WEDNESDAY  | NOVEMBER 28, 2018
by Jeff Babineau

For the first time in three years, Tiger Woods is home at his own Hero World Challenge in the yacht-populated island paradise of Nassau, Bahamas, with some sort of clue about what lies ahead with his golf. That’s different, for starters.

Two years ago, he showed flashes of good play and solid shots at Albany, then teed it up for three 2017 rounds and basically called it a year in early February. Because of that, expectations were tempered heading into 2018 after he tied for ninth at the 2017 Hero – as player No. 1,199 in the Official World Golf Ranking. (He is now 13th.) Though Woods responded well – a Sunday charge at Valspar, two good runs at the majors, his first victory in five years, a berth on the Ryder Cup team, and most importantly, good health – he considered his 2017-18 season to be a constantly moving target.

 



THE EQUIPMENT INSIDER
by Mike Purkey

At the intersection of technology and tradition, interests often collide. Nowhere are the battle lines any clearer than in golf. Technology innovators want to make a difficult game easier, while those defending the inherent challenge of the game want to slow down what some would call progress.

Green reading is golf’s latest tug-of-war between innovators and the establishment. The sophistication of the printed matter with which to read greens is unprecedented. But the rulemaking bodies felt it necessary to rein in the technology. To the credit of each, a working compromise was reached.

 


‘Working stiff’ tells touring pros to get real
I truly can understand how these touring golf professionals really have a tough life (“Dream gig comes with cost for tour pros,” Nov. 27). I remember how lonely I would be driving myself to work each day for 40 years. I don't know how I was able to get through each day.

Oh, that's right. I also drove home each night. I usually could manage to fit in cutting grass, cleaning the house, cooking meals, taking the kids back and forth to their activities, school meetings and whatever else we working stiffs endure.

 


Announced: By the PGA of America, that the organization will build three PGA Golf Academy facilities in China. The agreement, with China’s Mission Hills Group and PacificPine Sports Group, calls for two teaching facilities at Mission Hills Shenzhen, a 22-course resort near China’s southeast coast, and one at Mission Hills Haikou, a 10-course resort on Hainan Island.

 


5

Number of times that host Tiger Woods has won the Hero World Challenge, which stages its 20th edition beginning Thursday at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas (tee times). Woods won it in 2001, '04, '06, '07 and '11. The 18-man event features four of the top five players in the Official World Golf Ranking. Though it is an unofficial event on the PGA Tour schedule, the tournament awards world-ranking points.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Grill Room powered by Vertical Groove Golf
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. review the recent Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods match, and Morning Read’s Alex Miceli discusses the made-for-TV showdown. The feature interview is with Barney Adams, who talks about his latest invention, the Stability Shaft for putters.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Streamsong Resort will play host to the inaugural Holiday Cup on Dec. 15-17 to open its winter season at the resort in Streamsong, Fla. Two-person teams will compete in four formats in the two-day competition: scramble and chapman on Day 1 and four-ball and shamble on Day 2. Play will be held on the Blue and Black courses.

 

PGA National Resort and Spa announced a flash sale, with discounts of 25 percent on rooms and 10 percent on select golf and spa packages. The sale expires Dec. 2 and covers stays at the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., resort from Dec. 2 through May 31.

 

Troon has been selected to manage Saddle Creek Golf Resort in Copperopolis, Calif., the management company announced. Troon Golf, the resort and daily-fee club-operations division of Troon, will manage the golf, restaurant, bungalow rentals and club operations at Saddle Creek, a semi-private golf club in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

 

The Pronghorn Sweepstakes will award a golf-and-outdoors adventure vacation to Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Ore., management company Troon announced. Mount Batchelor and Ship Sticks also will participate in the program. The drawing will be held Jan. 14.

 

Silvies Valley Ranch has been recognized by Golf Magazine as the best new golf experience of 2018, the Seneca, Ore., ranch announced. Silvies Valley features two regulation 18-hole courses, a nine-hole par-3 course and a seven-hole ridge course that pairs golfers with goat caddies. Other amenities include horseback riding, pistol shooting, spa and fitness facilities.

 

Two golf-industry veterans have been selected to receive 2019 Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Awards from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Edward “Ted” Horton, a 51-year GCSAA member, and Tamas “Tom” Tanto, a course irrigation contractor, will be recognized Feb. 6 during the opening session at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.

 


CALENDAR
November 27-30
Champions: Qualifying Tournament Final Stage

TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz, Fla.

November 29 - December 2
European: Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open

Four Seasons GC Mauritius at Anahita, Beau Champ, Mauritius

European: Australian PGA Championship

RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia

PGA Tour exhibition: Hero World Challenge

Albany Club, Nassau, Bahamas


      
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