Archive for August, 2010

Furyk’s “Dooh!” Moment Leads to DQ…

You may have heard Jim Furyk overslept Wednesday after his cell phone alarm clock lost power overnight, causing him to be late for his pro-am tee time in The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club.  Under PGA Tour rules, that makes him ineligible for the tournament, the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events.

Per the story in The New York Times, Furyk, who is ranked third in the FedEx Cup standings, took responsibility for his cellphone calamity:

He said he set his cellphone’s alarm clock Tuesday night, but somehow the phone’s battery — which he thought he had charged fully — died overnight. He awoke at 7:23 a.m., seven minutes before his scheduled tee time, and threw on a shirt and pants.

Beltless, sockless, and with his shoes untied, Furyk rushed from his hotel to the course, but he was too late.

“I’m beside myself,” he said, his shoes still untied. “I have a way of climbing into stupid situations.”

On the Golf Channel, Furyk and Phil Mickelson weighed in with their take of the DQ rule.  Video (4:49)

Mickelson pointed out that the rule only applied to “half the field” and that it was “ridiculous.”

PowerMat seized the  opportunity. By noon on Thursday, a media alert crossed my desk with the subject:

Powermat: Because Waking Up Is the First Step to Winning the FedEx Cup

It referenced a CNBC report by Darren Rovell that said all Furyk really needed was a Powermat.  Per the alert, Powermat, the leader in wireless charging, is the fast, easy and hassle-free way to charge your cell phone while you sleep. Powermat simultaneously delivers real time, wireless charging to multiple electronic devices that have been enabled once with a Powermat receiver.  All you need to do before closing your eyes for the night is ‘drop and charge.

Maybe Powermat will step up and be a title sponsor of future Pro-Am events.


Time to Update Rules? Things the USGA Should Consider…

In a recent post, Golfweek’s Adam Schupak proposed some rule changes for the USGA to ponder.

  • Eliminate the white stakes for out-of-bounds. Stroke and distance is cruel and unjust punishment. OB should be marked by red stakes (penalty and drop at point of entry).
  • A ball that moves without the intent of hitting should not be a penalty. This may create a gray area, but in a game of honor, I can live with that.
  • If a pro signs his scorecard wrong, he shouldn’t be disqualified for a lower score or forced to accept the higher score. With all the electronic scoring and Shotlink tracking that exists, this rule is archaic.
  • Allow a free drop from a divot in the fairway.
  • Tamp down all the spike marks you want. The advent of spikeless spikes has done wonders for eliminating this problem, so let’s go ahead and eliminate another antiquated rule.

Do you agree?

What other rules would you like changed?

Personally, I would love to see one added — a shot clock!

Here’s a link to where you can read up on USGA rules.


Dyeabolical No. 18 Truly Diabolical for Johnson…

On Sunday, Dustin Johnson learned how diabolical the No.18 – “Dyeabolical” hole at Whistling Straits can be.


Dustin Johnson hits from patch of sand. (Getty Images)

He ended up being knocked out of the playoff at the PGA Championship on Sunday after he was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in a bunker he didn’t even realize existed.

“It never crossed my mind I was in a sand trap,” Johnson said. “I just thought it was a piece of dirt.”

According to written reports, course designer Pete Dye feels terrible for Dustin Johnson, said it was intended to be a waste bunker.

Whistling Straits was designed to mimic an old-style links course.  There are more than a thousand bunkers.  In fact, one AP story said, “Anytime the grounds crew trims the fescue, another emerges.”

They were warned, said Mark Wilson, co-chairman of the PGA of America rules committee.

“We made it the No. 1 item on our local rules sheet, simply to explain that all the bunkers were designed as sand bunkers and could be played that way.  That meant areas outside the ropes might contain footprints, heel prints, even tire tracks from golf carts or other vehicles.”

Rules Sheet Rules:

So Johnson is paying the price for not reading.  But who had his back?  His caddy missed it too.  And there were reports that a PGA official that was following Johnson’s group on the course didn’t give him a head’s up either.

Johnson ended up carding a 279 (pocketing $270,833).  But the winner, Martin Kaymer took $1,350,000.  For his second place effort, Bubba Watson made $810,000.

That, indeed was a costly penalty for not reading.

If you missed it, you can watch the shot here.


A Look at Whistling Straits

The 2010 PGA Championship is now underway after a fog delay.  To see highlights, go to the special championship website.

It is being played at Whistling Straits, located in Kohler, Wisconsin (two hours north of Chicago, one hour north of Milwaukee and one hour south of Green Bay).  Designed by Pete Dye (and his wife, Alice), Whistling Straits emulates the great old seaside links courses of the British Isles, invoking an image of the game founded more than 400 years ago. The Straits Course is open with rugged and windswept terrain. A more mature course than one would expect, golfers encounter huge sandy areas, deep pot bunkers, grass-topped dunes, big and undulating greens and majestic views of Lake Michigan from each of its 18 holes.   There are nearly 1000 bunkers.  Whistling Straits also features:

  • Two miles of uninterrupted shoreline on Lake Michigan
  • Eight holes hugging the Lake Michigan shoreline
  • Bluffs and massive sand dune areas
  • Natural fescue fairways
  • A flock of Scottish Blackface sheep call the course home
  • Elevation change on the course (Hole 15) is approximately 80 feet
  • The Straits Course is a walking course; walking distance for 18 holes is approximately five miles
  • There are three stone bridges at holes 9, 10 and 18.

