by Adam Schupak

In 2015, when Francesco Molinari aced the famed 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, the reputed "Greatest Show on Grass" became the greatest show of trash. A sea of beer cups and hot dog wrappers, among other less sundry items, littered the green and surrounding bunkers, delaying play for more than 15 minutes while the garbage was collected. 

Not a good look unless, of course, your tournament title sponsor is in the trash-removal business. On the surface, Waste Management's involvement in the Phoenix Open, a tournament that dates to 1932, is dubious at best, but the company has used its sponsorship (now in its ninth year and first of a 10-year deal) as a global platform for highlighting its sustainability initiatives and environmental-services businesses.



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

By Gary Van Sickle 

This is a coming-of-age year for laser rangefinders and GPS devices. They will be accepted for use in more competitive events than ever, and they are one step closer to maybe, someday being used on the PGA Tour.

Distance-measuring devices, or DMDs, still aren’t allowed on the PGA Tour, but beginning this year they can be used in Monday qualifying for PGA Tour, Champions and events. They also can be used in PGA Tour pre-tournament pro-am rounds (but not in pro-am format events such as next week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am).


Holmes’ fairway nap draws a Yawn

On the final hole Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open, J.B. Holmes actually took longer than four minutes and 10 seconds (“Keeping score,” Jan. 29).

You have to remember that Ryan Palmer hit before Holmes. I went back and put a stopwatch on Palmer on the 18th hole before he hit his second shot. When the blimp first showed Palmer, he was standing over his ball, assessing the situation with his caddie. From the time the blimp first showed Palmer to when he actually hit the ball, one minute and 33 seconds elapsed, give or take a second. Why couldn't Holmes start thinking about his shot while Palmer was trying to figure out his play?


Appointed: Juli Inkster, as captain of the 2019 U.S. Solheim Cup team, the LPGA announced Tuesday. Inkster, 57, a 31-time winner on the LPGA and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, led the American women to back-to-back victories in 2015 and 2017 in the biennial series against Europe’s top female professionals. The 2019 Solheim Cup will be played Sept. 13-15 on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. Catriona Matthew of Scotland will make her debut as captain for Europe.



Number of starts that Phil Mickelson will have made in the Waste Management Phoenix Open when he tees off Thursday at TPC Scottsdale (tee times). Mickelson and Gene Littler are tied with a record 28 starts in Phoenix. Mickelson, 47, a two-time winner in Phoenix, played college golf at Arizona State in nearby Tempe.



The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf 

Vertical Groove Golf launched its new 3-wood, and Jon Rahm moved to No. 2 in the world rankings after his playoff victory in the CareerBuilder Challenge. Rahm will be the defending champion this week at Torrey Pines, where Tiger Woods is making his first start of the year. A look into the PGA Merchandise Show, where the new products for 2018 are on display. Plus, a feature Interview with Vertical Groove Golf's Rubin Hanan.


Arcis Golf has acquired TPC Valencia from California property developer FivePoint, the course owner/operator announced. TPC Valencia, a private club in Valencia, Calif., opened in 2003 and sits 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.


Billy Casper Golf will manage the Spanish Wells Golf and Country Club in Bonita Springs, Fla., the management company announced. The Spanish Wells Community Association recently bought the club and sought management support for the property.


Nippon Shaft notched two victories on major professional tours in January. The winner of the Asian Tour’s Singapore Open rolled to a five-stroke victory playing the N.S. Pro Modus Tour 130 X-flex steel shafts in his irons and wedges. The victor in the European Tour’s recent Omega Dubai Desert Classic played the N.S. Pro Modus Tour 120 X-flex steel shafts in his irons and wedges.


IVI-Golf has pledged support to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s Partner Recognition Program, the GCSAA reported. IVI-Golf makes the Sandtrapper, Flexxcape and PermaEdge bunker products.


Three postgraduate students have been awarded $5,000 grants by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. James Hempfling, Henry Qu and Devon Carroll were recognized under the Watson Fellowship Program, which honors the late James R. Watson, a pioneer in turfgrass research.


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February 1-4 Tour: Panama Championship
Club de Golf de Panama, Panama City
PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open
TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.)
European Tour: Maybank Championship
Saujana GC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
February 2-4
Ladies European Tour: Oates Vic Open
13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia
February 3-8
Industry: Golf Industry Show

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio

February 6-8
Industry: National Golf Course Owners Association Golf Business Conference

Marriott San Antonio (Texas) Rivercenter

February 8-11
PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach (Calif.) GL

European Tour: ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth

Lake Karrinyup CC, Perth, Australia Tour: Club Colombia Championship

CC de Bogota (Colombia)

February 9-11
Ladies European Tour: Actewagl Canberra Classic

Royal Canberra GC, Yarralumla, Australia

Champions: Boca Raton Championship

Old Course at Broken Sound, Boca Raton, Fla.

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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