.

Putter buying tips

Putting Green
USA Today Sports Images
Typically, the average golfer will putt 32 different times during a round of golf, making the putter one of the most important clubs in the game.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Hayden Matthew piddled with some putters inside Golf Headquarters on Tuesday.

She doesn't need a new putter.

But almost every golfer can use an upgrade with the flat stick. After all, it's the most used club in a golfer's bag.

"I'll have guys ask for a $500 driver, then ask me for whatever putter we have on sale," said sales manager Chris Harris. "That doesn't make sense to me. A good amateur golfer is going to putt 32 times per round but hit driver half that many times."

Putter sales could be on the rise for the final six months of 2015. Technology always is adapting, and the anchoring ban will go into effect for USGA competitions once the calendar flips to 2016. Golfers playing in major competitions -- from Chattanooga District Golf Association events all the way to PGA Tour events -- no longer will be able to anchor putters during their strokes.

With a myriad of options available from dozens of major companies as well as smaller companies, Harris provided a quick checklist for purchasing a new putter between now and New Year's.

But remember, "If there's a number that's infinity beyond infinity, that's how many putters are out there," Harris said.

His checklist is rather simple and focuses on comfort and look instead of what measurements a computer system will spit out -- like getting fit for a driver or irons.

The first suggestion is knowing what type of putting stroke the golfers uses, whatever is natural. It can be straight back and straight through; it can have a small arc like Dave Stockton teaches or a much wider arc like Ben Crenshaw used.

"A vast majority of golfers have a small arc," Harris said. "That's the case even if the golfer thinks they're going straight back and straight through. The club face opens a little at the take-away."

[wide_search_equipment]

Harris' next piece of advice certainly can't be measured by lasers. And it goes a little against the grain, but he has years of experience selling clubs. His second piece of advice for picking a putter is rather simple.

Choose something that looks good to the player. As Jerry Rice, possibly the greatest football player of all time, once said in a roundabout way, "You have to look good to play good."

Choose something that fits the eye, whether it's a blade, a mallet or something that looks like a spaceship prop in a 1980s movie. Look good, feel good, putt good.

The length, weight and balance point of a putter are up for personal preference. It makes sense for a taller player to like a longer putter, but that's not always the case. Phil Mickelson is 6-foot-3 and typically uses a 31-inch putter. That's on the short end of the putter spectrum.

Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley have decisions to make between now and Christmas. What do they do with their long putters?

Harris said that most amateurs who have been using anchored putters in recent years -- or their entire careers -- have opted for a counter-balance putter. It's longer than most and contains weights inside the tip of the handle as well at the base of the club.

Such weight distribution mimics the feeling in the hands of an anchored club without it actually touching the body.

Scott, Simpson and Bradley are still trying to find the perfect putter. They're doing the same as golfers across the country, the Southeast and Chattanooga -- they're testing on feel.

This article was written by David Uchiyama from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
David Uchiyama

Series: News Feature

Published: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 | 9:13 a.m.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Hayden Matthew piddled with some putters inside Golf Headquarters on Tuesday.

She doesn't need a new putter.

But almost every golfer can use an upgrade with the flat stick. After all, it's the most used club in a golfer's bag.

"I'll have guys ask for a $500 driver, then ask me for whatever putter we have on sale," said sales manager Chris Harris. "That doesn't make sense to me. A good amateur golfer is going to putt 32 times per round but hit driver half that many times."

Putter sales could be on the rise for the final six months of 2015. Technology always is adapting, and the anchoring ban will go into effect for USGA competitions once the calendar flips to 2016. Golfers playing in major competitions -- from Chattanooga District Golf Association events all the way to PGA Tour events -- no longer will be able to anchor putters during their strokes.

With a myriad of options available from dozens of major companies as well as smaller companies, Harris provided a quick checklist for purchasing a new putter between now and New Year's.

But remember, "If there's a number that's infinity beyond infinity, that's how many putters are out there," Harris said.

His checklist is rather simple and focuses on comfort and look instead of what measurements a computer system will spit out -- like getting fit for a driver or irons.

The first suggestion is knowing what type of putting stroke the golfers uses, whatever is natural. It can be straight back and straight through; it can have a small arc like Dave Stockton teaches or a much wider arc like Ben Crenshaw used.

"A vast majority of golfers have a small arc," Harris said. "That's the case even if the golfer thinks they're going straight back and straight through. The club face opens a little at the take-away."

Harris' next piece of advice certainly can't be measured by lasers. And it goes a little against the grain, but he has years of experience selling clubs. His second piece of advice for picking a putter is rather simple.

Choose something that looks good to the player. As Jerry Rice, possibly the greatest football player of all time, once said in a roundabout way, "You have to look good to play good."

Choose something that fits the eye, whether it's a blade, a mallet or something that looks like a spaceship prop in a 1980s movie. Look good, feel good, putt good.

The length, weight and balance point of a putter are up for personal preference. It makes sense for a taller player to like a longer putter, but that's not always the case. Phil Mickelson is 6-foot-3 and typically uses a 31-inch putter. That's on the short end of the putter spectrum.

Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley have decisions to make between now and Christmas. What do they do with their long putters?

Harris said that most amateurs who have been using anchored putters in recent years -- or their entire careers -- have opted for a counter-balance putter. It's longer than most and contains weights inside the tip of the handle as well at the base of the club.

Such weight distribution mimics the feeling in the hands of an anchored club without it actually touching the body.

Scott, Simpson and Bradley are still trying to find the perfect putter. They're doing the same as golfers across the country, the Southeast and Chattanooga -- they're testing on feel.

This article was written by David Uchiyama from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Memories of milkshakes, Slammin' Sammy

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Brenda Quick used to serve Sam Snead milkshakes.

"'I want a chocolate milkshake with double chocolate, extra thin, filled to the brim,'" Quick remembers Snead saying the first time she waited on him at the White Sulphur Springs Tastee Freez. "I'll never forget that."

Quick, then a high schooler working a summer job in the 1960s, would watch for "Slammin' Sammy" to pull up in a black limo, park on the side of the road and walk up to her window to order. She'd have the shake waiting on him.

The famous golfer would give her a little smile, tip his signature short-brimmed straw cap and tip Quick with a $10 or $20 dollar bill. The shake was $1.

"I knew him from the black-and-white TV days," Quick said Tuesday, as she sat in the West Virginia Department of Tourism's -- her employer -- air-conditioned box. The elevated building connected to a section of stadium seats that overlooked the green on Hole No. 17. Near the hole, spectators walked around the cart path, and PGA Tour pros hit their approach shots. Quick could name most of them.

An avid golf fan and Lewisburg resident, Quick has worked The Greenbrier Classic every year except one. The self-described "country girl" has roots in the area and at The Greenbrier. She's been an ambassador for West Virginia to tourists who enter the state, and, during tournament week, she's an ambassador for the game of golf. But despite her love of the game and association with Snead, Quick's always been more of a spectator than a ball striker.

GREENBRIER: Tee Times | Oosthuizen ready for return 

Groups of people casually walked the grounds of the Old White Course on Tuesday as the pros played practice rounds and, later, chaperoned kids around the links. It was "Youth Day" at The Greenbrier, and around 1:30 p.m., PGA Tour players mentored young golfers as part of the First Tee program.

You can tell who the kids' favorite players are, Quick said, by the outfits they wear. She'd seen a kid in a bright orange shirt and flat-brimmed hat in the morning, she said, and knew right away he was a Rickie Fowler fan.

"And who doesn't love Rickie Fowler?" she said. "And I just love Jordan Spieth."

Quick and her husband watched Spieth win this year's U.S. Open, and they watched Dustin Johnson lose it. Even though she's a Spieth fan, she was pulling for Johnson. Really, she pulls for everybody, she said. That's the thing about golf: it's a game of respect and camaraderie.

Most days you can find Quick working at the West Virginia I-64 West Welcome Center, where she's worked for 20 years. She estimates she's met about 8 million people over the years. It's a job where you make new friends, she said, like you do when you work The Greenbrier Classic.

The tournament keeps getting better and better, Quick said. She compared it to West Virginia: Outsiders don't know what they're missing until they come to the state, kind of like PGA Tour pros enjoy The Greenbrier Classic once they've discovered it.

Quick's father caddied at The Greenbrier back in the 1960s for almost a decade. He caddied for Snead, who served as The Greenbrier's pro. And he'd sometimes help Snead on his Hot Springs, Virginia, farm. The two maintained a relationship over the years, Quick said, and sometimes Snead was a surprise guest at her birthday parties.

[wide_pga_shop]

"I don't know why I never took a lesson from him," Quick said of Snead.

Quick managed the pro shop at the Lewisburg Elks Country Club before starting her gig with the Department of Tourism. But the avid golf fan who anticipates the announcement of each year's Greenbrier Classic player field and who, according to coworker Robin Clower, celebrates her off-weekends -- because she can watch golf -- has only played two rounds in her entire life.

She always worked two or three jobs, and she put her energy into raising her son. Playing golf couldn't be a priority.

One of the times Quick played -- at Valley View Country Club, because an acquaintance begged her to -- she did "OK." She beat her acquaintance -- who'd taken golf lessons for two years -- by seven strokes. She wasn't invited back.

"I like the sidelines," Quick said.

You can get involved with the players, she said, get absorbed in the game. And you can root for everybody.

This article was written by Wade Livingston from The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Wade Livingston

Series: News Feature

Published: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 | 1:17 a.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Brenda Quick used to serve Sam Snead milkshakes.

"'I want a chocolate milkshake with double chocolate, extra thin, filled to the brim,'" Quick remembers Snead saying the first time she waited on him at the White Sulphur Springs Tastee Freez. "I'll never forget that."

Quick, then a high schooler working a summer job in the 1960s, would watch for "Slammin' Sammy" to pull up in a black limo, park on the side of the road and walk up to her window to order. She'd have the shake waiting on him.

The famous golfer would give her a little smile, tip his signature short-brimmed straw cap and tip Quick with a $10 or $20 dollar bill. The shake was $1.

"I knew him from the black-and-white TV days," Quick said Tuesday, as she sat in the West Virginia Department of Tourism's -- her employer -- air-conditioned box. The elevated building connected to a section of stadium seats that overlooked the green on Hole No. 17. Near the hole, spectators walked around the cart path, and PGA Tour pros hit their approach shots. Quick could name most of them.

An avid golf fan and Lewisburg resident, Quick has worked The Greenbrier Classic every year except one. The self-described "country girl" has roots in the area and at The Greenbrier. She's been an ambassador for West Virginia to tourists who enter the state, and, during tournament week, she's an ambassador for the game of golf. But despite her love of the game and association with Snead, Quick's always been more of a spectator than a ball striker.

GREENBRIER: Tee Times | Oosthuizen ready for return 

Groups of people casually walked the grounds of the Old White Course on Tuesday as the pros played practice rounds and, later, chaperoned kids around the links. It was "Youth Day" at The Greenbrier, and around 1:30 p.m., PGA Tour players mentored young golfers as part of the First Tee program.

You can tell who the kids' favorite players are, Quick said, by the outfits they wear. She'd seen a kid in a bright orange shirt and flat-brimmed hat in the morning, she said, and knew right away he was a Rickie Fowler fan.

"And who doesn't love Rickie Fowler?" she said. "And I just love Jordan Spieth."

Quick and her husband watched Spieth win this year's U.S. Open, and they watched Dustin Johnson lose it. Even though she's a Spieth fan, she was pulling for Johnson. Really, she pulls for everybody, she said. That's the thing about golf: it's a game of respect and camaraderie.

Most days you can find Quick working at the West Virginia I-64 West Welcome Center, where she's worked for 20 years. She estimates she's met about 8 million people over the years. It's a job where you make new friends, she said, like you do when you work The Greenbrier Classic.

The tournament keeps getting better and better, Quick said. She compared it to West Virginia: Outsiders don't know what they're missing until they come to the state, kind of like PGA Tour pros enjoy The Greenbrier Classic once they've discovered it.

Quick's father caddied at The Greenbrier back in the 1960s for almost a decade. He caddied for Snead, who served as The Greenbrier's pro. And he'd sometimes help Snead on his Hot Springs, Virginia, farm. The two maintained a relationship over the years, Quick said, and sometimes Snead was a surprise guest at her birthday parties.

"I don't know why I never took a lesson from him," Quick said of Snead.

Quick managed the pro shop at the Lewisburg Elks Country Club before starting her gig with the Department of Tourism. But the avid golf fan who anticipates the announcement of each year's Greenbrier Classic player field and who, according to coworker Robin Clower, celebrates her off-weekends -- because she can watch golf -- has only played two rounds in her entire life.

She always worked two or three jobs, and she put her energy into raising her son. Playing golf couldn't be a priority.

One of the times Quick played -- at Valley View Country Club, because an acquaintance begged her to -- she did "OK." She beat her acquaintance -- who'd taken golf lessons for two years -- by seven strokes. She wasn't invited back.

"I like the sidelines," Quick said.

You can get involved with the players, she said, get absorbed in the game. And you can root for everybody.

This article was written by Wade Livingston from The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Notes: Spieth's on a record-setting pace

Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
With two victories in this year's majors, Jordan Spieth has a commanding FedExCup lead.

Jordan Spieth already has accumulated the second-most FedEx Cup points in the regular season, and there's still two majors, a World Golf Championship and the John Deere Classic on his schedule before the playoffs begin.

Spieth is at 3,128 points. Tiger Woods had 3,431 points going into the playoffs in 2009, the year the current model began. Woods had 3,059 points in 2013, the year he won five times. Spieth has won two majors and the Valspar Championship, and he was runner-up in the Texas Open and Houston Open. And while the PGA Tour is in the second year of its wraparound season, Spieth played only one event last fall. He earned 34 points at the HSBC Champions.

More significant is what's going on at the bottom of the list, and a number of players who risk missing the playoffs for the first time.

Geoff Ogilvy is at No. 128 with a maximum of four tournaments left.

Graeme McDowell has found that his enthusiasm was lacking when he gets to the playoffs, in part because of a long year in the majors and saving himself for the end of the season with his European Tour membership. That might not be an issue this year: McDowell is at No. 152.

Ernie Els has never missed the playoffs. He is at No. 172. One spot behind is Ben Crane, who has never missed the playoffs when he was healthy for a full season.

And then there's Woods, who is No. 202 this week. Woods missed the playoffs in 2011 and 2014 — both injury-plagued seasons — and has only four tournaments left on his schedule before The Barclays.

One other player who needs to get going is Martin Kaymer, who has missed the cut in four of his eight PGA Tour events this year.

GIVE IT UP FOR THE GOOSE: Retief Goosen is a two-time U.S. Open champion who turned 46 in February and is in his sixth straight year without a win.

That doesn't keep him from trying.

Goosen made it through sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, the first year after his 10-year exemption ran out. After a tie for fourth in the BMW International Open in Germany, he went to Final Qualifying in England on Tuesday and earned one of three spots in a playoff.

That sends him to St. Andrews for the fourth time for the British Open. He has a pair of top 10s, though he also won the Dunhill Cup in 1997 and 1998 for South Africa with Ernie Els and David Frost.

"I've walked a good few miles on that course and I love it," Goosen said.

Colin Montgomerie, a runner-up in the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday in California, missed the playoff at Woburn by four shots.

WOUNDED WARRIOR: Chad Pfeifer turned to golf as part of his recovery and healing after he lost his left leg above the knee while serving in Iraq. It has taken him one step below the PGA Tour.

