Categories
Equipment

Titleist Introduces New TSR2 & TSR3 Hybrids

The most played hybrids on the PGA TOUR since 2014, Titleist hybrids have always set the highest standard for performance and playability. The all-new TSR2 and TSR3 models – available for fittings and presale on Feb. 2 and in golf shops worldwide beginning Feb. 23 –continue to raise the bar with advancements and refinements that will benefit all players seeking long iron alternatives.

These new additions to the TSR metalwood family come in two distinct models: the TSR2 hybrid, which offers forgiving speed and performance, and the TSR3 hybrid, which delivers next-level precision and workability.

The TSR2 and TSR3 hybrids make their PGA TOUR debut this week at The American Express, joining a TSR metalwoods line that continues to gain momentum across the worldwide professional tours. The versatility and gapping options offered in the TSR hybrid lineup make for a seamless transition in players’ bags from TSR drivers and fairways.

“TSR2 and TSR3 hybrids offer players options at the top end of the bag,” said Tom Bennett, Principal Product Manager – Fairways & Hybrids. “Players can choose between the more classical shape and high launch of the TSR2 or the refined profile and adjustability of the TSR3. Both clubs provide a fast, forgiving, and high-launching long-iron alternative that gives the golfer the confidence to pull off any shot.”

TSR Hybrid Offerings:

TSR2: A high launching, mid-low spin, forgiving long-iron replacement, best-suited for players that deliver the club in a sweeping motion. An extended blade length, a deeper CG, and a reimagined sole shape bring even better forgiveness and improved turf interaction than its popular predecessors, all packed into a classic hybrid profile.

  • Features head weight adjustability (same as driver/fairway)
  • RH and LH Lofts: 18°, 21°, 24°


TSR3: 
A flatter trajectory, and a refined shape inspired by popular predecessors. Highly adjustable, featuring a new 5-position SureFit Adjustable CG Track System that allows players to dial in their ideal setup. Tailored to players seeking workability and precision, the TSR3 hybrid has a refined tour-inspired shape that gives players the confidence to hit any shot.

  • Enhanced 5-position SureFit CG Adjustability
  • Features head weight adjustability (same as TSR3 driver/fairway)
  • RH and LH Lofts: 19°, 21°, 24°

TSR Hybrid Performance and Technology:

  • Reimagined shaping and profiles: The TSR2 hybrids are classically shaped and have a slightly lengthened blade length, shifting the impact center further from the shaft, which increases face flex and results in more speed and forgiveness | TSR3 hybrids feature an iron-like hybrid profile inspired by popular predecessors, and a slight reduction in offset helps improve performance
  • Deeper, More Forgiving CG & High Inertia Body: In TSR2, Titleist engineers pushed the CG deeper while keeping it low, making high-launching and soft-landing approaches with maximum forgiveness even easier | TSR3 hybrids are more stable due to a higher inertia body, preventing deflection and twist when playing from difficult conditions
  • Faster Through the Rough: Added sole relief pockets on both TSR2 and TSR3 are designed to move the club faster through all rough conditions, heavy or light. Less surface area means less friction and less chance to drag or grab, also resulting in smooth turf interaction from the fairway.
  • Performance-Tuned Adjustability: With a refined 5-position SureFit Adjustable CG Track System, it is now easier than ever to dial in the exact setup you need in the TSR3 with a wider and more precise range of CG placements.
  • Player-Influenced Sound & Feel: Amazing sound and feel are paramount in the design of a superior golf club. Both hybrids have been tuned to deliver the acoustic and physical feedback each player needs to develop consistency and trust.

Availability and Price: Titleist TSR2 and TSR3 hybrids are available for fittings and presale on Feb. 2 and in golf shops worldwide beginning Feb. 23. | MAP: $299

Categories
LPGA Tour

LPGA Tour: Lydia Ko Wins 2022 Rolex Player of the Year Award, Vare Trophy

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 10, 2022 ­– The LPGA Tour announced today that Lydia Ko earned the 2022 Rolex Player of the Year award with her win ­at the CME Group Tour Championship. Ko, who earned two additional victories this season at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio and the BMW Ladies Championship, is the 15th different player to win the award at least twice.

The 25-year-old also won the 2022 Vare Trophy for recording the season’s lowest scoring average of 68.988. Her season-long scoring average is the second-lowest Vare Trophy-winning scoring average in Tour history, behind Annika Sorenstam’s 68.70 in 2002. Sorenstam and Ko are the only two players to win the Vare Trophy with a scoring average in the 68s. Ko is the 12th player in LPGA Tour history to win the award in consecutive seasons and the 15th player to win the trophy more than once.

With the CME Group Tour Championship victory, the Rolex Player of the Year honor and the Vare Trophy, Ko now has 25 points toward qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame, two points shy of the 27 needed to be inducted.

“It’s a dream come true” for Lydia Ko

“I feel like it’s really difficult to compare, like, when I won the Player of the Year in 2015 to now. I don’t even — I don’t do stats very much, so I don’t even know what it is actually by numbers, but this year has been special,” said Ko following her win at the CME Group Tour Championship. “To win again at the Gainbridge so early in the season after winning in LOTTE last year, especially when I didn’t feel like I was ready, it kind of came to me as a surprise. Winning in Korea was special at a place where I was born, and it was my goal to have won there once. And to kind of do that, it was like a bucket-list thing.

You know, coming into these two events in the Florida stretch because I had won in Korea, I wanted to not have too high expectations. And obviously I wanted to end the season on a high but, you know, know that whatever happens and even though there’s a lot of things on the line, just know that it’s been a great season. And to be the Player of the Year and to win the Vare Trophy again and to win the CME Group Tour Championship, it’s a dream come true. To be able to do it in front of family and my team, you know, it’s a very special one.”

Ko entered the week in Naples, Fla. as one of four players with a mathematical chance of winning Player of the Year, leading the standings with 150 points, one clear of Minjee Lee and 20 ahead of Brooke Henderson and Atthaya Thtiikul. She also led Thitikul by 0.386 of a stroke heading into the final event, meaning the Thai rookie would have needed to score 35 strokes better than Ko to have a chance at the Vare Trophy.

The Kiwi set herself apart from the first day of play, managing the windy conditions throughout the week better than anyone to earn her second wire-to-wire victory of the season and of her career. By the end of the second round, Ko had a five-stroke lead on the field, but Irishwoman Leona Maguire made the most of Moving Day to tie things up before the final day. A 2-under 70 was all Ko needed on Sunday to finish -17 overall, two strokes ahead of Maguire, and secure the three season-ending titles.

Ko won her first Rolex Player of the Year award in 2015 after earning five victories that season, including her first major championship title at the Amundi Evian Championship. She earned her first Vare Trophy last year with a season-long scoring average of 69.329. Her accolades include the 2021 Founders Award and the 2014 Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year honor.

Ko celebrates her 19th LPGA Tour win

Along with her three victories this season, Ko notched 11 additional top-10 finishes, including third-place finishes at the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America, the Amundi Evian Championship and The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America.

Ko is now a 19-time LPGA Tour winner (ranked T29 on the LPGA Tour’s All-Time Wins List), with major titles at the 2015 Amundi Evian Championship and the 2016 Chevron Championship. She is a former World No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, first achieving the top spot in February 2015 as the youngest player ever to be ranked No. 1 in professional golf. Ko is also the only amateur in history to win two LPGA Tour events, and officially joined the Tour as a 2014 rookie after petitioning for Membership in October 2013. Ko is a two-time Olympian representing New Zealand, winning the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The prestigious Rolex Player of the Year award was introduced to the LPGA in 1966. LPGA Tour players are awarded points at each official LPGA tournament based on top-10 finishes with the top points earner taking home the prestigious honor each year. Points are doubled at each of the LPGA’s five major championships – The Chevron Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, the Amundi Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s Open.

The Vare Trophy was presented to the LPGA by Betty Jameson in 1952, in honor of the great American player Glenna Collett Vare. Vare Trophy scoring averages are computed on the basis of a Member’s total yearly score in Official Tournaments divided by the number of official rounds she played during a season.

(Text: LPGA)

Categories
Europe Travel

La Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort – the new highlight on Andalusia’s Costa del Sol

Ambitious for the future

The US Millenium Hospitality Group has big goals. With La Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort, it wants to become one of the leading and most luxurious golf resorts in Spain. It has entrusted this task to the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Group, which is one of the most renowned luxury hotel brands worldwide.

The first steps have already been taken. The golf course, previously known as ‘Alcaidesa’, was rebuilt at a multi-million dollar cost and shines in a complete new splendour. The new, stylish clubhouse with its cool restaurant and the extraordinary beach club are already in place. The same goes for the huge driving range with new grass tees and the large putting, pitching and chipping area. Added to this is the already existing 18-hole Heathland Golf Course, so that the resort has two completely different golf courses.

By Easter 2024, a five-star hotel complex comprising 153 exclusive rooms and 51 villas is to be built on an area of 400 hectares.  Several more villas, all with private pools, will be available for purchase. Various restaurants and bars will be part of the complex as well as swimming pools, a spa and fitness centre and event facilities. A halfway house is under construction on the newly designed links course.

Millenium’s plan to become the flagship in Southern Europe with the resort seems to be working, because they have already been accepted as a member of the European Tour Destinations and are happy about this seal of quality.

All in white

As soon as you enter the white clubhouse of La Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort, shining in the sun, you sense something special. The arc of tension is slowly built up, starting on the steps to the entrance. It continues as you cross the huge entrance hall and ends in front of an infinity pool with a view of the Mediterranean.

