Mets PGA Golf Club give Port St Lucie killer twinbill

By David AllenMarch 9, 2009, 4:00 pm
Throughout March, GolfChannel.com will spotlight various MLB spring training locations throughout Florida. A total of 16 MLB teams visit Florida each spring during a time when the state's golf season is also in full swing. We highlight the options for golf and baseball in each region, giving you, the fan, the ultimate guide to golf and baseball in the Sunshine State. Play Ball!
 
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. ' The New York Mets were just one-and-a-half years removed from their last World Series title when they moved their Spring Training headquarters north to Port St. Lucie, Fla., in 1988. At that time, Port St. Lucie was as much a golf vacation hot spot as Flushing, Queens, the real home of the Mets. It was essentially a rest stop on the way to Miami.
 
johann santana
Mets.com
All that changed as suddenly as a Johann Santana breaking pitch, however, when the PGA of America opened its flagship property, The PGA Golf Club, in 1996, right across Interstate 95 from the Mets Tradition Field complex. The first of two 18-hole public courses, the North and South (later renamed the Ryder Course and the Wanamaker Course after a renovation in 2006), debuted that year, and were followed by a third, the Dye Course, in December 1999. A 35-acre practice facility was added to the mix a short time later, putting Port St. Lucie on the map as far as Florida golf destinations go.
 
The PGA Golf Club was ranked the 30th best public golf facility by Golf World magazine in 2008, and as one of The 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America by Golf Digest (2006).
 

Q&A with the New York Mets
Of course, no one was happier to have this new facility in their backyard than the Mets players and coaches. During the first few weeks of camp, many of the players, including David Wright and Santana, can be found playing pitch and putt at one of the three courses, the PGA Country Club or the PGA Learning Center. The Mets pitchers, which include Santana, Oliver Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey, often pair up against each other in best-ball tournaments.
 
I was the designated hitter for Johann and Oliver one night for about five holes, said PGA General Manager Bob Baldassari, a PGA Professional. They couldnt keep the ball in the fairway. I think they were trying to hit home runs instead of going up the middle [of the fairway]. But theyve got tremendous hand-eye coordination, and theyre very good around the greens. And very, very, very competitive.
 

General Info on Mets Spring Training
The Ryder and Wanamaker courses were both designed by Tom Fazio. The Ryder course was named in honor of Samuel Ryder, founder of the Ryder Cup, the biennial competition between Europe and the United States. It has a distinctive Carolina feel to it, much like two of Fazios more prominent layouts'Pinehurst Resorts Nos. 4 and 8'with majestic pine trees lining each fairway. The Wanamaker, named after Rodman Wanamaker, the inspiration behind the formation of the PGA of America, is a traditional Florida golf course with palm trees, wide fairways and water everywhere. The scenic par-4 18th hole is considered by many to be the best finishing hole, if the not the best hole, on the property. The dogleg-right hole is guarded by a large beach bunker and lake along the entire right side of the fairway, which slopes toward the lake to make for a daunting tee shot. Any approach shot to the right of the green is likely to find water, and if you bail to the left, a tricky pitch shot to a fast green sloping toward the lake awaits.
 
The Dye course cuts through 100 acres of wetlands and is named for its architect, Pete Dye, who was inducted into the 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame. Dye says it is his most environmentally-friendly design, yet golfers will find it very similar to other Dye link-style layouts because of the roller-coaster like greens, shaved embankments, pine straw rough and heavy bunkering. Youll find all different types and sizes of bunkers on the Dye, often on the same hole, including large coquina waste bunkers, grass bunkers and pot bunkers. Just to the left of the green on the par-5 7th hole is the smallest pot bunker I have ever seen'about four feet long and barely wide enough to fit any stance. And if youre prone to getting seasick, you may want to stay away from the par-4 8th hole. The last 75 yards on this short hole is as bumpy a ride as youll ever find on a golf course, a series of moguls that leave you wanting to reach for a pair of skis, or Dramamine.
 
The most heavily bunkered hole, and the most spectacular, is the par-4 18th. From the tee, you can see more than a dozen fairway bunkers, all carved into the faces of large, grassy dunes which give the hole a distinct European flavor.
 
