THURSDAY  | MARCH 14, 2019
by Adam Schupak

The ides of March are upon us, and so is the return of the Players Championship to March for the first time since 2006.

It's been 12 hot, humid years of players shooting sizzling-low scores (six 63s posted in May compared to none in March) at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in May. One of the best moves involving the PGA Tour's revamped, condensed schedule aimed at crowning a FedEx Cup champion before Labor Day and avoiding conflicts with pro and college football has to be making the Players strategically positioned as the first significant event of the year.

 



by Gary Van Sickle

Golf’s Story of the Year for 2019 should be something exciting, something big.

The nominees include Phil Mickelson winning at 48; Francesco Molinari turning into golf’s newest bad-ass; Dustin Johnson snagging victory No. 20 en route to a future Hall of Fame berth; and Keith Mitchell and his No-Name Offense.

The envelope, please. And the winner is … the Rules of Golf. Ugh.

 


Late 1970s-early ’80s was ‘golden age,’ too
Gary Van Sickle's article is right on (“It’s a golden age of golf, so enjoy the ride,” March 13). We are in the midst of a super golden age of golf: great young players with limitless capabilities, and tons of worldwide talent.

However, my favorite "golden age of golf" was the late 1970s through the very early ’80s, where there was an amazing mixture of new, old and already established players at the same time. Billy Casper, Gene Littler, Don January and Arnold Palmer, who still was playing hard on the PGA Tour, along with established stars in their prime such as Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Gil Morgan, Raymond Floyd, and then the upstarts Tom Crenshaw, Andy Bean, Fuzzy Zoeller, Jay Haas and Corey Pavin. The list goes on and on.

 


Accepted: By Matthew Fitzpatrick, special temporary membership for the rest of the PGA Tour season. Fitzpatrick, at No. 33 in the Official World Golf Ranking, was the highest-ranked player without full-time Tour status.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Players preview
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude mix past and present while discussing the Players Championship’s return to March after a dozen years in May.


The Grill Room with Bob & Jay
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. offer a tribute to the late golf writer Dan Jenkins, review Francesco Molinari’s victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and preview the Players Championship.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Youth on Course, a nonprofit dedicated to delivering subsidized golf and other programs to youngsters, is taking its program to Canada. In a partnership with Golf Canada and Alberta Golf, Youth on Course will promote rounds of golf for $5 or less at 12 courses in Alberta in addition to its college scholarships, caddie programs and paid internships. Youth on Course, for ages 6-18, is established at 1,000 golf courses in 29 U.S. states.

 

Travel operator Carr Golf announced summer golf getaways to the Emerald Isle, which will play host to the British Open this summer. Among the golf courses available in Ireland and Northern Ireland for Dublin-based Carr Golf’s packages are Ardglass, Old Head, Portstewart, The Island and Royal County Down, site of the 148th British Open.

 

Cassandra Norris will be joining Club Champion as the company’s public-relations and social-media manager, officials announced. Club Champions provides lessons and club-fitting services at more than 50 retail centers across the U.S.

 

Jacob Sanborn and Corey “Coobs” Carrick won the inaugural Battle at the Beach, a two-man, 54-hole team event played March 8-10 at Hammock Beach Resort’s Ocean Course in Palm Coast, Fla. The tournament was sponsored by Short Par 4, a box-subscription service that ships brand-name merchandise to subscribers.

 


CALENDAR
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


      
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