Friday, September 22

2017 Tour Championship: Kyle Stanley Leads With 64; TV Schedule for Friday and Weekend

Embed from Getty Images

KYLE STANLEY CARDED A 6-UNDER 64 in the opening round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake for a two-shot lead over Webb Simpson, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka and Paul Casey. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are three back after 67s.

"I loved the course and I enjoyed the day," Stanley said.

From Golf Channel:

ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA TOUR season culminates at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta this week, with each of the top-5 players in the current FedExCup standings (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm) guaranteed to claim the FedExCup and accompanying $10 million bonus with a victory. NBC Sports Group will provide more than 20 hours of live tournament coverage from East Lake Golf Club. The Web.com Tour Finals continue this week with the  DAP Championship in Ohio, the third leg of the four-event series. The PGA TOUR Champions field will tee it up at famed Pebble Beach alongside First Tee participants from across the country in a team event at the PURE Insurance Championship. On the European Tour, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington will defend his 2016 title at the Portugal Masters.

PGA TOUR

TOUR Championship
Dates: Sept. 21-24
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              1-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Top-5 in FedExCup Standings have clear path to winning FedExCup: As points reset ahead of the TOUR Championship, every player in the field technically will have a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup. However, the top-5 in the standings are only players guaranteed to win the FedExCup and $10 million first place bonus with a victory this week. The top-5 in the standings include: Jordan Spieth (1), Justin Thomas (2), Dustin Johnson (3), Marc Leishman (4) and Jon Rahm (5).
Nines reversed once again at East Lake: Last year, the PGA TOUR made the decision to flip the nines at East Lake Golf Club in hopes of creating a more dramatic finish down the closing stretch. This week, the new routing of the tournament will continue for the second consecutive year.
TOUR Championship field: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Pat Perez, Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Daniel Berger, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Jhonattan Vegas, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Adam Hadwin, Kyle Stanley, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, Xander Schauffele, Russell Henley, Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay and Jason Dufner.

Wednesday, September 20

Looping, Part 3: The 1980s

Embed from Getty Images

Following is another installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.


LIFE FOR A PROFESSIONAL CADDIE in the 1980s wasn't an easy gig.

As Mike Carrick explained to me, "You have to figure on paying at least $600 a week in expenses. Now if your player doesn't do well, then there is no way you can make back those expenses even if you're sleeping five or six in a motel room. It was a tough life on tour, unless your player was a winner."

Still, there were always 30 or 40 too many caddies going from tournament to tournament, hoping to grab a permanent bag.

Carrick had a winner and he worked hard for Tom Kite, who played 35 weeks of the 50-week PGA Tour. These, however, were long weeks, and required more skill than just being able to carry a golf bag.

While the pros took Monday off, or played in an exhibition match, their caddies were driving their cars or vans, filled with extra clothes and golf equipment, to the next event. Once there, the first job of all caddies was to walk the course with "The Book," which consisted of a diagram of each hole, marking the hazards, yardage from each sprinkler head, and location of bunkers, trees, and greenside traps.

In the early 80s The Book cost $10 and was designed by George Lucas of Florida, a former caddie who called himself, "Gorgeous George." While most caddies kept their Book from year to year, Lucas sold at least 150 new Books at the major tournaments that changed sites every year. Also, he updated his Book, and bought back old ones for $5.

On Tuesday the players arrived for a practice round as well as several hours of hitting balls and practicing putting. Carrick arrived on the course at eight o’clock in the morning, since Kite always played early on Tuesdays, and he didn't leave until eight o’clock that night. Wednesdays were Pro-Am events, and more hours spent practicing.

On tournament days there were always more hours of practice and Carrick was also available for Kite to run any necessary errands for his pro.

But the lives of professional caddies was about to get better. 

TO BE CONTINUED.

John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Tuesday, September 19

Playing Golf in the School Cafeteria and Gym

By Fusion Media Strategies

AS SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY welcome the return of students, TGA Premier Golf (670,000 participants to date) will be front and center with over 55,000 youngsters (ages 5-12) registering this fall for its school based golf enrichment programs. Among those registering, 65-70 percent of them and their millennial parents have never played the game before.

“TGA (Teach Grow Achieve) Premier Golf fills a void in the industry by delivering introductory programs and bringing the sport directly onto school campuses while solving junior golf’s primary barriers to entry: accessibility, cost, time, transportation and fun,” CEO Joshua Jacobs said.

The fastest growing junior golf program in the industry is bucking the mainstream trend of how to grow participation. By vesting local stakeholders to grow golf through a unique youth sports franchise model, TGA is growing faster than industry programs such as PGA Junior League (33,000), Youth on Course (18,000), and Drive, Chip, Putt, and at the same time becoming a significant feeder program into each of them.

