Play 9 Day: Nine Ways to grow the sport of golf

 

Play 9 Day is the USGA’s awesome new movement, that promotes the fun and convenience of playing 9 holes over 18 holes. This movement first started last year and quickly became a success.

 

They just finished they’re second year and are already looking ahead to next year. With the movement being such a success, what are nine ways to grow and expand the sport of golf?

 

Here are mine (Note: this is NOT a top nine list. Just a general list of nine):

 

On the way to first tee box: Playing nine holes – Can’t start this list without mentioning the reason why it’s being written. Playing nine holes over 18 is a great, quick, and usually inexpensive way to get a round in and enjoy golf.

 

Traditionalists think 18 is the only way to play but to be real, nine hole courses came before 18 hole courses. Nine and 12 for that matter. St. Andrews started out as a 12 hole course where players would play 10 twice, making it 22 holes. Eventually, it just turned into playing 18.

 

Musselburgh Links, the second oldest course in the world (First round was documented in 1567), started off as a seven holer, then became a nine and still is a nine today. Oakhurst Links, the oldest course in America was and still is a nine hole course. therefore, 18 holes is NOT the true and traditional way to play so we need to erase this from our brains.

 

If you want to find a nine hole course in your area, then I recommend you check out the USGA’s Play 9 website: http://www.usga.org/play9info/

 

1. Playing par-3, putting and pitch & putt courses – Par-3 courses are usually nine hole courses and are much shorter and cheaper than a regular nine holer which is already cheap. These are an excellent way to introduce kids to and still have a fun, golf experience. It’s also a great way to test your accuracy.

 

I can relate, having played my first of many rounds on a small par-3 course in Chicago. Par-3 courses are a joy to play and feature very interesting course design features.

 

Pitch & Putt is very similar. Except the courses are even smaller than a par-3 courses.

 

With a Pitch & Putt track, you’re relying on pitch shots and flop shots to nail the ball close to the hole. It’s a ton of fun, it’s extremely affordable and it is played on an amateur tour level all around the world.

 

Putting courses are similar to mini-golf courses. Difference is that they are professionally designed to test even the streakiest of putters.

 

At the same time, they are great for the whole family to enjoy. They are inexpensive to design and inexpensive for the golfer while also taking less time.

 

Some courses are 18 holes set on one giant green. Some putting tracks are 18 separate holes. Some even have hazards such as bunkers and water.

 

Think of it as a full sized course shrunk down in size.

 

Some of the most famous putting designs include the newly opened PunchBowl course at Bandon Dunes and the Thisledhu course at Pinehurst. Probably the most legendary is the Himalaya putting course at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

 

It received a phenomenal 5 out of 5 rating on Trip Advisor. There were over 200 reviews and 188 gave the Himalaya course a perfect 5 out of 5.

 

Driving ranges are excellent locations for putting courses. Top Golf, which I’ll get to later, has a putting course at their Chicago location and although they call it a mini-golf course, I definitely see it more as a putting course.

 

Here’s one of my favorite sites on the web when I want to look for any of these small beauties: http://www.par3-executive-golf.com/index.html

 

2. The Sport of Long Drive – Long Drive is a sport where competitors attempt to hit the golf ball as long as possible. In most cases, this includes screaming after hitting a gorgeous tee shot.

 

It can be quite intense as you just never know who’s going to pull it off. You need to not only hit the ball the furthest, but need to keep it in-bounds on a giant field that looks similar to a football field.

 

The LDA (Long Drivers Association of America) is the home of Long Drive and carries the Re/MAX Long Drive Championship which has rapidly grown. Thanks to the coverage from Golf Channel, the Re/MAX Long Drive Championship has been seen by thousands of fans worldwide.

 

Probably the two most popular players of all-time are Jason Zubak and Jamie Sadlowski who are both instrumental in Long Drive’s popularity. Jeff Flagg of Alabama is the current champion, defeating the extremely accurate Jeff “The Critter” Crittenden.

 

Besides, who doesn’t love seeing golf balls being smashed 400+ yards? Coolest stuff ever and can definitely be a huge draw for younger, casual, new generation fans. The events are usually held in hot places such as Nevada and Texas.

 

Las Vegas has been the legendary location for the Championship.

 

The only thing is that the events aren’t spread enough across the country. There should be events in locations all over the U.S. to help get the sport out the many all over and provide a fun event for everyone to enjoy.

 

I understand it can be tricky with all of the space that is needed but it would be great. This is a cool way to get many young sports enthusiasts into golf.

 

If they see an LDA event and see guys booming the ball so far, they’ll think “WOW! That’s so cool!”

 

You can learn more about the LDA at their website at LongDrivers.com.

 

3. Using less clubs and/or making cheaper sets – OK, so this one’s a biggie for those who are trying to get into golf. Price of equipment.

 

When there’s 14 clubs in a bag, it can definitely raise prices. But then again, who really needs 14 clubs? You don’t. All you really need is five, maybe six clubs, seven max.

