Golf Balls in the Danger Zone

By Adam BarrSeptember 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
Im all about helping you. Im a Solution Guy.
 
So heres the solution next time you get perturbed at a perfectly struck 9-iron shot that still fails to clear that satanic pit of bunker in front of the green, the next time you pull a four-footer and have to chew on bogey, the next time you find your ball two inches to the bad side of those crucial white stakes.
 
Imagine someone with real problems. Such as being 7,000 miles from home and family ' and no miles from possible harm.
 
David and Todd in Fallujah
Capt. David Sifferd, an Army chaplain (left), and one of his soldiers in Iraq, where used golf balls could help ease combat stress.
And as if that werent enough, there arent enough golf balls.
 
I just asked [my wife] Paula to send me more white socks, so I should be good there, said Capt. David W. Sifferd, Chaplain, U.S. Army, in response to my recent query as to whether he needs anything at his posting in Iraq. I can really get most everything I need here, David said, except for golf balls. If you run across any groups that might want to donate old used golf balls, could you send me the address. I have a few clubs in my office that I let soldiers use to hit balls into the field behind our headquarters. Problem is that they are usually irretrievable. Great stress relief, though!
 
From the time nearly 30 years ago when I used to pick him up at 7:30 a.m. to walk to school, David Sifferd has been all about stress relief ' or whatever else his fellow man needed. The oldest of four children, Dave got a lot of responsibility in the Sifferd family, as close and faithful a group as youre ever likely to find. Dave and I were of different faiths, but he and his family always made me feel welcome. And on those cold mornings, when I walked down from 661 Ridgefield to 624 Ridgefield, there David would be, obviously having just finished helping to get the younger kids ready for school, with a bacon-and-egg sandwich on white toast wrapped in a paper towel, ready to head off with me to Mt. Lebanon High.
 
We sang together in choir and small ensembles. We hung out together. Circumstances and preference kept Dave from seeking coolness in the conventional high school way. Some who didnt know him sized up his quiet manner, his last-years coat, his decidedly not-up-to-clique-standard dress and decided he wasnt worth their notice. Dave knew it, too. But if he had a complaint, none of us ever heard it. I never saw him pass a petulant remark or succumb to gossip. I never saw a moment when he lost his sense of humor. Most important, I never saw a second when he was self-centered.
 
It surprised none of Daves friends when he attended Eastern Nazarene College and pursued the ministry. We were even less surprised when he married a wonderful girl and built a loving family with her. And it was right in character when Dave, an Army reservist, answered his countrys call without a cry. He shipped out to Iraq earlier this year.
 
So do I know any groups who have golf balls? You bet I do. Its you. You have them, in the garage, in onion bags, in shag bags, golf bags and garbage bags. Want to help a guy whos always helping others? Put those balls in a box and send them to this address:
 
CH (CPT) David Sifferd
15th PSYOP BN
APO AE 09342

 
And for those of you looking to make a bigger splash in the sand, consider another item on Capt. Sifferds wish list for his troops.
 
I'm trying to set up a putting green and a couple of tee boxes to drive from at our headquarters, Dave e-mailed me. We'll probably pour a cement slab and then put some artificial surface over it. Have you run across any golf products like portable putting greens that I should look into? Because of the climate here I'll probably need to buy something that is easy to install.
 
Its true, there are a number of companies that have been sending golf equipment to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And thats great. But this is a chance for individual golfers to kick in, and perhaps to get rid of those practice balls you never seem to have time for anyway. Believe me, theyll be put to good use.
 
This isnt about your position pro or con on the war in Iraq. Its about helping out fellow golfers who understand probably better than they ever did before, that banging a few balls can take the edge off a tough day. And these guys and girls are out on a sharp edge, where every day can be tough.
 
So now you can be Solution Guy or Girl. Thanks very much.
 
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."