Friday, September 15

VIDEO: Jason Day Explains Caddie Switch in Locker Room at BMW Championship



JASON DAY HAS REPLACED LONGTIME CADDIE Colin Swatton, a shock to Swatton and much of the golf world after more than a decade of toil on the fairways.

Well, guess what. Day is the current leader at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms. He fired a 64 in the opening round and followed with a 65 on Friday, for a total of 13 under.

Friend Luke Reardon is on Day's bag.

Wednesday, September 13

Golf on TV: Evian Championship (LPGA's Fifth Major) on Golf Channel

Embed from Getty Images

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The world’s top female professional golfers are converging upon Evian-les-Bains, France this week for the LPGA Tour’s fifth and final major of 2017, The Evian Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 14-17. Golf Channel and NBC will combine for nearly 25 hours of tournament coverage, the most ever for the major championship.

The Evian Championship will feature the preeminent players in women’s professional golf, with nine of the top-10 in the Rolex Women’s Rankings scheduled to compete, headlined by No. 1 So Yeon Ryu, No. 2 Lexi Thompson and defending champion In Gee Chun.

BROADCAST TEAM: Terry Gannon and Tom Abbott will rotate play-by-play duties the first two days. Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin will join Gannon in the broadcast booth, and major champion Karen Stupples will join Abbott. Richard Kaufman will report from an on-course tower, and Jerry Foltz and Sandy Mackenzie will walk inside the ropes as course reporters.

DIGITAL COVERAGE: All four rounds of The Evian Championship will be streamed live on Golf Channel Digital. NBC’s coverage from Noon-1:30 p.m. ET also will be streamed on www.NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

NBC Sports Group (Golf Channel) Evian Championship Airtimes (all times Eastern)

Thursday, Sept. 14
First Round
5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15
Second Round
5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16
Third Round
6:30-11:30 a.m.

Sunday, Sept. 17
Final Round (Golf Channel)
5:30-11 a.m.
Final Round Special (NBC)
Noon-1:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, September 12

Looping, Part 2: Angelo Argea, 'Rabbit' Dyer, 'Killer' Foy, 'Gypsy' Grillo and Other Caddie Characters

Embed from Getty Images

Following is another installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.


ONE OF THE FIRST CADDIE "characters" to emerge was Angelo Argea, the silver-maned Greek and former Las Vegas casino hanger-on, who began to caddie for Jack Nicklaus in 1963, Nicklaus' second year on tour.

Argea had gone from Las Vegas to California to caddie for one of the Desert Inn owners at the Bob Hope Pro-Am, but when there was a shortage of caddies the following day for the tournament itself he was asked to sign up for one of the touring professionals. Argea chose Nicklaus, having heard the pro was suffering from a hip injury and might not show so he could be on his way back to Las Vegas.

But Nicklaus did play, and won, and Angelo Argea found a new career and life away from the gambling tables of Las Vegas.

I ran into Argea when the 1976 PGA Championship was held at the Congressional Country Club near Washington, D.C. As a former caddie writing an article for the Washingtonian magazine that was published in 1976 and entitled, "Caddy Calls Gary Player a Donkey!", I naturally gravitated to where the caddies were gathered when I arrived at the club. They were sitting out in the sun near the putting green, watching their players practice.

Argea was entertaining everyone within hearing distance, talking to strangers, chatting up pros, kibitzing with all the caddies. He had by then developed a friendlier reputation than Nicklaus, who was always accused by golfing aficionados of not smiling enough, and also, of beating Arnold Palmer too many times.

There were other "characters" at Congressional that day. One was Hale Irwin's longtime caddie, Sammy "Killer" Foy, a retired fighter who once boxed at the middleweight level and claimed to have knocked out Sugar Ray Robinson. Killer was famous for his hats and he varied them, depending on the tournament. That day, though, he was out-flashed by Gary Player's caddie, Alfred "Rabbit" Dyer, who was known for his sweeping panamas.

As I talked with Bruce Edwards about how Watson was playing, Rabbit, a tall, slim, good-looking African-American, was discussing in detail the outfit he planned to wear at the next day's practice round, the only time that caddies could deck themselves out. Once a tournament started, they'd all be wearing official uniform bibs for the event, stenciled with the name of their player on the back.

If I had been 14 back in 1976, it is possible I might still have had a career
as a "Bag Rat," what caddies called themselves in those years.

