Wednesday, September 30

Jordan Spieth to Caddie: 'You Need to Yell at Me'

ABOVE: Caddie Michael Greller (left) with Jordan Spieth.

ESPN.COM'S MICHAEL COLLINS, A FORMER CADDIE, filed another edition of "Caddie Confidential." Only this week, it's not confidential. Michael Greller openly talks about what it's like to be Jordan Spieth's caddie, especially during this milestone season.

"Three years ago I'm literally in my sixth-grade class teaching ya know?" Greller told Collins. "And here I am talking to you guys about my boss that's won two majors, a FedEx and everything else."

This player and caddie have developed a special relationship. Among other things, Collins asked, "When did you feel comfortable enough to give him a verbal kick in the pants?"

Greller said:
Like this year at the John Deere, he told me on Thursday. He said, "Michael, you need to yell at me." And he'll tell me that I need to, in so many words, grab him by the [he's searching for PG rated words] neck. And get his head right. He'll give me permission to. 
And it's weird, like your boss is telling you to yell at him! And it's just a strange thing, but there's times when you gotta do that. You have to have faith and trust in your relationship and know he's not gonna take it personally just like when he is upset with me, I can't take it personally. And that's been something we've both made adjustments to over the past three years.
Read the full Q&A at ESPN.com.

Tuesday, September 29

VIDEO: 'Never Say Die – The Jason Day Story'

 

THIS MINI-DOCUMENTARY ABOUT JASON DAY is nicely done, well worth 10 minutes if you want to learn about Day's background and unlikely climb to the No. 1 ranking in golf.

From Day's sponsor RBC:
Jason Day’s journey to the top of the golf world is unlike anyone else's. From humble beginnings in Australia, Jason overcame adversity to find his path through hard work and dedication. Through exclusive, behind-the-scenes access Jason's story is shared with the world for the first time here. We're proud to call Jason a member of Team RBC.

Monday, September 28

'Major' Week Caps Major Year for Jordan Spieth



"THIS IS INCREDIBLE," SAID JORDAN SPIETH after wrapping up his fifth PGA Tour victory of the year at the season-ending Tour Championship.

In fact, you could say Spieth put a wrap on everything, also winning the FedEx Cup worth $10 million, returning to No. 1 in the world (displacing Jason Day, who was on top for one week), putting an exclamation point on Player of the Year (although it's not official), winning the Vardon Trophy and finishing the season with record earnings.

I could think of other adjectives, but I suppose Spieth's "incredible" will do. As NBC golf anlayst Johnny Miller said more than once, "You just got to keep reminding yourself this guy is 22 years old."

Spieth is hyper-motivated. After winning the year's first two majors, contending in the other two and winning a pair of other tour events, the young Texan could have coasted through the dregs of the PGA Tour season.

But no.

"This is an event where we approach it like a major championship because we know this is possible at the end of it," Spieth said. "We didn't have a great playoffs but we put a lot of hard work into this week. I was out here early Monday morning. We approached it as if it was a major, and mentally we stayed in it even when I didn't have my best ball striking. Boy that putter sure paid off."

The hints of greatness are in that answer. Like the legends, Spieth wins without his best. Hard work, mental approach, competitiveness and "that putter" lift Spieth to greater heights than his extremely accomplished peers.

Poor Henrik Stenson. Did you see the looks on his face as Spieth dropped putts from every distance on East Lake's slick greens?

"I got frustrated," Spieth said about his play in recent weeks.

"I missed two cuts in a row. I had never done that. I lost the number one ranking. I was watching Jason Day just dominate golf. It was frustrating so I got to work. Put my head down a little more right after the PGA knowing we could still peak this week and that is what we did."

"Unreal." That was Spieth's adjective for his year.

"I don't know how we sit down and figure out how to improve on it," he said, "but we are going to try to do that."

That will be fun to watch.

