Friday, January 12

VIDEO: Playing Golf with Childlike Joy

I WISH YOU THE BEST IN 2018. May it include a holeout from off the green!

But, even more, my wish is that we always remember that it's a game, and to play the game with joy, like a kid.

Thursday, January 11

Golf on TV: Sony Open in Hawaii, BMW South African Open, EurAsia Cup

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – World No. 4 Justin Thomas defends at the Sony Open in Hawaii, airing live and in primetime on Golf Channel. Ernie Els and Charl Schwartzel headline the field in their native country at the BMW South African Open. Two 12-player teams representing Europe and Asia will convene for the third edition of the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.


Sony Open in Hawaii
Dates: Jan. 11-14
Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 1:30-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Thomas defends: Justin Thomas finished seven shots clear of the field to earn his fourth PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the field: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Xander Schauffele, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner, Daniel Berger, Si Woo Kim, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.


BMW South African Open
Dates: Jan. 11-14
Venue: Glendower Golf Club, Ekurhuleni, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         3-5 a.m. / 7-10 a.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. / Noon-5 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              5-7 a.m. (Tape delay) / 7-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Storm defends: Graeme Storm defeated Rory McIlroy on the third playoff hole to claim his second European Tour win.
Headlining the field: Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, Retief Goosen, Dylan Frittelli, Trevor Immelman, Mike Weir, Chris Wood and Graeme Storm.


EurAsia Cup
Dates: Jan. 12-14
Venue: Glenmarie Golf & Country Club (Garden Course), Shah Alam, Malaysia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)
Friday              11 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Format: This is the third edition of the biennial competition featuring two 12-man teams representing Europe and Asia. The competition consists of six four-ball matches on Day 1, six foursome matches on Day 2, and 12 single matches on the Final Day.
Europe defends: The European team won in convincing fashion, 18 ½ - 5 ½ two years after the inaugural edition of the event ended in a 10-10 tie.
Team Europe: Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Dunne, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson, Bernd Wiesberger, Paul Casey, Alexander Levy, captain (non-playing) Thomas Bjorn.
Team Asia: S.S.P. Chawrasia, Gavin Green, Phachara Khongwatmai, Poom Saksansin, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Yuta Ikeda, Anirban Lahiri, Haotong Li, Byeong Hun An, Nicholas Fung, Sung Kang, Hideto Tanihara, captain (non-playing) Arjun Atwal.

Tuesday, January 9

DJ: The New Ultimate Driving Machine

IN HIS DOMINANT VICTORY AT the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Dustin Johnson hit his drives with a new TaylorMade M4 driver. I think he likes it.

During Sunday's final round, DJ smashed six drives that exceeded 370 yards. Two of the six broke the 400-yard mark, including the near ace on the 433-yard par-4 12th hole (above).

He won by eight strokes after shooting a 65 in the final round.

"I have a lot of confidence in my game," Johnson said. "I'm hitting the shots I want to hit."

The Evolution of Country Club Life (Part 1)

Embed from Getty Images
ABOVE: Fenimore Country Club, Scarsdale, New York, 1929.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE WRITERS is someone I discovered in my caddie days. His name is John P. Marquand.

The first book of his that I read was Point of No Return published in 1949. At the time, Marquand was already famous for his spy novels about the fictional Mr. Moto. These books were turned into a series of films in the 1930s starring Peter Lorre.

I never read his spy novels, but in a burst of reading long into the night during high school, I read The Last George Apley, Melville Goodwin, USA, Sincerely, Willis Wayde. The books were mostly set in New England and in one way or another reflect his ambivalence about American society, particularly, the power of the old line elites.

This theme is again played out in a series of satiric short stories Marquand published in Sports Illustrated in the mid 1950s. These stories were later republished in 1957 as a book entitled Life at Happy Knoll.

The stories—written as a series of letters—humorously and seriously confronted the issues of an "old-line" country club as it tries to adjust to changing times and a competing "upstart" country club nearby. All of the letters are exchanges between members and the Board of Governors of Happy Knoll, with many letters to and from Albert Magill, President Emeritus of Happy Knoll.

Marquand's reflections on country club life came to mind recently as I was reading The Kingdom of Golf in America by Richard J. Moss, published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska Press.

In his book, Moss, who for many years was a professor of history at Colby College, and is the author of Golf and the American Country Club, published in 2001, explored the circumstances that led to the establishment of the country club as an American social institution.

He traces the evolution of country clubs from informal groups of golf-playing friends to "country estates" in the suburbs and eventually into public and private daily-fee courses, corporate country clubs and gated golfing communities. The book shows how these developments reflect shifts in American values and attitudes toward health and sport, as well as changing social dynamics.

Birth of the Country Club

The first golf country club was created in 1882 when James Murray Forbes, a railroad tycoon, held a dinner party for his gentlemen friends and associates at his home and introduced the idea of forming a club in the suburbs of Boston. It would become known as the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The golf course itself was built in 1893.

Moss writes that at first "clubs" were "little more than informal groups of friends playing golf in pastures and orchards."

By 1901 country clubs had developed all over the country, becoming "country estates" in the suburbs where, as Moss writes, "the prosperous registered their social status. The transformation of the club from country retreat to suburban playground went hand in hand with a widespread shift in attitudes toward health and sport."

Golf also benefited, as Moss points out, "from the advent of professional golf architects, the rise of public golf courses, increased discretionary time and income for many Americans, and a shift away from the Protestant ethic of deferred gratification toward values that justified increased leisure and pleasure."

Many of these shifts in society are captured in Marquand's novel Life at Happy Knoll. Marquand brings golf culture and socially changes down to a very human level and the situations that private clubs experienced with societal changes.
In one chapter entitled, "Are Women People at Happy Knoll?" Marquand has a letter from the wife of a member to the chairman of the Board of Governors. She starts with a complaint about the condition of the ladies' locker room, noting in the same paragraph that there are "unfortunately no women as yet on any Happy Knoll governing board." This begins her list of slights to the wives of members and sums up each one with the comment, "Are women people?"

In her long letter she goes on to make the point that Happy Knoll was founded by men who were "afraid of women who have ideas which are even remotely abstract." Then she writes, "Happy Knoll continues this outmoded practice, except for a growing number of enlightened young couples who share the burdens of marriage equally, including dish washing and the care and entertainment of infants."

Moss in his scholarly book focuses on the same issues that Marquand dealt with in his novel. Moss, however, makes the point that at the center of golf tradition is the idea that all should have access to the game.

He writes "Golf was a game, and a social and cultural institution, dominated by white businessmen."

He next describes how in the early 1950s country clubs began to change.

"It was clear that postwar affluence had unleashed other forces that were quickly and fundamentally transforming the golf community.

The changes that began in the early 1950s would reshape the golf community to the present day.


John Coyne is a bestselling author whose most recent golf novel is The Caddie Who Won the Masters. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Thursday, January 4

Golf on TV: Sentry Tournament of Champions

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla.  – The PGA TOUR returns to action this week as 2017 Player of the Year Justin Thomas is set to defend his title at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. The exclusive field of winners from the previous season convene at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course, with coverage airing live and in primetime on Golf Channel, Thursday through Sunday.


Sentry Tournament of Champions
Dates: Jan. 4-7
Venue: Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course), Kapalua, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          3-7 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Sunday            6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Thomas defends: Justin Thomas finished three shots ahead of Hideki Matsuyama to claim his third PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Marc Leishman.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team
Play by Play: Rich Lerner
Analyst: Frank Nobilo
Tower: Mark Rolfing / Curt Byrum
On-Course: Notah Begay / Jim “Bones” Mackay / Jerry Foltz

Wednesday, January 3

VIDEO: How Golf Changed the Life of a Man Suffering With Parkinson's Disease


Gary Smith was diagnosed with Parkinson's not long after the death of his father, who was also stricken with the disease. Smith tried seemingly everything in his battle but life kept getting darker and darker.

And then a trip to Scotland and the Home of Golf sparked an amazing turnaround.

Nice story from Tim Rosaforte and the folks at Golf Channel.

Tuesday, January 2

VIDEO: LPGA Players to Watch in 2018 and LPGA Tour Schedule

Embed from Getty Images

2017 WAS A GREAT YEAR in golf. What will 2018 bring?

Amy Rogers and Ron Sirak preview the 2018 season on the LPGA Tour. Who do they like?

Sirak's first pick might surprise you. Meanwhile, Rogers spotlights a young player who dominated the game until recently.

LPGA Video Preview

2018 LPGA Tour Schedule

Jan. 25-28 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
Feb. 15-18 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open
Feb. 21-24 Honda LPGA Thailand
March 1-4 HSBC Women's World Championship
March 15-18 Bank of Hope Founders Cup
March 22-25 Kia Classic
March 29-April 1 ANA Inspiration
April 11-14 LOTTE Championship
April 19-22 HUGEL-JTBC Championship
April 26-29 TBA
May 3-6 Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic
May 17-20 Kingsmill Championship
May 24-27 LPGA Volvik Championship
May 31-June 3 U.S. Women's Open
June 8-10 ShopRite LPGA Classic
June 14-17 Meijer LPGA Classic
June 22-24 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
June 28-July 1 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
July 5-8 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
July 12-15 Marathon Classic
July 26-29 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open
Aug. 2-5 Ricoh Women's British Open
Aug. 16-19 Indy Women in Tech Championship
Aug. 23-26 CP Women's Open
Aug. 30-Sept. 2 Cambia Portland Classic
Sept. 13-16 The Evian Championship
Sept. 27-30 Dime Darby LPGA Malaysia
Oct. 4-7 UL International Crown
Oct. 11-14 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
Oct. 18-21 TBA
Oct. 25-28 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship
Nov. 2-4 TOTO Japan Classic
Nov. 7-10     Blue Bay LPGA
Nov. 15-18 CME Group Tour Championship

Saturday, December 30 'So You Think You're a Golf Fan? Take Our 2017 Trivia Test'

Embed from Getty Images
Masters champion Sergio Garcia was a first-time major winner in 2017.

GOLF.COM HATCHED 11 MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS to test our knowledge about the year in golf. I follow the pro game pretty closely and found myself guessing on many of the questions.

If you get all 11, or even nine or 10 correct, you're the ultimate golf fan.

Take the quiz