About Patrick Gonzalez

A wandered spirit at times, but passionate about family values, interested in world cultures, and taking the journey through life with vigor and no fear in trying something new. Patrick received his FAA pilot’s license in High School before acquiring a driver’s license. He still flies regularly to keep proficient in instrument and multi-engine ratings. Traveled all over the world while in the U.S. Navy and became very appreciative of different cultures. After his military service he grew a passion for golf and became a PGA professional. He authored “Golf’s Deadly Sins” and has over 30 years of teaching experience. Patrick says that experience has shown him that nothing invented by man will ever come at you harder than life itself. "It’s always better to be on the ground wishing that you were flying, than flying wishing you were on the ground."

Lost To Time: Aviation Country Club of Detroit, Michigan

Lost To Time: Aviation Country Club of Detroit, Michigan

Although it now is lost to time,  in its brief existence, The Aviation Country Club … Read more.

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National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact #NationalGolfDay

National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact #NationalGolfDay

National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact The golf economy totals $84 billion in direct … Read more.

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There’s More To Golf In Morocco Than The Trophee Hassan II

There’s More To Golf In Morocco Than The Trophee Hassan II

There’s More To Golf In Morocco Than The Trophee Hassan II This week, the European … Read more.

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Royal Golf Dar Es Salam – Host of The European Tour’s Trophee Hassan II

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam – Host of The European Tour’s Trophee Hassan II

This week, the European Tour visits Morocco for the Trophee Hassan II. The tournament has … Read more.

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Tiger Woods practices at Augusta

Tiger Woods during the final round of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Tiger Woods is excited and ready to go with Masters week just days away, and that’s according to none other than the man himself.

In an interview published Friday on his official website, Tiger Woods laid out where his mind and game are heading into next week’s Masters, his first since 2015, and the first major of his surprising comeback on Tour.

“I’m just really looking forward to playing,” said Woods. “It’s the best run tournament in the world. The golf course, the patrons, the entire atmosphere. It’s a golfer’s heaven… the course was in fantastic shape. My yardage book was basically the same.”

Woods revealed that he played two practice rounds at Augusta National last week, including some holes with rising PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau. He said the course played “brutally long” while noting that it “will play much, much faster in the tournament.”

Woods also got into just how shocking his most-recent return to the game has been, considering that less than a year ago he was bed-ridden recovering from a major fusion back surgery, not knowing whether he would ever swing a club again, let alone in golf’s greatest event.

“I got a second chance on life. I am a walking miracle.”

But don’t think that the miraculous nature of his comeback—which has seen him finish 12, T2 and T5 in his last three starts—has affected his usual sky-high expectations, as Tiger noted at the end of the article, “I’m just there to win.”

As for details on his preparation, Woods is testing new setups for his driver and fairway wood shafts, and he has yet to decide on a firm schedule for his practice rounds next week, though he did say he might play in the Masters Par-3 Contest on Wednesday.

courtesy of Kevin Cunningham (Golf.com)

Sergio is a Father!

Sergio Garcia’s wife Angela gave birth to the couple’s first child, a girl, early in the morning on Wednesday (at 1:54 a.m., according to Augusta Chronicle reporter Scott Michaux). The best part? They gave her an Augusta National-inspired name: Azalea.

Garcia had a momentous year in 2017, both on the course and in his personal life. The PGA Tour veteran finally captured his first major championship victory at the Masters, defeating Justin Rose in a playoff. Garcia was embraced on the green by his then-fiancée Angela Akins. The couple tied the knot in July in Akins’s home state of Texas.

Azaleas are a flowering shrub that can be found all over the grounds at Augusta National, which used to be a nursery before it was converted into the legendary course we know it to be today. The bright pink Azalea blooms are as much a part of the Masters as the CBS theme song for the event. The par-5 13th hole at Augusta, part of the famed “Amen Corner”, is named Azalea.

Garcia will return to Augusta National in just a few weeks to defend his 2017 title, which is now sure-to-be an even more memorable experience for the new father.

Courtesy of Kevin Cunningham (golf.com)

‘I was totally nervous’: The last time Tiger Woods played a tournament at Innisbrook, he had a partner, Kelli Kuehne

Tiger Woods and Kelli Kuehne line up a put during the J. C. Penney Classic at the Innesbrook Country Club in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

When Tiger Woods announced Friday that he would make his first-ever appearance at the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship, at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida next week, memories came flooding back to Kelli Kuehne.

That’s because the last time Woods played Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in competition, it was as Kuehne’s partner — in the 1996 JCPenney Classic mixed-team event.

When reached by phone Friday, Kuehne said she and Woods were both still kids at heart — she was 19, Woods was 20 — and longtime friends who spent as much time goofing off that week as they did playing golf.

“One day we had a contest to see who had the most Nike logos on their clothes and clubs,” said Keuhne, who was then a rising star with a U.S. Girls Amateur and a pair of U.S. Women’s Amateur titles on her resume. “I think I wound up with 21 logos. He had almost that many, but I still beat him.”

“Another day his caddie Fluff [Cowan] spent time showing my brother and caddie Trip how to read a yardage book and how he marked each hole. It was my first event as a professional and I was totally nervous.”

Woods not so much. Though he, too, was a newbie pro, Woods was accustomed to the spotlight. He had already won his first professional event, in Las Vegas, so Tigermania was in full swing when he and Kuehne arrived at the Tampa-area resort.