Friday, September 25

Friday Golf Shot: Playing for Trophies

Gary C / Flickr Public Domain


AT THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP IN ATLANTA, Rory McIlroy was asked about the pot of gold at the end of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. A cool $10 millon. Rory said:
No, money's never motivated me. It's never been a motivating factor in my life. My dad and mom together probably earned I don't know, 40, 50 grand a year. Combined. That was sort of our household income.

So it was never really a motivating factor to me because we never had that much to begin with. So, I probably don't -- I mean starting off, I started earning money at 18 years old and earning quite a lot, so I probably don't appreciate the value of money like some other people do. It's just never been that important to me. It's nice, it's nice to have it. It's nice to have that security for your future and for your family's future, I guess. But if I wanted to get into golf for the money, I would be in it for the wrong reasons.
Then it must be about the trophies. Of course, Rory is playing for different trophies than the rest of us.

(H/T Bernard Daily)

Thursday, September 24

Golf on TV: TOUR Championship, Nature Valley First Tee Open, Porsche European Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

The PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs conclude this week at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, being contested at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The field is comprised of the top-30 players in the FedExCup standings, with the top-five in the standings (Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson) in position to automatically win the FedExCup and accompanying $10 million prize with a victory this week.

The Champions Tour is in California where 81 professionals will team with junior golfers representing 55 local First Tee chapters throughout the United States. Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Davis Love III and Colin Montgomerie headline the field.

The European Tour is in Germany for the Porsche European Open, with Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell and Bernhard Langer headlining the field.

* * *

PGA TOUR

TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola       
Dates: Sept. 24-27
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         1-6 p.m. (Live) / 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              1-6 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          10 a.m.-Noon (Live) / 10 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday         Noon-3:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday           1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

$10 million prize up for grabs: The 30-man field will compete for a chance to win the 2015 FedExCup, and the accompanying $10 million prize. Players sitting in the top-5 in the current standings are in position to automatically claim the FedExCup with a win this week, while those outside of the top-five must rely on how others finish for a chance at winning the title. The 30 players have earned invitations/exemptions into the 2016 Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. Players in the field also are guaranteed at least $300,000 (30th place).

Headlining the field (current FedExCup rankings): Jason Day (1); Jordan Spieth (2); Rickie Fowler (3); Henrik Stenson (4); Bubba Watson (5); Zach Johnson (6); Dustin Johnson (7); Charley Hoffman (8); Daniel Berger (9); Patrick Reed (10); Rory McIlroy (11); Justin Rose (12); Jimmy Walker (13); Robert Streb (14); Hideki Matsuyama (15); Jim Furyk (16); J.B. Holmes (17); Kevin Kisner (18); Danny Lee (19); Scott Piercy (20); Matt Kuchar (21); Paul Casey (22); Brandt Snedeker (23); Steven Bowditch (24); Brooks Koepka (25); Bill Haas (26); Kevin Na (27); Sangmoon Bae (28); Louis Oosthuizen (29); Harris English (30).

* * *

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach 
Dates: Sept. 25-27
Venues: Pebble Beach Golf Links; Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              6-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          6-9 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            6:30-9 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes

Cook defends: John Cook defeated Tom Byrum by one stroke for his 10th career Champions Tour win.

Headlining the field: Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Davis Love III, Colin Montgomerie, Jay Haas, Vijay Singh, Jeff Maggert, Marco Dawson, Billy Andrade and Kevin Sutherland.

* * *
                                                                                                         
EUROPEAN TOUR

Porsche European Open
Dates: Sept. 24-27
Venue: Hartl Resort at Bad Griesbach (Beckenbauer Course), Bad Griesbach, Germany

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5-7 a.m. / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Friday              5-7 a.m. / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Saturday          Noon-3:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-11 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            9-11 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Cevaer defends: Christian Cevaer finished one stroke ahead of the field for his second European Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Bernhard Langer, Charl Schwartzel, Ben An, Jamie Donaldson, Morgan Hoffmann, Thongchai Jaidee and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Wednesday, September 23

First Class Enters Virginia Golf Hall of Fame

I LIVE IN VIRGINIA AND WOULD say it's a good state for golf with a rich history. But until this year Virginia didn't have a golf hall of fame.

