TGI Blog

Posted by: admin February 28th, 2018

Tiger Woods

The Tiger of Old?

By Ed Travis, Golf Insiders contributor

Having a few days pass since Tiger Wood’s competitive comeback at the Hero World Challenge, a few comments seem appropriate.

First a little critique of the telecast. Those looking to break into broadcasting should listen to the gushing commentary by some of the Golf Channel and NBC personalities as an object lesson of what not to do. At time it sounded as if the Hero was a major championship rather than a silly season affair with marginally more significance than your Saturday morning four ball.

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Tiger Woods

Welcome Back, Mr. Woods

By Bob Oliver, Golf Insiders contributor

Clearly the PGA Tour has a bevy of fine young talent. Each week a player emerges in form and dazzles the fans. Yet heading into the Hero World Challenge, an 18-player event in the Bahamas, the buzz was all about one Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. Remember him?

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tiger woods

Is Tiger Woods Really Back?

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

If Tiger Woods had any notion of easing back into the spotlight with his comeback at the Hero World Challenge, his friends aren’t doing him any favors. Not that the spotlight doesn’t immediately pivot to Woods anytime he says he’s teeing it up somewhere – even more so considering he’s logged just seven tournament rounds in the past 27 months. The curiosity factor doesn’t diminish.

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Kevin Kisner

The FedexCup Race Starts Early

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

There is a fairly clear consensus – better to take some fall points into the break.

“We feel an obligation to play certain events in the fall now,” said Brandt Snedeker. “You feel like you’ve got to get out and get (points), because you don’t want to be starting January 1st too far behind.”

Five years after the introduction of the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule, it’s hard to find anyone not trying to pick up a few points in the fall. Even those at the top of the food chain.

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Bernhard Langer

PGA Tour Champions: Flawed Playoffs

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Bernhard Langer can only blame himself.

One, for the opening 71 at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship that left him with some serious ground to make up the rest of the weekend. That almost goes without saying.

Two, for being part of the PGA Tour Champions policy board that approved the current playoff format.

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Tiger Woods

Leave the Golf Ball Alone

By Ed Travis, Golf Insiders contributor

@EdTravisGolf

The golf world is all aflutter with the impending return of Tiger Woods and that’s a good thing.

Heaven knows golf needs all the interest and enthusiasm it can get if only to stimulate more participation, more rounds, more equipment sales…well, you get the idea.

What is not needed is another big star complaining how far the ball goes and Woods during a recent podcast joined Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin among others saying golf is in trouble.

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Golf Lesson

Sexual Harassment By A Teaching Pro

By Ted Johnson, Golf Insiders contributor

Lewine Mair in a recent Global Golf Post wrote about today’s political correctness and how it has led to a hyper-awareness of sexual harassment. Indeed, the issue has been in the news quite a bit lately. According to European teaching pro Ron Cowan, who was quoted in Mair’s article, he fears that sometime in the future a female student could come back and say he “touched her hips inappropriately, or something like that.” That’s why he doesn’t book female students.

C’mon. Get a grip. The golf industry has a much bigger issues in the domain of sexual harassment than what happens with a teaching pro out on the practice range with a student.

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DJ

Dustin Johnson: No Time To Panic

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

You could say Dustin Johnson is in some fairly distinguished company.

Johnson now stands as the seventh player in PGA Tour annals to take a six-stroke lead into a final round and walk away empty-handed. Of those, Greg Norman is in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Three more are fellow major champions – Hal Sutton, Gay Brewer and Sergio Garcia.

So DJ has that going for him. Not that anyone would ever desire to be on that list, but it’s another good illustration of how this game can take anyone down a peg on a given day.

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PGA Tour

PGA TOUR: A Lack of Rest

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Of course it had to go to a playoff. 

Justin Thomas had never been involved in one, win or lose, since graduating to the PGA Tour after his lone Web.com Tour season. On a wind-whipped day on the other side of the globe, though, Thomas extended his magical 2017 a bit longer by outlasting Marc Leishman at The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges.

Two extra holes gave the 24-year-old Kentucky native his fifth win of 2017 and third since his major breakthrough at the PGA Championship. Factor in the U.S. romp at the Presidents Cup, and it’s been a brilliant fall. He’s now up to No.3 in the latest world rankings.

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Gary Player

Gary Player: Dangerously Wrong

By Ed Travis, Golf Insiders contributor

@EdTravisGolf

“Whilst delighted for all the players, it’s quite sad to see The Old Course of St Andrews brought to her knees by today’s ball & equipment,” October 8, 2017 nine time major champion, Gary Player.

Player was an intense competitor, intelligent and perceptive with tremendous stature in the game but unfortunately the opinion expressed in this tweet ignores the reality of golf today. But in case your attention at the time was otherwise occupied, here’s a bit of background.

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Pat Perez

The Everyman: Pat Perez

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

 

Will success bring about change in Pat Perez? Probably not. And truth be told, there’s a certain charm to the unvarnished way he goes about life.

“I’m still not going to work out,” Perez told reporters after capturing last week’s CIMB Classic in Malaysia. “I’ll still have a bad diet and I’m going to enjoy myself.”

One caveat, though. If the 41-year-old pro keeps talking about how wonderful life has gotten, he’s going to besmirch a persona that was years in the making.

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Phil Mickelson

Winless since 2013: Phil Mickelson

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Hey, he’s 47 now, and age catches up with even the great ones. Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan scored their last PGA Tour wins at age 46. Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Greg Norman Ernie Els – their winning days ended earlier than that.