“We were having dinner one night at the resort and this lady just walks up and hands Tiger her baby and says, ‘Please take a picture with my baby.’ I mean, right in the middle of dinner. I don’t think it even fazed him. He said, ‘Sure, I’ll take a picture.’

“He was just rolling at the time, he was Tiger, and he was the next one.”

Woods was close friends with the Kuehne family and often stayed with them when he was competing in junior events in North Texas. He and Kelli would play together, alongside her brothers, Trip and Hank, who were also serious sticks.

Woods and Kelli finished second in the Innisbrook event, one behind Mike Hulbert and Donna Andrews, but Woods still stole show.

“I remember really fast greens and tree-lined fairways everywhere, which I spent a lot of time chipping out of,” Kuehne says. “He didn’t have any problems — he just blasted it in the fairways, chipped it close and made some putts.”

The galleries lapped it up.

“I saw some big crowds in my career, but never anything like that,” Kuehne says. “I know I will never forget it as long as I live the craziness of the entire scene of people everywhere and just wanting to touch Tiger. I was just totally overwhelmed by the entire circus of the event.”

Kuehne won once on the LPGA tour, in 1999, but injuries ultimately forced her into retirement. She recently moved back to her hometown of Dallas, where she still plays golf with friends and does some teaching.

When Woods returns to Innisbrook next week, she will be watching the telecast.

“Just to relive those fun memories together,” she says. “It’s something I will never forget.”

Courtesy of Art Stricklin (golf.com)

Fred Couples dishes on Tiger Woods, playing with back pain, the Ryder Cup and if he’ll ever earn that captaincy

Fred Couples is back in your earbuds. The 58-year-old is set to host monthly shows for SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio beginning Tuesday with former Super Bowl champions Eli Manning and Justin Tuck joining him on show No. 1. He’ll wrap up the two-hour show with some golf talk, joined by a popular voice himself, Jim Nantz.

Couples joined the GOLF.com Podcast this week to talk about the show, Tiger Woods, his prospects as a Ryder Cup captain and the gravity of the Ryder Cup itself. He attended the 2016 Ryder Cup as a fan and plans to fly to Paris for it again this year, where, as he discussed on the podcast, he expects it to be the the best 24 players ever assembled for the event.

Simply put, why does Fred Couples do sports talk radio? What do you get out of it?

To be honest, I know this is going to sound crazy but I live in L.A. and Newport for my whole life and am not a music person. I listen to talk radio and I’m not big on news, so it’s usually sports. I just enjoy it. When I got the call to do this show, I thought, ‘Wow, can I handle this.’ Golf is what I do, so I thought, ‘Can I do more than golf? Can I do other sports? Can I get athletes that play golf to come on, certainly athletes that don’t play golf.’ It was very intriguing to me. It’s very nerve-wracking.

What is your favorite non-golf sport to play or non-golf sport to watch?

Well, I’m a baseball fan. My dad played baseball. My brother played baseball. I really enjoy everything. As I get older — I’m 58 — everyone knows I love TV but it’s very difficult for me to sit through a full football game. Thirty years ago you couldn’t turn the channel every two seconds and watch golf on one channel, college basketball on another, hockey on another, lacrosse on another…I enjoy just watching people. I like to watch other people. I might go to a basketball game and not even look at the guy with the ball half the time just to see what everyone else is doing. It’s intriguing.

In terms of golf, you’ll have plenty of time to talk about Tiger Woods, who played this weekend at Torrey Pines, another step on the comeback trail. Everyone tends to say the same things about him seeming happy, seeming fast, smiling. What have you seen out of him that hasn’t already been said 100 times?

That’s a great question. He’s someone I have fun texting with. We talk about his kids and golf very rarely comes up. It wasn’t that long ago that we were at the Presidents Cup — I was an assistant, he was an assistant — golf never came up in seven straight days. I didn’t ask him. I don’t know if some of the other team players asked him…my caddie Joey (LaCava) of 20-something years is caddying for him. He never gives out much. All he said is that he’s just very excited. I can see that…Now, is he the player he once was? Of course not. Can he be? Yeah, if he’s feeling good and healthy. There is another thing where you have these little back issues. At the end of the day, you’re exhausted. There was a time where I was miserable. I just couldn’t take it. It’s like having a toothache all day long.

His back injury history is well-documented. So is yours. I understand they’re not the same, but it was reported last week that he might be warming up with driver first, and that that tip came from you. Is that true, and what is the idea there?

It may have come from Joey [LaCava]. There was a time where I couldn’t hit a pitching wedge or a sand wedge. Even when I played OK golf, I would go practice and by the time I would warm up hitting sand wedges and nine-irons, my back would already hurt. I would start out with driver and hit them at 70 percent. It was just a fluid swing and I would stand really tall and it never affected my back. There were some days where I never putted, never hit any irons, just swung drivers to warm up and headed to the first tee. I think there’s nothing wrong with that. Tom Watson for the longest time has warmed up with a three-iron. That absolutely blows my mind.

Obviously, Tiger has been stretched and worked out. When he goes to the driving range, there’s that little time of 20 minutes. Tiger would tell you that if he plays golf and there’s a wait on the tee for two groups, or if someone loses a ball, he stands there for 10 minutes, it’s like you’re starting over. Your back is a very controlled thing and once it gets going, I used to say I could play 36 holes once I started if I never stopped. The problem was if I sat down, if I waited and stood and stood. It was horrible. I think he’s doing this drill. I don’t know if he did it in San Diego, he may be doing at home. But it’s really just something to get your body going where you don’t feel the strain of the bending of your back to hit wedges.