Today, professional tournament caddies are mostly college graduates with families and careers. But it was not always that way. Joe "Gypsy" Grillo, who I met in 1988 at the PGA event at Westchester Country Club, started caddying in the mid-sixties, and remembered being considered a third-class citizen.

"We had no identification system," he explained, "could not even get on the course without our players signing for us, and never could get anywhere near the clubhouse or locker room."

Grillo at first bounced from bag to bag, caddying for whatever pro wanted him. Then he got lucky and teamed up with Jim Simon, who during the late seventies and early eighties finished in the top 30 on the tour several years in a row, earning over $100,000 in 1981.

Also coming on tour about that time was Mike Carrick. Unlike Gypsy, who had been a full-time chef before going on tour, Carrick had graduated from college in Canada and taught physical education before he joined the tour in 1971.

Carrick picked up whatever bag he could until 1980 when he got together with Tom Kite. Carrick would go on to become one of the best-paid caddies, thanks to Kite's winnings of nearly five million dollars over the next decade. Carrick, in 1989, took home somewhere in the range of $80,000 based on a percentage of Kite's winnings that year and his base salary.

Unlike the former "hoboes" on tour, professional caddies like Edwards, Grillo, Dyer, and Carrick brought to their players reliability and steadying influence during the tournament, as well as a knowledge of the golf course and their player's abilities. In the middle of the fairway, framed by a densely packed gallery, the player has only his caddie to turn to. A yardage mistake by a caddie can mean the loss of a championship and thousands of dollars.

Bruce Edwards told me the story of how he knew he was in tune with Tom Watson during their first weeks together. They were playing the No. 2 course at Pinehurst in North Carolina and Watson had just birdied the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes. On the second shot into the final green, Tom asked Bruce if it was a 1-iron or a 2-iron to the pin. Knowing how pumped up Tom was, Bruce was afraid he'd overshoot with the 1-iron; he told Tom to go with the 2-iron and Watson drilled the ball within 15 feet of the hole, then made his putt for a brilliant score of 62.

"I knew then," Edwards said, "that I was part of his team. He had taken my advice and I had been right."

TO BE CONTINUED.

John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Monday, September 11

VIDEO: The Presidents Cup 2017 Journey to Liberty National



THE TEAMS ARE SET AND THE 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, starts in less than three weeks. The above video covers a brief history of the event.

Liberty National will be just the fourth golf course in the United States to host The Presidents Cup, joining Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va., (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005), TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California, (2009) and Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio (2013).

Thursday, September 7

VIDEO: Justin James Unleashes 435-Yard Drive to Win Volvik World Long Drive Championship



From a Golf Channel press release.

Justin James claimed his first World Championship victory after connecting on a 435-yard drive in the Championship match against Mitch Grassing (Ottawa, Ont., Canada). James – who becomes the new World No. 1 with [last night’s] victory – acknowledged his father Gerry afterward, a past World Long Drive champion in his own right in the Masters (age 45+) Division.

“They always say – when I watch games – ‘there’s no words’ and I think they’re stupid,” said James.” But now I’m the stupid one because there’s no words to describe this. It’s the best thing ever. I’m really happy to win for my dad. He never got this one, and I think he deserved it. So I’m really happy to be able to pull that one out for him. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

The victory was James’ third of the season, following his win at the Bluff City Shootout and Bash for Cash events earlier this summer.

Wednesday, September 6

Looping, Part 1: Bruce Edwards in 'Hog Heaven' and Caddying in Hogan Era

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

IN MY TEENAGE DREAMS I AM STRIDING up the final fairway in the U.S. Open, matching my gait to the cheers that echo from the huge gallery circling the 18th hole. At my side is either Hogan or Snead, or sometimes Bobby Locke. And on my back, I'm lugging 40 pounds of irons and woods.

I never dreamed of winning the U.S. Open. I only wanted to caddie for the winner.

That was the dream of every kid who spent his childhood "looping" for rich members on the green lawns of luxurious country clubs, when golf carts were not yet invented and caddying double for 36 holes on a single day was like hitting the numbers in the lottery.

Though I dreamed of caddying for a champ, I didn't think of caddying as a profession. From the early thirties through the late fifties, caddies who followed the tour were one step up from being hoboes.

Well, times have changed.

Those tall, slim, good-looking blond guys you see today, carrying the bags for the tall, slim good-looking blond golfers, are living the good life, flying from one PGA Tour event to the next, signing autographs, and spending their days inside the ropes, on center stage with the pros.

Yes, times have changed.

'Hog Heaven'

Bruce Edwards and Tom Watson
in Dallas in 1975.
The first and most famous of these new caddies was Bruce Edwards who looped for Tom Watson until diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in 2003.

Edwards' career began in the summer of 1973, when, fresh out of high school, he picked up Watson's bag at the St. Louis Classic. Watson was only 23 himself, a Tour sophomore who had not yet won a tournament. That week, Watson earned $6,500, and 18-year-old Edwards made $300. "I was in hog heaven," he told me.

His wealthy Connecticut family felt differently. His brother and sisters had gone on to college, and Edwards' caddying career, he said, "made him a black sheep at home."

That perception soon changed. Edwards had caught the right player at the right time and before he was 21, Bruce was earning $25,000 a year. Watson was named golfer of the year from 1977 through 1981, and throughout his long PGA Tour career Watsom made millions, while affording Bruce five percent of those winnings as well as a slice of Watson's fame.

The culmination of this pro-caddie relationship in many ways came at the 2003 U.S. Open when Watson and Edwards worked their way up the 18th hole at Olympia Field on the way to a 65 that put Watson in contention for the tournament, and spectators, flanking the fairway and knowing of Edwards' recent medical diagnoses, stood and shouted, "Bruuuuuucce, Bruuuuuuce" to honor and recognize Edwards' contribution to Watson's great career.

But to appreciate Bruce Edwards and other professional tournament caddies, you'd have to have been there, back in the forties, when golf was glamorous and caddies definitely were not.

Earlier Days

I got my first taste of what life might on tour when I was too young to caddie, but old enough to sneak under the fence surrounding the Midlothian Country Club in suburban Chicago to follow my older brothers as they caddied for the likes of Middlecoff and Ed Furgol and I was able to watch the legendary Bobby Locke win the 1948 Victory Open.

Locke won $2,000 and Kenny Burke, a friend and another Midlothian caddie, who was 13 years old that summer, earned $75 for a week of looping.

Later, I had my chance to caddie at the famous Tam O'Shanter Country Club, west of Chicago, carrying the bag of Midlothian's own club pro, Tony Holquin, who finished second in the All American Open, the closest I ever got to the winne's circle.

Still, I was just 14 and rubbing shoulders with great players, and hanging out in the caddie shack with a few old guys who traveled the country as professional caddies. They were wizened little guys with faces tanned from long days in the sun: they always appeared to be smoking two cigarettes at a time as they squinted down at us short-haired, shirt-tailed kids, who loved to listen to their stories of life on tour.

They regaled us with tales of Ben Hogan and Julius Boros, as well as Ed "Porky" Oliver, ice cool Lloyd Mangrum, and Doctor Cary Middlecoff. We had only read about the 9th hole at Pebble Beach, or the 18th at Olympic Country Club in San Francisco. They had walked those fairways and also brought home Ralph Guldahl, a winner at Cherry Hills and PGA Champion Jimmy Ferrier at Plum Hollow.

As thrilled as we were by those stories, it never crossed our minds to go on tour. We were summertime caddies at local country clubs, lugging heavy bags for doctors and insurance salesmen, players who never broke par. We only earned $1.50 plus tip for 18 holes. Caddying wasn't a real job.

In the early sixties, however, the PGA Tour changed and the life of professional caddies did as well. 

Television had discovered golf and the charismatic Arnold Palmer and his Arnie's Army. Television rights dramatically increased, tournament purses multiplied, and thousands of mostly non-golfing spectators came out to watch the pros. Suddenly, players' personalities mattered and a half dozen colorful caddies found their way into the spotlight.

TO BE CONTINUED.

John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Thursday, August 31

Golf on TV: Dell Technologies Championship, Cambia Portland Classic, Shaw Charity Classic, D+D REAL Czech Masters



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 29, 2017) – The second leg of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs kicks off this week outside of Boston at the Dell Technologies Championship, with 96 of the top-100 eligible players in the field. The LPGA Tour heads to Oregon for the Cambia Portland Classic as Brooke Henderson looks to win the event for a third consecutive year. The PGA TOUR Champions are in Canada for the Shaw Charity Classic in Alberta, where Scott McCarron, Paul Goydos and Fred Couples headline the field, along with six-time major champion, Nick Faldo. Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood lead the field at the European Tour’s D+D REAL Czech Masters.

PGA TOUR

Dell Technologies Championship
Dates: Sept. 1-4
Venue: TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          3-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Monday           11:30-1:30 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-5 a.m. (Replay)

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

Broadcast Notes:
Friday start, Monday finish due to holiday weekend: Due to the holiday weekend, the first round of the Dell Technologies Championship begins Friday, Sept. 1, and the final round is scheduled to conclude on Monday, Sept. 4. The top-100 players in the FedExCup standings following The Northern Trust are eligible to compete, and the top-70 in the standings following Monday’s final round will advance to the BMW Championship in two weeks.
McIlroy defends: Reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy made up a six-shot final-round deficit last year to take the title.
Johnson takes No. 1 spot in standings: After his playoff win on the first extra hole over Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson claimed the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings. The current top-5 include: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm.
Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Jason Dufner, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.

LPGA TOUR

Cambia Portland Classic
Dates: Aug. 31-Sept. 3
Venue: Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Ore.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         7-10 p.m. (Live) / 1-4 a.m. (Friday Replay)
Friday              6:30-8:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          6:30-8:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-7 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Henderson defends: After her second-consecutive win at the event in 2016, Brooke Henderson joined the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Kathy Whitworth as the third player to win back-to-back at the Cambia Portland Classic. 
Headlining the field: Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, In Gee Chun, Stacy Lewis, Na Yeon Choi, Gerina Piller, Juli Inkster and Christina Kim.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Shaw Charity Classic
Dates: Sept. 1-3
Venue: Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              8:30-10:30 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Saturday          8:30-10:30 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Sunday            7-9 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)

Broadcast Notes:
Headlining the field: Fred Couples, Paul Goydos, Scott McCarron, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, David Toms and Nick Faldo.

EUROPEAN TOUR

D+D REAL Czech Masters
Dates: Aug. 31-Sept. 3
Venue: Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5-7 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Friday              5-7 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Saturday          8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            7-11:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Ryder Cup qualifying begins: This week, eligible players will begin receiving points toward automatically qualifying for the 2018 European Ryder Cup team.
Headlining the field: Martin Kaymer, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Thomas Pieters, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and John Daly.

Wednesday, August 30

Tour Pros Respond to Harvey and Houston Devastation



THE ABOVE GOLF CHANNEL REPORT details how Chris Stroud, Sergio Garcia (whose wife is from Texas) and others are responding to the calamity in and around Houston resulting from the mammoth storm called Harvey.

In addition, LPGA Tour player Stacy Lewis and her husband live in Houston. As of Tuesday their home was OK.

"I'm getting updates," Lewis told GolfChannel.com, "but it's a pretty helpless feeling. It's hard to see the pictures, to imagine being there and seeing all of that water. It's unimaginable."

Lewis doesn't know when she will return.

"Everything is up in the air right now."

Tuesday, August 29

Which Are Better: Laser Rangerfinders or Golf GPS?

This article is sponsored by ubergolf.net.

By Dominic J. Leon

This is a difficult question indeed. Given the number of enthusiastic fans on the sides of golf GPS and laser rangefinders, I expect a verbal war anytime. But here I am getting into the fray with facts.

These straight points will help you decide which rangefinder is best for YOU. That's the key word since everybody has their own preferences and strengths. I'll go into the major markers of a good rangefinder and see how both types live up to the standards. Based on which features you prioritize over others, you can settle your personal debate of golf GPS versus laser rangefinders.

Accuracy: When using a golf rangefinder, your top requirement is accurate yardage. Although both golf GPS and laser rangefinders are quite close in this regard, the latter still win the game. The best laser rangefinders can tell the distance within 0.5 yards accuracy.

Golf GPS devices average 2-3 yards uncertainty. Most golfers report that 1-2 yards difference is not a big problem. But if you are fussy down to millimeters, go laser!

Operation: The basic distances to the front, center and back of the greens are instantly available on golf GPS devices. They determine your GPS location and use it to automatically calculate all the distances. Meanwhile, with your laser rangefinder, you have to aim at the exact target. Some of the modern laser rangefinders like Bushnell Tour Jolt have the technology to pinpoint and alert you when the target is locked. Still, if you have a sloth grip on the rangefinder you might not be able to get distances correctly.

With golf GPS, operation gets a little complicated only for advanced features like scorecard or green view. But the best golf GPS devices still have a user-friendly interface. 

Tournament legality: Laser rangefinders are always tournament-legal. Some modern ones like Bushnell Tour X have a removable faceplate which gives you slope-adjusted distances. These are forbidden in tournaments, so Bushnell provides a spare faceplate for normal distances.

Golf GPS devices are subjected to the Local Rule. You need to confirm from the tournament committee or your club whether golf GPS is allowed. They are gradually gaining acceptance. Golf GPS devices that give slope-adjusted distances are not allowed in most tournaments. 

Value for money: A good laser rangefinder will cost you north of $200. Even then it will only have distance-measuring function and features to speed up the process. This is not a great value for money. 

But golf GPS devices bang big for the bucks. Even the simplest golf watch will have an odometer, shot tracking feature and will work as a normal watch with an alarm. Bigger handheld GPS rangefinders have better specs like training aid, green view, performance stats, club recommendation, digital scorecard for multiple players, WiFi connectivity, smart notifications etc. Golf GPS is a well-rounded investment. They have cheaper options too, right down to free Android/Apple GPS apps. 

Versatility: The main advantage of laser rangefinders is that they are aim-and-measure devices. You can go to any course and point at the target for distance. They can also be used for hunting and other outdoor activities where distances are needed.

Golf GPS requires that you have the course map loaded on to it. The best golf GPS rangefinders today come preloaded with 30,000-plus courses. You can always add more. Plus the other features like odometer, alarm, timer, etc. may come into use beyond the golf course. 

Size: Laser rangefinders need to store the laser mechanism so they tend to be a little bulky. Even the lightest ones would come up to five to six ounces. Golf GPS are available in all sizes and shapes. The golf watch can be worn on the wrist. They are as small as regular sports watches. Golf handhelds are the size of a smartphone. Golf voice clip-ons usually weigh only one or two ounces and can be attached to your visor or belt loop.

Error potential: Laser rangefinders are only as good as their owner. If you don't have a steady hand, you might have some problems aiming the laser. The best ones today help you in every way to aim correctly but it's still difficult for some golfers.

Golf GPS devices don't require you to aim. But this is electronics after all. If you get a bad piece or forget to update them, you might start seeing errors. It is annoying because there isn't much you can do about it. Quality control is strict enough that such bugs are rare. 

Line of sight: Laser rangefinders can only aim at visible targets for distance. Golf GPS can tell you distances to points that are not visible to you on the course. So you get a fair warning of upcoming hazards, provided hazard distances are a feature of the device. 

Subscription fee: Laser rangefinders are pretty much a single-time investment. Once bought, they can be directly used until they break. Some golf GPS manufacturers levy a subscription fee to update your course database. This adds to the cost of ownership. At the minimum, you might have to register at the website of the device to get access to some features and updates. 

Durability: Laser rangefinders pack a fragile laser apparatus and lens. You have to be careful not to damage it. Golf GPS devices are more durable. But I still suggest exercising some caution before mistreating them. 

Author Bio

I am Dominic J. Leon. At my website ubergolf.net, we provide holistic literature towards the development of your golf career. We have all the information you need to bring your A-game to the golf course. We will arm you with comprehensive knowledge about all things golf, from the best golf GPS watches to all about indoor golf. We specialize in buying guides, reviews, how-to tips and golf nutrition tips. If you would like to learn and grow with us as a golfer, do follow us on our website.

Sunday, August 27

Dustin Johnson Outduels Jordan Spieth at The Northern Trust



DUSTIN JOHNSON WON THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, by defeating Jordan Spieth in a one-hole sudden-death playoff in Old Westbury, New York.

Johnson began the final round three shots behind 54-hole leader Spieth but caught the Open champion with a closing 66, which included a dramatic par on the 72nd hole. A mammoth drive and a wedge to three feet set up the winning birdie for DJ on the first playoff hole.

"I feel like the game is finally back in form like it was leading into the Masters," Johnson told CBS's Dottie Pepper on the 18th green. "I feel like I'm swinging everything really well. Got a lot of control over the golf ball. I'm feeling really good. Obviously getting the win here today gives me a lot of confidence going into next week and the rest of the playoffs."

"I didn't lose the tournament," Spieth said. "He won it."

The playoffs move on to TPC Boston where the top 100 will compete in the Dell Technologies Championship.

Thursday, August 24

Golf on TV: The Northern Trust, Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Boeing Classic, Made in Denmark



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 23, 2017) –The FedExCup Playoffs kick off this week as the top-125 from the season-long points race advance to take part in The Northern Trust. Players will tee it up at Glen Oaks Club, a new venue for the event, where they’ll look to play their way into the top-100 in the standings to earn a spot in next week’s Dell Technologies Championship. Hideki Matsuyama tops the standings thanks to three wins and three runner-up finishes this season. The LPGA Tour heads north of the border for the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, where world No. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn looks to find her form as she defends her 2016 title. The PGA TOUR Champions are in Washington for the Boeing Classic, while two-time major champions Martin Kaymer and John Daly are in the field at the Made in Denmark on the European Tour.

