Golf Talk Live Transcript - Arnold Palmer - January 8 2001

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2001, 5:00 pm
TEASE
PERHAPS NO ONE HAS GIVEN MORE AUTOGRAPHS THAN ARNOLD PALMER. IT'S PROBABLY ALSO TRUE THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS BEEN ASKED MORE THAN ARNOLD HAS. THE AUTOGRAPH THAT HE'D MOST LIKE TO GIVE NOW, HOWEVER, IS ONE AT THE BOTTOM OF A SCORECARD, TESTING TO A SCORE OF 65 IN THE FINAL ROUND OF A TOURNAMENT AND TO CLOSE OUT ONE MORE WIN. MEET ARNOLD PALMER, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
 
(MUSIC)
 
SOME OF US ARE OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER EVEN THE EARLIEST MOMENTS THAT FORMED THE COLLECTIVE SENSE OF ARNOLD PALMER. THOSE WHO WITNESSED HIS 1954 U.S. AMATEUR TRIUMPH WERE ASTONISHED BY SO MUCH ABOUT HIM.
 
THE HOMEMADE SWING, THE FLYING SHIRT TAIL, THE POWER, THE AUDACITY, THE CHARISMA. IT WORKED IN 1954 AND MOST OF IT STILL WORKS TODAY. IT WAS 43 YEARS AGO THAT ARNOLD WOULD BEGIN TO WIN THE MASTERS EVERY OTHER YEAR UNTIL HE HAD WON 4 GREEN JACKETS. IT WAS 41YEARS AGO THAT HE WON HIS ONLY U.S. OPEN, AND OVER THE NEXT 13 YEARS HE THREW AWAY A HANDFUL OF CHANCES TO WIN IT AGAIN.
 
BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING SO DRAMATIC, SO THEATRICAL, SO DAMN EXCITING ABOUT THE WAY HE LOST TOURNAMENTS, THAT WE KNEW HE WOULD DELIVER GREAT TELEVISION WHETHER HE WON OR LOST. AS LONG AS HE WAS DOING SOMETHING BIG, IT DIDN'T MATTER WHAT IT WAS. THERE WERE THINGS HE DID ON AND OFF THE COURSE, WHO'S IMPORTANCE BECAME CLEARER MUCH LATER.
 
HE WON BACK TO BACK BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS AT A TIME WHEN FEW AMERICANS ENTERED. NOW, ALMOST EVERYONE ELIGIBLE SHOWS UP TO PLAY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF'S OLDEST PRIZE. HE SET THE PATH AND OTHERS FOLLOWED. ARNOLD AND ATTORNEY, MARK McCORMACK VIRTUALLY INVENTED THE BUSINESS OF ENDORSING PRODUCTS FOR SERIOUS MONEY, AND TIGER WOODS AND OTHER MARKETABLE SPORTS GIANTS KNEW WHO TO THANK FOR BLAZING THAT TRAIL.
 
EVERY FAN WHO'S EVER CAUGHT ARNOLD'S EYE AT A TOURNAMENT IS LEFT WITH A SPECIAL MEMORY, BECAUSE EYE CONTACT WITH ARNOLD SEEMS FAMILIAR, AS THOUGH HE KNOWS US, AS THOUGH HE LIKES US, AND HE DOES, BECAUSE IF YOU'RE A FRIEND OF GOLF, YOU'RE ALSO A GOOD FRIEND OF ARNOLD PALMER.
 
PETER KESSLER
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER. IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO FOR THE 7TH CONSECUTIVE JANUARY, THE MOST POPULAR PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME, ARNOLD PALMER.
 
GOOD TO SEE YOU, ARNIE.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
THANK YOU, PETER. NICE TO BE WITH YOU.
 
PETER KESSLER
HAPPY NEW YEAR, SIR.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU.
 
PETER KESSLER
DO YOU STILL GET UP EVERY MORNING BEFORE DAWN AND START THE EXERCISE ROUTINE?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
I DO.
 
PETER KESSLER
AND HOW LONG DOES THAT GO ON FOR?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
IT, IT'S SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 40 MINUTES AND AN HOUR EVERY MORNING.
 
PETER KESSLER
IS THAT WHY I HEAR YOU'RE HITTING THE BALL SO WELL?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
A LITTLE EXTRA THIS MORNING AND WELL, YOU KNOW, I'D LIKE TO HIT IT A LITTLE BETTER THAN I'M HITTING IT BUT. HEY, I'M HAVING FUN PLAYING GOLF AND, AND I'M AT THE AGE WHERE IF YOU CAN HAVE FUN, KEEP DOING IT.
 
PETER KESSLER
SPEAKING OF THAT AGE, WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORSE PARTS OF BEING 71 YEARS OLD?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OH I CAN'T THINK OF ANY NEGATIVES. I, I THINK IT'S FANTASTIC THAT I'VE LIVED THIS LONG. THAT I'VE BEEN ABLE TO PLAY GOLF AND ENJOY THE GAME AS MUCH AS I HAVE FOR ALL THOSE YEARS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD NOT HAVE
 
ANY IDEA HOW MANY THOSE YEARS ARE BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN AROUND, BUT I REALLY HAVE ENJOYED IT AND, AND I'M ENJOYING IT RIGHT NOW. I, I JUST BUST AT EVERY DAY TO GET OUT AND, GET OUT OF THE OFFICE AND, AND GO OUT ON THE GOLF COURSE AND PLAY AND,
 
I JUST HOPE IT LASTS FOR A FEW MORE YEARS. I'D BE VERY HAPPY IF I COULD JUST CONTINUE TO DO WHAT I'M DOING.
 
PETER KESSLER
HOW MUCH WILL WE SEE YOU PLAY OVER THE COURSE OF 2001 DO YOU THINK?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL THAT'S PRETTY QUESTIONABLE. YOU KNOW, THERE'S THE TRADITIONAL EVENTS THAT I'M GOING TO PLAY IN. I'M GOING TO PLAY THE SKINS GAME, WHICH ISN'T TRADITIONAL I MIGHT ADD, IT, IT'S JUST THAT I STARTED WITH THE SKINS GAME AND, AND I WILL PLAY IN THE SKINS
 
GAME THIS YEAR AND HOPEFULLY MAYBE ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO, BUT UH, IF, IF I CAN BE COMPETITIVE, AND THAT'S THE THING THAT PROBABLY BOTHERS ME THE MOST ABOUT BEING IN COMPETITION IS, IS BEING COMPETITIVE. SO FAR IN THE SKINS GAME I'VE BEEN ABLE TO WIN A SKIN
 
HERE AND THERE AND, AND, AND KEEP MY PRESENCE KNOWN AND, AND THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME, AND THE BOB HOPE DESERT CLASSIC IS ANOTHER ONE AND OF COURSE THAT, I'VE ONLY MISSED ONCE IN 46 YEARS AND THAT WAS WHEN I HAD MY
 
SURGERY SO, THAT'S FUN FOR ME AND, AND OF COURSE THAT TOURNAMENT IS, IS A FUN TOURNAMENT. IT'S, IT'S ONE OF THE OLD TRADITIONAL TOURNAMENTS ON THE TOUR AND SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S DIFFERENT. IT ISN'T THE,
 
THE NORMAL 4 ROUNDS, 72 HOLE MEDAL PLAY EVENT AND I THINK THAT LENDS ITSELF TO SOME INTEREST UH A LOT OF CELEBRITIES, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO REALLY ENJOY THE GAME, NOT JUST FOR THEIR OWN SPECIAL PURPOSES BUT FOR THE GAME OF GOLF.
 
PETER KESSLER
DO YOU STILL, SUBSEQUENT TO THE SURGERY A FEW YEARS AGO, HAVE TO GO IN REGULARLY, MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE FINE, AND IF SO, ARE YOU WELL?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OH.. I DO, AND I DO VERY REGULARLY, AND THANK YOU FOR ASKING THAT, PETER BECAUSE IF (LAUGHS) IF THERE'S ONE THING, EARLY DETECTION FOR PROSTATE CANCER, IS, IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO,
 
BUT EVEN THOUGH YOU MIGHT DISCOVER IT EARLY AND YOU MIGHT BE IN MY POSITION, THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO IS, IS KEEP A CHECK ON IT, AND KEEP A REGULAR CHECK AND I TRY TO DO THAT, WELL I DON'T TRY, I DO IT, AND IT'S IMPORTANT, AND I URGE EVERYONE TO
 
HAVE A PSA, HAVE, JUST SEE THEIR, A DOCTOR, A UROLOGIST. DO YOUR THING AND, AND GIVE YOURSELF A SHOT.
 
PETER KESSLER
WHAT'S YOUR WISH LIST FOR GOLF FOR THIS YEAR IF YOU HAVE ONE? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN? I DON'T MEAN PREDICTIONS NOW, JUST ABOUT THE, THE HEALTH AND STATE OF THE GAME.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL THE, THE STATE OF THE GAME RIGHT NOW IS, I WOULD SAY IT'S, IT'S HEALTHY BUT THE UH THE PROGRESS OF THE GAME, IT'S A LITTLE FLAT. IT'S NOT, WE'RE NOT BRINGING ON AS MANY PEOPLE INTO THE GAME AS WE'D LIKE TO. I, I'VE JUST BEEN
 
READING SOME THINGS ABOUT THAT, AND, AND OF COURSE HAVING SOME LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF, OF THE NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION AND WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE GAME OF GOLF AND, AND THE UNFORTUNATE THING IS THAT PRETTY CLOSE TO ACCURATE NUMBERS, WE'RE ABOUT LOSING ONE GOLFER FOR EVERYONE WE GAIN, AND THAT'S NOT
 
GOOD. WE NEED TO STEP THAT UP. WE NEED TO GET A FEW MORE GOLFERS. WHY ARE WE DOING THAT? I WISH I COULD TELL YOU. IT MAY BE THE TIME IT TAKES, IT MAY BE THE PRICE YOU HAVE TO PAY TO PLAY, IT COULD BE ANY NUMBER OF THINGS, BUT WE NEED TO IMPROVE THE
 
STATUS OR THE OUTLOOK FOR THE GAME OF GOLF SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW THEY CAN COME OUT AND PLAY AND HAVE FUN PLAYING GOLF AND, AND THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT AND HOPEFULLY THAT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY AND THE THINGS THAT ARE GOING SO WELL. I THINK THAT THERE'S A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE GOLFERS TO COME AND ENJOY THE GAME. WE'RE
 
BUILDING A LOT MORE GOLF COURSES RIGHT NOW, AND, AND THAT'S VERY ENCOURAGING. WE'VE GOT A FIRST TEE PROGRAM THAT IS FANTASTIC AND, AND THE FIRST TEE PROGRAM IS GIVING YOUNG PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET INTO THE GAME AT A VERY GOOD RATE. IT
 
ISN'T EXPENSIVE, IT'S, IT'S, IT'S MORE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO OUT AND PLAY, LEARN THE GAME, AND, AND EVERYONE CAN DO THAT. ALL THE KIDS THAT YOU KNOW, I KNOW OVER THE YEARS ARE, ARE
 
ABLE TO GET INTO THIS AND, AND THIS FIRST TEE PROGRAM IS EXPANDING AT A RATE THAT IS VERY GOOD, AND, AND I'VE SAID THAT IT WAS FLAT, BUT THE FIRST TEE PROGRAM IS ONE THAT IS REALLY MOVING ALONG AND MOVING VERY WELL.
 
PETER KESSLER
WHEN WE COME BACK WHY DON'T WE HAVE A PLEASANT LITTLE CHAT ABOUT THE RULES OF GOLF.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
REALLY?
 
PETER KESSLER
I LOOK FORWARD TO THE PLEASURE, SIR. DON'T GO AWAY.
 
(BREAK)
 
(WRITTEN TEXT):
'(THERE ARE) ENOUGH RULES ON GOLF THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULT, NECESSARY, GOOD'
-ELY CALLAWAY
FEBRUARY 2000
 
'IT'S NOT A SIN TO PLAY WITH A NON-CONFORMING DRIVER'
-ELY CALLAWAY
OCTOBER 2000
 
'EVERY SINGLE GAME HAS RULES AND RULES DEFINE HOW A GAME IS TO BE PLAYED AND EVERY GAME THAT I KNOW OF HAS STANDARDS FOR IT'S EQUIPMENT. THE USGA THROUGH IT'S RULES AND STANDARDS ATTEMPTS TO PRESERVE THE CHALLENGE OF THE GAME FOR ALL PLAYERS.'
-DAVID FAY
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, USGA
DECEMBER 2000
 
'THE RULES OF THE GAME. I HAVE RESPECTED, SOMETIMES EVEN BEYOND THE LETTER.'
-BOBBY JONES
FROM: 'GOLF IS MY GAME'
 
'I THINK WE SHOULD FOCUS ON PEOPLE HAVING FUN PLAYING GOLF.'
-ARNOLD PALMER
OCTOBER 2000
 
PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW SINCE THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER WHEN CALLAWAY INTRODUCED IT'S NEW NON-CONFORMING DRIVER UNDER THE RULES OF THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION, A LOT OF REPORTERS HAVE ASKED YOU QUESTIONS, MOST OF WHICH YOU HAVE ANSWERED BY SAYING
 
I'M NOT DISCUSSING THIS UNTIL I SIT DOWN WITH PETER IN JANUARY ON GOLF TALK LIVE. NOW I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS SINCE THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER AND YOU TELL ME IF
 
I'M WRONG, BUT MY SENSE OF YOUR POSITION THAT YOU HAVE AMPLIFIED TO ME IS THAT YOU'RE NOT ENDORSING NON-CONFORMING EQUIPMENT, WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS ENDORSING THE IDEA OR THE CONCEPT OF MAKING THE GAME EASIER FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE EITHER PASSED THEIR PHYSICAL PRIME OR PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIFFICULTY GETTING THE BALL IN THE AIR
 
FOR THE FIRST TIME, RELATING JUST TO THE COMMENT YOU MADE AT THE TOP OF OUR SHOW ABOUT WE'RE NOT DRAWING ENOUGH PEOPLE INTO THE GAME, BUT MY SENSE IS, IT'S NOT THE ENDORSEMENT OF A NON CONFORMING CLUB, BUT WHAT CAN WE DO TOGETHER,
 
AND WITH THE HELP OF THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION TO MAKE THE GAME EASIER FOR PEOPLE WHO FIND IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL FIRST OF ALL, A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB, UH I COULD SPEAK ALL NIGHT ON THAT, ON THAT SUBJECT. I'M NOT RECOMMENDING THAT PEOPLE USE A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB IN COMPETITION.
 
IT'S, IT'S AS BASIC AS THAT. IF THE COMPETITION IS AT THE CLUB OR WHEREVER IT MIGHT BE, THAT'S, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN TAKE UPON THEMSELVES TO DO, BUT FOR PEOPLE WHO GO OUT AND ENJOY THE GAME OF GOLF,
 
RECREATIONAL GOLF, IF THEY WANT TO USE A NON-CONFORMING CLUB, IF THEY WANT TO USE A BASEBALL BAT, WHATEVER THEY WANT TO USE, I THINK THAT'S THEIR PRIVILEGE, IF IT MAKES THE GAME A LITTLE MORE FUN FOR THEM TO PLAY. PETER, I COULD GET INTO SUCH A
 
LONG DISSERTATION ON WHAT A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB IS, AND, AND I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS
 
(CLEARS HIS THROAT)
EXCUSE ME.ABOUT THIS SUBJECT AND, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS, AND I'M GOING TO GET INTO THIS AND IF YOU WANT TO STOP ME, YOU STOP ME
 
BUT BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY WHEN YOU STOP ME BECAUSE WE CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT A NON-CONFORMING CLUB IS, FIRST OF ALL, AND I WONDER HOW MANY PEOPLE IN GOLF, AND I'VE HAD SO MANY LETTERS FROM PEOPLE THAT, THAT ARE SAYING THINGS
 
TO ME THAT HURT ME. THEY HAVE REALLY HURT ME. THEY'VE, SOME OF MY GOOD FRIENDS HAVE, HAVE CRUSHED ME WITH SOME OF THEIR LETTERS AND SOME OF THEIR COMMENTS, AND THERE HAVE
 
BEEN THINGS LIKE CHEATING USED IN THEIR COMMENTS ABOUT NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUBS AND, AND THE LAST THING IN THE WORLD THAT I WOULD EVER TOLERATE IS CHEATING. I THINK THAT THE WORD ITSELF, IF, IF YOU SAID IT TO ME, SETTING HERE, I'D PROBABLY PUNCH YOU RIGHT IN THE NOSE,
 
RIGHT NOW, AND I MEAN THAT BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THAT I'VE EVER CHEATED PLAYING GOLF AND I HATE THE THOUGHTS OF ANYBODY EVEN USING THE TERM
 
UNLESS THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE SAYING, AND IF THEY'RE ACCUSING SOMEONE THEN THEY BETTER HAVE THE RIGHT LANGUAGE TO COVER UP WHAT THEY'RE SAYING, SO LET'S DROP THAT. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I'VE MADE MY
 
POINT ON AND I'M NOT GOING TO SAY ANOTHER WORD ABOUT IT. IF ANYBODY WANTS TO ACCUSE ME, THEN THEY BETTER COME TO ME PERSONALLY AND I HAVEN'T BEEN IN A GOOD FIGHT IN A LONG TIME AND I'M READY.
 
PETER KESSLER
I'M HERE, AND I'VE GOT MY GLOVES ON TOO. LET, LET ME, LET ME THROW SOMETHING AT YOU ABOUT THE STATEMENT YOU JUST MADE, OKAY? BECAUSE WE'VE TALKED ABOUT RECREATIONAL GOLF WHICH WOULD BE, I THINK IN YOUR DEFINITION, ANYTHING OTHER THAN A TOURNAMENT. IF I GO AND PLAY WITH MY REGULAR GROUP. ARE YOU GOING TO PUNCH ME YET?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
YOU'RE, YOU'RE HEADING IN THAT DIRECTION.
 
PETER KESSLER
I'M GETTING CLOSE. IF I GO PLAY WITH MY REGULAR GROUP ON SATURDAY MORNING
 
ARNOLD PALMER
YES
 
PETER KESSLER
AND WE SAY YOU CAN HAVE A MULLIGAN ON THE FIRST TEE, AND AT SOME POINT SOMEBODY GIVES THEMSELF OR SOMEONE GIVES SOMEONE ELSE A THREE FOOT PUTT, OR USES A RANGE FINDER, THERE'S AN ALLOWANCE FOR THAT
 
UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF TO STILL TURN IN YOUR SCORE. YOU KNOW THAT. BUT IF I SHOW UP WITH A NON-CONFORMING CLUB AND SOMEBODY IN MY GROUP SAYS TO ME, IF YOU SHOW UP WITH A NON-CONFORMING CLUB YOU DO HAVE AN
 
INTENT TO BREAK THE RULES 14 TIMES DURING THIS ROUND OTHER THAN THE PAR 3 HOLES, AND THAT YOU ARE, PETER, CHEATING IF YOU USE THIS CLUB BECAUSE THE BACK OF THE SCORE CARD SAYS `PLAY GOVERNED BY UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION RULES'. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL, ARE YOU GIVING PUTTS?
 
PETER KESSLER
SOMETIMES.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
YOU'RE CHEATING.
 
PETER KESSLER
NOT UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OH. WELL THAT'S YOUR INTERPRETATION.
 
PETER KESSLER
THAT WOULD BE THE USGA'S INTERPRETATION I THINK, ARNOLD.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL NOW, NOW YOU HAVE A 15 FOOT PUTT AND I, I SAW A YOUNG LADY ON THE GOLF CHANNEL
 
PETER KESSLER
KENDRA GRAHAM
 
ARNOLD PALMER
NOT TOO LONG AGO AND SHE IS A SWEETHEART AND SHE IS A GOOD REPRESENTATIVE OF THE USGA AND SHE SAYS YOU CAN PICK UP A PUTT FROM 15 FEET AND TAKE TWO PUTTS. WHAT IS THAT?
 
PETER KESSLER
IF YOU AND I ARE PLAYING MATCH PLAY AND YOU HIT YOUR SECOND SHOT STIFF TO THE HOLE AND I MUST CONCEDE YOUR ONE INCH BIRDIE PUTT, AND WE'RE JUST HAVING A MATCH AS OPPOSED TO A STROKE PLAY. ROUND. YOU SAY TO ME
 
PICK UP YOUR BALL AND GET OUT OF HERE BUT I STILL WANT TO TURN IN A SCORE THAT DAY, ARNOLD. SO UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF, FROM 15 FEET, I CAN GIVE MYSELF TWO PUTTS AND GO AHEAD AND ADD IT TO THE SHOTS I'VE TAKEN AND STILL TURN IN A LEGITIMATE SCORE. YOU MAY NOT LIKE THAT.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL IT, IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF WHETHER I LIKE IT OR NOT, IT'S A QUESTION OF THE GAME AND, AND OF COURSE, THERE'S ONE THING THAT ONCE A RULE IS MADE, IT IS MADE, BUT, IT'S FAIR FOR ME TO SAY TO YOU, I CAN QUESTION THAT CAN'T I?
 
PETER KESSLER
QUESTION WHAT I PUT DOWN ON MY CARD?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL, YOU, NO. WHAT, WHAT THE RULES OF GOLF ARE SAYING, AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT I'M SAYING, BUT I'M NOT SAYING IT IN THE SENSE THAT I'M TELLING YOU THAT YOU CAN USE A NON-CONFORMING GOLF CLUB IN COMPETITION BECAUSE I'M NOT SAYING THAT. I'M SIMPLY SAYING THAT WHERE DO YOU START AND STOP WITH THE RULES? HOW ABOUT A RANGE FINDER?
 
PETER KESSLER
OVERTIME WHAT OF COURSE HAS HAPPENED AS YOU WELL KNOW IS SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE USED THEM THAT THE
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OH MY GOODNESS PETER.
 
PETER KESSLER
THAT
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WAIT A MINUTE. WAIT A MINUTE.
 
PETER KESSLER
20:I'VE SEEN YOU USE IT. I'VE SEEN YOU USE ONE.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL
 
PETER KESSLER
BUT THE USGA HAS ULTIMATELY SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT, GO AHEAD AND USE YOUR DARNED RANGE FINDER, YOU CAN TURN IN YOUR SCORE. LET, LET ME GIVE YOU, LET ME, LET ME GIVE YOU A DIFFERENT SENSE
 
ARNOLD PALMER
NO LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.
 
PETER KESSLER
OH OH WELL GO AHEAD.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WHAT IF, WHAT IF WE HAVE 26 MILLION LEGITIMATE GOLFERS IN THE UNITED STATES, WHAT IF 20 MILLION USE A NON-CONFORMING DRIVER?
 
PETER KESSLER
THEN YOU'VE GOT A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OH. REALLY.
 
PETER KESSLER
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL I'M ASKING YOU THE QUESTION. I WANT TO HEAR YOUR ANSWER.
 
PETER KESSLER
I THINK THE ANSWER TO THAT IS, ONE, ALMOST EVERYBODY I KNOW, AND I ACTUALLY CAN'T THINK OF ANYBODY TO THE CONTRARY, EVERYBODY I KNOW THAT PLAYS GOLF PLAYS BY THE RULES OF GOLF.
YOUR FRIENDS DO, 25 HANDICAPPERS DO, BECAUSE WE ALL WANT TO BE CHALLENGED
 
ARNOLD PALMER
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?
 
PETER KESSLER
I REALLY BELIEVE THAT. I THINK THAT MOST PEOPLE PLAY BY THE RULES OF GOLF. THEY, THEY, THEY KNOW WHAT OUT OF BOUNDS MEANS, THEY KNOW WHAT RED AND YELLOW STAKES MEAN, THEY KNOW WHAT GROUNDING A CLUB IN A HAZARD MEANS. I MEAN I PLAYED WITH A FELLOW
 
FROM THE GOLF CHANNEL YESTERDAY WHO WAS OVER IN SOME MUCK, WHO RAN DOWN THE FAIRWAY TO TELL ME THAT HE WAS DISQUALIFYING HIMSELF FROM THE HOLE, BECAUSE HE, IN A MOMENT OF DAZE, HE HAD ACCIDENTALLY GROUNDED
 
HIS CLUB, AND I OF COURSE AM NOT ALLOWED TO UNDER THE RULES OF GOLF SAY TO HIM, OH NEVER MIND BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO DISMISS THE RULE. IF I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT I WOULDN'T HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT, BUT,
 
I THINK PEOPLE IN LIFE ARE BASICALLY HONEST, AND I THINK THAT MOST PEOPLE WHO PLAY GOLF ARE BASICALLY HONEST. DON'T YOU?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OH ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY.
 
PETER KESSLER
WHERE ARE WE DISAGREEING THEN?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
20:BUT I DON'T. WELL WE'RE DISAGREEING ON WHAT IS, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO A NON-CONFORMING VERSUS A CONFORMING GOLF CLUB AND, AND LET ME JUST ASK YOU SOMETHING AND, AND I WON'T
 
PETER KESSLER
WILL YOU HOLD THAT THOUGHT ONE SECOND, WE'VE JUST GOT TO TAKE A FAST BREAK SO WE CAN GET EVERYTHING IN TONIGHT.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OKAY, WELL
 
PETER KESSLER
I DON'T MEAN
 
ARNOLD PALMER
20:IF YOU NEED MORE TIME PETER I KNOW
 
PETER KESSLER
I'M TRYING TO COLLECT MY THOUGHTS
 
ARNOLD PALMER
I KNOW MANAGEMENT HERE. MAYBE WE CAN GET A LITTLE MORE TIME, IF WE NEED IT.
 
PETER KESSLER
AND I KNOW THE CHAIRMAN. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK (LAUGHS)
 
(BREAK)
 
PETER KESSLER
I WAS SO RUDE AND INTERRUPTED YOU, YOU WERE SAYING SIR
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL, (CLEARS HIS THROAT) WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO, PETER. I, I KIND OF LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT.
 
PETER KESSLER
OKAY. LET, LET ME, LET'S STAY WITH WHERE WE WERE FOR A SECOND. CAN YOU IMAGINE A CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER WHICH, IN THE FUTURE, YOU WOULD EVER
ENDORSE A NON-CONFORMING PIECE OF
 
EQUIPMENT, WHETHER IT BE A GOLF BALL THAT GOES 500 YARDS OR ANYTHING ELSE, AS OPPOSED TO USING YOUR INCREDIBLE STATURE IN THE GAME, YOUR ROLE WITH THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION
 
AND INSTEAD GO TO THEM AND SAY, HEY FELLOWS AND LADIES, LET'S SEE IF WE CAN FIGURE OUT A WAY TO INCLUDE IN THAT MULLIGANS, INCLUDE IN THAT RANGE FINDERS, SOME OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL TO THE RECREATIONAL GOLFER.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
LET ME, LET ME JUST ANSWER THAT QUESTION THIS WAY. FIRST OF ALL, THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION. I GREW UP THINKING NOTHING BUT THE MOST POSITIVE THINGS IN THE WORLD
 
ABOUT THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION. I THINK THEY ARE. IT. THEY ARE THE ULTIMATE AND THEY ARE MY FRIENDS, AND HOPEFULLY THEY'LL ALWAYS BE MY FRIENDS. I DISAGREE
 
WITH THEM, BUT MY GOODNESS, IF PEOPLE DON'T DISAGREE, THEN WE'VE GOT A LITTLE PROBLEM WITHIN ITSELF, BUT, THEY ARE THE RULING BODY. NOW, LET ME DO ANOTHER LITTLE SCENARIO SINCE THEY ARE THE RULING BODY AND THEY'VE SAID THAT WE'VE GOT AN
 
NON-CONFORMING CLUB, AND I'VE HAD SOME REALLY PLEASANT TALK S WITH THE USGA RECENTLY UH
 
PETER KESSLER
YOU DIDN'T PUNCH ANYBODY IN THE NOSE?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
PARDON ME?
 
PETER KESSLER
20:YOU DIDN'T PUNCH ANYBODY IN THE NOSE?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
THEY'RE MY FRIENDS AND, AND THAT ISN'T THE CASE. WE'RE, WE'RE TRYING TO, WE'RE TRYING TO ARRIVE AT SOMETHING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME AND THAT IS A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM, AND YOU CALL IT RECREATION AND I CALL IT
 
RECREATIONAL GOLF. YOU CALL IT THE RULES OF GOLF. YOU, WHATEVER YOU LIKE, BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY THAT WE HAVE UNITY IN THE GAME OF GOLF. WE MUST ESTABLISH THE UNITY IN THE GAME THAT WE HAVE KNOWN, AND THAT I HAVE KNOWN ALL MY LIFE. I COULD GO BACK,
 
PETER, TO 1922, WHEN THE WESTERN GOLF ASSOCIATION WAS KIND OF THE RULING BODY. THIS WAS BEFORE THE UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION HAD THE SORT OF TOP HAND IN THE RULES IN THE GAME, AND THERE WERE U. WOODEN SHAFTS IN THE GAME. STEEL SHAFTS WERE BOUND. THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED.
 
PETER KESSLER
UNTIL THE YEAR YOU WERE BORN.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
THINK ABOUT THAT, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN STEEL SHAFTS, IT DIDN'T RUIN THE GAME. IT DIDN'T TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THE GAME. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT ADDED TO IT BECAUSE IT
 
BROUGHT MORE PEOPLE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY THE GAME A LITTLE BIT MORE, SO THAT'S JUST ONE THING, AND YOU THINK ABOUT. THE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE GAME, YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION IS?
 
PETER KESSLER
I DO SIR.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
20:THE C-O-R?
 
PETER KESSLER
YES I DO.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT AMOUNTS TO IN HITTING A GOLF BALL? WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN A CLUB THAT IS CONFORMING VERSUS A CLUB THAT'S NON-CONFORMING?
 
PETER KESSLER
ABOUT
 
ARNOLD PALMER
DO YOU REALLY KNOW THAT, PETER?
 
PETER KESSLER
ABOUT PLUS OR MINUS TWO PERCENT, SIR.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
 
PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
 
ARNOLD PALMER
NOW, NOW LET ME JUST SAY SOMETHING TO YOU. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE PERCENT OF AIR IS IN TESTING THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION ON A GOLF CLUB?
 
PETER KESSLER
I DON'T KNOW THAT NUMBER.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
TWO PERCENT.. THINK ABOUT IT.
 
NOW, WE'LL GO BACK TO THE RULES OF THE GAME AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT, BUT, LET'S JUST GO A LITTLE FURTHER OUT AND YOU KNOW, THE GOLF CHANNEL HAS A WEBSITE.. AND I'M GOING TO SEE TO IT THAT ON THAT WEBSITE, ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE WRITTEN ME AND WRITTEN YOU AND,
 
AND, AND HAVE HAD COMMENTS ABOUT THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION, C-O-R, IF YOU WISH, AND I WONDER HOW MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE REALLY KNOW WHAT THE C-O-R IS AND I WONDER REALLY, WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT TESTING THE C-O-R AND NOW I'M GOING TO BRING IN A LITTLE THING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT AND THAT'S THE R&A. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE R&A IS PETER?
 
PETER KESSLER
I DO. NOW WAIT BEFORE YOU ASK A WHOLE BUNCH MORE QUESTIONS THERE, LET ME JUST RESPOND TO A COUPLE OF THINGS YOU'VE SAID. WITH REGARD TO HICKORY AND STEEL, THERE WAS A 5 YEAR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TIME
 
THAT THE R&A AND THE USGA BOTH ULTIMATELY AGREED ON THAT, AND WHILE THERE WERE 16 YEARS BEFORE THEY AGREED ON THE SIZE OF A GOLF BALL AS YOU WELL KNOW, BUT WHAT HAPPENED WAS, PEOPLE KEPT PLAYING
 
WITH HICKORY UNTIL THE USGA SAID STEEL WAS OKAY, AND SEE, AND, AND HERE'S, HERE'S THE PROBLEM THAT I THINK A LOT OF US DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR POSITION ON.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL WAIT A MINUTE, LET ME INTERRUPT YOU NOW.
 
PETER KESSLER
OKAY.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
YOU SAID THEY KEPT PLAYING WITH HICKORY, YOU TELLING ME, THE WHOLE WORLD THAT PLAYED GOLF PLAYED WITH HICKORY OR DID SOME PEOPLE START PLAYING WITH STEEL?
 
PETER KESSLER
WELL I DIDN'T CHECK EVERYBODY.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE BECAUSE YOU JUST SAID THAT
 
PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
I WASN'T AROUND THEN. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT 1924 AND THEN OF COURSE 1929, THE YEAR THAT YOU WERE BORN, WAS WHEN OF COURSE, STEEL WAS MADE UNIFORM BETWEEN THE TWO ORGANIZATIONS, BUT, IF WE TAKE A LOOK
 
AT WHAT THE USGA HAS DONE, SAY IN THE LAST TEN YEARS, I THINK THEY'VE BEEN, PARTLY BECAUSE OF YOUR HELP BY THE WAY, A PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATION. THE CLUBHEADS ARE BIGGER, NOW
 
THERE'S TITANIUM. THE SHAFTS IN THE CLUB ARE SO FINELY TUNED THEY'RE AS, AS GOOD AS YOUR CONTACTS ARE FOR YOU. THAT'S HOW CLOSELY THEY'RE MEASURED. THE GOLF BALL GOES
 
FARTHER THAN IT EVER DID BEFORE. WE HAVE PUTTERS WITH MATERIALS ON THE FACE THAT GIVE YOU A SOFTER FEEL, SO OVER TIME THE USGA HAS MOVED THEIR LINE TO MAKE THE GAME EASIER FOR
 
EVERYBODY. YOU AND ME AND YOU'RE ONE OF THE GUYS THAT WENT TO THE USGA AND SAID MAYBE WE SHOULD ROLL
SOME OF THIS STUFF BACK, A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, IF I RECALL CORRECTLY.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
THAT'S RIGHT.
 
