Jeff Clark Blog

By Win McMurryAugust 10, 2010, 10:45 pm

Jeff Clark is insane. That’s how he became a legend—not a legend in golf, but in a sport that, to an outside observer, would seem to be on the other end of the spectrum.

Jeff Clark grew up on the coast of Northern California in Half Moon Bay. There, surfing is a way of life. Take a drive down Highway 1, and you’ll pass surf spot after surf spot, packed with locals outfitted in wetsuits ripping it up on the breaks that dot the rugged coastline.

Clark was just a kid when he first began riding waves. He would go out surfing with his little league team after practice in Half Moon Bay. By age 17, he couldn’t get enough of the water, and during recess, he would wander to the cliffs behind his high school. He would stare out at waves breaking close to a mile off shore in a spot that his little league coach once referred to as “Mavericks.” Clark watched the waves reach in excess of 60 feet throughout the winter months. No one before had dared to surf Mavericks. It was considered unsurfable and too dangerous. But Clark didn’t buy it.

He prepared for months, planned his attack and paddled out. His friends thought he was crazy and stayed behind to watch him from the shore. And for 15 years Clark surfed Mavericks alone.

Clark was driven to push himself to the limit, to achieve the impossible. And eventually, word spread of this big wave surf spot off Half Moon Bay. It took 15 years before professional big wave surfers from the North Shore of Hawaii joined Clark at Mavericks. One of them, Mark Foo, was claimed victim by the epic surf, and since then, Mavericks has grown to become the most infamous surf spot in the continental United States, and Clark has become a legend.

Now in his fifties, Clark continues to surf Mavericks 35 years, a hip operation and spinal fusion surgery later, but it was ten years ago when he discovered another sport that now has him completely obsessed. I traveled with a crew to interview Clark on his dual-life as a big wave surf legend and a golf-obsessed amateur who won his club championship at Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

Clark shared so many stories with us over our whirlwind trip from Orlando to Northern California. We spent time in his surf shop where he sells the boards he shapes for himself and others to surf Mavericks, which only about 200 people in the world are skilled and daring enough to do.

We set up shop for the majority of our conversations at Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, where Jeff is a member. This is not your typical yacht club. In fact, the building that houses the club was transformed from an old, weathered waterfront beach cottage that Clark briefly lived in with some surfing buddies when he was in his early twenties.

We hit Half Moon Bay Golf Links for a round of golf with Jeff and three of his friends—fellow professional surfers who also brave the waves at Mavericks. And through the misty and fog-laden air, we also ventured out on a very bumpy boat ride to Mavericks on the “Queen of Hearts.” The 60-foot-long boat is no stranger to Mavericks. It frequents the heralded surf spot, hired out each year to take surfers, photographers and spectators to the annual Mavericks Surf Contest. Twenty-four elite surfers receive a special invitation, on 24-hours notice, to fly in to Half Moon Bay to compete by surfing the biggest waves of the year for one of the biggest big-wave surf purses of the year.

Jeff Clark began it all, and it came from his drive to achieve what others deemed impossible and utterly insane. His story is one of the most incredible I’ve heard. I hope you enjoy watching the legend reveal his two passions—surfing and golf—and how he believes the two, for him, are deeply connected.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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