A chat with FedEx Champ Billy Horschel.

Billy Horschel’s wikipedia profile says he shot a 60 at Hazeltine National in Chaska, MN in the 2006 US Amateur Championship to win medalist honors.  However, he points out that the tournament was actually played over 2 courses and his 60 was at the Chaska Town Course, and not Hazeltine.  That’s the type of guy he is.  I think I would have kept quite and let everyone think it was at Hazeltine!
Thanks to GUY YOCOM  along with Billy Horschel  for this interesting interview for Golf Digest.
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Photographed by John Loomis on Jan. 5, 2016, at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach.

It’s the age of the posse. Close-knit circles of trust that are almost like support groups. Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson are the ultimate posse on the PGA Tour, though there are a couple of others. On the Champions Tour, there’s the posse of Brad Faxon, Jeff Sluman and Jay Haas. I’m not a long-term posse guy. I’ll hang around with a group of guys for a while, then start fresh with a whole new crew. People do get tired of each other. After I’ve been home for a few weeks [wife] Brittany will say, “Don’t you have somewhere to go?”

I can’t say I’m a fan of the task force to fix what’s wrong with the American Ryder Cup team. Jim Furyk phoned me to explain the reasoning behind it, which was nice of him because I’ve yet to play Ryder Cup. Like I told him, “task force” sounds desperate. After two years of public talk about the task force, what happens if it doesn’t work? You’re going to get hammered worse than ever.

Getting veteran players and past captains together to discuss ideas is smart. But by making it public, it adds a lot of pressure.

The U.S. would do better in Ryder Cups if our guys felt freed up to show more emotion. There was a time when an outward show of fire from a Lanny Wadkins or Raymond Floyd was welcome. Over the past 20 years, the media has pretty much beat it out of them. In international team play, where you’re playing for your country and each other, it’s natural to show excitement. It can lift you up, take you to another level. But our players have been ridiculed so much for celebrating, they tend to rein it in—to their detriment. So long as you’re respecting the other players, the course and the game of golf, everything else is fine.

Say every hole I played was the 13th at Augusta National. I’m in the middle of the fairway, conditions ordinary, 4-iron to the green. Do I go for it in two or lay up? I go for it, every time. Every great person in business, athletics or anything else, has had the nerve to gamble on themselves. They have a deep self-belief. That’s why, when I hit a shot fat into a hazard on the final hole at the Deutsche Bank in 2014, I stood in the fairway and laughed. It cost me a chance to win the tournament, but what the heck. I knew then and know even more now that most times I’ll pull it off.

To see the rest of this interview with Billy Horschel, go here!

Source : GUY YOCOM  Billy Horschel  Golf Digest

Pictures : John Loomis

What was New for 2016 at the PGA Merchandise Show?

Having just returned from the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL, I have to say this was the best one ever!  I attended the “Top 100 Teachers Summit”, which preceded the Show.  There I heard the best minds in the teaching business discuss the latest idea and technologies in coaching, both mental and physical, and even extended to innovations in shoes and clothing.  It is a really exciting time in our industry right now! Tim Gavrich of Golf Vacation Insider gives you a unique look into this extravaganza from Demo Day to walking the floor at the Orange County Convention Center and seeing all the latest golf stuff!  
Here at Golf Vacation Insider, we know what you’re looking for: honest, effective golf travel advice. But we also know that if you’re a golfer who likes to travel, chances are travel isn’t the onlything you’re interested in. That’s why we make the trip every January to the massive PGA Merchandise Show. In short, if you’re a golfer, it’s the place to find the newest in golf equipment, products and services. You loved our coverage of last year’s Show, so here’s our 2016 edition of the “PGA Show in Pictures.” Demo Day PGA Show Week kicks off in style at Orange County National Golf Club just west of Orlando, Florida. The facility is home not just to two acclaimed golf courses but an immense, 40-plus acre practice facility that includes a 360-decree grass driving range. This year, the entire circle was taken up by exhibiting companies. This view across the range at Orange County National captures only a sliver of the exhibitors at Demo Day. Demo Day serves as an outdoor version of the three indoor exhibition days that follow. Companies from major equipment manufacturers… Callaway always turns out in force for Demo Day. …to minor training aid makers… This burly fellow was wielding a resistance-based swing trainer called Twitch. …to the folks from Golf Beer all set up shop in order to create some early PGA Show Week buzz. 4 Golf Beer We got a chance to get up-close looks at a bunch of the major equipment makers’ new clubs, but what caught our eye was a little bit of a throwback: PING’s TR 1966 line, which pays tribute to the Anser and Anser 2 putters that put them on the map as a company. PING's TR 1966 putters combine the company's traditional putter shapes with their recently developed True-Roll face technology. Given the large setup of Demo Day, spending all those hours trying new clubs can be exhausting: In order to maintain your stamina throughout PGA Show Week, it's important to nap strategically. By far, the most entertaining sight we encountered at Demo Day was not produced by a golf club, but an…interesting fitness related machine, which can only be done justice in video: Moving on… The Show Floor This is where the main PGA Show action takes place. And as in the past, more than 10 miles of carpeted alleys were set up at Orlando’s massive Orange County Convention Center, weaving between more than 1,000 exhibitors. Once again, two massive rooms brought together a who’s-who of golf, from TaylorMade… Known as a company that makes bold statements, TaylorMade followed their marketing playbook at the 2016 PGA Show. …to Team Tables, which strike us as golf’s answer to the famous “leg lamp” from the movie “A Christmas Story. Kudos to the golf nut who adorns the living room with one of these - you are braver than we are! As usual, underdog companies tended towards eye-catching displays in order to generate buzz. The runaway winner for inventive booth design this year was KLVN (pronounced “kolven”), which makes a plastic cart bag with a pop-out carry bag for taking a few clubs to your ball. Check out the “robot” demonstration model: Conversely, we’re compelled to give the award for “Biggest Head-Scratcher” award to the US Postal Service, whose booth was completely empty every time we walked by. It seemed to us that the USPS should have saved their money and declined to exhibit at this year's PGA Show. And the “Saddest Exhibit” award goes to the G-Trike, an alternative to golf carts that is so futuristic, its exhibitor didn’t even bother to bring a prototype to the Show:
The G-Trike: no model, only pictures.