"Five legendary Virgnia golfers and a longtime volunteer rules official will be the first class of inducted into the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame," wrote Bill Millsaps in the July/August issue of Virginia Golfer. "Those being honored as the inaugural class include: Sam Snead, Vinny Giles, Curtis Strange, Lanny Wadkins, Chandler Harper and Clyde Luther."

It's a solid list. All five players are major championship winners (I'm counting the U.S. Amateur, which Giles won in 1972). And while you may have never heard of rules official Luther (I hadn't), his credentials are impeccable.

"The first inductees in the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame reflect the tradition of excellence long established in our state and represent elite achievements in golf," said Gib Palmer, president of the Virginia State Golf Association and the chair of the nine-person hall-of-fame selection committee.

CLASS OF 2016

Sam Snead. With 82 PGA Tour victories, including seven majors, Snead, of course, is also in the World Golf Hall of Fame. "The Slammer" was the oldest player to win a tour event. He was 52.

Vinny Giles. In addition to winning the 1972 U.S. Amateur, Giles won the British Amateur, three Virginia Opens and seven Virginia Amateurs.

Chandler Harper
Curtis Strange. Strange is the last man to win back-to-back U.S. Opens. He pulled off the rare double in 1988 and 1989. (Ben Hogan won consecutive U.S. Opens in 1950 and 1951.) Strange was also the first tour player to earn more than $1 million in a season. He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Lanny Wadkins. Lanny's victories include a U.S. Amateur, PGA Championship and Players Championship. He played on eight U.S. Ryder Cup teams and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

Chandler Harper. Born in 1914, Harper was a terrific golfer who won seven times on the PGA Tour, including the 1950 PGA Championship. He also collected a bunch of state titles (11 Virginia Opens) and was a mentor to Curtis Strange.

Clyde Luther. Luther officiated in 120 USGA championships, three Presidents Cups, the Masters and PGA Championship.

Tuesday, September 22

VIDEO: Juli Inkster Discusses Meeting With Suzann Pettersen



GOLFCHANNEL.COM REPORTED: "U.S. team captain Juli Inkster says she had a 'good talk' with Suzann Pettersen and both are ready to move on regarding the putt concession controversy at the 2015 Solheim Cup."

This is good news.

After the catastrophic fallout, European Solheim Cup player Suzann Pettersen has handled the situation admirably. Hopefully, all parties can move on with minimum scarring.

There was an unfortunate sequence of events that contributed to the incident. For obvious reasons, Pettersen took the brunt of criticism. It was swift and massive. But America's Alison Lee made a serious mistake when, thinking her short putt was conceded, she scooped up her golf ball. And so began the chain reaction.

If you'd like to learn more about this somewhat odd golf custom, in May the USGA published the article, "That's Good: A History of Conceding Putts."

The USGA's Michael Trostel and Victoria Student wrote:
The phrase itself, "concede putts," was first mentioned in the Rules of Golf in 1909. Interestingly, the USGA was strongly against it. The section Special Rules for Match Play Competitions reads, "The Rules of Golf Committee recommends that players should not concede putts to their opponents." This was mentioned in each subsequent Rules book until 1933.
There's a lot more interesting background in the article on how the concession became a part of matchplay competition.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Monday, September 21

Solheim Cup: A Short Putt and a Long Apology



GOLF IS A STRANGE GAME. Europe was on its way to a third consecutive victory in the Solheim Cup when European star Suzann Pettersen delivered a devastating blow to sportsmanship.

