by Mike Purkey

The year in golf was dominated by the professional game’s youth movement but was punctuated by emerging stars and old stars with a new shine. Here is one man’s top 10 list of the best stories in golf in 2018.

The comeback: Left for dead professionally and abandoned on the side of the road personally, Tiger Woods produced one of the great resurrections in golf history in 2018. A year ago at this time, he was No. 1,199 in the world and hadn’t played competitively in 10 months when he teed it up at the Hero World Challenge. Since then, Woods cranked up the volume in golf like no one else can. He won the Tour Championship in September, attracting galleries that haven’t been seen in years. He has climbed to No. 14 in the Official World Golf Ranking. All at age 42.


by Gary Van Sickle

I had a poor putting round during a recent media tournament in the greater Phoenix area. I don’t normally make excuses (other than the usual “I stink!”), but in this instance, I blamed Ping.

Before the round at the spectacularly refurbished Papago Golf Course, one of America’s finest municipal tracks, I tested several Ping Sigma 2 putters. I didn’t just like their remarkably soft but responsive feel; I was instantly hooked. I had one of those “Holy cow!” moments that golf gearheads dream about. Except I didn’t say, “Holy cow!” It was something similar.


'Triumvirate of loonies' leads 'Union of Morons'
It probably is about time to merge the U.S. Golf Association, PGA of America and PGA Tour into one large Union of Morons.

With their almost simultaneous announcements that the PGA of America will move to Texas (“In the news,” Dec. 5), and the PGA Tour will hold a college draft (“Tour’s college ‘draft’ will taint meritocracy,” Dec. 10), two of golf's most powerful organizations have declared that any bad idea or decision that the USGA can enact, We can do bigger, stupider and greedier!


Denied: In a vote by the membership at Country Club at Rochester (N.Y.), an invitation to host the 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. Rochester enjoyed a lengthy history with women’s golf, having played host to the LPGA tour for 38 years, ending in 2014.



Number of consecutive years that South Africans have won the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which will be played this week at Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.



Grill Room powered by Vertical Groove Golf
As the year winds down, co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. look ahead to Maui, wrap up the QBE Shootout and preview the PNC Father-Son Challenge. Encore feature interviews welcome Pete Charleston from GolfLogix and David Feaser from PeakVision Sunglasses.

Hawk & Rude: 2018 in review
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude discuss the year’s biggest stories and dissect the “trending” factor among the game’s top players.


Actor-comedian Sinbad will entertain attendees at the closing ceremony for the Golf Industry Show on Feb. 7 in San Diego, organizers announced. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America hosts the trade show for course owners, operators and managers.


Thirteen members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America have been chosen for the Melrose Leadership Academy, the GCSAA announced. The appointments include trips to the Golf Industry Show on Feb. 2-7 in San Diego.


Big Max is offering holiday shoppers bonus gifts with the purchase of an Aqua bag or a Fold Flat Cart, the company announced. Shoppers who buy an Aqua waterproof bag will receive an Aqua umbrella as a bonus. Buyers of a product from the Fold Flat Cart line of push carts will receive a Big Max Flight Bag as a bonus.


Golf-industry professionals planning to attend the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show next month in Orlando, Fla., can register at no cost through Dec. 14 at, organizers announced. The 66th annual event will be held Jan. 22-25 at the Orange County Convention Center. Beginning Dec. 15, PGA professionals and Allied Association members can continue to register at no charge, but other industry personnel must pay $50 through Jan. 21. The cost rises to $195 through Jan. 25.


Puma Golf introduced the Ignite NXT family of spikeless golf shoes, the company announced. The shoes, which feature three lacing options, come in men’s and women’s styles and with a one-year waterproof warranty. The retail price is $120.


Billy Casper Golf won unanimous approval by city leaders in Midland, Mich., to continue operating Currie Golf Courses. The City Council voted to extend BCG’s oversight of Currie’s three courses: the 18-hole West, nine-hole East and a par-3 course.


December 13-16
European: Alfred Dunhill Championship

Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, South Africa

December 14-16
Champions exhibition: PNC Father-Son Challenge

Ritz-Carlton GC, Orlando, Fla.

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