Who are the Highest Paid Golfers in the Game? Some might surprise you!

This list put together by Golf Digest, shows just how uneven the playing field is for men and women golfers!  When a golfer like Jason Dufner (who is no slouch on the golf course) is ahead of World #1 Lydia Ko in earnings, that is just wrong!  Folks, start watching the LPGA Tour on TV and you will find these women can really play!  Just as exciting and competitive as the men.

For the first 12 years of the Golf Digest 50 all-encompassing money list, Tiger Woods was No. 1, usually by a wide margin. But reduced play because of injuries and the loss of more than half a dozen A-list endorsement partners after the 2009 scandal caught up to him in 2016, when he fell to No. 3 behind Jordan Spieth and Mickelson. This year, Woods is No. 4 behind Rory McIlroy, Arnold Palmer and Mickelson.

10.) GARY PLAYER

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9.) ADAM SCOTT

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8.) JASON DAY

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7.) DUSTIN JOHNSON

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6.) JACK NICKLAUS

Source: Golf Digest
Pictures: Golf Digest

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Captains Picks!

For a Team Captain, picking players who have not made the team on merit is a daunting task.  It’s one of those situations where if the pick plays well you look like a genius and if they don’t you look like an idiot!  There have been some picks just like that throughout the years of team play.  People tend to frown on choices where the player is a good friend of the captain, but when Tom Watson picked friend Raymond Floyd, Ray played great and made Tom look good.  Poor Lanny Watkins got all sorts of criticism when Curtis Strange lost all his matches after Lanny picked his buddy in 1995!   Thanks to   of Golf Digest for putting this interesting list together.  We all love the Ryder, Presidents, and Solheim Cup matches, and some of these pictures brought back great memories, even in the years the USA lost!
Davis Love III’s selections (so far) have been pretty conventional, but that hasn’t always been the case with captain’s picks through the years.

Raymond Floyd (1993 Ryder Cup)

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Curtis Strange (1995 Ryder Cup)

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Paul Azinger (2000 Presidents Cup)

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Source :    Golf Digest
Pictures : Golf Digest

Inbee Park is the best putter, male or female, in the world. Period!

Inbee Park is the best putter, male or female, in the world. Period!  Her display of putting over the last few years has put her in a class of her own when it comes to the flat stick.  Bring on Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth or Jason Day, this girl will beat them all!  Her recent display at the Rio Olympics has silenced even her harshest critics. Thanks to Golf Digest you can now have insight into how she does it and incorporate it into your game.  
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Getty ImagesRIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 19: Inbee Park of Korea on the 4th green during the third round of the Women’s Individual Stroke Play golf on day 14 of the Rio Olympics at the Olympic Golf Course on August 19, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Injuries and fine seasons from some of the LPGA’s other younger stars might have made you forget about Inbee Park, but her performance at the Olympics brought the 28-year-old’s talent back into focus.

Despite sitting out the previous two months because of a thumb injury, Park put on a ball-striking and putting display in Rio. She made almost 100 feet of birdie putts on Sunday on the way to shooting a 66–which put her five shots clear of silver medalist Lydia Ko.

You might not be able to conjure up tour-caliber ball-striking, but you can copy one of Park’s key putting fundamentals to get some of the seven-time major champions’ ball rolling magic.

“Inbee Park is one of the best putters in the world–on any tour–because of her body connection,” says top New Jersey teacher Bill Schmedes III, who is based at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster. “It starts at address, and it continues through the stroke.”

To find out more about how to incorporate Inbee Park’s putting stroke into your game, go here!

Source : Golf Digest

Pictures : Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The Women’s Olympic Golf Competition looks stronger than the men’s!

Today kicks off the Olympic Women’s Golf Competition, and on paper looks to be even more exciting than the Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose showdown we saw on Sunday!  Team Korea looks very hard to beat, but I’ll be pulling for Team USA. (obviously)  Thanks so much to  of Golf Digest for breaking this down for us!

If you paid attention to even one minute of the Olympic men’s golf coverage last week, you probably know that Justin Rose won the first golf gold medal in 112 years. But you probably don’t know that someone will end an even longer drought on the women’s side this week. American Margaret Abbott is the only woman ever to win the Olympic golf competition, doing so in 1900. Abbott was also the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Well, sort of.

Abbott actually took home a porcelain bowl for winning the nine-hole event in Paris, because there were no Olympic gold medals yet. Bummer. But fast forward 116 years and we’ll finally see another Olympic champ in women’s golf. And to prepare for the tournament, here are seven other things you actually need to know.

1. The women’s field is much stronger than the men’s. Whereas six of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking didn’t play in the men’s event, the top nine players in the Rolex Ranking (which uses a similar calculation) will tee it up in Rio this week. That number would be even more stout, but No. 10, Ha Na Jang, wasn’t eligible because she was only ranked fifth among South Korean women. Further evidence of the strength of this week’s 60-woman field is how much more valuable this tournament is worth. Whereas the men’s event actually awarded fewer world ranking points than the Travelers Championship the week prior, there are a lot more points at stake for the women.

A hectic summer schedule was part of the reason for poor attendance on the men’s side, but the women are in the midst of arguably an even busier stretch of golf. With the U.S. Women’s Open, Women’s British Open and next month’s Evian Championship, the Olympics competition sits in between three majors in a two-month stretch. Plus, there was also last month’s International Crown in which most of the top players competed. By the way, unlike the men’s event, the Olympic women’s golf competition starts on Wednesday and ends on Saturday to avoid Sunday’s closing ceremony. Again, the tournament ends on Saturday, NOT Sunday. Set your DVRs accordingly, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

3. South Korea is the only country sending four players. South Korea is the U.S. of the women’s competition, sending the maximum number of golfers. The team is led by Inbee Park, although her status is a bit up in the air after an injured left thumb forced her to sit out the past two majors and the International Crown. As mentioned, the race to make the South Korean team was so competitive that Ha Na Jang, currently ranked 10th in the world, didn’t qualify. Neither did World No. 12 So Yeon Ryu, No. 13 Sung Hyun Park, and No. 16 Bo-Mee Lee. Not a bad B-squad.

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

Source :   Golf Digest

Pictures : Getty Images

8 Huge Improvements for Golf in the 2020 Olympics! Love # 5.

Although I found the 2016 Olympic Golf Competition exciting and a great success for golf, some changes can enhance the competition to make the next one more spectacular.   of Golf Digest has some terrific ideas to make golf at the 2020 Olympics an even bigger spectacle!  Definitely food for thought for the next USA Olympic Committee!  Although I don’t like #3, as implementing an age limit would not only get some pushback, it is downright discriminatory!  

Despite its nightmarish pre-tournament narrative, the 2016 Olympic golf competition went as well as organizers could have hoped. The field seemed ingrained in the Summer Games experience, the Sunday leaderboard was littered with popular names and the tournament drew sold-out galleries. While the ultimate barometer of success will be the metabolism of golf in countries foreign to the game, the early returns on the Rio experience earned a thumbs-up review.

Which is not to say the tournament isn’t in need of tweaking. While golf’s long-term Olympic involvement will be decided in 2017, the sport will be a part of the Summer Games in Tokyo. Here are 8 changes we’d like to see for the 2020 Olympic golf tournament:

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A decongested PGA Tour schedule

One of the reasons why many of golf’s best passed on Brazil concerned the jammed PGA Tour calendar, accentuated by the British Open and PGA Championship separated by just nine days. Spreading the majors out not only lessens players’ mental load, but also subtracts an excuse for bowing out of the Summer Games. Our proposal:

— Move the Memorial so it takes place on…drum roll…Memorial Day weekend.

— The U.S. Open jumps to the second week of June, with the British Open ending the second weekend of July.

— The Olympics, which run from July 24th to August 9th, holds its men’s golf competition in the second week of the Games, with the women kicking off the proceedings in week one.

— The PGA Championship goes to the last week of August, a date that manages to miss the beginning of football season.