Unique: infinity pool at the clubhouse Terrasse (Photo: La Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort)

The modern pro shop offers everything you need on a round. The rental clubs are of the best quality. The first tees of the two courses are in opposite directions. We first play the Heathland Course, which leads into the hinterland.

The Heathland Course

The 18-hole Heathland Course was designed by former Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas. The par-72 layout has a length of 6,373 m from the back tees and features different landscapes. While holes 1 to 5 and 17 and 18 are located on a plateau and resemble a heath landscape, the other courses wind their way down into the valley with magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea, where several water hazards await.

This is also the case at the 13th, a par-5, where the tee shot has to be hit well in order not to land in the water hazard crossing the course head-on.

Challenging Par-5 on the Heathland Course (Photo: Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Due to the sometimes considerable distances between the individual holes and the considerable differences in altitude, a buggy is highly recommended. Some of these are brand new and of course equipped with GPS.

Unique Links Golf Course

The next day we played the only links course in southern Spain. The origin of the course dates back to 1992 and was designed by Peter Alliss and Clive Clark. Its current redesign is due to the US-American Kurtis Bowman, who redesigned all greens and added several bunkers. The course was only opened this summer but is already in great condition.

The par-72 course has a sensational layout and is suitable for all handicappers. The course is teed off from four tees. Players with a handicap of less than nine are recommended to use the white tees. The course then has a length of 5,841 m. At the moment, there is no table of playing conditions. I play off the yellows and am looking forward to the 5.5 km journey ahead of me. I know of no other course in Spain that offers such sensational views. The Rock of Gibraltar, which is clearly visible on a clear day, keeps attracting attention on various courses and distracts from the game. We are lucky with the weather and after a short initial rainfall, we enjoy the sunshine on the rest of the round.

Tee off to enjoy (Photo: Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The varied courses, the constant ups and downs and the great views over the course make the round of golf an unforgettable experience. Everything is extremely well-maintained and also perfectly matched visually.

The water hazards are impressively designed and interrupt the different shades of green of tees, fairways and greens with their brilliant blue. The course is not only great to play, but also meets the highest aesthetic standards. Some holes run directly along the sea.

Everything at its best (Photo: Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Development is already encroaching on some of the holes. This will increase further with the Fairmont Hotel La Hacienda, which is being built in terraces level with the back end of the beach with the best views across the course to the sea.

Directly along the beach (Photo: Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The palate will also be pampered

What could be better than finishing off a successful round of golf with a great meal and special drinks? The fact that this is possible at the resort is thanks to the Azotea Group. Behind it are the journalist Cristina Lasvignes and her husband José Manuel García. Among other things, they have founded various restaurants and bars in Spain under the Sal Verde brand that meet the highest standards.

Attractive location above the golf course (Photo: Juergen Linnenbuerger)

These include the Clubhouse Restaurant as well as the Arena Bar in the Beach Club, which is located directly below the golf course. Both combine a great ambience, the highest quality and outstanding creativity.

Arena bar at the beach club (Photo: Azalea)

Exceptional dishes and creative cocktails are created by the Michelin-starred Executive Chef Manuel Berganza and the renowned mixologist Luca Anastasio. The latter plays a special role in Sal Verde’s concept, because high-quality cocktails play an essential role in Sal Verde’s gastronomy concept.

Spectacular from the air as well (Photo: James Hogg)

Those who have a choice are spoilt for choice. Either you choose the Spicy Moscow Mule, the Senorita Margarita, the Amalfi Ten Tonic, the Galan or Paloma, or you try them all. With one exception, they were all new to me and impressed me as much as the menus of the latest Spanish star chef. The tuna tartare, popular in Andalusia, served here with truffles and spring onion dressing, melted in my mouth just as much as the mussels au gratin with spicy tomato sauce, to name just two of the various delicacies tasted.

As the Fairmont accommodation is still under construction, we are staying at the Aldiana Club near the golf courses while we get to know the new resort.

Adiós Aldiana Andalusia

The sun still rises every morning over the Aldiana Club Costa del Sol in Alcaidesa. But this will come to an end on 21 November 2022, because the resort will soon change hands. After the planned renovation, it will be called Sun Club Costa del Sol from next year and will continue as a four-star hotel under a new flag.

Sunrise at Aldiana Alcaidesa (Photo: Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The current all-inclusive concept will then be replaced by an offer that includes a choice of breakfast, half board or full board. It remains to be seen whether the great barbecue in the beach restaurant, which is still part of the club, will be offered.

I enjoyed the freshly prepared Andalusian specialities and especially the extremely spicy chorizo sausages. These remain in my positive memory as well as the varied and high-quality offer in the entire club. The well-maintained facilities and the friendliness and attentiveness of all the staff contributed in equal measure to my feeling of well-being during my stay. Not to forget the bright and clean room with the extremely comfortable bed.

Spicy and extremely delicious (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

I am convinced that the Millenium/Fairmont concept will work out and that their guests will be delighted with the high-quality offer. I already am and look forward to another round on one of the most impressive golf courses in southern Europe. Hasta luego. 

Categories
Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Million dollar prize – this is how much money is at stake in Augusta

The official prize money for the US Masters 2022 was raised to 15 million dollars. In 2021, the prize money totaled $11.5 million. The raise is making the Masters one of the top tournaments on the tour, also financially, and the second best endowed tournament in golf behind the Players Championship ($20 million). The US Open and the PGA Championship both payed $12 million in 2021. According to reports, the organizers and sponsors even wanted to raise the prize money a little this year to underline the importance of the tournament.

One thing is for sure, whoever makes the cut at Augusta National can already look forward to a tidy handout in any case. Since 2019, the winner has received just over two million dollars, 600 FedEx Cup points and 100 points for the world rankings. In addition, a win at Augusta secures a PGA Tour card for five years, lifetime playing rights at the US Masters, and a starting spot at all majors for the next five years.

US Masters 2022: Smaller field = more money for everyone

Nothing is left to chance when it comes to the distribution of prize money at the US Masters. Instead, a clear scheme is followed that regulates the payout to the individual placings on a percentage basis. According to this scheme, the Masters champion always receives 18% of the total prize money, the runner-up still gets 10%, the third place 6.8%. If two or more players share a place, the prize money is divided among the players, as in any other tournament.

Augusta National: How to play a round of golf at the world’s most exclusive course

One reason why it is still possible to cash in well on the back places at the US Masters 2022 is the significantly smaller starting field compared to the PGA Tour. In terms of the size of the field, the fewest number of players make the cut after 36 holes at the Masters. Only the top 50 players (and stroke ties) make it to the weekend and thus receive a slightly higher share of the total prize money. Even those who miss the cut still receive $10,000, with only amateurs going away empty-handed.

This is how much money the top 50 players receive at the US Masters

Win: Scottie Scheffler, -10, $2,700,000

2: Rory McIlroy, -7, $1,620,000

T-3: Shane Lowry, -5, $870,000

T-3: Cameron Smith, -5, $870,000

5: Collin Morikawa, -4, $600,000

T-6: Will Zalatoris, -3, $521,250

T-6: Corey Conners, -3, $521,250

T-8: Justin Thomas, -1, $450,000

T-8: Sungjae Im, -1, $450,000

T-10: Cameron Champ, E, $395,000

T-10: Charl Schwartzel, E, $395,000

T-12: Dustin Johnson, +1, $330,000

T-12: Danny Willett, +1, $330,000

T-14: Kevin Na, +2, $225,333

T-14: Matt Fitzpatrick, +2, $225,333

T-14: Min Woo Lee, +2, $225,333

T-14: Harry Higgs, +2, $225,333

T-14: Lee Westwood, +2, $225,333

T-14: Talor Gooch, +2, $225,333

T-14: Hideki Matsuyama, +2, $225,333

T-14: Tommy Fleetwood, +2, $225,333

T-14: Jason Kokrak, +2, $225,333

T-23: Robert MacIntyre, +3, $138,000

T-23: Harold Varner III, +3, $138,000

T-23: Sergio Garcia, +3, $138,000

T-23: J.J. Spaun, +3, $138,000

T-27: Jon Rahm, +4, $111,000

T-27: Seamus Power, +4, $111,000

T-27: Viktor Hovland, +4, $111,000

T-30: Russell Henley, +5, $93,150

T-30: Sepp Straka, +5, $93,150

T-30: Hudson Swafford, +5, $93,150

T-30: Lucas Glover, +5, $93,150

T-30: Marc Leishman, +5, $93,150

T-35: Joaquin Niemann, +6, $75,562.50

T-35: Tony Finau, +6, $75,562.50

T-35: Patrick Reed, +6, $75,562.50

T-35: Webb Simpson, +6, $75,562.50

T-39: Patrick Cantlay, +7, $63,000

T-39: Bubba Watson, +7, $63,000

T-39: Tom Hoge, +7, $63,000

T-39: Si Woo Kim, +7, $63,000

43: Billy Horschel, +8, $55,500

T-44: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, +9, $51,000

T-44: Kevin Kisner, +9, $51,000

46: Cameron Davis, +12, $46,500

47: Tiger Woods, +13, $43,500

T-48: Adam Scott, +14, $40,050

T-48: Max Homa, +14, $40,050

T-50: Mackenzie Hughes, +15, $37,350

T-50: Daniel Berger, +15, $37,350

Categories
Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Will Jon Rahm continue the Spanish tradition at Augusta?

We are in a week unlike any other in the entire year. When the gates of Augusta National Golf Club open in April, the entire golfing world goes into a trance for seven days, triggered by the uniqueness and simple beauty of this tournament. In Augusta, everything simply fits and the entire scenery seems perfectly coordinated, as if in a choreography that has been rehearsed for years. For this very reason – and because Augusta is Augusta – the US Masters is considered the most prestigious and important tournament of the year, even among players.

US Masters 2022 – Tee Times

That’s how Jon Rahm sees it, too. Although the Spaniard lost his first place in the world rankings to Scottie Scheffler a few weeks ago, the bookmakers still consider the 27-year-old to be the biggest contender for the title at the 2022 US Masters, and for good reason. For one thing, Rahm has always finished in the top 10 in his last four appearances at Augusta, and for another, this golf course has a very special Spanish aura about it. Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia have already won the Green Jacket, and now the next great Spaniard is to follow. But Jon Rahm is aware of the difficulty of this task, as he revealed at the press conference on Tuesday.

US Masters 2022: No major like any other


The Masters is unique. Not only because of its history, but also because it is the only major tournament that is played on the same course every year. Admittedly, the Augusta National Golf Club has made some minor changes to the course again this year, but anyone who has ever played the Masters can gauge exactly what to expect. Jon Rahm knows that, too: “It makes preparation a little easier. You can simulate the situations for different shots a little easier in practice than you can at the other three majors, when you play a new course every year,” says the world number two.

Based on this fact, but also on his strong results in recent years, the Spaniard considers himself well prepared for the coming week: “I know I can play well here and hopefully on Sunday I can be a little closer on the last nine holes than in recent years.”

Tiger Woods on US Master 2022: “I belive I can win!”

In addition to the beautiful golf course built by Perry Maxwell in 1937, it’s also the crowds of fans that make the tournament what it is today. For Rahm, the 2022 US Masters is unlike any other event. After limited crowds during the pandemic, they are returning to full capacity this year. And as if the anticipation wasn’t already high enough, Tiger Woods is also announcing his comeback for the same week. “We were on the 7 on Monday and Tiger was just playing the 2,” Rahm reports of his first impressions. “I’ve never seen such a big crowd on those two holes, even on a Sunday. There’s a lot more excitement in the air.”

Jon Rahm: “Justin Thomas is the only one who gets real tips from Tiger.”

If you want to hold your own at Augusta National Golf Club, you need a good mix of experience and your best golf game. Forty-two years ago, Seve Ballesteros became the first Spaniard to win the U.S. Masters, ushering in a small Spanish tradition that last continued in 2017 when Sergio Garcia won the Green Jacket. Jon Rahm knows about that tradition and would only be too happy to do his part:

“Since I’m the only Spanish player who is a Major champion but not a Masters champion, that would be something special. Hopefully I can be fourth on that list. There have been a lot of good Spanish stories here that I would like to add to.”

US Masters 2022: Hideki Matsuyama serves outrageous menu of Japanese cuisine

If Rahm can show his best game this week, he will undoubtedly be considered the top favorite. But the Masters wouldn’t be the Masters if even the best players in the world didn’t break a sweat in this setting. Experience is the be-all and end-all at Augusta. When Tiger Woods was about to play his first US Masters, then as an amateur, he got helpful tips from Seve Ballesteros about the condition of the greens and how best to master the difficult shots at Augusta. When asked if Rahm himself had ever asked Tiger for such tips, the Spaniard responded with a nice anecdote:

“Justin Thomas is the only one who gets real tips from Tiger. I asked him for tips once before, back in East Lake. He just turned around and said ‘it’s all about the feeling and just keep going’ and I stood there thinking ‘cool, thanks for that’. Then when I turned around he was standing next to JT telling him a whole dissertation.”

Even if Rahm can’t hope for any tips from Tiger, it should also be enough if he fully trusts his game; after all, it made him the best golfer in the world last year. And there’s one more thing to be hopeful about. Rahm has his biggest fan with him again this week for the 2022 US Masters. “My son Kepa was a lucky charm at the U.S. Open. He wasn’t there at the British Open, so I hope he makes it lucky again this time.”

Categories
Live Satellite Tours Senior Tours

Legends Tour announces initial part of 2021 schedule

The Legends Tour today announces the first part of its International Schedule for 2021, marking the return of over-50s professional golf in Europe following the cancellation of the Tour’s 2020 season.

It follows the ground-breaking joint venture between Staysure Group CEO Ryan Howsam and the European Tour earlier this year, when Howsam acquired a controlling stake in the Staysure Tour which was rebranded as the Legends Tour, placing golf’s most iconic names at the forefront of the brand. 

Some of those iconic names, including Major Champions, former World Number Ones and Ryder Cup Captains, will host Legends Tour events in 2021 where amateurs will be able to tee it up alongside their golfing heroes in the innovative Alliance Pro-Am format. 

The season will begin in Austria when the Riegler & Partner Legends takes place from May 7-9 at Golf Club Murhof, with the Tour returning to the venue for the second time after its first appearance on the schedule in 2019. The Italian Senior Open will take place a week later from May 14-16 at a venue to be confirmed, before the first Senior Major Championship of the year, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from May 27-30. 

June will begin with a return to Jersey for the first time since 2016 for the ICL Jersey Legends at La Moye Golf Club from June 4-6, before the Tour makes its first trip of the year to mainland Britain for the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship at Trevose Golf & Country Club, England, from June 18-20. 

The U.S. Senior Open will take place at Omaha Country Club, Nebraska, from July 8-11, while the long-running Swiss Seniors Open at Golf Club Bad Ragaz, will return for its 24th edition at a date to be confirmed in July. 

The WINSTONgolf Senior Open returns to WINSTONLinks, Vorbeck, Germany, from July 16-18, one week prior to The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Sunningdale Golf Club, England, from July 22-25. The Championship will be hosted at Sunningdale one year on from its original date following its cancellation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

The prestigious Staysure PGA Seniors Championship will take place at Formby Golf Club, Southport, England, from July 29-August 1, moving from London Golf Club where it has been hosted since its return to the International Schedule in 2018. 

Former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley will then welcome the Legends Tour to the island of Ireland for the first time since 2010 when the Irish Legends Presented by The McGinley Foundation takes place in Donegal at the stunning Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort from August 20-22. 

The Scottish Senior Open Hosted by Paul Lawrie will take place in September where the 1999 Open Champion will look to defend his maiden over-50s title which he picked up at Craigielaw in 2019. The date and venue for the event are still to be confirmed. The Farmfoods European Senior Masters will take place once again at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, England, from October 1-3. 

Mark Aspland, Head of the Legends Tour, said: “We have been extremely excited to announce this schedule after the cancellation of our 2020 Schedule and we cannot wait to begin again next year. 

“We have used the time productively to strengthen our schedule for 2021 and give our members as many playing opportunities as possible. 

“I must place on record my thanks to all the partners, sponsors and federations who have made this schedule possible. We have a fantastic mix of old and new events and we are looking forward to visiting places we know well and venues and territories that are new to many of us. 

“We will be concluding the 2021 season with the Indian Ocean Swing Tour Championship events and we are working hard to add events through the season, particularly in the Autumn. Further announcements will be made early in 2021.” 

Ryan Howsam, Group CEO, said: “I would firstly like to say well done to Mark Aspland and his team for putting this schedule together. Following the announcement of the joint venture in September, we have been working together on the brand and marketing channels to improve the commercial value of the Tour and therefore enhance the playing opportunities for the Legends Tour members. We have identified several exciting projects that will enhance the Legends Tour over the coming years.

“There will be plenty of opportunity for amateur golfers to get involved in Legends Tour events, from playing in the Celebrity Pro-Ams, teeing it up in Alliance events and joining the Legends Club, our exclusive Membership Club for people who desire a more in-depth involvement in the Tour and our events.”

For anyone wishing to purchase playing spots in Celebrity Pro-Ams, Alliance events or to enquire about Legends Club Membership, please email Legends Tour concierge via: [email protected].

(Press release: Legends Tour)

Categories
Top Tours

European Tour: Major surge in viewing figures for Rolex Series events

The European Tour’s consecutive autumn Rolex Series events recorded a significant increase in viewing figures and engagement, continuing the recent surge in consumption of live golf in 2020.  

Sky Sports, the European Tour’s UK broadcast partner, reported the highest recorded viewing figures for European Tour events since data collection began, with the tournament average figures for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and last week’s BMW PGA Championship up 81 per cent compared to 2019.   

Englishman Aaron Rai defeated Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off at The Renaissance Club to win his first Rolex Series title at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and a week later Tyrrell Hatton claimed his third Rolex Series victory, finishing four shots clear of Frenchman Victor Perez at Wentworth Club.  

Both tournaments were played without spectators as the European Tour continues to operate a tournament bubble as part of the Tour’s health strategy based on UK government guidelines.

Instead, fans have been turning to their TVs and digital devices to stay in touch with the European Tour’s events, with the back-to-back Rolex Series events providing a premium viewer experience through enhanced broadcast and digital coverage.

Innovations included the introduction of TopTracer4K, an overall increase in the use of TopTracer to a total of nine tees, alongside the popular TopTracer fairway, enhanced augmented graphics, integrated aerial coverage from drones and the plane cam, shot by shot live statistics and enhanced audio from players and caddies. Viewers also continued to be brought closer to the action through the Sky Cart, in-round interviews and tournament winners celebrating their victories with their family via greenside video calls.

Live Golf is booming

Furthermore, highlights of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship also proved popular on terrestrial television in the UK, with peak figures of more than 750,000 on the BBC.

In addition to bumper viewing figures, the fortnight of Rolex Series events also recorded the 2020 season’s highest social media impressions, collectively exceeding the totals from their respective 2019 editions by five per cent. 

The success of the two Rolex Series events further demonstrated the sustained boom in demand for live golf since the resumption of the 2020 European Tour season, with viewing figures for the six-tournament UK Swing in July and August 64 per cent higher than the Sky Sports 2019 average for European Tour events. 

Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of European Tour Productions, said: “It has undoubtedly been a significant operational accomplishment to stage these events in the current circumstances and we have made a substantial investment in our health strategy to create the safest possible environment to continue providing live golf. We are therefore delighted with the response from fans on our broadcast and digital platforms, both across the two Rolex Series events which have created a real festival fortnight of golf, but also since our resumption in July. 

“We all badly missed live golf when it was suspended in April and May and these figures certainly underline the demand that exists to watch and enjoy live coverage of our sport.  Although we dearly miss fans being able to attend our events in person, through the latest innovations and with the support of our key broadcasters and partners, we are able to offer the most insightful viewer experience possible.”

Jason Wessely, Sky Sports Director of Golf said: “We’re delighted to see the continued interest in Sky Sports Golf coverage and it’s fantastic to see how many people enjoyed the two recent Rolex Series events. 

“Our team continues to work hard in testing times to bring the best golf coverage to Sky Sports subscribers and we look forward to bringing our customers plenty more world class golf in the coming weeks.”

Following the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA won by Lee Westwood in January, the Rolex Series concludes with the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates from December 10-13. 

Alongside broadcast and digital innovations, the European Tour’s 2020 season will also continue to be underpinned by its #GolfforGood initiative, which has been raising money for charities and rewarding the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, David Howell’s hole-in-one at the BMW PGA Championship secured a donation of £71,675 for the tournament’s official charity, the Alzheimer’s Society, from tournament title sponsor BMW. That took the overall amount raised by #GolfforGood so far to £902,091. 

(Text: European Tour)

Categories
Top Tours

US Open 2020 Tiger Woods: “I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult.”

Tiger Woods talked to the media after his not so satisfying first round of 73 at the US Open 2020 at Winged Foot. He expects the course to become even tougher over the next few days.

Q. Tiger, talk about the round a bit.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was a bit of ebb and flow to the round today. I did not finish off the round like I needed to. I made a bunch of putts in the middle part of the round. It seemed like most of my drives on the front nine landed in the fairway and ended up in bad spots, and I tried to stay as patient as possible, and unfortunately just did not finish off my round the way I needed to.

Q. Do you take any positives that you made five birdies, made a bunch of putts?

TIGER WOODS: No, but I needed to finish off the round better, and I didn’t. As I said, I made a few putts the middle part of the round. Seemed like I wasn’t getting anything out of my round early on, and it flipped, and unfortunately I just didn’t finish off the way I needed to.

Q. What did you think of the conditions of the golf course, and was it how you expected or a little bit different in any way?

TIGER WOODS: I thought the golf course was set up fantastic. I thought that what they did with the hole locations were very fair today. It gave us an opportunity to make some birdies, and you look at most of the scores, and the guys took advantage of it.

Q. Do you expect it to keep getting firmer as the week goes on?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult. I just think that the golf course is there to be had. They gave us a lot of opportunities with the hole locations. Obviously they could have made it a lot more difficult if they wanted to, but I thought it was very fair.

Q. Is there any solace knowing it’s going to be such a grind this week that shooting a sub-par first round isn’t anything near —

TIGER WOODS: Well, we have a long way to go. This is a long marathon of a tournament. There’s a lot of different things that can go on. I just wish I would have finished off my round better.

Q. Given how little you’ve played this year, when you strung those birdies together in the middle of the round to kind of reel it back in and preserve it, isn’t that a pretty positive sign for you going forward?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the middle part of my round, a lot of things went my way. Beginning part of the round it seemed like things weren’t going my way. Good tee shots were ended up in the rough in bad spots, and I had a nice little hot run there in the middle part of my round, hit a really good putt at 12, thought it was going to go in and then I lipped it out, and then made two bogeys after that. Didn’t finish off my round the way I needed to.

Categories
Live

Tiger Woods: I miss the energy and the positiveness

THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to welcome three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods to the interview area. Tiger, who has won nine USGA championships, is making his 22nd U.S. Open appearance.

Q. You haven’t played a ton of golf this year, but for your last victory at ZOZO, you were coming off a bit of a break then. How were you able to peak that week in particular, and what has been missing maybe since then?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I was kind of hopeful that I’d be able to play ZOZO because I had just had knee surgery, and everything was kind of rounding into form. I felt pretty good. My knee felt a hell of a lot better and all of a sudden I putted well that week and was able to go on to win.


This year I really haven’t putted as well as I wanted to, and the times I did make a few swing mistakes, I missed it in the wrong spots. Consequently, I just didn’t have the right looks at it. I’ve compounded mistakes here and there that ended up not making me able to make pars or a birdie run, and consequently I haven’t put myself in contention to win events.

Q. In the list of courses that maybe have been the most difficult, where would you rank Winged Foot?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it’s right up there next to Oakmont and I think Carnoustie as far as just sheer difficulty without even doing anything to it. I think those three golf courses, they can host major championships without ever doing anything to them.


This one or Oakmont here is either one or two.

Q. Can you talk about your preparation for this golf course based on your previous performances here and the highest winning scores here in the past?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was able to come up here right before I played in Boston, take a look at the golf course, and I was able to get my sight lines. This golf course is going to be one of the more difficult ones. The winning scores here have never traditionally been very low. I don’t see that changing this week.


The golf course is going to be hard. It depends on how difficult they want to set up these pins, give us a chance at it. But with the forecast, it’s going to be difficult no matter what.

Q. How much did a difficult venue like Olympia Fields in your last start help you prepare for Winged Foot?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Olympia Fields was hard. It was fast, dry, which is unlike this golf course right now. It’s going to obviously dry out, but the rough is very sticky here and very thick and lush. Olympia Fields, the rough was high, but generally most of the lies we had in the rough were downgrain, and guys were able to get the ball up near the greens, but obviously the greens were difficult.


Most of the lies we’ve had so far this week, they’re not really downgrain, so it’ll be interesting to see how much the USGA will cut the rough down and allow us to try and be a little bit more aggressive and get the ball up around the greens.

Q. How will the experience be different for you at a U.S. Open without fans?

TIGER WOODS: It’s going to be — you know, it’s something that unfortunately this is our new reality. This is something we’re getting used to. It’s not something we like. We want the fans and we want the atmosphere out there, but safety is first.

Q. What is your health preparation like each week as you play in a tournament compared to your practice prep? Which takes more? Which is harder to get feeling good and feeling like you’re ready for a tournament compared to your health prep and feeling good with your body?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the health comes first. Whether or not I feel physically good enough where I can put in the practice, that’s my unfortunate reality. I’ve had four back surgeries. Trying to be healthy enough so that I can practice and I’m able to spend the time that I want, that I need to.

Q. Which takes more time?

TIGER WOODS: What’s that?

Q. Practice or just getting loose?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I have to train in order to practice, and I have to get my back loose enough to where I’m able to practice. That’s just the way it is.

Q. Gary Woodland was just in here telling us a funny story about you guys being at Liberty National and you had to get him straight on how many U.S. Opens you had won, but then you guys concluded that among your four, you don’t have one on a private course. Do you distinguish at all U.S. Opens on private courses versus public courses?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I think that USGA events — how can I put this? This year is unique. We don’t have a lot of qualifiers, and we don’t have access into the event like we’ve had in years past. Whether we play on a public course or private course is irrelevant. I think that the qualification is what makes this event so unique, is that we’re able to qualify for this event and have unique opportunities.


Unfortunately this year it’s not one of those.

Q. You grew up playing public courses; do you regard the Old Course as a muni?

TIGER WOODS: The Old Course?

Q. Yeah.

TIGER WOODS: I think the Old Course is unique in whatever you want to call it. I think that — it’s where the home of golf is, and the fact that everyone has a chance to play it, I think that’s what makes it so special.

Q. Coming off the tennis U.S. Open, Serena and Rafa are both in positions to tie some big records coming up, and you’re one of the few people who qualify to answer this. Does it get harder to win a major the closer you get to the all-time mark and why?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I think it gets harder to win as we all age. I think that when you’re in your prime, in your peak years, you have to take advantage of those opportunities so that when you get to the all-time marks, you have the opportunity.


I think that whether it’s Rafa or Fed or Serena, they’ve been so consistent and so dominant for such a long period of time, that’s how you get to — you can have those all-time marks. Consistency over a long period of time is the hallmark of those records.

Q. You’ve talked in the past about when you practice your putting, you go back a lot of times to what you and your dad used to work on. Is that still the case, or have you mixed up the routine over the years?

TIGER WOODS: I have changed the routine and some of the things that I’ve done over the years, but I still go back to what my dad always taught me, which is obviously putt to the picture. Whatever I’m working on at that particular time, once I get out there and I putt, just putt.

Q. I think ’06 here was the first tournament you played after your dad passed. How difficult was it for you that week, and then in the month that followed? Just talk about your mindset and getting ready to win one for him at Royal Liverpool.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, when I didn’t win the Masters that year, that was really tough to take because that was the last event my dad was ever going to watch me play. He passed not too long after that, and quite frankly, when I got ready for this event, I didn’t really put in the time. I didn’t really put in the practice, and consequently missed the cut pretty easily.


But after that I was able to do some practicing, did some — probably some pretty good grieving after this championship, played well at the Western and then went on to really play well at the British. I think it was just — I was not prepared to play and still dealing with the death of my dad.

Q. Only 15 players in the field played in the 2006 U.S. Open. Do you see that as an advantage?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the golf course has changed a lot since then. Obviously the greens, they’ve all been redone, and most of the holes are a lot longer than when we played in ’06. But technology has changed, and the golf ball is going further. Guys are hitting it further. So we’re playing from about the same spots. It’s just whatever — it seems like every green you have to walk back a little bit further.

Q. Can you describe what it meant to you after all the surgeries and the years of not winning majors to come back and win the Masters, and was there anything special that you felt that week that you can relate to this week? How do you rate your chances here?

TIGER WOODS: Well, when I won the Masters last year, it was — I was not feeling particularly well prior to that. My neck was bothering me. I didn’t play in Bay Hill. For some reason I felt physically better and my training sessions felt good. I changed shafts in my driver right before the event, and I was able to start turning the ball over.


Then all of a sudden I put myself in contention and I wasn’t really — I wasn’t leading but I was near the lead, and each day I progressively got a little bit better, and come Sunday, I put all the pieces together.

Q. Several players here have said that of all the people out on Tour, you feed off the fans more than anything. In that regard, I know you said you miss them, but in that regard, how much do you miss the fans?

TIGER WOODS: Well, for me in particular, I miss the energy and just the positiveness that the fans bring and just that electricity. But that’s something that I’ve been playing in front of for over two decades. That’s something I’ve been a part of, and I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of that.


What we’re dealing with right now is not what we all want, but it’s our reality, and it’s the energy that’s just not quite the same without the fans.

Q. Even without the fans, is there something special about coming back to the New York metropolitan area and playing?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I think that this area has some of the best golf courses on the planet, but also what makes coming up here and being a part of these events are the fans and the energy that this entire area brings. They love sports. It’s a shame that we’re not going to have that atmosphere out here this particular week, but obviously everyone will be watching and be supporting at home or wherever is the safest.

Q. Still meaningful to you that a lot of these fans will be rooting for you even if they’re home?

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely it is. It’s not the same without the fan experience, but as I said, this is our reality for right now.

Q. Are you using your standard Scotty Cameron?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I am.

Q. A strategy question: With fairways this hard to hit and rough this penal, it seems like everyone is going to be missing a lot of fairways. Do you anticipate hitting a lot of drivers so you aren’t too far back, or do you anticipate laying back to keep it in the fairway?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, I think a lot of that is dependent on which way the wind is blowing. The forecast three of the four days will be blowing out of the north, and I think that that will make a difference. Some of the tee shots that we hit today, slightly different wind than what we played on Sunday, and so I think that strategy-wise it’s ebb and flow.


For me in particular I’m trying to play to certain areas. Whatever club that is, could be 5-wood, could be driver or a 3-wood. I’m trying to play to a specific spot and then move on from there.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Tiger. Good luck this week.

Categories
PGA Tour

“DJs” winning interview after his FedExCup victory

MICHAEL BALIKER: Dustin, this was your 11th trip to East Lake this week. You’ve been chasing this trophy for a long time. How satisfying is it to finally get it done?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it’s definitely very satisfying to be the FedExCup champion. Obviously coming in here I was in first with a two-shot lead, and I needed all those strokes that I could get. It’s a tough golf course, but I feel like I played pretty solid all week.

Obviously yesterday was a great round, and then obviously today was — I played — got off to a great start and I played really well coming down the stretch.

Yeah, it was a tough day, tough golf course, and I’m definitely excited it’s over and that I can celebrate a little bit now instead of — it was a grind out there. But I’m very proud to be the FedExCup champion.

Q.  What was the level of concern with your game leaving here last year and how does it feel to go from finishing last here last year to now winning this year?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don’t even remember what happened last year. That was a long time ago. I was playing a little better coming in this season.

“Being a FedExCup champion is something that I really wanted to do”

Q.  Were you nervous today?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I was nervous. I always get nervous because it means something. Yeah, I mean, I get nervous on the first hole, kind of settled down a little bit, and then obviously the back nine definitely could feel it, just because there were a lot of really good players around me and they were playing well.

So I knew I was going to have to shoot a good score on the back nine if I wanted to win.

Q.  Paul Azinger said a long time ago that only two things would really rattle a player, playing for cash or playing for prestige. Which one meant more to you today?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Probably the prestige for sure just because being a FedExCup champion is something that I really wanted to do. I wanted to hold that trophy at the end of the day. It was something that I wanted to accomplish during my career, and obviously I got one of them. Now I’m going to try to get me another.

Q.  There’s a lot of big names on the trophy. Were you kind of annoyed that yours wasn’t on it?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: A little bit, but like I said yesterday, I think a couple times there I didn’t really have control of what was going on just because of my play, but obviously today I was in control of winning the trophy or not.

If I played well, I was going to win; if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to. I like that situation a lot better.

Q.  Can you talk about how important that putt was on 13 and your emotions when you banged it off the back of the cup?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, obviously I hit my — obviously the drive went just in the left rough there and I hit a good shot right where I wanted to, just short right of the green.

But it was just one of those — my ball was sitting in the first cut. I thought I was going to catch it clean and didn’t and it came up short. Yeah, that putt was definitely kind of the turning point for me there on the back nine. You know, obviously it gave me the confidence and kind of kept the round going in the right direction.

Stepped up, hit a really nice drive on 14; hit some really quality shots really the rest of the way in. That was a big putt.

Q.  When you look at what you’ve done this post season, you’re exactly one shot away from being absolutely perfect, obviously, in the playoff which you didn’t really have much control over in that situation. Can you characterize this run compared to some of the other runs you’ve had in your career these last few weeks?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, feel like the game is in really good form, playing some solid golf, and obviously contending every week. I’m playing probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played.

Like I said, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“It’s more about the trophy”

Q.  Obviously it’s a big amount of money and I’m sure it means a lot to you, but I’m just curious if you can think back to a time in your career when there was an amount of money that might have been a lot less that really changed your life, that really might’ve mattered in terms of whether it was your career or just whatever, paying back sponsors or anything that you might have — where that money would have really had a huge impact on you even if it might have been a lot less.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. When I went through all three stages of Q-school and got my TOUR card I think they gave me like a $25,000 check. Yeah, I thought I was rich because I didn’t have but a couple hundred bucks in my bank account probably.

Then I went to the first tournament in Hawai’i, I think I finished 10th, and I don’t know, it was a hundred grand or something.

So yeah, that was big, and obviously that was a lot of money to me.

Now obviously I’m very thankful for FedEx and the amount of money they donate for us to be whoever is the FedExCup champion, but it’s not about the money for me. It’s more about the trophy.

Q.  Was there a time back say 10, 12 years ago where you had to get over the idea of thinking how much money a missed putt would cost? Is that an important part to being successful, to not think about the money even though it’s a lot?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, at this stage of my career I’m fortunate enough where I don’t need to think about that. It’s more — it’s all about winning and the trophies. The money is not — I don’t really care about that. I want to win tournaments, and I want to win trophies.

Q.  Sounds like you talked to Wayne over the weekend; can you maybe share the insights of that conversation that you guys had?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: He was playing golf and I asked him how he was playing. He said he was hitting it pretty good but Janet was yelling at him because he wasn’t playing good enough that was about the extent of the conversation.

Q.  You addressed this a little bit, but was this maybe more important in some ways to you given the five strokes — obviously wanting to win the FedExCup and so forth, did it take on any greater significance in that regard to you?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I didn’t really understand. Sorry.

Q.  Did you need this win in your eyes?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I needed the win. Last week I had the lead going into the final round. Played a really good solid round, made a great putt to get into a playoff, but ended up losing in the playoff.

Having a five-shot lead today, it’s something, yeah, I needed to finish it off, especially give myself a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Open here in — what, it starts in 10 days or something, or less.

Obviously got a couple days to celebrate with Paulina and the kids, and then got to get back to grinding again.

Q.  These last four weeks you and A.J. seem to have been especially dialed in in your routine on the greens, and I think there might have been a couple adjustments made in how you guys are going about things. I wonder if you could kind of explain that and just what role he really played in this run that you’ve been on here recently.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, A.J. is a big part of the game. Obviously he’s my brother. We’re a good team. He reads the greens well, and a lot of times, too, I know we’re doing well when — you know, because I started using the line at the PGA on the putter when I was putting, and so he’s been doing the AimPoint for a while.

So I know when I line it up and we’ve got it in the same vicinity that we’re doing a good job. He’s done a great job over the last four weeks, four tournaments, and I’m glad to have my brother on the bag with me.

“He’s going to be on my bag for a long time”

Q.  You talked about needing this win and things like that, but from him being an unproven guy out here who had never caddied on the TOUR until now, how much do you think he’s kind of validated himself as being worthy of being out here and being one of the top caddies in the game?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think from the first time he came out he was — he played golf growing up. He played basketball through high school and college, but he was always a decent player.

Yeah, I mean, it didn’t take him long to catch on. He’s a very good caddie and he would do well for anybody, but he’s going to be on my bag for a long time.

Q.  Have you played Winged Foot?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I have not played it.

Q.  What have you heard about it if you have heard about it, if you’ve asked questions about it?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: That it’s a very good golf course, difficult but fair.

Q.  How would you compare the way you’re playing now with the spring of ’17 when you were blowing through Riv and Match Play and Mexico and things like that?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It’s similar. It’s getting there. I think I was playing really good then. Obviously I’m playing very well now. Like I said, I feel like I can play better, though.

You know, at times I’m firing on all cylinders, but there’s times where I’m not. I’m playing good enough, though, to where I can keep it where I still can give myself a chance to win.

Compared to spring of ’17, almost there.

Q.  Kind of along those lines, it’s kind of exhausting to get through this stretch and have to do all these virtual interviews and stuff like that —

DUSTIN JOHNSON: But thanks for all your questions. (Laughter.)

Q.  But the fact that the U.S. Open is coming up, the fact that we still have the Masters, are you kind of excited now the way that fits into this weird season?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I am. I am excited. Obviously I’m playing well. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game, so I’m really looking forward to the next obviously couple months.

But then I’m also — after that I’m looking forward to some time off. It’s been a long stretch, but it’s made it a lot easier playing well, that’s for sure.

MICHAEL BALIKER: Thanks, Dustin. Congratulations.

(FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports)

Categories
Equipment

TaylorMade survey: clear majority against golf ball change

The announcement by the USGA and R&A to introduce a Modal Local Rule (MLR), which would limit the maximum length of golf balls for elite tournaments, has found more opponents than supporters in the professional sector. TaylorMade has now surveyed almost 45,000 everyday golfers from over 100 countries on their opinion of the possible split between professional and amateur golf – and the opinion picture is quite clear.

81 per cent of respondents said they were against the proposed rule change and the division it would create between the professionals and amateurs and believed it would not be good for the game of golf. 77 per cent of respondents to the TaylorMade survey also believe that there is no need to restrict the hitting distances of the pros at all.

Will golf ball changes divide pros and amateurs?

While the R&A and USGA officials are interested in regulating only the stroke lengths for professionals, as they would otherwise “become a significant problem for the next generation” thanks to ever-improving training and equipment possibilities, as USGA boss Mike Whan points out, many people, however, fear a drifting apart of professionals and amateurs if they play different balls. Almost half (48 percent) of the respondents affirmed that it was extremely important for them to be able to play the same equipment as the pros, and only 17 percent did not attach any importance to this.

The context of this survey on the part of the equipment manufacturer Taylormade is also that the majority of the respondents are good and experienced players who have a great interest in professional golf. 87 percent of the participants stated a handicap of under 20, 33 percent even a handicap of under 10. Almost three quarters of the respondents (73 percent) played golf for more than ten years, more than half (51 percent) for more than 20 years.

The results of the survey speak for themselves. (Photo: TaylorMade)

However, almost four-fifths of the participants (79 per cent) said they mainly play golf for recreation and only one-fifth play competitive golf. Accordingly, 85 per cent of participants believe that the Modal Local Rule (if it is actually introduced) would have no impact on their own playing behaviour. Some consider the rule proposal “fair”, ” needed” and “good”. However, the overwhelming opinion in the survey is that the proposed change to golf balls is “stupid”, “unnecessary”, “ridiculous”, “wrong” and “confusing”.

TaylorMade to provide feedback to USGA and R&A

“The goal of our survey was to give golfers the opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposed ruling as we absorb the MLR and its potential effects on the everyday golfer,” David Abeles, TaylorMade CEO, said. “The overwhelming amount of responses show the passion, knowledge and care for the game our audience possesses. Each response and data point is being reviewed as we will utilize this feedback in our preparation to provide a response to the USGA and R&A.”

Categories
Equipment

Motocaddy introduces world’s first remote control GPS Trolley

Motocaddy, the world’s biggest-selling powered trolley brand, has introduced the game’s first remote-controlled electric trolley with touchscreen GPS, to offer golfers the ‘ultimate caddie’ experience by blending responsive control with performance enhancing features.

The revolutionary M7 GPS – part of the award-wining, compact-folding M-Series range – features a fully integrated, super-fast GPS system with accurate green visuals; front, middle and back distances; plus hazard information across more than 40,000 pre-loaded courses worldwide.

A bunch of new features

In another ground-breaking move, owners of the new M7 GPS qualify for a free 12-month trial of the exclusive cellular-powered Motocaddy Performance Plan. The no-obligation upgrade allows golfers to unlock a selection of stunning hi-tech game management features. These include access to full-hole mapping with the ability to move the target for ultimate shot planning; a detailed dynamic Green View showing the shape of the green and greenside hazards with drag and drop pin positions; score and statistic tracking; performance analysis through the free Motocaddy GPS App; real-time course updates to ensure access to the latest mapping; and notifications of software updates with ‘on-the-go’ downloads.

It also incorporates all the benefits of the award-winning M7 REMOTE, including rechargeable handset, removable anti-tip rear wheel and the brand’s cutting-edge Downhill Control technology. “The new M7 GPS delivers the ultimate caddie experience to give users an edge,” said
Motocaddy Marketing Director, Oliver Churcher. “It offers everything a golfer needs to transport their clubs around the course effortlessly, whilst providing pinpoint yardages and GPS mapping through its super-responsive touchscreen.

“The revolutionary electric trolley GPS technology pioneered by Motocaddy in 2017 has advanced a great deal in recent years. Today, our cellular-powered Performance Plan combines with the most responsive remote-control technology on the market to take the trolley experience to an exciting new level,” he added.

The M7 GPS includes a super responsive, crystal-clear 3.5” LCD touchscreen display usable in all weather conditions, even whilst wearing a glove. Other features include a clock and round timer, an indication of the par and handicap of each hole, shot distance measurement, automatic hole advancement, score tracking and a battery indicator.

When connected to the free Motocaddy GPS app, golfers can also receive a wide range of optional smartphone notifications direct to the screen – alerting them to a call, text message, email or range of app alerts, including WhatsApp and Facebook. A preview of message alerts can also be read on-screen.

A smartphone can be securely placed in a golf bag pocket and charged using the trolley’s patented USB charging port. In addition to the cellular and Bluetooth® capabilities, other connectivity features include super-fast Over‐the‐Air course and system updates via the built-in WiFi connection.

The pocket-sized-remote-control

The pocket-sized remote-control handset can move the trolley forward, left, right and in reverse, plus pause and resume. It can also switch instantly from remote to manual control mode and back again if the user wants to control it from the handle like a regular trolley via the speed button. In addition to including automatic Downhill Control technology, there is an
emergency stop and a handset lock function. The LCD touchscreen also includes an additional battery meter indicating the capacity of the handset.
Equipped with a wider wheel-base than standard M-Series models, the M7 GPS also boasts all terrain tyres for impressive handling across the course. Like all Motocaddy M-Series trolleys, it also folds down easily to a compact size for easy storage and transportation.

Powered by a next generation High Power 28.8V system, the M7 GPS has nine speed settings with speed indicator, plus a super-lightweight waterproof Lithium battery (IP66 water and dust rating) that can be charged without being removed. It also features Motocaddy’s exclusive EASILOCKTM bag-to-trolley connection system that removes the need for a lower bag strap.

The new M7 GPS electric trolley is available with ULTRA Lithium battery at an RRP of €1,799.

For more information about Motocaddy trolleys, plus other Motocaddy products including bags, batteries, rangefinders and accessories, please visit www.motocaddygolf.com or follow @MotocaddyGolf.

(Text: Motocaddy)

Categories
Equipment

Drivers for beginners: an overview of the new models for the 2023 season

The beginning of the year means that numerous new club series from the various manufacturers come onto the market. From beginner models to clubs suitable for the professional level, everything from putters to irons to drivers are included. To help you keep track of this amount of products, here’s a summary of five of the new models that hit the market in 2023.

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Driver

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Driver is a new driver model that aims to provide maximum support to golfers. It features a high amount of carbon compared to other materials and is covered with a polyurethane layer called “nanotexture”. This protects the carbon and provides normal spin values. It also has a “Thru-Slot Speed Pocket”, which ensures that deep hits on the face suffer little loss of length. The HD version comes standard on the draw and has weight in the heel and back of the head to prevent slice and provide plenty of forgiveness. The women’s version comes with an even lighter head. Overall, the Stealth 2 HD Driver is designed to make playing off the tee easier by allowing minimal length loss on off-center hits and minimal slice probability.

Adjustable no
Lofts 9°, 10,5° and 12° (RH and LH)
Ladies version yes 10,5° and 12° (only RH)
Price 649,00 €

The Cobra Aerojet Max Driver

Part of the eponymous Aerojet Series, the new Cobra Aerojet Max Driver features an aerodynamic design that allows for increased clubhead speed and ball speed, according to Cobra Golf. The new PWR Bridge Weighting allows for a floating weighting technology with an internal bridge structure. The trajectory is stable and high with a low draw tendency due to the placement of the 12g weight in the back and the 3g weight in the heel. The draw tendency can be increased by swapping the weights. The driver is also available for ladies – in a black satin finish with a shiny carbon crown and sole.

Adjustable yes
Lofts 9°, 10,5° and 12° (RH and LH)
Ladies version yes 10,5° and 12° (RH and LH)
Price 579,00 €

 

The Callaway Paradym X Driver

The Callaway Paradym X Driver is a beginner golf club that contributes to high forgiveness and length through its innovative use of Forged Carbon material. The 360° carbon chassis has saved weight and can be used for more forgiveness and length. The Paradym X Driver is the most forgiving model in the series and is particularly suited to players who prefer or require a draw bias. An external 5g weight in the back of the club increases ball launch and reduces spin for increased carry distance.

Adjustable yes
Lofts 9°, 10,5° and 12° (RH and LH)
Ladies version yes 10,5° and 12° (RH and LH)
Price 649,00 €

The Ping G430 Max Driver

The new Ping G430 Max Driver is part of the new G430 Series and promises more distance while being more forgiving. It is the most fault-tolerant model in the series. All three driver models are equipped with new technologies designed to deliver higher ball speeds, such as the VFT (Variable Face Thickness) face design and the portmanteau of spin and consistency “spinsistency” (for consistent spin). The G430 Max’s flexibility allows it to be used for all levels of play and is particularly highlighted by its combination of distance and forgiveness. Additionally, a custom option is available for players with low swing speeds who can use lighter weights, shafts and grips to create more ball speed.

Adjustable yes
Lofts 9°, 10,5° and 12° (only RH)
Ladies version yes/unisex
Price 625,00 €

The Srixon ZX5 Driver

The Srixon ZX5 Driver is a powerful and customizable driver suitable for golfers of all skill levels. Thanks to the new Rebound Frame technology, the driver has better power transfer at impact and optimized face technology for more distance off the tee. The adjustable hosel makes it easy to adjust loft, while loft options range from 9.5 to 10.5 degrees. It features a sturdy titanium head and weight at the rear of the sole to provide more stability in the swing. With a larger footprint and flattened shape, the driver supports higher swing speeds and straighter tee shots.

Adjustable yes
Lofts 9,5° and 10,5° (only RH)
Ladies version no
Price 599,00 €

 

Categories
PGA Tour

Players Championship: This is how much prize money each player earned

Sunday is payday on the PGA Tour. The Players Championship has always been one of the highest-paying tournaments of the season, but in 2023 a new prize money record was set. 25 million dollars were distributed among the players, with winner Scottie Scheffler alone pocketing 4.5 million dollars. Fünf Spieler verdienten siebenstellig, auch das ein Novum auf der Tour.

Die deutschsprachigen Spieler Matthias Schwab (T54), Stephan Jäger (T44) und Sepp Straka (T65) schafften alle knapp den Cut. Auch wenn es am Wochenende nicht mehr allzu weit nach vorn ging, bleiben auch für sie noch ordentliche Preisgelder bei der Players Championship 2023 übrig.

Players Championship 2023 prize money payout

Platzierung Spieler Preisgeld ($)
1 Scottie Scheffler 4.500.000,00
2 Tyrrell Hatton 2.725.000,00
T3 Tom Hoge 1.475.000,00
T3 Viktor Hovland 1.475.000,00
5 Hideki Matsuyama 1.025.000,00
T6 Max Homa 736.607,15
T6 Justin Suh 736.607,15
T6 Cam Davis 736.607,14
T6 Sungjae Im 736.607,14
T6 Min Woo Lee 736.607,14
T6 David Lingmerth 736.607,14
T6 Justin Rose 736.607,14
T13 Rickie Fowler 447.916,67
T13 Adam Hadwin 447.916,67
T13 Collin Morikawa 447.916,67
T13 Adam Svensson 447.916,67
T13 Christiaan Bezuidenhout 447.916,66
T13 Denny McCarthy 447.916,66
T19 Patrick Cantlay 275.000,00
T19 Jason Day 275.000,00
T19 Tony Finau 275.000,00
T19 Russell Henley 275.000,00
T19 Aaron Rai 275.000,00
T19 Xander Schauffele 275.000,00
T19 Jordan Spieth 275.000,00
T19 Brandon Wu 275.000,00
T27 Wyndham Clark 167.656,25
T27 Eric Cole 167.656,25
T27 Tommy Fleetwood 167.656,25
T27 Ryan Fox 167.656,25
T27 Si Woo Kim 167.656,25
T27 Chad Ramey 167.656,25
T27 Brendon Todd 167.656,25
T27 Danny Willett 167.656,25
T35 Byeong Hun An 114.166,66
T35 Sam Burns 114.166,66
T35 Mark Hubbard 114.166,66
T35 Shane Lowry 114.166,66
T35 Keith Mitchell 114.166,66
T35 Austin Smotherman 114.166,66
T35 Ben Griffin 114.166,66
T35 Taylor Moore 114.166,66
T35 Dylan Wu 114.166,66
T44 Chesson Hadley 75.035,72
T44 Stephan Jaeger 75.035,72
T44 Sam Ryder 75.035,72
T44 Brian Harman 75.035,72
T44 Kramer Hickok 75.035,72
T44 Garrick Higgo 75.035,72
T44 Taylor Montgomery 75.035,72
T51 Lucas Glover 61.416,67
T51 Tom Kim 61.416,67
T51 Cameron Young 61.416,67
T54 Tyler Duncan 58.000,00
T54 Will Gordon 58.000,00
T54 Jerry Kelly 58.000,00
T54 Ben Martin 58.000,00
T54 Matthias Schwab 58.000,00
T54 Gary Woodland 58.000,00
T60 Joel Dahmen 55.250,00
T60 Nate Lashley 55.250,00
T60 Maverick McNealy 55.250,00
T60 Francesco Molinari 55.250,00
T60 Justin Thomas 55.250,00
T65 Patton Kizzire 55.250,00
T65 Alex Smalley 53.250,00
T65 Sepp Straka 53.250,00
68 Davis Thompson 52.250,00
T69 Taylor Pendrith 51.500,00
T69 Scott Stallings 51.500,00
71 Adam Scott 50.750,00
72 Aaron Baddeley 50.250.00
73 Will Zalatoris 49.750,00
74 Sahith Theegala 49.250,00
75 Kevin Kisner 48.750,00
Categories
PGA Tour

Including disaster at the 17th: Seven strokes on three holes cost 1.4 million dollars

Taylor Montgomery is playing his first season on the PGA Tour and doing a good job. Already four top ten results this season and so far best prospects to keep his tour card. At the Players Championship, the 28-year-old was on the verge of collecting the biggest cheque of his career so far. At ten under par, he was in the top five with four holes to go. With four pars, he would have finished third and, like Tom Hoge and Viktor Hovland, would have collected 1.475 million US dollars in prize money.

Bogey, double-bogey, triple-bogey

But no Players Championship is complete without drama on the 17th! The legendary island green finally ruined the day for the American. But the misfortune already began on the 15th hole, where Montgomery still managed to get away with a bogey after a weak bunker shot. On the 16th – the par-5 is one of the easiest holes on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass – the next bad news: a double bogey. Now his stroke gains were used up and he was back at even par for the final day. But the real fiasco was yet to come.

The legendary 17, the island green, one of the most iconic and famous holes in the world of golf, cost Montgomery another four strokes. First, he sank his tee shot into the water on the short par-3, which is particularly nerve-racking but always unpredictable because of the wind, which is difficult to assess. Then, after the drop, the second attempt was also too long and landed in the water. Visibly shaken, the man from Las Vegas rushed down the leaderboard. At least he managed a halfway conciliatory finish with a par on the 18th. Hopefully he will spend the 75,000 US dollars in prize money for 44th place on something that will make him forget the disaster.

Categories
Uncategorized

Players Championship: Was that already the best shot of the tournament?

There were ten holes-in-one on the 17 hole before the Players Championship 2023 and number 11 was not long in coming. Hayden Buckley, who started on hole 10 in the second flight, sets the bar high and holes the ball in one shot. The ball lands some distance to the right of the flag and then picks up speed toward the hole. In the process, Buckley hit the perfect line for the main prize. After two birdies and a bogey on his round up to that point, the ace puts him near the top in what is still very early in the tournament.

Hole in One at Hole 17 at the Players Championship 2023

Categories
Uncategorized

Players Championship: Horror-Finish to start

The most famous hole at the Players Championship is certainly the 17th, but Aaron Wise will not soon forget the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass. After a thoroughly solid round, the last hole of his round turned out to be a real mammoth task. Especially with the tee shot he had his problems three times. And that, although he set a record on hole 13.

Second-highest score on 18 at the Players Championship

Aaron Wise, born in Cape Town, experienced a real debacle on his final tee shot at the Players Championship 2023. On hole 18, the 26-year-old started with two over par – a sextuple bogey almost provided the worst score on this hole. His tee shots landed in the water three times in a row – and almost at the exact same spot. The fourth tee shot, which was already his seventh shot due to the penalty strokes, he then played it safe. Very safe to be exact. In the end, his ball did not land on the right side of the fairway, but in the pine needles off the course. At least his ball was playable from there, though, unlike his three tee shots in the water.

As a result, he needed three more shots before his ball disappeared into the hole. In the end, Wise finished the final hole with ten strokes and slipped to second-to-last place on the leaderboard (T141). Wise received words of support afterwards from his flight partner Jason Day, who is familiar with such situations. “He didn’t want to completely blow it, which he eventually did with his fourth tee shot,” Day said. “He just kept hitting the same shot over and over again, unfortunately. We’ve all been at that point where we’ve made those shots, whether it was two, three or four in a row.” Asked if he had any advice for his teammate, Day was sure: “Oh, no…. You should just stay out of the player’s way. Especially if you’re on his team. Just leave him alone for a little bit, because he’s probably pretty irritated right now.”

Not a record, but a record nonetheless

After all, it wasn’t the worst score ever recorded on the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass. Back in 2017, Anirban Lahiri conceded ten strokes on the final hole of the course in Ponte Vedra Beach. However, the highest score was recorded by Australian Andre Stolz in 2005. Eleven strokes remains the (negative) record to this day.

But Aaron Wise had already set another record, and a positive one at that. On hole 13, he hit his tee shot onto the green, where his ball came to rest about 20 meters from the flag. The subsequent putt, however, he holed confidently and thus set the record for the longest putt on 13 for over 19 years. It was a day of mixed emotions for Aaron Wise, but in the end it was probably the anger on the 18th hole that prevailed.

Categories
Equipment

ARCCOS UNVEILS NEW APPLE WATCH APP WITH MAJOR UPGRADES

Arccos – the pioneer of big data and Artificial Intelligence for golf – has today unveiled a new Arccos for Apple Watch app update highlighted by UX enhancements that provides golfers with the ability to start an Arccos Caddie round on the world’s #1 selling smart watch without ever touching their iPhone.

A completely re-developed caddie app

The preferred shot-tracking hardware for almost 20% of Arccos members, Apple Watch also allows Arccos Caddie members to view A.I. Rangefinder distances, receive personalized club recommendations, add penalty strokes, see shot history and holes scores, and make any necessary edits.

“From a product standpoint, we have completely re-developed the Arccos Caddie app for Apple Watch architecture from the ground up,” said Dave LeDonne, Arccos’ Vice President of Product. “With well over half a million rounds played by Arccos members on Apple Watch last year alone, this redesign makes the experience dramatically better,” he added.