To read more, go here.

And if you want a little “on course” experience, check out this video where Golfweek’s  Sean Martin accompanies Ryan Moore as he plays a practice round.


59 on the Mind…

Last week, Jeff Rude of Golfweek did a post about Stuart Appleby’s phenomenal 59.  In his “Hate To Be Rude” column, he wrote:

Considering the abyss he so impressively climbed out of, Appleby’s closing 59 that clinched victory Sunday at the inaugural Greenbrier Classic ranks as one of the more remarkable feats I’ve seen in golf…

…Appleby’s story is one of belief. One can take things for granted as he scales and stands on a mountain. Getting back there is a greater challenge. It requires remembering and forgetting all at the same time.”

The emphasis of Rude’s piece was on mental toughness.  Appleby was asked whether confidence or good shots come first.

“You need to practice with your confidence,” he said. “You need to develop that on the range. You need to have that on the range, and then you carry that to the course and you make it valid from there. You don’t try and find it on the golf course…You’ll never find anything on a golf course.”

Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle did a story on Monday about low scores on the PGA Tour.

“As the game’s top players gather at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin for this week’s PGA Championship, the talk of the summer – aside from Woods’ uncommon struggles – is the flurry of crazy-low rounds.”

And Tiger Woods was quoted saying, “It’s easier to get to now – it’s more attainable. …I think it goes to how much farther the golf ball is going and how much better the equipment and the players have become.”

Kroichick also pointed out the profile of the super low scorer include:

  • Few elite players (beyond Stricker)
  • Few huge power hitters (beyond Holmes and McIlroy)
  • Few players known as big risk takers (e.g., Mickelson)

One thing’s for sure, the “funky, links-style Pete Dye layout” of Whispering Straits won’t be conducive for low scores.  In 2004, when Vijay Singh won there (he defeated Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard in a three-hole aggregate score playoff) he made a birdie on the 10th hole – his only birdie of the day.


Pre-Register Now for the 2012 PGA Championship

This week, the PGA of America announced that in order to maximize each spectator’s experience for 2012 PGA Championship (6-12 August 2012) that is being held at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort near Charleston, S.C., the total number of spectators on the Ocean Course will be limited to approximately 27,000 spectators per day.

By comparison, the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in 2009 had more than 44,000 total spectators on its most crowded day. A drastic reduction of tickets available to the general public will take place in 2012 to ensure the best experience for all in attendance.

So if you are interested in going, the recommendation is to visit to pre-register for a six-week sales window between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31, 2010.

The Ocean Course, which Golf Digest rates as “America’s Toughest Course” and the “No. 4 Public Golf Course” in the country, was designed by Pete Dye.  Whistling Straits, home of this year’s 92nd PGA Championship, was also designed by Dye.


See How a Putter is Made — Science Channel Show

Bettinardi Golf, maker of high quality 100% CNC putters, is being featured in the Science Channel TV Series “Factory Made” (Season 2-Episode 25).  The segment will focus on how a Bettinardi putter is milled from a single block of Mild Carbon Steel (Bettinardi’s One-Piece Technology).

Each and every Bettinardi putter passes through no less than 10 sets of hands in the manufacturing process to ensure the putters meet the exacting standards that Robert Bettinardi demands. The final step in the process is the application of the company’s Honeycomb™ face, the flattest surface possible to provide the highest level of performance.

The putters list for $365.

### Unveils 2010 PGA Championship App has just released their FREE 2010 PGA Championship App in the iTunes App Store. This year’s PGA Championship App will provide live scoring and instant updates to golf fans at no charge during the 2010 PGA Championship from Aug. 12-15. The PGA Championship app also offers in-app purchase for $1.99 where users can upgrade to exclusive access of live video for the marquee groups on all four days of play including live video streaming of the par-3 holes at Whistling Straits.

It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

Features of the app include:

  • Push Notifications: With push notifications, fans can receive instant custom alerts about their favorite players’ progress in addition to hole-by-hole scores, completion of rounds and other breaking news.
  • Live Scoring and Customizable Leaderboard: The customizable leaderboard with live scoring has an easy to use front nine/back nine format, video highlights, player information, course information, news and updates. Notably, the app will also include a unique real-time Trends function to highlight notable leaderboard climbs, drops and streaks.
  • Player Scorecards: Fans can choose between landscape or portrait mode to view any player’s scorecard.
  • Video Highlights: Each day users can view a full array of video highlights and a collection of instructional clips from a PGA Professional.
  • Breaking News: Provides frequent updates to storylines and news, as well as six additional notifications that are custom selected by users for following including: Tee Time reminder, Round Beginning, Round Completion, Double Bogeys (and higher), Birdies & Eagles and Hole-by-Hole Updates.

In addition to the PGA Championship App, Turner Sports will be offering 20 hours of television coverage on TNT, companion live video coverage will be available on, and similar to The Masters, there will be groundbreaking 3D coverage online and through several television distributors.