TUESDAY  | FEBRUARY 5, 2019
by Jeff Shain

He still answers to “Jason” – when he’s in the right mindset. But Colt Ford knows he never can resemble the golfer who kicked around the minitours for years and had a cup of coffee on what’s now the Web.com Tour.

“I became famous as a fat guy,” said Ford, now 10 years into a late-blooming career as a country-music headliner. “When I played golf I weighed 210 pounds, and when I became famous I weighed 310 pounds.”

Nope, Ford is far from a flatbelly. But the affable guy known as Jason Brown when he was an aspiring tour pro still has a bit of game.

 


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JOIN THE FUN AMBASSADORS

Having fun on the golf course has become an increasingly elusive concept. Golf used to be a game that encouraged players to roam through nature with friends and family, with the opportunity to enjoy one another’s company. Now, it’s seemingly all about how hard we can make the game and how fast we can play.

That’s why Morning Read has launched the Fun Ambassadors program. It’s time to restore fun to the game.

 


Garcia’s latest tantrum extends childish pattern
I became a Sergio Garcia fan when he first ran and jumped his way onto the golf scene during the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah. He was an exciting new kid on the block and just what the PGA Tour needed.

In his exuberance for the game, his emotions sometimes were over the top, but he seemed like such a lovable kid who might just give Tiger Woods a run for his money. I witnessed Garcia being sweet to a couple of little girls who were following him at the Players Championship. He was adorable in the Michelob ads. He was a Ryder Cup hero. What’s not to like?

 


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Position in the Official World Golf Ranking for Rickie Fowler, who improved six spots, from 14th, after he won the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday.

 


Withdrew: Brooke Henderson, from this week’s ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia. Henderson, 21, a Canadian and seven-time winner on the LPGA, cited an undisclosed illness.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: The Swing is the thing
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts relive their days of covering West Coast Swing events.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix, Mich., will play host to the 2019 U.S. Hickory Open, the club announced. The U.S. Hickory Open attracts an international field of golfers who play with pre-1935 hickory-shafted golf clubs or replica hickory clubs. Belvedere has hosted an annual Society of Hickory Golfers major championship since 2006.

 

Golf Life Navigators has received the Most Innovative Product of the Year award from BoardRoom magazine as part of the publication’s annual Excellence in Achievement Awards. Golf Life Navigators uses its ProGuide3 to focus on three crucial criteria when trying to match clients with a golf club for potential membership: golf, amenities and lifestyle.

 

Global Value Commerce, which sells new and used golf equipment online, will be exhibiting at the Toronto Golf & Travel Show on Feb. 8-10. GVC will be appearing as GlobalGolf.ca in booth No. 5317 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

 

Club Champion has opened a fitting studio in Fairfax, Va., the club-fitting company announced. The 3,000-square-foot facility, located at 9940 Fairfax Blvd., features two indoor hitting bays with TrackMan launch monitors and other equipment dedicated to club fitting, assembling and repairs.

 

James Kinney, a Golftec franchise owner and teacher in Omaha, Neb., has won the 2018 Nebraska PGA Teacher of the Year Award. It is Kinney’s sixth time winning the award, which recognizes the PGA professional who has demonstrated overall performance in teaching.

 

PGA Golf Club announced a number of improvements to the 54-hole facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The club recently renovated its three courses: Dye, Ryder and Wanamaker. At the adjacent PGA Village Verano, the community broke ground on a pickleball center, which will feature 27 courts. It is projected to open in late summer.

 

Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, has promoted Alex Rhyne to head golf professional, the club announced. Rhyne, 24, who was an assistant professional at Boot Ranch, succeeded Emil Hale, who became the club’s general manager last year.

 

Rock Creek Golf Club in Fairhope, Ala., has been voted one of the top courses in the state, according to Golf Advisor’s Best of 2018 ranking. Golf Advisor’s panelists voted Rock Creek as No. 6 in Alabama.

 

KemperSports has promoted Jody Graham to vice president of business development for the company’s eastern region. Graham, who joined KemperSports in 2015, will lead the company’s growth strategy for its managed golf properties in the eastern U.S.

 


CALENDAR
February 7-10
LPGA: Vic Open

13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia

Web.com: Panama Championship

Panama GC, Panama City, Panama

PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links

European: Vic Open

13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia

February 8-10
Champions: Oasis Championship

Old Course at Broken Sound Club, Boca Raton, Fla.


      
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