The FedEx Cup begins in September, and we’re erasing the bye week between the BMW Championship and Tour Championship, instead giving the players a week’s rest between Atlanta and the Ryder Cup.

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Bigger field

Before the mass withdrawal by golf’s preeminent figures became the overriding storyline, the Olympic tournament’s format drew the most criticism. As a refresher, here were the parameters that shaped the 2016 Olympic field: no more than four players in the top 15 from any one country can qualify; after the top 15, a maximum of two players can qualify per country; host country Brazil is guaranteed a spot.

This construction presents a few hurdles: chiefly, it limits the depth, even on the top level, of the entrants. For example, 13 of the top 22 players in the world are American, keeping talent like Brooks Koepka on the outside looking in. This issue is better illustrated on the women’s side, where South Korea accounts for half of the world’s top 30. Make no mistake, organizers emphatically want this tournament to be considered in a major light. To do that, it needs to get more of the top 30-40 players, no matter their country affiliation, involved.

That won’t come at the expense of others. Representatives from countries not often seen on golf’s biggest stages – think China, Mexico, Bangladesh — will still have a spot in the tournament. The entry of the top 30-40 players merely strengthens and deepens the field. The augments the Olympic field from 60 players — about 40 percent the size of a normal PGA Tour event — to the 80-90 range, instantly adding credibility and viability to the tournament.

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R&A via Getty Images

Age limit

Admittedly, this will likely receive the biggest pushback. However, other sports — most notably, basketball — are considering putting age restrictions on Olympic athletes. The age ceiling is not intended to discriminate: as Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Marcus Fraser proved, the old guys can pack a punch. Rather, the idea is to use the international dais to highlight young guns and fledgling talent that’s projected to be a factor in the sport for years to come. No offense to Stenson, who’s the hottest player in golf the past five weeks, but he does have a sooner-rather-than-later expiration date.

Youth won’t necessarily equate to a better show; in the same vein, it’s an easier sell to casual or fringe fans. While that marketing spiel might be tough to swallow, it’s a very real reality golf, and all athletics, have to face.

Source :    Golf Digest

How Brooke Henderson can improve your golf without changing your swing!

To say that golf is in great hands is an understatement!  And young hands at that!  We have Spieth, Day, Fowler and McIlroy and more exhibiting great sportsmanship along with their stellar play, on the PGA Tour.  But the women on the LPGA Tour are furthering their own brand of spectacular golf and winning with a joyful, yet humble demeanor.  Great examples include Lydia Ko, who applauded when opponent Brooke Henderson holed the winning put in the Women’s PGA Championship ad also, Henderson herself.  This young Canadian displays quiet confidence, rather than self-congratulatory fist pumps.  Brooke also never fails to acknowledge the caddies and volunteers.  Thanks to John Haime of Golfwrx for this insightful article on the state of women’s golf!
Copy Brooke Henderson. No, don’t copy her swing or her putting stroke (but that may not be a bad idea either); copy her attitude, because the wonderful self-expression and joy she brings to the game is worth celebrating and showcasing for young players … or any player. Young golfers today look to Jason Day, Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy (for obvious reasons), but they may want to model their attitudes after the 18-year-old Canadian on the LPGA Tour. Brooke Henderson seems to have a great recipe for both enjoying the game, remaining humble and playing some pretty spectacular golf that is generating great results. In a time where everything seems to be overstated, Brooke Henderson won the Women’s PGA Championship in an understated manner. No fist pumping, no running around, no over-the-top drama: just hitting shots like she is capable of, enjoying the experience, connecting with the audience and matter-of-factly finishing at the top of the leaderboard.

