings given in relation to Rule 10.2b(4).  

Clarifications provide additional guidance on a Rule based on the circumstances that may arise in applying it. They are part of an ongoing list provided to players and referees.    

“Experience has taught us that introducing a new Rule requires us to balance patience with a willingness to act quickly when necessary,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA senior managing director of Governance. “With so many pivotal changes to the Rules this year, we’ve committed to offering any assistance needed in making the Rules easier to understand and apply, without taking away the inherent challenge of playing the game. We appreciate that everyone involved in drafting these clarifications worked together with this same goal in mind.”

David Rickman, executive director – Governance at The R&A, said, “These clarifications are designed to improve the operation of the Rule and give the players more opportunity to avoid a breach while remaining true to the purpose of the Rule. We appreciate that this requires some players and caddies to make an adjustment, but we believe there is widespread acceptance that it is for the player alone to line up a shot.”

Rory Launches The "Amazon Prime" Of Golf

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First there was the Netflix of golf—you remember GolfTV that would be bringing Tiger Woods and PGA Tour action to your homes starting Jan, 1, right? Well, if you live in Russia, Spain and maybe Australia.

Now Golf Channel is teaming with Rory McIlroy on GolfPass and according to CNBC’s Alex Sherman, it’s the Amazon Prime of golf. Or almost. Minus access to Golf Channel that isn’t possible under existing contracts. Still…

Included in the package is a round of golf each month at one of 7,000 global golf courses that partner with online booking company GolfNow, which is also owned by NBCUniversal. They'll receive a dozen golf balls from TaylorMade, a provider of equipment for McIlroy, and a variety of discounts on golf resorts, apparel and accessories.

While no live events will be broadcast on the GolfPass app, archived rounds and more than 4,000 on-demand instruction videos, including several from McIlroy and his coach, Michael Bannon, will be available to subscribers.

A premium membership, GolfPass+, costs $199 per year and includes additional benefits such as waived booking fees, cancellation protection and extra discounts.

McIlroy’s reasoning for signing on as the front man is audacious but why not when you are giving people 12 rounds a year for $100, plus other goodies?

“Arnold Palmer showed tremendous vision when founding Golf Channel in 1995 and I’m thrilled with the prospect of helping to lead the game further into the digital era with GolfPass and additional NBC Sports partnerships that help make golf more accessible and fun.”

So now we have the Netflix and Amazon Prime of golf. But only one actually delivers something tangible for your money.

40% Increase In 300+ Drives In Last Three Years

Kris McEwen at Golficity broke down the** USGA and R&A’s annual distance report and with only 1 m.p.h. of clubhead speed gained over the last decade, this stat stood out:

In 2015, 29% of drives on the PGA TOUR traveled 300 yards or farther. In 2018, that number went up to 41%. That’s a 40% increase in three years. Now, extrapolate that and it isn’t long before half the tour is hitting it over 300 yards on average.

Also, in 2015, 7.63% could hit over 320 yards. Three years later, that number has doubled. Imagine if that trend continues over the next ten years.

But he discounts how many golfer-athletes will defect to the NFL or NBA given those numerical expressions of athleticism.

**And the link was disabled just hours after highlighting the piece here. It had been up since the day of the report’s release. Hmmm…

Brooks On Sergio's Meltdown: “To act like a child out there is not cool."

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As the European Tour shields Sergio Garcia from the punishment he deserves for vandalizing the field of play a day after a childish bunker tantrum (also to damage playing surfaces he found improperly groomed to his standards), he’s been called out by last year’s two-time major winner Brooks Koepka.

Appearing on the Playing Through podcast, worth a listen to hear the full context and all of his comments, the disdain in Koepka’s voice as well as his defense of course conditions only reinforces just how desperately Garcia needs time off.

From GolfDigest.com’s Brian Wacker, co-host of the pod, with just one of Koepka’s quotes:

“Ugh, it's frustrating as a player to see, to act like that, to disrespect everybody,” said Koepka, who was playing two groups in front of the former Masters champion but didn’t know what happened until afterward. “To act like a child out there is not cool. It's not setting a good example and it's not cool to us, showing us no respect or anybody else.”

Matt Adams and I discussed where Garcia’s antics fall in the pantheon of scandalous on-field acts during today’s Golf Central Alternate Shot (middle topic).

Pasatiempo To Get Its First National Television Exposure

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It’s weird to say it, but Alister MacKenzie’s Santa Cruz gem has never been seen by a national audience other than in stories, photos and assorted other media. So besides highlighting one of the nation’s great collegiate events, won’t it be fun this April to have Pasatiempo on Golf Channel.

Brentley Romine talked to San Jose State alum Arron Oberholser about his excitement on hearing the news.

For Immediate Release:

GOLF CHANNEL PARTNERS WITH SAN JOSÉ STATE UNIVERSITY AND TOPGOLF TO TELEVISE THE WESTERN INTERCOLLEGIATE, ONE OF THE LONGEST RUNNING EVENTS IN COLLEGE GOLF

Taking Place Monday-Wednesday, April 15-17, GOLF Channel to Air 18 Hours of Tournament Coverage Complemented by Wraparound News and Digital Coverage 

73rd Annual Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf to be Staged at Iconic Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. 

