QA with Arnold Palmer

By Erik PetersonMarch 23, 2010, 9:32 pm
arnold palmer

Arnold Palmer has 62 PGA Tour victories, including seven major championships. His golf course design business, Arnold Palmer Design, includes more than 250 original golf courses in 24 countries. In Sept. 2009 his company completed a wall-to-wall renovation of Bay Hill Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., host of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

How are course changes at Bay Hill coming along?
It’s coming along very, very well. We were concerned about the weather and the coolness but we’re going to have close to 80 degrees today so that wish is being taken care of and I’m thankful for that.

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How will the changes affect scoring for the tournament? Will we see a more difficult Bay Hill?
I’m not sure I can really give you a total on that, but I do think that the course will be better. Now, whether that means scoring will be better, I’m not so sure. In difference to what we’ve had over the years, the golf course is right there in front of you. You’re able to really see everything, including all the sand traps and all the greens, and we’ve added to the greens a little. We’ve put a new grass in the greens, we’ve done an awful lot of work, and to have it come out as well as it has, we’re extremely pleased with that. And with the warm weather now, things will start really turning for us.

Which holes will play most differently?
We have gone back to No. 4 will be a par 5 again, and No. 16 will be a par 5, and of course that will make par for the round 72. We think that will kind of add a little more interest, with the possibility of making eagles and birdies, and particularly coming in on the last three or four holes, it should be pretty exciting.

Which holes will be the key?
I think 16,17 and 18, certainly, but you can put 15 into that as well. There’s the possibility that we take the tee back across the road, which would make 15 a little longer and the green being rebuilt as it has with the run-off on the right side, that will make that hole pretty interesting.

What does it mean to you to have Bay Hill open to the general public?
We’re really not open to the general public. We are a resort, and, of course, if you’re staying in the hotel then you can play golf, and that is kind of the way that works. We have a lot of people come to play and they stay here and enjoy themselves very much.

Are you happy with Bay Hill’s place in the Orlando golf landscape?
We love it. And, of course, I think golfers do, too. It’s obvious by the number of people that come and enjoy the golf course. It’s fun for our members. It’s fun for the hotel guests. And, of course, I’m getting a very positive reaction from the people who are coming though and staying in the hotel and playing the golf course.

How much golf do you play these days?
I play, but not very often any more. My game has really kind of gone away. I guess it comes with my age, but it’s fun. It’s fun to go out on occasion and be able to play the golf course and play with my friends, and that’s about all the golf I play anymore.

How often are you able to shoot your age?
As I get older and older that becomes a little easier. I always thought it would be very easy, but I can assure you it’s not.

How old were you when you first shot your age?
I think it was in a practice round when I was 65, but officially I shot 66 on my 66th birthday in a tournament in Washington on the Senior Tour.

I understand you’ve been working more closely with your grandson, Sam, lately as he makes the transition into the PGA Tour. What sort of Tour life advice have you given him?
I’m just trying to bring him up to speed on what to expect by playing the Tour and how to treat it, and he’s done very well. I’m very proud of Sam and his golf and, of course, we’ll look forward to increasing his role as a Tour player.

Is he going to play your event?
He is. He will be one of my sponsor’s exemptions.

I might get in trouble for mentioning this, but with Sam’s T-17 finish at the Honda Classic he earned $68,000, which is more than you earned in any single event during your career. I’m curious to know if you’re going to send him a bill for your instruction to balance that out a little bit.
Well, actually I may charge him, but I haven’t decided on that yet. (Laughs) But, if he keeps making money the way he is, instead of my sponsoring him, he’ll be sponsoring me.
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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

“I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

“No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.