 

What needs to happen here is instead of being forced to get a set of 14, there should be sets of five or six, better yet, have the customer choose how many clubs he/she wants and accumulate the price then. It would make the price much cheaper and will make walking the course more of a joy than a pain (You can always grab a push cart if you have too and I’ve seen some for about $50).

 

4. Playing Urban/Street Golf – Urban Golf is playing golf anywhere and everywhere you want. This is an excellent way for those who can’t really afford the time or money to playing on a course, to get some golf in.

It is actually the very first form of golf. Before courses, Dutch sailors would hit rocks with sticks around the town of St. Andrews and they would count their strokes along the way.

 

This being before the Old Course at St. Andrews even being discovered. The rest as they say, is history.

 

With Urban Golf, the rules are simple; find a target, whether you’re at the park, in the city, on the beach or at a school, find targets to aim for and hit to that spot in as less strokes as possible.

 

It’s highly recommended that you use softer golf balls or short flight golf balls such as the Almost Golf balls or the Birdie Ball. All you need is one club but can use two if you want to putt.

 

But really, all you need is a pitching wedge or 7-iron. One of the most beautiful things about Urban Golf is that YOU are the golf course designer. You choose or set up the targets.

 

You can use baskets or buckets if you want or the guys over at Birdie Ball and Almost Golf also carry targets you can get. Every year, there is a European Urban Golf Cup which is in a World Cup style format with teams representing each country (Except the U.S. but this HAS to change and the EUGC has said quite a few times that they’d gladly welcome an American squad.).

 

A U.S. Urban Golf organization needs to happen very soon and a U.S. Open wouldn’t be so bad either at some of the country’s finest parks.

 

5. Playing FootGolf – Do you have a kid that loves soccer and golf or loves soccer but is up in the air about golf? FootGolf is one of the most rapidly growing sports in the world.

 

This gives many players a chance to experience the joys of playing on a golf course and hitting off of lush, green fairways while still bringing in the fun of playing soccer, the world’s most popular sport. What makes this so powerful is that, there are millions, upon millions of soccer enthusiasts worldwide and this gives soccer fans a chance to get on the course and enjoy playing golf, but with a soccer ball.

 

The goal is exactly the same as golf except you’re kicking a soccer ball and you’re aiming for a giant hole. You can check out the AFGL’s (American FootGolf League) website for info and gear.

 

6. Convenience in golf – Another major obstacle in golf has been the convenience of the game. What makes sports like basketball and soccer so wildly popular, is how simple and convenient it is to play. Basketball, all you need is a basketball and a court. In soccer, all you need is a soccer ball and a soccer field/pitch or you can set up your own goals pretty easily.

With golf, you’re carrying a long, heavy bag full of clubs. This can be tough, especially for those of you who live in a busy city and have no vehicle.

 

And more than likely, if you are in an environment like that, you probably live in an apartment which can be cramped and a full set of clubs can get in the way. There needs to be much more “pick up and play” convenience in golf.

 

Thankfully, DV8 Sports had just recently released their set of clubs, which is conveniently tucked into a backpack. These are interchangeable clubs and are perfect for those of you who need your clubs with you everywhere you go (Like me).

 

It also fits beautifully into the Urban Golf scene as well. Makes a perfect fit for the adventure golfers out there and yes, they are very gorgeous clubs.

 

7. Golf video games – Video games have become an entertainment juggernaut ever since the first games came out in the early 80’s such as Pong, Pac Man and Donkey Kong (DK made Mario, then named Jumpman a megastar). If you know me, other than golf and other sports, I am a video game lover and play any chance I get.

 

In some ways, video games helped me love golf. I remember getting ready for my first lesson at my local course (The same course that features the little par-3 course I mentioned), and I decided to download the demo for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08.

 

The demo had you playing as Tiger and playing the first three holes at TPC Boston. I remember really enjoying bombing it off the tee with Tiger at Boston, with all of the beautiful and colorful Fall leaves all around Arnold Palmer’s design.

 

It was just a stepping stone to how I officially fell in love with the game. My first lesson was cancelled because the coach had another lesson that same day so I hit the driving range and hit a few driver shots which officially made catch the bug.

 

And I was someone who didn’t know anything about golf except Tiger, Michelle Wie, and a little bit of John Daly. I knew about none of the courses, the first course I really heard about was Pebble Beach and that was about it.

 

It all started with video games for the most part. And now, we have three great golf games that are available to play.

 

The Golf Club which features a very deep golf course design feature, allows you to create any course you want, whether it looks realistic or weird and totally out there. The gameplay is also a ton of fun. There are over 70,000 courses to play in the game because of the course design feature.

 

Perfect Golf, a game by Perfect Parallel, is a game for the PC that also features a golf course design feature. There has been plans to make the game available for home consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One.

 

EA Sports just released Rory McIlroy PGA Tour which features beautiful graphics one some of the big name courses such as TPC Sawgrass, St. Andrews and Whistling Straits. The game also features a couple of fun fantasy courses and a Night Club mode with different mini games to play and could be very appealing to kids.

However, the game currently only has 12 courses but the game will not be a yearly title so there’s supposed to be more courses added in the future.

 

In previous golf games, there has been motion control featured where you can have a more authentic golfing experience at home. With the new Project Morpheus coming out for the PS4 next year among others, let’s hope motion control makes it’s way back into golf games.

 

8. Playing Night Golf – Night Golf has started to become more popular and has proven to be a very smart move, especially for those who get out of work in the evening. Installing lights on courses will help keep the course open all night long and keep golfers cool since the sun isn’t out.

 

Probably the coolest and funnest ways to enjoy Night Golf is by going to TopGolf and let me tell you, TopGolf is an absolute blast and has exploded across the country. I remember when there only a few, now they’re everywhere!

 

TopGolf is a driving range that is open all day and night and is not only just driving range, but a target practice game where you can test your accuracy and earn points. You can also watch sports and eat food in the little bar & grill spot and they usually give you a free bowl of popcorn while you play.

 

Music also plays in the background while you enjoy your game and there are heaters so you can play in the winter time. I remember playing out there in 20 degree weather and it was fun and I stayed warm enough to enjoy everything!

 

There’s even a beautiful mini golf course that you can play at night at the WoodDale, IL location (The one I’ve been to many times).

 

Going back to the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour video game’s Night Club feature, it could definitely help expand the popularity of Night Golf if many gamers play and enjoy the game.

 

Then, there’s a company called GlowGear that sells Night Golf gear so you can enjoy it yourself or if you’re a golf course owner, you can set up your own Night Golf events. The folks at GlowGear are also big Urban Golf enthusiasts as well which is awesome.

 

Night Golf is a great way to keep the fun going all night long.

 

9. PowerPlay Golf –  PowerPlay Golf is a new way to enjoy golf. It was created by amateur golf legend and golf course designer Peter McEvoy along with sports venue owner David Piggins and golf agency owner Andy Hiseman. It is played on nine hole courses.

 

The rules of PowerPlay Golf are just like Stableford, but you have two flags to choose from on each hole instead of one. You have a white flag and a black flag.

 

Now, here’s where the fun and strategy come into play. The white flag is the safer play, however, you will be rewarded with less points. If you were to go for the black flag, you’d get more points but would be the much more difficult play.

 

This takes the strategy of golf course design to a whole new level and brings a whole new level of excitement.

 

There was a PowerPlay Golf tournament that was filmed for TV and featured golf legend Gary Player, major champion Paula Creamer and Paul Casey among others.

 

unfortunately, there are no directories for where to find a PowerPlay course and the website is pretty basic, only featuring an email address. You can visit the website at PowerPlay-Golf.com and grab the email and send in any questions you may have.

 

However, one of the main three reps from the PowerPlay group has said that they are trying to bring PowerPlay Golf back into play. That would be so awesome if they did, and I know they could too. The guy I talked to was awesome.

 

You can also get some more info on PowerPlay Golf on the Wikipedia page.

 

Just another great variation of golf that has a chance to sky rocket if all goes well.

 

On the way back to the clubhouse: The First Tee program – Since we finished our nine hole round, it’s time to head back to the clubhouse, and how can I get through this list without mentioning The First Tee program? I was in The First Tee about six years ago as kinda both a member and minor mentor.

 

It really is a terrific program and you learn a lot from it. It teaches you things like respect, honesty and responsibility. These are just three of the “Nine core values” which pretty much makes The First Tee what it is.

 

You also get taught some basic fundamentals of the game while you learn these core values. Many kids who join The First Tee, usually do well in school and improve grades among other things.

 

Golf has that kind of power and I think The First Tee needs to definitely be recognized more often. The great thing is, it has quickly become one of the best youth programs in the country.

 

The PGA Tour has done a superb job of promoting it and I think it’ll just continue to get stronger and stronger.

 

If you want some more info on The First Tee, then visit TheFirstTee.org.

 

So. there you have it, these are just some of the many ways you expand the great sport of golf. Golf is the most versatile sport in the world so I think we definitely need to take advantage.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio and send me tweets with YOUR thoughts on how to expand the sport!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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WATCH: Dude wrecks his GoPro camera with golf shot

Ouch! A dude had gotten one of the awesome, super shiny, GoPro cameras to show off his golf skills. Unfortuantely, he had the camera placed right in front of his shot, and the ball didn’t take flight soon enough.

The end result? Well, you see that for yourself in the video below:

Well, that’s a stinker. Fortunately for our buddy in the video, the folks at GoPro made an awesome gesture and offered him a new one (Check the video’s comments section).

Next time however, it might be a good idea to either place the camera behind your shot or maybe attach it to your hat for a more immersive, first-person experience.

And for the record, I DO think GoPro cameras are awesome for golf. It’s just how you use it!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio for no reason! Well except golf reasons!

Source: GolfDigest.com


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Weirdo has been using the bathroom on a course in Norway

Sorry if you’re eating food. If you are then I recommend you to finish before you continue to read this.

 

Apparently, some dude in Norway has been taking a shiznit (poop) in some of the golf holes on a golf course in Norway. He’s been doing this since 2005.

 

2005!!

 

He uses the bathroom only on weekdays and leaves toilet paper behind. He also leaves tire marks (From his bike) and footprints which should help finally catch this guy.

 

The course even set up flood lights in some of the Toilet Paper Bandit’s hotspots. Nope, that didn’t stop him either.

 

So, it kinda makes you wonder, was he who used to play there, maybe got some bad service of some sort and decided to get revenge? OK, that might be a little too far.

 

Maybe he’s just some weirdo who has nothing better to do then drop deuces in golf holes.

 

Norway is one of the welthiest countries in the world and features some of the most beautiful golf courses you’ll ever see. Apparently, this dude didn’t get the memo.

 

What we need is Marv Albert (Who has done some golf broadcasts before) to broadcast this guy’s performance because obviously he gets it in the hole every time.

 

Marv would be like “OH MY GOODNESS! He just can’t miss!”

 

All kidding aside, let’s hope they catch this dude.

 

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m talking Play 9 Day and PGA Championship!

 

Source: Golf News Net 

 

 


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Amateur golfer lands prom date with Holly Sonders

Andrew Orishack, a very talented amateur golfer who hails from Hilton Head, SC, (The mecca of golf in America I like to call it), had a great showing at the U.S. Junior Amateur. He had the lead by five shots but unfortunately collapsed towards the end to finish runner-up to Phillip Barabaree, another great amateur.

But what was Andrew’s reward for an overall great performance? A date with Fox Sports golf reporter Holly Sonders.

Huh?? How did that happen?!

Well, through his dad, Andrew had made a bet that if he won the U.S. amateur, then he would take Holly on a date to his senior prom next year. Although the 16-year-old didn’t win it, he still landed his dream date.

Andrew seems like He’s excited too of course:

And of course, there were already a couple of Twitter trolls talking trash. Jealousy’s a b*tch isn’t it Twitter?

Good for Andrew, who played some great golf over the weekend and classy move for Holly.

Although Andrew didn’t win, I’d say he did get an ace on the scorecard.

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’ll be looking forward to the PGA Championship at Pete “Dyeabolical” Dye’s Whistling Straits!

And yes, I’m still heavy duty on the golf video games! May see about recording a live stream, playing Straits on Rory McIilroy PGA Tour in a couple of weeks here so stay tuned to Twitter for that!

Source: Golf News Net


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Another Beautiful Sunset for St. Andrews at the Open Championship

St. Andrews Golf Links is not only the most legendary golf course in the world, but maybe the most legendary venue in sports. The Old Course once again provided us with a terrific Open Championship.

It was one of the best Opens we’ve had in a while. Players like Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Martin Kaymer, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Adam Scott as well as amateurs, Jordan Niebrugge and Paul Dunne both made runs.

Dunne was leading the Open going into Sunday, and had he held on to the lead, he would’ve been the first amateur to win the Open since the great Bobby Jones did back in 1930. That was a time where he got the grand slam and a time where amateur golf was much more popular than professional golf.

Ultimately, the (A) would finish tied for 30th on Sunday but nonetheless put on an incredible display of skill. Dustin Johnson was playing like a man on a mission and did great all weekend until Sunday hit, as he went from -15 to -7.

For a while, the leaderboard looked very similar to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. DJ, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen (Last player to win Open at St. Andrews) and Jordan were all towards the top of the leaderboard yet again.

With DJ, falling off, J-Day, Jordan and Louis were hanging on along with Marc lieshman and Zach Johnson. Louis, Marc and Zach got into a playoff to see who would claim the Claret Jug.

Jason and Jordan both had great chances to join the three in the playoff but Jordan missed out on a birdie opportunity while Jason missed a 25 footer to tie it. Despite DJ falling and despite Jason and Jordan’s missed opportunities to get into the playoff, all three of these players (Especially Jordan for obvious reasons) have had monster seasons so far.

Lieshman, ZJ and Louis went into the playoff and was a fun playoff. Liesh was hanging on but it ultimately turned into a battle between Louis and Zach.

In the end, Louis missed a big putt that would’ve extended the playoff and Zach would go and win his second career major. Zach played great golf with his signature deadeye accuracy on a course that’s designed perfectly for power hitters.

He also dominated Augusta with pure accuracy through nasty conditions to win the Masters back in 2007. Augusta is also a power hitter’s paradise, specially on the par-5 13th hole where you get to the green in two.