Top-ranked Players Collin Morikawa (California, No. 2) and Justin Suh (USC, No. 6) Headline Field of 13 Premier NCAA Division I Programs Competing for Coveted Blue Jacket 

ORLANDO, Fla., (Feb, 5, 2019) – GOLF Channel, San José State University and Topgolf Entertainment Group today announced a multi-year partnership for GOLF Channel to televise one of the longest-running men’s collegiate golf championships in the country – the Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf – taking place at the historic Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. GOLF Channel will air live coverage of the 54-hole stroke play team and individual championship in primetime Monday and Tuesday, April 15-16, from 7-10 p.m. ET and on Wednesday, April 17 from 4-7 p.m. ET.

“Partnering with the Western Intercollegiate and Topgolf underscores GOLF Channel’s commitment to raising the profile of college golf and showcasing the sport’s future stars,” said Tom Knapp, executive vice president, programming and partnerships, GOLF Channel. “The Western Intercollegiate is one of the more distinguished tournaments in college golf that is rich in history, and we look forward to introducing our viewers to this championship and its iconic venue at the Pasatiempo Golf Club.”

"We are thrilled to partner with GOLF Channel and Topgolf on showcasing the iconic Western Intercollegiate men's golf tournament,” said Marie Tuite director of athletics, San José State University. “Our program and the Western Intercollegiate have long, rich histories connected to the sport of men's golf. We look forward to three days of challenging and outstanding golf and GOLF Channel's plans for unprecedented live college golf coverage. The Pasatiempo Golf Club is one of the best tests of golf anywhere in the country."

“We are honored to have the Western Intercollegiate televised this year with nine hours of live TV sponsored by Topgolf and televised on GOLF Channel,” said John Kennaday, San José State University men’s golf coach and Western Intercollegiate tournament director. “For 73 years, we have been blessed to have an amazing venue in Pasatiempo. To have the consistency of great, meaningful and historic players come through our tournament, it’s an honor and a labor of love for many of us.” 

“We’re excited to sponsor the Western Intercollegiate Golf Championship – a tournament that, like Topgolf, brings a ton of energy and fun to the sport,” said Erik Anderson, executive chairman of Topgolf. “These collegiate players are the future of golf, and we can’t wait to watch them play with our Toptracer technology, the first-ever broadcast of the tournament with real-time ball tracking.” 

Hosted by San José State University, the Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf is a 54-hole team and individual stroke play championship, entering its 73rd year and one of the premier events on the spring college calendar. The individual medalist at the Western receives the coveted Blue Jacket, honoring legendary Pasatiempo Golf Club course designer Alister MacKenzie, also the designer of Augusta National Golf Club.

The 2019 Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf field will include 13 elite NCAA Division I golf programs, highlighted by two nationally-ranked top 10 players – California’s Collin Morikawa (No. 2) and USC’s Justin Suh (No. 6), also the 2017 Western Intercollegiate individual medalist. Annually attracting several of the top college programs on the West Coast, the field boasts six teams ranked in the top-50 in the Golfstat rankings, including three teams currently ranked in the top-20 nationally: USC (8), Pepperdine (15) and Cal (17).

Ah The Group Texts These Days: Patrick Suggests To Ryder Cup Peers That He Was Misquoted

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And one hopes not a soul believed Captain America after he complained Sunday night of the Ryder Cup to Karen Crouse of the New York Times. Comments which he has never suggested were taken out of context or a direct misquote.

Still, according to Brooks Koepka while talking on the Boomer and Gio show as part of PGA Championship—in February!?—media duties, Reed insinuated to a team group text that the New York Times printed lies.

Will Gray summarized the appearance for GolfChannel.com, including this:

"Obviously the things with Patrick, it just kind of took on a life of its own," Koepka said. "We've got a group text, and there were some texts that were sent. He kind of apologized."

According to Koepka, Reed also included a message to his teammates: "Don't believe everything you read."

Except, everyone does believe what was said and your teammates did too because, well, who could make up a story that a golfer was unhappy about a Tiger Woods pairing and suggesting others were to blame for simply awful golf?

Some Top Female Am's Picking The ANA Over The ANWA

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Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols reports on the decision faced for some female amateur golfers between the LPGA’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, and playing the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur the same week.

While World No. 1 Jennifer Kupcho initially turned down Augusta National because of a Wake Forest obligation, she’s since added the ANWA after that event cancelled. Others have chosen to go to Rancho Mirage.

Kupcho decided to stick with the ANWA (she couldn’t possibly tell Augusta no twice), but four players ranked inside the top 11 chose the desert over Augusta green.

Sweden’s Frida Kinhult, a freshman at Florida State, leads the way as the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world. She’s joined by the ultra-talented UCLA sophomore Patty Tavatanakit (No. 3), who tied for fifth at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, Stanford’s Albane Valenzuela (6th) and 17-year-old American Rachel Heck (11th).

