Arnold Palmer Remembered On This Week’s SI Cover

Arnold Palmer Remembered On This Week’s SI Cover

Arnold Palmer will be remembered on the cover of next weeks’ Sports Illustrated. SI Senior writer Michael Bamberger wrote a terrific remembrance, which begins: Arnold Palmer, who died Sunday in Pittsburgh at age 87, led an American life that will never be duplicated, so rooted was it in a lost time and a place and the sui generis… Read more »

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Seve Ballesteros and Jose-Maria Olazabal At The 1991 Ryder Cup

Seve Ballesteros and Jose-Maria Olazabal At The 1991 Ryder Cup

This photo of Seve and Jose-Maria Olazabal is from the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island. The “Spanish Armada” was 3-0-1 that year. Seve was 4-0-1 as an individual. Ultimately, the US won “The War By The Shore” by a single point.

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Odds To Win The 2016 Tour Championship

Odds To Win The 2016 Tour Championship

Who will win the 2016 Tour Championship? Right now, the odds to win the 2016 TOUR Championship favor Dustin Johnson. By any measure, Johnson has had a monster year: A Major Championship (US Open), a World Golf Championship (Bridgestone), and a FedEx Playoff Championship (the BMW Championship). In 21 starts, he made 20 cuts, finished in the… Read more »

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Save $116 On Adams Idea Hybrid Irons

Save $116 On Adams Idea Hybrid Irons

Save $116 on Adams Idea Hybrid Irons on Amazon while supplies last. This is one of Amazon’s “Daily Deals’ and as of this writing the deal is 20% claimed. I see a lot of these clubs in the bags of older players at my local muni. The clubs feature: The new slot design creates a spring… Read more »

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Save $116 On Adams Idea Hybrid Irons

Save $116 On Adams Idea Hybrid Irons

Save $116 on Adams Idea Hybrid Irons on Amazon while supplies last. This is one of Amazon’s “Daily Deals’ and as of this writing the deal is 20% claimed. I see a lot of these clubs in the bags of older players at my local muni. The clubs feature: The new slot design creates a spring… Read more »

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Wildfire Caused By Spark From Titanium Driver

Wildfire Caused By Spark From Titanium Driver

A recent wildfire in Mission Viejo, California, was apparently caused by sparks from a titanium driver. The fire burned for three hours before being contained. That’s not the first time a driver has been blamed for a fire. Similar fires started in 2014 in Irvine, and in 2011 in Mission Viejo. A study by UC-Irvin… Read more »

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Days Until Tiger Returns To Golf

Days Until Tiger Returns To Golf

Tiger Woods says that he will “hopefully” play his first competitive round since his latest injuries at the Safeway Open on October 13. He also is scheduled to play the Turkish Open and the Hero Challenge. From his website: Tiger Woods said Wednesday that he hopes to play in the Safeway Open, Oct. 13-16, at… Read more »

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Final 16 in Michigan PGA Match Play Battle at Tullymore Golf Resort

Final 16 in Michigan PGA Match Play Battle at Tullymore Golf Resort

Final 16 in Michigan PGA Match Play Battle at Tullymore Golf Resort CANADIAN LAKES – The Michigan PGA Section Match Play Championship presented by the PGA Tour will be decided Monday and Tuesday at award-winning Tullymore Golf Resort. The final 16 golfers have advanced from chapter or senior organization match play rounds to battle at… Read more »

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The Loop At Forest Dunes Golf Course Review – Preview Rounds

The Loop At Forest Dunes Golf Course Review – Preview Rounds

The Loop At Forest Dunes Roscommon, Michigan Grade: A+ Teacher’s Comments: Unique and challenging. Pure golf. The Loop At Forest Dunes is comprised of two courses: The Red and The Black. Visually, the two are very much the same. Each is cut through acres of sandy, relatively flat Northern Michigan pine barrens. The edges of… Read more »

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Northville Hills Golf Course Review

Northville Hills Golf Course Review

Northville Hills Grade: A- Teachers’ Comments: A premium course at a very reasonable price I was prepared to dislike Northville Hills. For the most part, I don’t like housing development courses, as the proximity of homes to the fairways and greens makes me nervous. The homes also ruin the views and peace of the golf… Read more »

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Rules experts trying to simplify the complex game of golf

golf5For the last five years, the top rules experts in golf have come together from around the world to study a jigsaw puzzle.

The purpose of these private meetings essentially is to break up the puzzle and start over so the rules make more sense, without losing sight of the tradition or ethos of a game with six centuries behind it. Sessions can last at least eight hours. The singular goal is to make the rules less complicated.

It has not been easy.

“Everyone wants the game to be simple, but it’s a complex game,” Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules, said in an interview at the Olympics. “You have a little white ball that can and will go anywhere, and the rules try to handle all those situations. There’s always going to be a level of complexity. But how can we modernize the rules so they’re easier to understand and easier to apply so golfers can play confidently that they at least understand the basics?”

