by Mike Van Sickle

When Jack Nicklaus talks, I listen. He has been around a lot longer than I have. He won his last major championship in the 1986 Masters, eight months before I was born.

Nicklaus has done it all and won it all. I am just a low-ranking touring pro with a Tour card who is not exempt into fields. I’m one-for-two in the past month inMonday qualifying. I got into the event in Savannah, Ga., but came up short Monday in a wind-chilled qualifier in Tunica, Miss., and thus spent a few numbing hours practicingTuesday at TPC River’s Bend just north of Cincinnati during my 12-hour drive home to Pittsburgh. 



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

By Gary Van Sickle

Nathan Sutherland wants to save the environment and help golfers hydrate. Me, I’m just cheap. I mean, who wants to pay for water when you can get it for free?

Sutherland’s decidedly low-tech product for golfers who walk works for both of us, therefore, but for different reasons. Meet the Water Caddy ($39.99, Sutherland’s clever insulated bladder that holds the equivalent of five water bottles and keeps liquid cold for up to five hours, which should be enough for all but the most dreadfully slow golf rounds.


Predictable pattern

Regarding Mike Purkey’s article (“Would PGA Tour’s bet be worth gamble?” April 17): Will we ever learn?

When we legalize behavior that people enthusiastically engage in, whether legal or not, it starts the process of removing the corruption inherent in the illegal behavior, not enhancing it.


Named: The eight-person American team for the June 8-10 Curtis Cup Match at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., the U.S. Golf Association announced. The players: Mariel Galdiano, 19, Pearl City, Hawaii; Kristen Gillman, 20, Austin, Texas; Jennifer Kupcho, 20, Westminster, Colo.; Andrea Lee, 19, Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Lucy Li, 15, Redwood Shores, Calif.; Sophia Schubert, 22, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Lauren Stephenson, 20, Lexington, S.C.; and Lilia Vu, 20, Fountain Valley, Calif. The U.S. leads the series against Great Britain and Ireland’s top female amateurs, 28-8-3.



Number of top-20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking who will be competing in the Valero Texas Open, which begins Thursday at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks course. No. 10-ranked Sergio Garcia, a Spaniard with Texas ties – he, his wife and newborn daughter make their home in Austin, and he served as a player consultant on the course design – will be making his first appearance since the inaugural edition at the AT&T Oaks, in 2010. Garcia won three of his 10 PGA Tour titles in Texas: 2001 Colonial and the 2004 and 2016 Byron Nelson events (tee times).



The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf

The RBC Heritage boasts an emerging Japanese star as its champion. Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss the PGA Tour’s newest winner and preview this week’s Valero Texas Open before turning their attention to a hot topic: gambling on golf. Alex Miceli, the founder and publisher of Morning Read, joins the discussion courtesy of the Vertical Groove Hotline. In Groove Up! with Vertical Groove Golf, we check in on the Champions Tour and welcome back John Daly and Kenny Perry. Also, Randolph interviews Tom Watson and takes a look at the eight-time major champion’s most memorable moments.


Joaquin Niemann, the world’s top-ranked amateur for the past year, has turned pro and signed an endorsement contract with Ping, the company announced. Niemann, 19, of Chile, played in the recent Masters as the reigning Latin America Amateur champion. He will play at least 11 Ping clubs out of a Ping staff bag and wear Ping-branded headwear, the company said. Niemann will make his professional debut this week at the Valero Texas Open.


Short Par 4, which ships branded golf apparel to golfers, announced that it has redesigned the company’s website. The renovated will go live on April 19.


Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. has turned to Klarna to provide financing for purchases of Hogan gear. Payment options vary from six to 30 months and include no-interest terms.


Peakvision offers a variety of styles of sunglasses for golf and other outdoor activities for men and women. The company’s models include the new DG1 and AV1 models, both of which feature the dual zone/zero distortion lens.


GolfTec reported a record-setting month in March as the company taught nearly 100,000 lessons worldwide and conducted more than 3,500 fittings. The gains resulted in 32 percent revenue growth compared with March 2017. GolfTec attributed the growth to rapid expansion during the past 18 months.


Talking Rock, a master planned community in Prescott, Ariz., will develop its next phase beginning in June. Home sites of up to 10 acres will be available in Sterling Ranch, with access to the Jay Morrish-designed Talking Rock golf course, the nine-hole Silent Moon putting course and the club’s practice facilities.


Short Par 4, which ships branded golf apparel to golfers, has signed PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler and Wesley Bryan as spokesmen. Short Par 4’s new Tour Experience Membership will feature the players’ apparel and accessories on and off the course.


ShoeTips announced that Joe Parent, a golf instructor and author, has agreed to be a spokesman for the footwear instructional aid. Parent has coached the mental side of golf, business and life for more than 30 years.


In honor of Earth Day on April 22, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has documented five areas in which golf courses have shown improvement in the past decade. The Golf Course Environmental Profile lists positive steps in the usage of energy, nutrients, land and water plus pest management in the game’s role as an environmental steward.


April 19-22
LPGA: Hugel-JTBC Championship

Wilshire CC, Los Angeles

European Tour: Trophee Hassan II

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco Tour: North Mississippi Classic

CC of Oxford (Miss.)

Ladies European Tour: Lalla Meryem Cup

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam (Blue), Rabat, Morocco

PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open

TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio

April 20-22
Champions: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge

Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.

April 21-23
Junior boys: Sage Valley Invitational

Sage Valley GC, Graniteville, S.C.

April 25
Industry: National Golf Day

Capitol Hill, Washington

April 26-29
PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

TPC Louisiana, Avondale, La.

LPGA: LPGA Mediheal Championship

Lake Merced GC, Daly City, Calif. Tour: United Leasing and Finance Championship

Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.

European Tour: Volvo China Open

Topwin GC, Beijing

April 28 - May 2
Women’s amateur: U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball

El Caballero CC, Tarzana, Calif.

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