The #1 player in the world bought a new house. Check it out!

The #1 player in the world, Jordan Spieth bought a new house!  No, let me rephrase that, he bought a second hand house. From Hunter Mahan. Hunter invited Jordan over for dinner, put a good sales pitch in, on a house he has had on the market since 2014, and in a few short hours, Jordan was the proud owner of this really neat pad!.  Good job Hunter!  Thanks so much to Back9Network for sharing this story!
It’s good to be Jordan Spieth. What do you do when you make $53 million in 2015, kick off 2016 with a win in the first tournament you play in and then sign an endorsement deal with Coca-Cola? Buy another piece of real estate, of course. It was less than a year ago that Spieth purchased a $2.3 million piece of property in Dallas. However, when fellow PGA Tour player Hunter Mahan invited Spieth over for a private tour of his crib that he listed back in 2014, the World No. 1 apparently couldn’t pass it up. Here are a few highlights of the $7.1 million home, also located in the Dallas area: – 16,665 sq. feet with guest house – Five bedrooms with six full and two-half bathrooms – Man cave that includes a golf simulator and ping-pong table – Indoor basketball court below the 12-car garage – Full out door kitchen with fire pit – Gorgeous infinity pool
To see some gorgeous pictures of Jordan’s new home, go here! Source : Back9Network Pictures :

Get off your duff and make time for golf in 2016! It’s not hard.

 of Golf Digest is one of my favorite golf journalists.  I enjoy his writing, so I read his articles every time I see one.  This time it was a quote in the middle of the article that caught my attention and deserves some discussion.  The quote is “But what used to be time for rounds of golf has been overtaken by other stuff. I feel undeserving of leisure when so much seems undone.”

I recently returned from teaching for almost 3 weeks at my school in Mexico and had a lot of catch up to do.  My desk was piled high with mail and bills to pay.  But you know what?  I was completely caught up in 2 days.  2 days!  This taught me a lesson and Jaime’s quote brought it to a head.  We sometimes create extra work just to feel busy.  People ask me to play golf and I say “Sorry, I’m too busy!”  No I’m not!  So my New Years resolution is to get out the office when I;m not teaching (I do have to make a living like everyone else) and head to the range for practice or, to the course for a round!  Last year I played a total of about 20 rounds.  This year I’m going to make that at least 50.

My challenge to all readers who do not play because they are too busy, is to get out there in 2016 and make this your breakthrough year!  Come to Golf School and start the year with some positive thoughts and feelings for your golf game.  Make time for golf!

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Where’s golf? It’s a question that, especially at the start of a new year, repeats in the mind.

Growing up, I knew that while golf was important to me, it wasn’t that big a deal to most other people. Which was fine—it was rewarding having a little-known world dense with riches as a welcoming refuge. After I became a golf writer, I never worried about my obsessions having a small but reciprocal audience. Basically, I had faith in the intrinsic perfection of the game.

That was confirmed in the 1990s, when golf suddenly got discovered by a larger populace. Tiger Woods helped turn many on to the game, but it was more about a confluence of people having sufficient time and money to try it for themselves, along with the desire for an antidote to the increasing speed of modern living. The game’s powers of renewal—known to golfers for centuries—crossed over.

With the popularity came the American capitalistic drive for growth, a bubble and a backlash. All during which the world changed at a faster rate than it ever has.

The last decade has been a tough one for golf, and it goes well beyond the fortunes of Tiger. Crucially, less of the game’s oxygen—money and time—has been available. Cultural changes, like the alterations in parenting and the tyranny of the smartphone (on which you might be reading this), haven’t helped. As entertainment activities increasing must be packaged for hand-held consumption, golf seems more arcane.

Recently, though, I’ve noted some optimism surrounding the state of game. In particular, the professional tours and their players are more appealing than ever, as if everyone has taken lessons from Arnold Palmer (highly recommended, by the way). The economy seems to be improving, and the unseasonably warm winter has extended the playing season. In a bit of over exuberance that betrays how bad things got, there’s been commentary positing that 2015 was the best golf year ever.

Honestly, I’m not exactly sure where golf is. I know that my prism reveals both bleakness and hope. I don’t play nearly enough, though I probably make more air swings in elevators, hit more wedge shots in the back yard and putt at more table legs. But what used to be time for rounds of golf has been overtaken by other stuff. I feel undeserving of leisure when so much seems undone.

To read the rest of Jaime’s story on golf’s steady growth in 2015, go here!

Source :   Golf Digest

Pictures :Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR   Rob Stinnett

What would you buy as a Powerball-Winning Golfer?

Finally, the biggest payoff in Powerball lottery history was split this week between three winners.  I wonder if any of them are golfers?
Let’s look at some fun suggestions to help them to spend their windfall if they are indeed, golfers.  of Golf Digest gives 5 pretty good ideas for purchases.
I prefer #3 which is ‘Build your Own Golf Oasis.”  It would be terrific to design your own private golf resort with your favorite type of course, a fabulous on-site home with a world-class chef….I could go on!
One more suggestion from me is to split your time, all year, staying in the absolute best golf destinations in the world.  Flying by private jet, of course, and staying as long as you like!
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On Tuesday, Golf Digest’s annual list of the top 50 earners in golf revealed Tiger Woods has earned more than $1.4 BILLION in his career. But with a few lucky bounces of the ball, someone could earn more than what it’s taken Tiger two decades to amass in a matter of seconds with Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing.

Yep, someone could win $1.5 billion in this record-breaking drawing. Of course, you won’t get all of it. Most people take the smaller lump sum (estimated at $930 million) and then there are taxes. When all is said and done, you’re looking at somewhere in the $600-700 million range depending on what state you live in. Let’s split the difference and say $650 Million. What could/should you do with all that cash if you’re a golfer? Funny, we’ve been thinking about that since we purchased our own ticket. . .

  1. Join some golf clubs: In 2003, USA Today reported the average initiation fee of the courses that host PGA and LPGA Tour events was $48,000. You could join a club for that much in all 50 states for a mere $2.5 million, barely making a dent in your loot. Or you could just. . .

2. Buy some golf courses: Why be just another member of a golf club when you can be the only member of one if you’d like? A quick search produced several websites specializing in listing golf courses for sale. How about Club West Golf Course in Phoenix?

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Not too shabby. And it can be yours for $2.1 million. Or maybe Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell, Ga., which is listed for sale at $2.3 million. Throw inTanglewood Golf Course in Northern Michigan for an extra $1.7 million because you’ll need a comfortable climate to play in during the summer. That’s three courses for $6 million, or less than one percent of your Powerball winnings. Or for a little more. . .

To see the rest of this amusing article, go here!

Source :     Golf Digest

Pictures : Arturo Pardavila III  Wil C. Fry  Golf Digest

 

Check out these crazy golf moments of 2015!

As the end of 2015 nears, we’re seeing a lot of ‘Bests’ in golf articles for the past year. How about some of the funniest and also crazy golf moments? Thanks to Golfing World Slice for this compilation of very funny and, downright scary, moments from 2015. One surprise…the last one, my favorite, is neither funny or scary!   Source : Golfing World Slice Pictures : deltaart

10 Day Countdown to 2016! Top 10 Stories of 2015!

 There are 10 days left until January 1st, 2016.  So here are the top 10 stories that made headlines in 2015.  We start with Patrick Reed who seems to have controversy follow him like his shadow!  There are some people who just always seem to put their foot in their mouth too often.  And of course there are the allegations of cheating and stealing that Patrick vehemently denies.  I think this saga is not over and will spill into 2016.  Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway  of Back9Network for this piece!
With just 10 days remaining in 2015, Back9Network.com is counting down the top-10 golf stories of 2015, one per day until New Years Eve. Here, at No. 10, is The Patrick Reed Saga.  By the end of 2014, Patrick Reed had already made himself a household name amongst golf fans. At 24 years of age, the two-time National Champion at Augusta State had won three times on the PGA Tour, including a World Golf Championship event at Doral, after which he declared himself to be a top-five player in the world.
Certainly a top newsmaker in 2014 for his performance on the course, by early 2015 Reed was a top-tier player in the world, but made news — and our list — for other reasons. Reed’s comments served as a line in the sand for many fans. Those who appreciated his confidence and candor flocked to Reed, while more traditional and reserved fans preferred that Reed let his clubs do the talking. Fast forward a few months and Reed was back in the news, first at the Ryder Cup where he played well and famously shushed the crowd and later in the fall in China when he berated himself for missing a putt by using a gay slur.
To read the rest of the Patrick Reed story, go here! 
Source :  Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway   Back9Network
Pictures : Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway   Back9Network   http://www.goteamreed.com/team-reed/

How Golf Saved a 26 Year old Autistic Man and His Family!

I have been very aware of Autism and its effects on a family ever since Ernie Els’ son was diagnosed.  Ernie has done a lot to bring awareness about this condition and I have read several stories of how golf can give autistic people a sense of peace and belonging.  I’ve just read an article published by Golf Digest about a 26 year old autistic man who has found a place where he feels the happiest – the golf course!  What an inspiring story.  Makes me so proud to be part of a sport that can do such wonders for people!  
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Golf is the only outdoor activity the Kochheisers can do together. Photo by Kenneth M. Ruggiano

After three girls, we were excited to be having a boy. Our house was so happy and chaotic then, that it wasn’t until Jason turned 3 that we suspected anything was wrong. So what if he wasn’t talking yet? Maybe he was just being polite.

Autism. My husband, Denny, and I cried the night we got the diagnosis. After looking it up in the encyclopedia (this was pre-Internet), we worked into the morning condensing three years of home movies into a 13-minute clip for the doctor, who wanted a history. What had been under our noses suddenly was clear. The obsessive-compulsive behavior, the tics, the regression, the mystery unwrapped like the presents Jason wouldn’t on Christmas morning.

We saw countless doctors. Our bookshelves filled with three-ring binders as we tried therapy after therapy (toilet training took years). Then, when Jason turned 14, the seizures started. Two years later we had to pull him from school when he started becoming aggressive.

To make a long story short, as they say, we didn’t cure Jason. He’s now 26 but cognitively remains an 18-month-old, and forever will. He doesn’t speak but has sounds for certain things that we understand. Quite simply, he’s still our baby, but in the body of a man. In fact, he’s quite handsome. At stop signs I’ll catch young women in other cars flirting with him, which always gives me a sad smile.

Friends have hinted there are facilities, but Jason will always live with us. If he were ever mistreated by anyone, he couldn’t communicate it.

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To read the rest of this inspiring story, go here!

Source : Golf Digest

Pictures : Kenneth M. Ruggiano    iFireDesign  hepingting

How to get maximum distance out of your ball in cold weather?

With the onset of winter, some of you will be putting your clubs in the closet until March or April.  However, there are some who live on the fringes. People who live in states without snow  but with chilly temperatures.  Here is some sage advice from David Dusek from Golfweek, about golf balls and their performance in cold weather.
This week, David Dusek answers a reader’s question about how cold weather effects how well golf ball perform. https://youtu.be/zmwqquTXqSw
Source :Golfweek Mag  David Dusek

Feherty talks about his past, and wonders “Why am I alive?”

Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s David Feherty was one of the best golfers ever to come out of Northern Ireland.  Some people handle success differently than others.  David found pleasure in alcohol and drugs, and he has never shied away from admitting his use of them.  In a most honest and revealing interview with Stayton Bonner of Rolling Stone Magazine, David tells of his demons and who was responsible for helping him get to where he is today!  
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David Feherty has done it all – and lived to tell about it. PRNewsFoto/Hyundai/Getty
Next year, golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time in more than a century – and a Vandyke-bearded bipolar alcoholic who sometimes covers PGA tournaments while dressed like a pirate will be doing the play-by-play. “I’ve never been sure about the whole drug-testing aspect of the Olympics,” says David Feherty, 57, a former European Tour player from Northern Ireland whose training regimen once included weed, cocaine and a daily dose of 40 Vicodin and two and a half bottles of whiskey. “If they come up with a drug that helps you play golf better, I am going to be so pissed – I looked for that for years.”
In the staid world of pro golf, Feherty is a smart, funny wild card whose cult celebrity is transcending the sport. He covers PGA tournaments while describing a player as having “a face like a warthog stung by a wasp” on live TV, does standup, writes bestselling novels and hosts a Golf Channel show where he gets guests like Bill Clinton and Larry David to open up about their games and lives. Feherty’s secret? Sober since 2005, he’s now got nothing to hide. “One of the advantages of having a fucked-up life is that other people are more comfortable telling you about theirs,” he says. “I see from a different side of the street than most people.” Born on the outskirts of Belfast, Feherty turned pro at 18 and quickly embraced the European Tour’s hard-living lifestyle. In 1986, after winning the Scottish Open in Glasgow, he went on a bender and awoke two days later on a putting green 150 miles away – alongside Led Zeppelin’s road manager, with no recollection of getting there or what happened to his silver trophy. Once while playing in the Swedish Open, he went out for a drink and arose the next day in Denmark. “After that, I always kept $600 in my wallet,” he says, “because that’s exactly what it cost me to get back to the golf club just in time to miss my starting time.” After a middling pro career, he became a PGA Tour commentator in 1997, eventually moving to Dallas, raising a family, getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder and sobering up. An insomniac who still struggles with depression – “I get overwhelmed by sadness several times a day and spend a lot of time in tears” – Feherty has managed to achieve success by channeling his restlessness into his work. “I now take 14 pills a day – antidepressants, mood stabilizers and amphetamines,” he says. “The Adderall is enough to tear most people off the ceiling, but I can take a nap.” For Feherty, 2016 will be a turning point. After 19 years working as a commentator for CBS, he’ll move to NBC – a transition that allows him to take his talent beyond the fairways. In addition to the Olympics, he’ll cover the international Ryder Cup and other tournaments while continuing to host his talk show – and is even looking to conquer new sports.
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Feherty at the Greenbrier Classic in 2011. Chris Condon/PGA/Getty
“Remember Fred Willard in Best in Show?” he asks. “If there’s a place somewhere for a golf analyst where no technical knowledge is required, I would love to jump in – I just want to be challenged again.” As he prepares for the next chapter in his improbable career, Feherty spoke to Rolling Stone about partying like a rock star, cultivating his rumpled mystique and changing the face of golf. A lot of musicians are also avid golfers – why do you think that is? So many musicians play golf, especially people in rock & roll, but most of them use golf as an alternative to drugs and alcohol. I think for addicts, spare time is their worst enemy. And you know, golf takes up time – actually it’s one of the problems with the game, but it works in our favor. Speaking of, there’s lot of talk these days about trying to make golf faster, to attract younger viewers and get more people playing. Does the sport need to change to survive? Golf has always gone against the image that it’s for rich white men, and to a certain extent, it is, but before Sam Snead it was a bunch of twitty old duffers smoking pipes and wearing jackets. Sam Snead really made it look like an athletic pastime. Arnold Palmer kind of started the modern era – he made it sexy back in the ’50s and ’60s. And Tiger Woods reinvented the game. We’re seeing the effect of that now, with these youngsters that have come up – Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth and Jason Day and Rickie Fowler, and dozens more of these colorful characters – they were 9, 10, 11 years old when Tiger Woods was on his feet, and they’re making the game cool again. Golf reinvents itself every 20 or 30 years or so. Thirty years ago, you won the Scottish Open – then woke up two days later on a green alongside Led Zeppelin’s former road manager. Can you tell the story there? Well, I won the 1986 Scottish Open and it seemed like a good idea. That was back when I was really just getting into not just golf and being successful, but the rush of performing in front of a bunch of people and applause and adulation. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m bipolar and it was something to deal with the strangeness in my life. I got addicted to pain killers fairly early. You know, “comfortably numb,” as Pink Floyd put it. And that’s where I needed to be at the time. And I’m Northern Irish, so I remember the last physical I had with my doctor where alcohol became a problem. He looked at the numbers and said, “Hey, have you ever thought about getting help?” And I said, “No, I can drink it all by myself.”
To read the entire article, go here! Source : Rolling Stone Magazine.  Stayton Bonner Pictures : PRNewsFoto/Hyundai/Getty   Chris Condon/PGA/Getty   David Cannon/Getty