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Hittin’ the Links

Volume Four Hundred Twenty One

Feb. 23, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin the LinksThis week we saw James Hahn get his first PGA Tour win at the Northern Trust Open, Lydia Ko win her 17th event this month (still fact-checking that one), and Scott Piercy get lost in an ocean of sand traps.

Tiger Woods was ruled out of the next few events, and Josh Scobee wants in.

All that, plus an antsy Michael Jordan, a second dose of DLIII, and a bit of manufacturing innovation from PING.

Let's get into it.

Volume Four Hundred Twenty

Feb. 16, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksIt seems like the golf news was dominated this week by hand wringing over Tiger's health/golf game and Caroline Wozniaki in a swim suit, but there was quite a bit more going on. And we have a lot of questions…

For one thing, what ever happened to good front runners? It seems like being in the lead after 54-holes is about the last position you want to be in these days.

Which PGA Tour pro is an astrophotographer on the side, and which narrated a children's book?

How good is Kim Jong-un's golf game?

For answers to these questions and more, let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Nineteen

Feb. 9, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksIf you don't know about Charlie Sifford, you should.

Until 1961, the PGA Tour had a "Caucasian Only" clause. It's hard to believe in 2015, but less than 60 years ago people were excluded from playing at the highest level solely because of the color of their skin. Much like Jackie Robinson in baseball, Charlie Sifford wasn't the first African-American golfer. He may not even have been the best at the time. But he was the one who broke the color barrier on the PGA TOUR.

By the time Sifford was allowed to measure his skill against other pros on the PGA TOUR, he was 38 (Tiger and his back are now 39). Sifford won but twice on the TOUR but his contributions and sacrifices went far beyond that. Charlie Sifford, in 1960, opened up what was then a very exclusionary sport to a new audience. Sifford endured insults, threats, and galleries who would occasionally kick or throw his ball into the rough, woods, and other bad lies.

Though there is still work to do to make golf more inclusive, Sifford's contributions made it unlikely that anyone will endure what he did in the future, and we should all take notice and honor him.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Eighteen

Feb. 2, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksUsually a bad round by a PGA TOUR pro is one that I would like to shoot. But 82? I'm not a great golfer, but I don't get very excited about any score that starts with an eight. Yet, Tiger Woods, who still might be the best ever, shot an 82 Friday on his way to missing the cut by a lot.

Chip yips sounds like a tasty snack, but I don't think they agree with Tiger. When the short game of the former undisputed top golfer looks like a 20-capper at the local muni, it's painful to watch.

And I failed to note last week that the Most Interesting Golfer in the World notched another win on the senior circuit at the Champions Tour's season opener in Hawaii. That gives Miguel Angel Jimenez two wins in three starts with the old guys.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Seventeen

Jan. 26, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksLast week was golf's annual droolfest, the PGA Merchandise Show, where the big brand names and the not-so-big roll out all of their new gizmos and doodads in hopes of getting shelf space in pro shops of North America. Twitter was buzzing with news from the event. That and the tours provided the normal expected news of the week, but the recent spate of weird news also continued. So we got that going for us.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixteen

Jan. 19, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksThis has been one strange week in golf.

Next week promises the PGA Merchandise Show, the annual drool fest for golf gear heads everywhere and a working week for those looking to stock the shelves of the pro shop for another year. The PGA TOUR returns to the mainland for the Humana Challenge at PGA West, while the European Tour continues it's run in the deserts of the Middle East (Qatar this time). But back to this past week...

Just two weeks into the 2015 golf year and we have probably already witnessed the collapse of the year. A PGA TOUR pro was kidnapped, robbed, and beaten over the weekend. A golf course employee has been arrested for threatening to kill a congressman. And disturbingly, bodies seem to be turning up on courses with some regularity this year. Is this golf or NCIS?

Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Fifteen

Jan. 12, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksThe 2014-15 PGA TOUR season has rejoined battle for the 2015 portion of the campaign. As usual, the first January stop is Hawaii. Good choice.

Ah, Kapalua. There are few courses in the world that can rival the views at Kapalua. They could probably televise amateurs playing the course, and I'd watch at least a few holes of the coverage just for the scenery. While many of us are locked in winter's embrace, at Kapalua it's endless summer. There are surfers, paddleboarders, sailboats, and whales a-plenty to help us forget about the snow and ice outside at least for a little while.

While Kapalua signals the return of the PGA TOUR to the airwaves, the important tournaments are still weeks away. But isn't it good to have some great golf to watch again? And if the competition wanes, there are always the whales. It's a Monday finale, but Jimmy Walker and Hideki Matsuyama are tied for the lead after 54 holes.

Here is some of what you may have missed over the last several weeks. Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Fourteen

Dec. 8, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksIn golf last week, there seemed to only be one story. In case you missed it, Tiger Woods made his first start in four months at his own Hero World Challenge. From his new (old) swing to his chipping woes and gastrointestinal distress, coverage of Woods was everywhere.

Tiger's play was less than stellar, shooting a dismal +5 at his old home course on Thursday. He spent a good part of Saturday throwing up on the course. Despite running a triple-digit temperature, he managed a 69 on Saturday, which turned out to be his best round of the week. (Apparently, a wounded Tiger really is more dangerous.) For the week, Woods shot 77-70-69-72 and finished at even par. Ever the gracious host, Tiger was T-17 in the 18-player field.

There's no fighting the Tiger mania. So this week, let's hit the all-Tiger, all-the-time links.

Volume Four Hundred Thirteen

Dec. 1, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksThere's just one month left of 2014, and means that while those in the southern climes are entering the prime of their golf season, those of us in the North are facing a harsh reality. In the northern latitudes, there's no denying that golf season is just about at its end (despite the fact that many of us in Central Ohio played in shorts on the last day of November). As the Starks would say on Game of Thrones, "Winter is coming."

But we're not quite done with competitive golf, yet. Tiger returns next week at the Hero World Challenge at Isleworth. It will be interesting to see if he can play pain free, and if he can play more like the Tiger of old than we've seen thus far in 2014.

So while we still can this year, let's hit the links.

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