Pfeifer, a retired Army corporal and Idaho native, has been given a sponsor's exemption to play next week in the Albertsons Boise Open on the Web.com Tour. He will be the first veteran amputee to play in an official Web.com Tour event.

Pfeifer, 33, lost his left leg in April 2007 when a roadside bomb blew up a vehicle he was in with members of D Company of the 3rd Airborne Battalion in the 509th Infantry Regiment. Fellow soldier Christian Bagge, who lost both legs in Iraq, encouraged Pfeifer to take up golf during his rehab in San Antonio. Pfeifer played his first 18-hole round 10 months after he lost his leg.

Since then, Pfeifer has won the 2010 National Amputee Golf Championship, along with three wins at the George W. Bush Warrior Open for wounded veterans. He has played Gateway Tour and eGolf Tour events, and he was in "The Big Break: The Palm Beaches, Florida" episode on Golf Channel.

Pfeifer also finished fifth in the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe, which featured Annika Sorenstam.

WORLD OF WOODY: Woody Austin was one shot out of the lead going into the final round of the U.S. Senior Open and closed with a 76. And he let the USGA have it.

Not because Del Paso was too hard. Because it was too easy.

"I don't know if they're upset with the fact that they take the abuse from the young guys when they set up a golf course hard like last week (Chambers Bay), but this golf course could have been incredible," Austin said. "And they set it up way too easy. There's too many guys under par, too many 64s, too many 63s. That's not a U.S. Open."

Austin didn't like the 15th hole playing 535 yards as a par 5. Too easy.

"Sunday is not supposed to play easy. Sunday, you're supposed to see what this golf course is made of," he said. "U.S. Open is supposed to show the teeth on Sunday, and they made this golf course show nothing."

FIRST IMPRESSION: Jack Senior won his first event as a pro last week on the Challenge Tour, though the 26-year-old from England can claim one big feather from his amateur days. He knocked out Jordan Spieth in the quarterfinals of the 2011 U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills.

"My brother caddied for me that week and we both said after we had played him that he will be world No. 1 within seven years. He was that good," Senior said.

Just under four years later, Spieth is the Masters and U.S. Open champion and heads to St. Andrews with a shot at the third leg of the Grand Slam.

He is No. 2 in the world.

"He possesses so much talent and then just doesn't fear anything," Senior said. "I beat him down the last at the U.S. Amateur, then he got me in the Walker Cup, so we are currently 1-1. But he is just such a nice and down-to-earth guy. I know for a fact if I qualify for the Open and see him there, then he will come over and speak to me. That's the kind of person he is."

Senior missed qualifying for St. Andrews by two shots on Tuesday.

DIVOTS: Minjee Lee, the 19-year-old from Perth, moved up to No. 16 in the women's world ranking. She is two spots ahead of her mentor, Karrie Webb, making this the first time since the ranking began in 2006 that Webb wasn't the highest-ranked Australian. ... Now that Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson has a Symetra Tour card, she has pulled out of the Pan American Games. Henderson plans to play on the Symetra Tour that week (July 16-19). "Based on my goals for the year, this is an opportunity I cannot pass up," she said. ... Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is the only player from the top 10 in the FedEx Cup who has not won this year. ... The European Tour said its prize money for 2015 is up 18.5 percent from a year ago, mainly from the addition of seven new tournaments. Total prize money in the Race to Dubai will be about $185 million. ... The second-place finishers in Pablo Larrazabal' s four European Tour victories have been Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie.

STAT OF THE WEEK: With a tie for 25th in the Travelers Championship, Sergio Garcia became the ninth player to surpass $40 million in career PGA Tour earnings.

FINAL WORD: "Legend is used too regularly, in my view, but he is. If there was a Big Four in golf, he'd be part of that." — Colin Montgomerie on Tom Watson.

This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Doug Ferguson

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 11:21 p.m.

Jordan Spieth already has accumulated the second-most FedEx Cup points in the regular season, and there's still two majors, a World Golf Championship and the John Deere Classic on his schedule before the playoffs begin.

Spieth is at 3,128 points. Tiger Woods had 3,431 points going into the playoffs in 2009, the year the current model began. Woods had 3,059 points in 2013, the year he won five times. Spieth has won two majors and the Valspar Championship, and he was runner-up in the Texas Open and Houston Open. And while the PGA Tour is in the second year of its wraparound season, Spieth played only one event last fall. He earned 34 points at the HSBC Champions.

More significant is what's going on at the bottom of the list, and a number of players who risk missing the playoffs for the first time.

Geoff Ogilvy is at No. 128 with a maximum of four tournaments left.

Graeme McDowell has found that his enthusiasm was lacking when he gets to the playoffs, in part because of a long year in the majors and saving himself for the end of the season with his European Tour membership. That might not be an issue this year: McDowell is at No. 152.

Ernie Els has never missed the playoffs. He is at No. 172. One spot behind is Ben Crane, who has never missed the playoffs when he was healthy for a full season.

And then there's Woods, who is No. 202 this week. Woods missed the playoffs in 2011 and 2014 — both injury-plagued seasons — and has only four tournaments left on his schedule before The Barclays.

One other player who needs to get going is Martin Kaymer, who has missed the cut in four of his eight PGA Tour events this year.

GIVE IT UP FOR THE GOOSE: Retief Goosen is a two-time U.S. Open champion who turned 46 in February and is in his sixth straight year without a win.

That doesn't keep him from trying.

Goosen made it through sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, the first year after his 10-year exemption ran out. After a tie for fourth in the BMW International Open in Germany, he went to Final Qualifying in England on Tuesday and earned one of three spots in a playoff.

That sends him to St. Andrews for the fourth time for the British Open. He has a pair of top 10s, though he also won the Dunhill Cup in 1997 and 1998 for South Africa with Ernie Els and David Frost.

"I've walked a good few miles on that course and I love it," Goosen said.

Colin Montgomerie, a runner-up in the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday in California, missed the playoff at Woburn by four shots.

WOUNDED WARRIOR: Chad Pfeifer turned to golf as part of his recovery and healing after he lost his left leg above the knee while serving in Iraq. It has taken him one step below the PGA Tour.

Pfeifer, a retired Army corporal and Idaho native, has been given a sponsor's exemption to play next week in the Albertsons Boise Open on the Web.com Tour. He will be the first veteran amputee to play in an official Web.com Tour event.

Pfeifer, 33, lost his left leg in April 2007 when a roadside bomb blew up a vehicle he was in with members of D Company of the 3rd Airborne Battalion in the 509th Infantry Regiment. Fellow soldier Christian Bagge, who lost both legs in Iraq, encouraged Pfeifer to take up golf during his rehab in San Antonio. Pfeifer played his first 18-hole round 10 months after he lost his leg.

Since then, Pfeifer has won the 2010 National Amputee Golf Championship, along with three wins at the George W. Bush Warrior Open for wounded veterans. He has played Gateway Tour and eGolf Tour events, and he was in "The Big Break: The Palm Beaches, Florida" episode on Golf Channel.

Pfeifer also finished fifth in the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe, which featured Annika Sorenstam.

WORLD OF WOODY: Woody Austin was one shot out of the lead going into the final round of the U.S. Senior Open and closed with a 76. And he let the USGA have it.

Not because Del Paso was too hard. Because it was too easy.

"I don't know if they're upset with the fact that they take the abuse from the young guys when they set up a golf course hard like last week (Chambers Bay), but this golf course could have been incredible," Austin said. "And they set it up way too easy. There's too many guys under par, too many 64s, too many 63s. That's not a U.S. Open."

Austin didn't like the 15th hole playing 535 yards as a par 5. Too easy.

"Sunday is not supposed to play easy. Sunday, you're supposed to see what this golf course is made of," he said. "U.S. Open is supposed to show the teeth on Sunday, and they made this golf course show nothing."

FIRST IMPRESSION: Jack Senior won his first event as a pro last week on the Challenge Tour, though the 26-year-old from England can claim one big feather from his amateur days. He knocked out Jordan Spieth in the quarterfinals of the 2011 U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills.

"My brother caddied for me that week and we both said after we had played him that he will be world No. 1 within seven years. He was that good," Senior said.

Just under four years later, Spieth is the Masters and U.S. Open champion and heads to St. Andrews with a shot at the third leg of the Grand Slam.

He is No. 2 in the world.

"He possesses so much talent and then just doesn't fear anything," Senior said. "I beat him down the last at the U.S. Amateur, then he got me in the Walker Cup, so we are currently 1-1. But he is just such a nice and down-to-earth guy. I know for a fact if I qualify for the Open and see him there, then he will come over and speak to me. That's the kind of person he is."

Senior missed qualifying for St. Andrews by two shots on Tuesday.

DIVOTS: Minjee Lee, the 19-year-old from Perth, moved up to No. 16 in the women's world ranking. She is two spots ahead of her mentor, Karrie Webb, making this the first time since the ranking began in 2006 that Webb wasn't the highest-ranked Australian. ... Now that Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson has a Symetra Tour card, she has pulled out of the Pan American Games. Henderson plans to play on the Symetra Tour that week (July 16-19). "Based on my goals for the year, this is an opportunity I cannot pass up," she said. ... Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is the only player from the top 10 in the FedEx Cup who has not won this year. ... The European Tour said its prize money for 2015 is up 18.5 percent from a year ago, mainly from the addition of seven new tournaments. Total prize money in the Race to Dubai will be about $185 million. ... The second-place finishers in Pablo Larrazabal' s four European Tour victories have been Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie.

STAT OF THE WEEK: With a tie for 25th in the Travelers Championship, Sergio Garcia became the ninth player to surpass $40 million in career PGA Tour earnings.

FINAL WORD: "Legend is used too regularly, in my view, but he is. If there was a Big Four in golf, he'd be part of that." — Colin Montgomerie on Tom Watson.

This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Nike chairman Knight to step down

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike Chairman Phil Knight, who turned a business selling shoes out of the back of his car into the world's most valuable sports brand, has announced plans to step down as company chairman.

Knight, 77, was a middle distance runner in college who began the company in a handshake deal with Oregon coach Bill Bowerman in 1964, with each putting up $500. With shrewd marketing campaigns built around celebrity endorsers like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, he made the swoosh one of the most recognizable logos around the globe.

That phenomenal growth also landed Knight on Forbes magazine's list of 50 richest people in the world, with a net worth estimated at $24 billion.

"For me, Nike has always been more than just a company — it has been my life's passion," Knight said in a statement.

Knight said he wants Nike President and CEO Mark Parker, who has held those positions since 2006, to succeed him. No specific date was set for Knight's departure, though he said he plans to stay involved in the business. Nike Inc. said it expects to name a new chairman in 2016.

Knight sold his first pairs of shoes out of an old Plymouth Valiant while traveling the same Pacific Northwest track circuit on which he once competed. The company was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports, but changed in 1978 to Nike — the winged goddess of victory in Greek mythology — on the advice of a friend.

Knight said at the time, "I don't love it, but it will grow on me."

By 1969, Knight was making enough selling shoes to quit his full-time job as an accountant and devote himself to the footwear company. Two years later, he paid $35 to Carolyn Davidson for the original swoosh logo design now plastered across the uniforms and shoes of athletes from the World Cup to little leagues. Building the brand through shrewd advertising campaigns and top-flight celebrity athlete endorsers like Jordan and Woods, he turned the company into what Forbes called the "most valuable sports brand in the world."

Knight also says he will transfer most of his Nike stock to a limited liability company called Swoosh LLC. The directors of the company will be Knight himself, Parker, and Nike directors Alan Graf and John Donahoe. On Tuesday, Knight said he had transferred 128.5 million shares, or about 15 percent of Nike's total outstanding shares, to Swoosh. Because Knight owns a large amount of Nike's Class A shares, which aren't publicly traded, Swoosh now has the power to elect three-quarters of Nike's board.

Knight says the move will help keep Nike's corporate governance strong.

As of a year ago, Knight owned about 75 percent of Nike's Class A shares and a fraction of a percent of its Class B shares. The Class B shares are currently trading around all-time highs and closed at $108.02 on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Nike said its annual profit grew 22 percent to $3.27 billion and its revenue rose 10 percent to $30.6 billion.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based company also named Knight's son Travis to a spot on the board Tuesday. Travis Knight, 41, is the CEO of animation studio Laika LLC and was producer and lead animator on the movies "ParaNorman" and The Boxtrolls.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Series: Industry News

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 10:10 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike Chairman Phil Knight, who turned a business selling shoes out of the back of his car into the world's most valuable sports brand, has announced plans to step down as company chairman.

Knight, 77, was a middle distance runner in college who began the company in a handshake deal with Oregon coach Bill Bowerman in 1964, with each putting up $500. With shrewd marketing campaigns built around celebrity endorsers like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, he made the swoosh one of the most recognizable logos around the globe.

That phenomenal growth also landed Knight on Forbes magazine's list of 50 richest people in the world, with a net worth estimated at $24 billion.

"For me, Nike has always been more than just a company — it has been my life's passion," Knight said in a statement.

Knight said he wants Nike President and CEO Mark Parker, who has held those positions since 2006, to succeed him. No specific date was set for Knight's departure, though he said he plans to stay involved in the business. Nike Inc. said it expects to name a new chairman in 2016.

Knight sold his first pairs of shoes out of an old Plymouth Valiant while traveling the same Pacific Northwest track circuit on which he once competed. The company was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports, but changed in 1978 to Nike — the winged goddess of victory in Greek mythology — on the advice of a friend.

Knight said at the time, "I don't love it, but it will grow on me."

By 1969, Knight was making enough selling shoes to quit his full-time job as an accountant and devote himself to the footwear company. Two years later, he paid $35 to Carolyn Davidson for the original swoosh logo design now plastered across the uniforms and shoes of athletes from the World Cup to little leagues. Building the brand through shrewd advertising campaigns and top-flight celebrity athlete endorsers like Jordan and Woods, he turned the company into what Forbes called the "most valuable sports brand in the world."

Knight also says he will transfer most of his Nike stock to a limited liability company called Swoosh LLC. The directors of the company will be Knight himself, Parker, and Nike directors Alan Graf and John Donahoe. On Tuesday, Knight said he had transferred 128.5 million shares, or about 15 percent of Nike's total outstanding shares, to Swoosh. Because Knight owns a large amount of Nike's Class A shares, which aren't publicly traded, Swoosh now has the power to elect three-quarters of Nike's board.

Knight says the move will help keep Nike's corporate governance strong.

As of a year ago, Knight owned about 75 percent of Nike's Class A shares and a fraction of a percent of its Class B shares. The Class B shares are currently trading around all-time highs and closed at $108.02 on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Nike said its annual profit grew 22 percent to $3.27 billion and its revenue rose 10 percent to $30.6 billion.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based company also named Knight's son Travis to a spot on the board Tuesday. Travis Knight, 41, is the CEO of animation studio Laika LLC and was producer and lead animator on the movies "ParaNorman" and The Boxtrolls.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Rory-Jordan rivalry: Who's No. 1?

Rory McIlroy
USA Today Sports Images
Rory McIlroy may be ranked No. 1 in the world, but Jordan Spieth is the one with a chance at the Grand Slam.

The No. 1 player in golf already has three wins in 2015, including a World Golf Championship, and he has finished in the top 10 at both majors.

Halfway through the year, however, Rory McIlroy is playing second fiddle.

Remember the hype over McIlroy going for the career Grand Slam at the Masters? That was three months ago, and it seems like a lot longer. The attention has shifted to Jordan Spieth and his bid for an unprecedented sweep of the four majors in the same year. The real Grand Slam.

Arnold Palmer created it. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods pursued it.