Each course has five sets of tees to choose from, with the Dye Course playing the longest from the tips at 7,279 yards. If you want to play something much shorter, there is the complimentary six-hole PGA Short Course, which youll see on your left-hand side while driving into the club. Distances of the holes range from 35 to 60 yards.
 
The real gem of the PGA Village is the state-of-the-art practice facility, which is open till 10 p.m. every night. A $24 daily fee gives you all-day access to the facility, so you can practice before and after any Mets home games. It includes a horseshoe-shaped teeing area (so the wind is coming at you from every direction), 7,000 square feet of flat and rolling practice greens, pitching and chipping areas, and a three-hole teaching course. The bunker area features seven different types of sands from around the world so you can simulate what its like to hit a bunker shot in Scotland.
 
There is no truth to the rumor, however, that some of the infield dirt from the recently demolished Shea Stadium resides in these bunkers.
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Watch: Is this the up-and-down of the year?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 3:30 pm

Play away from the pin? Just because there's a tree in your way? Not Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Watch him channel some Arnie (or, more appropriately, some Seve) with this shot in the Valderrama Masters:

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Cut Line: Johnny's exit, Tiger's fatigue

By Rex HoggardOctober 19, 2018, 2:06 pm

In this week’s edition we bid farewell to the most outspoken and insightful analyst of his generation and examine a curious new interpretation that will require players to start paying attention to the small print.

Made Cut

Here’s Johnny. After nearly three decades Johnny Miller will hang up his microphone following next year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Miller called his first tournament as NBC Sports/Golf Channel’s lead analyst in 1990 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and he told Cut Line this week that at 71 years old he’s ready to relax and spend time with his 24 grandchildren.

“I was the first guy with an open microphone,” Miller said. “That requires a lot of concentration. It’s not that I couldn’t do it but the handwriting was on the wall; it would be more of a challenge.”

Miller will be missed for his insight as much as his often-blunt deliveries, but it’s the latter that made him one of a kind.

A long ride to the right place. After nearly four years of legal wrangling a group of PGA Tour caddies dropped their class-action lawsuit against the circuit this week.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in early 2015 in an attempt by the caddies to secure marketing rights for the bibs they wear during tournaments as a way to create better healthcare and retirement benefits.

The district court largely ruled against the caddies and that ruling was upheld by an appeals court earlier this year, but better healthcare options may still be in the cards for the caddies.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the Association of Professional Tour Caddies.

Sajtinac told Cut Line that the Tour has offered a potential increase to the longtime stipend they give caddies for healthcare and in a statement the circuit said talks are ongoing.

“The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

It’s rare when both sides of a lawsuit walk away feeling good about themselves, but this particular outcome appears to have ended with a favorable outcome for everybody involved.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

A long haul. Tiger Woods acknowledged what many had speculated about, telling a group this week at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach that his season-ending push and his first victory in five years took a physical toll at the Ryder Cup.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said on Tuesday. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

Woods went 0-4 for the U.S. team in France and appeared particularly tired on Sunday following the European victory at Le Golf National.

For Woods the result was worth the effort with his victory at the Tour Championship ending a five-year drought, but his play and concession that it impacted him at the Ryder Cup does create some interesting questions for U.S. captain Jim Furyk, who sent Woods out for both team sessions on Saturday.

Tweet(s) of the week: @BobEstesPGA (Bob Estes) “I spoke to a past Ryder Cup captain yesterday. We both agreed that there should be a week off before the [Ryder Cup] to adequately rest and prepare.”

Given Woods’ comments this week it seems likely he would agree that a break – which may become the norm with the Tour season ending three weeks earlier – would be helpful, but Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts had a slightly different take in response to Estes’ tweet. “I’m afraid a different schedule wasn’t gonna make the fairways wider. On that particular course with how we played, [the United States] had absolutely no chance. Hasn’t more than half the euros played playoffs too?” Colsaerts tweeted.

It’s never too early to get a jump on the 2020 trash talking.


Missed Cut

By the book. The USGA and R&A’s most recent rulemaking hill involved the use of green-reading materials. On Monday the game’s rule-makers unveiled new interpretations on what will be allowed starting next year.

Out will be the legal-sized reams of information that had become ubiquitous on Tour, replaced by pocket-sized books that will include a limited scale (3/8 inch to 5 yards).

