Catching Up with Kip

By Kip HenleyJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
May 26th
My last diary entry I thought I had just over practiced my elbow, but it turned out to be a flair up of gout. My diet would make the late Marlon Brandos diet look healthy. Standing on No. 1 tee today I did not feel that bad. There is a pond on the left not in play; at the top of my backswing the club kind of slipped out of my hands and I almost fouled it off my left shin, it hooked so quickly. It nearly landed in No. 9 fairway which is a two-day bus ride from No. 1 tee. Good thing I wasnt wired for sound. It shocked and embarrassed the heck out of me. I went down to the edge of the lake to drop, needed to move a gallery rope stake. I grabbed it and kicked it (kinda hard) to loosen it and it cut my palm. Now I am mad, embarrassed, hurried and bleeding and its only the first hole. At the end of the day, I shoot 79. Managed to hit at least one ball in every lake on the back nine. My elbow and palm really did not bother me that bad, I just did not prepare well needing to rest my elbow, and my swing was loose with low confidence.
May 27th
My brother Lindy (the smart Henley boy) caddied this week and never lost his eternal optimist attitude. He will say things like, You can birdie the next eight holes and ace the last one. If God had given me his attitude you might have heard of me before the BBII. Backed up my 79 with a big fat 80. I did decide on an injection of pain killer directly into my elbow this morning before the round, more to see if I could tolerate it if this ever happened again. Didnt effect my day though; I hit it in a lot of hazards again today. Maybe the pain in my elbow is zipperitis from having to unzip my golf bag for a new ball every couple holes. All in all a very disappointing week in Memphis.
May 28th
We thought about sticking around and eating the killer food in the players lounge for the weekend. I have never tasted crme brulee before this week but I will again someday. If I played this tour full time for a year I could become a grand champion sumo the next year. Decided to drive to Chattanooga instead for next weeks Nationwide event. Checked into our hotel (Country Inn and Suites); these are great for our family. We search these out because they usually have a separate bedroom (most of you can figure that one out.)
May 30th
Played in the Chattanooga Classic Monday Pro-am with brother Lindy, brother in law Jimmy Taylor, and buds Mike Lister and David Brown. We shot 20 under, single best ball and finished fourth. I told them they have got to do a better job lying about their handicap. Reminds me of my father. He kept a 7 handicap for as long as I can remember. He was so competitive; sometimes in tourneys he would play way over his head. One time in the Tennessee Section Chattanooga Open he shot even par Day 1, plus-1 the last round, and was still 13 under and finished third. He was so mad. His comment was, You just cant beat these cheaters. I said, What do you think the guy at -12 is saying? We laughed like crazy, something we did a lot of in our family growing up.
May 31st
What an awesome day. Played in the Celebrity Skins match with pros Casey Wittenberg, Jim Gallagher Jr., Troy Matteson, and NFL stars Corey Bradford. Craig Hendrich, Frank Wycheck (Frank said he enjoyed every episode of the Big Break and loved it, which made me feel good), and Vince Gill, the most beautiful voice in music, and huge supporter of golf and junior golf in Tennessee. Vince is very competitive and has tons of game. After I teed off on No. 1, Vince joked to everyone out loud, I heard you were dating Danielle from BB III, is it true? I said, Ask that girl right behind you what she thinks. It was Sissi; he did not know her, and we had a big laugh and a great day. Vince stuck around for the Pro-Am party and donated a day with himself and his wife Amy Grant at the Grand Ole Opry for the charity. Vince is a wonderful person.
*Casey is a way misunderstood kid: some folks dont like the way he hides his eyes with dark sunglasses. I say so what: he is so focused and quiet on the course but as good a person as anybody on any tour and can shoot like crazy.
*Jim Gallagher Jr. is a talkative, friendly, smart, gracious veteran.
*Troy is a great guy but quieter than a mouse peeing on cotton. Everything about him is understated except his golf game. I predict he is a top 50 player in the world in less than three years.
*Craig and I teamed up; he out played me and we finish second behind Casey and Corey.
June 2nd
First round of the Chattanooga Classic, paired with Stephen Gangluff and B.J. Staten. Stephen shot 28 on the front nine and made my 37 look even worse than it was. I hit a lot of bad shots both days but hit a few decent shots that came down in the wrong spots and it just killed me. I am not playing relaxed enough and each time I made birdie I backed it up with a bogey. Besides poor driving, weak iron play, suspect putting, poor short game, and bad concentration, my game is in great shape.
June 3rd
Jacked another cut. Feeling the heat; time is ticking. I am working hard and trying to focus on next week in Chicago.
June 5th
I flew out of Chattanooga heading to the Windy City Chicago. I checked into my hotel tonight and the lady said 'Welcome Mr. Henley, blah, blah, blah, we have you checking out on Friday.' I thought for a second and said, well the way things have been going probably, but you best make my check out day Sunday. I guess the folks at the hotel have been tracking my progress and are just playing the odds.
June 6th
Today I played in Mon. Pro-Am. This course, The Glen Club, is a cool place.
June 7th
My girls flew in to OHare this afternoon and I picked them up at the airport. We went to a Cubs game today. Treated unbelievably by the tournament; they charted four buses for the game. Got to go out on Wrigley field for a picture with my family. Great game but the Cubs lost 6-4.
June 8th
We got three holes in the Pro-Am before sent in for bad weather. Sat around for an hour and a half and finally washed the day. My brother Brent is taking a week out of his really busy schedule (Woody Austins regular tour caddy) and is caddying for me this week. Brent and I needed this day to feel out the course.
June 9th
My first round tee time was at 1:50. The Golf Channel asked me to wear a heart rate monitor today. I agreed to wear it but told them that I didnt need the monitor to know that my heart was pounding through my chest. I just havent hit on a good relaxed mode yet and its killing me. I consider your mental state just like any other facet of the game, just like putting or chipping that comes and goes. When I find the key to it again, it will all fall into place. I didnt feel like I was hitting it so bad; just when I did hit it off line it was deadsville. Got a few bad breaks and didnt finish as well as I would have liked. But maybe I can get them back tomorrow.
June 10th
I hit it pretty decent today but just got nothing out of my round. Brent did an awesome job caddying for me. We got along great on the course; he thinks and plays the game a lot like me. It would be nice to someday be competitive enough on tour to entice him away from Woodrow. I shot 147 and missed the cut again, this week by five shots. That may seem like a lot to some but its only one or two bounces away. Case in point: I stood on 17 and hit a great shot that was 6 feet from the hole dead straight up the hill. Brent said great shot and I handed him the club and it started teetering down the slope and when it finally came to rest it was 40 feet away. I three-jacked it from there. I ended up bogeying the par-5 18th that I hit driver, 4-iron into the day before. Had I birdied 17 and been able to reach and eagle 18 I would have hit on the cut line instead of missing by five. If ifs and butts were candy and nuts we would all have a great Christmas. Thats golf.
June 11th
I practiced this morning and the girls and I went downtown in the afternoon to see some of the sights in Chicago. Had an awesome pizza dinner and went to the top of the Sears Tower to watch the sunset. We cant leave yet because it will take us two days to pack up our hotel room! Onto Knoxville. I am sick of saying this but I have to focus on next week. I have had some success in Knoxville Nationwide events so maybe I can get a good feeling and get it started.
June 16th
I had a 9:20 tee-time this morning. As I was warming up, I started to notice a ton of familiar faces. While on the way up the hill to the first tee I looked up and saw a huge crowd surrounding the tee. An old friend grabs me and says, Kip about 60 of us rented a bus and came up from Fairfield Glade in Crossville to watch you today and 60 different people are coming to watch the second round. I was one of the golf professionals in the Glade for 15 years. I still have a lot of dear friends out there. Sissi counted at one point 93 people following our group, which is amazing because I struggled all day and shot 83. It was hot as the dickens and they never left. I was getting claps for bogeys at one point. I guess I just tried too hard, I dont know for sure what it is but nothing seems to be working. Ive been practicing so hard, my head is just filled with too many swing keys. After the round, I went to visit one of my old teachers in Knoxville, Daniel Walker, to see if he could make things simpler for me. His biggest point was that I just wasnt turning my shoulders; I was lifting my arms to finish my backswing. This is a tendency of players that are unsure or doubting their golf swing, and Ive had plenty of that.
June 17th
2:15 tee time. I hit it a little better today but tripled my 16th hole and shot 76. Despite my score yesterday, I still had a lot of people following me today, which is just amazing. I have a lot of dear friends in this ole world, and for each of them to still want to come to watch me play, I am grateful. If I was them I would have come up with any excuse ' maybe of having to straighten my sock drawer or something ' rather than come out and watch me hit it 159 times. After I finished my round today, some Golf Channel guys asked if I would do an interview. I said sure but Im sick of doing these Friday afternoon exit interviews. I want desperately to do a late Sunday interview. I realize I cant be a big feature of these events if I keep playing poorly and I know the Golf Channel is doing all they can to keep my flame flickering; the key is for me to start shooting lower scores. Well gear up for Erie.
June 18th
I am looking forward to the week off to straighten up my game. Being in my own bed for the first time in seven weeks (except for one night) sounds pretty good. My oldest daughter Darbi turns 16 on the 21st and it will be special to be home and spend it with her.
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    Teenager Im wins season opener

    By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

    South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Tour.

    Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

    Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

    Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Tour event at age 20.

    Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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    Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

    He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

    12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

    Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.

    11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

    At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.

    11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

    Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.

    1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

    Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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    Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

    By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

    HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

    It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

    Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

    It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

    ''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

    The reward now?

    ''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

    He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

    During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

    ''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

    Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

    ''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

    During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

    ''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

    It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

    Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

    And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

    It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

    ''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

    Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

    And not the Masters.

    He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

    ''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

    There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

    Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

    ''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

    He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

    ''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

    He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

    ''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

    Except for that first week in April.

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    The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

    By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

    The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

    Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

    As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

    While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

    Yeah, you heard that right.

    “I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

    Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

    Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

    Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

    You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

    As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

    Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

    Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

    A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

    Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

    With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

    First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

    “I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

    Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

    We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

    The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

    These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

    Here's two more just for good measure.

    Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

    Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

    Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

    Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

    Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

    Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

    But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

    We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

    Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

    PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

    Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.