Welcome to December! Hopefully the tryptophan has worn off because we have a surprisingly busy month of golf ahead. No time to waste.
We wouldn’t be a modern company without offering some sort of Cyber Monday promotion. Our pro shop is freshly stocked with merchandise from B. Draddy, Zero Restriction, Fairway & Greene, and Imperial Headwear. We have also built out our print library with shots from Bandon Dunes, Streamsong, Sand Valley, Pasatiempo, Sweetens Cove, and more.
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Ain’t no party like a Euro Tour party ’cause a Euro Tour party don’t stop
Everyone jokes about how short the PGA Tour offseason is, but the European Tour takes it to another level. Fresh off a zero-week break after the 2019 season-ender in Dubai, the Euro Tour went to South Africa this past week to start the 2020 season.
Pablo Larrazábal captured the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday. After opening the event with three dominant rounds, Larrazábal faltered on the front nine on Sunday. The Spanish veteran made five bogeys and a double to go out in 41. Turns out there was a backstory: he was struggling with a painful blister. “I could not walk or put my shoe on, I could not walk to the buggy or the putting green,” he told the press. “I really struggled all day, I have a big blister on my big toe.” At one point, Larrazábal even walked down the fairway with his shoes off.
Thankfully, he recovered with four birdies on the back nine and held on for the one-shot victory. Leaderboard
The LPGA and Ladies European Tour announced that the two are forming a partnership to help advance women’s golf around the globe. While this development will have limited short-term impact in the United States, the LET schedule should see immediate improvements. Full Press Release
This should be a fascinating story to follow. Not only could the LPGA-LET partnership improve the quality of women’s pro golf around the world, but it also might provide a blueprint for deeper cooperation between the various men’s tours.
A couple of high-profile withdrawals happened while we were all stuffing our faces with turkey and mashed potatoes.
Dustin Johnson announced that he is pulling out of this week’s Hero World Challenge, as he is still recovering knee surgery. The No. 4 player in the world says he will still be ready for the Presidents Cup in Australia in two weeks, but a 60-minute flight to the Bahamas was evidently too much.
One player who will not make the trip to Royal Melbourne is Jason Day. Chronic back issues have caused Day to withdraw from many events (and pro-ams) over the past decade. One of the top Australians in the game, JDay hasn’t played in front of home fans very often. As a result, his announcement was met with widespread skepticism and eye-rolling.
Captain Ernie Els named Ben An as Day’s replacement for the International Team.
The Hero World Challenge gets underway on Wednesday, but six members of the field will participate in a… different event on Monday: a wedge-play exhibition featuring host Tiger Woods alongside Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau, and Henrik Stenson. Full Story from Will Gray
With the International team looking for its first victory in 20 years, Australian Adam Scott is hoping for a home-course advantage. Specifically, he’d like the home fans to tamp down their adoration for Tiger Woods. Good luck with that. Full Story from Will Gray
NEW VIDEO! Designing for Match Play: Ohoopee Match Club – Located in the sandbelt of southeastern Georgia, Ohoopee Match Club was designed expressly for match play. In our new video, architect Gil Hanse discusses how Ohoopee owner Michael Walrath encouraged the design team to leave behind notions of par and create something unique.
The Fried Egg Podcast – Superintendent Series, Episode 2: Tom Feller
Cedar Rapids Country Club Superintendent Tom Feller joins Andy to discuss his life in turf. Tom and Andy start by talking about his morning routines, which include no breakfast and regular walks of the golf course. The conversation then moves to how Tom got into turf and his early career in Myrtle Beach and Quincy, Illinois. Cedar Rapids CC’s transformation has been well documented, and Tom has had a big hand in both the agronomic and architectural improvements. Andy asks how Tom was able to accomplish the massive tree removal and restoration work for such a low cost while not shutting down the course. The conversation ends with Tom elaborating on the virtues of the tree management and flood mitigation work his team has done at Cedar Rapids. Our Superintendent Series is brought to you by Toro Golf. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Decade in review with Sean Martin, Shoeless Pablo, and no balloons down under
Andy and Brendan return after a long holiday break and jump right into Pablo Larrazábal limping to a win at Leopard Creek. Then they quickly pivot to some news from the long break, most notably Jason Day’s withdrawal from the Presidents Cup because of a back injury. They review Day’s injury history and marvel at the sweeping reaction this latest WD provoked over the weekend. Then they get to a “Decade in Review” discussion with PGA Tour.com ace Sean Martin. But as per Shotgun Start custom, things run much longer than intended in this free-flowing review so it will be broken up into *at least* two parts. Come listen and reminisce about the first half of the decade at the majors, the Players, and the FedExCup standings in this episode. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.