Posts Tagged ‘Golf News’

Are golfers finally improving - and if so why?

Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Back in the mid-’90s, I read an article that said golfers were not getting better, despite the advances in equipment design, instruction, and course condition.  Well, that data has either been wrong all along or has changed dramatically over the last 25 years.  Recent studies answer the age-old questions “Are golfers finally improving?” Thanks to  of Golf Digest for providing this significant insight!

Golfers are better than they were 25 years go.

It’s not just theory, it’s fact. Forgetting for a moment who among you is sandbagging and who’s toting around a vanity handicap, the data on handicaps from the US Golf Association makes one thing clear: Golfers not only are getting better, they may be getting better at their sport than any other group of athletes are getting at theirs.

This bold statement isn’t originally mine. I was having an email exchange with former USGA Senior Technical Director Dick Rugge, when listening to the recent Hot List podcast. When there was a suggestion that golfers really haven’t improved despite all the advances in technology.  Rugge, who often talked about the subject of handicap trends during his tenure at the USGA, told me about some handicap data that suggested just the opposite.

A quick call to the USGA confirmed that very fact. In the last 25 years, the average USGA handicap for a man has improved nearly two full strokes, from 16.3 to 14.4. For women, the improvement is no less impressive, dropping from 29.7 in 1991 to 26.1 in 2016.

Are golfers finally improving and if so, why?

Access to great golf courses has helped bring more golfers into the game.

Pictures: Golf Digest   Chun Xia
 
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Is "The Curse" in sports a legitimate entity?

Is “The Curse” in sports a legitimate entity?

Is “The Curse” in sports a legitimate entity?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Every sports team and player has had to endure “The Curse” at some time or another.  The Boston Red Socks come to mind with the “Babe Ruth Curse” and of course the ever-lovable Chicago Cubs, who finally broke the curse in 2016.  Another drought ended in Chicago just a couple of weeks later when the Irish Rugby team beat the New Zealand All Blacks for the first time EVER.  109 years to be exact!   So is “the curse” a legitimate thing and who imposes the curse?   of Golf Digest gives us the top 11 players on the PGA and LPGA Tours who have still to beat their particular curse.

Is “The Curse” in sports a legitimate entity?

With the Chicago Cubs finally winning their first World Series title in 108 years, a look at some of the most dramatic droughts in golf history.

Is "The Curse" in sports a legitimate entity?

2006 at Winged Foot!

1. Phil Mickelson at the U.S. Open

Is "The Curse" in sports a legitimate entity?

1939 US Open at Philadelphia CC.

2. Sam Snead at the U.S. Open

Is "The Curse" in sports a legitimate entity?

1977 US Open 

3. Nancy Lopez at the U.S. Women’s Open

 

 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews.

4. The Calendar Grand Slam

Is "The Curse" in sports a legitimate entity?

Another missed opportunity at Augusta National!

 

5.Greg Norman at the Masters

To see the rest of golf’s top curses, go here!
 
Pictures: Getty Images 
 
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Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

As  T.J. Auclair of PGA.com mentions in his opening statement,  this was an impossible task.  Whatever he chooses and in what order will always bring the critics.  “You left out so and so”  “So and so should have been ahead of so and so.”  But he did it, and in my humble opinion did a great job.  As a golf professional for over 50 years, I found this article on golf’s greatest achievements a compelling read.  Thanks!

Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

I’ve been tasked with the impossible: Ranking golf’s 9 greatest achievements, in order. How do you even do that?

Who is this schmuck to decide which is better than the other when just about any one of us would dine on a haggis-only diet every day for the rest of our lives to have accomplished just one of them?

