Spending the Day With Hootie

By Kelly TilghmanFebruary 20, 2004, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: The Golf Channel's special presentation of 'Hootie &
The Blowfish: Mic'd For Play' premieres Tuesday Feb. 24 at 8:30 P.M. ET.

August 6, 1994. I remember my 25th birthday like it was yesterday. I was teaching golf in Stratton Mountain, Vermont and one of my best friends from high school flew all the way in from our home state of South Carolina so that we could celebrate our birthdays together.
We weren't rich so our gifts to each other were modest but heartfelt. He knew I had a passion for music so he bought me a Hootie and the Blowfish CD titled Cracked Rear View. At the time I had no idea who this band was but he assured me they were 'the next big thing'. He was especially proud to give it to me because they were a South Carolina band. 'We need to support our hometown boys' he said.
I popped it into the stereo that afternoon and enjoyed every single song. Little did I know Hootie and the Blowfish would eventually win two Grammy awards for the hit song Let Her Cry and would go on to sell more than 16 million copies of the multi-platinum album..
Darius Rucker and Kelly TilghmanSince those days, Hootie and the Blowfish have become a household name in the music industry and it's no secret that the four band members (Darius Rucker, Jim 'Soni' Sonefeld, Mark Bryan and Dean Felber) have an insatiable passion for the game of golf. They even have their own fundraising tournament called Monday After the Masters. It's a star-studded celebrity pro-am that raises money for the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and its 10th event will be held this April in Myrtle Beach.
To help promote the wildly successful pro-am, The Golf Channel invited Hootie and the Blowfish into its studios to perform a concert for our worldwide audience and the band graciously accepted. A proud South Carolinian was asked to host the festivities called Hootie and the Blowfish: Mic'd for Play. That fortunate and excited person was ME! Ten years ago I was unwrapping their breakthrough CD asking 'Who are these guys?' This time around, I had a front row seat mixed with a backstage and onstage pass. It was truly an honor.
I had briefly met the band the year before while co-hosting the Monday After the Masters show that aired on The Golf Channel. Seeing the guys for the first time since then, it was refreshingly obvious that none of them had changed a bit. Darius (lead vocals) still had amazing star power. Soni (drums) still had his trademark long hair and Mark (lead guitar) still had his boyish curly locks. Dean (bass guitar) was still the quiet one armed with that ever-charming smile.
They arrived approximately three hours before taping was scheduled to begin and meandered through the hallways of TGC, comfortably mixing with the employees as if they'd been there a hundred times. The band only needed an hour to rehearse. Shortly thereafter we began to tape the show that includes six of their greatest hits of all time. I can't tell you which songs they were but I can tell you three things about them. They nailed every one. The crowd was thoroughly entertained and several can be heard on their soon to be released Best of Hootie and the Blowfish album slated to hit the stores this spring.
Between songs, the guys shared personal stories about each other, a touching recollection of the 'trip of a lifetime' for the band and their most memorable moments on the golf course (one involving Tiger Woods and an unbelievable shot).
After the show, the guys kindly stuck around and took pictures with dozens of admirers, of course, I was one of them. Hosting this concert was a personal highlight in all of my time at The Golf Channel and I promise that it will be one of yours if you tune in to the premiere on February 24th.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes - Hootie & The Blowfish: Mic'd For Play
  • 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: