NBA legend Jerry West to direct Northern Trust Open

By Doug FergusonMay 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
NEW YORK ' Basketball great Jerry West is coming out of a retirement to join the PGA Tour.
 
No, not as a player.
 
And even though Mr. Clutch once shot a 63 at Bel-Air Country Club, his silhouette is not about to become the new PGA Tour logo as it is for the NBA.
 
West, who spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was hired Thursday as the executive director of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. His job will be to help raise the profile and charitable donations of the tours event in Los Angeles.
 
Its really about me wanting to help, if I can, to raise the level of interest, West said. More importantly, its about charity. This city has given me so much support. The only thing Ive been able to give is my contribution to the Lakers as a player and an executive.
 
This is my chance to do something for the community that has been so great to me.
 
The tournament is held at Riviera, one of Americas storied golf courses. It attracts one of the strongest fields among regular PGA Tour events, with Phil Mickelson as its two-time defending champion.
 
But it has lagged far behind other PGA Tour events in raising money for local charities.
 
West hopes to change that.
 
He wont be running day-to-day operations, but instead drumming up support in the countrys second-largest market to get the sprawling city more involved in a PGA Tour event that dates to 1926.
 
Among his goals is to build up the L.A. Legends Club, a group of business and civic leaders who will spread the news about the tournament and what it can do for its main charity, the LA Junior Chamber of Commerce Charity Foundation.
 
I hope to be very visible, he said. This is about working with people, and if I have a strength, I think Im pretty good at working with people. If I didnt want to do this, I wouldnt.
 
His involvement is part of an overall of the Northern Trust Open. The tour is taking over management of the event from the Jaycees, with Mike Bone serving as the general manager.
 
Tom Pulchinski, the previous tournament director, will continue to be involved through the Jaycees.
 
West remains a giant among Los Angeles sports figures. He played on the 1972 Lakers team that won an NBA title. He later became a head coach, general manager and executive vice president, and was largely responsible for the Lakers building championship teams in the 1980s and the start of this decade.
 
He recalled his addiction to golf when he played in his first All-Star Game at age 23, and each player received a free set of golf clubs.
 
West, who grew up in West Virginia, took them to the Greenbrier and swung as hard as he could. It was there he watched Sam Snead hit balls.
 
I was mesmerized by Sam Snead, West said. It looked so damn easy. Of course, I found out it wasnt.
 
He mastered it as best he could, however, getting down to a scratch handicap and better, with his career low that 63 at Bel-Air.
 
Asked if there was any chance the PGA Tour would use him for its logo, West laughed.
 
I think Charles Barkley would be better, he said.

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: