Hall earns Golf Channel instruction show

By Randall MellJanuary 3, 2011, 6:08 pm
Martin Hall is your newest Golf Channel teacher.

Beginning Jan. 25, he’ll preside over the network’s newest instructional series, “School of Golf,” a weekly 30-minute show.

Hall, the director of instruction at Ibis Golf & Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., emerged as the winner when Golf Channel went searching for its next instructional host as part of last month’s “12 Nights at the Academy.” He was among three finalists in the search who hosted shows in the series.

In “School of Golf,” Hall will relay insight from his 30 years of teaching experience.

“I didn’t choose the title of the show, but I absolutely love it,” Hall said. “I love it because I see myself as a true teacher.”

By that, Hall means he sees himself as a student of the game who has honed a skill for passing along his knowledge.

“I’ve been influenced by so many sources, Hall of Fame players and teachers,” Hall said. “I’m really looking forward to sharing things I’ve learned from players like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson and teachers like Bob Toski, Jim Flick and Chuck Cook. I’ve got some interesting stories from some interesting sources, and I’m glad to pass them on.”

Like any good student, Hall also has a large library.

“I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of books and videotapes about the game,” Hall said. “I’ve also got books about the great coaches in sport, about Vince Lombardi and John Wooden. The great coaches fascinate me.”

Hall, the PGA of America’s Teacher of the Year in 2008, is ranked No. 10 in Golf Digest’s annual rankings of the game’s top 50 teachers. He’s made that list every year since the magazine began producing it 10 years ago. He was Morgan Pressel’s first teacher, helping the junior phenom qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open when she was 12, win the U.S. Amateur when she was 17 and become the youngest winner of an LPGA major championship when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship at 18.

Growing up in Stoke-on-Trent in the heart of England, Hall played the European Tour from 1976-78, where he learned some of the lessons he’ll pass on to viewers the hard way.

“I played the tour with an alarming lack of success,” Hall cracks. “I became a teacher in ’78 after missing a horribly smelly 3-foot putt I needed to keep my tour card.”

Viewers can expect a dose of Hall’s British humor in his teaching. It’s been part of his appeal in his 13 years at Ibis.

“I grew up in the middle of England, where humor’s an important part of life,” Hall said. “It’s the same part of the country that Lee Westwood and (Westwood’s manager) Chubby Chandler grew up in. We take the game seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

After giving up tour golf, Hall took his first job as a teaching professional at England’s Wentworth Club under Bernard Gallacher, who played on eight European Ryder Cup teams and captained three others. Five years into teaching, Hall stumbled upon a classified ad in Golf Digest promoting a Golf Digest School at Turnberry. Toski, Flick, Cook and Peter Kostis were featured teachers. Hall visited the school and struck up friendships with the staff, which would lead Hall to the United States when he was 25.

“Seeing them was a real life changer,” said Hall, who is married to the former Lisa Ann Hackney, a four-time Ladies European Tour winner and the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year in 1997. “They knew so much about how to teach, and I saved every penny I had to travel to the United States to learn from them.”

Hall flew to the Golf Digest School at Boca West in South Florida, where he would land a job at St. Andrews in Boca Raton. He’ll tell you he’s still learning as he continues to seek out the best players and teachers.  

“What I hope to do in this show is honor the people who’ve helped me so much,” Hall said.

Hall will honor them with plain talk, humor and his array of teaching props.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.