With the realization that ranking these achievements in an order all of us could agree on, is nearly as difficult as reaching just one of the feats that follow. As I run to take cover, here goes nothing…

Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

9. Jim Furyk’s 12-under 58.

OK. If I’m being honest, it felt dirty putting the number “9” in front of this entry. One, because Furyk is the only player in PGA Tour history to accomplish such a feat. Two, before shooting that number this past Sunday at TPC River Highlands (a par 70) in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship, he was the last player on Tour to shoot a 59. He did that on On September 13, 2013, at Conway Farms (12 under since the course was a par 71) in the second round of the BMW Championship. So why is this just No. 9 even though it’s something that had never happened before on the PGA Tour? I guess the only logical explanation is because it’s so new.

Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

8. Jack Nicklaus’ 19 runner-up finishes in the majors.

Some may argue that this isn’t necessarily an “achievement” since it didn’t result in victory. I’d argue that there’s an exception to every rule and this is one of them because of the man we’re talking about. Nicklaus — the winningest major champion of all time (more on that later) — also has more runner-up finishes than any player in the game’s history. That’s almost unfathomable. As ridiculous as this sounds — and no less than 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III pointed out recently — Nicklaus could be considered the most snake-bitten golfer of all time based on that stat. The next-most runner-up finishes in majors? That would be 11 by Phil Mickelson. Back to Nicklaus — 18 major championship wins and 19 times a runner up. Think about that.

Naming the greatest achievements in the history of golf!

7- Oldest to win a PGA Tour event, the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open, at 52 years, 10 months and 8 days.

– By winning the 1960 De Soto Open Invitational, Snead became the first player to win PGA Tour titles in four different decades (since matched by Raymond Floyd).

– Oldest player to make the cut at a major: age 67 years, 2 months, 7 days at the 1979 PGA Championship.

– First PGA Tour player to shoot his age with a 67 in the second round of the 1979 Quad Cities Open.

– Oldest player to make a cut on the PGA Tour: age 67 years, 2 months, 21 days at the 1979 Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic.

– Only player to post a top-10 finish in at least one major championship in five different decades.

6. Francis Ouimet wins the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

This wasn’t just an amazing singular accomplishment. It was also the reason for a golf boom in the United States. When Ouimet won the national championship as a 20-year-old amateur (on his home course, no less), he became the “father of amateur golf” in the United States by taking down the likes of famous, accomplished professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. When you think of American golf legends, you think of names like Jones, Nelson, Hogan, Nicklaus, Palmer, Woods. Keep in mind, Ouimet was the first “hero” in American golf.

To see the rest of golf’s most amazing achievements in history, go here!

Source:  T.J. Auclair  PGA.com

Pictures: USA Today Sports Images   Keith Allison   Ed Balaun (supergolfdude)   Secret in the Dirt   Kheel Center

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How Augusta National Almost hosted Olympic Golf in 1996!

How Augusta National Almost hosted Olympic Golf in 1996!

How Augusta National Almost hosted Olympic Golf in 1996!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Here is a very interesting story of how August National almost hosted Golf for the 1996 Olympic Games.  But even the might of Payne Stewart and Billy Payne could not overcome one woman’s objection.  Find out what that was.  Thanks to   of Golf Digest for this breaking story!

Rio Olympics.

If you’ve been at all following golf’s inclusion in the Rio Olympics, you likely know that the sport has returned after a 112-year absence. What you might not know, however, is how golf almost returned two decades ago. Or that the potential course was not some hastily constructed new layout, but the most celebrated venue in golf.

A brief refresher: After succeeding in bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta, Billy Payne, then the head of the Atlanta Games organizing committee, turned his attention to making golf an Olympic sport. Better yet, he got then Augusta National chairman Jackson Stephens (at this point, Payne, now Augusta National’s chairman, was not even a club member) to agree that Augusta National should be the host venue. Payne’s promise of delivering both the best players in the world and the storied venue was enough to persuade International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch to get on board with the idea as well.

How Augusta National Almost hosted Olympic Golf in 1996!

Arnold Palmer hitting the opening tee shot at the 2015 Masters.

In October 1992, Payne and Stephens held an outdoor announcement at Augusta National, where, according to a follow-up story in Golf Digest, “Augusta National gave trinkets adorned with the familiar Augusta National logo, but featuring the five Olympic rings inside the Augusta flag.”

