Category Archives: Golf History

PGA - www.razorgator.com

Socalgolfblog’s 2016 PGA Championship Preview W/Chris Mayson Prediction

PGA - www.razorgator.com

Photo: www.razorgator.com

The PGA Tour’s major championship season began with talk of a Big Four – Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler – taking over the tour. Instead, three first-time major winners have taken home the major hardware, the latest being Henrik Stenson at the British Open.

Will one of the young guns rally this week to keep the Big Four from going 0-for-4 in majors in 2016? San Diego golf instructor Chris Mayson says yes, but you’ll have to wait a bit to find out who he likes this week at Baltusrol GC. First, here’s a look at a few storylines going into the week.

DJ - www.sportinews.com

Photo: www.sportingnews.com

DJ For POY? – Henrik Stenson is the man of the moment coming off his epic triumph at Royal Troon, but Dustin Johnson remains the hottest player on tour. After finishing in a tie for second at the Canadian Open, Johnson has now gone 5, 1, 1, T9, T2 in his last five starts, including a U.S. Open victory, and hasn’t missed a cut all year.

Talk of DJ for player of the year is stirring and he’d turn up the volume considerably with a win this week. A hot putter and an adept short game helped DJ clinch victory at the U.S. Open. His putter waned on the weekend in Canada after he never really got his game going in Scotland on a course many expected him to dominate. Which D.J. will we see this week?

Henrik putt - www.golfweek

Photo: www.golfweek.com

A British Bounce For Henrik/Phil? – After staging a duel for the ages, Stenson and Mickelson are right back on the major stage two weeks later due to a compacted Tour season to accommodate the Olympics. Mickelson, who won the last PGA at Baltusrol in 2005, is paired with 2014 PGA champion Rory McIlroy and 2015 winner Jason Day. Will Mickelson put behind what must have been an emotional recovery from finishing second at the British to muster any other championship-worthy effort? He’s got a group that can certainly go low. McIroy shot a solid 67 on Sunday to give him momentum going into the PGA.

As for Stenson, we know the ball striking will be spot on at a venue that demands it. Baltusrol has hosted seven U.S. Opens and figures to be a demanding test where hitting fairways will be at a premium. Speaking of which …

TMAG-UDI-2[1]

Photo: www.mygolfspy.com

The Driving Iron Is Back – Baltusrol is home to one of the most famous one-iron shots in golf, the one struck by Jack Nicklaus on No. 18 in 1967 that has its own plaque. For a few decades now, however, the driving iron has existed as more of a Lee Trevino punch line – search “what club should I hold up in a lightning storm” – than an equipment option. That has changed this year and you’ll notice several pros, including Day, now carrying driving irons and hitting them long and straight with ease. Here Chris Mayson explains how and why the driving iron has made a comeback:

“I’ve noticed many PGA Tour players going back to the driving iron this year. Callaway and Titleist have made very good models that are easy to hit off the tee or fairway and a lot of the guys have gone to this club for certain courses on tour.

“I believes it is a natural move away from the hybrid. I think the hybrid is fantastic utility club for everybody except the players with high swing speeds. The club companies like to make them a little closed at address to encourage a draw, and you couple this with the extra loft on the face and the best players fear the hook with a hybrid. So naturally more players have been adding a 5/6 wood or more recently a driving iron to find those tight fairways.

“The driving iron goes about 240-270 yards for the world’s top players so it is perfect for a short par 4 or tight tee shot.

“Keep an eye out at Baltusrol and I’ll bet you notice more driving irons than you thought were on Tour.”