American Alison Lee thought her short putt on the 17th hole had been conceded by her opponents. Pettersen insisted that was not the case, meaning Europe won the hole. One hole later, Europe won the match, 1-up, to take a commanding 10-6 lead heading into the singles matches, which was the final session of the competition.

You can watch the awkward sequence of events in the above video.

Pettersen was within the rules, but sometimes the rules offer no solace, especially in golf. Caught up in the heat of competition, Pettersen violated the spirit of the game. She made her European partner Charley Hull cry and U.S. captain Juli Inkster curse. She sparked a firestorm of criticism on both sides of the Atlantic and inspired an epic American comeback in singles.

In the end, the United States won the Solheim Cup 14.5 to 13.5 and Pettersen offered an apology on Instagram:
I've never felt more gutted and truly sad about what went down Sunday on the 17th at the Solheim Cup. 
I am so sorry for not thinking about the bigger picture in the heat of the battle and competition. I was trying my hardest for my team and put the single match and the point that could be earned ahead of sportsmanship and the game of golf itself! I feel like I let my team down and I am sorry. 
To the U.S. team, you guys have a great leader in Juli, who I've always looked up to and respect so much. Knowing I need to make things "right," I had a face to face chat with her before leaving Germany this morning to tell her in person how I really feel about all of this. I wanted her also to know that I am sorry. 
I hope in time the U.S. team will forgive me and know that I have learned a valuable lesson about what is truly important in this great game of golf which has given me so much in my life. 
To the fans of golf who watched the competition on TV, I am sorry for the way I carried myself. I can be so much better and being an ambassador for this great game means a lot to me. 
The Solheim Cup has been a huge part of my career. I wish I could change Sunday for many reasons. Unfortunately I can't. 
This week I want to push forward toward another opportunity to earn the Solheim Cup back for Europe in the right way. And I want to work hard to earn back your belief in me as someone who plays hard, plays fair and plays the great game of golf the right way.
In addition, European captain Carin Koch defended Pettersen's actions at the time, which I found equally disturbing considering Koch's role.

The pressures of this game can reveal character and greatness, but they also expose flaws, even in otherwise good and strong people. The game, and how it should be played, humbled an elite player in Germany yesterday. I expect Pettersen will learn from the incident. In any case, she will never be quite the same.

Friday, September 18

Golf, Prairie Dogs and Owls at Dusk

By Charles Prokop

Copyright © Charles Prokop. Used with permission.


WHEN I WAS IN GRAD SCHOOL at Texas Tech in the 1970s, the little golf I managed to squeeze into my schedule was in the late afternoons and evenings.

If I had a chance to get away early enough, I’d head out to Meadowbrook, a municipal course in MacKenzie Park in Lubbock. It was always windy when I teed off, but most days the wind would lay down near sunset. If you’ve ever spent time in Lubbock, you know how much you love it when the wind lays down.

That was when I enjoyed the course the most.

(Wikimedia Commons)
The 18th fairway ran along the bottom of the hill that housed prairie dog town. For the uninitiated, that’s a fenced-in area full of prairie dogs that is kind of like a zoo. But you can’t really contain prairie dogs, and their burrows would encroach into the fairway.

Burrowing owls like to live in prairie dog holes, and playing the 18th at dusk was always interesting. Your ball would very rarely go down a burrow, but after banging a drive into the near dark it was a challenge to search the fairway and hope the ball was still above ground. It was a real sight to stroll the fairway as the owls took off in the evening air.

After finishing, I might end up back at the library or the lab, or I might go home and fix dinner. I became the cook in my family long ago, when my wife worked and I was in school, and we’d eat late many evenings. Golf could make it even later.

If I couldn’t get away early enough, I’d head to Treasure Island, an 18 -hole par-3 course (actually, it had one very short par 4) with lights for night play. ("Friday Night Lights" wasn’t football for me.) Treasure Island was the site of my only career ace, a feat only witnessed by me. I haven’t been back to Lubbock in a long time, but I hear that a Walmart Supercenter now stands where the course used to be.

