He Said/She Said: Dream golfing destinations

By Bailey MosierJanuary 12, 2012, 3:00 pm

As the PGA Tour island-hops from Maui to Oahu this week, The Golf Guy and Birdie Bailey decided it was an appropriate time to bust out their picks for their top-5 dream golfing destinations. Feel free to add your thoughts on where YOU dream of playing.


Maui, Hawaii: Wailea to be exact. The Blue Course, the Emerald Course and the Gold Course. Three fun layouts, each with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and some of the nearby islands. And I've never witnessed more beautiful shades of green in my entire life. My favorite part? Playing late in the afternoon with the setting sun, and realizing some cocktails and a steak are waiting after the round in the clubhouse, where you can talk about how this may have been the greatest day of your life.

Cape Kidnappers (New Zealand, pictured above): Never been there. Good chance I'll never get there. But just seeing a picture of that golf course makes me think that it is has to be the home course of the golfing gods.

Whistling Straits (Kohler, Wis.): Strange as this may sound, I have mixed feelings when I think of my trip last year to Whistling Straits. I played all three course in the area – Blackwolf Run (the fairways are in better shape than most greens), the Irish Course (incredible, perfectly framed course standing on the tee), and the Straits Course (pretty sure what filmmaker Tim Burton would have in mind if he ever designed a golf course). Where do the 'mixed feelings' come from? I had to go to the hospital (no joke) after playing the Straits Course. No carts allowed. Walking mandatory. Bring muscle relaxers.

Cypress Point (Pebble Beach, Calif.): Aerial views of the famed par-3 16th are awesome (Google it). The rugged coastline around the hole looks like pre-historic times, the crashing waves are awe-inspiring ... and it's a par 3. That means, I could somehow get a green in regulation on one of the world's greatest golf holes. Only one problem: It's is a very exclusive club. Not likely to see 'Golf Guy' on the tee times sheet ... ever.

Anywhere, Ireland: Again, never been there ... yet. Do I want to play in the wind, cold and rain? No. Do I want to at least set out to play in horrible conditions knowing full well that I can quit at any time and instead head back into a pub and try to decipher crazy Irish talk? Absolutely.


Monterey, Calif.: Pebble Beach is as amazing as its reputation suggests. And yes, Cypress Point is even more spectacular and breathtaking. Throw in a few other rounds at Spyglass, Poppy Hills or Monterey Peninsula Country Club and have yourself a bowl – or 10 – of clam chowder from the Old Fisherman’s Grotto on the wharf and I can’t say it gets any more heavenly than that.

Long Island, N.Y.: Bethpage, Shinnecock, Long Island National and a slew of other courses crowd the populated state and I imagine any of them would be one of the best courses I’ve ever played. I’ve never been, but would love to see grown men sleeping in their cars overnight just to be one of the first in line to tee up at Bethpage.

Bandon, Ore.: Rumor has it that Bandon is home to some of the most beautiful, links-style courses on the western coast. With four courses to choose from – Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald – I’d be lucky to play just one, let alone all four.

Scottsdale, Ariz.: Call me biased, call me partial. I spent three years in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area playing golf and writing about it, and it was nearly the perfect job. A few of my favorites include Quintero, We-Ko-Pa, Southern Dunes, Estancia, Grayhawk and DC Ranch, but you can hardly go wrong anywhere you play. Throw in a good margarita, guacamole and some short rib tacos and call me a happy clam.

St. Andrews: I surmise St. Andrews is on every golfer’s list of dream destinations, so I don’t have to explain myself on this one. Seeing the birthplace of golf and soaking in the history? I’ll get there one day.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.