Although the hope of many was that Jordan would keep his grand slam hopes alive with a win at St. Andrews, Zach Johnson is quite a popular player in his own right and is arguably the nicest guy in golf which makes him an even more popular winner. Zach’s win also put him a rare group, being only the sixth player to win The Open Championship at St. Andrews and win The Masters at Augusta, two of golf’s most prestigious courses.

Jack, Tiger, Slammin’ Smamy Snead, Faldo and Seve are the others to accomplish this.

And with his second major win, Zach is the fourth player in the World Golf Rankings top 15 (He moved to 12th) to have won multiple majors and the only one to have won The Masters and Open for his titles. Only others with multiple majors are Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson, currently the world’s top three players.

Also, according to GolfDigest.com, among active players, Zach has more wins than anyone on Tour with 12. Only active golfers that have more are Tiger, Phil Ernie Els, David Duval, and David Toms.

Zach has more majors than Duval and Toms however and is only two more wins from surpassing both of them as both Duval and Toms ironically have 13 wins and both won their only major in 2001 (Geez, talking about mirroring each other’s career!). So, if Zach wins two more, only the big three of Tiger, Phil and Ernie would have more wins among active players and that my friend is insane.

As mentioned several times, Zach Johnson is an accuracy machine. He’s hit 484 fairways out of 672 and the most consecutive fairways he hit was 28.

He’s also tied for second in top-10 finishes this year with eight, finishing only behind Jordan Spieth with 12. The young stud, Hedeki Matsuyama and seven time winner Brandt Snedeker are the only others with eight top-10s.

Here are some fun highlights from Zach’s impressive Open win before we wrap things up:

Zach’s caddie, Damon Green just seems like a blast doesn’t he? Almost like a caddie version of 1982 Masters champion, good ol’ Craig Stadler. A fun loving ‘WALRUS!” (In Marv Albert voice).

Some might have thought that Zach was leaving Damon hanging but I think he was just being respectful as Louis missed the putt to extend the playoff. Still a funny moment.


Seeing this almost made me choke up as well. A win like this seriously couldn’t of happened to a better guy.

So what’s going to happen for guys like Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Louis Oosthuizen moving forward? We already know Jordan will just continue to win and make a mockery of courses everywhere (Rory, look out!) and it wouldn’t really shock me if he won the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits but am not making predictions yet.

Louis has seemed to found a zone again that won him his only major in 2010 at the Open Championship, also at at St. Andrews. One of the longest hitters in the game, and a solid recovery player, Louis could definitely make some noise for the third straight time at a major at the PGA.

From there? It’s anyone’s guess but Louis seems like he’ll be back to contending for another major again and he very well could do it.

So, what about Jason Day and Dustin Johnson? Both have played some terrific golf in majors yet just can’t seem to win it.

DJ’s major losses clearly eclipses Jason’s losses as DJ a few times has had the major in the palm of his hands and drop into the sand bunkers filled with scorpions, spiders and snakes (Eeeh!). Famously, the longest hitter the game and a very popular player, DJ probably could’ve had two majors right now.

He’s had a remarkable year after some off the course crack issues sat him down last year. He’s won once and finished in the top 10 in The Masters and U.S. Open and had the lead at The Open before falling apart on the weekend.

I’m sure he would like nothing better than to make a redemption at Whistling Straits where he infamously grounded his club in a bunker in which he thought was rough or dirt. This is a perfect time for him to turn on the jets and he’s knows the course.

It’s just a matter of if he let’s the 2010 PGA haunt him or not. He came out of the gate flying at The Open (And he’s off!) after his missed chance at the U.S. Open so who knows, maybe it’s all out of his head. It was five years ago after all..right?

I can see him making another run at Pete Dye’s “Bunker Paradise” though.

So, this leaves us with Jason Day. I’ll tell you right off the bat that he’ll get his.

When that is, I’m not sure but he’ll win a major or two. This dude’s an absolute monster skills wise and the scary thing is that he’s really started to figure it out with strong finishes at both the U.S. Open and Open Championship.

There’s nothing he sucks at. His only weakness is driving accuracy but he’s top 50 in everything else, including third in driving distance (Apparently, he has jet fuel in his driver) and hit the longest drive this year at 409 yards.

Crazy thing is that he’s not that big. He’s 6’0″ which to some of us is tall but most of the big boppers on Tour are tall such as Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Charlie Bejan and Tony Finau.

All tall dudes. Only exception is Rory who’s only 5’10” but J-Day would probably out-drive the crap out of Rors to be honest.

Does hitting long drives win tournaments? Not exactly but that’s the thing with Jason.

He’s not just a big hitter, he’s kinda good at every freakin’ thing. He’s second in birdie average and 14th in scoring average among key stats.

Will he win the PGA this year? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be a shock if he was competing again. I think he’s contended enough times in majors to not get the “major jitters” and his first real shot at a major was at the 2011 Masters, the same Masters where Rory famously fell apart. Jason finished in second that day.

He’s only 27 and has too much skill in the tank to not have a major soon here.