My unattested ace on a baby golf course has faded completely from the earth.

Charles Prokop is a clinical psychologist who writes about golf at fairwaywords.

Thursday, September 17

Solheim Cup Preview and TV Schedule



GOLF CHANNEL PREVIEWS THE SOLHEIM CUP in the above video.

Rain has soaked the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Heidelberg, Germany, which means the course will play considerably longer. That could favor the longer-hitting Americans, but Europe has owned this competition in recent years and is going for its third consecutive victory. Look for more of the same say some onlookers.

Golf Channel will televise all the action at the Solheim Cup, as detailed below.
ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 17, 2015) – Golf Channel will showcase the top players in women’s golf representing the United States and Europe at the biennial Solheim Cup, taking place at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Heidelberg, Germany, Fiday through Sunday, September 18 to 20. From the first tee shot on Friday until the last putt drops on Sunday, Golf Channel will televise nearly 30 live hours of match play action. In addition, Golf Channel will air live coverage of both the Solheim Cup opening and closing ceremonies. 
Golf Channel Solheim Cup Week Programming (all times Eastern)
Thursday, Sept. 17 
Solheim Cup Opening Ceremony  
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18   
Solheim Cup, Day 1                    
2 a.m.-Noon
Saturday, Sept. 19
Solheim Cup, Day 2                    
2 a.m.-Noon
Sunday, Sept. 20
Solheim Cup, Final Day       
4:30-11 a.m.

THE TEAMS

United States
Juli Inkster (captain)
Stacy Lewis
Lexi Thompson
Cristie Kerr
Michelle Wie
Brittany Lincicome
Morgan Pressel
Angela Stanford
Gerina Piller
Alison Lee
Lizette Salas
Brittany Lang
Paula Creamer

Europe
Carin Koch (captain)
Carlota Ciganda
Sandra Gal
Caroline Hedwall
Charley Hull
Karine Icher
Caroline Masson
Catriona Matthew
Azahara Munoz
Gwladys Nocera
Anna Nordqvist
Suzann Pettersen
Melissa Reid

Wednesday, September 16

Feherty Question: Johnny Miller or Roger Maltbie?

"YOU WALK INTO A COFFEE SHOP one morning. Johnny Miller is sitting at one table and Roger Maltbie is sitting at another. Which one do you join and why?"

David Feherty
(NBC Sports Group)
That question was posed to David Feherty during yesterday's media conference call concerning Feherty's move to NBC Sports Group and NBC Universal after a long stint at CBS.

"I get one by myself," Feherty replied.

The followup question: "There's only two tables. Pick one."

"Geez, I'd pull them together," Feherty said.

"I had Johnny on my show early on. I think it was like season one or season two. I've always admired what he does .... I've always thought that I saw through some of the things that he said that came off kind of rough. Johnny has got a great heart, very kind, but brutally honest. I really admire that in a person, that honesty. You just say what you feel sometimes, the first thing that comes into your head. It can get you in trouble, and I'm familiar with that, but it's always refreshing.

"And Maltbie, I wouldn't trust him to sit the right way around the toilet seat, but he's been a great friend over the years. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with Roger. That's for sure."

Shaping Up

In additon to continuing his interview show on Golf Channel, Feherty will have a variety of roles with NBC. The 10-time winner and former Ryder Cup player said he needs to get in shape between now and the first of the year, his official start date.

"I'm 57 but I'm like a net 75 with the way I've treated myself. I had no idea I was going to live this long. I would have looked after myself a lot better. My hands are very arthritic, and people quite often don't believe me when I tell them I don't play golf. I can't. I can't grip the club. It's one of those things, and that doesn't bother me because I'm around some great golf and I see it all the time. I love the game."

Feherty mentioned his role as an on-course reporter and walking the golf course, including Whistling Straits, site of the PGA Championship.