Paspalum Dynasty: Players Acknowledge Sergio's "Not Normal" "Tantrum"

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Brian Keogh unearths additional details for The Independent and in a separate piece, offers a very PG-rated translation of Sergio Garcia’s rantings from the Royal Greens bunker.

There was an apology told to Spanish news agency EFE “shortly after his disqualification” reports Keogh.

“What happened this week is not something I am proud of,” Garcia told the Spanish news agency EFE shortly after his disqualification.

“We are all human, and we all make mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them. The mistake is not learning from mistakes.”

So there is a chance you could make a mistake on top of the mistake you’ve already made if you don’t learn from this mistake. Got it.

Of more interest are the details filling in names of some players and caddies who turned Garcia in for vandalizing Royal Greens’ “Paspalum Dynasty” greens on top of names like Robert Rock and Patrick Reed who already acknowledged they saw the Spaniard’s efforts to deface the greens.

His antics in round three included leaving scuff marks and a divot on five greens as he played alongside the young Italian Renato Paratore, whose caddie felt Garcia’s tantrum was excessively prolonged.

According to EFE, Paratore’s Spanish caddie Javier Erviti said: “We are used to shows of character because we are Latinos, but we had the impression this tantrum was a bit over the top.”

Compatriot Jorge Campillo and his caddie Borja Simo, who were two groups behind Garcia and Paratore, called rules officials when they spotted deliberate damage to several greens.

“We knew it could affect us and the groups behind us,” Simo told EFE.

Campillo added: “It could happen once to any of us but several times is not normal.”

At the end of the round, tournament director David Phillips was waiting for Garcia, armed with an electronic tablet and showed him the photos.

So we have more confirmation that the European Tour has a file documenting the damage but it seems the chances are slim we’ll ever see them.

We discussed the situation on Morning Drive:

 

Turnberry Is In The News A Lot These Days!

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Unfortunately, as wonderful as the reimagined golf courses and hotel look, the Trump Organization-owned resort and current (glaring) outcast from Open Championship rota is the subject of interest from multiple parties.

A Times of London story, summarized by Business Insider’s Alexandra Ma, says U.S. prosecutors have issues subpoenas to DJT Holdings LLC, a company that owns President Donald Trump's golf courses in Scotland. The investigation centers around possible violation of the emoluments clause in the Constitution and financing of Turnberry.

Prosecutors in Maryland in December subpoenaed documents related to properties controlled by DJT Holdings LLC, a company that owns Trump's hotel in Washington, DC, and resorts in places like Turnberry, Scotland. You can read the full filing at the bottom of this article.

The documents are part of an investigation into whether Trump still profits from his businesses. It focuses on Trump International Washington, an old post office building in the US capital that Trump converted into a luxury hotel in 2016.

Meanwhile David Enrich, Jesse Drucker and Ben Protess of the New York Times reported last weekend that Trump was turned down by longtime lender Deutsche Bank for a loan during early 2016 when the work at Turnberry was wrapping up prior to its summer, 2016 re-opening (which I reviewed here for GolfDigest.com).

Two of the people familiar with the loan request said the Trump Organization had been seeking to borrow against its Miami resort to pay for work on a golf property in Turnberry, Scotland.

A Trump Organization spokeswoman, Amanda Miller, denied that the company had needed outside funding for Turnberry.

“This story is absolutely false,” Ms. Miller said. “We bought Trump Turnberry without any financing and put tens of millions of dollars of our own money into the renovation, which began in 2014. At no time was any money needed to finance the purchase or the refurbishment of Trump Turnberry.”

This may not be the ideal time to pitch Turnberry for the next Open rota spot in 2022.

First World Crisis! Could The Bloated, Dated Tour Bag Finally Be Doomed?

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Reading Jonathan Wall’s gear notes at Golf.com and his explanation of the Waste Management Phoenix Open debut of lighter stand bags from Puma, Titleist and Taylor Made be the beginning of the end for a traditional tour bag.

Fowler’s Puma-Vessel collaboration was limited to only 10 bags, while Titleist and TaylorMade unveiled versions — TaylorMade’s all-green FlexTech was specially made for the “The Greenest Show on Grass” — that are currently available to consumers.

As for Fowler, he reportedly plans to unveil other custom stand bags over the course of the season. If you’re Joe Skovron, Fowler’s caddie, it’s impossible to complain about additional light loops in the future.

It’s fascinating that Phoenix was seen as a natural unveiling spot, suggesting a younger crowd would be more accepting of a lighter stand bag. And just seeing some of the newer stand bags it’s clear they accomplish the same goal as the classic tour player bag, only streamlined, modernized and more user friendly.

While there is undoubtedly great satisfaction for a player in pulling or returning a club without any resistance—huge perk of the tour pro!—those days seem headed to the trash bit. Especially when a well-designed stand bag actually looks like a better piece of advertising.

Wall’s Tweet of Fowler bag: