Thursday, June 27

Golf Swing Thursday: Tony Jacklin Drives Across the Thames River in 1969

TONY JACKLIN TOLD ME HIS GOLF SWING came together in 1969, the year he won the British Open and also won five points in the Ryder Cup that ended in a historic tie, 16 all. A year later Jacklin won the U.S. Open at Hazeltine.

Jacklin played practice rounds with Tom Weiskopf, Bert Yancey and other Americans, and mastered his leg action, a departure from the wristy golf swings of many Brits at that time.

About the above...

"That was a publicity stunt," Jacklin said. "... There was a ship in the Thames with a ... light measuring the distances. They made a performance of bringing the golf balls on the silver tray. ... When you swing and looking at traffic down (there), you get this feeling you're going to go with (the ball). So I was on my back foot the whole time."

Wednesday, June 26

Life on the PGA Tour Range: 'This Is Our Office. We're Trying to Get Work Done Out Here'

Embed from Getty Images

AT GOLFDIGEST.COM, BRIAN WACKER WRITES about "The Unwritten Rules of the PGA Tour Driving Range."

If you've attended a tour event or major championship, chances are you've spent time at the range watching the players warm up and work on their long games. Like me, you may have sensed there's a lot more going on than pounding balls.

Wacker reports on the nuances of range life:
Beyond the business of improving their games, there are business transactions being conducted, too, with the range serving as Main Street within the larger neighborhood of tournament golf. Over here is an equipment rep peddling some new magic elixir, over there a swing coach eyeing a potential client. Elsewhere, the media lurking for a hot story. 
"This is our office," says Brandt Snedeker. "We're trying to get work done out here." 
How each guy goes about doing so can be revealing as well, for there are few formal policies for this office. The rules are unwritten ones, tenets everyone who steps foot on the range understands or quickly absorbs so that the office can run efficiently.
Embed from Getty Images

Tuesday, June 25

VIDEO: Rick Woeckener Wins U.S. Hickory Open at Belvedere Golf Club

GOLFER TEND TO FEEL A DEEP CONNECTION to the sport’s storied history. The passion for golf's roots runs particularly deep among the growing number of throwbacks who, for fun and to feel linked to the past, play hickory-shafted golf clubs from the early 20th century.

Just ask Rick Woeckener, who won his second U.S. Hickory Open Championship held at the historic Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix, Michigan, located along the shores of Lake Michigan in beautiful Northern Michigan.

"This is a great honor. There's a lot of good players in this field, and I'm just happy that I played well enough to win," said Woeckener. "Belvedere is the best course I have played for the U.S. Hickory Open and the greens are as good as any course I have played in Scotland." 

Woeckener shot rounds of 75-78 for a 36-hole total of 153 in the gross division edging out Peter Lory and Taylor Jones. Rounding out the other division winners were William Ernst in the Senior Division, Michael Shiff in the Super Senior Division and Kate Tomkinson in the Ladies Division.

Woeckener, who is from Ohio, was introduced to hickory clubs by his father when he was young. Now after 13 years, he finds himself winning and walking the same course as legends like Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Tom Watson.

"It's a similar feeling when you find these historic clubs and play with them. You wonder who might have had this club or hit this club. Walking in the footsteps of these great players on this historic course and winning with these clubs is really special," said Woeckener.

The U.S. Hickory Open annually attracts an international field of golfers who play with antique pre-1935 hickory shafted golf clubs or authentic replica hickory clubs. Belvedere is the only club in the United States to have as many as 44 antique hickory club players. Competitors dressed in period appropriate apparel, including knickers, ties and jackets.

The Society of Hickory Golfers celebrates and promotes the hickory game of the 1910s to 1930s. Conservative estimates of the total number of hickory players in the world now total about 3,000 and growing.

Saturday, June 22

VIDEO: Hannah Green Leads KPMG Women's PGA Championship; TV Schedule

AUSTRALIAN HANNAH GREEN LEADS by three shots after two rounds of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

Green is 7 under for the tournament after a 69 on Friday. Ariya Jutanugarn is second at 4 under.


All times Eastern.

Saturday, 6/22
NBC 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, 6/23
NBC 3-6 p.m.

Thursday, June 20

Phil Mickelson: 'I Probably Have to Come to the Realization That I'm Not Going to Win a U.S. Open'

Embed from Getty Images

PHIL MICKELSON HAS PLAYED IN 26 U.S. Opens. He has finished runner-up six times. That's a record.

On Wednesday at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, the 49-year-old eternal optimist gave a nod to reality. Here's the quote from Golfworld:

"I really don't have many more chances," Mickelson said at the Travelers Championship, where he is playing for the first time in 16 years. "I probably have to come to the realization that I'm not going to win a U.S. Open."

Phil's 2019 victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am fueled hope for his U.S. Open chances. But U.S. Open Pebble is not AT&T Pebble. Despite the ever-present hype, Phil and Tiger Woods were not factors at the U.S. Open.

Still, don't throw dirt on Lefty.

"When I do play well, I'm able to play at a comparable level to what I played like at the height of my career and I'm able to pick off wins,” Mickleson also said. "I'm just not having as many opportunities....

"But I'm not going to stop trying. You never know."

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Tuesday, June 18

Travelers Championship Preview: Interview With 2014 Winner Kevin Streelman

Embed from Getty Images

Jared Kotler hosts a Connecticut sports podcast (@ctscoreboardpod). In advance of this week's Travelers Championship, Jared talked to 2014 champion Kevin Streelman.

This episode features Kevin Streelman, winner of the 2014 Travelers Championship and former Duke University golfer.

Topics include what life is like on the PGA Tour, Kevin's favorite guys to play with, the return of Tiger Woods and what it was like to set a PGA Tour record en route to his 2014 Travelers Championship win.

Listen to Kevin Streelman.

Monday, June 17

2019 U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland: 'We're Out Here to Win'

Embed from Getty Images

By USGA Communications

GARY WOODLAND NO LONGER HAS TO ANSWER questions about an inability to close or win a major championship.

Entering Sunday's final round of the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the 35-year-old from Topeka, Kan., was 0-for-7 when holding a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, and he had never finished better than a tie for 23rd in eight previous U.S. Opens.

That's now all in the past.

Woodland holed a 30-foot birdie putt on Pebble Beach's iconic par-5 closing hole to punctuate a three-stroke victory over two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka, who was trying to become just the second player to win three consecutive U.S. Opens.

By carding a 2-under-par 69, Woodland became the fourth player to claim the U.S. Open title with four sub-70 rounds. He's also the second Open winner at Pebble Beach to post a double-digit under-par score (13-under 271), joining Tiger Woods (12-under 272) who won the 2000 championship by a record 15 strokes.

"I just kept telling myself that records are meant to be broken," said Woodland. "I'm [actually] more nervous right now than I was playing today.

"I didn't let myself get ahead at all today. Didn't ever let myself think the tournament was over."

Four players – 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, Chez Reavie, Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele – shared third at 7-under 277. Rose started the day one stroke behind Woodland, only to fade over the final 11 holes in carding a 74. Major champions Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen tied for seventh (278).

Embed from Getty Images

"He deserves it. He's worked hard and I'm happy for him." 
–Brooks Koepka

"I played great," said Koepka, who was hoping to join Willie Anderson (1903-05) as the only players to win three consecutive Opens. "Nothing I could do. Gary played a great four days. That's what you've got to do if you want to win a U.S. Open, win a major championship and hats off to him. Cool way to go out on 18, to make that bomb. He deserves it, he's worked hard and I'm happy for him."

In the pantheon of heroic U.S. Open shots at Pebble Beach, there is Tom Kite holing out for a 2 on the par-3 seventh in 1992. There's Jack Nicklaus' 1-iron that hit the flagstick and stopped inches away in 1972, and Tom Watson's miraculous hole-out from greenside rough on the same hole 10 years later.

You can add Woodland's 265-yard, 3-wood second shot to the par-5 14th hole to that list. On a hole where most players were laying up, and just one eagle was recorded in the final round, Woodland decided it was time to be aggressive. At the time, he held a precarious one-stroke lead on Koepka and Rose was still in the chase.

The ball barely cleared the front greenside bunker and stopped in the rough just left of the green. His deftly executed pitch stopped 3½ feet from the flagstick, and he converted the birdie putt to extend his lead to two. Koepka never got closer the rest of the way.

"We sat there and thought about it for a while and said let's go, we're out here to win," said Woodland of his decision to go for the green.

"Played aggressive, and it paid off."

There were other momentous shots down the stretch as well. On the par-3 17th hole, his tee shot wound up on the far-right side of the hourglass-shaped putting surface. Forced to pitch the ball to the back-left hole location, Woodland executed a perfect shot from 93 feet to 2½ feet to save par.  

When Koepka missed a 9½-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have gotten him within one of the lead, Woodland could play the closing hole conservatively. With three putts to win the title, Woodland accomplished the feat with a birdie flourish. It was a fitting end to a glorious week for the Kansan, who was 169th in scrambling on the PGA Tour this season, but first this week.

All of his work with instructor Pete Cowen and putting coach Phil Kenyon came to fruition.

Many of his fellow PGA Tour professionals congratulated Woodland as he walked off No. 18 to the scoring trailer, including Koepka. His parents, Dan and Linda Woodland, were also in attendance, but wife Gabby and son, Jaxson, were back at their Florida residence. She is due with twin girls in August.

What a Father's Day it turned out to be. 

Friday, June 14

The Wall Street Caddy: Pebble Beach Is Not a True Links Course

Embed from Getty Images

By Mark Vigil

Guest contributor Mark Vigil is The Wall Street Caddy.

THE MUCH ANTICIPATED 119TH U.S. OPEN is underway. The golf world is filled with anticipation: Tiger Woods continues his pursuit of another major victory; Phil Mickelson will try to complete his grand slam; Brooks Koepka will try to be the second golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Open titles. (More than a hundred years ago, Willie Anderson was the first.)

The host venue is the fabled Pebble Beach Golf Links. Pebble Beach is rated the top public golf course in America; however, I would argue this honor goes to Bethpage Black. But that is a subject for another day.

Pebble Beach Golf Links has lived in the imagination of golfers and non-golfers since Bing Crosby's clambake was first televised in the early 1960s. It was forever branded into golfers' brains as they watched telecasts of U.S. Opens in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010. And for those golfers who have played a round at Pebble Beach, the experience is unique.

The layout tucks itself comfortably into the Carmel Bay, like one's head on a soft cool pillow on a sultry summer night. It was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, two amateur golfers.  (Neville won the inaugural California State Amateur and Grant would move to England where he assumed captain duties at Royal St. George.) 

Jack Nicklaus famously remarked that if he had one round to play, "I'd play Pebble Beach." Nicklaus would also argue that the approach shot to the 8th green over the chasm is the best second shot in all of golf. It is hard to argue with Jack on his latter comment.

Pebble Beach's beauty resides on the eight seaside holes which begin with the approach shot to the 3rd green and last until the tee shot away from the sea at the 11th hole. The walk along these holes makes one wonder if these holes would have been espied by Adam in the Garden of Eden.

The glory of Carmel Bay remains in the golfer's vision as he plays the inward nine holes on top of the plateau overlooking Carmel Bay. Mother Nature's full beauty re-emerges for the golfer as he departs the 16th green and walks west to the famed 17th tee box.

Embed from Getty Images

In 1972, it was on the 17th tee box where Jack Nicklaus knifed a 1-iron to kick in range to secure his second U.S. Open victory. A decade later Tom Watson would chip in on the famed hour-glass green to defeat Jack Nicklaus by 2 strokes, winning his only U.S. Open.

The 18th hole was originally a 379 yard par 4. In 1921 William Fowler redesigned the 18th hole, transforming it into the best finishing hole in golf. The 18th tee box juts out into Carmel Bay and on most days the waves crash up onto the teeing area spraying golfers with the bay's holy water. 

Frankly, the tee shot is a tribute to the famed first tee shot at Mcahhanarish Golf Club designed by Old Tom Morris and considered to be the best opening hole in golf.

To be sure, Pebble Beach Golf Links deserves its iconic status and it truly represents one of golf's "hallowed grounds."  However, I must inform everyone that Pebble Beach is not a true links golf course. In fact, the only true links golf in the western United States is located on the Oregon coast at Bandon Dunes.

Nope, the only similarities between Pebble Beach and a true links golf course are the unpredictable weather and the natural beauty.

The word "links" is from the old English word "hlic," which means rising ridge or an area of coastal sand dunes. Links topography rests on a raised beach or on a marine platform which rises no more than 50 feet above the sea. Links topography resembles lunar landscapes due to centuries of howling winds racing across these plateaus creating dune ridges and land valleys, and protective nooks and crannies, known today as bunkers, which in earlier times provided the sheep herder and his flock a small hovel of protection from the raging storms.

The sandy soil on these raised beaches allows for superb drainage and it is ideally suited for vegetation of long wispy natural grasses like fescue and heather, beloved by sheep; and of prickly gorse bushes, which bloom spectacularly in spring and which provide a safe haven for birds and other small animals from various predators.

The turf is a good source of food for sheep, small rodents and scurrying leporidaes, and totally useless for any other agricultural purpose.

Thankfully, the bored ancient sheep herders tried to get a round object into an old rabbit hole using crooked sticks.

I encourage all golfers to closely watch the U.S. Open on a good HDTV so the true glory of Pebble Beach can be enjoyed. Just remember, it is a seaside course and not a true links course.

Mark Vigil is founder of Class 5 Advisors LLC, an advisory firm. He is a master caddy, and he is also a passionate links golf enthusiast who has traveled extensively throughout Scotland seeking out links courses. He is currently writing a book entitled, Searching for the Spirit of Old Tom Morris. You can follow Mark on Instagram at #golfbyrails

Wednesday, June 12

2019 U.S. Open TV Schedule and Live Streaming Coverage

Embed from Getty Images

THE U.S. OPEN WILL HAVE more than 46 hours of network coverage on FOX and FS1.
Date             Network                                   Broadcast Hours (Local/EDT)
June 12        FS1                                           Wednesday, 12:30-3 p.m.
June 13        FS1                                           First Round, 12:30-7:30 p.m.
                     FOX                                          First Round, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
June 14        FS1                                           Second Round, 12:30-7:30 p.m.
                     FOX                                          Second Round, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
June 15        FOX                                          Third Round, Noon-10 p.m.
June 16        FOX                                          Fourth Round, 2-10 p.m.

There will be 117 hours of live streaming coverage on and U.S. Open app channels.

Embed from Getty Images

Tuesday, June 11

If You Go: Visit the Lexus Performance Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open

Embed from Getty Images

THE U.S. OPEN IS BACK at Pebble Beach Golf Links. So is Lexus, the longtime partner and official vehicle of the United States Golf Association (USGA).

This week at Pebble Beach, Lexus is providing golf fans a range of activities at the Lexus Performance Experience tent. They include:
  • Autograph sessions with Lexus golfers Jason Day, Peter Jacobsen and Johnny Miller
  • A chance to win a two-year lease on a 2019 Lexus UX with a simulated hole-in-one challenge
  • The Lexus Epic Putt opportunity to win a golf clinic with Lexus Golf Ambassadors
"From thrilling racing simulators to rewarding hole-in-one challenges, we connect with golfers of all ages in memorable and unique ways throughout the tournament," said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Lexus marketing.

The Lexus Performance Experience is located near the main entrance in Fan Central. Following are more details about the various activities.

With the Lexus Racing RC F GT3 Driving Simulator, fans have the chance to step into the driver's seat of an RC F GT3 racecar for an exhilarating experience.

Attendees are also invited to hone their golfing skills with the Lexus Hole-in-One Challenge. The fan that sinks the ball in this simulated replica of the famous par-three 7th hole from the Pebble Beach Golf Links will win a two-year lease on a 2019 Lexus UX, the automaker’s first-ever luxury compact crossover.

Additional activities include the "Putt Like a Pro" simulation, photo opportunities with the U.S. Open Trophy and autograph sessions with Lexus Golf Ambassadors*Jason Day, Patrick Cantlay and Charles Howell III, among others.

For the first time, fans are also invited to take part in the Epic Putt presented by Lexus. Located at the bottom of the hill in Fan Central, the Epic Putt gives fans the opportunity to attempt three putts on a Pebble Beach putting green. Fans who make the third and final "epic putt" will win a prize and exclusive access to a golf clinic with Lexus Golf Ambassadors.

Lexus will also offer 100 VIP parking spaces for owners driving their Lexus vehicles to the U.S. Open on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, Lexus Hotel Partner Pebble Beach Resorts is offering a complimentary shuttle in Lexus vehicles to all hotel guests during the championship weekend.

Over the course of the championship, Lexus will provide more than 300 courtesy vehicles to players and officials. Several Lexus vehicles will be displayed throughout the grounds, including the 2020 RX F SPORT prototype, ES 300h, LS 500 F SPORT and NX 300 F SPORT. The LC 500 Inspiration Series and the RC F Track Edition can be viewed in the Lexus Performance Experience tent. Also located within the Epic Putt experience, fans will find a modified Lexus UX with a golf theme.

*Current Lexus Golf Ambassadors include: Jason Day, Patrick Cantlay, Charles Howell III, Wesley Bryan, Jamie Sadlowski, Lydia Ko, Annika Sörenstam, Natalie Gulbis, Johnny Miller, Peter Jacobsen, Mark O'Meara and Mark Pfeil.

Monday, June 10

2019 U.S Open and Pebble Beach Fact Sheet

This is the 119th U.S. Open Championship.

PAR AND YARDAGE              
Pebble Beach Golf Links will be set up at 7,075 yards and will play to a par of 35-36—71. The yardage for each round of the championship will vary due to course setup and conditions.

Pebble Beach Golf Links Hole By Hole

Jack Neville and Douglas S. Grant designed Pebble Beach Golf Links, which opened in 1919.

The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers (and ties) 

SCHEDULE OF PLAY            
Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled each day from June 13 (Thursday) through June 16 (Sunday). In the event of a tie after 72 holes, a two-hole aggregate playoff will take place following the completion of Sunday's final round.

Brooks Koepka is attempting to become the second player to win three consecutive U.S. Open Championships after his victories at Erin Hills in 2017 and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in 2018. Willie Anderson, a Scottish professional, won his third in a row at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Mass., in 1905, a two-stroke triumph over Alex Smith. Anderson and Koepka are among seven players to win in consecutive years. The group includes John J. McDermott (1911, 1912), a-Robert T. Jones Jr. (1929, 1930), Ralph Guldahl (1937, 1938), Ben Hogan (1950, 1951) and Curtis Strange (1988, 1989).

Among the benefits enjoyed by the U.S. Open winner are:
  • A U.S. Open exemption for the next 10 years
  • An invitation to the next five Masters Tournaments
  • An invitation to the next five Open Championships, conducted by The R&A
  • An invitation to the next five PGA Championships
  • An invitation to the next five Players Championships
  • Exempt status on the PGA Tour for five years

The top 10 finishers (and ties) are exempt into the following year's U.S. Open. The top four finishers (and ties) are invited to next year's Masters Tournament.

The 2018 purse was $12 million; the winner earned $2.16 million. The 2019 purse will total $12.5 million, highest among golf’s major championships.

  • Pebble Beach Golf Links has hosted the U.S. Open Championship in five consecutive decades
  • The 119th U.S. Open is the 13th USGA championship to be conducted at the resort
  • The 2019 U.S. Open will be the 13th played in California and sixth at Pebble Beach Golf Links
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links will also host the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2027 U.S. Open
  • The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a PGA Tour event, has been held at the resort since 1947
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links has served as host of a PGA Tour Champions event since 2004
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links is celebrating its centennial in 2019

Pebble Beach Golf Links is part of the famous 17-Mile Drive, which was originally designed as a local excursion route for visitors to the Del Monte to take in the historic sights of Monterey and Pacific Grove and the scenery of what would become Pebble Beach. The course was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant and opened on Feb. 22, 1919. Neville's objective was to place as many of the holes as possible along the Monterey coastline and he accomplished this by using a "figure 8" layout. The first professional tournament held at Pebble Beach was the 1926 Monterey Peninsula Open. In 1929, the course hosted the U.S. Amateur Championship for the first time. In 1947, Pebble Beach became one of the host courses for the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, which is currently known as the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Pebble Beach has hosted 12 USGA championships, including five U.S. Opens and five U.S. Amateurs, and was the site of the 1977 PGA Championship. The course has also hosted the PGA Tour Champions' PURE Insurance Championship since 2004.

VIDEO: Rory McIlroy Fires 61 En Route to 7-Shot Victory at RBC Canadian Open


Will it carry over to Pebble Beach this week when Rory tees it up with the world's best players for the 2019 U.S. Open?

McIlroy collected his 16th PGA Tour victory at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday. The Northern Irishman looked invincible. A birdie at the last hole would have given the four-time major winner a 59. Instead, Rory bogeyed for a 61 and still lapped the field.

"I'm playing well," McIlroy said. "I found a little groove and I want to keep it going."

Shane Lowry and Webb Simpson tied for second at 15 under. Canadian Adam Hadwin finished sixth.

This year's RBC Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario moved to an earlier date on the tour schedule and attracted large galleries.

Wednesday, June 5

Pete Crozier's 'Fifty for Father': 50 Days, 50 States, 50 Golf Courses

FFF Explainer V9 (2) from Derek Koenig on Vimeo.


Pete's father died from complications of Type 2 diabetes. His teenage son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4.

To raise awareness, Crozier is playing 50 golf courses in 50 states in 50 days. It's the "Fifty for Father" drive. Oh yeah, his father was a golfer.

Along the way, Crozier is accepting donations that will support the work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Follow his journey at

(H/T Where to Golf Next)

Monday, June 3

VIDEO: Patrick Cantlay Charges to Victory at Memorial Tournament

PATRICK CANTLAY IS EARNING a reputation as a fierce competitor. That rep was bolstered on Sunday when Cantlay fired a 64 to win the Memorial Tournament by two strokes in Dublin, Ohio.

Cantlay charged past 54-hole leader Martin Kaymer (72) and held off a resurgent Adam Scott (68) to finish 19 under and pick up his second PGA Tour victory. With the win, Cantlay cracked the top 10 in the world rankings, rising to No. 8.

Memorial Tournament host Jack Nicklaus likes the 27-year-old UCLA product.

"His game is very suited for majors," Nicklaus said. "Drives the ball very straight. His iron game is obviously very good. He's got a good attitude. He’'s not trying to do something flashy. He tries to play good, solid golf. And that's really what it takes to play major-championship golf."

Nicklaus added: "Patrick reminds me a lot of me at being serious. I got so wrapped up in what I was doing, I forgot about everything else going on around me."

Pebble Beach is straight ahead for Cantlay and others. He may be ready to take that next step.

"I really like major-championship golf," Cantlay said. "I feel like it suits my game. As far as I'm concerned, the rough can't be long enough, the fairways can't be narrow enough, the greens can't be fast enough. I love golf like that."

From an attitude standpoint, that puts Cantlay ahead of much of the U.S. Open field. Several players, including Phil Mickelson, can't seem to gripe enough about the U.S. Open setup and aim some of their best shots at the USGA.