Nov 10, 2016 | 06:14 am

Happy Birthday, Anser

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ping’s iconic Anser putter, the original heel-and-toe-weighted design that went on to win more than 500 Tour events and 19 men’s major championships. In commemoration, Ping is producing two limited-edition models from the original molds that Ping founder Karsten Solheim and his sons John and Allan used in making the putters in their Phoenix-area garage starting in 1966. Each anniversary putter is made of high-tensile manganese bronze, has tungsten weights in the heel and toe, uses components from the original vendors—including True Temper (for the high-step shaft) and Golf Pride (for the grip)—and is hand-ground by John Solheim (above), now the company’s chairman and CEO. Only 1,550 anniversary Ansers will be made: 775 each of the K and A designs, the letters denoting whether it’s Karsten’s original design or the slight variation done by Allan. Each comes in a special presentation box with a leather cover and a certificate of authenticity signed by John Solheim. The cost is $900.

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Nov 09, 2016 | 07:41 am

Make Golf Great Again

What does Donald Trump's election as president mean for golf? Probably not a whole heck of a lot, but it certainly can't hurt our sport. One thing's for sure, the governing bodies are probably breathing a sigh of relief now that they won't have to move their events because of his racist and sexist statements during the campaign. Although the PGA Tour won't be playing at Doral this March for the first time in 50 years (the WGC-Mexico Championship will take its spot March 2-5), the USGA and PGA are hosting events this year at Trump golf courses. First up is the Senior PGA Championship in late May at Trump National, Washington D.C., which features two courses: Championship and Riverview, two linksy designs set on the Potomac (no doubt we'll be seeing a lot of these courses whenever Trump decides to leave the Oval Office for a round at the club, which is about 25 miles from the White House in Virginia). Then there's the U.S. Women's Open in mid-July at Trump National Bedminster, N.J., which also has 36 holes, Old by Tom Fazio and New by his nephew, Tom Fazio II (though Trump leaves the impression on his site that the elder Fazio designed both by leaving off the "II" in the course description of the New). The real question is, will Trump be serving a second term when the 2022 PGA Championshp will be held at Trump Bedminster?

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Nov 08, 2016 | 09:46 am

New Leadership

The next occupant of the White House and the new makeup of the Senate and House won’t be decided until this evening, but the change in leadership of the PGA Tour was announced last night when the Tour Policy Board unanimously approved Jay Monahan as its next Commissioner, to succeed Tim Finchem who will retire at the end of this year. The announcement was hardly a surprise as Finchem’s retirement had been speculated for months and Monahan was the clear heir apparent, having been named Deputy Commissioner two years ago and COO earlier this year. Finchem has been Commissioner since 1994, a Tiger Woods era tenure during which Tour purses have jumped from $56 million to over $300 million. His legacy also includes the creation of the Presidents Cup and Fedex Cup playoffs and the return of golf to the Olympics, while his strongest personal commitment may have been to the World Golf Foundation’s First Tee initiative. The 46-year-old Monahan, who becomes just the fourth Commissioner in Tour history (before Finchem were Joe Dey and Deane Beman), joined the Tour in 2008 as director of the Players Championship. A native of Belmont, MA, he played collegiate golf at Trinity College where he was named a Division II Academic All-American. 

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Nov 07, 2016 | 06:53 am

Golf Under The Lights?

Say this for European Tour CEO Keith Pelley: He’s not afraid to shake things up. Speaking at the Tour’s Turkish Open the other day, Pelley (above) said that he hopes to have at least part of next year’s event contested under floodlights. “We have to do something with that night golf,” Pelley said. “I played six holes under the lights the other night and it was spectacular… We will definitely have a competition for money under the lights next year.” Pelley has been outspoken in his desire to break some of golf's traditions, including calling for shorter rounds—he once said if he could have changed anything about golf 200 years ago it would have been to make 12 holes the standard round—speeding up play, allowing players to wear shorts, and holding an event that combines stroke and match play. Not everyone warmed to Pelley’s latest brainstorm. Masters champion Danny Willett said playing under the lights “would be a useless idea. It would be okay for a giggle but not for a real tournament.” But according to Pelley, “Nothing is impossible.”

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