by Steve Elling

It’s been a source of sports chatter for most of 2017, prompting angst among traditionalists and glee among forward thinkers, while generating grist for the mill among data junkies on both sides.

As big hitters whale away with a stick in hand, hardly a day passes without TV commentary about the eye-jarring spin rates, launch angles, ball velocity or distance amassed by modern players.


More distance, not less 

Why in the world would I want the golf ball to limit my distance? (“Distance data come up short against reality,” Aug. 25, Give me more! If you think you are hitting it too far, move back to a longer tee box.

If people think the game is too easy for the tour players, they won't watch. Pretty simple. If a course has to spend money to lengthen holes, it’s their choice. Tell the PGA Tour to go somewhere else. Let me know when that happens.



Number of consecutive victories for Brooke Henderson in the LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic. Henderson will seek to defend her back-to-back titles beginning today at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. It will be her 22nd start in the LPGA’s 24 events to date (tee times:


Out: Because of a serious illness in his family, Craig Watson, as captain of the Great Britain and Ireland team. Andrew Ingram, who chaired GB&I’s selection process, will take over as acting captain for the biennial matches against the top U.S. men’s amateurs, to be played Sept. 9-10 at Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course.



Teaching professional Dana Rader has joined the instruction team at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C., the resort announced. Rader recently was inducted into the LPGA’s Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame.


Troon announced that many of its 270-plus managed golf facilities across the country will support the 11th annual Patriot Golf Days. Golfers who play at the Troon-managed properties in September will be raising money to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.


Jimmy Kozikowski and James Woods of Lookout Mountain Golf Club in Phoenix won the top prize in the Troon Challenge National Finals last weekend. They shot 64-62–126 on the Boulders South Course and Troon North Golf Club’s Pinnacle Course in Scottsdale, Ariz., winning in a scorecard playoff over Ryan Gibbs and Kale Waaso of The Phoenician Golf Club. Dwayne Townsend and Ronnie Schmitz of SunRidge Canyon Golf Club shot 61-59–120 to win the net division. 


August 26-31
Men’s amateur: U.S. Senior Amateur
The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis
August 31 - September 3
LPGA: Cambia Portland Classic
Columbia-Edgewater CC, Portland, Ore.
Symetra Tour: Sioux Falls Great Life Challenge
Willow Run GC, Sioux Falls, S.D. Tour: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
Ohio State GC (Scarlet), Columbus, Ohio
European Tour: D+D Real Czech Masters
Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic
September 1-3
Champions Tour: Shaw Charity Classic
Canyon Meadows G&CC, Calgary, Alberta
September 1-4
PGA Tour: Dell Technologies Championship
TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.
September 2-4
Men’s amateur: Labor Day Invitational
CC of Mobile (Ala.)
Men’s amateur: California State Fair
Haggin Oaks (MacKenzie), Sacramento, Calif.

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