The write move: Big Breaker Alvarez leaving golf at 25

By Bailey MosierOctober 2, 2014, 7:30 pm

LAKE OCONEE, Ga. – The road stops here for “Big Break” Atlantis alumna and LPGA player Anya Alvarez.

At 25 years young, the 2014 LPGA rookie has decided to leave professional golf. The Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation was her last professional event, where she failed to advance past the first two rounds.

“I’ve always had other passions,” Alvarez said. “I’ve always loved politics, and I’ve always loved writing and I’ve wanted to start pursuing that. … I wasn’t happy playing, and I didn’t feel like it brought out the best in me. There are other things I feel like, that do.”

Alvarez played on the Symetra Tour full-time in 2012 and 2013, and had conditional LPGA status in 2014. In 12 LPGA events this year, she missed the cut in 10 of them. Her best finish was a T-35 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in July that earned her $9K.

“I learned very quickly that I was a homebody. I didn’t like being on the road four weeks in a row and living out of a suitcase. I made some great friends, I had a lot of great opportunities, I got to travel to some really cool places, but I just decided that my energy spent playing golf and traveling wasn’t being utilized. I’ve always wanted to make a difference and I didn’t feel, playing golf, I was making one.”

Alvarez got the writing gene from her mother, who writes poetry. Alvarez has always had a passion for journalism and for politics. When her high school newspaper refused to let her cover issues she wanted – controversial topics like birth control, for example – she started her own newspaper. A half-dozen other students from area high schools reported to Alvarez, and they published and distributed their own paper to schools and local coffee shops.

It was that same get-after-it attitude that helped Alvarez land a job at the Tulsa Voice in Tulsa, OK, where she resides. She starts her first day reporting for the independent alternative publication on Monday.

“I emailed the editor, the owner of the publication, the managing editor, the graphic designer. I hounded everyone there and told them that I wanted to write, and I got to meet with the guy who owns the publication, and I sent him a portfolio of my writing and he liked it, and he was kind enough to give me an opportunity to start writing there.”

The decision to step away from professional golf was inevitable.

“I didn’t ever plan to play golf forever,” Alvarez said, “and I knew that eventually I would start pursuing (writing), I just didn’t know when. I really started to put thought into it. I made the final decision about a month ago.

“I’ll definitely miss the people. I met a lot of great girls out on tour. There’s a camaraderie out there where you can kind of have your own family, and I’ll miss the competition. I am a competitive person, but I’ll be in a competitive field in its own way.”

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

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But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

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Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).



And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

FILM 1

Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


FILM 2

Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


FILM 3

Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.

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Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR

By Will GrayOctober 15, 2018, 2:13 pm

Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.

Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.

It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.

There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.

Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.

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USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books

By Rex HoggardOctober 15, 2018, 1:53 pm

Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.

The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.

“We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.

Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.

The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.

“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.