by Mike Purkey

Back when golf wasn’t cool but wished it were, those who wanted to spread the game’s gospel thought the way to bring golf to non-golfers was through the influence of famous people.

Celebrities such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope were mad keen golfers. Crosby was a fine player and had a lot of friends in show business who liked golf, too. So, in 1937 he put together a tournament with pros and celebrities at Rancho Santa Fe Country Club in California, and it fondly was known as the Crosby Clambake.


Standing up for the 99.95 percenters

For 99.95 percent of us who own this game (not the USGA, R&A or any of the tours) and pay it forward at munis, resorts and semi-private courses around the world, the ball doesn't go too far, long putters are not cheating tools and box grooves didn't allow us to spin the ball back 50 feet.

The ball does go far on tour, but it is a complicated blend of bigger and better athletes playing at a high level, better and more consistent clubheads, incredible golf shafts, advances in biomechanics, and technology that allows today's superior players to find the right formula to match all of those elements to their games.



Number of players tied for the lead in the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, but only Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz completed the third round Monday as darkness suspended play at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas. Ortiz shot 4-under 68 to take the clubhouse lead at 6-under 210. Mark Anderson, Sungjae Im, Brandon Matthews and Lee McCoy also stood at 6 under and will finish their rounds today before the final round begins. Ortiz, 26, will be seeking his fourth victory on the developmental tour after his three-victory season in 2014 earned a promotion to the PGA Tour.



The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf 

Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph discuss Dustin Johnson’s victory at the recent Sentry Tournament of Champions and preview this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii. The show will include features and interviews with Pete McPartland, Sentry’s president and chief executive officer, Golf Channel announcer Mark Rolfing and Bill Rees, the general manager of Kapalua Villas Maui.


The Performance Textile Fair will highlight the apparel industry during the PGA Merchandise Show next week in Orlando, Fla. The fair will emphasize performance and technical fabrics, educational sessions and networking Jan. 23-26 at the Orange County Convention Center.


The Ak-Chin Indian community has partnered with the World Long Drive Association to host the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun on May 14-15. The event will be held next to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa, Ariz., on a range being constructed for the event.


PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., announced three getaway packages through April 30. The Gold Golf, Champion and Waters of the World packages offer a variety of golf and spa options.


Destination Kohler, home to four Pete Dye-designed courses in Kohler, Wis., is taking reservations for its Dye-Abolical and Golf Kohler packages. Both packages include rounds on The Straits, a three-time PGA Championship site and host of the 2020 Ryder Cup.


Ecco has introduced the Biom Hybrid 3 golf shoe, the company announced. The shoe is built around the concept of three zones that are designed for traction and stability.


Ann Liguori, a sports talk-show host, reporter and author, will be making several appearances at next week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. She will appear in the Orange County Convention Center at the booths for Dune Jewelry, Classic of Golf and Pro Golf Africa Safaris at various times Jan. 24-26.


Swannies will exhibit its spring apparel and preview its fall line during the PGA Merchandise Show next week in Orlando, Fla. Swannies targets the everyday golfer, particularly millennials.


The Concession Residences in Bradenton, Fla., announced that the community is 90 percent sold, with only 40 remaining home sites available. The gated community is adjacent to Concession Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.


TecTecTec will make its golf laser rangefinders available to retailers in North America for the first time, the French manufacturer announced. The company will debut its ULT-X model next week at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.


Puma Golf has introduced its new line of golf footwear, with three designs. The shoes list for $170 and will be available at retail on Feb. 1.


Craft Farms Golf Resort has been selected as a winner of The Knot Best of Wedding award, according to The Knot, an online wedding brand and app. Craft Farms, in Gulf Shores, Ala., features the Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend golf courses, both Arnold Palmer designs.


January 13-16
Web.com Tour: Bahamas Great Exuma Classic
Sandals Emerald Bay (Emerald Reef), Great Exuma, Bahamas
January 15-19
Women’s amateur: Ione D. Jones/Doherty Championship
Coral Ridge CC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
January 18-20
Champions: Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
Hualalai GC, Kaupulehu, Hawaii
January 18-21
European Tour: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) GC
PGA Tour: CareerBuilder Challenge
Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif.
January 20-23
Men’s amateur: Latin America Amateur
Prince of Wales CC, Santiago, Chile
January 21-24
Web.com Tour: Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
Abaco Club, Great Abaco, Bahamas
January 23
Industry: PGA Show Demo Day
Orange County National Golf Center, Winter Garden, Fla.
January 24-26
Industry: PGA Merchandise Show
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
January 25-28
PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines GC (South), La Jolla, Calif.
European Tour: Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
LPGA: Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic
Paradise Island, Bahamas
January 26-28
Men’s amateur: Jones Cup
Ocean Forest GC, Sea Island, Ga.

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