Milestones: Key moments that shaped the 2023 golf year

Over the past twelve months, golf has constantly evolved on various levels. All areas of golf are changing over time and are constantly experiencing key moments that point the development of the sport in a new direction. We take a look at various decisions, announcements and moments that have had a lasting impact on golf in 2023.

The OWGR turned down LIV Golf

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) announced in October that players in the LIV Golf League would remain excluded from the world ranking points. The decision resulted from a lack of comparability of the LIV format with other tours and problems such as a lack of cuts and questionable qualification methods. OWGR Chairman Peter Dawson emphasised that the rejection was not politically motivated, but was based on technical reasons. LIV Golf reacted angrily and questioned the trustworthiness of the OWGR system. However, Dawson emphasised that the rejection was not final and LIV could resubmit applications if they showed a willingness to compromise.

Sanctions and suspensions for LIV defectors

After months of discussion and speculation about possible sanctions to be imposed on LIV defectors from the DP World Tour, a decision was made in the middle of the year. The Tour officially imposed sanctions on players who had taken part in LIV Golf League and Asian Tour tournaments without authorisation. The offences against the “Conflicting Tour Regulation” were deemed reasonable and proportionate. The penalties, which include fines of up to £100,000 for each individual offence and possible tournament bans, were determined on an individual basis depending on the impact on broadcast partners, sponsors and DP World Tour stakeholders.

PGA-PIF-Deal: Merger of the tours

An earthquake in the golf world: the PGA Tour, the LIV Golf League and the DP World Tour unexpectedly merged under one umbrella at the beginning of June and immediately settled all legal disputes. The new merger, steered by the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund (PIF), was the result of months of hostilities between the tours. An official statement said the parties have signed an agreement that brings together the rights and operations of the three tours involved “into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that maximises excitement and competition among the game’s best players”.

Delay in the start of “The Golf League”

The premiere of “The Golf League” (TGL), which was originally scheduled to take place in January 2024, had to be postponed to 2025 at the end of the year after a power failure during construction work led to the collapse of the dome of the SoFi Centre on 14 November. Although no injuries were reported and most of the technology was unaffected, the incident had a huge impact on the schedule. The decision to postpone was made after discussions with key partners, including players, team owners, PGA Tour leadership and sponsors. The TGL is confident that the extension will improve the quality. League co-founders Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy expressed disappointment about the delay but remained optimistic about the future of the TGL.

Confirmed: Golf ball rollback will come into force

The USGA and R&A rule makers announced that the driving distance of golf balls will be reduced from January 2028. The new test procedures for the “ODS” (Overall Distance Standard) are intended to limit the effects of increased hitting distances and ensure the sustainability of the sport. The rule changes affect both professional and amateur players. For average male professionals, this means a loss of nine to eleven yards, while proettes can expect a loss of five to seven yards. Male amateur players could hit their ball three to five yards shorter. The far-reaching changes for the recreational sector will take effect from 2030.

PGA Tour players on the DP World Tour

From 2024, PGA Tour players will have the opportunity to compete on the DP World Tour. PGA Tour players ranked 126th to 200th in the FedEx Cup Rankings will receive full membership on the DP World Tour. In addition, all PGA Tour players competing in a Race to Dubai tournament in 2024 will be eligible for Affiliate Membership to earn Race to Dubai points and qualify for the 2024 DP World Tour Playoffs. A new category, “Category 12”, will allow five of these PGA Tour players per week to participate in DP World Tour events.

Progress in ladies’ golf

It is not only men’s golf that is undergoing constant development. A lot has also happened in women’s golf in 2023: never before has so much money been paid out in the women’s leagues as in 2023. On the LPGA Tour, there was a total of over 101 million dollars in prize money. In addition, the US Women’s Open was held at the legendary Pebble Beach golf course for the first time since the inaugural Women’s Major 72 years ago. This move marked a milestone for women’s golf and increased media exposure and financial support. The event also introduced shot tracker technology, enabling live shot tracking. The prize money was increased to a total of eleven million dollars – a lot of progress that promotes equality in women’s golf.


Ryder Cup Triumphs to Ace Hat-Trick: The Best Golf Shots of 2023

2023 was marked by major tournaments and outstanding shots, often coinciding. The Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup provided particularly memorable moments alongside prestigious individual events. However, even on a smaller stage, the odd shot or two caught the golf world’s attention. So, let’s enjoy the most brilliant shots of the year together.

Ryder Cup 2023: Hovland’s Pro Practice Hole-in-One Sets the Course

Leading up to the Ryder Cup, Viktor Hovland delivered an exceptional shot from over 270 meters during a practice round. The Norwegian set the stage for victory at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club with a Hole-in-One on the Par-4 of the fifth hole. Initially, the celebration was delayed, but joy knew no bounds when the ball landed on the green, took two small bounces, and rolled into the hole. While Hovland didn’t replicate the albatross during the tournament, his outstanding shot set the tone for an extraordinary performance.

On the tournament’s first day, Hovland showcased his prowess at shorter distances, delivering a remarkable chip-in despite chipping not being his forte. Hovland contributed significantly to Team Europe’s strong start in the Ryder Cup with that fantastic shot. The hosts secured a 4-0 lead on the opening day, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Inspired by Hovland’s chip-in, Jon Rahm, also known as ‘Rahmbo,’ demonstrated his nerves of steel during the Fourballs on the first day. The Spaniard excelled in crucial moments throughout the Ryder Cup and gave free rein to his emotions after winning the hole against Scheffler and Koepka. Rahm and Hojgaard ultimately tied the match against the Americans and played a significant role in Team Europe’s dream start.

Solheim Cup 2023: Ciganda’s Brilliance Leads Team Europe to Victory at Home

A week before the Ryder Cup, European women golfers showcased how winning on home soil is done. Carlota Ciganda stood out during the Solheim Cup 2023 in an exceptional home game in Andalusia, Spain. The singles at the Solheim Cup 2023 could hardly have been more thrilling, as both teams entered the final day with a tie. Almost all matches were close, with the teams alternating securing hole wins. The initial matches were split, with the USA securing four points and Europe another four.

The score was 13-13, with two matches still to play. Ciganda played a decisive role in one of these matches, ensuring the crucial point against Nelly Korda. Ciganda was already leading with ‘3 up’ after eight holes, but the tide turned on the back nine. The American won three holes and went ‘All Square’ to the 16th. Ciganda excited the fans, repeatedly regaining the lead with a birdie. On the 17th, she attacked the flag of the Par-3 with an outstanding drive. Korda missed the green on the left, and the Spaniard had no trouble securing the 14th point for her team with a short putt. Sky reporter Jamie Weir called it the “best golf shot of the year so far.” An unbelievable shot at a moment when the pressure could hardly be higher.

The Solheim Cup 2023 featured another historic shot by Emily Kristine Pedersen, who not only won an essential hole for Team Europe through a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th hole but also created an unforgettable memory with only the second hole-in-one in the history of the Solheim Cup.

Incredible hole-in-one Hat-Trick at the Players Championship

The Players Championship 2023 was a record-breaking tournament. Not only did it feature the highest prize money in the history of the PGA Tour, with $25 million, but it also witnessed a parade of holes-in-one at the 17th hole. There had been ten holes-in-one in the tournament’s history on the 17th hole, and the 11th came swiftly. Hayden Buckley, who started in the second flight at the 10th hole, set the bar high and sank the ball with a single stroke. The ball landed a distance to the flag’s right and then rolled towards the hole, perfectly lining up for the jackpot.
The second hole-in-one set a record as well. On Moving Day, Aaron Rai thrilled the spectators with an ace and became part of a historic moment: The first time in 49 years of the Players Championship that two holes-in-one occurred in the same year on the 17th hole.
As if that weren’t enough, the final day was yet to come, and Alex Smalley delighted the audience with the third ace of the week.

Near Miss Excellence: Nicolai von Dellingshausen’s Heart-Stopping Shot at the British Masters

During the British Masters, Nicolai von Dellingshausen narrowly missed a hole-in-one at the British Masters, with his tee shot on the 14th hole at The Belfry coming within two centimetres of the cup.

Sepp Straka’s Dream Shot at the Masters

The US Masters 2023 had barely begun, and Sepp Straka already had a reason to celebrate. During the preparatory round leading up to the tournament, the Austrian made a hole-in-one on the 12th hole. His caddy and the entire flight rejoiced along with the Vienna-born player for the magnificent shot.

Sahith Theegala then caused a sensation with a stroke of genius during the tournament. The American delivered an impressive overall performance on the final day of the US Masters 2023. The 67-round of the Masters rookie was crowned by an incredible chip-in on the 16th hole. The dream shot reminded some spectators of a legendary shot from the US Masters 2005. Back then, golf legend Tiger Woods also holed the ball from a similar position, sending the audience into a frenzy.

Koepka Makes it Rain at LIV Golf’s ‘Watering Hole’

The party hole at the LIV Golf event in Adelaide, Australia, lived up to its name, “The Watering Hole,” as the party hole at Hole 12 was christened at the LIV Golf League in Australia. On the final day, Chase Koepka gave the crowd a reason to celebrate, delivering an impressive hole-in-one.

Michael Block’s PGA Championship Fairy Tale

Michael Block delighted fans as the underdog at this year’s PGA Championship. As the only PGA Professional to make it to the weekend of the 2023 PGA Championship, he entered the final round from the top 10 after three rounds in the 70s, alongside none other than Rory McIlroy. Fans celebrated him as a star, and he crowned his week with a hole-in-one on the 15th hole. The fan favourite could hardly believe that the ball landed in the hole. ‘It didn’t go in, did it?’

Nick Hardy’s Brilliant Birdie With a Shattered Club

Nick Hardy created a highlight on the PGA Tour with a sensational shot. His drive landed unfavourably right in front of a tree. He took the entire risk and hit the ball over the water onto the green. The club struck the tree so forcefully during the swing that it was no longer usable afterwards. However, the ball landed three and a half meters from the flag, allowing him to achieve one of the most spectacular birdies of the year. Even Billy Horschel congratulated him.

Highlights Tours

Record hunt 2023: Bernhard Langer’s great triumph and more impressive performances

From impressive rounds to triumphant victories, the year 2023 in golf has been filled with astonishing moments. Bernhard Langer claimed the title of the most successful golfer on the PGA Tour Champions, Bryson DeChambeau left everyone in awe with a remarkable 58, and Scottie Scheffler’s wallet is likely brimming after a unique season. Let’s revisit the memorable records of 2023.

Bernhard Langers All-Time Record

At the 2023 US Senior Open, Bernhard Langer achieved a historic milestone by securing his 46th victory on the PGA Tour Champions, surpassing Hale Irwin’s record of 45 wins set in 2007. Langer, at the age of 65, showcased his excellence with an impressive seven strokes under par, maintaining a lead of two to three strokes over his competitors. This victory marked Langer’s twelfth major win on the Champions Tour, further solidifying his own record for the most senior majors. With numerous other successes in his illustrious career, Bernhard Langer remains a golf legend.

Bryson DeChambeau’s Picture-Perfect Round and a Double Record by Matt Wallace

While Bryson DeChambeau may not have reached legendary status yet, he astounded the golf world with a legendary round this year. At the Greenbrier Event of the LIV Golf League, the American clinched an undisputed victory, concluding the tournament with an impressive 58. A 59 is a rare feat, but a 58 in men’s golf is exceptionally uncommon. The last time such a low round was recorded was in 2016 by Jim Furyk on the PGA Tour and Stephan Jäger on the Tour.

However, record-breaking rounds were not limited to the LIV Tour. Matt Wallace set two records in a single round at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. While nine birdies in a round are impressive on their own, Wallace achieved nine birdies on the back nine, matching James Nittier’s record for the most consecutive birdies on the European Tour/DP World Tour and setting a new record for the Back Nine.

Long-Drive Record: No One Hits Farther than Kyle Berkshire

Kyle Berkshire, a multiple-time world champion and the number one-ranked long driver, set two new records in 2023. During his world record attempt, Berkshire struck the ball at an incredible speed of 241.6 miles per hour, a feat never before achieved in golf. This equates to approximately 388.8 kilometers per hour, establishing a new world record for the long-haired American from Maryland.

Just under two weeks later, Berkshire made another record-breaking announcement. In Wyoming, he launched the ball an astonishing 529 meters, aided by a tailwind of 32 km/h.

PGA Tour Money Shower

Early in the year, it became evident that 2023 would be a record-breaking year for players’ wallets, thanks to the generous prize money at PGA Tour Designated Events. In April, Jon Rahm surpassed the prize money record previously held by Scottie Scheffler in the 2020/21 season. Rahm had earned a record-breaking $14,465,840 at that point, driven by four victories, including the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Genesis Invitational, and the Masters, along with five additional top-10 finishes. By the end of the season, Rahm ranked second in the money standings with $16,522,608. Scottie Scheffler, however, outearned everyone, amassing an incredible $21,014,342 during this season.

Professionals Rules

Koepka’s caddie, Lydia Ko’s misunderstanding and more – The most bizarre rule situations in 2023

In 2023, there were also some curious rules situations. In addition to the ignorance of the golfers, the triggers included a hit golf cart and a forgotten club in the tournament bag. The intervention of the officials often had bitter consequences and shattered a few dreams this year. One thing is certain, whether quintuple bogey or disqualification, a glance at the rules would have prevented a number of situations.

Aerated greens: Honesty wins over course record

Tommy Kuhl, college golfer, experienced emotional ups and downs at a local US Open qualifying tournament. First, he broke the course record (62) at Illini Country Club and made it to the next qualifying stage. But the player from the University of Illinios had a rude awakening when he spoke to his teammates. When they mentioned after the end of the round how difficult they had found it to putt on aerated Greens, the student realized that he had repaired the effects of aerification more than once. According to Rule 13.1c, repairs can be made, but there is a clear reference to soil aeration: “Damage to the Green does not include damage or conditions caused by normal maintenance work to preserve the Green (such as soil aeration holes and grooves from scarifying).” This gave Kuhl a “queasy feeling” and as he could not reconcile this with his conscience, he let the officials know about his actions. As a result, he indirectly disqualified himself, his course record was annulled and his dream of a US Open was to remain a dream.

Rare faux pas costs qualification for PGA tournament

The next tragic but also honest character in the year’s rule situations is Hayden Springer. The Texan made a momentous gaffe in the final of the qualifying tournament for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. On Monday, it was a four-player play-off for the three spots for the tournament itself in the same week. Before that, Springer practiced on the driving range after his round of 66, which qualified him for the play-off, and waited for the rest of the field. On the range, he practiced with a club that had not previously been part of his 14-strong tournament bag. When he walked onto the fairway at Fieldstone Golf Club in Auburn Hills on the first playoff hole after teeing off, it sent shivers down his spine. Hayden Springer remembered that the 15th club was still in the bag. He immediately reported the mistake to the rules officials, which is particularly creditable as nobody knew about it. He then played par on the first play-off hole like two of his competitors, while one of the other three players only recorded bogey. In purely playing terms, Springer would have made it. But despite his integrity, the rules had to be adhered to and he received two penalty strokes for the infringement. The resulting double bogey cost him his long-awaited qualification for the PGA Tour event.

