As we approach the end of the year, it's time to take a look at some of the biggest storylines in golf over the past twelve months. The game lost one of its idols in Arnold Palmer, but potentially regained another with Tiger's return to golf. The U.S. re-captured the Ryder Cup and Dustin Johnson captured a major for the first time, but Europeans won the Masters and British Open. Golf even managed a return to the Olympics, though mosquitoes kept many of the game's best away.
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Former top ranked golfer Tiger Woods has been away from the golf course for the past 15 months due to a series of back and knee injuries that required surgery. Due to his absence and his level of play before being sidelined by the injuries, Woods has dropped in the world golf rankings, and isn't considered the same player he was before. However, he plan s on making his return to competitive golf this week at the Hero World Challenge. If you're interested in placing some wagers on the tournament, you can find top U.S. Golf odds at MyBookie.
Rookie golfer Mackenzie Hughes surprised a lot of people, including himself, on Monday, when he won the RSM Classic. It was his first career PGA Tour win. The Canadian golfer's first career PGA Tour victory not only made him happy, it also made the people who had him winning on US Betting lines a lot of money since he was a big underdog.
Hughes won a four-man playoff on Monday by pouring in an 18-foot par putt on the 17th hole, after the three other players missed putts from 10 feet or less.
So, you purchased the latest high street brand golf bag, perfectly matching your brand new $800 irons. Of course you did, after all, you wouldn't want your clubs getting all damaged in some pencil bag. You purchased the latest driver from whomever, only setting you back another $400 or so, maybe more or you got it with a custom tour shaft that is suited perfectly to Tiger Woods, or your favorite golfer, but probably not you. It even came with a magnetic head cover, "state of the art" they say, and again, you don't want your latest investment getting damaged do you? I bet you even have a nice travel bag for those two trips a year you make to keep your clubs from getting knocked about on the plane.
This week I was fortunate to do double-duty at the Wyndham Championship: working as a Headquarters Chairman as well as a part-time media guy (thanks to Erik at The Sand Trap and to Rob Goodman at the Wyndham). I hear a lot and see a lot that happens backstage at a PGA Tour event. It probably isn't a stretch to say that keeping track of everything requires a tenuous dance of thousands of people around the ropes that enclose our friendly neighborhood touring professionals.
Sedgefield Country Club (SCC), the site of the Wyndham Championship, is not like most other golf courses on the PGA Tour rotation. It is situated in a very small residential community that was established as far back as 1926. Roads in this area are very narrow and there is a unique juxtaposition of average, small houses and multi-million dollar mansions almost side-by-side in this area. When the Tour rolls into SCC every August, the Piedmont Triad comes out in force to watch, but what about the members and the residents of this area? How does this event impact their lives?
What a difference a day makes! The putting green is now a sea of color and vibrant activity. The pros, their wives and girlfriends (decked out in the latest fashions), agents, caddies, police, volunteers, PGA Tour staff, and Sedgefield Country Club personnel are all here and running around trying to get business done.
It seems like the putting green is like the bat at old Yankee Stadium - the place to meet. In the past few hours I have seen all sorts of deals getting done. Agents for companies welcoming new signed players into their corporate stable, children being herded off by their nannies, players talking about the best places to eat dinner, and the guys trying to move equipment.
It is very dark at 0530 at Sedgefield Country Club and the place is extremely busy. I opened the Tournament HQ and simply watched the activity. Across the street, the greenskeepers are working to reset the pin locations for today's practice pro-am.
Hello world. No, that's not quite right, I think I've heard that somewhere before in the world of golf, but I will quickly move on. I want to thank Erik for taking a chance on letting me try my hand at golf reporting for The Sand Trap. This is really my first time writing about golf and I hope to dig up some interesting stories while I am at the finest PGA Tour stop in the Piedmont Triad area (read Greensboro)!
I am an unabashed golf nut. I first held a club at the age of 23 and somehow I was hooked. I bought some clubs at a Wal-Mart somewhere in Pennsylvania and beat balls around courses in PA from State College to Danville to Erie. I took many (mostly forgettable) lessons and never seemed to get any better than a weekend hacker-duffer. Finally, I ran into the Stack and Tilt crew and things have become so much better for me over the past 1.5 years. I can actually hit the ball. Sometimes with a push-draw! That makes me very happy.