Champion Crowned on Fore Inventors

By Jeremy FriedmanSeptember 5, 2007, 4:00 pm
Fore Inventors OnlyNine months ago, the GOLF CHANNEL began its search seeking out Americas next great golf invention. More than 1000 inventors turned out for auditions throughout the country, where the producers determined the 103 inventions that would compete in the series.
 
Fast forward to Tuesday, Sept. 4. Judges Stina Sternberg, Bill Harmon and Fulton Allem, who narrowed the field from 103 to the final five after overseeing panel auditions, field testing and consumer pitches, were simply spectators. It was up to America to determine the winning invention.
 
Im sad that Stina and I arent fighting tonight, chimed in Harmon at the opening of the show.
 
You want to fight with her? Marry her! retorted comedian George Lopez, who co-hosted the finale alongside GOLF CHANNEL anchor Rich Lerner.
 
After eliminating three inventions during the course of the show, Hill Shot Golf Trainer and the Club Caddy were the two left standing to determine their fate at the end of the show.
 
When the dust settled, Martinez, Ga. Resident David Jones and his Club Caddy invention garnered 30% of Americas votes and was declared the champion to a rousing ovation from the audience and his family members. Golf aficionados will be seeing a lot more of the Club Caddy in the near future, as the invention will receive shelf space at all 74 Golfsmith retails stores throughout North America for one year; a fully developed infomercial produced by The Golf Agency and $50,000 worth of commercial and promotional air time on the GOLF CHANNEL.
 
For the first time in this competition, I am speechless, said Jones. I need to get home and get to work real fast.
 
Club Caddy is a clip that attaches to a golf club around the green allowing it to become free-standing in an upright position. The invention allows a player to not have to lay extra clubs on the ground and bend over to pick up clubs. While Jones believes that he was the first to develop Club Caddy, Lopez had other thoughts.
 
We invented that first, joked Lopez while examining the Club Caddy. Only we connected it to a positive and negative and started our cars.
 
Joining Jones as finalists on Tuesdays episode included:
 
Hill Shot Golf Trainer: A sloped hitting tee used for practicing uphill, downhill and side hill lies. Inventor: Brandi and Larry Koch, Prospect, Ky.
 
Club Glider: A golf travel bag that integrates extendable legs with caster wheels, making the bag easy to push or pull. The wheels fold back into a locked position for easy travel. Inventor: Gary Sherrell, Maple Valley, Wash.
 
Z-Factor Perfect Putting Machine: A portable putter training aid that guides the user through proper path, face, angle and pendulum swing of the putter. Inventor: Dean Thompson, Boise, Idaho.
 
Pro Play Golf Performance System: A small digital recording device that can be used on the golf course to record golf swings for instant feedback. Inventors: Marcus Bohn, Chandler, Ariz., and Tim Kipley, McKinney, Texas
 
After Lopez provided some constructive criticism - as only he can deliver - to a few of the inventions that failed to make the cut, the premiere of the finalists 60 second commercials aired, developed by Mike and Steve Abram of The Golf Agency.
 
Being on camera was tough, explained Thompson after watching his commercial for the first time. You have a lot of people looking at you and counting on you, so it was definitely tough.
 
The journey itself was tough for the inventors. The love from their families provided the strength for each of the finalists to go for their dreams. The families were in attendance, and viewers were able to get an up-close look at the support and encouragement during their journey to the finale five.
 
It is neat when your kid can kick your butt and get you motivated to go on with your dream, said Jones.
 
For Jones, his dream will continue when his Club Caddy will soon be in Golfsmith stores throughout the country.
 
For the four finalists who were eliminated on Tuesday, their dreams did not end when the lights dimmed in Studio A. Each will take the Fore Inventors Only experience and move forward, all with the knowledge that on this night, there were no losers. Only winners.
 
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.