THURSDAY  | MARCH 21, 2019
by Gary Van Sickle

Dustin Johnson probably is not a Led Zeppelin fan, although I don’t know that for a fact.

It’s just that “Stairway to Heaven,” the band’s iconic anthem, has some lyrics which Johnson might find objectionable. One lyric, in particular. One word, mainly: Stairway.

Johnson was playing the best golf of his life, verging on dominance, when he slipped on a staircase at his Augusta rental home just before the 2017 Masters and had to withdraw. He thinks he has only recently gotten his swing close to where it was back then – he won the WGC Mexico with a nearly flawless week. So, thanks a lot, stairway, for the two-year detour.



by Adam Schupak

I hate playing badly. Hate it with a passion. Who doesn't, right? But this past year probably was the worst year of golf I've ever suffered through. I was the ’62 Mets. I won't bore you with the details, but I developed a case of the driver yips, set a personal record for lost balls and penalty strokes and never felt so lost doing the thing I most love to do. It got to the point where I felt like I was wasting time, and who has time for that?

As I played nine frustrating holes in the last hours of sunlight on Dec. 31, I decided that enough was enough. I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore. But what to do? I've long ago lowered my expectations and accepted that I no longer devote the time to practice and play that is necessary to shoot the scores I used to post when I played small-time college golf at Colgate. But the way I was playing sucked the joy out of the experience. I knew I needed to do something – something drastic – in 2019. I considered switching to left-handed. After all, I am ambidextrous and favor the left side with a few exceptions. But that would mean buying a new set of clubs, and if I don't have time to fix my game as a righty, I certainly can't commit to starting from scratch.



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Raise rough on Tour and emphasize accuracy
The PGA Tour should change its name to the Long Ball Tour.

An example: Roy McIlroy hitting 9-iron for his second shot into the par-5 16th hole Sunday in the final round of the Players Championship.



Number of strokes over par that holes 16-18, dubbed the Snake Pit, at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course played during last year’s Valspar Championship. In the ShotLink era on the PGA Tour, only the closing holes at Quail Hollow and Muirfield Village have played tougher among non-major-championship venues, according to Tour researchers.


Announced: By the Mackenzie Tour, the PGA Tour’s developmental tour in Canada, a 12-tournament schedule across six provinces that will begin in late May and run through mid-September.




The Grill Room with Bob & Jay
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Rory McIlroy, the recent Players champion who joined an elite club by winning his 15th title on the PGA Tour before age 30. The show includes audio from McIlroy, runner-up Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. Plus, Morning Read co-founder Alex Miceli talks about the effects of the revised Florida Swing, including this week’s Valspar Championship.

Hawk & Rude: Players Championship wrap
John Hawkins and Jeff Rude discuss an exciting Players Championship won by Rory McIlroy, who picked up his 15th PGA Tour victory seven weeks before his 30th birthday.


The three golf courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C., have opened the spring season. The courses – the Robert Trent Jones-designed Oceanfront Course, the Arthur Hills Curse and the George Fazio Course – have introduced a fleet of autonomous golf caddie units known as Tempo Walk by Club Car.


The Ann Liguori Foundation Charity Golf Classic has announced its three honorees for the June 20 event at Westhampton (N.Y.) Country Club. Songwriter Steve Azar will be honored for music; property manager Robert Bicocchi for business; and sportscaster Lesley Visser for sports. The charity event benefits several cancer-prevention organizations and mentorship programs for women in sports.


Bryan Gathright, the director of instruction at Cordillera Ranch in Boerne, Texas, has been named one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America for the 19th consecutive year. Gathright came to Cordillera Ranch in 2016 from San Antonio’s Oak Hill Country Club.


K-Motion reported that 51 of its certified coaches were named among Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America. K-Motion’s three-dimensional evaluations and biofeedback training are used in golf, baseball, hockey and other sports.


The U.S. Tennis Association will team with Cliff Drysdale Management to promote the growth of tennis, especially among youngsters. All Drysdale-managed facilities and their tennis professionals will have access to USTA resources, support and coaching tools.


Spencer Ralston won his first collegiate tournament, leading Georgia to the team title in the recent Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro, Ga. Ralston shot 11-under 205 at Reynolds Lake Oconee’s The Landing course as the Bulldogs posted their second victory of the spring season.


Arcis Golf announced a collaboration with The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business to conduct a research project on customer engagement. The study will seek to optimize fee-based membership programs at Arcis Golf’s daily-fee facilities in the U.S.


March 21-24
European: Maybank Championship

Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

PGA Tour: Valspar Championship

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, Fla.

LPGA: Bank of Hope Founders Cup

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Wildfire GC, Phoenix Chitimacha Louisiana Open

Le Triomphe G&CC, Broussard, La.

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