Golf Channel chronicles downtrodden pro Mark Burk in new series

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 7, 2010, 7:20 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two years ago the life of 53-year old professional golfer Mark Burk changed. The man who won tournaments all around the world and coached celebrities found himself homeless and living in abandoned construction pipes in Palm Springs, Calif., after a romantic relationship went awry.

In the new 10-part series, 'Pipe Dream,' Golf Channel chronicles Burk’s journey to get his life back on track, regain his golf career and restore his good name. Beginning with the series worldwide premiere on Jan. 11 at 9:30 p.m. ET, viewers will find out if Burk is able to get back in the game or if it all proves to be just a pipe dream.

Mark Burk
(Courtesy Mark Ashman, Golf Channel)

From age 13, Burk knew he only wanted to play golf. Studying under instructors including Ben Doyle, Jim Flick, Peter Kostis, and Kip Puterbaugh, Burk played in various professional golf tournaments across the country and internationally, spending a year on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. After playing competitively, he became a golf instructor and Hollywood consultant, teaching actors Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman how to swing a golf club for the film Swordfish.

But after years of living a charmed life, Burk became homeless in 2008. Due to a bad turn of events, including an alleged domestic violence dispute with then girlfriend, supermodel Beverly Johnson, he was left penniless and without a place to live. 'Pipe Dream' documents Burk’s struggle to survive on the streets, as well as his efforts to achieve his goal of getting back on the green. Throughout the series, viewers will watch as Burk begins to pick up the pieces of his life, get a job, deal with a pending legal battle against his ex-girlfriend and attempt to make it through Champions Tour Qualifying School.

“Pipe Dream follows the story of a man whose life has been turned upside down and now struggles daily to reclaim his name and his dream. Even through all of Mark’s personal and professional struggles, it’s been his passion and respect for the game of golf that has kept him alive,” said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of programming and original productions. “We are very excited to continue to bring unique and diverse programming to Golf Channel and feel that Pipe Dream will not only resonate with golf fans but with anyone, who at one time in their life, dared to dream against all odds.”

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


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Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.