PETER KESSLER
AND SO, IF THEY'RE MOVING THE LINE, AND THEY'RE BEING PROGRESSIVE AND THEY'RE MAKING IT EASIER FOR THE REST OF US, BUT NOW THEY SAY AH HA WE HAVE A FEW CLUBS THAT GO OVER THIS LINE, DOES THE PUBLIC NEED TO
 
UNDERSTAND COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION OR DO THEY NEED TO SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, THE USGA'S BEEN DOING A GREAT JOB FOR 105 YEARS, THEY'VE MANAGED, PROTECTED AND SERVED OUR GAME, THEY'VE MOVED THE LINE IN THE SAND. THE USGA SAYS THIS
 
ONE IS JUST OVER THE LINE, WHY DON'T WE GO ALONG WITH IT LIKE WE ALWAYS HAVE, AND WHY DON'T YOU AS YOU ALWAYS HAVE?
 
ARNOLD PALMER
NO AND I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT AS GOING OVER THE LINE BECAUSE THE LINE IS NOT A LINE THAT YOU CAN DEFINE. THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM AND, AND THE FACT THAT, IF I, IF YOU REMEMBER WHAT I SAID TO YOU BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR
LITTLE DISSERTATION HERE A MINUTE AGO
 
PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
 
ARNOLD PALMER
I SAID THE R&A
 
PETER KESSLER
YES.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
NOW HERE IS THE FATHER OF RULES. DO YOU AGREE WITH ME ON THAT, PETER?
 
PETER KESSLER
I DO SIR.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
OKAY. R&A.
 
PETER KESSLER
ROYAL AND ANCIENT.
 
ARNOLD PALMER
NOW ON THE WEBSITE. GOLF CHANNEL WEBSITE, WE'RE GOING TO PUT A LITTLE THING THAT THE R&A HAS PUT OUT, ABOUT THE VERY THING WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, AND, WHAT IT MEANS, THE COEFFICIENT OF RESTITUTION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO THE GAME OF GOLF, AND I'M
 
JUST GOING TO GIVE YOU A FEW LITTLE FACTS AND, AND SOME OF THOSE FACTS LIKE, THE R&A SAID, OKAY GUYS, WE'VE LOOKED AT THIS, AND, AND I'M NOT GOING TO GET INTO THE INTERACTING BETWEEN THE USGA AND THE R&A BECAUSE, IF THERE'S SOMETHING THAT I WANT. TO HAVE HAPPEN, IT'S FOR THEM TO AGREE AND FOR THE RULES OF THE GAME TO STAY TOGETHER. AND I REALLY MEAN THAT.
 
PETER KESSLER
SO OTHERWISE THOUGH THEIR POSITION
 
ARNOLD PALMER
PARDON ME
 
PETER KESSLER
GO AHEAD AND DO SUMMARIZE THE R&A'S POSITION FOR US.
 
NEXT PAGE
Getty Images

Club apologizes for calling cops on black women members

By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 11:07 pm

YORK, Pa. - A golf club in Pennsylvania has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course.

“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”

Sandra Thompson and four friends met up Saturday to play a round of golf at the Grandview Golf Club, where they are all members, she told the newspaper.

At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper it was untrue.

On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them.

Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, she said.

It’s part of golf etiquette that slow-moving players let groups behind them play through if they are holding things up, and often golf courses have personnel who monitor the pace of play, letting golfers know when they are taking too long.

The five are part of a larger group of local women known as Sisters in the Fairway. The group has been around for at least a decade, and all of its members are experienced players who have golfed all over the county and world, Thompson said. They’re very familiar with golf etiquette, she said.

After the ninth hole, where it is customary to take a break before continuing on the next nine holes, three of the group decided to leave because they were so shaken up by the earlier treatment, the women told the paper.

Thompson said the man from the second hole, identified as former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, his son, club co-owner Jordan Chronister and several other white, male employees approached the remaining two women and said they took too long of a break and they needed to leave the course.

The women argued they took an appropriate break, and that the men behind them were still on their beer break and not ready to tee off, as seen in a video Thompson gave the newspaper. The women were told that the police had been called, and so they waited.

Northern York County Regional Police arrived, conducted interviews and left without charging anyone.

“We were called there for an issue, the issue did not warrant any charges,” Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said. “All parties left and we left as well.”

A phone listing for Steve Chronister rang busy on Monday. He told the York Daily Record he didn’t have time to comment on Sunday.

Jordan Chronister’s wife and co-owner of the club, JJ Chronister, said Sunday she called the women personally to apologize.

“We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview, that is not our intention in any way,” she told the newspaper. “We want all of our members to feel valued and that they can come out here and have a great time, play golf and enjoy the experience.”

She said she hopes to meet with them to discuss how the club can use what happened as a learning experience and do better in the future.

Thompson said she’s not sure a meeting is what needs to happen.

“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: Augusta has the power to strengthen LPGA

By Randall MellApril 23, 2018, 9:57 pm

Augusta National Golf Club is turning women’s golf upside down.

If you care about the LPGA, that should be your hope, anyway.

Your hope should be that the investment made in the new Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship announced at the Masters three weeks ago will eventually filter up the women’s ranks.

While the new amateur event comes with significant challenges for the women’s tour - with its first major (the ANA Inspiration) in a tough spot the same week as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur - there is LPGA seed money being planted in Georgia

There’s an investment that may grow the women’s game beyond fueling new interest among girls.

“I just hope corporations start recognizing the value of investing in the women’s game, the way Augusta National does,” two-time major champion Cristie Kerr said. “There are so many corporate sponsors in the men’s game who don’t invest a single dollar in the women’s game. Obviously, that’s their prerogative, but we have a lot of value as a tour.”

