by Gary Van Sickle

Thinking Outside the Tee Box: One in an occasional series about innovators who are making golf more attractive.

 Imagine this: You’re headed home after work, you’ve got 90 minutes until your kid’s soccer game and you want to squeeze in some golf.

So, you check an app with your phone to find a nearby available course, arrive and check in at the golf shop, play five holes in 70 minutes, get back in the car and make it to the soccer game just in time. And best of all, you are charged only for the holes you played. That’s right, just five holes.


For good of all, change pros’ game 

The speed of greens has gotten much too fast to be enjoyed and courses played in a reasonable amount of time (“Need for speed on greens can stall rounds,” Dec. 6).

There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is psychological. There is more fear of the results of missing, so golfers are more cautious and take more time. Secondly, they do miss more.

I remember growing up on slow greens, which did not alter the enjoyment and, of course, playing in Scotland where the greens barely reach 10. If there is any slope at all, the number of pin placements need to be reduced because they become impossible to putt for the amateur player. 



Number of exempt spots available in the Tour Qualifying Tournament, a 72-hole event that begins today at Whirlwind Golf Club’s Cattail and Devil’s Claw courses in Chandler, Ariz. The breakdown: winner will be exempt for the 2018 regular season; Nos. 2-10 and ties will be exempt for the first 12 tournaments; Nos. 11-45 and ties will be exempt for the first eight events; the rest of the 144-man field will receive conditional status. The developmental tour’s 2018 season begins in five weeks in the Bahamas.


Selected: By the European Tour to host the British Masters, Justin Rose, who picked Walton Heath Golf Club as the host venue for the Oct. 11-14 event. Rose, 37, of England, is the reigning Olympic gold medalist and a former U.S. Open champion who stands No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking.



Scott Ashworth, the director of golf at Manele Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii, has been named Resort Merchandiser of the Year by the PGA of America’s Aloha Section. He will be presented the award on Feb. 10.


PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has appointed Michelle Lepore as Midwest account director. Lepore had served as senior sales manager at Tideline Ocean Resort and Spa in Palm Beach.


GolfTec announced holiday packages for its golf lessons and club fitting. The discounts and lessons/club-fitting packages are available through Dec. 31.


December 7-10
European Tour: Joburg Open
Randpark GC, Johannesburg, South Africa Tour: Qualifying Tournament Final Stage
Whirlwind GC, Chandler, Ariz.
December 8-10
Men’s pro: QBE Shootout
Tiburon GC (Gold), Naples, Fla.
December 14-17
Exhibition: PNC Father/Son Challenge
Ritz-Carlton GC, Orlando, Fla.

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