The group is closing in on its first draft.

Pagel declined to give a timetable, though USGA executive director Mike Davis said it could be released next year. A modern set of rules is still years away. The development was welcomed by top players who have loads of experience and still can’t confidently handle a rules issue without calling an official.

“I’d be behind it 100 percent,” Kevin Kisner said. “The game is too slow, too hard and there’s too many rules. I wouldn’t know where to begin with how many rules there should be. I would think as minimal as possible. And we don’t need all these dashes and a’s and b’s and c’s. It’s too confusing.”

Jordan Spieth recalls getting a Rules of Golf book at a junior tournament with instructions to keep it in his bag for quick reference.

“I never opened it,” he said.

Neither did Dustin Johnson. He lost out on a chance to win the 2010 PGA Championship for grounding his club in sand that he didn’t realize was a bunker. And he won the U.S. Open this year at Oakmont by playing the final seven holes without knowing if he would have to add one penalty stroke to his score.

He’s not sure reading the book would have helped.

“The USGA sends you that rule book, but I don’t think it’s ever made it out from the envelope to the trash can,” Johnson said. “There so many rules that don’t make any sense. They could make it a lot simpler and a lot better.”

If only it were that simple.

“You can’t change one piece because the tentacles … it’s going to break something else,” he said. “It’s tough to handle something in isolation. So let’s look at everything, step back and take the puzzle part and see where we can make improvements.”

The result could be the most comprehensive overhaul of the rules, which in this case might shrink the book.

The first set of rules was published in 1744, but that was specific to one club. As golf grew, and the number of clubs increased, so did the rules. The Royal & Ancient took over and produced a set of rules in 1899, which the USGA adopted. The R&A and USGA issued the first joint code of rules in 1952, and there were significant changes in 1984. Not to be overlooked is the “Decisions on the Rules of Golf,” which amounts to a Q&A of specific incidents.

The most recent edition has 1,200 decisions.

“I don’t like the size of the book, but it’s one of those deals where you try to address the questions that come up,” Pagel said. “In the future, how can you provide guidance to committees so they can get to the correct answers without having 1,200 Q&As? And that’s one of our objectives.”

The first draft will be made available to everyone, from recreational players to tour administrators to rules gurus. What will follow surely will be the largest comment period ever for the R&A and USGA. “This is a book that impacts millions of golfers,” Pagel said. “They should have the opportunity to comment.”

And then it will be back to work on the puzzle.

Pagel said five years into this project “we still haven’t addressed everything.”

“But we think we can do it more efficiently, perhaps change some outcomes, make them more reasonable and overall simplify the way the rules are written and look at how the rules are delivered,” he said. “It’s still going to look like golf, feel like golf, still have the challenge of golf. We’re going to make it easier for golfers to play by the rules and feel comfortable playing by the rules.

“Golfers want to play by the rules,” he said. “They just find it challenging at times for the book to allow them to do that.”

 

What It Felt Like At The Start Of Tigermania

Tigermaniaby Jamie Diaz ( golf digest)

When I think back 20 years ago this week to when Tiger Woods turned pro, a lot of things come to mind. How much he enjoyed playing the game. His uneasiness with fame and how strongly he sensed it would complicate his future. Mainly, though, I remember how incredibly good he was.

Golf, like sports in general, tends to fall in love with its potential young stars, but Woods had a connection to excellence so clear and deep it was immediately appreciated not only by golf fans but the world at large.

It was beyond the physical. Of course, the then-155-pounder’s swing speed, distance and synchronized grace were breathtaking. And his short game, so often lacking early among the young and powerful, was exceptional. But there was an eerie and powerful internal quality that set Woods apart. His mother, Tida, didn’t deny that her son showed advanced coordination as an infant, but always pointed more to his adult-like ability—obvious even as a toddler—to focus and stay on task.

Probably most telling was this: The better the player, the more impressed he was with the Tiger Woods. By the time Woods had entered Stanford and begun playing in professional events on sponsors’ exemptions, greats such as Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Tom Watson and Greg Norman, all of whom had been perfunctorily polled for every new prospect (and tended to be cautious), were unanimous in their praise. All could identify with the kid’s gifts, but they also marveled at a more complete mental and physical toolbox than they had possessed. Now, finally, there was someone who had everything.

Not that Woods didn’t need work with short-iron distance control, or that he could refine his technique around the green. But it was a given that he would put the needed work in intelligently, effectively and passionately. From what I could see, Tiger’s favorite thing was learning as much as he could about golf’s highest stations, seeking the best in the different aspects to question and emulate. Imparted knowledge was the basis of his close bond with the sage Butch Harmon, who counts himself the luckiest of the Woods’ teachers after he turned professional “because Tiger was still really listening.”

