TUESDAY  | MARCH 12, 2019
by John Fischer

This is Players Championship week, during which a short, 137-yard par 3 will be the golf world’s center of attention. For its size, the island 17th green at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., packs an outsized punch late in the round. Players either hit the green or the water; there’s no layup or bailout.

Based on its distance, the hole should be easy, but the surrounding water plays mind games. In 37 editions of the Players at TPC Sawgrass, the hole has played slightly above par, at 3.11 strokes, ranking as the ninth-toughest on the course. Pete Dye and his late wife, Alice, get the credit for the design of this devilish hole, and the Dye name is almost synonymous with the island green.



by John Hawkins

Change is one of golf’s biggest adversaries, a point made abundantly clear two months into 2019. Those complaints about the new rules? That’s just a symptom of tour pros forced out of their comfort zones. The endless whine about slow play? Golfers are creatures of habit, especially those whose habits have granted them access to millions upon millions of dollars in prize money.

You can teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s a much tougher task when he’s living in a suite at the Chateau de Bow Wow and making $128,000 to finish T-14. The world’s best players always have been quick with a moan and a cause overblown, although they seldom do much when it actually comes to solving a problem.


Jenkins, the best golf writer ever? Not so fast
It’s hard to argue with Gary Van Sickle’s assertion that Dan Jenkins was the best golf writer in history, especially so soon after Jenkins’ death – but I will (“A dead solid perfect ode to Dan Jenkins,” March 11).

In my opinion, Jenkins may be tied for that honor in regulation, but over time will be eliminated in a three-way playoff with Bernard Darwin and Herbert Warren Wind.


Sentenced: Keith Foster, the golf course architect who pled guilty to charges of smuggling and selling items made from endangered species, to 30 days in federal prison, the Fauquier Times of Warrenton, Va., reported (“In the news,” Dec. 21).



Position in the Official World Golf Ranking for Italy’s Francesco Molinari, an improvement of three spots, after he won the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday.




Hawk & Rude: Dan Jenkins (1929-2019)
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude are joined by Golf Digest’s Guy Yocom to reflect on the career of legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins, who died March 7 at age 89.


NBC Sports Group will air more than 150 hours of live programming across its platforms during this week’s Players Championship. Coverage will air on Golf Channel, NBC and NBC Sports Gold, in collaboration with Sky Sports.


The winner of the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational played Lamkin grips, the manufacturer announced. He used Lamkin’s TS1 grips and the Deep Etched putter grip.


NBC Sports has launched a podcast feature Rory McIlroy, a four-time major champion, and host Carson Daly, the network announced. The “Rory & Carson Podcast” will air monthly on Golfpass and be available via Golf Channel Digital for free.


Club Champion has opened a new store for instruction and club fitting in Oklahoma City, Okla., the company announced. The facility, at 1001 West Memorial Road, includes two hitting bays and offers TrackMan launch monitors and a SAM PuttLab’s fitting technology for the practice green.


Dormie Network continues to expand with the recent acquisition of Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. The network features six private clubs in six states.


Troon has expanded its private-club member-benefits program and relaunched it as Troon Privé Privileges, the management company announced. Qualified members will receive golf and lifestyle benefits at Troon Privé-managed private clubs worldwide.


More than $27,000 was raised for breast-cancer research during a recent tournament at Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club in Coral Gables, Fla. The seventh annual Barbara Gelber Golf Tournament, sponsored by the club and its women’s golf association, benefits Cancer Link at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Sage Run at Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Mich., will open for play May 31, organizers announced. The Paul Albanese-designed course is part of an $8 million renovation aimed at extending the length of customer visits.


Golf Life Navigators will launch its first TV ad campaign next month on Golf Channel, the company announced. Golf Life Navigators, which helps golf consumers find their ideal private club, will partner with Golf Advisor in the ad campaign.


Ahead products will be available this week at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the manufacturer said. Ahead, which makes headwear and accessories, will be supplying the tournament’s 2,000-plus volunteers with headwear. Ahead gear will be available onsite at the PGA Tour Fan Shop.


Scott McCarron, a Tour Edge Exotics staff player, posted his third top-five finish in five starts this season on the Champions Tour. McCarron, who played an 18-degree Exotics CBX 119 hybrid, tied for third Sunday in the Hoag Classic at Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club.


March 14-17
European: Kenya Open

Karen CC, Nairobi, Kenya

PGA Tour: Players Championship

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

March 15-17
Symetra: Florida’s Natural Charity Classic

Winter Haven (Fla.) CC

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