I’ll take a small frosty and a green jacket

The PGA Tour takes a gamble, DJ says no to Tokyo, and Augusta National has predictably classy taste in fast food


Does this quarter-zip make my mouse ears look fat? We answer that question and many more in this morning’s newsletter!

In today’s newsletter… 

  • The PGA Tour bets on itself with a new gambling partnership.
  • A tour pro passes on the Tokyo Olympics in favor of courier-service points.
  • Augusta National expands its footprint and picks up a 4 for $4 Meal™.

*Shotgun Start March Pool*

A fresh page of the calendar means a new Shotgun Start pool! This month’s contest features the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Players Championship, the Valspar Championship, the WGC Match Play, and the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. Registration is free! Sign up HERE.

The Storylines

Ante up

The PGA Tour announced on Monday that it is partnering with The Action Network to launch GolfBet, which is—obviously—a golf-betting platform. Using ShotLink data, GolfBet will allow for real-time betting. The (largely? for now?) subscription-free platform is set for release later this year. A lot of questions remain to be answered, but it’s safe to say that Ponte Vedra expects GolfBet to be a revenue avalanche.

What’s really intriguing, though, is how real-time gambling might change business as usual on the PGA Tour. Will on-the-ground fans try to influence shots to help their bets? The “baba-booey” and “get in the hole” contingent is pretty strident as is—what’s to stop them from shouting a couple tenths of a second earlier than usual?

And how about equipment testing? Will gamblers be okay with the possibility of some players using illegal drivers (accidentally, of course, of course) and others not? Weird as it is to say, the marriage between golf and gambling could have some wholesome effects.


The golf world has its first official nope to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. As Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch reports, if Dustin Johnson qualifies for Team USA, he plans to decline the invitation. Johnson’s agent David Winkle cited the FedEx Cup and the packed PGA Tour schedule as reasons for skipping the Games.

Choosing not to travel to Japan for an event that has little historical significance in golf is understandable. But do we really believe DJ is that much more excited about the FedEx Cup? In any case, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other American stars follow in Johnson’s footsteps in the coming weeks.

The Roundup

Arnold Palmer Invitational (PGA Tour)

  • Tee Times
  • The API has a strong field. Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, and Tommy Fleetwood will all tee it up this weekend.
  • Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, and Bryson DeChambeau will be paired up for the first two rounds. Yeah, we’re going to need a hot mic on that group at all times, please.
  • Need some gambling help for Bay Hill? Paulie’s Picks has you covered!

The European Tour ventures over to Qatar this week for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. Eddie Pepperell, Haotong Li, and Min Woo Lee are among the notables in the field. Tee Times

The PGA Tour’s Florida swing is getting a shakeup in 2021. As reported by the Palm Beach Post, the Honda Classic will take place the week after The Players Championship, while the Valspar will move to late April. Presumably the changes are intended to entice more top players to play both events, but one tournament’s gain tends to be another’s loss in this condensed schedule.

Augusta National has purchased yet more land. According to the Augusta Chronicle, ANGC paid more than $3 million for a Wendy’s on Washington Road and another $3 million on various houses in a nearby neighborhood. It’s only a matter of time before Fred Ridley becomes Augusta’s mayor!

The second Mackenzie Tour Q-School event is underway in Florida. Stanford grad Isaiah Salinda and Florida’s Andy Zhang are in the hunt after the first round. Leaderboard

A couple of high-profile collegiate events finished up on Tuesday. Arizona State shot an impressive final-round 274 (-10) to win the Cabo Collegiate by eight shots over Texas A&M, while USC held on in Las Vegas to win the Southern Highlands Collegiate. Walker Lee (Texas A&M) won the individual title in Cabo, and Parker Coody (Texas) knocked off Yuxin Lin (USC) in a playoff in Vegas. For his efforts, Coody earned a spot in the Shiner’s Hospital for Children Open on the PGA Tour this fall.

Evidently Patrick Reed and Rory Sabbatini will be partners at the team-format Zurich Classic. So many questions. Why? How? Will their walk-up music be cheating-themed or Slovakia-themed? Maybe a Slovakian song about cheating? Did the Zurich just become more of a must-watch than the Players?

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

Streamsong Blue (Bowling Green, Florida)


The construction of the first 36 holes at Streamsong is one of the most interesting stories in modern golf architecture. The firms of Coore & Crenshaw and Renaissance Golf Design worked together to squeeze two 18s holes into a small but spectacular site. Tom Doak’s Renaissance team ended up with the inside portion of the property, the best land at the resort. Their Blue Course features generous fairways and devilish greens, and Doak’s routing weaves through the compact site, leading golfers to the most impressive landforms at the beginning and the end of the round. The Blue Course’s greens have sharp contours that demand precise iron play and give each pin position its own character.

Insider tip: If you spend a few days at Streamsong, you will note the high price tags on pretty much everything. The most affordable food is out on the courses; take full advantage of the Taco and BBQ stands on the Red and Blue courses. -Andy Johnson

Photo credit: Andy Johnson

The Latest from The Fried Egg

The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 173: Nick Mackay – The business side of professional golf

Georgia State University assistant golf coach Nick Mackay joins Andy to talk about his years as a golf agent. The two talk about what Nick looks for in young players and the intricacies of the business side of the professional game, from sponsorship deals to the costs of trying to “make it.” The pair finish with discussion of the PGL and Patrick Reed’s antics. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

The Shotgun Start: DJ’s out on Olympics, holes-in-one are overrated, Bryson’s shaft con

This Wednesday episode begins with the schedule for the week and a discussion on the evolution of Bay Hill. But first, an Andy digression on how the hole-in-one is now overrated. We discuss how Bay Hill stands out on the Tour schedule as a long-iron test and Arnold’s affinity for the place, as well as putting home sites around the holes. Francesco Molinari’s tailspin is spotlighted since his win at API last year. The PGL featured group of Reed, Bryson, and Phil segues into a tidbit Andy got about the long con Bryson was playing with his comment about figuring out how shafts work. Rickie’s uniform scripting activation-happy ways are discussed. Brendan complains about the spelling of Tucson while Andy rants about how people pronounce “catch.” On the European Tour, we discuss the Education City GC where the Qatar Masters is being held and on the Champions Tour, we make a plea for Bo Hoag to get an exemption into the Hoag Classic. News focuses on DJ taking a pass on Tokyo and the crazy new gauntlet of a schedule next year with the Honda Classic moving after The Players, featuring a tip about a potential venue change coming for the Honda. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

Who could forget Arnold Palmer’s driver off the deck into the 18th green at Bay Hill during the 2004 API? Well, after you try and fail to imitate Arnie, you might feel better if you have one of our quality Fried Egg headcovers to slip back on the big stick. Get yours today!