FRIDAY  | JANUARY 19, 2018
by Steve Elling

Surely, the PGA Tour wishes this news fell under the heading of “fake news.” This time, it’s not just all too real, but very familiar.

Another former sponsor of a Tour event has fallen under federal scrutiny for alleged improprieties, further denting the credibility of the world’s top golf circuit.

For a tour that preaches the sanctity of its rules, markets its players as paragons of virtue and celebrates the notion that controversies are non-existent compared with team sports, the PGA Tour too often has jumped into bed with shady characters in the past decade. That includes entities run by CEOs who fall somewhere between incompetent and criminal. Maybe both.


Suck it up, millennials

I find it amusing that golf has to kowtow to millennials in order to get them to play (“Millennials to golf: Entertain us, or else,” Jan. 17). Maybe it's different in other parts of the country or maybe it's an issue common to private country clubs, but local public-access courses here in Washington state have no problem filling tee times.  

However, given the perceived nature of the new generations, I can understand their lack of interest in golf. Our generation gave them everything they wanted, and now they expect to get everything they want, and they expect to get it without working for it. Golf takes patience. We hear it every day from pros being interviewed during tournaments. Millennials were not taught patience, and they don't know how to get it.



Number of birdies made by England’s Tommy Fleetwood, including all four of the par 5s at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, in a first-round 6-under 66 on Thursday to share the lead with Japan’s Hideto Tanihara in the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Fleetwood, who turns 27 today, is the defending champion in Abu Dhabi and the tour’s reigning Race to Dubai winner.


Confirmed: By the PGA Tour, that Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, will play host to its annual tournament in late May, as scheduled, despite ongoing sponsorship questions. Upscale grocer Dean and DeLuca, which is in the third year of a six-year deal as title sponsor, notified the Tour and Colonial late last year that it might be unable to meet its obligations for the May 24-27 tournament, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The Colonial tournament dates to 1946 and is the longest-running Tour event still being played at its original site. The late Ben Hogan, a Fort Worth native and World Golf Hall of Fame member who played out of Colonial, is the event’s only five-time winner.



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Kizzire on top 

Patton Kizzire's playoff victory in Hawaii, the ballistic-missile scare, a preview of the CareerBuilders Challenge and a quick look at Rory McIlroy's return to competition in Abu Dhabi. In Groove Up with Vertical Groove Golf, it's all about the new Vertical Groove 3-wood. In the Feature Interview with Morning Read's Alex Miceli, Bob Bubka and Alex discuss the new tax implications in 2018, with a little Tiger Woods talk for good measure.


Carr Golf has announced three packages tied to the 2019 British Open at Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush Golf Club. The excursions – a five-day Belfast City and The Open, a seven-day Belfast/Dublin and The Open and a seven-day Dublin/Belfast and The Open – will be held during Open week and include a variety of golf, lodging and Open tickets.


Inntopia will be attending next week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., the technology provider announced. Inntopia, based in Stowe, Vt., helps the golf industry sell tee times and lodging in one transaction.


Troon has been selected to manage Fairwood Golf and Country Club in Renton, Wash., the golf-management company announced. Fairwood, with its 1967 Bill Teufel-designed course, lies 19 miles southeast of Seattle. The club will be managed by Troon Privé, the private-club operating division of Troon.


Fairways for Freedom, which helps combat-injured veterans recover as civilians through golf and other initiatives, announced an expanded schedule for 2018. The highlight of the charity’s trips will be two visits to Ireland.


Gallus Golf and Golf Genius announced a collaboration of their respective software packages for this year. Gallus Golf provides custom mobile apps for golf courses, and Golf Genius specializes in tournament-management systems. Both companies will exhibit their products at the PGA Merchandise Show next week in Orlando, Fla.


Bridgestone Golf has signed Lexi Thompson to an undisclosed multiyear contract to play and promote the company’s golf balls. Thompson, a nine-time winner on the LPGA, will play the Tour B X ball.


Quivira Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus-designed course on the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, has been selected among the World 100 Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest magazine. Quivira is one of only four courses in Mexico to be included.


Ahead will debut its summer and fall headwear during next week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. The new designs include use of heathered performance fabrics that are popular in the athletic-leisure market.


Three of the golf shops at Reynolds Lake Oconee won the Platinum Award for excellence by the Association of Golf Course Merchandisers, the Greensboro, Ga., resort announced. The programs at the Great Waters, National and Oconee courses will be among 116 shops to be recognized at the AGM Retail Conference awards program Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.


Oxford disclosed features of its fall men’s sportswear collection, which emphasizes a casual versatility. The clothes place a premium on performance fabrics.


GolfTec posted record numbers in 2017, as the company taught nearly 1 million lessons, opened more than 40 facilities worldwide and launched a premium club-fitting program, the company reported. GolfTec also was named among the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Sports by Fast Company.


Inputt, a putting training aid, will be exhibiting next week at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., officials announced. Inputt is designed as a simple, portable training aid to help golfers develop a repeatable putting stroke.


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 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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