To find out why Augusta was not chosen to host the Olympic golf in 1996, go here!

Source:    Golf Digest

Pictures: Getty Images

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Entertaining stories about Phil “The Thrill” Mickelson.

Entertaining stories about Phil “The Thrill” Mickelson.
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
 
Phil Mickelson loves to gamble.  You just have to watch him play to know that!  So it comes as no surprise that he likes to gamble at golf, table tennis, or even trick shots on the golf course.  Read the entire article by  of Golf Digest to learn about the amazing shot Phil “The Thrill” Mickelson played to collect all the cash!
Entertaining stories about Phil "The Thrill" Mickelson.
 

We’ve heard some great golf gambling stories involving Phil Mickelson through the years. There’s the time he schooled Paul Azinger. The time he tricked Nick Watney into paying off a wager in pounds instead of dollars. Even the time he bet a fan (and lost) he could get up and down from a particularly bad lie.

But this one, courtesy of Golf Magazine’s terrific oral history of “Tin Cup,”takes the cake. It occurred during the filming of the movie, which turns 20 August 16. Here’s Cheech Marin, who played Kevin Costner’s caddie in the classic golf flick, describing what happened:

To see what really happened on this amazing bet, go here!

Source:    Golf Digest

Pictures: Golf Digest  Corn Farmer

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Are Republicans and Democrats as split on the golf course?

Are Republicans and Democrats as split on the golf course?

Are Republicans and Democrats as split on the golf course?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

It seems to me that if the Republicans come up with a good idea, the Democrats will immediately respond with negative criticism.  The same is true for the Republicans when the Democrats come up with something special.  But what about the average golfer who is either a Republican or a Democrat?  Is their thinking and behavior on the course different from one another?   of Golf Digest brings us an interesting study on the subject done by Chadly Stern, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  An interesting read!

Are Republicans and Democrats as split on the golf course?

We like to think of the golf course as a safe haven from political bickering. Sure, you might touch on the economy during a wait on the tee box, but golf itself is politically agnostic. Your weekend foursome could include people with completely different ideologies than your own and it should have no bearing on how you enjoy the game together.

Sounds great. But is that really true?

To understand how one’s political views might shape them as golfers, we conducted a survey of more than 1,000 regular players asking about a variety of topics relevant in the game — whether they walk or ride, whether they play golf for money, that sort of thing. We only asked one directly political question — whether the respondent was a Democrat or a Republican — but from that, were able to see contrasts in how members of the opposing parties answered the other questions.

“AMONG CONSERVATIVES THERE’S A TENDENCY TO GRAVITATE TOWARD NORMS AND RULES, BECAUSE RULES PRESENT STRUCTURE,” STERN SAID. “ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IS THAT TRUMP SAYS AMERICA IS IN CHAOS AND THERE’S A LOT OF VIOLENCE AND INSTABILITY AND HE’S GOING TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AND SAFE AGAIN THROUGH THE ENFORCEMENT OF RULES.”

Related: See the complete survey results here

In fact, what the survey underscored is how often one’s political leanings can be manifested in a golf setting (we’re not talking about whether you’re chronic miss is to the left or the right). And when you map the survey answers against generally acknowledged differences between the two parties, the results start to follow a trend.

“It’s a super interesting set of findings,” said Chadly Stern, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has studied and written about how one’s political ideology shapes the way they see the world. “It’s very consistent with what we know about the psychological differences between liberals and conservatives, or Democrats and Republicans.”


We should start with an important reminder.

That this was a survey of mostly avid golfers, a relatively homogenous group compared to, say, people who like music. And on some topics golfers were aligned regardless of how they voted. But most interesting is where the two parties diverge. For instance, Professor Stern was intrigued by Republicans being more inclined to follow the Rules of Golf to the letter. In his eyes, it was reflective of a conservative inclination toward structure. Taking it a step further, he could even explain why people who follow golf rules more closely would also be drawn to the candidacy of Donald Trump.

rules.pngAre Republicans and Democrats as split on the golf course?

