Valentine's Day prompted several of golf's most prominent equipment and accessory companies to get creative in their commemoration of love and golf. Some were blatantly commercial, but most were clever and kinda fun. We picked out a dozen or so of the best images and have assembled them in a special photo gallery.
And we closed it out with one very ''punny'' entry from one of our favorite golf characters. So be sure you go to all the way to the end for his groaner of a curtain-dropper.
Click here to see the gallery – and Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.
The USGA’s recent announcement that one of its oldest championships, the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, would be eliminated after 2014 caught a lot of people off guard, including some of the event’s most prominent past champions.
“I must say I was definitely caught by surprise,” said Trevor Immelman, who won the Pub Links at Torrey Pines in 1998.“ After reading through the release I understand what they’re saying. Back in the day, the Pub Links was for people who were not members of the USGA because only members of the USGA were allowed to enter the U.S. Amateur. Now that all those rules have changed and anyone can enter the U.S. Amateur and compete, there really is no need for the Pub Links. But, man, there is such a great history behind that tournament.”
Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore, Billy Mayfair, Tim Clark and D.J. Trahan all won the Pub Links, but the event also showcased such colorful champions as Omer Bogen and Smiley Quick. Reactions have varied, but all living champions are wistful that an event dating back to 1922 is being kicked to the curb.
“I’m sure they have their reasons,” Immelman said. “Maybe the casual observer doesn’t realize how many tournaments they put on between the men’s and women’s Amateurs, the U.S. Junior, the Mid-Amateurs, it is quite a busy schedule, so I guess they’re trying to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of so they can grow. That’s the tricky part. Change is difficult for everybody. [The Pub Links] is almost 100 years, so that part of it is tricky, because people obviously have an emotional attachment to it.”
The 2014 Ryder Cup is still a good year and a half away, but it's already front of mind for Europe's hero of the 2012 match, Ian Poulter.
Poulter has written a column for the April edition of the British golf magazine Golf World in which he says that unheralded European Captain Paul McGinley will have an advantage over U.S Captain Tom Watson.
"In many ways he will know his players better than Tom will know his, if for no other reason than he is a lot younger and so much closer to them in terms of playing," Poulter wrote about McGinley, as quoted by Reuters. "That may prove a big advantage. He will know what makes us tick and what we like – that's healthy.
"Tom, because of his age, will inevitably be slightly more detached from his team," Poulter added. "He won't have played as much with the current crop of players."
Having said that, however, Poulter bows to the stature Watson has achieved through almost half a century of excellence.
"Paul may have only played in three (Ryder Cup) matches but we are never going to find a captain in Europe whose stature, record and career can begin to compare with Tom Watson," he wrote. "We have to look at it as a bit of a David and Goliath affair. No one is expecting Paul to go toe-to-toe with Tom – he can't – Paul just needs to be Paul."
Poulter also said the European players might have objected had McGinley, who has been a captain in the Seve Trophy and a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups, not been given the job.
"It would have upset a lot of people as well as some of the players – and that becomes a very dangerous thing to do," said Poulter. "It is going to be such a close match, the last thing in the world that Europe needs or wants is to start the week with a few players not in the best of moods.
"As players we thought Paul was the best man for the job," he explained, "and that's why many of us made a public stand for him in the days leading up to the decision because we thought it was the right thing to do."
If a photo tells a thousand words - well, I have nothing much to add. Play, during the LPGA Tour's season-opening Women's Australian Open, was interrupted and delayed as kangaroos decided to play through.
Hopping good time?
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