The Ringer

By Big Break ProducerMay 22, 2012, 2:00 am


Every season that I produce Big Break, I plan on keeping a shoot diary to help me out when I write blogs for the series. Somehow, between the early morning wake up calls, and the late night interviews, it never happens.

Looking back, I remember my sense of relief that the Yani Tseng breakfast reveal went off without a hitch. Keeping a guest of Yani’s caliber under wraps at a resort the size of Atlantis, seems simple, but it always adds quite a bit of stress to the situation. Completely blindsiding the contestants was a great feat of logistical work by our production staff, involving a lot of early call times for everyone from PA’s and Production Managers to Make-up artists and Cameramen. With breakfast behind us, we just had to get the first two challenges done on schedule, so Yani could make her afternoon flight back to the US, and then we’d be home free!

The level of excitement on the range that morning was palpable. Everyone knew they were either going to be playing the challenge in front of Yani Tseng, or she’d be on the bench watching them play against her. The competitors didn’t know the exact details of the challenge until they got to the hole they were playing. (i.e. that morning we told them to prepare to hit a tee shot and an approach, no putting) That way they warm up the right part of their game, but we maintain that constant element of uncertainty we need to get reactions for twists and reveals of cool/new challenges.

Wind was a major concern that day. Our flop wall location was on the 8th green right on the ocean, so the wall would be receiving the full force of the prevailing winds. At the crew breakfast that morning, the Producers actually agreed on a backup challenge, in case the wall couldn’t be put up safely. During the first immunity challenge, the Art Department prepped the flop wall, and a special pane of glass that we had for Yani to break. Shortly after the ladies got to the range to warm up for the second challenge, we got the good word, the wall was up, and it wasn’t going to move in the wind.

One of the things I’ve heard over and over during the seven seasons I’ve worked on Big Break, is how much pressure the golfers feel over every shot. Nothing drove the point home to me personally, than hearing the number one player on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and a five time major winner, talking about how much pressure she felt to play well for her team in the first challenge, and then to hit great mulligans in the second challenge. The pressure of playing on Big Break is completely unlike anything else in the golf world.

Just want to close by extending our thanks to Yani for being a part of the show, it was a thrilling experience for the ladies, and great day for us as we got to watch the World No. 1 up close.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: