December 4, 2014 - 9:12am
mark.aumann's picture
Dennis Grall
Contributed photo/Dennis Grall
Retired sports editor Dennis Grall tees off at Hawaii's Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in September, completing his 50-state golf adventure.

Many people have the dream of visiting all 50 United States. Dennis Grall has done that one better. He's played golf in them all.

When longtime sports editor Grall stepped up to the first tee at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in September, he completed his personal quest to play a round of golf in all 50 states, something that hadn't even crossed his mind until a chance meeting with another sports writer in September of 2010.

HOT WHEELS: Golf cart hits 118.76 mph at dragway

At the time, Grall was working for the Escanaba (Mich.) Daily Press and on a golf outing to three of the outstanding courses in the Upper Peninsula: Sweetgrass, TimberStone and Greywalls.

"We got done playing that day in Iron Mountain, and one of the guys told us this was the 600th golf course he had played," Grall said. "So that weekend, my wife and I were driving down to Milwaukee to visit my son, and while she was falling asleep, I started counting golf courses that I had played. And I came up with about 240 off the top of my head. And then I wondered, how many states have I played in? I came up with 35.

"Only 15 away from 50? That's doable."

Grall had traveled extensively during his time in newspapers and had visited 50 states seven years before he got the idea of playing golf in all of them. And so this new quest began in earnest.

When Grall retired two years later, he and his wife visited New England – with golf clubs in tow.

THAT'S INCREDIBLE: The most insane 3-foot putt you'll ever see

"We were gone for 15 days, four of those for travel," Grall said. "In those other 11 days, I played golf in eight states, went to three baseball games, went to Valley Forge, went to the U.S. Open tennis tournament and visited two guys I knew from my days in Vietnam. So I knocked off eight right then."

Grall was missing several Southwestern states, but turned a Vietnam veterans reunion trip into another golf excursion.

"The reunion was in Nashville," Grall said. "Well, my wife had a friend she hadn't seen since seventh grade in Austin. I said, 'Well, that's close to Nashville and I can play golf in Texas with her husband.'

"And my brother lives in Colorado Springs and I said, 'That's close to Austin,' so I went from Nashville to Austin to Oklahoma and cut across to Tucumcari, N.M., then to Colorado Springs. Then we stopped in Wildhorse Golf Course in Gothenburg, Neb., so I could cross that one off as well."

Eventually, Grall narrowed his "to golf at" list down to one state: Hawaii.

"We were in Hawaii in 1972 but I didn't start playing golf until 1974," Grall said. "So I decided to make Hawaii the 50th state. I was in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, and so I decided to play that round at the Marine Corps Base on Oahu to bring it all together."

HALFTIME SHOW: Steve Stricker hits wedges at Camp Randall Stadium

Not surprisingly, many of the stops were memorable. While visiting Alaska for a cruise, Grall played at North Star Golf Course in Fairbanks, where he had a 9:00 p.m. tee time on June 10. He's played Furnace Creek in Death Valley, Calif., at some 240 feet below sea level. And he's braved Breckenridge Golf Course in Colorado, at some 9,600 feet in elevation.

He might also be the only person to have played all 54 Upper Peninsula courses, a feat that might never be equaled since five of those have closed.

And his wanderlust isn't just related to golf. Grall has been to all but three Major League baseball stadiums. He's only missing Miami, Oakland and San Diego.

Grall said the first golf course he played was Pine Grove Country Club in Iron Mountain, Mich., in 1974. The best course he's played is Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., site of the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA championships and the 2020 Ryder Cup. His favorite course is TimberStone Golf Course in Iron Mountain, Mich. He's a member at Escanaba Country Club and carries an 11.6 handicap.

Here's a list of the first -- or favorite -- course Grall has played in each of the 50 states:

  • Alabama - Kiva Dunes, Gulf Shores
  • Alaska - North Star Golf Club, Fairbanks
  • Arizona - Sun City South, Sun City
  • Arkansas - Cooper's Hawk, Melbourne
  • California - Furnace Creek, Death Valley
  • Colorado - Breckenridge G.C., Breckenridge
  • Connecticut - Pequot Golf Course, Stonington
  • Delaware - Ed Oliver Golf Course, Wilmington
  • Florida - Slammer & Squire, St. Augustine
  • Georgia - White Path, Ellijay
  • Hawaii - Kaneohe Klipper USMC, Oahu
  • Idaho - Coeur d' Alene Golf Course, Coeur d' Alene
  • Illinois - Thunderhawk Golf Course, Zion
  • Indiana - Fort Harrison, Indianapolis
  • Iowa - Bent Tree, Council Bluff
  • Kansas - Sugar Hills Golf Club, Goodland
  • Kentucky - Kenny Perry's Country Creek, Franklin
  • Louisiana - Royal Golf Club, Slidell
  • Maine - Cape Neddick Country Club. Ogunquit
  • Maryland - VFW Country Club, Frederick
  • Massachusetts - Donnybrook Country Club, Lanesborough
  • Michigan - TimberStone Golf Course, Iron Mountain
  • Minnesota - Minehaha Golf Course, Minneapolis
  • Mississippi - River Bend Links, Tunica
  • Missouri - Payne Stewart Golf Club, Branson
  • Montana - Overland Golf Course, Big Timber
  • Nebraska - The Prairie Club, Valentine
  • Nevada - Revere Country Club, Henderson
  • New Hampshire - Carter Golf Club, Lebanon
  • New Jersey - The Links at Brigantine Beach, Atlantic City
  • New Mexico - Tucumcari Golf Course, Tucumcari
  • New York - Burden Lake Country Club, Averill Park
  • North Carolina - Brunswick Plantation, Calabash
  • North Dakota - Bully Pulpit Golf Course, Medora
  • Ohio - White Pines Golf Course, Swanton
  • Oklahoma - Lake Murray State Park, Ardmore
  • Oregon - Langdon Farms Golf Course, Portland
  • Pennsylvania - Springfield Country Club, Springfield
  • Rhode Island - Wood River Golf, Hope Valley
  • South Carolina - TPC, Myrtle Beach
  • South Dakota - Willow Run Golf Course, Sioux Falls
  • Tennessee - Gaylord Springs, Nashville
  • Texas - Lakeway Country Club, Austin
  • Utah - Moab Golf Course, Moab
  • Vermont - Catamount Golf Club, Williston
  • Virginia - Golden Horseshoe, Williamsburg
  • Washington - Horn Rapids Golf Club, Richland
  • West Virginia - Hidden Valley Country Club, Point Pleasant
  • Wisconsin - Whistling Straits, Haven
  • Wyoming - Kingham Prairie View Golf Course, Cheyene 

 

Man tackles 50-state golf goal
December 3, 2014 - 10:29pm
john.holmes's picture
Trevor Consavage
Brittany Lincicome via Instagram
Not every trick shot attempt goes off as planned, as Trevor Consavage and Brandon Day proved.
Here at PGA.com, we like to show you cool trick shot videos whenever we can. Some of them are cool, others are downright amazing.
 
Many of them, you no doubt are aware, are the final product of multiple tries and fails. But thanks to LPGA Tour player Brittany Lincicome, we got to see one of those attempts that will be more at home in a gag reel than a highlight package.
 
 
Lincicome was hanging out with trick-shot artist Trevor Consavage and a brave/crazy fellow golfer named Brandon Day. We featured Consavage here in the Buzz last February, when he got Boston Red Sox slugger with the old exploding ball trick.
 
On this day, however, the guys were were working on a trick in which Day would spit a ball out of his mouth and Consavage would hit it out of mid-air. This particular attempt, however, went painfully wrong. Take a look:
 
 

New trick shot @trevorconsavage was learning LOL. Poor @brandontdayday #fail

A video posted by Brittany (@brittany1golf) on

 
I'm not sure if the guys ever got this trick down pat. But, as Lincicome shows us in the video posted below, they did pull off another impressive trick:
 
Face it, this trick shot is a headache
Jack Nicklaus
Getty Images
Jack Nicklaus will join Arnold Palmer as the only golfers to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
 
Legislation authorizing the award for Nicklaus cleared Congress late Monday and now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama. 
 
Nicklaus says he's humbled and honored to be among those who've been awarded the medal. Past recipients include Rosa Parks, Robert Frost, Joe Louis and Neil Armstrong. 
 
Nicklaus was born and raised in Ohio near Columbus. He won a record 18 major golf championships during his career. 
 
He says golf has allowed him and his wife Barbara to found the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation and to help others in need. 
 
Nicklaus received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. He and Arnold Palmer are the only golfers to get both awards, as Palmer received the Gold Medal in 2012
 
The Associated Press contributed this report.
 
 
Jack Nicklaus to receive Congressional Gold Medal
December 2, 2014 - 12:34pm
Posted by:
The Associated Press
Michael.Benzie's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods will make his first appearance since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

By The Associated Press

US PGA TOUR

HERO WORLD CHALLENGE

Site: Windermere, Florida.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Isleworth Golf & Country Club (7,544 yards, 6,898 metres, par 72).

Purse: $3.5 million. Winner's share: $1 million.

Field: Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Chris Kirk, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Hideki Matsuyama, Graeme McDowell, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Steve Stricker, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods.

Last year: Johnson won at Sherwood in Thousand Oaks, California. He holed out from 58 yards from a drop area for par on the last hole to force a playoff with tournament host Woods and won with a par on the first extra hole.

Notes: Woods is making his first start since missing the cut in the US PGA Championship in August. He missed most of the year because of back issues and recently started working with Chris Como, a specialist in biomechanics of the golf swing. Woods won the event in 2001, `04, `06, `07 and `11. ... Spieth won the Australian Open on Sunday, closing with a 63 for a six-stroke victory. ... Stenson is coming off a successful title defense two weeks ago in the European Tour's season-ending event in Dubai. ... Watson also won in his last start, taking the HSBC Champions in China on Nov. 9. ... The Franklin Templeton Shootout is next week in Naples, Florida.

Online: http://www.pgatour.com

------

EUROPEAN TOUR/SUNSHINE TOUR

NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE

Site: Sun City, South Africa.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Gary Player Country Club (7,831 yards, 7,161 metres, par 72).

Purse: $6.5 million. Winner's share: $1.25 million.

Last year: Denmark's Thomas Bjorn had two back-nine eagles in a closing 65 for a two-stroke victory over Sergio Garcia and Jamie Donaldson.

Notes: The tournament opens the European Tour's 2014-15 season. ... Bjorn is in the 30-man field along with European Ryder Cup teammates Donaldson, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher. Kaymer won the 2012 event. ... Luke Donald, Miguel Angel Jimenez and South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Tim Clark also are playing along with Americans Brooks Koepka and Kevin Na. Koepka won his first European Tour title last month in Turkey. ... The Alfred Dunhill Championship is next week at Leopard Creek.

Online: http://www.europeantour.com

Sunshine Tour site: http://www.pgatour.co.za

------

OTHER TOURNAMENTS

MEN

JAPAN GOLF TOUR: Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, Thursday-Sunday, Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club, Tokyo. Online: http://www.jgto.org

ASIAN TOUR: Indonesia Open, Thursday-Sunday, Damai Indah Golf, PIK Course, Jakarta, Indonesia. Online: http://www.asiantour.com

PGA TOUR LATINOAMERICA: Argentina Open, Thursday-Sunday, Martindale Country Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Online: http://www.pgatourla.com

PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA: NSW PGA Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Riverside Oaks Golf Resort, Cattai, Australia. Online: http://www.pgatour.com.au

ONEASIA TOUR: Dongfeng Nissan Cup, Friday-Sunday, Foison Golf Club, Guangzhou, China. Online: http://www.oneasia.asia

WOMEN

LPGA TOUR: LPGA Qualifying Tournament, Wednesday-Sunday, LPGA International, Rees Jones Course and Arthur Hills Course, Daytona Beach, Florida. Online: http://www.lpga.com

LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR: Women's Indian Open, Thursday-Saturday, Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi. Online: http://www.ladieseuropeantour.com

Pro golf schedule this week
December 2, 2014 - 8:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Victor Dubuisson
USA Today Sports Images
The Frenchman -- who would go on to be a force for Europe in the Ryder Cup -- channeled his inner Seve Ballesteros in the Match Play Championship to pull off two of the most impressive up and downs you'll ever see.

Over the course of the year, there are so many great golf shots hit in the professional ranks that it's almost impossible to narrow them down to the 10 best... but, we tried.

A team at PGA.com huddled up to debate the best shots of 2014 in professional men's and women's golf. Surely you'll think of a shot that didn't make our list and we understand that... and we want you tell us about it over on our PGA.com Facebook page.

YEAR END: PGA's favorite photos of 2014 | 2013's top shot

We're pretty confident, however, that these 10 shots will stand out in your mind as among the most memorable.

