Monday, November 19

VIDEO: Charles Howell III Ends Long Winless Drought at RSM Classic in Georgia



AT THE RSM CLASSIC AT SEA ISLAND RESORT in St. Simons Island, Georgia, Charles Howell III shot a final-round 67 to finish 19 under and get into a sudden-death playoff with Patrick Rodgers. Howell III defeated Rodgers on the second playoff hole.

His third PGA Tour victory ended a winless drought of more than a decade.

"Sometimes you wonder, well, maybe you just don't have it in you," Howell III said. "Maybe today is just not the day. More than likely I won't be winning the golf tournament."

He added, "Quite honestly, I didn't know if I would ever win one again. I had come up short so many times."

A runner-up 16 times on tour, this time he got it done. Howell III sank a 15-footer to win the playoff, then fought back tears and hugged his wife and kids.

Friday, November 16

Brrr: How Cold Weather Affects Golf Ball Performance

IT'S COLD IN THE MID ATLANTIC. In fact, freezing rain was falling outside my window as I began to write this. I won't be playing golf anytime soon.

(Jeff Cushner/Flickr)
But if you're a cold-weather golfer, this information from Golf Digest might be helpful:
[C]old air can affect the performance of a golf ball. Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on a ball. According to Trackman, the difference is approximately one yard of carry for every 10-degree change in temperature. So theoretically, you’re looking at a loss of four yards if you’re playing in 40 degrees as opposed to 80 degrees. Other factors—such as how the body reacts to the cold, and how wearing extra layers likely limits your backswing—can further impact distance. The takeaway: When playing fall golf plan for at least an extra half club, and if your swing is restricted by being fully bundled up, it might even be a full club.
Also this ...
As for trying to keep golf balls warm, don't bother. For starters, Rule 14-3/13.5 prohibits warming a golf ball during the round. Warming up golf balls is not prohibited, but there is a reason for that—it doesn't work. Several years ago, Golf Laboratories performed a test that showed you could not get a ball warm enough to have any impact because the ball almost instantly adopts to the outside temperatures.
If you play golf in the snow, use an orange, green or pink golf ball. And go ahead and improve your lie. Winter rules apply.

Thursday, November 8

GOLF CENTRAL: LPGA Player and Her Caddie Disagree on Circumstances That Led to DQ



WHAT A MESS. The player, Doris Chen, explained what happened to her golf ball that resulted in a disqualification. But the caddie, Alex Valer, had a very different take.

In the vicinity of the incident was Chen's mother. Did the mother play a role?

GolfChannel.com's Randall Mell reported on the controversy at the LPGA's Q-Series.

Monday, November 5

VIDEO: Bryson DeChambeau Wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open; Said 'Everybody Does It in a Different Way'



BRYSON DECHAMBEAU IS RED HOT. He fired a closing 66 to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open by a shot over Patrick Cantlay. It was win number five for DeChambeau on the PGA Tour, all of them bunched in the last 16 months.

DeChambeau is anything but orthodox in his approach to the game. It's working for him.

"More power to everyone that does it their own way," he said.

"Everybody is unique. Everybody does it in a different way. I believe I found a way that works really, really well for me and it allows me to be super consistent week in and week out."

DeChambeau climbed another spot in the world rankings, to No. 5. Meanwhile, Justin Rose reclaimed the top spot, displacing Brooks Koepka.

Thursday, November 1

Morning Drive: PGA's Mike Pickett and His Golf-Themed Pumpkins



I HOPE YOU HAD A GOOD HALLOWEEN. This is Mike Pickett, a PGA member whose favorite holiday is Halloween.

Is Mike better at golf or pumpkins? I wonder.

Wednesday, October 31

Pinehurst Caddie Willie McRae Dies at 85; Said 'Everybody's a Celebrity'



WILLIE MCRAE BEGAN AS A CADDIE at Pinehurst in 1943. He was 10. McRae retired from his trade a year ago and died this past Sunday at the age of 85.

Like those TV spots for the insurance company say, McRae had seen a thing or two. He caddied for five presidents and famous athletes like Mickey Mantle and Michael Jordan.

It made no difference to McRae. According to a 2013 interview, the Pinehurst caddie treated everyone the same way.

"[E]verybody's a celebrity," he said. "We can't say well this guy's a celebrity because he played basketball or baseball or golf pro or whatever. But everybody's somebody and that's what you gotta take."

McRae collected $1.75 a round plus a 50-cent tip when he started looping 65 years ago. In the early days, those loops included Pinehurst No. 2 architect Donald Ross and golf legends Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.

Sunday, October 28

VIDEO: Xander Schauffele Wins WGC-HSBC Champions



XANDER SCHAUFFELE PREVAILED IN A ONE-HOLE playoff with Tony Finau to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Schauffele birdied the final two holes in regulation to force extra holes. He shot a final-round 68, the day's lowest score.

"I was definitely in sort of an attack mode," Schauffele said, "and I was hitting good shots all day, making good putts. I was doing everything that I needed to do."

Schauffele, 25, has three tour wins and is inside the top 20 in the world rankings.

Thursday, October 25

VIDEO: ESPN's Michael Collins on Dropped Lawsuit and Happier Caddies



ESPN'S MICHAEL COLLINS REPORTS THAT CADDIES have dropped their lawsuit against the PGA Tour. Furthermore, the caddies are apparently happier with Jay Monahan at the helm of the PGA Tour. Many were not fans of the previous regime. (Tim Finchem.)

I realize the caddies are independent contractors, but I'm glad to hear an increased stipend is probably coming their way. That will help with health care.

And how about Collins' beard?

It's longer than the rough at Le Golf National where Europe bagged another Ryder Cup victory.