PGA - www.wgt.com

Photo: www.wgt.com

A Unique Double Par 5 Finish – Strategically Baltusrol is the flip of Royal Troon in the respect that the front nine at Troon offered early scoring opportunities and challenged the players to hold on throughout the back. Baltusrol is the flip and uniquely closes with consecutive par 5s.
That finish will set the table for big hitters – hello, DJ – down the stretch, but they could also be digging out of a hole from not being patient on the front. Whoever manages the course and their emotions the best on the front could go a long way toward deciding who lifts the trophy on Sunday. Will it be an experienced former major champion or …

Will We See A Fourth First-Timer? – Strong performances in recent majors have some sentiment in golf circles leaning toward Lee Westwood or Sergio Garcia. Farmers Insurance Open champ Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar are also garnering favor. Trivia alert: We haven’t seen four first-timers sweep the majors since 2011. Can you name them? … Time’s up. They are Charl Schwartzel, Darren Clarke, Keegan Bradley and … the man Chris Mayson is picking this week.

Now onto Chris’ prediction and pick:

Rory - www.cbsports.com

Photo: www.cbssports.com

It’s amazing to me that the PGA championship is here already. With the Olympics added to the schedule this year it seems that all the big tournaments are slammed together and of course we are going into the FedEx Cup soon after as well.

I have heard from players on the PGA Tour that the rough is very thick at Baltusrol this year and that should add to the charm and challenge of the year’s final major. With the rain at Oakmont for the U.S. Open, it never really played as hard as the USGA intended. I am wondering if the PGA will trick up Baltusrol this year.

There have been first-time winners at each major this year without any of them really being a major surprise. But I don’t think that there will be another first-time winner at the PGA. I expect someone with a little more major experience to take this one.

Due to the extreme rough and the premium on hitting fairways I am going to keep my pick the same as for the British Open and stay with Rory McIlroy. He hasn’t won in America this year and is certainly due, and although he didn’t win at Royal Troon, he did have a very strong fifth-place finish.

He is No. 1 in strokes gained off the tee and I believe that will be the difference maker for him at Baltusrol this year. (Editor’s note, courtesy of the European Tour: In seven PGA appearances, Rory has four top 5s and two championships.)

I expect my own student, Brendan Steele, to also have a strong showing. He is a fantastic driver of the golf ball, is currently ranked 15th in strokes gained off the tee and he had a strong 15th-place finish at last year’s PGA championship at Whistling Straits. It’s a great course for him and he has been playing well all year. Enjoy the PGA and the rush finish to the major championship season.

Day

FIO 2016: Best of Jason Day at Media Day

Day

Jason Day showed on Monday he’s a champion in the interview room as well as on the golf course. The defending Farmers Insurance Open champion, and 2015 PGA Championship winner, gave a great performance for the assembled local media in advance of next week’s FIO at Torrey Pines.

Day was alternately insightful, funny and enlightening during a 20-minute group Q & A. Here’s a bit of the best from a guy who seems incredibly easy to root for:

On Jordan Spieth:

“I never thought there’d be a player you can compare to Tiger Woods, but slowly people are doing that.”

spieth

On his wife being bowled over by LeBron James at a Cleveland Cavaliers game:

“Does anyone think they could’ve stopped LeBron?”

On the related risk of being a spectator in golf:

“People take a risk. Unfortunately I’ve hit lots of people.”

The North Course vs. the South at Torrey:

“The North is where you go to make up what you lost on the South.”

torrey art

On personally predicting his first major:

“I honestly thought it was going to come at the British Open – and I even told my agent that.”

On the key to winning a tournament:

“The biggest part of winning is wanting it more than anyone else in the field.”

On the one change he would make to golf in the Olympics in 2016:

When told the media was about to play a six-hour round on the North:

“Oh God.” (laughing)

par 3

Photo post: Touring The Fazio Course At Pronghorn Golf Club

par 3

You’ll be reading more about Pronghorn later this week on the site but thought I’d start with this. This is a photo tour of the Fazio Course, the country club (private) side of Pronghorn. I didn’t get to play it, but touring it was a treat unto itself. Everything at Pronghorn is done on a grand scale, and the Fazio Course is certainly no exception. The photo above is of the signature par 3, the 13th, built above a giant lava tube. You’ll find better photos of it than mine online, but you get the idea. The use of the natural landscape at Pronghorn is masterful, and if you truly appreciate course design, this is the candy store of course design quirks and twists – water flowing over cart paths, an awesome stone footbridge, split greens (yes, played to two different greens) on the par 3 17th, etc.