And now it falls to a 21-year-old Texan who just three years ago wasn't even a full PGA Tour member.

"We watch the elite athlete. We watch the mental focus and the preparation and the drive to become the best," Bubba Watson said. "That's where he's heading. Who knows if he'll ever become No. 1 in the world, but he's trending in that direction pretty quickly."

For a sport that gets criticized for its pace of play, the turnover is at warp speed.

Tiger Woods ended last year at No. 32 in the world, and he was excited about the direction he was going. He had a new swing consultant and a clean bill of health. He was 15 months removed from a five-win season in which he was voted PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time.

And now it's a wonder anyone recognizes him.

Woods reached the halfway point of the year at No. 220 in the world. He has more rounds in the 80s (three) than the 60s (two). He has fallen so low in the world ranking that for the first time since he was a 20-year-old rookie in 1996, his appearance at The Greenbrier Classic contributes no points toward the strength of field.

Here are some of the highs and lows heading into the second half of the year:

BEST PLAYER: It's hard to argue against the Masters and U.S. Open champion. Spieth went wire-to-wire at Augusta National and tied the 72-hole scoring record set by Woods in 1997. He went birdie-double bogey-birdie at Chambers Bay and won only after Dustin Johnson three-putted from 12 feet. Only five other players dating to 1934 have won the first two majors of the year.

Overlooked is his victory in the Valspar Championship. Spieth got up-and-down for par from a nasty lie on the side of the hill at the 17th, and he got up-and-down from 35 yards on the 18th hole just to get into a playoff. He won on the third extra hole with a 30-foot birdie putt.

Does he have a chance at the Grand Slam? History says no. That short game says maybe.

ON THE RISE: Dustin Johnson has won every season since he joined the PGA Tour, so he never really fell very far. Even so, coming off that mysterious six-month break, golf's most athletic figure seems determined to reach his full potential. He won at Doral on perhaps the toughest course this year that had grass on the greens. He lost in a playoff at Riviera and was a 4-foot birdie putt away from a playoff against Spieth at Chambers Bay.

If he can put the U.S. Open behind him — Johnson has a short memory — he could be a major threat the rest of the year.

SLIDING: At the peak of his game, there were two tours — the Tiger Tour and the PGA Tour. The same applies now.

In the non-Tiger division, this might be a toss-up between Ryder Cup partners Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson. McDowell spoke of his lack of motivation as he adjusts to life with a new daughter. He hasn't finished in the top 25 since January. In his last 10 starts, Dubuisson has missed half his cuts and has not finished better than 20th.

For the second half of the season, keep an eye on Martin Kaymer. He is winless since his U.S. Open title last year and has missed the cut six times in his last nine events.

CLASS OF '11: That would be the high school graduating class of Spieth, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Patrick Rodgers and Ollie Schniederjans. Thomas played in the final group on the week three times during the West Coast swing. Berger lost in a playoff at the Honda Classic. Rodgers won on the Web.com Tour, challenged McIlroy at Quail Hollow and now has partial PGA Tour membership. Schniederjans, No. 1 in the amateur world ranking last year, will turn pro after the British Open.

Four of them — Rodgers was not there — played a practice round at Innisbrook in March. They began asking who was the youngest. It was Spieth.

BEST FINISH: Rickie Fowler went eagle-birdie-birdie to get into a three-man playoff at The Players Championship. He played the island-green three times on Sunday and took a total of six strokes.

BEST SHOT: Spieth's flop shot off a tight lie above the 18th green in the third round at the Masters. It turned bogey at best into a par and gave him a four-shot lead going into the final round.

This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Doug Ferguson

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 8:41 p.m.

The No. 1 player in golf already has three wins in 2015, including a World Golf Championship, and he has finished in the top 10 at both majors.

Halfway through the year, however, Rory McIlroy is playing second fiddle.

Remember the hype over McIlroy going for the career Grand Slam at the Masters? That was three months ago, and it seems like a lot longer. The attention has shifted to Jordan Spieth and his bid for an unprecedented sweep of the four majors in the same year. The real Grand Slam.

Arnold Palmer created it. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods pursued it.

And now it falls to a 21-year-old Texan who just three years ago wasn't even a full PGA Tour member.

"We watch the elite athlete. We watch the mental focus and the preparation and the drive to become the best," Bubba Watson said. "That's where he's heading. Who knows if he'll ever become No. 1 in the world, but he's trending in that direction pretty quickly."

For a sport that gets criticized for its pace of play, the turnover is at warp speed.

Tiger Woods ended last year at No. 32 in the world, and he was excited about the direction he was going. He had a new swing consultant and a clean bill of health. He was 15 months removed from a five-win season in which he was voted PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time.

And now it's a wonder anyone recognizes him.

Woods reached the halfway point of the year at No. 220 in the world. He has more rounds in the 80s (three) than the 60s (two). He has fallen so low in the world ranking that for the first time since he was a 20-year-old rookie in 1996, his appearance at The Greenbrier Classic contributes no points toward the strength of field.

Here are some of the highs and lows heading into the second half of the year:

BEST PLAYER: It's hard to argue against the Masters and U.S. Open champion. Spieth went wire-to-wire at Augusta National and tied the 72-hole scoring record set by Woods in 1997. He went birdie-double bogey-birdie at Chambers Bay and won only after Dustin Johnson three-putted from 12 feet. Only five other players dating to 1934 have won the first two majors of the year.

Overlooked is his victory in the Valspar Championship. Spieth got up-and-down for par from a nasty lie on the side of the hill at the 17th, and he got up-and-down from 35 yards on the 18th hole just to get into a playoff. He won on the third extra hole with a 30-foot birdie putt.

Does he have a chance at the Grand Slam? History says no. That short game says maybe.

ON THE RISE: Dustin Johnson has won every season since he joined the PGA Tour, so he never really fell very far. Even so, coming off that mysterious six-month break, golf's most athletic figure seems determined to reach his full potential. He won at Doral on perhaps the toughest course this year that had grass on the greens. He lost in a playoff at Riviera and was a 4-foot birdie putt away from a playoff against Spieth at Chambers Bay.

If he can put the U.S. Open behind him — Johnson has a short memory — he could be a major threat the rest of the year.

SLIDING: At the peak of his game, there were two tours — the Tiger Tour and the PGA Tour. The same applies now.

In the non-Tiger division, this might be a toss-up between Ryder Cup partners Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson. McDowell spoke of his lack of motivation as he adjusts to life with a new daughter. He hasn't finished in the top 25 since January. In his last 10 starts, Dubuisson has missed half his cuts and has not finished better than 20th.

For the second half of the season, keep an eye on Martin Kaymer. He is winless since his U.S. Open title last year and has missed the cut six times in his last nine events.

CLASS OF '11: That would be the high school graduating class of Spieth, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Patrick Rodgers and Ollie Schniederjans. Thomas played in the final group on the week three times during the West Coast swing. Berger lost in a playoff at the Honda Classic. Rodgers won on the Web.com Tour, challenged McIlroy at Quail Hollow and now has partial PGA Tour membership. Schniederjans, No. 1 in the amateur world ranking last year, will turn pro after the British Open.

Four of them — Rodgers was not there — played a practice round at Innisbrook in March. They began asking who was the youngest. It was Spieth.

BEST FINISH: Rickie Fowler went eagle-birdie-birdie to get into a three-man playoff at The Players Championship. He played the island-green three times on Sunday and took a total of six strokes.

BEST SHOT: Spieth's flop shot off a tight lie above the 18th green in the third round at the Masters. It turned bogey at best into a par and gave him a four-shot lead going into the final round.

This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Colorado course enlarges hole sizes

PUEBLO, Colo. -- The singular goal in golf is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible.

Elmwood Golf Course head professional Randal Bregar and his staff just made that a bit easier.

Beginning this weekend, on Saturdays and Sundays only, Elmwood will cut 8-inch golf holes on the greens of the Short Nine. That's nearly twice the size of the traditional 4-inch cup.