I was at the 1996 U.S. Amateur at Pumpkin Ridge, where Tiger won his record third straight U.S. Amateur (coming after three straight U.S. Junior titles). In the evening after his extra-holes victory over Steve Scott, he confirmed he would be making the jump to the pro ranks in three days at the Greater Milwaukee Open, where he was scheduled to play on a sponsor’s exemption. “I had intended to stay in school, play four years at Stanford and get my degree, but things change,” he said in the back yard of his rented house, with his father, Earl, and then-agent Hughes Norton of IMG, looking on. “I didn’t know my game was going to progress to this point. I always said I would know when it was time, and now is the time.”

No doubt Woods would have turned pro even if he hadn’t won at Pumpkin Ridge, but his need for symmetry and the proper closure of a career chapter drove him against Scott. After going 5 down through the morning 18 of the championship match, Woods shot the equivalent of a bogey-less 65 on the second 18. After a terrible start, he hit 28 of the last 29 greens in regulation.

I missed Woods’ “Hello World” press conference and final round hole-in-one while finishing T-60 at Milwaukee. Two weeks later, I joined several other golf writers in leaving the Presidents Cup in Virginia to head to Iowa for the Quad Cities Open, where Woods was taking a two-stroke lead into the final round. He didn’t close, getting outplayed head-to-head by Ed Fiori (at one point four-putting from 12 feet on a flat part of the green) and finishing T-5.

The next tournament was the BC Open in dreary Endicott, N.Y., where I stayed in the same hotel as Woods and tried to spend as much time around him as he would allow for six days.

The 20-year-old Woods I saw that week was respectful of proven touring pros regardless of their status. Three of his playing partners were journeymen, Guy Boros, Joe Daley and John Maginnes, and after banter-filled rounds he described all as great guys. He was self-deprecating about areas of his game that he believed needed serious refinement.

At the same time, Woods chose not to go to the annual players’ party put on by the esteemed tournament director, the late and great Alex Alexander. “I don’t want to be friends with these guys,” he said, seemingly forcing a take-no-prisoners mind-set as he set about trying to secure his PGA Tour card in a couple of months. It was an attitude that proved unsustainable. But I remember veteran tour-equipment rep Steve Mata, who worked closely with Woods on his clubs at Titleist, later telling me, “Tiger would have been even better if he could have stayed that cold, because it was intimidating and really bothered guys. I think he knew it, but even he couldn’t keep the wall up all the time. It wrecks the rest of life.”

Woods was tired at BC. Counting the U.S. Amateur, in which he had played 164 holes in six days, Woods was beginning his fifth straight week of competition. Tigermania was already taking a toll, as was the road weariness of a tour pro. One day, waiting for the elevator in the hotel, he said, “This is my house. Do you like my house? It’s got a lot of rooms. It’s got maids. It’s got elevators. The only problem is, I have to move into another one just like it every week.”

But Woods pushed himself when he had to. I saw his trance-like intensity as he worked out in a local gym, where an intense 45-minute routine ended with 500 sit-ups. By the end of the week, his hotel room was filled with opened boxes and wrapping from clothing that Nike executives had brought for him to review for style and fit, as well as putters and wedges that he was considering trying. It was a mess, but after the final round was washed out, leaving him with a T-3 finish, he summoned a burst of energy for a startlingly quick and organized packing so that he could make a plane.

The fatigue caught up with Woods the next week. Before the first round of the Buick Challenge in Georgia, he withdrew and was confronted with the harshest criticism to that point of his career. Life was getting more complicated.

Award-Winning Boyne Highlands Resort Hosting GAM Mid-Amateur Championship

Award-Winning Boyne Highlands Resort Hosting GAM Mid-Amateur Championship

Award-Winning Boyne Highlands Resort Hosting GAM Mid-Amateur Championship HARBOR SPRINGS – Boyne Highlands Resort’s premier Arthur Hills and Donald Ross Memorial golf courses will welcome a standout field of 165 golfers Thursday Sept. 2 and Friday, September 2 in the 34th GAM Mid-Amateur Championship presented by Boyne Golf. Boyne Highlands is hosting the championship for… Read more »

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The Barclays Preview 2016

The Barclays Preview 2016

The Barclays 2016 Pre-Tournament Notes Dates: August 22-28, 2016 Where: Bethpage State Park (Black Course), Farmingdale, N.Y. Par/Yards: 36-35–71/7,468 yards 2015 champion: Jason Day Purse: $8,500,000/$1,530,000 (winner) FedExCup: 2,000 points to the winner Format: 72-hole stroke-play Website: www.thebarclaysgolf.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBarclays Twitter: @TheBarclaysGolf Instagram: @TheBarclaysGolf Field: Players ranked in the top 125 in the FedExCup standings… Read more »

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Wilson Staff Women’s D200 Iron Set

Wilson Staff Women’s D200 Iron Set

Wilson Staff Women’s D200 Irons The Wilson Staff Women’s D200 irons feature Speed Sole Technology creates a thin face-to-sole transition, yielding a driver-like CT of 234 The cutout allows the iron face to flex, especially lower where most impacts occur, for extreme distances Heel and toe weight pods provide a larger sweet spot and more… Read more »

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