LPGA Summit part pep rally part business

By Associated PressMay 3, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LPGA Tour _newWILLIAMSBURG, Va. ' The sagging economy and its role in the shrinking LPGA schedule prompted a mandatory meeting of players and officials.
It was time, tour president Michelle Ellis said Saturday about the summit that began with a keynote address by tennis great Billie Jean King on Friday and wrapped up Saturday night.
We havent done something like this since 2002. I think with what were going through with the economy and stuff like that, I think the players are scared. I wanted to bring them together to know if we stick together, the cream always will rise to the top.
The summit was the second the tour has held ' the first in 2002 in Arizona addressed the five points of celebrity ' and this time focused on how the players can expand the games fan base by not only playing great golf, but by engaging themselves in the community as well.
What weve been doing is great, but we obviously have to do a lot better on the stuff outside the ropes, player Cristie Kerr said, saying the underlying message from the workshop sessions was to keep tending to their supporters and fans, but do it exponentially better.
The meeting was part business and part pep rally, Kerr said, and the players were encouraged to utilize social networking avenues like Facebook and Twitter to stay engaged with their fans and the sponsors whose dollars make the hefty purses at tournaments possible.
Natalie Gulbis, one of the faces of the tour for her pinup calendars, her use of Twitter and Facebook, an Internet blog and her appearance this season on televisions The Apprentice, said all those devices help her connect better with fans that support her.
That kind of exposure, she said, will help the tour keep its place in the national and international sports landscape, and hopefully draw new viewers and sponsors to the game.
What we have to do now to maintain our events and get new events. But were also very confident in our brand too, and the value that the LPGA has, and we think were in a good position to go out there and get new events, Gulbis said after the meetings wrapped up.
The tour has seen its schedule shrink by five events this year because of sponsor withdrawals, LPGA spokesman David Higdon said, and a sixth event also remains questionable.
To combat the losses, Ellis said, the players were told to try to think more of themselves as parts of an organization that has more strength as a whole than as individual parts.
Everybody has different strengths. How can we draw on those strengths of everybody, not just the top 20 players, and not just No. 1? she said. Its not just their responsibility.
An example of the community involvement exercises that can only help, vice president of tournament marketing and sales Eric Albrecht said, is the planned building of a Habitat for Humanity home by several players this week in advance of the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill.
The tour does have help on the way, too.
It signed a contract with the Golf Channel to have tour events televised next season, but while the contract should ease complaints that womens golf was hard to find on television, the details for whether the game will be shown live are still being worked out, Ellis said.
Speakers brought in to help reinforce the message ' and allay players fears about the strength of the tour ' included Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez and Judy Rankin, who agreed that the product has never been stronger on the course, and better days are certainly ahead.
The message, they said, may have been especially good for younger players to hear.
I think this presentation of where we are and what you can do and how you can impact communities and how you can make people really, really, really love the fans experience, I think its going to play well, Rankin said. I think that these players grasp it.
Brittany Lincicome agreed, and as a player who splashed onto the scene with a dramatic victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the seasons first major, she said she embraces the responsibility to help the tour keep building on what the greats of the past have done.
We want to be out here for a very, very long time, she said.
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Rose leads with play stopped in Indonesia; Snedeker withdraws

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.