10. Rory McIlroy's 245-yard approach to the 72nd hole at PGA National in the Honda Classic. McIlroy needed a birdie to force a playoff, which forced the issue on the par-5 closing hole. He went for the green in two with an amazing cut 5-wood that nestled to within 8 feet of the hole to set up what would have been a tournament-winning eagle. McIlroy missed the eagle putt, but made birdie. He eventually lost in a playoff, but this shot was one of his best of the year -- and that's saying something.

 

9. Mo Martin's 240-yard approach on the final hole at Royal Birkdale in the Women's British Open. An underdog in every sense of the word, Martin hit this laser-like shot of a lifetime to within a couple feet of the hole to set up a short eagle putt to claim her first ever LPGA win... which also happened to be a major.

 

8. Billy Horschel's 30-foot par putt on No. 16 at East Lake in the final round of the Tour Championship. Put it this way -- not all 30-foot putts are created equal. That's the case here. Just when it looked as though the Tour Championship -- and a $10 million bonus for winning the FedExCup -- might be slipping away from Horschel, he nailed this bomb to pretty much guarantee the Brinks truck would be waiting behind the 18th green.

 

7. Michelle Wie's 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Pinehurst in the final round of the U.S. Women's Open. It's important to note here that Wie had a three-shot lead in the tournament when she stepped to the 16th tee. She then made a double-bogey that cut her lead to one. However, this fantastic birdie putt on No. 17 gave Wie a comfortable (well, as "comfortable" as can be in a major) two-shot lead with one hole to play, setting up the biggest win and moment of her career. (The putt is at the 43-second mark).

 

6. Tiger Woods holes a 91-foot birdie putt in Cadillac Championship at Doral. There weren't many highlights in 2014 for the oft-injured Woods, but this was one of them.

 

5. Paula Creamer holes 75-foot eagle putt to win HSBC Women's Champions playoff. Who doesn't love a risk-reward hole to close out a tournament? On this par 5 hole, Creamer elected to go for the green in two, while her opponent chose to lay up. Creamer found the green with her approach, but it was no guaranteed two-putt... It was actually a center-cut one putt for eagle that sent Creamer off on an understandable fist-pumping rampage.

 

4. Matt Jones holes out a pitch shot to win the Shell Houston Open. Talk about coming through in the clutch. Not only did Jones hole this shot to win for the first time on the PGA Tour... but it also allowed him to lock up the final spot in the Masters the following week. Pretty special.

 

3. Jamie Donaldson's approach to the 15th hole at Gleneagles to set up Europe's Ryder Cup-clinching point. Donaldson may have been a European Ryder Cup rookie, but he sure didn't look the part in Sunday's singles matches where he took down U.S. bulldog Keegan Bradley. Donaldson's wedge approach to kick-in range on No. 15 secured the win for Europe -- its third straight.

 

2. Rory McIlroy makes two eagles in three holes to close out third round of Open Championship. Remember when McIlroy was in that big slump? Yeah... we almost don't remember either. With these two eagles in three holes, McIlroy took a six-shot lead into the final round of the Open at Royal Liverpool, where he would claim his third major title.

 

1. Victor Dubuisson makes two incredible par saves from the desert at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. This little-known Frenchman -- who would go on to be a force for Europe in the Ryder Cup -- channeled his inner Seve Ballesteros in the Match Play Championship to pull off two of the most impressive up and downs you'll ever see.

Honorable mentions:
- Tom Watson chips one-armed & backwards at the Toshiba Classic
- Charl Schwartzel hits an incredible golf shot off the road at the Volvo Golf Champions
- Matt Kuchar's final hole greenside bunker hole out to win the Heritage 

 

Top 10 golf shots in 2014
December 1, 2014 - 8:13pm
john.holmes's picture
If Monday was a practice swing
Pete Pappas via Twitter
Here's a practice swing you might not want to practice.
Monday is almost over as I sit typing this, but I thought I'd share this funny Vine video with you. I've seen many goofy moments on the golf course – and perpetrated plenty of my own – but this is a new one for me.
 
It was posted on Twitter by golf writer Pete Pappas, who's previously posted several other similarly funny videos. I don't know who this golfer is or when or where the video was shot, but it made me laugh. Hopefully, you'll get a chuckle out of it, too.
 
And by the way, if your ball moves when you hit it with a divot from your practice swing, it counts as a stroke.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When practice swings go wrong