WEDNESDAY  | MAY 23, 2018
by Jeff Babineau 

The year was 2006, and I had what was scheduled to be an easy assignment: A two-hour ride from Orlando, Fla., up I-95 to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, a short tour, and then a few quick words with Hall of Fame member Carol Mann, the 38-time LPGA champion and 1977 inductee who had taken a role as liaison between the hall and its members. I’d be home early.

Six hours after I arrived in St. Augustine, there I was, still sitting on an outdoor patio across a table from Carol. An overflowing ash tray on the table held Marlboro Lights wedged in like logs. My cassette recorder had run out of tape hours ago. The two of us sat there, talking about golf – its rich past and its promising future – but mostly about life, and all of its inherent challenges. 



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

By Gary Van Sickle

The sand wedge is the most boring club in golf, especially considering its importance. No other piece of golf equipment has changed less dramatically in the past 80 years except maybe the tee.

Gene Sarazen often is credited with inventing the sand wedge for Wilson Golf, but that’s not quite right. When in doubt about all things golf, always bow to Scotland. Some savvy Scots carried special clubs for getting out of the sand back in the 1800s, bludgeon-like implements that wouldn’t be out of place in a “Braveheart” battle scene.


As darkness nears, plodding irrelevance

I watched one of the most ridiculous playoffs on Monday between Arizona and Baylor to determine which team would advance to match play in the NCAA Division I women’s championship (“Keeping score,” May 22).

The actual playing of golf was fine, but the logistics were comical. Five players went to five different holes, with four of the scores counting. At one point, both teams had made four pars, with one group playing the par-5 18th hole. The Baylor player hit from the tee into the water and had to replay from the tee. After her second drive, she was hitting 4 into the hole. After she hit that shot, nothing that she did mattered. The only issue was whether the Arizona player would make her putt for birdie or two-putt for par. If she bogeyed the hole, Baylor would move on. 



Number of stops that the LPGA will make this season in Michigan, beginning with this week’s LPGA Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. In three weeks, the tour will return to Michigan to play the Meijer LPGA Classic at Grand Rapids (tee times).


Honored: Doug Ghim, a Texas senior from Arlington Heights, Ill., as winner of the Ben Hogan Award, which honors the best player in college and amateur golf during the past 12 months. Ghim, the runner-up in the 2017 U.S. Amateur, was the only amateur to make the cut at this year’s Masters, in which he finished 50th. He compiled an 8-0-0 match-play record for the U.S. last summer during the Arnold Palmer Cup and Walker Cup. Ghim won three tournaments this season for the Longhorns. The award was presented late Monday at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, site of this week’s PGA Tour event and the longtime home club of the late Hogan.




Hawk & Rude: Pro golf and gambling

In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts discuss the recent Supreme Court decision that will clear the way for legalized sports betting—and how it might affect the PGA Tour.



Grill Room powered by Vertical Groove Golf

At age 21, Aaron Wise proved that he possesses the wisdom and game to win on the PGA Tour. Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss it, plus Wise describes his recent victory. Groove Up! with Vertical Groove Golf previews this week’s KitchenAid Senior PGA. On the Vertical Groove Hotline, Morning Read’s Alex Miceli talks about Shinnecock Hills and the upcoming U.S. Open.


The Bermuda 3s, a new team par-3 tournament matching pro-am teams from four international regions, will be played in October in Bermuda. Four-person teams – one PGA professional and three amateurs – from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe will compete at Mid Ocean Club, Port Royal Golf Course and Turtle Hill Golf Club.


More than 1,330 rounds were sold in the recent Rounds 4 Research fundraising program, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America announced. The May online auction raised $312,663 for turfgrass studies. Since launching in 2012, R4R has raised nearly $1.1 million.


The winner of the recent Regions Tradition on the Champions Tour played Lamkin grips, the manufacturer said. The champion used Lamkin’s Wrap-Tech line of grips.


May 18-23
Women’s college: NCAA Division I Championship

Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater, Okla.

May 19-23
Men’s amateur: U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

Jupiter Hills GC, Tequesta, Fla.

May 20-23
Industry: ING Spring Conference

IP Casino Resort and Spa, Biloxi, Miss.

May 24-26
Symetra Tour: Valley Forge Invitational

Raven’s Claw GC, Pottstown, Pa.

May 24-27
PGA Tour: Fort Worth Invitational.
Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas
LPGA: PGA Volvik Championship

Travis Pointe CC, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Champions: KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

GC at Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor, Mich. Tour: Nashville Golf Open

Nashville Golf and Athletic Club, Brentwood, Tenn.

European Tour: BMW PGA Championship

Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, England

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