Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Nine

Spring ahead… Golf, too.

Hittin' the LinksThis week we set the clocks ahead, which means that spring and the core of the golf season are almost upon us.

Next week is the Arnold Palmer Classic, a week later the WGC Match Play, then the Houston Open follows, and then the one we’re always waiting for. Major season begins with the Masters in four short weeks.

But first, the Valspar Championship frustrated tour pros all week and gave us the game’s #1 pro getting beat by the game’s #1 amateur. So that was pretty cool.

Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Eight

Wetting your putter, bowling on the course, and a tour pro can’t break 80.

Hittin' the LinksThe WGC Cadillac Championship turned out to be quite a spectacle. The Donald turned up on Sunday amid cheers and shouts of “small hands.” A crowded and quality leader board led to a late charge on Sunday by the eventual winner. There were rules controversies, big numbers, and narrow escapes. What more could you ask for?

In the end, Adam Scott beat fellow countryman Steven Bowditch by 49 strokes. Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Seven

Rickie falters, Lexi rules, and Adam makes a quad and survives.

Hittin' the LinksDoes anyone else remember that Adam Scott started out last year putting well with a short putter before returning to the security blanket of the broom? Well, now he’s won with the regular-length flat stick and, barring a retreat on the rule by the USGA, there’s no going back.

Sergio, Sergio, Sergio. You were supposed to be the new rival for Tiger, more than 16 years ago. And you’re still allergic to Sunday? Bogey-bogey-birdie finishes don’t often work out.

On the women’s side of things, Lexi Thompson proved once again that when the flat stick cooperates, she is very, very hard to beat.

Next week, we get our first stop at a Trump property with the presidential candidate leading the GOP field in an election year. This should be weird.

Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Six

Bubba wins again, Tiger sits on the couch (painfully), and Happy Gilmore turns 20.

Hittin the LinksBubba Watson won for the first time in 2016 this week, furthering the argument that he belongs with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy at the top of the golf world. This was Bubba’s second win at Riviera, and came at the end of quite the busy week.

It was the opposite of a busy week for Tiger Woods, who is still unable to even hit chips after his third back surgery. It was reported that Tiger has had a setback in his rehab, though agent Mark Steinberg has issued a denial. Woods will also be the subject of an upcoming biography about his life and career.

In addition we’ll touch on Jordan Spieth missing the cut, the LPGA Tour’s dwindling ratings, and a big birthday for Happy Gilmore.

Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Five

A late charge and a missed putt lead to a surprise winner.

Hittin' the Links
The AT&T National Pro-Am pulled a coup this year by getting six of the world’s top 10 players to tee it up with celebs and business types. It’s cool to see the players relaxed and having fun, but the real show at Pebble Beach is usually the scenery and the celebrities. But this year, it also managed to produce a suspenseful finish.

Next week, it’s Jordan vs. Rory at Riviera, as McIlroy makes his first U.S. start of the year. Just one more stop on the West Coast Swing and then it’s on to Florida.

Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Four

It’s Super!

Hittin' the LinksRickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama conspired to create marital discord in my house. See, I was under strict orders to record Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. While I remembered to set the DVR to record the Super Bowl, I was caught up in the sudden death action in the desert and wasn’t watching what was happening in San Franscisco.

Suffice it to say, Ms. Gaga began right about 6:29, and the DVR started to record at 6:30. Oops! “I got part of it for you, Honey.” Oh well, that’s what YouTube is for.

So, did you miss Denver’s fast start in the Super Bowl, or did you miss the Rickie vs. Hideki showdown? It was a tough choice.

Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Three

El Nino sinks Walker and Choi, and buries Brown

Hittin' the LinksWith the women back in action this week at the LPGA’s Pure Silk Classic in the Bahamas we can officially say that all of the major tours are back in action. Paradise Island also saw what’s believed to be the first par-4 ace in the tour’s history.

The annual drool-fest in Orlando took place last week as the golf industry rolled out its newest products that will soon be turning up in a pro shop near you.

But the weather at the Farmers Championship and its effect on the players was the highlight of the week. Trees were down all over the course as play resumed on Monday, but scores were up.

Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-Two

Jordan and Rory and Rickie, oh my.

Hittin' the LinksSeveral of golf’s current stars gathered for a showdown in the desert. But it wasn’t in Palm Springs.

The Abu Dhabi Championship is one of the few weeks during the year when the European Tour unequivocally overshadows the PGA Tour. It all started with Tiger getting an early start on his season (and a big appearance fee). This year’s field included eight major winners and four of the top six in the OWGR. Not too bad for January.

It’s going to be an interesting year. Let’s hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Sixty-One

Tiger’s a short game guru and aloha also means goodbye

Hittin' the LinksFor the second full week of January, it was sure a busy golf calendar.

The PGA Tour went full field for the first time in the shadow of the “Big W.”The European Tour split up to play the EurAsian Cup (yawn) and the Joburg Open (yaw…, oh look a monkey!). There was the new Latin American Amateur Championship, thanks to the Masters, the USGA and the R&A, contested for the first time at the Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic. And if that weren’t enough, Mardy Fish handily beat a celebrity field in Florida to win the Diamond Resorts Invitational.

Not bad for January. Let’s hit the links.