Mickelson assures us there’s at least one more left in him. After his form of the past six weeks, it might even be soon.

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The Presidents Cup

The U.S. Presidents Cup Team: All For One & One For All

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Perhaps it didn’t require a task force to get at the center of what ailed the U.S. Ryder Cup team for so many years. It comes down to caring.

Not about winning. No one gets to the top of his profession without caring about success. And in some cases, there’s such a thing as caring too much.

It deals with caring about each other.

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Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas: What's Next?

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

ATLANTA – Flash back to October, and Justin Thomas opened his PGA Tour season with a 75 that included a pair of triple bogeys on his back nine.

“It’s looking like I’m going to miss the cut,” he recalled, “and I end up shooting 66 to make the cut on the number.”

It kept getting better after that, too. A 66-67 weekend in Napa lifted Thomas all the way to a share of eighth, he successfully defended his title in Malaysia a week later and sprinted off the line when the calendar turned by sweeping the Hawaiian double – shooting 59 at the Sony Open.

A major championship and FedExCup playoff victory would eventually follow. And though the season’s final round ended in the same manner as the first – walking off the 18th green muttering to himself – Thomas left no doubt he is now among the very elite.

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Marc Leishman

TOUR Championship: Don’t Sleep on Marc Leishman

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Three years ago, a back-nine blunder cost Billy Horschel the second leg of the FedExCup playoffs. Undeterred, the former Florida standout won the BMW Championship a week later and stayed hot to become the most unlikely winner yet of the PGA Tour’s season-ending bonus.

You might remember the final scene, where Horschel goaded a Georgia crowd by doing the Gator Chomp on East Lake’s 18th green.

Fast forward to this month. Having coughed up a back-nine lead at TPC Boston, Marc Leishman ran away from the BMW Championship field to rewrite that longstanding event’s scoring record. And with a win at East Lake…

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Sergio Garcia

An Unlikely Par: Garcia Advances to TOUR Championship

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Had this been a typical midsummer PGA Tour event, Sergio Garcia might have taken the quick penalty, the likely bogey, and been content with a top-20 finish.

But the BMW Championship isn’t the usual midsummer fare. And though the green jacket now in Garcia’s possession guarantees a lifetime pass to Augusta, he had another Georgia trip on his mind as he stared at his ball sitting up in a small brook next to Conway Farms’ 18th green.

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FedExCup

30 for 30: The PGA Tour Finale

By Gary VanSickle, GWA President & Golf Insiders Contributor

@GaryVanSickle

The flagship of the FedEx Cup series and the grand finale of the PGA Tour season has  an impressive field of… only 30 players?

Don’t forget to take your irony pills this week because that has always been a major failing of this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Yes, they’re supposed to be the 30 best players on the tour, notwithstanding the missing-in-action list that includes Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson this week.

Still, 30 players seems like a small golf outing, not a tournament, no matter who they are.

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BMW Championship

The BMW Championship: Players to Watch

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson will be front and center, as is the privilege of their rank.

More importantly, they’ll be front and center next week, when the keys to the $10 million FedExCup winner’s vault are dangling at the finish line. We already know they won’t need any help claiming the spoils with a win, except maybe to hire someone to load the Brinks truck.

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Stacy Lewis

Hometown Hero: Stacy Lewis Wins Big for Houston

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

When Stacy Lewis pledged last week to donate whatever her winnings might be from the LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic to hurricane relief in Houston, golf fans overwhelmingly nodded and smiled.

Go for it, girl. Do your hometown proud.

Hey, a top-10 finish would contribute $25,000 or so to the effort. That’s a lot of food and clothing for those facing a long rebuilding effort. Maybe a good week could find Lewis inside the top five, which would double the funding.

A win? Geez, nobody writes those scripts. Not to mention Lewis hadn’t won in three years. No need to create that kind of pressure.

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Justin Thomas

Ready or Not, It’s the FedEx Cup Playoffs

By Ed Travis, Golf Insiders Contributor

@EdTravisGolf

For the past ten years, the PGA Tour has been working diligently to give us an exciting conclusion to the season using the four tournaments in five weeks slog called the FedEx Cup playoffs. While doing so, the tour has hoped to keep our attention, even though it’s opposite the start of football season (also a slog, but that’s another column).

 

Justin Thomas

FedEx Cup Playoffs: A History Of Top Tier Champions

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders contributor

@JeffShain

How often have we heard that the quality of a golf course can be determined by the champions it produces?

Royal Birkdale, for instance, has produced a half-dozen winners now in the World Golf Hall of Fame (and two who will get there eventually). Over more than two decades, all but three winners at Firestone Country Club also have a major title in their portfolios.

Quality up and down the lineup.

 

Justin Thomas

Thompson Comeback Sparked By Inkster’s Pep Talk

By Jeff Shain

@JeffShain, Golf Insiders Contributor

The right word, delivered at the right moment, can make all the difference.

Such was the case when U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster put her hand on Lexi Thompson’s shoulder four holes into Sunday’s leadoff singles match.

“Really?!?”

 

Justin Thomas

THE ELITE EIGHT OF ALABAMA GOLF

By Mike May, Golf Insiders Contributor

On your next golf excursion, visit central Alabama.  If necessary, fly to Birmingham and rent a car.  There, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to play the great game of golf.

 

Justin Thomas

A New Era in American Golf

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders Contributor

Of course, it would have been amazing if Jordan Spieth had managed to complete the career Grand Slam at Quail Hollow Club. But Justin Thomas capturing his first major championship is a pretty strong alternative.

A very good thing, even.

Now it doesn’t fall solely on Spieth to carry the torch for this generation of American young guns. It probably was just a matter of time before Thomas joined that roster of major champions, but this removes any doubt.

 

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Justin Thomas

Young Guns on the Rise: Justin Thomas

By Gary VanSickle, GWA President & Golf Insiders Contributor

 

We witnessed three more first-time major champions this year--Sergio Garcia, at long last; Brooks Koepka, who plays like the next Dustin Johnson; and Justin Thomas, who didn’t wait long to start fulfilling his own great expectations.

We saw one of the craziest finishes in years--think Jean Van de Veldebut with a win. It featured Jordan Spieth intentionally taking a penalty drop on Royal Birkdale’s practice range and a subsequent birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch that will be a topic of conversation for decades.

Perhaps most importantly, we saw three players capture majors who are likely to take many more.

 

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Jason Day

The PGA Championship: Who will survive the Green Mile?

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders Contributor

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chris Stroud could only grimace as he walked off Quail Hollow’s 18th green Saturday, victimized by a bogey/bogey finish that cost him a share of the PGA Championship lead.

As it turned out, Stroud didn’t lose any ground. If anything, he gained a bit.

That’s how the Green Mile – Quail Hollow’s fearsome finishing trio of holes – can turn things on its head. And look no further than Saturday’s final threesome as Exhibit A.

 

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PGA Championship

2017 PGA Championship Preview: Waiting for Golf Gods To Show Up

By Ted Johnson, Golf Insiders Contributor

This year has been rather sublime in terms of how the major championships played out. Sergio Garcia finally removed the 200-pound necklace known as Best Player to Not Win a Major with his decisive victory at Augusta. Brooks Koepka demonstrated remarkable power and poise at the daunting Erin Hills course for the U.S. Open title. Then Jordan Spieth turned tragedy into triumph in a magical six-hole run to close out The Open.

Feel-good stories, all of them. Which is to say, the Golf Gods have been rather benign in terms of dishing out bad breaks, horrible bounces and spirit-wrecking outcomes. I feel it coming like a thunderstorm sweeping across the plains.

 

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Ik Kim

Ricoh Women's British Open: Kim's Redemption 

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders Contributor

Heartbreaking defeat can often be a touchy subject, but I.K. Kim had spent plenty of time making peace with her 14-inch torment.

What baffles her is encountering others still shaken by that long-ago missed putt at Mission Hills.

“In interviews it is OK,” the newly crowned Women’s British Open champion said Sunday. “But sometimes strangers cry in front of me about it. I don't know how to react to that.”

 

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PGA Championship

The PGA Championship: Slam For Sunday

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

Jordan Spieth set the world of professional golf on its ear - and rightfully so - by winning the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

But outside of the way he won – and that was indeed spectacular – all the now 24-year-old Texan really did was set the table for the 2017 PGA Championship that will start in 11 days at Quail Hollow.

 

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Bernhard

Bernhard Langer: Like a Fine Wine

By Bob Oliver, Golf Insiders Contributor

It has been said that wine gets better with age.

Okay. But some wines just don’t make the cut, no matter how old or experienced they are.

Professional golfers are the same way. They can be smarter, know the game better, have an uncanny ability to get into the hole from anywhere. But at some point, even those fine players lose some of their skills or desire.

Then there is Bernhard Langer. Like those fine wines that get better with age, Langer just several weeks shy of his 60th birthday has shown little indication that he’s ready to hang up his spikes.

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RBC Canadian Open

RBC Canadian Open: Oh, Canada

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders Contributor

And so now Venezuela appears twice as frequently among the past century of winners at Canada’s national Open as anyone from the motherland.

Roll that one around for a bit.

Granted, both RBC Canadian Open wins belong to Jhonattan Vegas, whose playoff victory Sunday over Charley Hoffman made him just the third man to capture back-to-back Open titles since the end of World War II.

 

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RBC Canadian Open

Achin' for some Bacon

By Claudio DeMarchi, Golf Insiders Contributor

Kudos to RBC, a major Canadian corporation, for ensuring that Canadian golf fans have somewhat of a classy field for the National Championship.

Although the buzz around the world last week was Jordan Spieth and his topsy-turvey route to his 3rd major at The Open, a great many Canadian eyeballs were glued to the young man who, after Saturday’s round, was sitting 3rd in a very high profile field.

Austin Connelly is the name of the young Canadian with the Texas twang that sat behind Spieth and Matt Kucher.

 

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Jordan Spieth

The Open Championship: Spieth Makes History

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

What happened was Jordan Spieth and one of the most bizarre final rounds of major championship golf ever played.

In the CliffNotes version of this Open Championship, Spieth, who had started the final round with a three-shot lead over Matt Kuchar, won the Claret Jug by that same margin over Kuchar to become the “champion golfer of the year.”

But it wasn’t that simple. Or easy.

 

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Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth: A Bogey for the Ages

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders Contributor

This was Seve Ballesteros from the carpark at Royal Lytham. Arnold Palmer from the blackberry bush at Royal Birkdale. Bubba Watson from the deep pines right of Augusta National’s 10th fairway.

Or it could have been Phil Mickelson by Winged Foot’s merchandise tent. Rory McIlroy traipsing around Augusta National’s cabins. A barefoot Jean Van de Velde wading into Barry Burn.

Jordan Spieth from behind the equipment trucks was bound for one of those lists. A “what-am-I doing-over-here” moment that, good or bad, was going to define a major championship.

 

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Justin Rose

6 Players to Watch: The Open Championship

By Gary Van Sickle, GWA President & Golf Insiders Contributor

@GaryVanSickle

 

Royal Birkdale has a heck of a resume. You can judge a major championship venue by its winners and Birkdale’s champions have been impressive.

Try Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson and Peter Thomson for starters but don’t forget Padraig Harrington, Mark O’Meara and Ian Baker-Finch. Plus there’s the Nearly Men at Birkdale, those players who almost won the Open. Miller outlasted a 19-year-old named Seve Ballesteros, who tied Jack Nicklaus for second in 1976; 17-year-old Justin Rose, an amateur, holed out from the rough at the 18th hole in 1998 and finished fourth; and Hale Irwin whiffed a two-inch putt to finish one shot behind Watson in 1983.

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Royal Birkdale

The Open Championship: Golf’s Oldest Tournament

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

The 146th Open Championship begins Thursday morning at Royal Birkdale.

And not unlike every other playing of golf’s oldest tournament, the where is just as important as the who.

 

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Bernhard Langer

The Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS: Langer Falls, McCarron Rises

By Bob Oliver, Golf Insiders Contributor

In control of the Constellation Senior Players Championship at Caves Valley through three rounds, Langer’s game was on cruise control through the final round of his attempts at a four-peat in the event. Langer had won the last three Senior Players Championship on three different courses. Unfortunately, Cave’s Valley proved to be a tough test for a fourth straight win.

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Donald Trump

Sports and Politics Have Always Mixed – Usually for the Better

By Ted Johnson, Golf Insiders Contributor

Journalists for eons have been reviled. It’s part of the job. Many who object to the “politicization” of the questions to participants prior to this week’s U.S. Women’s Open seem to think that sports exist in a bubble.

A look back in our nation's history shows politics deeply embedded in sports. The treatment of Jim Thorpe called into question our nation’s history with Native Americans. Jesse Owens couldn’t sit in some restaurants, was spit upon by Nazis in 1936 Berlin and yet came home a hero. Jackie Robinson’s introduction into Major League Baseball signified a significant shift in racial issues in the U.S. I could go on from Muhammed Ali to Colin Kaepernick.

 

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John Deere Classic

Don't Sleep on the John Deere Classic

By Jeff Shain, Golf Insiders Contributor

And it’s another two-major weekend elsewhere, with the U.S. Women’s Open and Senior Players Championship jostling for summer attention.

Don’t instinctively sleep on the John Deere Classic, though.

Granted, it’s never easy holding the slot before or after a major – especially one on the other side of an ocean. Quad Cities lies six time zones from Royal Birkdale.

Check the JDC’s roster of recent champions, though, and it holds its own.

 

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Trump National

U.S. Women's Open: Bigger than politics

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

The 72nd U.S. Women’s Open starts Thursday in New Jersey – just 10 minutes down the road from the headquarters of the U.S. Golf Association.

The tournament is the oldest major championship on the LPGA Tour – and depending on who is doing the talking, the most important tournament on the LPGA Tour.

 

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Club Fitting

Club Fitting: An advantage from tee to green

By Mike Jamison, Executive Director of the International Network of Golf (ING)

 

If you’re not playing golf with clubs fitted specifically for your swing and body characteristics, then you’re giving up strokes to your opponents.

I learned this lesson recently in a way that has changed my entire outlook on golf. I had slipped into a funk that was turning my weekly Saturday morning trip to the golf course into something more akin to a visit to the dentist chair. Only worse. At least in the dentist chair you get a shot of Novocain and a promise that all will be better.

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Greenbrier Classic

Floods can’t dampen the return of The Greenbrier Classic

By Bob Oliver, Golf Insiders Contributor

@arbyoliver

There was rain in the forecast a year ago in West Virginia, but nobody expected the severity of the storm.

The storms devastated the area, ravaging homes, businesses and upending lives. Homes were captured floating down rivers in what was called a 1000-year storm. Streams overflowed, roads were turned into raging rivers, storm waters spread like a virus and destroyed everything in their path. Topping the disaster was a tornado.

The storm was clearly catastrophic.

Along the way, and merely a footnote to the storm losses, was the cancellation of the 2016 Greenbrier Classic, the PGA Tour event that generates millions of dollars of much needed economic value to the area.

 

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Phil Mickelson and Bones

Phil and Bones: Two Was Always Better Than One

By Ted Johnson, Golf Insiders Contributor

Partnerships like that of Phil Mickelson, five-time major winner, and Jim “Bones” MacKay are very rare. Pros and caddies can be a volatile mix, but to see one last for a long time – 25 years is an eon on the PGA Tour – serves as the foundation of one’s belief in long-term friendships, a “Bromance on Grass,” if you will. Don’t feel sorry for anyone, because Mickelson has hauled in more than $70 million in his career, and MacKay has been paid a good chunk of that.

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KPMG

The LPGA’s brightest global stars shine at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship 

By Eloise Trainor, FUTURES Golf Tour Founder

The KPMG leaderboard will be jam packed with major talent and personalities.  As this season has proven so far, the plethora of youngsters on tour are capable of challenging any of the veteran players. Any one of the players from the previously mentioned World Rankings could hoist the trophy come Sunday. Throw into the mix Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Anna Nordqvist, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis and the second LPGA major of the year will be Must See TV for golf fans worldwide.