While the majority of those involved were in favor of a scaled-back approach to what to many seemed like information overload, it did seem like a curious line to draw.

Both sides of the distance debate continue to await which way the rule-makers will go on this front and, at least in the United States, participation continues to be a challenge.

Banning the oversized green-reading books may have been a positive step, but it was a micro issue that impacted a wildly small portion of the golf public. Maybe it’s time for the rule-makers to start looking at more macro issues.

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S.Y. Kim leads Kang, A. Jutanugarn in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:24 am

SHANGHAI  -- Sei Young Kim led the LPGA Shanghai by one stroke at the halfway point after shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the second round on Friday.

Kim made six birdies, including four straight from the sixth hole, to move to a 10-under 134 total. Her only setback was a bogey on the par-4 15th.

Kim struggled in the first half of the year, but is finishing it strong. She won her seventh career title in July at the Thornberry Creek Classic, was tied for fourth at the Women's British Open, and last month was runner-up at the Evian Championship.

''I made huge big par putts on 10, 11, 12,'' Kim said on Friday. ''I'm very happy with today's play.''

Danielle Kang (68) and overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were one shot back.


Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


''I like attention. I like being in the final group. I like having crowds,'' Kang said. ''It's fun. You work hard to be in the final groups and work hard to be in the hunt and be the leader and chasing the leaders. That's why we play.''

She led into the last round at the Hana Bank Championship last week and finished tied for third.

Brittany Altomare had six birdies in a bogey-free round of 66, and was tied for fourth with Bronte Law (68) and Brittany Lincicome (68).

Angel Lin eagled the par-5 17th and finished with the day's lowest score of 65, which also included six birdies and a lone bogey.

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'Caveman golf' puts Koepka one back at CJ Cup

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:12 am

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – Brooks Koepka, recently named the PGA Tour Player of the Year, gave himself the perfect opportunity to become the No. 1 player in the world when he shot a 7-under par 65 to move to within one shot of the lead in the CJ Cup on Friday.

At the Nine Bridges course, the three-time major champion made an eagle on his closing hole to finish on 8-under par 136 after two rounds, just one stroke behind Scott Piercy, who was bogey-free in matching Koepka's 65.

With the wind subsiding and the course playing much easier than on the opening day when the scoring average was 73.26, 44 players – more than half the field of 78 – had under-par rounds.

Overnight leader Chez Reavie added a 70 to his opening-round 68 to sit in third place at 138, three behind Piercy. Sweden's Alex Noren was the other player in with a 65, which moved him into a tie for fourth place alongside Ian Poulter (69), four out of the lead.

The best round of the day was a 64 by Brian Harman, who was tied for sixth and five behind Piercy.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


The 28-year-old Koepka will move to the top of the world rankings when they are announced on Monday if he wins the tournament.

Thomas, playing alongside Koepka, matched Koepka's eagle on the last, but that was only for a 70 and he is tied for 22nd place at 1 under.

Koepka's only bogey was on the par-5 ninth hole, where he hit a wayward tee shot. But he was otherwise pleased with the state of his ''caveman golf.''

''I feel like my game is in a good spot. I feel like the way I played today, if I can carry that momentum into Saturday and Sunday, it will be fun,'' Koepka, winner of the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, said.

''My game is pretty simple. I guess you can call it like caveman golf – you see the ball, hit the ball and go find it again. You're not going to see any emotion just because I'm so focused, but I'm enjoying it.''

Piercy, who has fallen to No. 252 in the world ranking despite winning the Zurich Classic earlier this year with Billy Horschel – there are no world ranking points for a team event – was rarely out of position in a round in which he found 13 of 14 fairways off the tee and reached 16 greens in regulation.

''Obviously, the wind was down a little bit and from a little bit different direction, so 10 miles an hour wind versus 20s is quite a big difference,'' said Piercy, who is looking for his first individual PGA Tour win since the Barbasol Championship in July 2015.

''It was a good day. Hit a couple close and then my putter showed up and made some putts of some pretty good length.''

Australia's Marc Leishman, winner last week at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, shot a 71 and was seven behind. Paul Casey's 73 included a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole and the Englishman is nine behind Piercy.