Additional app functionality includes the ability for players to mark the hole locations on the green with a simple click of a button on the watch device when standing directly next to the pin. This provides more accurate short game and putting insights along with highlighting areas for player improvement via the powerful Strokes Gained analytics insights.

More than 650 million shots for Arccos members

To access the new experience – which is optimized for Apple Watch Series 5 and newer – members simply open the Arccos Caddie app for Apple Watch, confirm the course and tees being played and press start round. The app then syncs with the smart sensors in the grip of each club to pinpoint exactly when and where a shot has been played.

Arccos members have now recorded more than 650 million shots during 13.5 million rounds in 162 countries worldwide. The largest on-course dataset in golf has collected over 700 billion separate data points to power Arccos’ industry-leading Strokes Gained engine that allows a player to select their personal handicap goal, then provides personalized analysis for every game aspect and each club in the bag.

Golf’s first Artificial Intelligence platform, Arccos automatically tracks your shots while delivering in-round insights and personalized Strokes Gained analytics for every game facet and each club in your bag. The system is highlighted by an A.I.-powered rangefinder, smart club distances and caddie advice for every golf hole on earth. These innovations helped new Arccos members who played at least 10 rounds lower their handicap by an average of 5.71 strokes in their first year of membership.

(Text: Arccos)

Categories
International Travel

Apes Hill designer Ron Kirby: “Make something that’s fair for the player”

Golf course architect Ron Kirby in an interview about his jobs on the golf course, his style as a designer, the influence of well-known architects, sustainability and the redesign of Apes Hill in Barbados.

Ron Kirby: “Get any job you can on a golf course”

What made you decide to get into golf design?

Ron Kirby: My career began with a talent I had for sketching when I was a teenager, just north of Boston. If you had the means, you could get to the Museum of Fine Arts for free art lessons on Saturday mornings. My brother and I would ride the subway to get my art lesson, so I knew how to sketch and handle a brush. Later I won a caddie scholarship, and I went to greenkeeper school.

When it snowed in the winters, I went to Florida – where my dad had a club pro job – and I realised that the movie stars in golf were the course designers. There was a centrefold in Sports Illustrated with two architects who were the flavour of the month: Robert Trent Jones and Dick Wilson. They were superstars.

Define Ron Kirby’s style…

Ron Kirby: I’m just looking for fun, different holes to build. I look for a chance to make the short holes more exciting and I always want to make something that’s fair for the player. Because I was a greenkeeper, I want to build things that can be maintained, kept neat and manicured.

Tell us about the people you’ve worked with over the years. Who were the most influential and why?

Ron Kirby: Trent Jones was a visionary. He could take any piece of ground and he would get the best layout – he knew how to put the holes in the right position for the wind, the sun direction, and his routings were very good. Another thing I learned from working with Trent Jones is that he didn’t do it all. He did the layouts, but he had a team of people working for him. You need good staff. And I had a lot of good staff.

I’ve also worked with Jack Nicklaus, who would always get the best sites and the best budgets. Nicklaus was a finishing school in golf design because of his strategy. He knew what a golf ball could and couldn’t do.

What advice would you give other designers from what you’ve learned?

Ron Kirby: Respect the ground. Try and make your golf course fit. It’s a lot of fun being a golf course designer, but you’ve got to be patient to get the right assignments. I’m proud that I got a chance to put my two cents in. The best thing to do is get any job you can on a golf course – even pulling the carts out. I grew up on a golf course, and I’ve never worked anywhere else.

Apes Hill Barbados: Stunning views and fun holes

You have just completed work at Apes Hill in Barbados – what hole there most reflects your style?

Ron Kirby: The second, for sure. It was a par three; now we’ve got a two-way hole. We extended the green and moved the tees back. It was almost an unplayable par three: into the wind, uphill… nobody would love this hole, so you’d play two holes and already you didn’t like the course. We turned it into a really fun, friendly par four. You have a chance to get out of there smiling. I didn’t have to go too far to find a hole I would love.

The idyllic par-4 2nd hole of Apes Hill Barbados. (Credit: Azalea)

How did you bring to Apes Hill what you learnt from designing Old Head?

Ron Kirby: Old Head is basically an island connected with a little isthmus at the gate. But you have almost 360° of cliffs, so you try to get as close to the cliffs as you could to use those features. When I saw Apes Hill, you’ve got some super vistas. You can look at two oceans in some places! So, I said, “all we’ve got to do here is make sure that players can take in the vistas”.

What is your message to everyone who is about to experience Apes Hill?

Ron Kirby: Well, if I could meet every one of them, I hope they would buy me a beer and say I did a good job. I want people to enjoy their game and want to come back again.

The 14th hole of Apes Hill. From the tee you have a great view over the east coast of Barbados. (Photo: Azalea)

Over the years, what’s changed with sustainability and what have we done here at Apes Hill?

Ron Kirby: Sustainability means don’t build anything that you can’t maintain. Number one was the bunkers – we couldn’t maintain those, so we’ve eliminated two thirds of the bunkers. That’s cut back on the maintenance of the bunkers, the sand and erosion, and of course the irrigation. Zoysia grass is tolerant to drought, so we don’t have to keep pumping water on to keep it green and alive, it will maintain itself. We’ve taken away around 1,000 sprinklers, reducing irrigation by a third. Supply here is from a huge lake, which collects the mountain rainfall instead of letting it run off into the sea, millions of gallons. There will also be a par 3 for kids and families.

Tell us a bit about that…

Ron Kirby: We’ve taken inspiration from some of the world’s most famous par-three holes. It’s great for the kids and the families to go out and have fun, but a lot of golfers will say, ‘I’ve never played the Postage Stamp, I’ve never been to Royal Troon”, so they can come here and try it. We also built a 19th hole similar to the famous 17 th hole at TPC Sawgrass, where it’s so dynamic because it’s an island green. You’re either on the green or in the water.

Was it a priority to make the holes diverse enough that people of different skill levels could play?

Ron Kirby: Yes. We only needed four tees per hole, but we put them in spaces where they could cover all types, of players, from guys who can hit it pure to the average guys and then the poor players like me. We have friendly tees for the ladies, challenge tees for the better ladies’ players. It’s fun for everyone. Pick your poison and see where you want to tee it up from.

How do you feel about the finished product?

Ron Kirby: What we’ve done here is the result of a lot of hard work and it wasn’t an easy job. The weather was hitting us hard with storms, Covid delayed us… but I’m proud to be part of it. I can sit back and say this is one of mine. I can say that about maybe 150 golf courses, but this is a special one.

Categories
PGA Tour

Players Championship 2023: Record prize money on the PGA Tour

The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass is the most important tournament on the PGA Tour. Accordingly, the US Tour pays out the most prize money at the so-called “flagship tournament” in Florida. This year, the prize money is – once again – at a record level and significantly higher than the financial contributions of the majors. The Players Championship 2023 awards prize money of 25 million US dollars.

Players Championship prize money: PGA Tour draws level with LIV

This increases the purse by five million compared to the previous year, when Cameron Smith took home 3.6 million US dollars. In 2022, the prize money had already risen from 15 to 20 million. The PGA Tour saw itself forced to distribute significantly more prize money in the face of threatening competition from LIV Golf. The Players is one of the new Designated Events, which are endowed with an average of 20 million US dollars. As the flagship event, however, the “fifth major” stands out once again and draws level with the competition.

The tournaments of the LIV Golf League are also worth 25 million dollars each. One fifth of the prize money is intended for the team ranking of the Saudi League, the rest is paid to all 48 players in the individual ranking. At TPC Sawgrass, however, as usual only the 65 best and tied players who make the cut after two rounds will receive a share of the opulent prize money (see table below).

Fifth place earns seven figures

The winner of the Players Championship 2023 will walk away from Ponte Vedra Beach with a massive 4.5 million US dollars, while the runner-up will receive even more prize money (2.75 million) than, for example, Scottie Scheffler earned at the US Masters 2022. Even the fifth-placed player can be happy about more than one million US dollars.

By comparison, the major tournaments awarded significantly less prize money than the Players Championship or the new Designated Events in addition to the prestigious trophies last year. The US Masters 2022 offered 15 million US dollars, as did the PGA Championship 2022. The US Open 2022 gave the players a total of 17.5 million, the British Open 14 million US dollars. The prize money of the majors is typically only announced shortly before the respective tournaments. This year, the pots are likely to be bigger as well.

Prize money breakdown of the Players Championship 2023

Rank Prize money ($)
1. 4,500,000
2. 2,725,000
3. 1,725,000
4. 1,225,000
5. 1,025,000
6. 906,250
7. 843,750
8. 781,250
9. 731,250
10. 681,250
11. 631,250
12. 581,250
13. 531,250
14. 481,250
15. 456,250
16. 431,250
17. 406,250
18. 381,250
19. 356,250
20. 331,250
21. 306,250
22. 281,250
23. 261,250
24. 241,250
25. 221,250
26. 201,250
27. 193,750
28. 186,250
29. 178,750
30. 171,250
31. 163,750
32. 156,250
33. 148,750
34. 142,500
35. 136,250
36. 130,000
37. 123,750
38. 118,750
39. 113,750
40. 108,750
41. 103,750
42. 98,750
43. 93,750
44. 88,750
45. 83,750
46. 78,750
47. 73,750
48. 69,750
49. 66,250
50. 64,250
51. 62,750
52. 61,250
53. 60,250
54. 59,250
55. 58,750
56. 58,250
57. 57,750
58. 57,250
59. 56,750
60. 56,250
61. 55,750
62. 55,250
63. 54,750
64. 54,250
65. 53,750