Debut ends quickly: Lack of knowledge is no defense against penalties

Another bitter situation was experienced by Zach Williams. The 24-year-old American won a spot in the June Memorial Health Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour via a Monday Qualifier. It was his debut on the tour and it was to end very quickly after two holes. Williams used his rangefinder on hole 1, as he had done on Monday, and was penalized two strokes. On the second hole, the same offense led to the American’s immediate disqualification. The Korn Ferry Tour allows distance aids in qualifying tournaments, but not in official events. The player in question commented on X (formerly Twitter) about the “hard to swallow” breach of the rules. There, Williams said he thought the Korn Ferry Tour had adjusted the rules and that you were allowed to use the rangefinder at the other pro events. However, he also admitted that he should have known about this rule.

Lydia Ko’s unfortunate misunderstanding leads to seven penalty strokes

A player who no longer has to worry about qualifying is Lydia Ko. As a two-time major winner and former number one in the world rankings, the New Zealander is a permanent fixture on the LPGA Tour. But even a multiple tournament winner is not immune to problems with the rules. At the Dana Open in July, replacing the ball was made possible without penalty for the entire third round after heavy rainfall. When round 4 started on Sunday, the pro assumed that this would continue to apply. But on the 11th hole, the officials realized what had long been forbidden at Highland Meadows Golf Club on Sunday, except for holes 1 and 10.

Ko generally assumed replacing the ball was still possible and made use of it on the fairways of holes 3 (par), 7 (par) and 9 (bogey). As she never returned her ball to its original position, she was penalized two strokes for each offence under Rule 14.7a for playing from the wrong position. On the 11th hole, she was given an additional stroke under Rule 9.4 for deliberately picking up the cue ball. However, she continued to play from the original position. So four strokes under par became two over on the leaderboard. This was tantamount to dropping 41 spots.

Upsetting rule situation: Defending champion with a start to forget

Anna Davis won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last year. But in April 2023, things went wrong right from the start. The 17-year-old started with a bogey on hole 1, but that wasn’t the problem. It was the following: On hole 1, she picked up her ball twice, as is customary when changing the ball position. But then the officials intervened. On the Champions Retreat Course next to Augusta National, changing the ball position in the first round was allowed, but only on short grass and not, as in Davis’ case, in the rough. The amateur conceded two penalty strokes per offense in Georgia. Result: Quintuple bogey. According to the youngster, she had asked her scorer whether repositioning would apply everywhere. In spite of his lack of knowledge, the scorer answered in the affirmative and the bogey turned into a five-shot loss. The US-American took it sportingly and saw it as an “instructive experience”. In the end, she missed the cut.

Controversial decision by a few centimeters costs PGA Tour Card

The final round of the Korn Ferry Tour in Indiana was the deciding round for next year’s PGA Tour Cards. Then, at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, Shad Tuten involuntarily attracted the attention of the officials. He was already certain that he was one of the top 30 players with a playing license and went into the clubhouse. But according to the rules officials, the 31-year-old made a mistake on hole 15 following a trip into the rough. When he placed the ball back on the ground after the “lift, clean and place” procedure, it rolled forward by a few centimetres. Tuten played on, but the barely visible movement had an aftermath. He was subsequently penalized two strokes. The birdie on hole 15 turned into a bogey and 30th place into 32nd. This meant that his eligibility to play on the PGA Tour, which he thought was certain, was history, as Rule 14.2e states that you have to try again to place a ball that does not come to rest. The committee therefore decided in accordance with Rule 14.7b: “The result with the ball that was played from the wrong location counts and the player incurs the basic penalty under Rule 14.7a in addition to the result with this ball (this means that two penalty strokes are added to the result with this ball).”

Uproar surrounding Brooks Koepka’s caddie at the US Masters 2023

Things got heated in the first round of the US Masters 2023. But not because of Brooks Koepka, who hit a 5-iron onto the green on hole 15 with his second shot and later putted for birdie. It was because of Ricky Elliott, the caddie of the five-time major winner, who apparently said something to his flight partner Gary Woodland and his caddie. “Five” is said to have been the word of agitation, which he probably used to refer to Koepka’s club. Koepka’s hand movement when taking off his glove was also scrutinized as suspicious. However, this would have violated Rule 10-2a, which prohibits giving advice to other caddies or players and is punishable by two penalty strokes. Whether the player is directly involved or only his caddie is giving advice is irrelevant. The Masters officials therefore questioned those involved, but they denied the accusations. Koepka did not consider Elliot to be at fault, as Woodland is even said to have asked him which club he had used on the way to the Green. In the end, the incident went without a penalty and the caddie’s behavior went unpunished, although the upset was significant.

“One in a Million”: Matthias Schwab hits golf cart and spectacularly drops the ball

The next incident was not about a potential penalty, but about the question of how to deal with a strange situation. Matthias Schwab missed his shot during the first round of the 2023 Players Championship and the ball flew towards the spectators as the Austrian shouted “Fore”. The golf cart of the Sky television team led by German reporter Flo Bauer drove past on the cart path and the ball got caught in the vehicle. The crew hit the brakes and an official came to the rescue. The elderly gentleman asked Schwab to put a tee under the cart and mark the spot. Bauer then drove out of the way and things continued in a strange way. Because when the Austrian dropped his ball on the tarred surface, the ball didn’t move an inch despite several bounces and came to rest. You really rarely see a drop like that!


Emotions, triumphs and tears: The memorable golf year 2023

The year 2023 in golf was characterized by personal stories that went beyond the competition. From the joy of the birth of Brooks Koepka’s first son to the moving success of Camilo Villegas after the tragic loss of his daughter, golf revealed its human and compassionate side this year. Let’s dive into the most emotional moments that shaped the golf year 2023.

Cheers on one side, tears on the other – The Ryder Cup 2023 in Rome

The 2023 Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club just outside Rome was not only the athletic but also the emotional highlight of the year. Hundreds of thousands of fans created a breathtaking atmosphere and cheered the European team on to a magnificent victory. Shane Lowry was infected by the atmosphere and celebrated a chip-in from Viktor Hovland on the first hole of the tournament as emotionally as the victory itself.

The incomparable atmosphere was also palpable with a putt from Justin Rose. The Englishman held his nerve during his fourball match on the first day and converted an important putt on the 18th green to level the match. This goosebump moment is one of the situations for which Rose received the Nicklaus Jacklin for his sportsmanship.

The Europeans had to wait a long time for the decisive point, despite their superiority. In the end, it was Tommy Fleetwood who put up 2 on hole 16 in his match and was thus unable to lose to Rickie Fowler. He secured the decisive half point for his team. It was the USA’s seventh defeat in a row on European soil. The often favored team has not won an away game since 1993. In the end, there was no stopping the fans and players and a night of partying began that would not end until the early hours of the morning.

As good as the victory was for the Europeans, the Ryder Cup experience was a bitter one for the Americans. With the Europeans holding a huge lead on the first day, the pressure was on the American players. When the Scandinavians Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg then demolished the US stars Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka in the third session on Saturday morning, the dams burst. In the highest Foursome victory in the history of the traditional continental tournament, the duel was decided after just eleven holes with a nine-stroke lead. The severe humiliation was particularly hard on superstar Scheffler, who could no longer hold back his tears afterwards and had to be comforted by his wife Meredith.

Even after the Ryder Cup, there were both happy and tragic events. Firstly, Patrick Cantlay took advantage of the trip to the eternal city and married his partner Nikki Guidish after the tournament. Just one day later, a major fire broke out on the grounds of the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, burning down the entire hospitality tent.

New additions to the Koepka family

But let’s get back to more pleasant topics. For example, the birth of little Crew Koepka, the first baby of five-time major winner Brooks Koepka and his wife Jena Sims. The couple welcomed their son on July 27, six weeks before the actual due date. However, both mother and son were well up, so that Brooks Koepka was back on the golf course just one week after the birth.

Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Brooks Koepka (@bkoepka)

The most emotional victories of the year

Many different players have managed to win a tournament this year. Some won a professional event for the first time ever, others added more trophies to their collection. However, two victories are particularly memorable as they touched us deeply. At the beginning of November, Erik van Rooyen won only the second tournament in his ten-year professional career and dedicated the victory to his friend Jon Trasamar, who is suffering from cancer. “You imagine being full of euphoria and just ecstatic, but I was just numb,” the AP agency quoted van Rooyen as saying. The South African then decided not to take part in the remaining Fall Series tournaments and spent the time with his sick friend.

Just one week after van Rooyen’s victory, the Colombian Camilo Villegas celebrated a similarly emotional triumph. Villegas lost his daughter Mia in 2020 at the age of just 22 months. Little Mia suffered from a severe brain and spinal tumor. Villegas returned to the tour a month later. “Mia is not here with us physically, but she will remain in our hearts forever,” said the Colombian in an emotional interview that day.

More than three years later, Villegas won again on the PGA Tour for the first time since the death of his daughter. It was the Colombian’s fifth title on the tour. However, his last victory was nine years ago. “It’s hard to put into words right now,” he said during the interview shortly after the last putt. “What a rollercoaster ride! I love this game. This game has given me so many good things and in between it kicks your butt.” Villegas had repeatedly lost his Tour card in recent years and also only got eleven starts on the PGA Tour this season. “I’ve got my little girl up there watching,” he remembered Mia. Villegas and his wife have been parents for the second time since December 2022.


From tea-gate to hat-gate: the biggest outrages of 2023

This year once again had some explosive moments, because while there were open disputes among some, things became unexpectedly controversial around Tiger Woods. Patrick Cantlay was at the center of a heated situation more than once in 2023 and climate activists also made their presence felt on golf courses around the world on several occasions. A Canadian player made the acquaintance of security and Patrick Reed feels unfairly treated.

Outrages at the 2023 Ryder Cup: Patrick Cantlay’s hat-gate and McIlroy vs. LaCava

As if the Ryder Cup didn’t have enough to offer this year, Patrick Cantlay’s non-existent headgear was to take center stage in Rome. Triggered by a tweet, rumors quickly spread over the course of Saturday that the non-existent cap was a protest by Cantlay to demand money for the American players at the Ryder Cup. The 31-year-old said that the cap simply didn’t fit him, but the European fans in Rome had already found their battle cries:

The resulting heated situation erupted towards the end of the fourball between Matt Fitzpatrick/Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay/Wyndham Clark. Joe LaCava, Cantlay’s caddie and former companion of Tiger Woods, caused a stir. Inspired by the European spectators, he and the rest of the US team took off their hats after Cantlay’s birdie putt and began to twirl them above their heads. Rory McIlroy , who was on the verge of a crucial putt on 18 with which he could theoretically have equalized the match. McIlroy made his opinion clear to LaCava and there were also arguments with other members of the European team.

But it had an aftermath, because as the players, caddies and consorts were getting ready in the parking lot of the Marco Simone Golf Club for transportation to the hotel, the conflict was about to boil over again. A visibly heated Rory McIlroy wanted to let the American team know once again what he thought of LaCava’s action and snapped at Jim Mackay, Justin Thomas’ caddie, who was just leaving the clubhouse. Shane Lowry intervened and maneuvered McIlroy into the waiting car. According to McIlroy himself, he then had to cool down in an ice bath at the hotel.

Slow play heats things up

It was not only at the Ryder Cup that Patrick Cantlay was to become the focus of outrages. Cantlay did not only make positive headlines at the US Masters in April. The eight-time winner on the PGA Tour drew the ire of the other players on the final day due to his slow play. This went so far that his flight partner Viktor Hovland played his chip from next to the green on one hole before Cantlay was even close to the green. Brooks Koepka in particular, who was competing for victory with Jon Rahm in the flight behind, had few good words for his compatriot. “The group in front of us was brutally slow,” he said after losing the final round. “Jon went to the loo seven times during the round and we were still waiting.”

Cantlay was not the only cause of delays. Carlota Ciganda, who won the Solheim Cup with the European team this year, was also slow at the women’s major in France – too slow according to the referees. The Spaniard was given two penalty strokes for her slow play and was in danger of missing the cut. But Ciganda refused to accept the penalty and did not bow to the officials’ judgment. She refused to note the extra strokes and signed the scorecard anyway. She was later disqualified from the major for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Climate activism: golf courses become a target for the last generation and co

Controversial actions by climate activists, who protested several times in a prominent and media-effective manner, also accompanied the world of golf throughout the year. On European golf courses, the protests mainly took the form of damage to property. In Switzerland, the group “Grondements des Terres” (rumblings of the earth) caused a stir with vandalism and the placing of potatoes on torn up turf. On the links course at GC Budersand on the island of Sylt, the “Last Generation” also worked on the green and placed a sign saying “nature reserve” to draw attention to the renaturation of the area, which they consider necessary. DGV President Kobold criticized the action and referred to the ecosystem services provided by golf courses. And a major also became the target of activists. On day 2 of the British Open 2023, people from the “Just Stop Oil” organization blocked the 17th green of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, but were removed from the green without causing a major stir.

Tiger Woods’ tampon prank backfires

What was Tiger Woods thinking? At the Genesis Invitational in February, some people asked themselves exactly this question. It was Woods’ first regular tournament in a long time and the veteran had come up with a special “fun” idea. Together with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, he set off on the round and things got explosive on the hole afterwards. Because when Thomas played his drive shorter than Tiger, Woods pressed a tampon into his friend’s hand as he left the tee box and they both burst out laughing. However, the incident did not go down well with everyone, especially on social media. The tampon as a sign that JT hits like a woman was seen by some as a derogatory statement about women and their golfing achievements. Tiger himself came out afterwards and apologized.

The tackle of the year

One of the most unexpected clips of this year took place at the Canadian Open. For the first time since 1954, a Canadian, Nick Taylor, won the tournament on the PGA Tour. Compatriot and fellow golfer Adam Hadwin wanted to celebrate the victory on home soil together with the newly crowned winner, but a security employee interpreted the approaching golfer as a potential danger and pulled him to the ground.

Fortunately, what looked like a lot of excitement ended without injury to Hadwin. He took the tackle with humor in Canadian style and re-enacted the scene with his wife on Halloween.

American Tour pro exposed with attempted fraud

Also in Canada, a player caused a scandal when he tried to stay in the tournament by manipulating his scorecard. At a PGA Tour Canada tournament, Justin Doeden asked for his scorecard after his round, allegedly to check something. When hole 18, a par 5, finally showed a par for Doeden on the leaderboard, his flight partners expressed their doubts to the officials about the accuracy of this score. It was revealed that Doeden had erased the 7 on the scorecard and written in a 5 in order to make the cut. His action would have had far-reaching consequences for many other players, as his alleged score would have shifted the cut line from -2 to -3, costing 13 additional players the cut. Doeden admitted his offense afterwards and called it “the biggest mistake of his life.”

Tee-Gate: Cold reunion of Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed

Rory McIlroy was not only involved in an explosive situation at the Ryder Cup at the end of the golf year, he was also involved in a dispute at the beginning of the year, but this time it was directed at him. At the Hero Dubai Desert Classic at the beginning of the year, there was a reunion between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed, who had switched to LIV. But when the US American tried to greet the Northern Irishman on the driving range, Rory gave him the cold shoulder. An annoyed Reed then threw a tee in the direction of the four-time major winner. As unspectacular as this action looked in the video, the outrage that followed was all the greater.

The background was a legal dispute between the two professionals. Reed’s lawyer had sent McIlroy a subpoena at Christmas and had a negative impact on the holidays at McIlroy’s home. As a result, “Rors” said of the incident: “If I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake. I was down by my bag and he came up to me and I was busy with my work and my training and I didn’t really feel the need to say hello to him.”

“If the roles were reversed and I’d thrown the tea at him, I’d expect a lawsuit,” Rory added.

Europe Travel

Camiral Golf & Wellness: Spain’s No.1 among World’s Top 20 Golf Resorts

As it prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2024, Camiral Golf & Wellness has continued its reign as Spain’s No.1 Golf Resort in the new World Top 100 Golf Resorts, published by Golf World. Part of the European Tour Destinations network, the resort formerly known as PGA Catalunya, has risen in the new listing, placing 17th, reinforcing its position as a must-visit destination for discerning international golf travellers.

The Camiral Golf & Wellness at the gates of Girona

Golf World’s Top 100 Resorts editor, Chris Bertram, said: “Camiral Golf & Wellness has been one of Europe’s leading golf destinations for over two decades, but it is now so much more than ‘just’ one of the best places on the continent to play the game. Its two world-class golf courses and the two onsite hotels – the uber-stylish and luxurious Hotel Camiral and the beautiful LAVIDA – and the amenities they boast, have turned it into a first-class contemporary leisure and wellness resort that is attracting an ever-increasing number of international customers.”

Tour Course at Camiral Golf & Wellness. (Photo: Jacob Sjöman)

A recent investment in sustainability, which will help reduce water consumption on both the Stadium and Tour courses by 35%, includes the implementation of a more drought-and heat-resistant turf variety, a reduction in irrigated areas, and a study to update the resort’s irrigation system with the latest water-saving technology.

It is the latest action that has helped Camiral Golf & Wellness also earn a place in the inaugural ‘Green 100’ listing by Today’s Golfer magazine, in association with GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, recognising the most sustainable golf venues in Europe.

Commenting on this latest global accolade, David Plana, Camiral Golf & Wellness CEO, said: “For more than two decades, we have sought to offer guests and residents the finest resort experience in Spain, and this has been duly confirmed by the new World Top 100 Golf Resorts listing. As we welcome our landmark 25-year milestone, we continue to invest to elevate the visitor, resident and member experience. During 2024, projects will include the renovation of our Clubhouse at the beginning of the year, the implementation of a Trackman range in our Golf Hub, as well as continued work around the resort to ensure that we are operating sustainably – all demonstrating our long-term commitment to being a leading international golf and wellness destination.”

The 5* Hotel Camiral at Camiral Golf & Wellness. (Photo: Jacob Sjöman)

Beyond the fairways, Camiral Golf & Wellness offers many sport and leisure facilities, a wide range of dining experiences and luxurious wellbeing treatments at the state-of-the-art Wellness Centre, where guests indulge in treatments from whole-body cryotherapy to holistic massages.

Located just outside the gastronomic city of Girona and just one hour from Barcelona, Camiral Golf & Wellness is a world-class retreat for golfers, sports enthusiasts, wellness retreat seekers and their families.

Text: Camiral Golf & Wellness


Fails of 2023: From horror laps to miserable bunkers

Not everything went smoothly in golf year 2023. Julien Brun battled his way through an unforgettable round of horror, while the wicked bunkers at Royal Liverpool presented even experienced players with unforeseen challenges.

Two big disasters at the Players Championship

There were two major mishaps at the Players Championship in March. Firstly, Aaron Wise experienced a real debacle on hole 18 at the TPC Sawgrass and only narrowly escaped the highest score on the last hole at the Players Championship. The 26-year-old started on hole 18 with two over par – a sextuple bogey almost resulted in the worst score on this hole. His tee shots landed in the water three times in a row. Wise finished the last hole with ten strokes and slipped to penultimate place on the leaderboard (T141).

On Sunday in the final, there was another disaster that cost Taylor Montgomery 1.4 million dollars. At the Players Championship, the 28-year-old was on the verge of collecting the biggest cheque of his career to date. At ten under par, he was in the top five with four holes to go and 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. But no Players Championship without drama on the 17th! One of the most iconic and famous holes in the world of golf cost Montgomery four strokes after he had already had to accept a bogey and a double bogey. First, he sank his tee shot into the water on the short par-3, which is particularly nerve-wracking but always unpredictable due to the unpredictable wind. Then, after the drop, his second attempt was also too long and also ended up in the water.

Bunker Fails 2023

Bunkers are among the most unpleasant obstacles on golf courses. Amateur players in particular have their difficulties with the sand holes in the middle of their favourite golf courses. One amateur was particularly unlucky this year when, after a few air shots, he only made it off the edge of the bunker on the ninth shot.

This year, however, even the pros had their problems. At the British Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, the dreaded pot bunkers spoilt many a player’s top placing. On the very first day, the bunkers threw a spanner in the works for Lucas Herbert. Herbert misjudged his tee shot with the gap wedge slightly to the left and landed in one of the brutal pot bunkers. This was followed by an uncomfortable shot with a leg outside the bunker. This fell short and rolled back into the bunker. This was followed by shot number 4 and then two putts for a triple bogey.

Memorable rule errors

Golf is a complicated game. Even the pros sometimes lose track of the many rules. This was the case for Julien Brun, who incurred two penalty strokes at the DS Automobiles Italian Open. The Frenchman had apparently forgotten a rule change that prohibited players from picking up and cleaning their own ball on the fairway at the weekend – this was still permitted in the first two rounds. This rule had obviously completely passed Brun by, or he had simply forgotten it. Because on the very first hole of his third round, he picked up his ball to clean it and promptly conceded a penalty stroke. The result: a bogey. Anyone thinking that the man had learnt from his mistake was wrong. Because he made the exact same mistake again on the sixth hole. Again it was penalty stroke and bogey. Brun took it with humour.

It was even more bitter for Curtis Luck on the Korn Ferry Tour. Within the extensive rules of golf, there are numerous reasons to be disqualified during the round. Only very few manage to be disqualified before the round. Curtis Luck made this annoying faux pas this year. He arrived too late for his tee-off and his eligibility to start was ruined. According to the rules, anyone who arrives late will be disqualified.


World Golf Ranking: Scottie Scheffler Ends the Year at the Top

Scottie Scheffler remains firmly at the top of the current world golf ranking, solidifying his position as the highest-ranked American golfer. Scheffler’s consistent and stellar performances on the golf course have allowed him to clinch the top spot, underscoring his status as a dominant force in the sport. Accompanying him in the rankings, Patrick Cantlay secures his elite standing by holding onto the fifth position, showcasing the enduring excellence of American golfers.

Consistent Performances: Leading American Golfers in World Ranking

Among the leading American players, Xander Schauffele holds sixth place, closely followed by Max Homa in seventh. The players have maintained their positions from the previous week, placing them firmly in the top ten. Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark bring up the rear in ninth and tenth place, respectively, concluding the group of leading American talents in the World Golf Rankings.

Scottie Scheffler is followed in the world rankings in second and third place by Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Jon Rahm of Spain. Further into the top ten is the steadfast fourth-place standing of Norway’s Viktor Hovland, indicative of a sustained level of performance and unchanged from the previous week. This consistency among the upper reaches of the rankings indicates a consistency in performances throughout the sport over the last couple of weeks. Focusing on the rest of the top ten, England’s Matt Fitzpatrick remains in eighth place. The presence of several nationalities in this segment of the world rankings highlights the global nature of competitive golf. Notably absent since the last ranking update is any change in the top ten, suggesting a temporary pause in the typically dynamic shifts towards the end of the year.

This text was created with the help ofAI.


Euro 2024: Three Lions will stay at luxury golf resort in East Germany

Gareth Southgate, boss of the Three Lions, confirmed that the team around Harry Kayne will have their training base at the state of Thuringia during the 2024 European Championships next summer. At the Spa and GolfResort Weimarer Land in Blankenhain, the team want to forget the result of the last Euro and make it better this time. The spacious hotel complex around 30 kilometres from Erfurt, Thuringia’s state capital, will lay the foundations for success at the European Championships. It’s not just Southgates’ team that will be guests in Thuringia next year.

Three Lions: Perfect place for Harry Kane?

The Three Lions and Bayern player Harry Kane are staying at the golfresort during the tournament (14.06 – 14.07). For Kane, a keen golfer on the team, this should be good place to calm down between the games. The top-ranked english team is regarded as one of the top favourites for the tournament. They lost to Italy on penalties in the home final of the 2021 European Football Championship at Wembley Stadium. Now they want to do better. At the gates of the historic city of Weimar, the extensive course offers two 18-hole courses. One of the two is the hilly Goethe Course, which is dedicated to Johann Wolfgang Goethe, the famous poet and face of the city of Weimar. The hotel opened in May 2013 and offers 94 rooms and suites.

EM 2024: German Team of Julian Nagelsmann is also a guest

The Three Lions and their captain Harry Kane, are part of Group C including Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia. The host of the Euro 2024 will also be a guest in Thuringia. But the German national team and their coach Julian Nagelsmann will only stay for a few days at the end of May to prepare for the tournament at home. The opening match of the European Championship will take place on June 14th in Munich between Germany and Scotland. Ten stadiums in total, such as the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, will be part of the Euro 2024 in Germany.