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Driver Distance

Driving Distance: Fuzzy Thinking is not the answer

By Ed Travis, Golf Insiders Contributor

Respected icons of the game such as Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin have said more than once that the problem with golf is the ball goes too far.

Maybe by taking a look at the facts we can sweep away the fuzziness concerning golf ball distance because if we don’t, sure as heck, the fuzzy thinking will eventually prevail.

 

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Tiger and Spieth

PGA Tour: The difference between good and great

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

With his victory in the 117th U.S. Open, the 27-year-old Florida native became the seventh straight first-time major championship winner – a long streak that now dates back to the end of World War II.

So. . . .

Is that because there is now an absence of “great players?”

Or is it because there are more “good players” now than ever before?

Easy answers - yes and yes.

 

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Brooks Koepka

The 2017 U.S. Open – Big Boy Golf

By Ted Johnson, Golf Insiders Contributor

For three days, it was the No Fear Open, sponsored by the USGA. On Saturday, the traditionally clichéd “moving day” so popular in golf writers’ third-round reports of the U.S. Open, 32 “moved” below par – a record for a tournament born and bred to bring Tour pros to slamming clubs and X-rated exclamations.

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US Open trophy

The U.S. Open: Sunday Drama

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

This is golf theater at its best.

The U.S. Open has had its share of high drama.

It’s also had a cast of characters – the greatest characters in the game.

 

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Phil Mickelson

It May Be Rickie Fowler's Time

By Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders Contributor

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Preacher, the son of David the King, first penned the words in Ecclesiastes 3:1 centuries before B.C. became a measurement of time.

Pete Seeger, singer and philosopher, set those same words to music in the 1950s. 

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Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson: Family First

by Steve Trivett, Golf Insiders contributor

Phil Mickelson was going to be a big story at this year’s U.S. Open – that starts Thursday in Wisconsin - no matter what.

He’s an even a bigger story now. Because he’s not there.

Instead of teeing it up in the first round of 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills on Thursday, Lefty is going to be in California attending the high school graduation of his oldest daughter Amanda.

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Phil Mickelson

Erin Hills: A Big Hitter's Paradise for 2017 US Open

By Gary Van Sickle, @GaryVanSickle

GWAA President & Golf Insiders Contributor

ERIN, Wis.—Erin Hills is still a big question mark, no matter what anyone says.

I don’t doubt it as a bruiser of a championship layout. The question is, what kind of player will rise above to win this U.S. Open?

It looks more and more likely that a big-hitter is the likely champion.

 

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Steve Stricker

The US Open: Steve Stricker's Homecoming

by JAMES MCAFEE, Golf Insiders contributor

Looking for a feel good story when the U.S. Open is held at Erin Hills, located 35 miles north of Milwaukee, this week? How about Steve Stricker?

The Wisconsin native, who lives 75 minutes away in Madison, asked for a special exemption, but it was turned down by the United States Golf Association, not surprising as few are rarely handed out..

The USGA likes to emphasize that everyone who has the game at the right time has a chance to make the field, pointing to 9.485 entries this year.

 

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Jason Dufner

The Memorial: Jason Dufner Redefines "Moving Day"

by BOB OLIVER, Golf Insiders contributor

@arbyoliver

There is a special significance to Saturday play in a typical PGA Tour event.

“It’s moving day,” said one of golf’s elder statesmen at the recent media day of the Tour’s Greenbrier Classic, Lee Trevino. “Saturday starts the final 36 holes. It’s after the cut. And it’s the time to post a strong round and make a statement that you are in the event to win it.”

 

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Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods: A Tragedy in Three Acts

by ED TRAVIS, Golf Insiders contributor

@edtravisgolf

It makes no difference if you are a fan of Tiger Woods or not. Whether you care what happens or not. 

Tiger’s family needs him back—sober and being a good Dad. 

The game needs Tiger back in competition…the fans, the PGA Tour and most of all the golf business needs the publicity of him playing and winning to attract new players.

No one, least of all Tiger, knows how the third act will end.

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L2 Putters

Putter Face Design: Texures and Grooves

by JOHN AMBROSE, President and Design Innovator at L2 Putters

In an effort to find yet another way to promote putter sales, golf club manufacturers occasionally try to wow their customers with tales of amazing face inserts that have the ability to create instant ball roll for better direction and distance accuracy. They make what sounds like a variety of grooves and textures that they claim will get the ball to roll instantly without skidding or hopping. Considering the limitations the USGA has in place concerning this club design feature, they sure sound like they have another "new idea" designed more for sales than for performance..

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Kevin Kisner

Kisner Proves He Can Win Again

by JAMES MCAFEE, Golf Insiders contributor

Just when many were questioning if Kevin Kisner could shake his bridesmaid role, he turned the trick on Sunday, holing a five-footer for a par on the 18th green at the Colonial County Club to win the Dean and DeLuca Invitational.

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Billy Horschel

An Unexpected Victory for Billy Horschel

by JAMES MCAFEE, Golf Insiders contributor

Coming into the AT&T Byron Nelson, Billy Horschel didn’t seem likely to end up as the winner. He had missed the cut in his last four events and had missed the cut in his only two previous trips to Irving to play the TPC Four Seasons course.

However, he led the field in strokes saved putting and ended up with the title when Jason Day missed a four-footer on the first playoff hole after the pair had tied at minus 12.

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John Daly

Back in the Winner's Circle: John Daly

by STEVE TRIVETT, Golf Insiders contributor

 John Daly is back in the winner's circle.

