Merry Christmas from Morning Read, which will not publish again until Jan. 2.
by Gary Van Sickle

The most significant golf event of 2018 wasn’t what you might think. Another U.S. Ryder Cup loss? Brooks Koepka winning back-to-back U.S. Opens, a feat unmatched in nearly three decades? The return of Tiger Woods? Big-hitting Cameron Champ’s first victory?

Nope. The most significant golf happening will prove to be “The Match,” the pay-per-view exhibition between Woods and Phil Mickelson (“Next time, maybe Barkley should play,” Nov. 26).


Straight talk, from one senior to others
Reading the letter on making pin placements easier and improving pace of play makes me wonder whether some of my senior brethren have given enough thought to that complaint (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 19).

First, spending some time on the practice green, maybe with an instructor or, even better, a putter that you trust, would improve your chances of better scores. Perhaps not so much as making more putts but rather getting the ball closer on the first putt, which would offer more opportunities at two-putting. I rarely see seniors practice more than simply hitting a couple of putts “to get the speed of the greens,” as it were.


Entered: By golf course architect Keith Foster, a guilty plea Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., to charges that he illegally transported up to $500,000 of items made from endangered species and other wildlife, the Fauquier Times newspaper of Warrenton, Va., reported. Foster, 60, of Upperville, Va., faces five years in federal prison for violations of portions of the Lacey Act.



Number of days until the PGA Tour renews its 2018-19 season schedule with the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Play begins Thursday, Jan. 3, at Kapalua Resort in Maui, Hawaii. The tournament is open to winners of Tour events in 2018. American Dustin Johnson, who stands No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, will be the defending champion.



The Grill Room powered by Vertical Groove Golf
Now that the 2018 golf season is in the books, co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. wrap up the year and take an in-depth look at the major championships.

Hawk & Rude: Rules school
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts discuss the upcoming changes to the Rules of Golf with USGA official Craig Winter.


The Reserve Club of Indian Wells, Calif., has become a site for a local chapter of LPGA USGA Girls Golf, the club announced. The organization promotes life lessons through golf for girls ages 6-17 through more than 400 chapters in the U.S., serving some 70,000 youngsters.


Short Par 4 has launched a holiday promotion to benefit Little Linksters Golf Academy. For every box that Short Par 4, a box-subscription service, ships of its branded golf apparel and accessories to members, the company will donate one box to the golf academy. Little Linksters promotes the game among children ages 3-18 in central Florida. To date, Short Par 4 says it has donated 1,200-plus boxes.


Cabo San Lucas Country Club in Los Cabos, Mexico, has completed a major renovation project after sustaining damage from Tropical Storm Lidia in September 2017, officials said. The course, which was designed by Pete Dye’s brother Roy and completed by Roy’s son Matt, has been stretched to 6,852 yards with Mexican designer Agustin Piza’s work.


December 18-21
Women’s amateur: Dixie Women’s Amateur

Woodlands CC (East), Tamarac, Fla.

December 19-22
Men’s amateur: South Beach International Amateur

Miami Beach (Fla.) GC

December 28-30
Men’s amateur: Orlando International Amateur

Orange County National (Panther Lake, Crooked Cat), Winter Garden, Fla.

Women’s amateur: Arizona Silver Belle

Talking Stick GC, Scottsdale, Ariz.

December 29-31
Men’s amateur: Patriot All-America

Wigwam Golf Resort, Litchfield Park, Ariz.

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