Golf Channel Airing "National Instruction Day" in Partnership with PGA of America, Wednesday, May 4

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2016, 1:00 pm

Eight Live Hours of Clinics to Feature Renowned PGA Professionals:

Breed, Hall, Haney, Harmon, Leadbetter, McCormick, McLean & Utley

                                                  

Live Programming Begins at 10 a.m. ET Spanning Four U.S. Time Zones at:

Baltusrol, Ibis, Keeton Park, Cog Hill, Fossil Trace & TPC Harding Park

Golf Channel – in partnership with the PGA of America – announced its plans for the inaugural “National Instruction Day,” airing on Wednesday, May 4, and featuring a dedicated day of live programming devoted to helping golfers improve their game. National Instruction Day will bring together several of the most respected and recognized PGA Professionals in the game – a culmination of a 100-day campaign celebrating the PGA of America’s Centennial – staging live clinics on Golf Channel, originating from golf courses around the United States, and spanning across four time zones, beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

“National Instruction Day may be the most impactful instruction initiative we’ve ever engaged in at Golf Channel,” said Kevin Schultz, senior director of lifestyle content for Golf Channel. “And that’s significant, given that instruction has been a pillar of our brand from the very beginning. With the support of the PGA of America and its Professionals, for the first time ever, we’ll be able to assemble the game’s most distinguished instructors on one given day, with one goal in mind: to help golfers play better and have more fun.”

“When the PGA of America’s founders gathered a century ago, they made it their mission to elevate the golf profession. The cornerstone of their plans was teaching the game,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “We’re thrilled to partner with Golf Channel to present National Instruction Day, which will be celebrated from coast-to-coast and dedicated to the generations of PGA members who have ensured that all may enjoy the game of a lifetime.”

Each of the six golf course locations participating in National Instruction Day will feature a lead PGA Professional, along with two guest instructors working in collaboration on a live, one-hour clinic from their respective location. Participating PGA Professionals include: Michael Breed, Martin Hall, Hank Haney, Craig Harmon, David Leadbetter, Cameron McCormick, Jim McLean, Stan Utley, along with several others, including PGA President Sprague and PGA Secretary Suzy Whaley. The schedule of programming airing throughout the day, as well as corresponding instructors at each site includes:

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4: NATIONAL INSTRUCTION DAY SCHEDULE (All times ET)

 

7 a.m.-10 a.m.  Golf Channel’s Morning Drive (Orlando, Fla.)

                          Special Guests: Pete Bevacqua, CEO, PGA of America (in-studio);

                          Blair O’Neal & Jeff Ritter (in-studio co-hosts for National Instruction Day)

 

10 a.m.-11 a.m. Baltusrol Golf Club (Springfield Township, N.J.)

                          Lead Instructor: Michael Breed

                          Guest Instructors: Lou Guzzi, Tom Henderson

                          Special Guest: Derek Sprague, President, PGA of America                                 

                                                                 

11 a.m.-Noon    Ibis Golf & Country Club (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

                          Lead Instructor: Martin Hall

                          Guest Instructors: Jim McLean, Craig Harmon

                          Golf Channel Host: Sara Brown

 

2 p.m.-3 p.m.    Keeton Park Golf Course (Dallas)

                         Lead Instructor: Cameron McCormick

                         Guest Instructors: Tony Martinez, Randy Smith

                         Golf Channel Host: Matt Adams

 

4 p.m.-5 p.m.   Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont Township, Ill.)

                         Lead Instructor: Stan Utley

                         Guest Instructors: Todd Sones, Kevin Weeks

                         Golf Channel Host: Charlie Rymer

 

6 p.m.-7 p.m.     Golf Channel’s Golf Central (Orlando, Fla.)

                          Special Guests: National Instruction Day instructors

 

7 p.m.-8 p.m.    Fossil Trace Golf Club (Golden, Colo.)