And the world of professional golf just got a lot more fun.

Daly won his first tournament in 13 years when he captured the Insperity Invitational on the Champions Tour -- despite trying to give it away over his final three holes, finishing bogey-bogey-bogey.

But that's just John being John.

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The PLAYERS

The PLAYERS: Not Enough Birdies & Eagles. Too Many Car Wrecks

by KATHY BISSELL, Golf Insiders contributor

Reaction to The Players this year has been mixed to say the least.  

Ratings were down from previous years, and most people are saying it was the contenders at the end. While that is likely part of the reason, it might just as easily be that the course was a little too severely set up for any human, much less guys who hit the ball 325 yards without breaking a sweat.

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Si Woo Kim

The PLAYERS Recap: A Major Change of Philiosophy 

by GARY VANSICKLE, Golf Insiders contributor

@GaryVanSickle

So I’ll just go ahead and say it. The Players has a great field. TPC Sawgrass is not a great course. It’s iconic, it’s memorable, it’s spectacular in places and spectacularly difficult. But it’s not a great course because the PGA Tour tries too hard to defend par.

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Dustin Johnson PGA

Sergio Garcia's Honesty, Authenticity Misunderstood Throughout The Years

By Holly Geoghegan, Host: Golf Insiders

@hollyg_golfinsiders

I’ve been a Sergio Garcia fan since he burst onto America’s golf stage during the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club.  

I was standing directly behind Sergio when he hit that iconic 6-iron, eyes closed, around that ginormous red oak tree on the right edge of the 16th fairway on Sunday during the final round.

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Dustin Johnson PGA

The PLAYERS: Friday Wrap Up

by Garrett Johnston, Golf Insiders contributor

@johnstongarrett

 Day 2 at the Players Championship saw 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stanley vault up the leaderboard to 9-under par.

Oosthuizen hails from South Africa and made a spirited charge at February’s Waste Management Phoenix Open to finish third, his best showing of the year on the PGA Tour.

Dustin Johnson PGA

The PLAYERS Championship: The Return of Dustin Johnson

By TED JOHNSON

Dustin Johnson heads to TPC Sawgrass for this week’s Players Championship as the heavy favorite. And why not? He is averaging 315 off the tee and hitting three out of four greens. Forget the 50-percent fairway stat because much of the time he’s hitting short irons and wedges into the greens, thus the rough has less influence on his control.

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The PLAYERS

The PLAYERS: Day 1 Wrap Up

By Garrett Johnston
@JohnstonGarrett

On a sweltering hot Thursday afternoon in northeast Florida the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament, THE PLAYERS Championship, got started in high gear.

Leading the charge in the morning wave was the unassuming William McGirt who posted a 67 in calm conditions Thursday morning.

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The PLAYERS

The PLAYERS: Moving Day is Coming

By GARY VAN SICKLE
@GaryVanSickle

Not Moving Day, the cliché phrase used by hack golf writers to describe a golf tournament’s third round. I mean Moving Day as in the day The Players Championship moves from its dud May date back to its original slot in late March two weeks before the Masters.

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TPC Sawgrass Hole 12

The PLAYERS Preview: New 12th Hole 

By KATHY BISSELL

There have been a few changes to the course this year for The Players, but the only one that counts is the redo of the 12th hole, a par four that was theoretically drivable. But because the green was obscured from the tee, hidden behind some mounds on the left, few tried even though the length was reachable.  

In the past, the 12th was a short, dogleg left with a couple pot bunkers close to the green. Now, it’s straightaway, like they just walked about 30 yards right and dropped it into the fairway.  So the hole is a little bit shorter.  The green is now elongated, offering a variety of distances, depending on pin placement.  

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TPC Sawgrass

5 Players to Watch: THE PLAYERS Championship

By ED TRAVIS
@edtravisgolf

 

The PGA Tour returns to the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course for THE PLAYERS and competitors will have the opportunity to challenge the famous (or is it infamous?) par-3 17th island green. Apt descriptions of the Pete Dye design include long, fairly tight, lots of water and challenging greens.

Predicting a winner for THE PLAYERS has always been an interesting exercise as it has the strongest field of the year and this time 48 of the world’s top 50 will be there.

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USGA an R&A

The USGA and R&A Deserve An Old-Fashioned Attaboy

By ED TRAVIS
@edtravisgolf

In the past there have been a number of times I have been critical of golf’s rules givers, the United States Golf Association and R&A, but today they deserve an old-fashioned “attaboy.”

The reason is they promptly came up with a fix to what many viewed as a ludicrous situation, namely the four stroke penalty given to Lexi Thompson during the ANA Inspiration. The USGA and R&A modified the Rules of Golf to address an obviously inherent unfairness.

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Ian Poutler

Ian Poulter: The Player We Love to Hate

By STEVE TRIVETT

Love it or not, it looks like we’re going to have Ian Poulter around for a little while longer.

Due to a paper-pushing error at PGA Tour headquarters over in Ponte Vedra Beach, Poulter will retain his fully-exempt status at least until the end of the 2017 season.

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PGA Merchandise Show Photo

Cristie Kerr: Among The Greats Of Her Day

By ELOISE TRAINOR

Former FUTURES TOUR founder

Has the longevity of Cristie Kerr’s career gone unnoticed amidst the trials of Michelle Wie, the emergence of Lexi Thompson, Yani Tseng, Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson and more?

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Sam Snead
By ART COLASANTI
Director of Sales- L2 Putters
 

Upon arriving at the first tee, who is about to tee off but Sammy Snead, knock me over with a feather. A small town boy, recently removed from the comfort of his high school years and now thrown into the big city and the first person I watch hit a golf ball is one of the all time greats, special. There I was, me and possibly 8 others watching Slam-in Sammy Snead. You ask "can it get any better", the answer is yes. No marshals, no ropes, no press, just me 8 others and two other players and their caddies. Three and half hours later the players were exchanging pleasantries on the 18 green.

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USGA Penalty

No Time Wasted: USGA Makes Changes to "Video Evidence" Rulings

By JAMES MCAFEE

Thank goodness, the USGA and the R&A didn’t waste time announcing a change to their “video evidence” rulings. The new rule states that a player will not be penalized when video evidence reveals things that could not reasonably be seen with the naked eye. The rule adjustment places more emphasis on player integrity, asking players to make a reasonable judgement about the marking of a ball on the green or over the correct place to drop a ball.

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Kevin Chappell

Kevin Chappell Sheds Bridesmaid Role

By JAMES MCAFEE

Kevin Chappell finally got a monkey off his back when he rolled in a nine-foot putt on the final green at TPC San Antonio to win the Valero Texas Open. It was his first win on the PGA Tour after 180 starts and will allow him to silence questions about when he’s going to get his hands on a championship trophy.

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The Masters

Augusta National, My Eyes Turn to You

By TED JOHNSON

This is the time of year when storied Augusta National winds down its activities and prepares to close, as it does annually, for the summer months. The club will go dark until late September, and yet this week would be the perfect time for The Women’s Masters.

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First Half Player of the Year

First Half Player of the Year

By ED TRAVIS
@edtravisgolf

With the PGA Tour season at the halfway mark it’s fun to speculate who has been the standout performer, if indeed there has been one, so far through the RBC Heritage. It was the 23rd event on the Tour schedule out of 47 (counting the opposite field events such as the Puerto Rico Open played the same week as the WGC-Dell Match Play).


Who can we make a case for?

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Wesley Bryan

Wesley Bryan Proves He’s Not A One Trick Pony

By BOB OLIVER 

@arbyoliver

If there ever was a golf Cinderella story, it simply must be the assent of Wesley Bryan to PGA Tour Champion.

The South Carolina native has been a media darling for years, competing in the golf reality show Big Break and entertaining with his brother George with their trick shots on You Tube. The Bryan Brothers videos have been viewed by nearly 10 million people on the latter, where their “Rapid Fire” and “Range Picker Shots” are legend.

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Tommy

TOMMY'S HONOUR: A Captivating True Story of Love, Passion, Pride and Golf

By LES SCHUPAK

Directed by Jason Connery, the film stars Peter Mullan (War Horse), Jack Lowden (’71), Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park).

Tommy’s Honour debuts in American theaters April 14th in 32 cities. The film is a must see for see for any movie-goer who enjoys period pieces, historical dramas, romance, and authentic “no frills” film-making. It is a testament to both the complex ties and love between father and son, and to how period dramas do not need to compromise authenticity to gain entertainment points. “Tommy’s Honour” is the most authentic golf film ever made because of one simple fact: it is not a golf film at all. See it for yourself and uncover the modern origins of this founding family like never before.

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Putt Like the Pros

Putt Like the Pros: Know Your Stroke

By ART COLASANTI
Director of Sales- L2 Putters

Over my 40 years of teaching, it never ceases to amaze me how players will spend hours on the range and very few minutes on the putting green. Ben Hogan, when once asked, why he didn't spend as much time practicing putting as he did hitting balls, responded, "Anyone can make a ten foot putt.” His point - he was such an incredible ball striker that most of his shots to the pin were 10 feet or less. Unfortunately, we aren't all as gifted as Mr. Hogan.

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Sergio Garcia Masters Champion

Sergio Garcia: An Idol but not a Model for Success

By SKYLAR JEWELL
Mental Performance Coach/Consultant

Throughout Sergio’s career it is clear that he has held high beliefs in his abilities, being able to exercise both powerful and delicate shots with success. In essence his high competence allows him to maintain a high belief in what he is capable of doing. In contrast, the beginning sections of his career are riddled with occasions of success and struggle. Most of this inconsistency coming from the lack of stability in emotions which can stem into frustrations.

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The Masters Champions

The Masters: Winning Means A Special Passage

By TED JOHNSON

Looking over the list of Masters champions begs the question, Is winning a stepping stone to lasting recognition in the golf world?

Here’s a different perspective on the same issue: The final hours of the 2016 Masters had all of us bemoaning two shots that found Rae’s Creek. Avid golf fans still talk about it a year later. Two mis-played tee shots to the par-3 12th indeed added to the historic drama that makes the Masters – especially on the back nine on Sunday – must-watch TV.

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Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth: Rebound or Fall Down?

By DR. BOB WINTERS

Sports Psychologist 

The truth of the matter is this: breakdowns and performance meltdowns occur regularly on the greatest stage of golf. The best thing about the Masters tournament is that it is built for drama!

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PGA Merchandise Show Photo

Rules Call Ins: Stop The Insanity

By BOB OLIVER

@ArbyOliver

I called into Major League Baseball offices and let them know a ball called in yesterday's Washington National’s game was actually a strike.  

To my surprise, MLB didn't change the call.  

Interestingly enough, a wrong call was made on for holding in the Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers hockey game over the weekend on a play which led to a goal. I e-mailed the National Hockey League offices and let them know, but they too didn't change the call.