"The USGA and the PGA of America are trying different ways to make the game a little bit easier and a little bit more fun," Bregar said. "Golf rounds nationwide are down and the interest doesn't seem to be there like it has been in the past. Hopefully, some of these ideas that courses like ours are trying will spark some interest in golf.

"Golf's a hard game. But it's a really enjoyable game. By making it a little easier, people will have more fun and play more."

Bregar said that the Elmwood grounds crew already has cut the bigger cups for a trial run and the reviews have been positive.

"We've done it on the practice green with our junior golfers and they love it," Bregar said.

Elmwood's staff will replace the bigger cups with the regulation cups during the week to accommodate golf leagues, Bregar said.

As for the coveted ace, or hole in one, it will be easier than ever.

"But it won't really count as an official hole in one, when you get your name in the paper, because only those hit in the regular cups count for those," Bregar said.

Elmwood also experimented with 15-inch cups, but will only cut those in the fairways.

[wide_pga_shop]

"Our greens on the Short Nine are too small and it takes a good week-plus for greens to heal when you change pin placements," Bregar said. "If we moved 15-inch holes around every week we'd run out of green space real quick."

The 15-holes, Bregar said, will be part of a new game -- foot golf.

"You get a soccer ball or a kickball and you start at the tee box and kick it until you get it in the 15-hole, which will be in the fairway but near the greens," Bregar said. "We haven't started that program yet because there are some logistical things we have to take care of through the city. But the courses that allow foot golf now are getting rave reviews."

Bregar said rounds at Elmwood this season are roughly the same as a year ago.

"We started the year really strong and were up, but then the rains came in April and May and that cut down play," he said. "Our rounds in 2014 were down from 2013, which was a tough year.

"There aren't many juniors playing right now; we are definitely in a down cycle for junior golf. Maybe this will help."

Elmwood will participate in the USGA's Play9 campaign on July 29.

"We're partnering with the (Colorado Golf Association) and that will be a family day for us," Bregar said. "The USGA and PGA are both pushing for more nine-hole players and this is an effort to publicize playing nine holes at a time."

According to the USGA, 30 percent of public courses in the U.S., are nine holes and 90 percent of public courses offer nine-hole rates. The organizations are extolling the virtues of less time and money spent playing while being able to use nine-hole scores toward handicaps.

Bregar said posting scores using the 8-inch holes also is incorrect.

"The bigger holes are simply to make the game more fun," he said.

This article was written by Joe E. Cervi from The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Joe E. Cervi

Series: News Feature

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 3:03 p.m.

PUEBLO, Colo. -- The singular goal in golf is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible.

Elmwood Golf Course head professional Randal Bregar and his staff just made that a bit easier.

Beginning this weekend, on Saturdays and Sundays only, Elmwood will cut 8-inch golf holes on the greens of the Short Nine. That's nearly twice the size of the traditional 4-inch cup.

"The USGA and the PGA of America are trying different ways to make the game a little bit easier and a little bit more fun," Bregar said. "Golf rounds nationwide are down and the interest doesn't seem to be there like it has been in the past. Hopefully, some of these ideas that courses like ours are trying will spark some interest in golf.

"Golf's a hard game. But it's a really enjoyable game. By making it a little easier, people will have more fun and play more."

Bregar said that the Elmwood grounds crew already has cut the bigger cups for a trial run and the reviews have been positive.

"We've done it on the practice green with our junior golfers and they love it," Bregar said.

Elmwood's staff will replace the bigger cups with the regulation cups during the week to accommodate golf leagues, Bregar said.

As for the coveted ace, or hole in one, it will be easier than ever.

"But it won't really count as an official hole in one, when you get your name in the paper, because only those hit in the regular cups count for those," Bregar said.

Elmwood also experimented with 15-inch cups, but will only cut those in the fairways.

"Our greens on the Short Nine are too small and it takes a good week-plus for greens to heal when you change pin placements," Bregar said. "If we moved 15-inch holes around every week we'd run out of green space real quick."

The 15-holes, Bregar said, will be part of a new game -- foot golf.

"You get a soccer ball or a kickball and you start at the tee box and kick it until you get it in the 15-hole, which will be in the fairway but near the greens," Bregar said. "We haven't started that program yet because there are some logistical things we have to take care of through the city. But the courses that allow foot golf now are getting rave reviews."

Bregar said rounds at Elmwood this season are roughly the same as a year ago.

"We started the year really strong and were up, but then the rains came in April and May and that cut down play," he said. "Our rounds in 2014 were down from 2013, which was a tough year.

"There aren't many juniors playing right now; we are definitely in a down cycle for junior golf. Maybe this will help."

Elmwood will participate in the USGA's Play9 campaign on July 29.

"We're partnering with the (Colorado Golf Association) and that will be a family day for us," Bregar said. "The USGA and PGA are both pushing for more nine-hole players and this is an effort to publicize playing nine holes at a time."

According to the USGA, 30 percent of public courses in the U.S., are nine holes and 90 percent of public courses offer nine-hole rates. The organizations are extolling the virtues of less time and money spent playing while being able to use nine-hole scores toward handicaps.

Bregar said posting scores using the 8-inch holes also is incorrect.

"The bigger holes are simply to make the game more fun," he said.

This article was written by Joe E. Cervi from The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Doppler radar aids golf instruction

CRYSTAL LAKE, Pa. -- The views from behind the teeing areas at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay gave fans a unique look at the flight of the ball of 156 of the top players in the world, the orange ribbon tracing the path onto the our televisions.

Now, that same technology is available locally. But instead of just tracking the flight of the ball, the FlightScope in use at Elkview Country Club gives players a chance to improve their game, as professionals like Corey McAlarney can use the 3-D Doppler technology to take an in-depth look at every aspect of the swing.

"It tracks 27 different parameters between ball and club data," said McAlarney, who is in his first year as assistant pro at Elkview. "It's going to track clubface relative to the angle of attack, vertical swing plane, horizontal swing plane."

Most importantly, it does something else.

"The main goal for the FlightScope and this technology is to get our students better, faster," McAlarney said "It's a big advantage to have a 3-D Doppler radar."

Accurate to 12 inches at 100 yards, FlightScope instantly sends the information to McAlarney's tablet.

With former girls Jackman Tournament champion Katie Zefran there to be fitted for new clubs, he takes that information to make sure she's getting the perfect fit.

"She's a good golfer, a competitive golfer, so it's important at her level to do this," McAlarney said. "We want to make sure she's in the right fit.

"The lie angle, the loft of the golf club, the flex of the club, weight, grip size and weight and the frequency of the golf club, as well as balance from butt end to head end. All of it has an effect on whether it's going to perform right for her."

It's technology that a few years ago would have forced players to make a long trip for such precise and helpful information.

PENNSYLVANIA: PGA National Championship in Philly | Photos

"I would have expected to go to Pinehurst or a Hank Haney School to get this," Zefran said. "It's a amazing where technology has come and how it can improve the accuracy of your swing and your golf game with just a few slight adjustments, which you would never know, unless you had this technology.

"To have this technology at Elkview, it's amazing."

Besides club fitting, the FlightScope will diagnose problems instantaneously.

"It's good information for me," McAlarney said. "It's my job to take it and put it into basic terms.

"Click of a couple buttons, Katie can have all the data she needs to look at. Again, with all the information this gives, I try not to give out too much to the student because it can be very overwhelming."

Typically, McAlarney will hone in on three numbers.

"If you start looking at all 27," he said, "you can confuse yourself."

That's why McAlarney takes the high-tech info and keeps it simple. And that's why it's such a popular teaching tool.

"We've had very positive feedback," McAlarney said. "Number one, it's something new to the club, new technology. They're intrigued, so they want to come out and see it, and find out the benefits of it.

"Which is nice. You can get them in front of it and get them to improve more quickly."