"[W]hen you're walking at a 45-degree angle all the time, you can't walk down the center of the fairway, you'd kind of get in the way, but it's golf, it's not football, nobody is tackling me, and I plan to be in much better shape next year.

"I'm using this time that I've got off between now and the first of January to get my body back into some sort of shape with these surgeries and try to get some fitness back, as well.  If I was a horse they'd probably shoot me."

Tuesday, September 15

Chris Kirk's '3 Things I Know for Sure'

GOLF.COM'S CONNELL BARRETT DID A Q&A with four-time PGA Tour winner Chris Kirk. It's a good read. Kirk comes across as a regular guy who, despite being an elite golfer, doesn't take himself or the game too seriously.

Chris Kirk says make it fun.
(TravisMathew.com)
Kirk pointed to last year's Deutsche Bank Championship as an example. He started poorly, decided to not practice more and then "found something in [his] swing" that led to three rounds in the 60s and a victory playing alongside Rory McIlroy.

"So yeah, golf is ridiculous sometimes," Kirk (laughing) told Barrett.

The interview also includes "three things I know for sure." Kirk's are:

  • There's no such thing as perfect
  • You decide what fun is
  • My father knows best

The second one is especially apt for all golfers. Kirk said:
There's no rule that says you have to shoot low scores to have a good time on the course. Make your goal something attainable. If you're too busy to practice or play a lot, don't beat yourself up for not breaking 80. If scoring is important, that's fine—just know that you have to put in a lot of time and effort on your short game to post low numbers. It's all about managing expectations.

Monday, September 14

Lydia Ko Channels Johnny Miller

LYDIA KO, THAT 18-YEAR-OLD PRODIGY from New Zealand, won The Evian Championship in France, her first major victory in a short professional career that's racking up amazing numbers. At 18 years, four months and 20 days, Ko is now the youngest LPGA player to win a major, surpassing Morgan Pressel, who tied for 11th yesterday.

Lydia Ko (LPGA)
It wasn't just that Ko won a major, which seemed inevitable. It was how she did it. Starting two shots off the lead going into the final round, Ko ran away from the field by firing an eight-birdie, no-bogey 63. She won by six strokes. Lexi Thompson was the runner-up.

Wrote Geoff Shackelford: "[Ko's] final round 63 will have to rank as the female equivalent of Johnny Miller's at Oakmont for all time great closing scores."

Agreed.

"It is pretty amazing," Ko told Golf Channel's Tom Abbott. "I didn't know how this day would end up, and I just tried to focus on my game. Today was an awesome day. It has been such an unbelievable experience, and everybody won't ask me anymore when I will win my first major because it's done."

Yes, no more asking about that. In fact, Ko's performance and her career to date could leave a person speechless.

"I just played pretty consistent," Ko said. "I turned in 3-under, made a good putt on 10 and made two good birdies in a row and I think that is where I started to get into a good rhythm."

Ko drew even with Thompson at the 11th hole, and then went on to record four more birdies coming in while Thompson ran into trouble.

"To finish with two birdies and to finish on the 72nd hole with a birdie, it doesn’t happen often," Ko added. "So it is definitely one of the top rounds in my whole entire life and I'm sure it will be for my career."

In addition to the trophy, Ko collected a check for $487,500. She has $4.2 million in career earnings.

Friday, September 11

Millennials, Golf and Chicago

IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ, you might come to the conclusion that golf, as a recreational sport, is doomed. Or, at the least, it's in serious decline. There's definitely factual and anecdotal evidence to support this view.

City Tour: Millennials enjoying golf.
One persistent theme is that Boomers can't carry the banner forever, and that Millennials are too busy taking selfies to pursue a game that takes hours to play.

But as my email inbox tells me, at least some of the next generation are passionate about the small dimpled ball.

