WEDNESDAY  | FEBRUARY 27, 2019
by Adam Schupak

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson all live close enough to PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., home of the Honda Classic, that none of them would need to bother with a hotel room key for this week's PGA Tour stop. Yet all three elected to take the week off in their own backyard. It's a sign of the times for an event that just a few years ago was trumpeted as benefiting from the mass of Jupiter-area players living what they like to call “JupLife.”

What we're seeing is one of the drawbacks of the Tour's decision to compress the primary schedule into nine months and wrap up the FedEx Cup ahead of the college football and NFL seasons. Last week’s WGC Mexico Championship kicked off an eight-week stretch in which we're going to see the difference between the haves and have-nots like never before, and the Honda Classic is the first casualty.

 


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by Dan O'Neill

Is golf becoming more of a “contact sport”? Recent studies suggest as much. Context is important, mind you, because, let’s be honest, golf always has been a contact sport.

Where you play, how often you play, with whom you play … all based on whom you know, i.e., a contact sport. That said, a recent article headlined “Golf As a Contact Sport?”, published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, takes a different direction. Doctors from the Barrow Neurological Institute have found repetitive traumatic discopathy, or RTD, from 300-plus swings per golf-playing day may be leading to early lumbar degeneration in modern-era golfers.

 


Augusta Women’s Amateur omits key champion
Now that the PGA Tour has reached Florida, we’re only a month or so away from the Masters. But this year has a different twist.

The weekend before Masters Week, the green-jacketed leadership at Augusta National Golf Club will be patting themselves on the back for their historic use of their hallowed grounds for a women’s amateur tournament. Not really a whole tournament; just one round for those who make the cut after 36 holes at neighboring Champions Retreat (even though Augusta National will allow all competitors to play a practice round on the day after the cut ... before the final round). Kind of odd, but I’ll give them a pass for trying.

 


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Score, an eagle, made by Erik Compton on the par-5 18th hole at Banyan Cay Resort & Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., to Monday-qualify for his first PGA Tour event in three years. Compton, 39, a two-time heart-transplant recipient, shot 7-under 65 and shared the qualifying medal with Drew Nesbitt for this week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

 


Announced: That the 2022 British Open will be played at Royal Liverpool in England, according to the R&A.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Slow play, D.J. and . . . shorts?
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude take on a variety of subjects, including golf’s most pervasive problem: pace of play.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Big Max has added three U.S. distributors to its network, the company announced. J&M Golf, Golf Max and GT Golf Supplies will help U.K.-based Big Max distribute its push carts, bags and other products.

 

Puma Golf introduced Ignite ProAdapt footwear, which was designed in collaboration with the PGA Tour’s Rickie Fowler, the company announced. Fowler wore the model during his recent victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The shoes, which retail for $200, are available for pre-sale at PumaGolf.com and at select retailers. They will hit stores on March 13.

 

Two South Florida resorts are pairing golf and baseball as the ideal spring training tandem this season. PGA Golf Club, near the Mets’ spring home in Port St. Lucie, and PGA National Resort & Spa, close to the pre-season homes of the Cardinals, Marlins, Astros and Nationals, are promoting golf and Grapefruit League baseball. Both resorts feature multiple course options.

 

Boyne Golf announced its “Great Escape Golf Vacation” package for the upcoming season in northern Michigan. Boyne Golf consists of three resorts and 10 golf courses. Pricing for the six-day, five-night package starts at $949 per person for the season, which runs from May 7 through Sept. 15.

 

Greg Brandriet, the course superintendent at Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club in Spearfish, S.D., has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America announced. The quarterly award honors individuals who have advocated for GCSAA priority issues with a member of Congress.

 

PrideSports reported that winners of four of golf’s biggest championships last week wore replaceable-cleat technology. The winners of the PGA Tour’s WGC Mexico Championship and Puerto Rico Open, the Honda LPGA Thailand and the Australasian Tour’s Coca-Cola QLD PGA Championship wore shoes with cleats. PrideSports distributes the Champ and Softspikes brands to footwear manufacturers.

 


CALENDAR
February 28 - March 3
PGA Tour: Honda Classic

PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

LPGA: HSBC Women’s World Championship

Sentosa GC (New Tanjong Course), Singapore

European: Oman Open

Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman

March 1-3
Champions: Cologuard Classic

Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National (Catalina), Tucson, Ariz.


      
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