Here’s some of what you find on the Fazio side of the golf played through a Juniper forest.

coure overview

fazio 4

Fazio 1

stream cart path

fazio 8

fazio 3

IMG_7180

fazio ghost tree

par 3 wider view

fountain

Four Observations About The Playing Experience At Pauma Valley

fountain

There are some calls in Southern California golf that simply must be answered. You don’t turn down a tee time at Torrey Pines South, nor do you tell Sherwood Country Club, or a handful of elite others in the LA area, to hold. I’m guessing the same holds true for Pebble Beach, Pelican Hill, etc., but my caller ID hasn’t put me to that test yet (but line one is open).

Pauma Valley is one of those. You have to know SoCal golf on a certain level to know about Pauma Valley, kind of like that cool club in a tourist town only locals seem to know about it. Pauma maintains a low profile in its mountain surrounds but holds a high profile for, among others, golfers looking to retire with the game or live the lifestyle it offers.

Pauma Valley provides all of that from sun up to twilight and course to clubhouse. It’s a place where you can live the game and get lost in it in quiet isolation from the outside world if you so choose.

And for decades, host of Hollywood celebrities and others have done just that often via the club’s private landing strip, which still does steady traffic.

Intrigued yet? Here’s an overview of the Pauma Valley experience.

pauma 3pauma 4

A True Golf Oasis – Finding Pauma Valley is the first challenge. That’s more easily done in these days of GPS, but you’ll hardly be the first to drive the 76 and wonder if a course actually exists. Even more so than some of the covert country clubs in SoCal, Pauma Valley truly gives you no clue until the gates suddenly appear.

But when you arrive? Pure golf paradise. The stunning mountain backdrop and fountains spouting amongst the greens make an indelible first impression that speaks to any golfer no matter your level of connection to the game.
I don’t know how many courses you remember seeing for the first time … but this will be one of them.

pauma 2par 5


A Fair Test of Golf –
Pauma Valley was Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s first California course project and among his most prized anywhere (I’m told he only ranked Spyglass ahead of it). The word “fair” is a tenant of Jones’ design philosophy and it rings impeccably true at Pauma Valley. Good shots have good outcomes. The rest? Well, it’s best to learn where you can miss at Pauma Valley, but it’s rare that you’ll get a result you didn’t feel was deserved. And sometimes the course even helps you out. I had a shot stop short of a woodchip-base OB boundary that I still can’t believe held up, but it allowed me to salvage par from my best drive of the day.

And unlike some California courses that can have split-personality nines, Pauma is a consistent test, though the back is more elevated and thus the more scenic side of the two. The bunkers at Pauma visually challenge golfers repeatedly but aren’t overly penal compared to some of the other elite courses in SoCal (Torrey South, anyone?).
Also unlike Torrey South, the par 4s are of reasonable distance on a course that can be had with a hot round.

There’s no hole here that seems unconquerable (I nearly parred the No. 1-handicap hole on my first try) and you quickly learn mostly that position it as a premium for success, a true shot-makers golf course.

john wayneNo. 14

Left: The plot of the former John Wayne home. Right: No. 14.

The Legend and the Lore – The first time I played Pauma Valley, I had little insight into its rich history and its celebrity membership over the years. A passing “Oh, that’s John Wayne’s house” on No. 14 was the closest I got to a true history lesson – and that was a bit inaccurate (it’s the plot, yes, but not the house).

I got a more detailed introduction the second time … and even a book on the subject.

You can read tales about the days of Rev. Billy Graham’s time as a member as well as about when a program called “Challenge Golf,” produced by Arnold Palmer, recorded the likes of legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player competing at Pauma Valley shortly after it opened in 1961.

These days you’re more likely to hear about Huey Lewis shot in his latest round. But there are always tales to be told at Pauma Valley.

10 teeegreen 10

No. 10

A Mountain Masterpiece of Design – If you truly appreciate course design, Pauma Valley must be seen – and, naturally, played. The way the mountain views unfold around you as the round evolves are the product of a master truly understanding his canvas. The course could not seem more naturally, or artfully, placed in its surroundings. No mountain course along the I-15 quite blends in its surroundings so serenely and pleasurably as Pauma Valley. You are truly at one with your golf environment in the most undisturbed way possible.

The back nine, in particular, starting with the uphill par-4 10th, gives you two courses to enjoy – the one looking forward and the one behind. A 360-view of the course is required to truly appreciate all its nuances and aesthetic touches.

If you’re prone to golf tunnel vision, do yourself a favor and pace yourself here – perhaps walk? – so you’re fully aware of the complete golf experience available to you. The pet peeves of public play – pace, etiquette, etc. – couldn’t be more removed here.

Yet if you really want to be alone with you game, this is a great place to do it and why such pros as Phil Mickelson have found their golf solace here.

A telling detail of the design comes when asking someone about the signature, or their favorite, hole. My host was legitimately stumped, as am I after playing it twice now. I have favorite stretches, but to choose a single hole over another is too much hair-splitting. It’s simply that close amongst a number of worthy candidates.

Wherever you made your last birdie is a likely tie-breaker, and here’s hoping you get that chance soon.

For information about membership at Pauma Valley, or holding a private event, you can contact Scott Shinner at sshinner@paumavalleycc.com or 760.742.3721, ext. 111.

tiger trophy

Making The Case For A Tiger Woods Comeback

tiger trophy

Photo courtesy of www.cbssports.com

The week Comic-Con arrived in San Diego, a friend and follower of my work asked me if I was going to blog about it.

I told him it hadn’t occurred to me.

“Well, it’s travel, right?” he stated, to which I replied, “Yes.”

“And doesn’t golf have a super hero?” he asked, to which I, after a contemplative pause, responded, “We used to.”

###

The headline hit my email inbox the Friday of the British Open, a day before Tiger Woods would officially miss the cut, but that conclusion was already foregone.

The Golf Digest headline popped up: “Tiger Woods Officially Finished”.

I copied it and popped it into a text to a few golf friends and contacts.

One replied immediately: “No, he isn’t.”

The dissenting voice was my former instructor, and golf swing mentor, at the Golf Academy of America, Michael Flanagan.

He followed with a text briefly backing up his belief. I offered to take up the matter with him in a future blog post. He agreed. And here we are.

###

One day in school in 2012 that I’ll never forget is the first time we were shown how to use V1, a video analysis program to teach the golf swing.

Among the many things you can do on V1 is take professional swings and break them down through sequencing and slow motion. You can also draw on the screen, which is done primarily to reinforce how well the pros maintain their posture.

The first swing we were shown to demonstrate the system was Tiger in his prime at the Masters. When you study a swing, the first thing you do is draw two lines – one along the spine and a vertical behind their behind. Then you draw a circle around the head. This tells you how well a player holds their form.

The instructor did this with Tiger’s swing … and pushed play.

Tiger tore into the golf ball and the video stopped just past impact. He hadn’t moved a micron within the circle or off his lines.

The instructor turned to the class and asked, “So what was there to fix?”

###

Being an instructor and a student of the game, Michael Flanagan studies golf swings the way Ron Jaworski studies quarterbacks. He has studied players past and present and can tell you exactly what makes a player’s swing his swing … in great detail. For instance, he can tell you, and show you, the 15 things that define Ernie El’s golf swing.

He’s analyzed swings for decades now – Hogan to Weiskopf to Woods – and is something of a swing Yoda. When he tells you something about a swing, it’s the truth. Whether you chose to believe or not is up to you. When he’s teaching you, his bluntness comes at you like a crowbar, but a bruised ego is a necessary part of the process when you’re trying to find the elusive greatness in your golf swing.

So what does Flanagan see when he looks at Tiger? A fundamentally flawed player who used to be the avatar of swing perfection.

“From a technical standpoint, the biggest issue he has is in his backswing. He lowers his head, which we call bobbing. When he swings, he’s got to pop up to clear. If he could just stay level, he’d be fine.”