Here's a message from Amanda Fakhreddine, Marketing Director of Nextgengolf:
The Nextgengolf City Tour Championship is taking place at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club next Friday
 through (September 18th-20th), and we hope you will take the chance to come see how we are keeping millennial golfers in the game. 
14 teams of 18-34 year old golfers from across the country are making the trip to Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Chicago looking to be crowned City Champions. 
The City Tour is a a team-based best ball tournament series, where young professionals have the chance to meet other golfers in their city, while playing in a competitive event. This is the inaugural season for City Tour, and we have had quite a successful summer season! 
If you want to learn more about how Nextgengolf is working to keep young professionals active in the golf world, check out our website: www.nextgengolf.org. 

Thursday, September 10

Fifth Ladies Major Tees Off in France

Lexi Thompson has a share of the first-round lead. (Keith Allison)

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

The LPGA Tour is in France this week for The Evian Championship, the final major of 2015. The field includes each of the top-10 players in the world, including Inbee Park (No. 1), Lydia Ko (No. 2) and Stacy Lewis (No. 3).

Lexi Thompson and Mi Hyang Lee are early leaders after shooting 66.

LPGA TOUR

The Evian Championship    
Dates: Sept. 10-13
Venue: Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-les Bains, France

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          6:30-11:30 a.m. (Live) / 6:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            8:30-12:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 6:30 a.m.-Noon (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Sunday            12:30-2 p.m. (Tape delay)

Broadcast Notes

Kim defends: Hyo Joo Kim birdied her 72nd hole to defeat Karrie Webb by one stroke for her first LPGA Tour win.

Headlining the field: Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Brooke Henderson, So Yeon Ryu, Hyo Joo Kim, Suzann Pettersen, Lexi Thompson, Shanshan Feng, In Gee Chun and Anna Nordqvist.

Wednesday, September 9

VIDEO: U.S. Presidents Cup Captain Jay Haas Explains His Picks



I GUESS YOU CAN SAY U.S. Presidents Cup Captain Jay Haas has guts. Haas used his two captain's picks to put his son, Bill, and Phil Mickelson on the 12-man team. The American skipper must have known he'd be criticized, which is part of the job, of course, but maybe even more criticism than usual could be expected given his picks.

Bill Haas just happened to be 11th player on the points list. That makes for a solid case, so it's hard to simply accuse his dad of nepotism.

"I'll be honest," Captain Haas said, "I would have probably picked the 11th person regardless of what his name was."

The Mickelson pick is far more sticky. Phil is in search of his golf game. It has been difficult to find in 2015. Haas made it clear that he didn't pick Lefty because he's playing like the others.

"If anyone deserves a pick, it's Phil Mickelson," Haas said. "He is without question the leader of our team in the team room, on the golf course. The guys on the team were adamant that Phil is the guy."

Maybe so.

But at some point don't you have to leave Phil and Tiger Woods off teams and hand the reins and the leadership to up-and-coming players? Wouldn't the Presidents Cup be a good opportunity to do just that?

Tuesday, September 8

Rickie Fowler: 'Finally Matching Style With Substance'



RICKIE FOWLER HAS ALWAYS WANTED to be a part of the conversation. With his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, his third victory this season, Fowler has crashed the conversation that includes top young guns Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.

Rickie Fowler
"With the three guys that they talk about, Jason, Rory and Jordan," Fowler said, "they've clearly played the best out of anyone over the past few months to couple of years. So I'm trying to be a small fourth thrown in there."

He added: "But there are a lot of other really good young players playing well right now as well."

Fowler slipped past Henrik Stenson late on Sunday at TPC Boston when the Swede dunked his tee shot in the water on the par-3 16th hole. The man in orange shot a closing 68 for a 1-shot win and moved to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

"I put myself in position, hit some good shots, made a couple good putts to kind of keep myself in it," Fowler told Golf Channel on NBC's Steve Sand after tapping in for his third title this year. "Henrik made a couple mistakes. But it's pretty special to fight it out the way I did."

"He wants to be included in the big three young guns," said NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller.