No Fear

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Photo Credit: Joe McLean, Flagstick Golf Magazine/FlagstickGolf.com
Fear is a major interference in golf. We can look forward and consider all of the “what ifs” that could potentially happen, and most of the what ifs you might consider don’t have a positive effect on your game. Then there’s bringing the past forward. The tendency is to bring those things that really didn’t work out to the present moment, and those thoughts and feelings don’t help. Brooke Henderson plays without fear. As an example, while most players at the recent Women’s PGA Championship highlighted the narrowness of the Sahalee fairways and that drivers wouldn’t be the play, Henderson stated to the media early in the week that driver would be the play for her. It’s her strength, and narrow fairways would not be a problem, she said. In a very self-aware manner, similar to Dustin Johnson in the U.S. Open, she used her driving as a weapon at the PGA, played to all of her strengths, leveraged her advantages and fully expressed herself. In a recent interview, Henderson was asked about nerves and anxiety and her response was: “I used to get a bit nervous but then thought, ‘What’s the point of that, really?’” Makes sense, doesn’t it? What was most refreshing about Henderson and watching her win the PGA was the overall environment she creates within herself: a relaxed joy that produces great smiles after good shots, some disappointment after bad ones and a self-awareness that she understands her unique abilities and uses them. There was also a complete clarity following the winning putt in the playoff. She was determined to congratulate playing competitor Lydia Ko with a genuine embrace and acknowledge caddies and volunteers. To learn from Brook Henderson on how to become a better player through a better attitude, go here! Source : John Haime   Golfwrx Pictures : Joe McLean  Scott MacLeod  Flagstick Golf Magazine

The 10 Biggest Blowups on the PGA and LPGA Tour!

Entering the final round of a PGA or LPGA Tour event, you know there is going to be drama somewhere on the back 9.  Particularly if the leader is in that position for the first time in his/her career.  It’s tough to win on Tour, but closing out that first victory or first Major Championship is even more challenging. (just ask Phil, Rory, Greg, and Jordan)   of Golf Digest has put together a great list of the top 10 blowups in PGA and LPGA Tour history.  Enjoy!
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MAMARONECK, NY – JUNE 18: Phil Mickelson stands on the 18th green after his last putt in the final round of the 2006 US Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club on June 18,
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in Mamaroneck, New York. Geoff Ogilvy won the championship by one stroke. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour Twitter account routinely posts a “Golf is hard” segment, in which bad shots are showcased. The idea is that, hey, those chunks and slices and three-putts that are prevalent among us amateurs? It happens to the pros, too.

And no player has personified this stance like Kevin Na at the 2011 Texas Open.

At the ninth hole at TPC San Antonio, Na lost his drive into the woods, a shot which, while rare, is not unheard of in the top ranks. What garnered attention was the next shot — and the shot after that, and the shot after that, and the shot after that:

The final damage for Na was a 16. Frankly, the fact that he finished his round with an 80 is astonishing.

You’ll see that highlight at some point during this week’s coverage of the Valero Texas Open, which got us thinking: What are the worst single-hole blow-ups in golf history?

Yes, Na’s misadventures were the thing of nightmares, but it also came during his first round. For our list, we compiled meltdowns at critical moments, as the heightened stakes amplified the severity of the collapses. Moreover, we limited the field to just the last 20 years. Keeping those parameters in mind, here are the picks for the biggest single-hole disasters:

Jean Van de Velde, 1999 British Open

The English vernacular can’t properly capture the Grand Canyon’s majesty or the orotund beauty of Adele; these entities need to be seen, felt, experienced. The same applies to the glorious mess of van de Velde’s 72nd hole at Carnoustie:

Dustin Johnson, 2010 U.S. Open

Mishaps don’t have to come at the finale to submarine a round, as Johnson proved at Pebble Beach. DJ’s one-shot Saturday lead quickly evaporated on Sunday thanks to a triple on the second hole. An ensuing double at the third booted Johnson from the leader board, and he eventually finished in a tie for eighth.

Sergio Garcia, 2013 Players Championship

Sergio’s game is filled with numerous attributes. The “clutch” gene is not one of them.

Garcia was tied for the Sunday lead heading into TPC Sawgrass’ infamous par-3 17th. The Spaniard put his tee shot in the drink; his drop attempt fared no better:

Garcia left the island green with a quadruple bogey. He would also double the final hole, giving the 2013 tournament to Tiger Woods.

To see the rest of these spectacular blowup holes on the PGA and LPGA Tour, go here!

Source :   Golf Digest

Pictures : Getty Images

A PGA and LPGA Alliance makes so much sense!

This is the most exciting news I have heard in a long time.  Talk of an alliance between the PGA and LPGA Tours!  Here are some of the huge benefits:  Cost of covering one tournament instead of 2, the LPGA benefits from the PGA Tour’s strength in advertising. Plus, people can attend a tournament and see both PGA and LPGA players at the same venue.  And, I think the crowds will be larger.  Would love to see Jessica Korda and Jason Day paired together! Thaks so much to GOLF DIGEST and  Ron Sirak for this interesting story.  I cannot wait! Jessica-Korda-power-keys-intro6346156101_189176cfbe_z-250x200
Imagine this: A mixed-team, better-ball, match-play event in which Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson meet Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko in the globally televised final of what would be an official PGA Tour and LPGA tournament. While the logistics of pulling off such an event would have enormous obstacles, last Friday’s announcement that the PGA Tour and the LPGA have entered into “a long-term, written strategic alliance” is reason to believe it might be part of golf’s future.
To read the rest of this very exciting news, go here! Source: GOLF DIGEST   Ron Sirak Pictures: THANANUWAT SRIRASANT/GETTY IMAGES (THOMPSON); DAVID CANNON/GETTY IMAGES (FOWLER)   (Korda)  Hone Morihana (Jason Day)
 

Golf Fan should have been Wearing a Cup? Ouch!

I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie Gulbis in 2014 when she was a representative for a large group of courses in the Myrtle Beach SC area.  Natalie visited Pawleys Plantation, which she called her ‘home away from home’ and which has hosted my golf school for the last 25 years. After a full day of filming promos and sharing our favorite golf jokes, I decided that Natalie was a truly charming LPGA Professional.  However….I did not take a nap in her presence! Check out the way my sweet Natalie wakes up a napping golf fan in the bleachers!
Watch the beautiful pro golfer Natalie Gulbis hit some poor schmuck (me) sleeping in the stands during a practice round with a golf ball. Amazing shot!
Source : Bill Von Fumetti  

5 Day Countdown to 2016. US Solheim Cup Win!

Continuing our theme of counting down the top 10 stories in golf for 2015 we get to #5.  The 2015 Solheim Cup had everything an event organizer would ever want.  Great competition, drama because of a rules violation, and an unbelievable comeback by the US team! This was a great week for women’s golf throughout the world!
Twitter/@MyGolfNews
 With less than 10 days remaining in 2015, Back9Network.com is counting down the top-10 golf stories of 2015, one per day until New Years Eve. The stories’ place on this list are a result of a criteria set forth by the writer based upon the impact each had on the golf world this year. Here, at No. 5, The United States’ Comeback Solheim Cup Win. 
In non-Ryder Cup years, the Presidents Cup or Walker Cup usually claims the majority of the headlines as far as international team competitions go, but in 2015, no team event had the drama, controversy or final-day theatrics of the Solheim Cup. Among the three main professional biennial events, the Solheim was already the most evenly contested in recent years with the United States and Europe both having won four a piece since 2000. But 2015′s Cup would elevate the women’s answer to the Ryder Cup to a new level. Taking place at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, just south of Heidelberg, Germany, the opening day’s morning foursomes matches were split, 2-2. Europe took a two-point lead in the afternoon and a four-point lead after Saturday’s morning session. With just two sessions remaining — afternoon four-ball and Sunday singles — the Cup looked to be staying with Europe for the third straight time, until Gimmegate early Sunday morning.
Allison Lee’s incorrect picking up of her par putt on the 17th hole against Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull cost the U.S. the hole and eventually, the match. More than anything, what it did was give the American’s something to rally around. Even with Lee and Brittany Lincicome losing a point, the fourth session matches were split, 2-2, giving the the U.S. an outside chance of a Sunday afternoon comeback, a la the Miracle at Medinah.
To read the rest of this exciting event, go here! Source : Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway   Back9Network Pictures : Twitter/@MyGolfNews    Keith Allison