And that’s it?

“Yes. He’s just got to stay level in the backswing, no matter what pattern he’s using.”

Wow. He could make that fix in the morning and win a major in the afternoon.

“Then he needs to just get out of his own way and let it happen. I’m telling you, he’s close.”

Unbeknownst to Mike, while he was teaching class, Tiger had reeled off his first four-birdie binge in nearly two years at the Quicken Loans National in Washington, D.C.

“See?”

###

When you’re trying to figure out the state of Tiger’s game by listening to him talking, it gets confusing. But it turns out, it isn’t so much about reading between the lines with Tiger as it is speaking Tiger-ese. Not surprisingly, Mike speaks Tiger.

Here’s a Tiger term: Patterns. Explain.

“What he really means is technique. Great athletes, like Tiger, feel they can adapt to any swing technique, which he calls patterns. He’s got his patterns mixed up. And you can’t mix and match. You’ve got to be committed to one belief.”

Then Mike begins to deconstruct Tiger through his coaches and you see what he means. In basics, the philosophies of his four professional coaches are the four swings he’s tried on tour, three of which he’s won with, two of which had him on pace to be the greatest player of all time.

Those swing “patterns” conflict. It’s like speaking English, French, Chinese and Arabic. Trying to speak them all at once would be communication chaos. Even two at would make tongue-tied, or swing-tied in Tiger’s case.

“And I think Sean Foley (Tiger’s third teacher) was really trying to get him to swing around his limitation (his knee),” Flanagan says. “But there are a lot different ways to swing the golf club. The method employed is of no significance as long as it’s repetitive.”

So Tiger is having trouble scrubbing his swing hard drive? His formula for success is just rinse, swing, repeat?

He’s that close?

“Yes.”

###

After a recent round where he spent another day moonwalking the leaderboard instead of charging up it, Tiger mentioned that he needed to check his “spin rate.”

This had the heads of the largely golf ignorant mainstream media spinning.

“His what?!?!?!?” was the outcry.

Those who know the teaching side of the game recognize this as TrackMan talk. TrackMan is the revolutionary swing tracking system that has literally changed the game in the last five years by being able to detect things imperceivable to the human eye, such as face angle at impact. (My favorite TrackMan term is Smash Factor – a number that quantifies centerdness of contact and velocity.)

Tiger is talking about a stat that, among other things, tells you how far your shot is offline. High spin means low fairways hit. Get it?

Which brings us to our next Tiger topic, which is him saying he can’t take his game from the range, where he’s rumored to strike it beautifully, to the course.

Mike has seen this before. It’s the difference between range mentality and game mentality.

“He’s not letting it happen on the course. He’s trying to make it happen. On the course, he’s thinking about mechanics, not his target, which is the course. He’s ball-bound.”

So does Tiger need to play more or practice more to get it back?

“I think you should practice as much as you play and play as much as you practice. But he needs to play more and get back in the heat of the competition. “

Oh, and lose his coach.

“Tiger knows enough now that he doesn’t need a coach. He knows more about the golf swing than most instructors do because he’s won at all levels, no matter what swing technique he’s used.”

###

Speaking of winning, Tiger now hasn’t won a major since the U.S. Open at Torrey in 2008, where he famously won a playoff with Rocco Mediate while playing on a broken leg.

So the last time Tiger played truly healthy is more than seven years ago. We might just be seeing it again now.

“Health is important to a golfer. You’ve got to be physically strong to play this game. Look how much they walk. They’re on their feet all day playing and practicing.”

If Tiger’s truly health, Mike still trusts the talent.

“How many guys have won on a broken leg?”

In fact, Mike was a believer for the British. In case you didn’t hear, that didn’t go well.

But maybe there’s hope for the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in two weeks?

“Most people will think he has no shot. But he’s striking the ball well and just needs to see results. If he gets that driver under control …

“You’ve got to be able to drive it, wedge it and putt it. Tiger has always been able to do those three. But without any one of those three, it makes it difficult to play the game … for any player.”

Mike is keeping the faith Tiger will find his driver. Yes, he’s predicting a comeback.

“He will be back because of his work ethic. He’s dedicated to the game. He stills loves it and stills wants to excel. And he still wants to win majors.”

###

Tiger’s decline has denied the sports world – not just golf – the greatest sports storyline of our lives – Tiger surpassing Jack’s 18 majors. As we all know, he’s been stuck on 14 since Torrey. Mike doesn’t believe he’ll stay stuck.

“He can still win golf tournaments, including majors.”

What stands against him, even if he returns to his peak, is his age and the field … and time.

“He’s 39, and he’s past his prime. But with is experience, which is worth a lot, he can still get it done. Hey, Jack won at 46. That’s 24 majors away for Tiger.

“He’s still got all the tools in the toolbox. But he’s got to use them all to accomplish it because of all the talent that’s out there on the PGA Tour today. There was nobody close to him when he won the Tiger Slam.”

Now there’s Rory, Rickie, Dustin and, of course, Jordan.

“He inspired those guys and now he’s got to compete against them. But I think he can.

“Golf is the power game, the short game, the putting game, mental game and the course management game. He’s got to use them all.”

And if he does …

“He can win a major and even more than one.”

While Tiger’s victories have gone away, his galleries have not. Mike finds this fascinating … and telling.

“Everybody’s waiting for him to show up. They want to see it one more time because it was so unbelievable when he was doing it.”

So there’s a chance Tiger could be standing on the tee with history on deck at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2021?

“Wouldn’t it be great for the game of golf?”

Cobra screen shot

SCGA Fore Magazine: Rickie’s Rise

Cobra screen shot

Editor’s note: This post is a link to my piece in the summer issue of the SCGA’s Fore magazine. The story captures Cobra Puma golf on the day of Rickie Fowler’s win at The Players. It relates the business side of a win six years in the making. Timing couldn’t have been any better with this one and my thanks for CEO Bob Philion for sharing the story of the biggest day in company history.

When the mother of all victories for Rickie Fowler and Cobra Puma Golf started to unfold on Mother’s Day, Cobra Puma Golf President and CEO Bob Philion was riding bikes with his wife and two kids near La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. When his phone let him know this was about to become a working Sunday – Rickie was making a run at The Players Championship – Philion was nowhere near a TV.

With Fowler climbing the leaderboard on the other side of the country, from the seat of his bike in San Diego, Philion made an executive decision.

“I decided it was time to break for lunch,” he says.

Follow the link to the rest of the story: editiondigital.net/publication/?i=266401 (Page 56)

Rare Auction Opportunity Prior To The British Open

451-20 A rare stars and stripes ball by Willie Dunn 1897451-37 Rules of the Thistle Golf Club (1)

Images and content courtesy of Lyon & Turnbull

Thirty-seven pieces of rare golfing memorabilia, including one of the earliest drafts of formal rules of golf, will be up for auction on July 15 when Lyon & Turnbull holds an exclusive auction at The Eden Club, Scotland’s most luxurious private club at Pittormie Castle near St Andrews, prior to the 144th British Open at the Old Course. Pittormie Castle is 10 minutes from the course.

The items come from a private collection relating to the Thistle Golf Club. Established in 1815, members of the Club played on Leith Links, in Edinburgh. They later became the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield.

The Club played for gold and silver medals over three rounds of the seven-hole course at Leith. The sale includes an 1822 ‘Thistle Golf Club’ silver prize medal won by George Logan Esq. that was awarded for the tournament played over Leith Links held on the 7th December 1822. This medal will be offered with the winner’s actual scorecard as well, inscribed ‘Mr Logan, Winter Prize Medal, 7th December 1822,’ recording the scores for each of the 10 holes.

451-37 Thistle Golf Club Medal (2)451-37 Thistle Club Scorecard

Accompanying the medal and scorecard is also a rare copy of one of the earliest formal rules of golf, titled the Rules of the Thistle Golf Club by James Cundell. Cundell’s work was one of only six books of printed rules published prior to 1830.

This volume was the most important accomplishment of the Thistle Golf Club. Published in 1824, it is a rule book with an extensive introduction on golf history, termed as “Some historical notices relative to the progress of the game of golf in Scotland.” The history also documents the origins of ball games, including the related technology of the leather bound ball, known as the ‘feathery’, which was key to golf development.

Viewing will begin in Edinburgh, at Lyon & Turnbull’s main saleroom, on July 12th (Noon to 4 p.m.) & July 13th (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Viewing by appointment at Pittormie on July 15th will take place from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the auction itself beginning at 7:30 p.m. Seats for the evening auction will be limited due to the size of the venue and must be reserved in advance.

451-11 TOM MORRIS LONG NOSED PLAY CLUB CIRCA 1880

Tom Morris long-nosed club

Those who can attend can participate in the auction online or remotely, says Lyon & Turnbull Vice Chairman Paul Roberts.

“No one will miss out,” Roberts says. “This is a very exciting opportunity to take part in an exclusive auction of important golfing items.”

Those interested in receiving a catalogue or attending the sale should contact Lyon & Turnbull at 0131 557 8844.

To view the full lot of auction items, go to auctions.lyonandturnbull.com/auction-catalog/451

To learn more about online and remote bidding, go to www.lyonandturnbull.com/buying-auction

451-2 STEPHEN SHANKLAND (SCOTTISH BORN 1971) THE 18TH GREEN, OLD COURSE, ST. ANDREWS

Video Post: The Top Five “This is ESPN” Commercials – Golf Edition

One of the best things ESPN does is its in-house commercials. Consistently creative, funny and total rewatchable, I was moved to do this list after introducing a friend to the Lebron commercial, undoubtedly his best commercial performance, during the NBA Finals.

That naturally led to revisiting the greatest golf, or for that matter any, “This Is SportsCenter” of all time: Arnold Palmer making an Arnold Palmer – a masterpiece combo of concept and minimalist dialogue. That got me pondering the best of the rest for golf. What follows is one man’s opinion, but you’ll notice Bubba gets as many mentions as he has green jackets.

Speaking of …

No. 2 – Bubba

No. 3 – Tiger

No. 4 – Phil

No. 5 – Bubba

Southland: SoCal Golf and the Drought

Southland June

For the worst-case scenario, look up 1977, a year when drought conditions resulted in courses on the Monterrey Peninsula having water usage cut in half or more, causing many to struggle for survival.

Mike Huck, a California water management and recycled water expert with Irrigation & Turfgrass Services in San Juan Capistrano, remembers photos of Pebble Beach from that period.

“It looked like this carpet,” Huck said, pointing to the brownish-yellow material beneath his feet at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. “Except for the greens and tees.”

Follow the link to the rest of my cover story in the June issue.

southlandgolf.ocregister.com/articles/water-72-courses-causing.html

water

Journey At Pechanga: A Historic Hole In One Pays Off Big

pechanga ace

Journey at Pechanga golf course in Temecula recently recorded its 100th hole in one and it earned a substantial prize.

Roger Thai, a dentist from Westlake Village, Calif., came to the resort/casino course to play in a tournament raising money for children who have undergone open heart surgery. He scored his ace on No. 8, a 165-yard par 3, and won a 2015 white Cadillac CTS worth $50,000, the hole prize for the tournament.

Using a 7 iron, Thai’s ball soared to the green, rolled a few feet and dropped, overcoming odds of 12,500 to 1, the odds for an amateur making an ace.

“I totally couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve even gotten a hole in one in mini golf.”

Thai will also receive a commemorative plaque, which Journey sends all golfers who make a hole in one at its course. This was the second year the DAVI Foundation has held their annual tournament at Journey at Pechanga. The tournament raises funds so Southern California children who have undergone open heart surgery can attend a bonding and immersive summer camp on Catalina Island.

Journey opened in 2008. To learn more about the course and the casino/resort, go to www.pechanga.com.