PGA TOUR
The Northern Trust
Dates: August 24-27
Venue: Glen Oaks Club, Old Westbury, N.Y.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday:        2-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday:             2-6 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday:         1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday:           Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday:         3-6 p.m.
Sunday:           3-6 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Featured pairings: FedExCup points leaders Hideki Matsuyama (1), Justin Thomas (2) and Jordan Spieth (3) will tee it up together in the first two rounds of The Northern Trust. The next three in the standings – Dustin Johnson (4), Rickie Fowler (5) and Jon Rahm (6) – also will be paired together on Thursday and Friday.
Reed defends: Patrick Reed won by one shot over Sean O’Hair and Emiliano Grillo.
Five players out of event: The field will feature 120 players, with two players choosing not to compete (No. 22 Sergio Garcia and No. 66 Adam Scott) and three players out due to injury (No. 64 Brandt Snedeker, No. 85 Scott Piercy and No. 115 Dominic Bozzelli).
Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed.

LPGA TOUR
Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
Dates: August 24-27
Venue: Ottawa Golf & Hunt Club, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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

Broadcast Notes:
Jutanugarn defends: Ariya Jutanugarn won just a week after claiming her first major at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Headlining the field: So Yeon Ryu, Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Danielle Kang, Christina Kim and Paula Creamer.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Boeing Classic
Dates: August 25-27
Venue: TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, Snoqualmie, Wash.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              6-8 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-4:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          6-8 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            6-8 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Langer defends: Charles Schwab Cup money list leader Bernhard Langer won in a three-man playoff in 2016 over Woody Austin and Kevin Sutherland.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Paul Goydos, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jerry Kelly, David Toms and Scott McCarron.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Made in Denmark
Dates: August 24-27
Venue: Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, Farsø, Denmark

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 9:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday              5:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 9:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          6:30-11 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            6:30-11 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Pieters defends: Thomas Pieters won by one shot over Bradley Dredge.
Headlining the field: Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters,Thorbjørn Olesen, Sam Horsfield, John Daly and Andrew Johnston.

Monday, August 21

Captain Inkster on U.S. Solheim Cup Victory: 'They Played Some Amazing Golf'



THE UNITED STATES RETAINED THE SOLHEIM CUP with a dominating performance that resulted in a 16.5 to 11.5 victory over Europe.

Lexi Thompson began the matches on Friday by driving the first hole at Des Moines Golf and Country Club (see above video).

The Americans took a five-point lead into the Sunday singles matches and held on despite a scrappy European team.

Sunday Singles Matches Results
Match #1: Lexi Thompson (U.S.) vs Anna Nordqvist (Europe) Halved
Match #2: Paula Creamer (U.S.) defeated Georgia Hall (Europe) 1UP
Match #3: Cristie Kerr (U.S.) defeated Mel Reid (Europe) 2&1
Match #4: Catriona Matthew (Europe) defeated Stacy Lewis (U.S) 1UP
Match #5: Angel Yin (U.S.) vs. Karine Icher (Europe) Halved
Match #6: Caroline Masson (Europe) defeated Michelle Wie (U.S) 4&2
Match #7: Lizette Salas (U.S) defeated Jodi Ewart Shadoff (Europe) 1UP
Match #8: Charley Hull (Europe) defeated Brittany Lang (U.S.) 1UP
Match #9: Carlota Ciganda (Europe) defeated Brittany Lincicome (U.S.) 4&3
Match #10: Gerina Piller (U.S.) defeated Florentyna Parker (Europe) 4&2
Match #11: Madelene Sagstrom (Europe) defeated Austin Ernst (U.S.) 3&2
Match #12: Danielle Kang (U.S.) defeated Emily Pedersen (Europe) 3&1

"They believed in each other," said U.S. captain Juli Inkster. "They played for the person behind them and in front of them. They played some amazing golf."

"Sometimes it is not always about the results," said European captain Annika Sorenstam. "This has been a lot about the journey. I've learned a lot this past 18 months. It has been a pleasure to represent the European Tour. I'm so proud of these young girls. New friendships and new memories."

Cup Notes

This was the fifth time the United States successfully defended the Cup.

Every U.S. team member won at least one match.

The matches were close: 24 of 28 matches finished on the closing holes.

The rookies on the U.S. team played especially well, posting a record of 6-3-1.

Saturday, August 19

Solheim Cup: TV Coverage Changes for Sunday

An advisory from Golf Channel.

In order to avoid potential inclement weather at the Solheim Cup, tee times have been moved up on Sunday, with the first tee time scheduled for 10:31 a.m. ET / 9:31 a.m. CT.

As a result, Golf Channel will begin airing live coverage of the final day on Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. CT and will air on Golf Channel through the event’s conclusion. NBC will air a two-hour “Best of Solheim Cup” from 4-6 p.m. ET.

Listed below are the schedule changes for Sunday, Aug. 20 on Golf Channel (all times ET).

