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Sep 27, 2016 | 09:11 am

Honoring Arnie

The King is dead—and he has no successor, never will. For, whatever the future may bring—whatever magnificent, magnetic champion the global golf incubator may produce—in the hearts and minds of those for whom golf is more than just a game, there will never be another Arnold Palmer. From the moment the sad news of his death at age 87 began to circulate, the stories have poured forth—shared in print, on TV and radio, in social media, and most of all, from golfer to golfer among the throngs who have long marched in Arnie’s Army. Over the course of his more than 60 years of public life, Arnold Palmer likely signed more autographs, posed for more photographs, made more genuine human connections than any man on earth. Partly for that reason, the family has wisely decided to make his funeral a private ceremony. However, a public memorial service will be held at 11 am ET on October 4 at the St. Vincent’s College Basilica in Latrobe, Pa., Palmer’s hometown, and those wishing to pay tribute, leave flowers or messages, are encouraged to visit the nearby Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve. At the Ryder Cup this week, flags will be flown at half mast, a moment of silence will be observed and a video tribute shown, the gallery members will wear commemorative buttons and the team members—on both sides—will wear commemorative pins. Finally, anyone wishing to share an Arnold Palmer moment is invited to visit iam.arniesarmy.com, the website of the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.

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Sep 26, 2016 | 06:01 am

Ryder Cup TV Schedule

NBC and Golf Channel have some interesting plans for their 25 hours of live coverage of the Ryder Cup, which begin at the end of this week. Here’s their schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 29   5-8 p.m.                 Golf Channel    (Opening Ceremony)

Friday, Sept. 30        8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.  Golf Channel

Saturday, Oct. 1        9 a.m.-7 p.m.         NBC

Sunday, Oct. 2          12 p.m.-6 p.m.       NBC

All times Eastern      

Furthermore, the networks have partnered with their national advertisers to present a number of commercial breaks without viewers having to miss any of the action. Copying a technique already used in auto-racing telecasts, NBC and Golf Channel will put up a split-screen image (like that shown above) with the ad playing on the right side and the match coverage continuing uninterrupted on the left: The audio will be from the ad and the sponsor’s logo will appear above the live golf (like the PGA of America logo in the example above). But visible will be all graphics as to what shot is being hit and if it’s to win or halve a hole, etc.

They call it “Playing Through” and estimate that it will be utilized, according to a network spokesperson, in about a third of the commercial breaks all three days “during times where there is the most drama.

“We’ll run ‘regular’ commercials toward the beginning of coverage when only a few matches are on the course,” the spokesperson told LINKS, “and the same toward the end of coverage when there’s a lot of downtime with only a few matches left on the course. The time when we’ll likely use ‘Playing Through’ the most will be when all matches are out there, and lots of action to cover that we won’t want the viewer to miss.”

Among those covering the action will be Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo, David Feherty, Peter Jacobsen, Gary Koch, Curt Byrum, Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, Notah Began, and Jerry Foltz.

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New R&A Captain Drives Himself In

Sep 23, 2016 | 08:31 am

New R&A Captain Drives Himself In

Following a centuries-old tradition, at precisely 8 a.m. today Keith Macintosh struck a ceremonial tee shot from the first tee of the Old Course and thus became the 235th Captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Roughly 200 club members and friends gathered on a picture-perfect morning to watch the Scotsman, a lawyer from Ayrshire and former Scottish Amateur Champion, strike a powerful drive, timed to the explosion of a cannon. Also following tradition, a dozen or so caddies scrambled to retrieve the ball, the lucky winner returning it to the new Captain in exchange for a gold sovereign. Captain Macintosh begins his formal duties this evening with a speech at the club's Annual Dinner, a black-tie affair attended by over 500 members from around the world.’

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Sep 22, 2016 | 08:37 am

Big Weekend Ahead: Who Would You Pick?

This is an exciting moment for the PGA Tour and PGA of America, which, if you don’t know, are two separate organizations that confusingly have similar names, both run tournaments, and were actually the same entity until the late 1960s when the pros on TV every weekend spun off from the pros at clubs who give lessons, sell shirts, and organize the member-guest.

But be that as it may, both associations are smack in their element right now.

For the PGA Tour, this weekend is their season-ending event, the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, where someone is going to win $1 million-plus for taking the tournament while someone else, or perhaps the same guy, takes home $10 million for claiming the FedExCup. There are only 30 players teeing it up this week, but a bunch of favorites, led by Dustin Johnson, who is having his career year. Others who the experts pick to do well include Jason Day, Paul Casey, and Rory McIlroy.

For real excitement, the nod goes to the PGA of America, which runs the Ryder Cup when it’s played in the U.S. every four years. And unless you’ve been living under a rock you know it’s this year. The European Team for the matches—Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club outside Minneapolis—has already been announced, as have 11 of the 12 players on Team USA. Captain Davis Love III gets this last weekend of play to determine who will be the 12th man on his U.S. squad: He will announce his pick during halftime of this week’s Sunday night NFL game, and what could be more “USA, USA,USA” than that?

The favorite would appear to be Bubba Watson (above), who is number 7 in the World Golf Rankings but was 9th in Ryder Cup points, meaning he was one spot away from automatically qualifying for the team. However, he hasn’t done much in the last six months after going 1st and 2nd in consecutive weeks at LA and Doral. Since then, his best finish was T8 at the Olympics.

Also being mentioned are Daniel Berger, Justin Thomas, and Jim Furyk, all of whom were invited to play practice rounds at Hazeltine last weekend, as was Watson.

So who would you pick? We want to hear your selections, and we’ll give you three chances:

1)    Who will win the TOUR Championship?

2)    Who will win the FedExCup?

3)    Who will be added to the U.S. Ryder Cup team?

Predict one, two, or all three in the “comments” section below.

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