This article was written by Marty Myers from The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Marty Myers

Series: News Feature

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 1:51 p.m.

CRYSTAL LAKE, Pa. -- The views from behind the teeing areas at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay gave fans a unique look at the flight of the ball of 156 of the top players in the world, the orange ribbon tracing the path onto the our televisions.

Now, that same technology is available locally. But instead of just tracking the flight of the ball, the FlightScope in use at Elkview Country Club gives players a chance to improve their game, as professionals like Corey McAlarney can use the 3-D Doppler technology to take an in-depth look at every aspect of the swing.

"It tracks 27 different parameters between ball and club data," said McAlarney, who is in his first year as assistant pro at Elkview. "It's going to track clubface relative to the angle of attack, vertical swing plane, horizontal swing plane."

Most importantly, it does something else.

"The main goal for the FlightScope and this technology is to get our students better, faster," McAlarney said "It's a big advantage to have a 3-D Doppler radar."

Accurate to 12 inches at 100 yards, FlightScope instantly sends the information to McAlarney's tablet.

With former girls Jackman Tournament champion Katie Zefran there to be fitted for new clubs, he takes that information to make sure she's getting the perfect fit.

"She's a good golfer, a competitive golfer, so it's important at her level to do this," McAlarney said. "We want to make sure she's in the right fit.

"The lie angle, the loft of the golf club, the flex of the club, weight, grip size and weight and the frequency of the golf club, as well as balance from butt end to head end. All of it has an effect on whether it's going to perform right for her."

It's technology that a few years ago would have forced players to make a long trip for such precise and helpful information.

PENNSYLVANIA: PGA National Championship in Philly | Photos

"I would have expected to go to Pinehurst or a Hank Haney School to get this," Zefran said. "It's a amazing where technology has come and how it can improve the accuracy of your swing and your golf game with just a few slight adjustments, which you would never know, unless you had this technology.

"To have this technology at Elkview, it's amazing."

Besides club fitting, the FlightScope will diagnose problems instantaneously.

"It's good information for me," McAlarney said. "It's my job to take it and put it into basic terms.

"Click of a couple buttons, Katie can have all the data she needs to look at. Again, with all the information this gives, I try not to give out too much to the student because it can be very overwhelming."

Typically, McAlarney will hone in on three numbers.

"If you start looking at all 27," he said, "you can confuse yourself."

That's why McAlarney takes the high-tech info and keeps it simple. And that's why it's such a popular teaching tool.

"We've had very positive feedback," McAlarney said. "Number one, it's something new to the club, new technology. They're intrigued, so they want to come out and see it, and find out the benefits of it.

"Which is nice. You can get them in front of it and get them to improve more quickly."

This article was written by Marty Myers from The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Refreshed Oosthuizen ready for rebound

Louis Oosthuizen
USA Today Sports Images
Oosthuizen, despite missing the cut last weekend at the Travelers Championship, believes he is playing well enough to claim his second PGA Tour victory this weekend.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ten days ago, Louis Oosthuizen finished off a spectacular round at Chambers Bay in University Park, Wash. His 3-under-par 67 in the final round of the U.S. Open included six birdies over the final seven holes, rounding out a 29 on the back nine. He finished 4-under-par for the tournament, tied for second, just one shot behind Jordan Spieth.

He set a U.S. Open record with a 54-hole score of 199 but fell one shot short of overcoming a poor start in the opening round, when he carded a 77.

"It was obviously a really tough week on everyone," said Oosthuizen of the much-criticized course at Chambers Bay. "Mentally and physically, it was probably the longest walk, by far, for the year out on a golf course."

Two weeks from now, Oosthuizen will be at St. Andrews, looking to capture the same magic that led to a British Open championship at that same course in 2010.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to St. Andrews," he admitted. "I always enjoy playing there. It's probably my favorite golf course in the world."

So with one monumental moment fading in the rearview mirror and another in the distance out the front windshield, where is the 32-year-old South African's focus this week as he prepares for his second Greenbrier Classic after finishing tied for 17th in 2013?

"Once tournament week starts on Thursday, you forget about the Open in two weeks time," said the No. 18 player in the world Tuesday. "You're playing this week and trying to win this week. You take it as it comes, one shot at a time, and hopefully maintain the focus and do well."

MORE: Auclair's 5 to watch at the Greenbrier | Oosthuizen lands UPS Jet 

Oosthuizen said his game is in great shape, despite missing the cut last week at the Travelers Championship -- a performance he pegged largely on the exhaustion from Chambers Bay -- and he's confident he's prepared both mentally and physically to have a good week at The Greenbrier.

"I like the golf course," he said. "I finished (T17) here last time, and I didn't putt well that week. It's a nice spot for me to come back to, and I feel the game is there to have a good week."

Oosthuizen has his family -- wife Nel-Mare and children Jana (6), Sophia (3) and Emma (2) -- with him this week, and he's excited about all there is to do at The Greenbrier.

"I might go and try and fish a bit this week," he said, admitting that he didn't take in any of the many off-course activities The Greenbrier has to offer last year. "We've got the two concerts, which my wife is really looking forward to. So I'm going with."

Oosthuizen said he's a big country music fan, so the lineup of Keith Urban, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton fits his taste perfectly.

Oosthuizen has just one PGA Tour victory, but he's won seven times on the European Tour and nearly took the 2012 Masters, losing to The Greenbrier's own Bubba Watson in a playoff. He shot four rounds in the 60s -- 67, 68, 69 and 69 -- during his last trip to The Old White TPC.

This article was written by Cam Huffman from The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Cam Huffman

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 9:00 a.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Ten days ago, Louis Oosthuizen finished off a spectacular round at Chambers Bay in University Park, Wash. His 3-under-par 67 in the final round of the U.S. Open included six birdies over the final seven holes, rounding out a 29 on the back nine. He finished 4-under-par for the tournament, tied for second, just one shot behind Jordan Spieth.

He set a U.S. Open record with a 54-hole score of 199 but fell one shot short of overcoming a poor start in the opening round, when he carded a 77.

"It was obviously a really tough week on everyone," said Oosthuizen of the much-criticized course at Chambers Bay. "Mentally and physically, it was probably the longest walk, by far, for the year out on a golf course."

Two weeks from now, Oosthuizen will be at St. Andrews, looking to capture the same magic that led to a British Open championship at that same course in 2010.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to St. Andrews," he admitted. "I always enjoy playing there. It's probably my favorite golf course in the world."

So with one monumental moment fading in the rearview mirror and another in the distance out the front windshield, where is the 32-year-old South African's focus this week as he prepares for his second Greenbrier Classic after finishing tied for 17th in 2013?

"Once tournament week starts on Thursday, you forget about the Open in two weeks time," said the No. 18 player in the world Tuesday. "You're playing this week and trying to win this week. You take it as it comes, one shot at a time, and hopefully maintain the focus and do well."

MORE: Auclair's 5 to watch at the Greenbrier | Oosthuizen lands UPS Jet 

Oosthuizen said his game is in great shape, despite missing the cut last week at the Travelers Championship -- a performance he pegged largely on the exhaustion from Chambers Bay -- and he's confident he's prepared both mentally and physically to have a good week at The Greenbrier.

"I like the golf course," he said. "I finished (T17) here last time, and I didn't putt well that week. It's a nice spot for me to come back to, and I feel the game is there to have a good week."

Oosthuizen has his family -- wife Nel-Mare and children Jana (6), Sophia (3) and Emma (2) -- with him this week, and he's excited about all there is to do at The Greenbrier.

"I might go and try and fish a bit this week," he said, admitting that he didn't take in any of the many off-course activities The Greenbrier has to offer last year. "We've got the two concerts, which my wife is really looking forward to. So I'm going with."

Oosthuizen said he's a big country music fan, so the lineup of Keith Urban, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton fits his taste perfectly.

Oosthuizen has just one PGA Tour victory, but he's won seven times on the European Tour and nearly took the 2012 Masters, losing to The Greenbrier's own Bubba Watson in a playoff. He shot four rounds in the 60s -- 67, 68, 69 and 69 -- during his last trip to The Old White TPC.

This article was written by Cam Huffman from The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Trevino proposes senior amateur event

Lee Trevino
USA Today Sports Images
Lee Trevino won six majors in his career and serves as a pro emeritus at The Greenbrier, host of this weekend's Greenbrier Classic.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Whether he's joking or not, Lee Trevino said he has never been to a golf tournament he didn't play in. And this week at the Greenbrier Classic, he says his role is to "sit in Jim Justice's skybox."

But The Greenbrier's pro emeritus plans to leave his mark on the resort's ever-growing golf portfolio.

He said Monday he wants to start a Lee Trevino Amateur Championship, a national tournament for senior players. He is thinking of dividing the event by age groups -- 55-62, 63-70 and 70-and-over, with gross and net divisions.

He would use the Old White TPC and the Greenbrier course on the first two days, cut the field and play the third and final round back on the Old White. He is thinking of a June event, a few weeks before the Classic.

"It's in the beginning stages," he said. "I think I can assemble about 120 players here. It would be wonderful, because these seniors that play amateur golf, they're actually the backbone [of the sport].

"If you really look at golf, the backbone of golf are people who are people that are amateurs. They're the ones that support it, pay for it and promote it. I don't think we do enough for the seniors over 70 and in the 60s, over 55. I'd like to do that here. I think I got Mr. Justice's blessing on it."

GREENBRIER: Good news, bad news | Legends planning new layout

Then he joked again and said, "I haven't even talked to him about it. He will see this, hopefully."

At age 75, Trevino was delighted to interact with players two or three generations removed. He also was eager to see Tiger Woods again, even if Woods is struggling these days.

"It's good to see Tiger. I haven't seen him in a long, long time. He's the only guy that actually made me turn on the television when I got home from practicing or playing -- 'What did Tiger shoot?'

"He's having a little hard time. He'll work out of it. He's Tiger Woods. He's won 14 majors and he's a great player."

Trevino continues to lob bouquets at his new home, the resort and the state of West Virginia.

"I'm loving this place. I've been here a month and it feels like I've been here an hour. It's gorgeous," he said.

This article was written by Doug Smock from The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Doug Smock

Series: News Feature

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 1:13 a.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Whether he's joking or not, Lee Trevino said he has never been to a golf tournament he didn't play in. And this week at the Greenbrier Classic, he says his role is to "sit in Jim Justice's skybox."

But The Greenbrier's pro emeritus plans to leave his mark on the resort's ever-growing golf portfolio.

He said Monday he wants to start a Lee Trevino Amateur Championship, a national tournament for senior players. He is thinking of dividing the event by age groups -- 55-62, 63-70 and 70-and-over, with gross and net divisions.

He would use the Old White TPC and the Greenbrier course on the first two days, cut the field and play the third and final round back on the Old White. He is thinking of a June event, a few weeks before the Classic.

"It's in the beginning stages," he said. "I think I can assemble about 120 players here. It would be wonderful, because these seniors that play amateur golf, they're actually the backbone .

"If you really look at golf, the backbone of golf are people who are people that are amateurs. They're the ones that support it, pay for it and promote it. I don't think we do enough for the seniors over 70 and in the 60s, over 55. I'd like to do that here. I think I got Mr. Justice's blessing on it."

GREENBRIER: Good news, bad news | Legends planning new layout

Then he joked again and said, "I haven't even talked to him about it. He will see this, hopefully."

At age 75, Trevino was delighted to interact with players two or three generations removed. He also was eager to see Tiger Woods again, even if Woods is struggling these days.

"It's good to see Tiger. I haven't seen him in a long, long time. He's the only guy that actually made me turn on the television when I got home from practicing or playing -- 'What did Tiger shoot?'

"He's having a little hard time. He'll work out of it. He's Tiger Woods. He's won 14 majors and he's a great player."

Trevino continues to lob bouquets at his new home, the resort and the state of West Virginia.

"I'm loving this place. I've been here a month and it feels like I've been here an hour. It's gorgeous," he said.

This article was written by Doug Smock from The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Oosterhuis has early onset Alzheimer's

Former British golfer and CBS analyst Peter Oosterhuis says he has early onset Alzheimer's disease.

The 67-year-old Oosterhuis went public with the news in Golf World's digital magazine Monday with hopes it can bring attention and raise money toward finding a cure.

Oosterhuis is a six-time Ryder Cup player from England who became part of the golf broadcast team for CBS Sports. He announced in January he was stepping away from television work.

He first disclosed his diagnosis at a fundraiser last month at Pebble Beach for the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Houston Methodist Neurological Center. It was founded in 2011 by CBS Sports host Jim Nantz, whose father was afflicted with Alzheimer's for 13 years before he died in 2008.

Oosterhuis says he had been aware of some memory loss affecting his work on CBS and Golf Channel.

"Maybe in the course of my commentary, I wasn't giving a lot of information like I used to. I would just talk about what's on the screen," he said. "But I didn't feel like I had those things ready in my mind to call on to make a point like I used to."

He said a neurologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, diagnosed him last July, and for several months, Oosterhuis and wife Roothie chose to tell no one. His wife says going public at the Pebble Beach fundraiser was important for both of them.

"It gave us a chance to say goodbye to everybody in a beautiful way, and it gave us the new focus of being part of Jim's incredible effort," Roothie Oosterhuis said. "As human beings, it took awhile to come back to ourselves. But now, even though we don't like the cards we were dealt, we are ready to play them. Because we are basically happy people, and we can still have happiness."

Oosterhuis was tall for his time at 6-foot-5 with an elegant swing. He won seven times on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour. He lost in a playoff in the 1974 Monsanto Open to Lee Elder, a victory that led Elder to become the first black to compete in the Masters.

Oosterhuis had a 14-11-3 record in the Ryder Cup, a remarkable achievement considering he never played on a winning team.

By
The Associated Press

Series: European Tour

Published: Monday, June 29, 2015 | 9:14 p.m.

Former British golfer and CBS analyst Peter Oosterhuis says he has early onset Alzheimer's disease.

The 67-year-old Oosterhuis went public with the news in Golf World's digital magazine Monday with hopes it can bring attention and raise money toward finding a cure.

Oosterhuis is a six-time Ryder Cup player from England who became part of the golf broadcast team for CBS Sports. He announced in January he was stepping away from television work.

He first disclosed his diagnosis at a fundraiser last month at Pebble Beach for the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Houston Methodist Neurological Center. It was founded in 2011 by CBS Sports host Jim Nantz, whose father was afflicted with Alzheimer's for 13 years before he died in 2008.

Oosterhuis says he had been aware of some memory loss affecting his work on CBS and Golf Channel.

"Maybe in the course of my commentary, I wasn't giving a lot of information like I used to. I would just talk about what's on the screen," he said. "But I didn't feel like I had those things ready in my mind to call on to make a point like I used to."

He said a neurologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, diagnosed him last July, and for several months, Oosterhuis and wife Roothie chose to tell no one. His wife says going public at the Pebble Beach fundraiser was important for both of them.

"It gave us a chance to say goodbye to everybody in a beautiful way, and it gave us the new focus of being part of Jim's incredible effort," Roothie Oosterhuis said. "As human beings, it took awhile to come back to ourselves. But now, even though we don't like the cards we were dealt, we are ready to play them. Because we are basically happy people, and we can still have happiness."

Oosterhuis was tall for his time at 6-foot-5 with an elegant swing. He won seven times on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour. He lost in a playoff in the 1974 Monsanto Open to Lee Elder, a victory that led Elder to become the first black to compete in the Masters.

Oosterhuis had a 14-11-3 record in the Ryder Cup, a remarkable achievement considering he never played on a winning team.


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