THURSDAY  | FEBRUARY 8, 2018
by Julie Williams

In Montana, watching high school golf is an exercise in stealth. There are driveways and subdivisions involved, and the experience is not all that enjoyable.

Leslie Spalding knows that fact, even 30 years removed from her back-to-back state championships. When Spalding, a former LPGA player who coaches the San Diego State women, won the second of those titles on a rainy day in 1987, she and her parents caught only fleeting glimpses of one another. The Montana High School Association doesn’t allow parents on the course during matches or tournaments, so Spalding’s parents drove around the perimeter of the golf course, looking for gaps between houses that would allow them to see a shot here, a shot there. For as long as Spalding, one of Montana’s great golf products, can remember, the MHSA has governed golf this way.

 



It’s time for delay-of-game penalties

The PGA Tour has ruined the pace of play for recreational golfers. A twosome on Sunday for a PGA Tour event regularly takes more than four hours. If a twosome on our courses took four hours, we would be told to move up a hole or two. Something needs to be done. I understand that they are playing for a lot of money, but there needs to be the equivalent of a shot clock, and pace of play needs to be enforced.

If the PGA Tour speeds up, the average golfer would speed up. I consider myself a quick golfer, and I appreciate course marshals helping maintain pace of play, but some others do not and actually get offended by being asked to speed up pace of play.

 


4

Number of consecutive weeks that the Web.com Tour will play to open the season, a record for the developmental tour, when the Club Colombia Championship tees off today at Country Club de Bogota (tee times). South Korea’s Sungjae Im, who won the season-opening Bahamas Great Exuma Classic and finished T-2 the next week in the Bahamas, has all but locked up a 2018-19 PGA Tour card and stands No. 98 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

 


Accepted: By Tony Romo, a sponsor exemption to play in the PGA Tour’s inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship on March 22-25 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the Tour announced. Romo, a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, is an NFL analyst for CBS Sports. He carries a +0.3 handicap at Dallas National Golf Club. Romo, 37, has failed to qualify three times for the U.S. Open, although he made the sectional round in 2010 before having to withdraw because of football practice. Last summer, he failed to advance to match play at the Western Amateur. He is a regular in celebrity events and will be competing this week in the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf

A PGA Tour attendance record was set at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with 719,179 fans for the week as Gary Woodland won his third PGA Tour title. Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph discuss all aspects of the WMPO, and Woodland talks about his victory. In the GROOVE UP! with Vertical Groove Golf, John Daly talks about his new Vertical Groove 3-wood. Feature interview: Western Golf Association's Tim Orbon explains the new caddie initiative, Carry the Game.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

The First Green Foundation and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America signed an agreement for First Green to be part of the GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf. First Green uses golf courses as environmental learning labs.

 

PGA National Resort and Spa has hired Bruce Zabriski as director of golf sales at the property in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Zabriski is a PGA of America member and a former PGA Tour and Champions Tour player. He most recently worked at Westchester Country Club, a former Tour stop in Rye, N.Y.

 

Red Ledges reported record sales in 2017 at the 2,000-acre community in Heber Valley, Utah. Red Ledges sold 115 properties with a total value of almost $64 million, the highest dollar-sales total in Red Ledges’ 10-year history. The total was up 30 percent from 2016, which had been a record year.

 

Youth on Course, a nonprofit that provides subsidized golf to youngsters, has expanded its program to four more associations. The additions are the Colorado Golf Association (Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado), Golf Association of Philadelphia, Greater Cincinnati Golf Association and Iowa Golf Association.

 


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CALENDAR
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

Web.com 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.

February 13-14
Women’s amateur: Women’s International Four-Ball Championship

The Wanderers Club, Wellington, Fla.

February 15-18
European Tour: NBO Oman Golf Classic

Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman

LPGA: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Adelaide, Australia

PGA Tour: Genesis Open

Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

February 16-18
Champions: Chubb Classic

TwinEagles GC (Talon), Naples, Fla.


      
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