All of the majors have been absolutely terrific this year and am just as excited as you are about the PGA Championship. One thing I love about the PGA is how unpredictable it is because you never know who’ll win it and could introduce us to knew stars in the making.

Going back to Zach Johnson though; one of the questions that has quietly been going around for at least a year but has picked up steam since is; “Is Zach Johnson a Hall of Famer?”.

With 12 PGA Tour wins and two major titles to his credit I would say yes, but if not, then he’s so darn close. Freddy Couples got in with 15 Tour wins and a Masters win so I think the opportunity is wide open for Zach.

St. Andrews, thank you once again for another great Open Championship. Although it rains a lot in Scotland, the sun always shines bright on you.

And Zach? If there were 10 top five lists of “Nicest guys in golf”, ZJ would be in all of them. As for the HoF, I think he can at least crack open the pearly gates and peak inside the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio as we hop on the ship and sail to Pete “Diabolical” Dye’s Whistling Straits! YAR!


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REVIEW: Golf Pride’s CP2 grips are tackiest ones yet

Golf Pride is one of the most powerful brands in the sport of golf. How does a brand get so critcally acclaimed?

By releasing some of the most high quality grips out there. Golf Pride’s CP2 Performance Grips are no different.

These grips are wonderful and they go great with all of the clubs in the bag. The first thing you’ll notice about the CP2’s is their style.

The popular, wrap style with beautiful black and blue as well as black and red designs. The wrap is always great because it’s set up so well for the curling of your fingers as you grip, getting your hands into a “strapped and ready to go” mode.

The best thing about the CP2’s are how tacky they are. I have never felt a more tackier grip as these things tick to your hands like glue!

You know how sometimes you grip a club, and you hold it so tight because you think it’ll slip out your hands? Well, with the CP2’s you don’t have to worry about that.

You can just get your hands into a comfortable position and that’s the thing that makes these grips so powerful. They also have a thick, softer feel so even if you did squeeze the grip a little harder, it shouldn’t phase you too much.

It feels great on both hands and connects with the glove on your hand beautifully without feeling like you’re not in complete control. Thanks to the softer feel of the CP2’s, you’ll be able to hit more powerful shots off the tee as well as hit more relaxed shots from the fairway with the irons.

Overall, Golf Pride has done it again with the CP2’s and the soft feel really helps boost confidence without the fear of aching hands or the club slipping out your hands.

You can learn more about Golf Pride’s CP2 grips at GolfPride.com

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio!


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ICYMI:There’s a replica of St. Andrews in someone’s backyard

OK, not a full replica but an awesome replica of the famous 17th hole’s famous bunker (Tongue twister much?). And I know, the Open Championship is over and this was posted all over before the it even started but c’mon, this is such a timeless photo!

That’s just the awesome thing about golf course design. Golf courses are like art pieces and the entire world is the gallery holding all of these forms of art.

And each course has such a distinctive and memorable feature and usually it’s a bunker such as Oakmont’s “Church Pew” bunker, Royal St. George’s gigantic bunker and of course, the famous Road Hole bunker at St. Andrews. No two designs are alike my friends!

Someone is really taking their bunker game seriously! This is awesome! #StAndrews #TheOpen #RoadHoleBunkerInYourBackGarden

A photo posted by lukedonald (@lukedonald) on

Now, all that backyard needs is a green next to it so we can practice our recovery shots! We’ll be winning Opens at St. Andrews in nooo time….I think. Well, maybe our guy Lukie Donald will design a replica in his backyard too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! Or you could just totally ignore this and move on. Yeah, that’s cool too I guess…..


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ICYMI: Jordan Spieth drains incredible putt at St. Andrews

We now officially know that Zach (Zach Attack!) Johnson has won The Open Championship for his second major of his career. But, just in case you missed it, I wanted to show you this incredible putt Jordan Spieth made on the 16th at St. Andrews to go 14- for the tourney.

He ultimately just missed going into the playoff with Zach, Marc Leishman and 2010 Open winner at St. Andrews, Louis Oosthuizen. Jason Day also barely missed the playoff after missing a 25 footer on the famed 18th hole.

Jordan, once again has proven that he’s a force to be reckon with on Tour. He came close to having a shot at winning his third straight major. It’s a very exciting time to be a golf fan right now.

Will be writing a piece on Zach Johnson here, later in the week. Again, awesome time to be a golf fan!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio for no reason!


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Ben Martin’s Wife Confuses “Open Week” mark on calendar

Ben Martin is one of golf’s most accurate players off the tee as well as from off the fairway. He’s playing in this week’s Open Championship as we speak but how things got set up might be a tad bit confusing and funny for that matter.

Ben’s wife Kelly was planning a date for her sister’s wedding. As she checked the calendar, she saw “Open week” and thought “Oh boy! An open spot!”.

Ben’s a busy man, playing tournaments all over so I bet this was very exciting for Kelly to see. So, she called her sister and told her to schedule the wedding for a day during this “open week”.