7:00AM – 10:30AM                          Paul Lawrie Match Play – Finals (Live)
10:30AM – 4:00PM                           Solheim Cup – Final Day (Live)
4:00PM – 6:00PM                             Dick’s Sporting Goods Open – Final Round (Live)

Thursday, August 17

2017 Solheim Cup: U.S. Rookie Danielle Kang Is Ready to Stripe It


THE 2017 SOLHEIM CUP SWINGS INTO ACTION on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. The Opening Ceremony is Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Judging from the above clip via Instagram, U.S. team member Danielle Kang is ready to play for her country.

Following are the squads.

United States
Captain: Juli Inkster
Paula Creamer
Austin Ernst
Danielle Kang
Cristie Kerr
Brittany Lang
Stacy Lewis
Brittany Lincicome
Gerina Pillar
Lizette Salas
Lexi Thompson
Michelle Wie
Angela Yin

Europe
Captain: Annika Sorenstam
Carlota Ciganda
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
Georgia Hall
Charley Hull
Karine Icher
Caroline Masson
Catriona Matthew
Anna Nordqvist
Florentyna Parker
Emily Pedersen
Mel Reid
Madelene Sagstrom

Wednesday, August 16

Golf on TV: Solheim Cup, Wyndham Championship, Dick's Sporting Goods Open, Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play


From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 15, 2017) – The best in the women’s game representing the U.S. and Europe are in Des Moines, Iowa for the biennial Solheim Cup. Juli Inkster and Annika Sorenstam captain the Americans and Europeans respectively in their quest to claim the trophy. This year marks the Solheim Cup’s return to network television for the first time in 15 years, as NBC will broadcast coverage on Saturday and Sunday. The last time the two teams met in 2015, the United States narrowly clinched the victory, 14 ½ - 13 ½, the closest margin in the event’s history. The PGA TOUR will stay in North Carolina this week as players head to Sedgefield Country Club for the Wyndham Championship; the last tournament before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs. Kevin Kisner, who led the PGA Championship going into the final round, and world No. 9 Henrik Stenson headline the field as players look to cement their place inside the Top 125 of the season-long standings. The PGA TOUR Champions head to Upstate New York for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, as Charles Schwab Cup leader Bernhard Langer looks for his fifth win of the season. Paul Lawrie plays host and competitor this week on the European Tour for the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play in Germany, with a field of 64 vying for the title.

LPGA TOUR

Solheim Cup
Date: August 18-20
Venue: Des Moines Country Club, West Des Moines, Iowa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-7 p.m. (Live, Opening Ceremony)
Friday              9 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)Saturday   8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            12:30-4 p.m. (Live)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          4-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            4-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
U.S. defends: The United States won in 2015 for the first time since 2009, after narrowly defeating Europe in the closet margin in the event’s history.
United States Team: Paula Creamer, Austin Ernst, Danielle Kang, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Pillar, Lizette Salas, Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Angela Yin. Captain: Juli Inkster.
European Team: Carlota Ciganda, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Karine Icher, Caroline Masson, Anna Nordqvist, Florentyna Parker, Emily Pedersen, Suzann Pettersen, Mel Reid and Madelene Sagstrom. Captain: Annika Sorenstam.

PGA TOUR

Wyndham Championship
Dates: August 17-20
Venue: Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, N.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         2-6 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Friday              2-4 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            7-10 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Last chance to earn spot in FedEx Cup Playoffs: The Wyndham Championship serves as the final event in which players can earn points to solidify their position within the top 125 of the FedExCup standings to qualify for the Playoffs, beginning next week.
Headlining the field: Henrik Stenson, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III and Chris Stroud.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Dick’s Sporting Goods Open
Dates: August 18-20
Venue: En-Joie Golf Club, Endicott, N.Y.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              7:30-9:30 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Saturday          4-6 p.m. (Live) / 1-3 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            4-6 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast notes:
Goydos defends: Paul Goydos won by two shots over Wes Short Jr.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Paul Goydos, John Daly, Corey Pavin, Mark O’Meara, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Kenny Perry and Ian Woosnam.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play
Dates: August 17-20
Venue: Bad Griesbach Golf Resort, Bad Griesbach, Germany

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6:30-8:30 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Friday              6-8 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-7 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-11 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast notes:
Wall defends: Anthony Wall defeated Alex Noren 1-up last year to capture his second career Tour win, and first in more than 16 years. Wall holds the record for the longest period between victories on the European Tour.
Headlining the field: Nicolas Colsaerts, Thomas Detry, Paul Lawrie, Edoardo Molinari, Richie Ramsey and Anthony Wall.