                         Lead Instructor: Hank Haney

                         Guest Instructors: Trent Wearner, Sandy LaBauve

                         Golf Channel Host: Brian Crowell

 

8 p.m.-9 p.m.    TPC Harding Park (San Francisco)

                         Lead Instructor: David Leadbetter

                         Guest Instructors: Suzy Whaley, Secretary, PGA of America; Josh Zander

                         Golf Channel Host: Lisa Cornwell

 

9 p.m.-11 p.m.  Golf Channel Studio A (Orlando, Fla.)

                         Lead Instructors: Michael Breed, Martin Hall

                         Guest Instructors: Mike Bender, Cheryl Anderson

Blair O’Neal and PGA Professional Jeff Ritter will participate in National Instruction Day, as hosts throughout the day from Studio A at Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando. O’Neal and Ritter will help viewers transition from one live clinic location to the next, expanding upon tips and themes offered at each clinic location leading up to the live, in-studio two-hour primetime show airing at 9 p.m. ET. Golf Channel’s Morning Drive will prepare viewers for the day of instruction ahead, welcoming O’Neal and Ritter in-studio for an overview of the clinics. Additionally, Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America, is expected to join Morning Drive that day, along with Breed and Hall, who will offer a preview of their respective clinics. 

National Instruction Day also will serve as an exclamation point on the PGA of America’s celebration of its Centennial in 2016. The 100-day celebration campaign began with a tribute from the PGA’s “Outdoor Demo Day” during its annual PGA Merchandise Show in January, which featured ceremonial tee shots with PGA Professionals from each of the 41 PGA Sections, along with members of PGA Junior League Golf. National Instruction Day on Wednesday, May 4, will mark the 100th day of the campaign. Since January, Golf Channel has been airing PGA Section spotlights on Morning Drive, profiling a charitable, social or educational program initiative taking place within each of the 41 PGA Sections.

Getty Images

DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2018, 2:55 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dustin Johnson's recent victory in Hawaii doesn't mean much when it comes to this week's tournament.

The top-ranked American will play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the second straight year. But this time he is coming off a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots.

''That was two weeks ago. So it really doesn't matter what I did there,'' said Johnson, who finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year. ''This is a completely new week and everybody starts at even par and so I've got to start over again.''

In 2017, the long-hitting Johnson put himself in contention despite only making one eagle and no birdies on the four par-5s over the first three rounds.

''The par 5s here, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls,'' the 2016 U.S. Open champion said. ''Obviously, I'd like to play them a little better this year.''

The tournament will see the return of Paul Casey as a full member of the European Tour after being away for three years.

''It's really cool to be back. What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Quite cheesy, but no, really, really cool,'' said the 40-year-old Englishman, who is now ranked 14th in the world. ''When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts Thursday and also features former No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making a comeback after more than three months off.

Getty Images

Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 2:52 pm

Months after he nearly captured the claret jug, Matt Kuchar has made plans to play a bit more golf in Europe in 2018.

Kuchar is in the field this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told reporters in advance of the opening round that he has opted to join the European Tour as an affiliate member:

As an affiliate member, Kuchar will not have a required minimum number of starts to make. It's the same membership status claimed last year by Kevin Na and Jon Rahm, the latter of whom then became a full member and won two European Tour events in 2017.

Kuchar made six European Tour starts last year, including his runner-up performance at The Open. He finished T-4 at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in his lone European Tour start that wasn't co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

Getty Images

Hot Seat: Rory jumps into the fire early

By Randall MellJanuary 17, 2018, 2:11 pm

The world’s top tours head to desert regions this week, perfect locales for The Hot Seat, the gauge upon which we measure the level of heat the game’s top personalities are facing ...

Sahara sizzle: Rory McIlroy

McIlroy won’t have to look far to see how his form measures up to world No. 1 Dustin Johnson at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

McIlroy will make his 2018 debut with Johnson in his face, literally.

McIlroy will be grouped with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood in the first two rounds.

Players like to downplay pairings early in a tournament, but it’s hard to believe McIlroy and Johnson won’t be trying to send each other messages in this European Tour event in the United Arab Emirates. That’s the alpha-dog nature of world-class players looking to protect their turf, or in the case of McIlroy, take back his turf.

“When you are at the elite level, you are always trying to send a message,” Trevor Immelman said about pairings during Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge last month.

And that was an offseason event.

“They want to show this guy, ‘This is what I got,’” Immelman said.

As early season matchups go, Abu Dhabi is a heavyweight pairing that ought to be fun.

So there will be no easing into the new year for McIlroy after taking off the last three months to regroup from the stubborn rib injury that plagued him last season. He is coming off a winless year, and he will be doing so alongside a guy who just won the first PGA Tour event of 2018 in an eight-shot rout. Johnson’s victory in Hawaii two weeks ago was his fifth since McIlroy last won.

“Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place, and that was because of where I was physically,” McIlroy said of 2017. “I feel prepared now. I feel ready, and I feel ready to challenge. I feel really good about where I’m at with my health. I’ve put all that behind me, which has been great.”



Sonoran Smolder: Phil Mickelson

Mickelson will turn 48 this summer.

His world ranking is sliding, down to No. 43 now, which is the lowest he has ranked in 24 years.

It’s been more than four years since he last won, making him 0 for his last 92 starts.

There’s motivation in all of that for Mickelson. He makes his 2018 debut at the CareerBuilder Challenge in the Palm Springs area this week talking like a man on a renewed mission.

There’s a Ryder Cup team to make this season, which would be his 12th straight, and there’s a career Grand Slam to claim, with the U.S. Open returning to Shinnecock Hills, where Mickelson finished second in ’04.

While Mickelson may not feel old, there are so many young stars standing in his way that it’s hard not to be constantly reminded that time isn’t on his side in these events anymore.

There has only been one player in the history of the game to win a major championship who was older than Mickelson is right now. Julius Boros won the PGA Championship when he was 48 back in 1968.



Campaign fever: Jordan Spieth

Spieth’s respect in the game’s ranks extends outside the ropes.

He was just selected to run for the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council’s chairman position. He is facing Billy Hurley III in an election to see who will succeed Davis Love III on the Tour’s Policy Board next year.

Spieth, just 24, has already made Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People.” He made that back in 2016, with the magazine writing that “he exemplifies everything that’s great about sports.” Sounds like a campaign slogan.

Getty Images

CareerBuilder Challenge: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 1:10 pm

The PGA Tour shifts from Hawaii to Southern California for the second full-field event of the year. Here are the key stats and information for the CareerBuilder Challenge. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch (all rounds on Golf Channel):

Thursday, Rd. 1: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Sunday, Rd. 4: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream


Purse: $5.9 million ($1,062,000 to winner)

Courses: PGA West, Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,113); PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,159); La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,060) NOTE: All three courses will be used for the first three rounds but only the Stadium Course will be used for the final round.

Defending champion: Hudson Swafford (-20) - defeated Adam Hadwin by one stroke to earn his first PGA Tour win.


Notables in the field

Phil Mickelson

* This is his first start of 2018. It's the fourth consecutive year he has made this event the first one on his yearly calendar.

* For the second year in a row he will serve as the tournament's official ambassador.

* He has won this event twice - in 2002 and 2004.

* This will be his 97th worldwide start since his most recent win, The Open in 2013.


Jon Rahm

* Ranked No. 3 in the world, he finished runner-up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

* In 37 worldwide starts as a pro, he has 14 top-5 finishes.

* Last year he finished T-34 in this event.


Adam Hadwin

* Last year in the third round, he shot 59 at La Quinta Country Club. It was the ninth - and still most recent - sub-60 round on Tour.

* In his only start of 2018, the Canadian finished 32nd in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.


Brian Harman

* Only player on the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes this season.

* Ranks fifth in greens in regulation this season.

* Finished third in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T-4 in the Sony Open in Hawaii.


Brandt Snedeker

* Making only his third worldwide start since last June at the Travelers Championship. He has been recovering from a chest injury.

* This is his first start since he withdrew from the Indonesian Masters in December because of heat exhaustion.

* Hasn't played in this event since missing the cut in 2015.


Patrick Reed

* Earned his first career victory in this event in 2014, shooting three consecutive rounds of 63.

* This is his first start of 2018.

* Last season finished seventh in strokes gained: putting, the best ranking of his career.

(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.)