Well, she called Ben and told him the good news. It turns out however that Ben had “open week” as in the “Open Championship” on the calendar and it caused major (Ha. See what I did? Kinda corny though….) confusion.

When Kelly called her sister and told the her about the confusion, her sister had everything already ready to go. Whoops!

So now, Kelly, who’s usually at tournaments watching Ben, will be at the wedding while Ben is at the Open at St. Andrews.

See there Europe? I understand the proper way is the “Open Championship” but sometimes you just have to call it the “British Open”!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’ll be trying my best to keep up with Open Championship without falling asleep here in Chicago!

Source: Fox Sports


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British Open Championship Prediction

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It’s a special time of the year as the Open Championship is upon us. And there is no better place on earth to host the oldest major than at St. Andrews, the “Home of Golf”.

The world’s oldest golf course, St.Andrews will continue to test the bet golfers in the world with its deadly bunkers, hilliness, and different green slopes. It’s also a hot spot for the long hitters to overpower it.

I’m going to make a quick prediction with who will win this year’s British open. We talk about “power”.

Louis Oosthuizen, who was the last player to win the Open at St. Andrews back in 2010 (A year before fellow South African Charl Schwartzel would win the Masters), and finished runner up with Dustin Johnson at this year’s U.S. Open is considered a powerful driver, and prevailed.

Don’t be surprised to see Louis come in with a great shot at winning. He’s not always on top of the leaderboard but can be a very dangerous player.

He’s in the top 50 in driving distance and greens in regulation. A winning combination.

He’s also not bad in scrambling (recovery), ranking 72nd in the world out of the 800+ players on the PGA Tour. However, problems that could ruin his chances at a St. Andrews repeat are his putting and driving accuracy.

He’s well into the 100s in these categories. He should still be competitive as he seems to remember the course and his solid recovery skills could make up for any errant drives.

Jordan Spieth has obviously been a major topic going into the Open as he goes for the third leg of the rare “grand slam” of golf. Jordan has proven time and time again that putting is critical to winning the big tournaments.

He’s actually a better driver than you might think however, as he ranks in top 100 in driving distance. His putter and recovery ability is why he’s the no.2 player in the world though.

Jordan is in the top 10 in both putting and scrambling. Two things that will play a key role coming out of St. Andrews’ bunkers and putting on its greens.

The pressure shouldn’t be a problem for him to try to get that third straight major. It’s all about how St. Andrews plays and unpredictable Scottish weather.

There are two more golfers I’d like to bring up before making my choice and pick a couple of honorable mentions. Both play very similar styles of golf and one has a major and the other doesn’t (Yet?..).

Let’s start off with two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson.

Bubba in my mind seems like a golfer who could win three, four or maybe even five Masters tournaments but no other major. A Jimmy Demaret like career which, for ol’ Jimbo included three Masters title and no other major and earned his way into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Bubba, for the most part, seems like he’s on that path. A guy who can play well at Augusta, but can be very quiet in the other three majors.

His best finish in one of the other three majors was a runner up finish in the infamous 2010 PGA Championship at Pete Dye’s Whistling Straits, which involved a Dustin Johnson penalty in which he grounded his club in one of Whistling’s many, camouflaged bunkers (Although there we’re signs posted everywhere saying not to ground the club in any sand). Bubba would ultimately lose in a playoff to Martin Kaymer who would eventually go on to win a Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and a U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 (Destroying everything in his path).

But I think Bubba has a good shot to turn the tide, and put himself in good position at this year’s Open at St. Andrews. We tend to criticize Bubba for his roller coaster of motions (You listening Universal Studios? New ride for you called “Bubba’s eMotion”) but can’t argue that he’s one of the most  exciting players in the game today.

What’s makes his playing style so fun to watch? His combination of power off the tee and amazing scrambling ability.

Like Jordan, Bubba is a terrific recovery player. In fact, he ranks fifth in scrambling.

Time and time again, Bubba makes our jaws drop with incredible recovery shots and will work well for him at St. Andrews. He’s not an accurate driver at all but makes up for it so well with his recovery game.

All he really needs to do is keep his emotions in check (Sound familiar?). If he tune the “Bubbameter” down to zero, then he could have a strong weekend.

The other gentleman I was talking about is the aforementioned Dustin Johnson who, as you should know by now had famously three putter at this year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, to end up losing to Jordan Spieth. After yet another heartbreaking loss in a major, what is DJ thinking right now?

Does he want revenge? Or will that three putt haunt him?

The longest hitter on the planet right now, DJ has the raw talent to win a major. Many of us have been asking though; when will it happen?

He’s had his share of heartbrakes in majors but I think it’s fair to say that the loss at Chambers Bay was the toughest. He was in fire with the driver but couldn’t get it done with the putter.

To be real with you, I definitely think DJ will come into St. Andrews off the a smoking hot start. I think he’ll go crazy at this thing but do I think he’ll win? I’ll get to that shortly.