“Among conservatives there’s a tendency to gravitate toward norms and rules, because rules present structure,” Stern said. “One of the things that people have been talking about is that Trump says America is in chaos and there’s a lot of violence and instability and he’s going to make America great and safe again through the enforcement of rules.”

A conservative partiality toward following rules and norms also explains other contrasts. Democrats had less of a problem with golfers smoking marijuana on the golf course, and while mostly opposed to golfers wearing jeans on the golf course, they were more open than their counterparts across the aisle. The gap was even wider on whether denim should be permissible in a golf clubhouse.

To see the rest of the similarities and differences of Republicans and Democrats on the golf course, go here!

Source:    Golf Digest

Pictures: Golf Digest  U.S. Embassy, Jakarta

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Things you did not know about Henrik "The Ice Man" Stenson

Things you may not know about Henrik “The Ice Man” Stenson.

Things you may not know about Henrik “The Ice Man” Stenson.

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

His nickname is not “The Ice Man” for nothing!  On Sunday afternoon he lived up to that reputation as he methodically took Royal Troon apart and finally brought the course to its knees! After a sly smile at Phil Mickelson early in the round as Phil almost holed out from off the green, he was all business and knew he had a hard task ahead.  He became a golfing machine, and put on a display of ball-striking never before seen in a Major Championship!  Thanks to  of Golf Digest for bringing us information on Henrik we otherwise would not have known!

1. His Sunday round at Troon tied major championship records

 
Things you did not know about Henrik "The Ice Man" Stenson
 

3. His wife, Emma, was a college golfer

 
Things you did not know about Henrik "The Ice Man" Stenson
 

4. He didn’t start playing golf until age 12

 
 

5. He will represent Sweden in the 2016 Olympics

 
 
 
Pictures:  Golf Digest
 
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Ted Ray was the early John Daly - They didn't throw away the mold!

Ted Ray was the early John Daly – They didn’t throw away the mold!

Ted Ray was the early John Daly – They didn’t throw away the mold!
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
 
The original triumvirate consists of Ted Ray (in the picture below), Harry Vardon (picture below), and James Braid.  The real character in that group was Ted Ray, who was an early day John Daly.  He loved to hit the ball hard, play for lots of money, and generally have a good time.  (Sound familiar?)  They don’t make them like that anymore,  says Mark Donaghy of golfwrx.com
 
Ted Ray was the early John Daly - They obviously didn't throw away the mold!

Ted Ray and Harry Vardon.

Ted Ray was a US Open & British Open Champion and remembered for being part of the playoff in 1913 with Vardon and Ouimet
An interesting look at a golf swing from 100 years ago. My question is how did they swing in coats and jackets in those days?

Colorful personalities on the professional tours have become a very rare thing these days.

Characters like Seve and John Daly came along and added a bit of personality to the Tour.  Today, Bryson DeChambeau with his Hogan hat and outlandishness is about as entertaining as it gets. It seems that the media has played a big role with golfers keeping their heads down. Showing a personality or having an opinion nearly always ends in trouble for the player. It seems that our forefathers in this game had much bigger personalities, and worried less about what the world thought of them.

Born Edward Rivers Ray in 1877, Ted was one of several top players to come from the Isle of Jersey, off the coast of England. He followed his idol Harry Vardon into professional golf, and became one of the top players of his time over a 30-year period. He was best known for his role in the 1912 U.S. Open.  Playing with Harry Vardon in a playoff along with the historic winner Francis Ouimet. You may remember Ray portrayed in the Disney movie “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” In one of the scenes, he is in a bar taking a drunken bet to drive a ball through a telephone directory, which of course, he duly obliged.

Tall and stocky, people knew Ted Ray for his prodigious power off the tee (think John Daly).

Ray had a philosophy reflected in the advice he once gave a golfer who wanted to hit the ball farther: “Hit it a bloody sight harder, mate!”

Ted Ray used to play with an attacking style (think Phil), and had to develop phenomenal recovery skills to be able to compete. (think Seve). He played with a pipe invariably clenched between his teeth, and usually wore a felt trilby hat, plus fours, waistcoat and flapping jacket, making him a good target for the cartoonists of the day. And he only had six clubs in his bag, including the driver and putter; so that only left four irons, his favorite of which was his niblick (his wedge). He made a reputation for himself for the ability to play a variety of niblick shots in a major tournament conditions  His recoveries with that club from seemingly impossible places was legendary.

Ted Ray was the early John Daly - They obviously didn't throw away the mold!

1920 US Open winner at Inverness – Ted Ray receives the trophy

To read the rest of this interesting story on Ted Ray, including video footage of his powerful swing, go here!

Source: GolfAus    Golfwrx  Mark Donaghy

Pictures: Secret in the Dirt  Golfwrx

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Tax breaks on golf – Tell me it’s true – Please!

Tax breaks on golf – Tell me it’s true – Please!
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
 
Back in the ’60s and 70’s golfers could use golf as a deduction for business purposes.  Even club memberships were a deduction.  If the rumor that golf will be considered a deduction once again, this will be HUGE, as the Donald would say.  Tax breaks on golf are definitely something that will give golf in the USA a boost that is really needed!  Thanks to Swing by Swing for this breaking story!
 
Tax breaks on golf - Tell me it's true - Please!

Trump on one of his many rounds of golf he plays year-round!

One of the biggest knocks on golf is that it is simply too expensive. From the cost of equipment to the greens fees for a round of golf, the game can put a serious dent in your checking account. 

Ryan Ballengee at Golf News Net breaks down the possibility neatly:

Source: Swing by Swing

Pictures: Twitter/@LPGA   Steve Jurvetson

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Sports Illustrated Releases 2016 Anonymous Players Poll.

Sports Illustrated Releases 2016 Anonymous Players Poll.

Sports Illustrated Releases 2016 Anonymous Players Poll.
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

If you remember, last year Sports Illustrated featured a poll that asked “Who was the most overrated golf on Tour?”  

The two most popular answers were Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter.  Rickie immediately stepped up to the plate and produced a string of victories throughout the world, including the Players Championship, and the Scottish Open to immediately silence the critics.  Ian has had a “fair” year but has not won as much as Rickie, so the verdict is still out on him!  This year the two biggest questions are “Will Tiger win again?” and “Who would you want by your side in a bar fight!”  It seems Ernie Els fits the second question quite well!  Thanks to Golf Step by Step and Sports Illustrated for this fun poll!
 
Sports Illustrated released their annual Anonymous Player Poll on Tuesday, but there wasn’t much Rickie Fowler-esque motivation to be gleaned from the 150 players’ answers. Last year, Fowler and Ian Poulter were pegged as the leading vote getters as to who were believed to be the most overrated players on Tour.

SI interviewed more than 150 players from the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and LPGA Tour.

Here are some of the most interesting responses.

Will Tiger Woods win another PGA Tour event?

PGA TOUR

Yes 42%

No 27%

Don’t know 31%

Loose Lips: “I’m optimistic, but running out of reasons.”

CHAMPIONS

Yes 72%

No 23%

Don’t know 5%

Loose Lips: “I don’t even know if he’ll play again.”

LPGA

Yes 36%

No 64%

If you were to be in a bar fight, who would you want to have your back?

PGA TOUR

Ernie Els 15%

Keegan Bradley 9%

Ángel Cabrera 7%

Pat Perez 5%

Brooks Koepka 4%

No one out here 18%

Others 42%

Loose Lips: “I’ve heard some bar stories about Ernie.”

To read the rest of the Sports Illustrated Poll, go here!

Source: Golf Step by Step   Sports Illustrated

Pictures: Twitter/@orlandosports   Dan Perry

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