And there’s your hope.

Augusta National is a collection of power brokers, CEOs and leaders now invested in growing the women’s game.

They’re taking a special interest in watching these young female amateurs emerge, and it’s only natural to expect they’ll become emotionally invested in where these young players go.

And a lot of these young players will go on to the LPGA.

The LPGA is thriving under commissioner Mike Whan’s leadership, with Whan seeing opportunities where others didn’t. He saw Asian interest in the tour as an asset, not the liability so many thought a decade ago.

The LPGA had withered to 23 events in 2011 with $40 million in total prize money. This year, it's up to 34 events with a tour-record $68 million in prize money. Whan did that with a lot of Asian backing.

Of the 10 tour events the LPGA has staged so far this year, including this week’s tournament in San Francisco, nine have Asian-based title sponsors. Even the LPGA’s domestic events are thriving on Asian money. 



All six of the U.S. events staged so far this year have Asian-based title sponsors. You have to move into May and next week’s Volunteers of America Texas Classic before finding an American corporate title sponsor of an American LPGA event.

That starts changing with summer approaching, but overall there will be 17 Asian-based companies or organizations as title sponsors of LPGA events this year, with 14 American-based entities sponsoring or owning events.

Whan says that’s a good thing.

“The diversity of sponsorship on the LPGA makes us a stronger business,” Whan said. “Since I’ve been in office, we’ve worked through recessions in different parts of the world. None of those recessions were crippling to our overall schedule, because we have so many sponsors on board, from so many different places.”

Whan says American corporate interest is growing considerably, with more American marketing partners joining the LPGA this year. The next steps players would like to see are increased purses and endorsement opportunities for women.

The winning two-man team at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic this week will take home a combined $2,073,000. This week’s LPGA Mediheal Championship features a $1.5 million purse for the entire field.

“The income gap in golf is as much a concern to me as the corporate income gap is to working women,” 12-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis wrote in an essay earlier this year for the World Economic Forum.

U.S. Solheim Cup captain and LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster started wearing a San Francisco Giants cap this year with no endorsement deals on her bag or shirt. She has become more outspoken about the lack of corporate support for all female golf pros.

“I'm going to say it right now, and I probably shouldn't say it, but I just don't understand how all these companies get away with supporting PGA Tour events and not supporting the LPGA,” Inkster said at the last Solheim Cup. “It makes me a little upset, because I think we've got a great product. We deserve our due.”

With Augusta National investing in young amateur women, it may only be a matter of time until corporate America significantly steps up support. The game’s greatest power brokers appear ready to grow with the young women they will begin investing in next year. That should be the hope for anyone who cares about the LPGA.

Getty Images

Report: Tour close to finalizing Detroit tournament

By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 7:07 pm

With the final pieces of the 2019 schedule falling into place, the PGA Tour appears on the verge of returning to Michigan for the first time in nearly a decade.

According to a Detroit News report, the Tour is "believed to be close" to an agreement to bring a tournament to the Motor City beginning in 2019, reportedly likely to take place at Detroit Golf Club near downtown.

While the specifics remain undisclosed, the prime candidate for such a move appears to be The National. The Washington, D.C.-area event, which benefits Tiger Woods' TGR Foundation, was sponsored by Detroit-based Quicken Loans from 2014-2017. This year the tournament will be conducted at TPC Potomac without a title sponsor.

According to a Detroit News report in September, Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert was open to continuing his company's sponsorship of the event if it shifted to Detroit.

In addition to The National, the only other current PGA Tour event without a title sponsor is the Houston Open. On Monday Charles Schwab was introduced as the new title sponsor of the Fort Worth Invitational beginning in 2019.

The PGA Tour has not held an event in the state of Michigan since 2009, the final year of the now-defunct Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club. While the final details of a revamped schedule have yet to be announced, the Tour is expected to unveil its itinerary for the 2018-19 season at The Players next month.

Getty Images

Inbee Park quietly reclaims world No. 1

By Randall MellApril 23, 2018, 6:44 pm

Inbee Park moved back to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings in about as ho-hum fashion as you’ll ever see a player take the top spot.

It isn’t that she doesn’t care about the top ranking. It just wasn’t a priority in her return to golf this year, after missing big portions of the last two years with injuries.

With an Olympic gold medal and seven major championship titles, the LPGA Hall of Famer isn’t done trying to top the scoreboards that matter most to her.

“To be honest, I never really think about being No. 1 again,” Park said early last week, before tying for second at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open. “If it comes to me, great. If not, it doesn't matter.”

It came to her for the fourth time in her career.

Park, 29, reigned at No. 1 for 59 weeks in her longest run on top, back in the 2013 and ’14 seasons.

Oddly, this run to No. 1 almost comes as a surprise to Park, who didn’t need long to get back to the top spot after returning to the tour. She won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup last month in her second after missing seven months with a back injury.

Park last lost the No. 1 ranking in October of 2015, doing so to Lydia Ko.

In six starts this year, Park has finished T-3 or better four times. She leads the tour in scoring average (69.13) and is second in greens in regulation (77.5 percent).

Just wait until her putter heats up.

Yeah, Park’s not very satisfied with her putting. She’s one of the greatest putters who ever played the women’s game, but she has been frustrated with the inconsistency of her stroke much of this season. Of course, her standards are high. She ranks second in putts per greens in regulation so far this year.

On Sunday, this is how Park summed up her putting in 2018: “Some days, I’ve been really good. Some days, I’ve been really bad.”

Park has led the LPGA in putts per GIR in five of the last 10 years. She switched from her preferred mallet-style putter to a blade earlier this season and won with a Toulon Madison blade at the Founders Cup last month. She was back with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet this past week. That’s the putter she used to win the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. She used an Odyssey Sabertooth winged mallet in her 2013 run of three consecutive major championship victories.