World Golf Hall-Of-Famer Greg Norman Kicks Off Golf Channel's 2014 Season of Playing Lessons, Premiering Tuesday, April 29

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 25, 2014, 3:30 pm

Playing Lessons, Golf Channel’s instruction series hosted by Holly Sonders returns for a new season, premiering on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET with World Golf Hall-of-Famer Greg Norman. With episodes expanding to an hour, the new season kicks off with the Shark, as he and Sonders board Norman’s private plane bound for Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club in Great Exuma, Bahamas. While walking the course that he designed, the Aussie shares the keys to a swing that guided him to a Hall-of-Fame career, and discusses his own dramatic experiences in the majors.

Norman joins a lineup of guests that include PGA TOUR stars Jonas Blixt, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker and Lee Westwood, as well as LPGA Tour stars Sandra Gal and Jessica Korda, among others. Sonders takes viewers inside the ropes and inside the minds of the game’s most elite players through a one-on-one conversation and practice round as the pros offer swing tips and advice on shot selection and course management. In addition to providing instruction insight from tee-to-green, the pros reveal some perspective on their lives away from the course.

“This season on Playing Lessons we’ll give viewers an up-close perspective of proven winners, who are armed with a wide variety of tips and advice for the amateur golfer to apply to their own game,” said Sonders, who also serves as a co-host for Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and School of Golf programs. “In each episode, I strive to give viewers the opportunity to walk the fairways alongside some of golf’s biggest stars to not only get a lesson on how they strategically make their way from tee to green, but also to learn about their personalities and lives outside the ropes that isn’t often seen on TV.”

The new season will feature 16 episodes, each including a series of rapid-fire questions for the featured player, including: an ideal foursome, the one shot that keeps him or her awake at night, and the best golf joke or funny story. Each guest also is challenged to a friendly competition. If the pro wins, Sonders is faced with a wide range of scenarios (i.e. shining Kuchar’s shoes, enlisting as a flight attendant on one of Norman’s private excursions, and eating an unusual Swedish dish from Blixt).

A new element debuting this season will showcase Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offering in-depth evaluations of each pro’s swing, incorporating graphics and animation to provide the viewer with comprehensive analysis. Chamblee also will present a historical perspective on each swing, examining its roots and citing examples from current and former players as a basis of comparison.

2014 Playing Lessons Episode Schedule

Tuesday, April 29: Greg Norman (Premiere)

Course: Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Club, Great Exuma, Bahamas

In the season premiere, Holly Sonders and Greg Norman board a flight to the Bahamas to tee it up at one of the Shark’s favorite courses he designed. Norman shares the secrets to his game that were instrumental in shaping his Hall-of-Fame success, and the two discuss the Shark’s major championship triumphs and shortcomings.

Tuesday, May 13: Matt Kuchar

Course: The Vintage Club, Indian Wells, Calif.

Coming off a victory at the RBC Heritage, Matt Kuchar joins Sonders to provide the keys to his consistent approach on TOUR, and how he continues to succeed with such an unconventional swing. Kuchar also discusses his best wins to date, admits to a practical joke played on Tiger Woods at the 2013 Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony, and offers perspective on family time away from the course.

Tuesday, May 20: Billy Horschel

Course: Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (Grande Lakes Orlando), Orlando, Fla.

One of the  more excitable and passionate players on the PGA TOUR, Billy Horschel discusses the golf skillset that helped him become a four-time All-American at the University of Florida. Horschel also looks back on his dramatic victory at last year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Tuesday, June 3: Jessica Korda

Course: Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

One of the best up-and-coming Americans on the LPGA Tour, Jessica Korda provides insights on her short game and ball striking. The 20-year-old and two-time winner also talks about her journey that has translated into her becoming one of the best young players in the game.

Tuesday, June 17: Lee Westwood

Course: Old Palm Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

A three-time European Tour Player Of The Year, Lee Westwood joins Sonders at his home course of Old  Palm Golf Club to offer his keys to pure ball striking with irons, how to improve driving, and the steps to building a swing from the ground up. Westwood and Sonders also duel it out in a flop shot challenge.

Tuesday, June 24: Jonas Blixt

Course: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Developing a reputation as one of the best putters on TOUR – Jonas Blixt – runner-up at this year’s Masters, welcomes Sonders to his home course of TPC Sawgrass. The young Swede provides tips to making putts, the tools necessary to develop a reliable short game, and how to drive it like a TOUR player. Sonders also challenges Blixt to a closest to the pin contest at the famed 17th island-green par-3.

Tuesday, July 1: Sandra Gal

Course: The Golden Bear Club, Windermere, Fla.

One of the most talented European players on the LPGA Tour, Sandra Gal offers advice on how to hit it long and straight, and shares two simple steps to become a great putter. Gal also talks about life away from the course, and the future of the game.

Air Date - TBA: Jimmy Walker

Course: Cordillera Ranch Golf Club, Boerne, Texas

Already a three-time PGA TOUR winner in the 2013-2014 wraparound season, Jimmy Walker welcomes Sonders to his home course of Cordillera Ranch outside of San Antonio. Walker discusses all things instruction, including the changes he chose to make with his own game that helped him go from a relatively unknown professional to a PGA TOUR star, as well as his outlook on the Ryder Cup.

**Additional Guests TBA**

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Reed denied relief: 'Guess my name needs to be Spieth'

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 1:45 pm

A rules controversy broke out during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational involving a player dressed in red and black, but it had nothing to do with Tiger Woods.

Patrick Reed was playing in the group in front of Woods for the second straight Sunday, and he became embroiled in a situation after launching his approach into an area of trees behind the 11th green. As captured by a fan video, Reed got into a lengthy discussion with an on-site rules official before being told that he would not receive the free relief he was requesting.

"I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys," Reed said, drawing laughs from a few gallery members.

Spieth and Reed have a successful history together as Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup partners. But last summer Spieth was at the center of the biggest rules decision of the year, when he dropped on the driving range during the final round of The Open after taking an unplayable lie from an errant drive.

After taking a penalty drop, Reed ended up making double bogey on No. 11 en route to a 1-under 71. He finished the week in a tie for seventh at 8 under.

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Ketel call: McIlroy toasts to Arnie, media at API

By Nick MentaMarch 19, 2018, 1:09 pm

Standing in the Doc Giffin media center Sunday night following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy made a gesture that would have made Arnold Palmer proud.

Wearing his newly won red cardigan and handing out cups filled with the King's favorite, Ketel One vodka, McIlroy issued this toast to the assembled media:

"To Arnie!" McIlroy began his toast. "To Arnie, I guess. Thank you. Thanks to everyone. Thanks for covering. Thanks for making us seem better than we are. And, cheers. Thank you."

Nice to hear someone say something nice about the media. Back atcha, Rors.

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What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114