London Games raise excitement for golf's Olympic inclusion

By Rex HoggardJuly 27, 2012, 4:54 pm

Olympic golf, a largely theoretical concept for many fans that has focused on familiar formats and as-yet-un-built golf courses, will inch closer to reality today when the 2012 Games get underway in London. (Click for Olympics' topic page)

We can’t be the only ones who will be daydreaming during Friday’s Opening Ceremony about golf’s place in the 2016 Games in Rio, and this week’s Cut Line checks under the hood of golf’s Olympic movement.

Made Cut

A stroke of genius. There was plenty of talk last week about the format selected for golf in the ’16 Games, with Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews chief Peter Dawson suggesting that match play or a team competition may be a better fit for future Games.

Those who dismiss stroke play as a viable option, however, must not have been paying attention last Sunday. Adam Scott’s heartbreaking loss combined with Ernie Els’ 72nd-hole heroics at Lytham is all the argument one needs for stroke play.

Critics claim stroke play is a default format for deciding championships and therefore not a good fit for the Olympic Games, but Cut Line’s pretty sure the ancient Greeks never tried to reinvent the wheel.

Bunker mentality. In a preemptive move, the PGA of America declared all of South Carolina “through the green.” Actually, officials ruled that all sandy areas at Kiawah’s Ocean Course will play as waste areas, not bunkers, for next month’s PGA Championship.

This move is in contrast to the 2010 PGA at Whistling Straits when all areas of the course were designated as bunkers. Officials say at Kiawah the sand is natural compared with Whistling Straits where . . . well, nothing is natural.

In an unrelated item Dustin Johnson just ruled all of Wisconsin unplayable.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Devilish details. When officials pitched golf for the 2016 Games, one of the initial concerns was how to fit two weeks of golf competition, one for the men and one for the women, into an already crowded summer dance card.

Officials assured Olympic organizers that none of the game’s major championships would conflict with the ’16 Games, and the PGA of America offered to move the PGA Championship to the last week of July to fulfill that promise.

Still to be determined, however, is when the Open Championship will be played and what impact the Games will have on that year’s Ryder Cup, FedEx Cup playoffs and women’s majors, which will include the Evian Masters in France.

On course. Perhaps the most concerning element for officials as the ’16 Games inch closer is an ongoing land dispute in Brazil for the property where architect Gil Hanse is scheduled to build golf’s 2016 Olympic venue.

Last week at Lytham, Dawson was asked about the property dispute and he sounded confident the course would be ready in time for a “test event” in 2015.

“Better progress to report from Rio than we had last time we met, and I'm confident that we're going forward,” Dawson said. “We're obviously keeping a close eye on it. It is Rio 2016's responsibility to provide the venue, not the International Golf Federation's. But we're involved.”

As one official familiar with the situation explained to Cut Line last week at Lytham, “These things work themselves out in their own special way. It’s just how things happen (in South America).”

Long view. In less than a year, long putters have gone from relative afterthoughts to public enemy No. 1 in golf circles, the byproduct of victories in three of the last four majors by players using longer-than-standard-length putters.

On this U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis was clear, no final decision has been made and golf’s rules-makers have been looking into long putters, specifically anchoring, long before Keegan Bradley (PGA), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (Open Championship) broke the Grand Slam mold.

“That has almost zero to do with it,” Davis said at Lytham. “I do mean that. If we did something, we talked about this fresh look long before any of these guys won majors. To say that we reacted because of the last few guys who won would be unfair.”

If the drumbeat against long putters seems louder given its recent record that’s understandable, but it’s been pounding for some time. Bradley, Simpson and Els only expedited that process.

Tweet of the week: @Steve_Flesch “For the record everyone, I don’t believe that a club should be allowed to be anchored. The ball has gotten away from the USGA.”

Tweet of the week II: @JasonDufner “I will gladly play with balata balls, persimmon heads, etc., just take the course back to 6,700-6,900 (yards). And 495 (yards) is a par 5!”

Missed Cut

Closed shops. There is little doubt that the world’s best athletes marching in Friday’s Opening Ceremony in London are second to none. That’s not always the case in golf.

Consider next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which currently features a field of 77 players including Robert Allenby.

Allenby is currently 101st in the Official World Golf Ranking, 97th in FedEx Cup points and has missed (eight) almost as many cuts as he’s made (10) this season, and yet the Australian will have a spot in the limited-field, no-cut event via his status as a captain’s pick for last year’s Presidents Cup.

This is not a knock on Allenby, one of the game’s top ball-strikers, just a system that rewards potential not performance.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.