Timeline: Ted Bishop's PGA presidency

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 26, 2014, 6:05 am

Nov. 10, 2012 - At its 96th annual meeting, the PGA of America elects Ted Bishop, who since 1991 has been general manager and director of golf at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Ind., a 45-hole complex that is home to the Indiana PGA Section and Indiana Golf Association, as its 38th president. As with all PGA presidents, his term is for two years.

Nov. 10, 2012 - At the same annual meeting, the PGA names Peter Bevacqua as its newest chief executive officer, replacing Joe Steranka, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the year.

Dec. 13, 2012 - Tom Watson is officially named captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Watson, who previously captained the victorious 1993 U.S. team, says Bishop approached him about serving another term as captain 13 months ago. Bishop was so determined to have Watson return as captain, he produced an 85-page document detailing the reasons why the eight-time major champion should get a return engagement.

February 2013 - Bishop says he is "totally in concert" with the PGA Tour's stance against the USGA and R&A's proposed ban on anchoring putters. He also says many PGA of America members who originally supported the proposed ban now oppose it.

March 2013 - Bishop writes a column that says the proposed anchoring ban "has become one of the most divisive issues that modern-day golf has seen. The PGA of America feels that there is no logical reason to proceed with Rule 14-1b." Bishop also states his belief that a ban would lead to bifurcation - pros and amateurs operating under two different sets of rules.

April 2013 - According to a story in Golf World, Bishop and R&A chief executive Peter Dawson have a testy exchange at the Masters over the proposed anchoring ban. Bishop says the PGA of America is standing up for the "best interests of the amateur golfer." Dawson replies, "That's not your role." Later, when Bishop tells Dawson he hopes he doesn't take their exchange personally, Dawson replies that "irreparable damage" had been done.

April 2013 - In an interview with Golf World senior writer and Golf Channel contributor Tim Rosaforte, Bishop criticizes the R&A's male-only membership policy: "I find that to be very curious and perplexing given the fact that the R&A has not been inclusive as evidenced by their unwillingness to accept women as members to the R&A. This is a much different approach than we have taken in America.”

May 21, 2013 - The USGA and R&A formally announce a ban on the anchored stroke. Rule 14-1b is to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016, when the next edition of the Rules of Golf is published.

Oct. 22, 2013 - Bishop is inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame. Bishop is a native of Logansport, Ind., graduated from Purdue and began his career as a professional and superintendent at the Phil Harris Golf Course in Linton, Ind. From 1997-98, he served as president of the Indiana PGA section, and was the 1998 Indiana PGA Golf Professional of the Year.

Nov. 14, 2013 - Speaking on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive," Bishop says he would like to see a PGA Championship played at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. He later explains that he was simply offering a “personal opinion” and not one necessarily as president of the PGA of America.

February 2014 - Bishop and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem make one final appeal to the USGA to consider a grandfather period that would allow recreational amateurs to continue using anchored clubs after 2016.

March 5, 2014 - The USGA rejects a grandfather period for anchoring.

March 12, 2014 - With trends continuing to show that Americans are playing less golf, the PGA of America announces it has created a 10-person task force to combat an overall decline in play through "non-traditional" means. Among the ideas offered by Bishop during an appearance on "Morning Drive" are "foot golf," where players navigate the course by kicking a soccer ball toward a 21-inch hole, and introducing a "more relaxed set of rules" for recreational players. Bishop also proposes having a time clock in pro shops, where players who don't have enough time to play nine or 18 holes could "punch in" and "punch out," receiving a prorated greens fee based on the amount of time they spent on the course.

April 2014 - Speaking at a meeting of the Louisville Rotary Club, Bishop floats the idea of keeping the Ryder Cup matches at Valhalla Golf Club when they are contested in the U.S. every four years.

June 20, 2014 - Bishop announces that a long-drive contest for players, which had been an on-and-off part of PGA Championship week until 1985, when it became a separate event now known as the Remax World Long Drive Championship, will be brought back for this year's PGA Championship at Valhalla.

July 22, 2014 - A report by ESPN.com says that more than 500 PGA professionals were let go after Dick’s Sporting Goods fired all of the full-time professionals in its golf sections.

July 29, 2014 - Bishop announces a two-year arrangement under which the boys’ and girls’ winners at the Junior PGA Championship will get exemptions into a PGA Tour and an LPGA event, respectively.

Sept. 13, 2014 - Rickie Fowler says Bishop apologized to him for the way the PGA Championship ended because of fading daylight, with eventual winner Rory McIlroy allowed to tee off on the final hole while Phil Mickelson and Fowler were still playing the hole.

Sept. 23, 2014 - Following the lead of Fowler, Bishop has "USA" shaved into the side of his head for the Ryder Cup.

Sept. 28, 2014 - At Gleneagles in Scotland, Europe hands the U.S. its eighth loss in the past 10 Ryder Cups, The final score is 16 1/2 to 11 1/2.

Oct. 14, 2014 - In response to much hand-wringing over yet another U.S. Ryder Cup loss, especially critical comments by Phil Mickelson during the post-match news conference, the PGA announces the creation of an 11-member task force that will examine the U.S. Ryder Cup process, from how captains and players are selected to the schedule of events and how the team prepares for the matches. The panel will include incoming PGA of America president Derek Sprague and CEO Pete Bevacqua, former Ryder Cup captains Raymond Floyd, Tom Lehman and Davis Love III, plus Tiger Woods and Mickelson. Paul Azinger, the only winning U.S. captain (2008) since 1999, declines an offer to join the group, but doesn't rule out participating in the future. 

Oct. 23, 2014 - Bishop goes on social media and calls Ian Poulter a "Lil Girl" for Poulter's cricical comments about Nick Faldo in Poulter's recently released autobiography. Poulter, in a statement released exclusively to Golf Channel, calls Bishop's remarks "shocking and disappointing. Is being called a "lil girl" meant to be derogatory or a put down?" Poulter tells Golf Channel. "That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment."

Oct. 24, 2014 - The PGA of America announces it has removed Bishop from office "for insensitive gender-based statements posted yesterday on social media" and promotes Derek Sprague from vice president to interim president until Nov. 22, when the election of new national officers will take place at the PGA annual meeting. Bishop issues his own statement in which he apologizes for his remarks, explains why he refused to resign ("because I wanted to speak to our PGA Board of Directors, offer a personal apology and let the due process take place in this matter"), calls his ouster an "impeachment" and reveals that the PGA "has also informed me that I will not become the Honorary President nor will I ever be recognized as a Past President in our Association’s history."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.