Nationwide and Golf Channel Establish Strategic Partnership to Elevate the Profile of the Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 9, 2016, 5:35 pm

Golf Channel’s Golf Central On-site and Morning Drive Providing Live Hits During 2016 Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide

In celebrating more than 40 years as a marquee event on the PGA TOUR, Golf Channel and Nationwide announced today a new partnership that will honor the legacy of tournament host and founder Jack Nicklaus, and showcase the rich philanthropic tradition of Nicklaus’ signature event, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.This strategic partnership includes Golf Channel’s Golf Central being produced live from the home of the Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village Golf Club, and Morning Drive providing live hits from onsite.

“Nationwide’s primary goal as tournament sponsor is to shine a national spotlight on the life-saving work being done by the doctors and staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of Marketing at Nationwide. “This partnership with Golf Channel will provide a unique platform to tell the Hospital’s story to golf fans here in Central Ohio and around the nation.”

“Golf Channel has enjoyed a long relationship with tournament host Jack Nicklaus and the Memorial Tournament, and we are excited by our elevated partnership with Nationwide to work together on impactful ways to raise the profile of this great tournament and its rich heritage,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president, golf sponsorships, NBC Sports Group. “There is great value for our increasingly loyal audience to have our news platforms on-site at marquee events like the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Golf Channel can further showcase the wide-spectrum of compelling stories happening both inside and outside the ropes, which helps to further distinguish Nicklaus’ event and the philanthropic contributions it makes within the surrounding community.”

Golf Central and Morning Drive On-Site: Through a new multi-year agreement, Golf Channel will complement live tournament action with comprehensive news coverage produced on-site at historic Muirfield Village Golf Club. Golf Central will commence from a dedicated studio near the 14th green. Morning Drive will have reports from the Memorial throughout the week, with live on-site reports on Thursday and Friday. Golf Channel also will provide custom content surrounding the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide through its on-air and online platforms, highlighted by the tournament’s charitable components and beneficiaries, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and its Patient Champion Program.

The Memorial and Nationwide share a genuine, philanthropic vision. Embodied in their enduring partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, pediatric care is at the center of each campaign and event these entities jointly execute. Nationwide’s partnership with the Memorial has helped raise more than $6 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital since the relationship began in 2011, including a record $1.7 million in 2015. Since its first playing in 1976, the Memorial Tournament has eclipsed $26 million in donations to central Ohio charities, with over $14 million going to Nationwide Children’s Hospital through an alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

The Patient Champion Program is designed to recognize the strong, driving spirit and optimistic outlook of each patient that inspires not only their family and loved ones, but also the entire community. As a part of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, this year’s Nationwide Invitational, the tournament’s official Pro-Am, will include hosting eight Patient Champions from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and their families, for a full morning of VIP Tournament experiences.

Memorial Tournament Honoree Johnny Miller and Memorial Golf Journalism Honoree John Garrity: Golf Channel also will provide live coverage of the Memorial Honoree Ceremony and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Clinic on Wednesday, June 1 during an expanded Golf Central Pre Game news special beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide honors men and women who have made significant contributions to the game of golf through Nicklaus’ idea to perpetuate achievements of the game’s greatest individuals. The 2016 Memorial Tournament honoree is Hall-of-Famer and NBC Sports golf analyst Johnny Miller, and the Memorial Golf Journalism honoree is longtime Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine writer John Garrity. The Memorial Tournament will posthumously honor Leo Diegel and Horton Smith, with Rhonda Glenn as the posthumous journalism honoree for 2016.

Hosted and founded by 18-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide takes place Monday, May 30 through Sunday, June 5 at storied Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, annually attracting one of the top fields on the PGA TOUR and is one of the larger beneficiaries to charity.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.