FRIDAY  | JANUARY 18, 2019
by Mike Purkey

Rarely does the USGA make a rule that’s too lenient, but if you measure these things by what PGA Tour players are saying and doing, it looks as if the rules-making body might have gone too far – twice.

In an effort to simplify what sometimes could be confusing and arcane rules, the USGA and governing-body partner R&A introduced a streamlined Rules of Golf, reducing the number of basic rules from 34 to 24, effective Jan. 1. The laboratory for the rules, especially the new ones, is the PGA Tour, which opened 2019 at Hawaii’s Kapalua Resort for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The USGA was on pins and needles so much that Thomas Pagel, USGA senior managing director for governance – in other words, the man in charge of the rules – traveled to Hawaii to witness first-hand how the best players in the world would put the new rules to use.



Money well spent
I know nobody, male or female, who has upgraded his or her clubs and has played worse ... or even the same (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 14). Their swing or course management didn't change, but the forgiveness and accuracy provided by the new technology makes the difference.

And it makes the game more enjoyable when I can score better. I just happen to be more accurate hitting a short iron to the green instead of a mid-iron. And I enjoy clearing a hazard (sorry, penalty area) with a 3-wood rather than laying up in front of it.



First-round score for Phil Mickelson, who flirted with 59 before settling for a 12-under round and a three-stroke lead Thursday in the PGA Tour’s Desert Classic in La Quinta, Calif. Mickelson played La Quinta Country Club, one of three courses used this week. The 60 tied his career low, but it was the greatest number of strokes under par that he has shot in 2,077 career rounds on the PGA Tour.


Announced: By the Evian Championship, that it will offer a special exemption for the winner of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific. The Evian joins the Women’s British Open in granting LPGA major-championship berths to the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific winner.



The Grill Room Golf Show
Matt Kuchar won for the second time in the 2018-2019 season, claiming the recent Sony Open in Hawaii. On the Grill Room menu with co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr: Sony Open, this week's Desert Classic and the revived Houston Open, plus more news and views from around the world of golf.


The National Golf Course Owners Association will stage its annual Golf Business Conference as part of the PGA Merchandise Show beginning in 2020, PGA Golf Exhibitions announced. The conference, which has been hosted by the NGCOA for 30-plus years, brings the industry’s course owners and operators together.


A new Golf Facility Innovation Center will greet the anticipated 40,000 attendees for next week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. The 2,500-square-foot facility, to be located at the show entrance in the Orange County Convention Center, will welcome industry officials as they arrive for the Jan. 23-25 exposition.


JCR Sales and Consulting will exhibit its line of golf bags, head covers and accessories next week at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. JCR will be set up in booth No. 2011 on Jan. 23-25 at the Orange County Convention Center.


Apparel maker Oxford has added four PGA Tour players to its list of spokesmen for this year. Jim Knous, Chris Stroud, Martin Trainer and Chase Wright will be equipped with Oxford apparel.


Youth on Course reported a 55-percent growth in membership for its program of subsidized junior-golf rounds during 2018, officials announced. Nearly 150,000 rounds were played for $5 or less, and golf courses were reimbursed with $985,000. Youth on Course also promotes paid internships, a caddie program and nationwide scholarships.


Duca del Cosma will show off its spring and fall collections of golf and lifestyle shoes during the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 23-25 in Orlando, Fla. Duca del Cosma will exhibit from booth No. 5254 at the Orange County Convention Center.


GolfNow announced that it has extended its agreement with GolfVisions Management to provide online tee-time services for 20 golf courses in four states. Also, some courses managed by GolfVisions will use GolfNow’s Cloud-based G1 technology.


Toptracer will be the presenting sponsor of the PGA Merchandise Show’s Demo Day, the ball-tracking-technology company announced. The company will debut its mobile-based, handheld device for Toptracer Range during the Jan. 22 event at Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Fla.


Tagmarshal will unveil its latest pace-of-play monitoring device during the PGA Merchandise Show next week in Orlando, Fla. Tagmarshal will display the 2Way System at booth No. 2323 during the Jan. 23-25 exposition in the Orange County Convention Center.


Lynx Golf will introduce a variety of clubs at the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 23-25 in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. Lynx will exhibit men’s and women’s clubs at booth No. 943 in the Orange County Convention Center.


Tee-Fork will exhibit its combination tee/divot-repair tool at the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 23-25 in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. Tee-Fork will be located at booth No. 3417 in the Orange County Convention Center and be featured in the New Product Zone.


Topgolf Entertainment Group will expand the use of its Toptracer ball-tracking technology on NBC telecasts of the PGA Tour, NBC Sports Group announced. Beginning Jan. 31 with the Waste Management Phoenix Open, NBC will have the capability of using the technology on all 18 holes.


K-Motion will provide its biofeedback training technology to Golf Channel instructors, officials announced. The deal includes a pilot program to bring the K-Coach platform to 30 Golf Channel Academy locations.


Golf Life Real Estate, a golf-lifestyle and real estate company, plans to open for business Jan. 21, officials said. GLRE intends to connect high-net-worth clients with property in gated golf communities in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Massachusetts.


Apparel maker Peter Millar will present its fall clothing line at the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 23-25 in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. Peter Millar will exhibit from booth No. 5685 at the Orange County Convention Center.


Salish Cliffs Golf Club made available its 2019 annual golf passes for purchase, the club in Shelton, Wash., announced. Annual rates begin at $1,499.


January 16-19
Women’s amateur: Women’s South Atlantic Amateur

Oceanside CC, Ormond Beach, Fla.

European: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) GC

January 17-19
Champions: Mitsubishi Electric Championship

Hualalai GC, Kaupulehu, Hawaii

January 17-20
PGA Tour: Desert Classic

Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif.

LPGA: Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions

Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Men’s amateur: Latin America Amateur

Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog), La Romana, Dominican Republic

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