by Steve Elling

It’s fitting that the new year in golf annually kicks off at a locale where a common greeting is a double-edged conversational sword of sorts.

Anybody who has visited the 50th state or watched either of the two TV iterations of “Hawaii Five-0” is aware that in the native tongue, aloha translates to both hello and goodbye. Because there are only 13 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet, there’s bound to be some word-sharing.

So it is with sports predictions, most of which should be shown the door as quickly as they are ushered in. Hard as it is to forecast which teams will be successful – raise your hand if you had the Los Angeles Rams finishing the NFL regular season at 11-5 – it’s downright impossible with fields of 150 or so individuals, each with their own ball.



One in a weekly series of stories about golf gear to run each Wednesday.

By Gary Van Sickle

There are three basic ways to miss a putt. Trust me, I should know: Misread the line; hit the putt on line but with the wrong speed (you left it short again?); and my personal favorite: hit the putt off line.

The solution for the first two is practice, practice, practice. The solution for the latter, however, may be Hole More Putts, the first portable device to thoroughly analyze the putting stroke.


Swimming against the tide

I love all the talk and articles about slow play and how to speed up the game while Greg Norman introduces the “Shark Experience.”  He wants carts that include music, videos, news, phone chargers, Internet connections, golf lessons, etc.

As long as we have room for lots of beer cans, it will be successful, and the rounds easily will take five hours.

One school of thought is detailed enough to tell you where to leave your clubs or cart to speed up play, and the other is encouraging one to say, “Wait a minute. I want to watch this touchdown.”



Number of consecutive seasons in which Dustin Johnson has won at least one tournament on the PGA Tour. Johnson, 33, enters this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course on Hawaii’s Maui island as the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking.



Troon will manage The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., the golf-management company announced. The Lodge of Four Seasons, founded in 1964, features two golf courses, a 358-room resort and a marina on 3,500 acres.


January 3-6
Women’s amateur: Harder Hall Women’s Invitational
Harder Hall GC, Sebring, Fla.
January 4-7
PGA Tour: Sentry Tournament of Champions
Kapalua Resort (Plantation), Kapalua, Hawaii
Men’s amateur: New Year’s Invitational
St. Petersburg (Fla.) CC
January 10-13
Women’s amateur: South Atlantic Amateur
Oceanside CC, Ormond Beach, Fla.
January 11-14
PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii
Waialae CC, Honolulu
European Tour: BMW SA Open
Glendower GC, Ekurhuleni, South Africa
January 12-14
European Tour: EurAsia Cup
Glenmarie GC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Celebrity: Diamond Resorts Invitational
Tranquilo GC at Four Seasons Resort, Orlando, Fla.

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