He and Bubba are almost a mirror of each other. Both hit the ball a mile, aren’t super accurate, and are both solid scramblers (Bubba’s fifth rank in scrambling still beat’s DJ’s 42nd ranking  which is still very solid in his own right). Other than DJ’s number one rank in driving distance, and his solid 42nd rank in scrambling, it seems that he doesn’t have any other strength…except he’s on of the game elite scorers.

He ranks an incredible third in the world in scoring average, in huge part thanks to his microwave style of play, very similar to that of Jordan Spieth who I call the “Texas Microwave”. DJ has also been very consistent this year, compiling an impressive seven top-10 finishes and a win.

This leaves us with Rickie Fowler, or “Mr. Over Rated” as some might of called him but Rickie has had a real nice season so far winning twice. Both of these wins include a historic performance at the Players Championship, which included three deadeye shots (On Sunday in regulation play and two more in the playoffs against Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kissner) at one of the toughest and most famous holes in the world in TPC Sawgrass’ 17th.

The other win was at the Scottish Open at Gullane which is one of the legendary courses in the world. He beat the always dangerous Matt Kuchar for the title.

Rickie has proven his clutch ability this year and with his two wins this season, he is quickly starting to become one of golf’s shutdown closers. Sure, he has three career wins and not 10, but he’s had his share of top five finishes and in  nearly all of those, he makes you sweat (The one time where YOU might be the worst water hazard on the course).

The thing is about Rickie is that he doesn’t have a “signature” skill per se. His best skill is power off the tee as he is 46th in driving distance and is also fairly accurate as well, ranking 89th in driving accuracy.

Other than those two things, he’s 100+ in every other major category. I think his great sense of course management and ability to be clutch has helped him a lot.

He just won the Scottish Open which was at a links course so it wouldn’t be too much of a shock if he plays well at St. Andrews. As we know, St. Andrews  is probably the most unique layout in the world but it also can play fairly short which Rickie can use to his advantage if he combines power with strong course management from the fairways to the slopes of the greens.

So who do I think will win this year’s Open Championship?

It’s a very tough choice but I think I’ll go with……Rickie Fowler.

Because as mentioned, Rickie figures out ways to play well without any main strength in his game. He wins with good course management and his clutch ability when he’s in the hunt.

He’s also fresh off of a Scottish Open victory and didn’t need to travel far at all to get to St. Andrews. He’s fresh off of a links course experience as well which he’ll take to the Old Course and use to his advantage.

Now, it would be awesome to see Jordan get his third straight major to get the third leg of the grand slam but I think he’ll fall just short to Rickie. Jordan would finish runner up or at least in the top five because he’s way too good.

Louis Oosthuizen will finish in the top 15 at least, in my opinion. I’m sure it’s very easy to remember the course you last won your only major which was only five years ago.

As for Bubba and DJ, like I mentioned before, I think DJ will get off to a hot start and I think it’s anyone’s guess from there. Bubba I think will play well early and have some great highlights but will ultimately make the cut barely.

Some other players to look out for:

Jimmy Walker – He’s the best putter on the planet (numero uno in strokes gained) yet has been fairly quiet in majors. He’s a rare all-around player. Only weakness is his scrambling ability.

Matt Kuchar – who almost won the Scottish Open has a deadly combination of putting, recovery and overall kindness and charm. Don’t be surprised to see Kuch climb the leaderboard this week.

Tiger Woods – Had a solid showing at the Greenbrier but that’s not the point to be honest. He has great familiarity with St. Andrews and he’s one of the two or three greatest course managers of all-time. He’ll do well if he heats the putter up.

Adam Scott – The future hall of famer was oh so close at the Open in 2012 before losing to Ernie Els. He also had a very strong showing at this year’s U.S. Open, finishing tied for fourth, his best U.S. Open finish ever. He’s very powerful off the tee and is a greens in regulation machine.

Tom Gillis – Ahh, good ol’ Tom Gillis. You’re probably like who the f#*& is Tom Gillis? Well, unless you don’t watch golf, Tom was the man who almost won the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run before losing to Jordan Spieth in two playoffs. What helped Tom play so well all week? His deadeye accuracy off the tee and from the fairway. He’s also top 50 in both scrambling and putting. Not bad.

Jason Day – He’s one of the friendliest guys on Tour but is also one of the toughest. Obviously, his gutsy play to finish the 18th hole at Chambers Bay after suffering from vertigo stands out. But he’s by far one of the most dangerous players on the planet. An all-around monster with only a weakness of driving the ball with accuracy. Only thing blocking his monstrous status is a major but he’s so freaking close.

Tom Watson – How about a true swan song for us all Tom?

So there you have it! I chose Rickie Fowler to win the British Open at St. Andrews this year!

Who is YOUR pick(s) to raise the Claret Jug this year? Would love to hear them!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’ll be tweeting and retweeting a lot about the British Open and the legendary St. Andrews Old Course! I’ll also retweet retweets since that’s a thing apparently!


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