Indeed, Fowler seems intent on making it a foursome by, as Golf Digest's John Strege wrote, "stepping up in 2015 and finally matching his style with substance."

Monday, September 7

European Golf: 5 Great Reasons to Visit The Algarve

All images courtesy of 360 Golf Holidays.
By 360 Golf Holidays

LOCATED IN PORTUGAL, THE ALGARVE is an alluring golf and vacation destination for groups, couples, families or others.

As an independent, family-run company that specializes in European golf travel, including Algarve golf holiday packages, we can offer at least five great reasons to consider a trip to the Algarve this winter, or anytime, for that matter.

1. The golf courses, of course.

There are more than 25 top golf courses in the Algarve. Some legendary names have designed courses in this region, including Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Christy O'Connor Jr. Our favorite is The Old Course in Vilamoura.

2. The warm, sunny weather.

The Algarve boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year. Expect mild winters and summer temperatures that average about 75-85 fahrenheit (25-30 celsius). There's lots of daylight, too, with 12 hours of sunshine in the summer and six hours in the winter.

3. The stunning beaches.

There might be no better choice of beaches in all of Europe. Praia do Ancao near Quinta do Lago is an endless golden beach with facilities for families. Our favorite? Praia da Marinha near Porches. Nominated by the Michelin guide, it is also known for its impressive rocky outcrops.

4. The vibrant nightlife.

If you're looking for a more lively golf trip to the Algarve, head to Vilamoura. The number of restaurants, bars and live music venues are sure to cater for to your needs. We like the Zu Yi Chinese restaurant followed by the Purobeach beach bar.

5. The luxurious hotels.

We like Penina Golf Resort, which is family friendly and has superb championship golf on-site. For a relaxing and luxurious break, try the Dona Filpa Hotel at Vale do Lobo, located by the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic and surrounded by beautiful golf courses.

Sponsored by www.360golfholidays.com.

Friday, September 4

Flashback Friday: Sam Snead vs. Bob Goalby in 'All Star Golf'



I STUMBLED ACROSS THIS YESTERDAY. It's a made-for-television match at the Philadelphia Country Club between golf legend Sam Snead and a youthful Bob Goalby. The host is the colorful three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret. The show is called "All Star Golf," which aired from 1957 to 1963.

Enjoy.

Thursday, September 3

Golf on TV: Deutsche Bank Championship and M2M Russian Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

NBC Sports Group will begin its coverage of the final three FedEx Cup Playoff events on Friday with the Deutsche Bank Championship outside of Boston, where the top-three ranked players in the world – Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – headline the field. The tournament is scheduled to finish on Monday (Labor Day), and will feature the top-100 eligible players in the FedEx Cup standings, with the top70 moving on to the BMW Championship outside of Chicago in two weeks.

PGA TOUR

Deutsche Bank Championship       
Dates: Sept. 4-7
Venue: TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Monday           11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live)
Monday           1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Final opportunity to earn points to qualify for the Presidents Cup: This is the final event for players to earn points toward qualifying for the U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams. Jay Haas (U.S. captain) and Nick Price (International captain) will announce their respective captain’s picks on Tuesday, Sept. 8 in a live 60-minute Golf Central show, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.

Kirk defends: Chris Kirk won by two strokes over Russell Henley, Billy Horschel and Geoff Ogilvy for his third career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.

* * *
                                                                                                          
EUROPEAN TOUR

M2M Russian Open
Dates: Sept. 3-6
Venue: Skolkovo Golf Club, Moscow, Russia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         9 a.m.-Noon (Tape delay)
Friday              10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday          7-10 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            7-10 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Horsey defends: David Horsey defeated Damien McGrane with a par on the first playoff hole to earn his third career European Tour victory.

Headlining the field: David Horsey, Soren Hansen, Edoardo Molinari, Bradley Dredge, Dylan Frittelli, Johan Edfors, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Michael Hoey.