But some yahoo calls or writes the LPGA Tour and drops a dime on Lexi Thompson in the ANA Inspiration and before you can say “bingo” the LPGA penalized the tournament leader and ultimately cost her $154,509 in prize winnings as well as a championship.

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Phil Mickelson

Inside the Mind of Lefty: The Phil Mickelson Story

By DR. TED MANOS

It made my day, when I saw that David Feherty would feature an interview with Phil "the thrill" Mickelson. Not for one, but two hours spread over two episodes. It seems like yesterday, when the naturally right handed golfing icon won a PGA event while still in college. It's an amazing thing, that Phil plays left-handed, which fits his somewhat unique personality, and his go-for-broke mentality that featured so many ups and downs during his career.  

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The Masters

Change at the Masters: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

By GARY VANSICKLE

@GaryVanSickle

 

Jim Nantz said it, Augusta National Golf Club trademarked it: A tradition unlike any other. That tagline is property of the Masters Tournament and it’s a good one. The Masters is all that and more.

The irony is, Augusta National is the least traditional playing surface in major championship golf.

What? Yes, the Masters has been held there since 1934 but no site that has hosted multiple majors has been retouched, altered, tweaked and face-lifted more times than The National, as insiders call the course.

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Lexi Thompson

A Major Debacle: Fans Do Not Qualify As Officials

By MIKE JAMISON

There should be no debate when it comes to making referees out of golf fans watching the tournament from their living rooms. Unless you have cameras recording every shot of every round of a tournament, then replays should not be used to determine rules infractions.

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Lexi Thompson Penalty

ANAarchy at Mission Hills: It's Time to Make Rulings in REAL TIME

By HOLLY GEOGHEGAN

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing last night as I tuned in for the final round of the LPGA’s first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration.

What was developing into an exciting finish and tightening leaderboard suddenly went totally off the rails as the final group, featuring tough competitors Lexi Thompson and Suzanne Peterson, putted out on the 12th hole at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

 

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Spring at Augusta

The Masters Means Spring

By ED TRAVIS

For many golfers the Masters is a rite of spring…the beginning of a new season.

Though a Florida resident now, back in the days when living in the land of snow and taxes, we always considered it a bonus if our course opened before the Masters in April.

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ANA Inspiration

Thoughts On the Eve of the ANA Inspiration

By ELOISE TRAINER

The ANA Inspiration - the LPGA's first major of the 2017 season brings great anticipation drawing record crowds under the sunny blue skies, lush green fairways and snow capped mountains at the famous Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs, California. The greatest female golfers on the planet compete on one of golf's greatest stages.

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Augusta National

It's Time For The Majors, Specifically The Masters

By BOB OLIVER 

@arbyoliver

Okay, great golf in 2017 has already been recorded into the history books. Players have staked their claims as players to watch and players to beat.

Still, in this corner, the golf season doesn’t really, really start until we see the bright green fairways, azaleas, and patrons lining Augusta National Golf Club.

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PGA Merchandise Show Photo

It's Time To Make Putting A One Target Sport

By JOHN AMBROSE

Golf is considered to be a two target sport. While one target is either the fairway, green, or cup, the other target is always the ball. From tee to green, when the stroke is generating more power with a larger motion, keeping your eye on the ball makes sense. But why does it still seem necessary when we are only rolling the ball a relatively short distance on a manicured surface?

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Golf Insiders | Rules Of Golf: Modern Times Call For Modern Resources With USGA

Rules Of Golf: Modern Times Call For Modern Resources With USGA

By Tony Austin

Modern times call for modern resources and the elimination of inconsistencies that are hard to remember.

As an instructor of the Rules of Golf for 12 years, I am used to the language, complexity, and sometimes “hidden meanings” that make the Rules of Golf challenging. I also have learned that much of the 34 Rules and their accompanying Decisions are not for every-day or casual golf, and most of us play by our own loosely defined set of rules anyhow.

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Golf Insiders | Prepare For Busted Brackets From Dell Match Play

Prepare For Busted Brackets From Dell Match Play

By GARY VAN SICKLE
@garyvansickle

We’ve all got Bracket Fever in March, thanks to the NCAA basketball tournament. Those March Madness brackets have to be the closest thing to legalized gambling in the U.S.

It’s natural to get fired up when the brackets are set for this week’s Dell Match Play Championship. We have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs: Brackets = pool.

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PGA Merchandise Show Photo
 
By STEVE TRIVETT
Golf Insiders Contributor
 

I came to this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational ready to say goodbye to the man who made me love golf in the first place.

I couldn’t. I really couldn’t.
 

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PGA Merchandise Show Photo
 
By BOB OLIVER
@arbyoliver
 

He was a top amateur golfer from Southern California, who:

  • Was on top of world amateur rankings for 55 weeks
  • Won the Jack Nicklaus Award
  • Won the Phil Mickelson Award

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By TED JOHNSON
Golf Insiders Contributor

This week the PGA TOUR arrives at Bay Hill, Arnold Palmer’s home course and the place he more or less brought into existence. Without Palmer, Bay Hill would just be another high-end Florida housing development with a good – not great – golf course. But Bay Hill is synonymous with Palmer and it shows up on the bucket lists of many golfers. 

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PGA Merchandise Show Photo

Arnold Palmer Invitational In Doubt If History Repeats Itself

By JAY GOLDEN
PGA

PGA Tour events have featured the names of many renowned celebrities throughout the years. Each acted as host of the event and therefore was one of the reasons for its success.