Friday
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
      

By Adam Schupak

Technically speaking, the Bear Trap begins at the 184-yard, par-3 No. 15, the first of three consecutive menacing holes at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Champion course at PGA National Resort & Spa. But to hear two-time Honda Classic champion Padraig Harrington tell it, the sweaty palms or quake in the pit of the stomach start much earlier.

"I start thinking about it the night before, for sure," Harrington said.

And for good reason. Since 2007, the Bear Trap ranks as the third-toughest stretch on the PGA Tour of courses that have been played in each of the past nine years. Harrington's fear of the 15th is warranted. 


Millennials drive big changes in golf

Another phenomenon which I think is going to have a huge effect on traditional golf clubs, courses and the industry eventually is Topgolf and its equivalents (“Millennials hold the key to golf’s uncertain future,” Feb. 23, bit.ly/2l4X57S).

My son-in-law does not have the time to play 18 holes, but he and his buddies can go to Topgolf and spend an hour or an hour and a half, have beers, bet and enjoy the camaraderie that I share with my regular golf group (probably even more so because they are all together in the hitting bay the whole time, not separated walking to their balls or in a cart with just one other guy). Less time, less expense, don’t have to wait for the drink girl to drive around, and something that I realized the last time I was there, much less frustration.


Keeping score

18

Number of greens that Cody Gribble hit in regulation Thursday in the first round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa’s Champion course, a first since the event moved to the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., site in 2007. Gribble shot 6-under 64 to share the lead with fellow Tour rookie Wesley Bryan.

 



From the industry

Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii has introduced its Birdies and Bulls-eyes promotion for guests who want a mix of golf and shooting. The package consists of nine holes of golf at the Jack Nicklaus Manele Golf Course and a 14-station sporting-clays course in the nearby wooded uplands.

More than 100 golf-course superintendents and industry advocates will be in Washington on April 25 to help beautify about 40 acres on the National Mall. The service project will precede the 10th annual National Golf Day on April 26, when the game's leaders promote the golf industry to legislators.



Calendar
February 23-26
European Tour: Joburg Open
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
PGA Tour: The Honda Classic
PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
LPGA: Honda LPGA Thailand
Siam Country Club (Pattaya Old), Chonburi, Thailand
February 24-26
Chicago Golf Show
Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
Toronto Golf And Travel Show
The International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario
February 27-28
Northern California Golf Rep Show
Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Pano Hall Lincoln, Calif.
February 28 - March 2
Philadelphia Golf Merchandise Show
Embassy Suites Valley Forge, Chesterbrook, Pa.
February 28 - March 3
Scottish International Golf Course Architects Conference
Inverness, Scotland


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