Mar 21, 2016 | 06:19 am

No More Grand Slam

Last year, the PGA of America canceled the Grand Slam of Golf because it was to be played on a course owned by Donald Trump. Last week, the PGA announced it was canceling the event altogether “after carefully evaluating …and studying how this event fits with today’s golf landscape and the PGA of America’s long term strategic plan,” according to the official statement. Thus ends a nearly 40-year run for the made-for-TV tournament that matched the winners of the year’s four major championships. The statement went on: “When the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was launched in 1979, the golf world was much different than it is today. The PGA Tour's wrap-around schedule, the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, plus other important international events, make the fall schedule very busy and hectic for the top players in the world. It had also become challenging to attract fans, television viewership and media interest. While we have enjoyed staging the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, given those many factors, the timing is right to discontinue the event.” Some quick history of the event: Tiger Woods has the record for most appearances (8) as well as the most victories (7) and the widest victory margin (14 strokes); Greg Norman is second in appearances (5) and victories (3). And for those with a really long memory, the first Grand Slam, played at Rochester’s Oak Hill Country Club, featured Gary Player and Andy North (who tied at 73; it was a one-round event until 1991) along with Jack Nicklaus and John Mahaffey.

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Mar 18, 2016 | 06:50 am

Captain Hook

He’s won the Open Championship (in 2011, at Royal St. George’s) and he’ll captain the European Ryder Cup team in a few months when they take on the Americans at Hazeltine. But what really gets Darren Clarke’s juices flowing? Catching a big fish. Make that a really big fish, a 38-pound permit only three pounds shy of the bluewater fly-caught world record. It took him more than an hour to land the “black-tail devil” in the saltwater flats near his home at The Abaco Club on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas last week. Afterward, Clarke said it was “as exciting as winning the Open” and “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” But ever the sportsman, he added, “Trust me, I was out again the very next day with the guys from Blackfly Lodge trying to hook into an even bigger one.”

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Mar 17, 2016 | 10:54 am

Persimmon on the Tee

You’ve heard it all before. Golf courses are getting longer, technology is changing the game, and the “Tiger era” changed Tour players’ perceptions of exercise. The data backs all of this up of course, with the average driving distance on tour increasing in the last three years to over 290 yards. 

There has been much talk about this topic, but little has been done to stop the ever increasing distances that the ball travels. However, PGA Tour Players got a taste of their own medicine this week at Bay Hill where they hit shots with one of Arnie’s personal persimmon woods. The game has changed drastically since those days, and a healthy reminder of just how much it has changed doesn’t always hurt. Have a look at the video from Golf Channel.

What do you think of the advances in distance over the past forty years? Will it continue for another forty or will we see everything dial back in the coming years? Leave us a comment!

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Mar 16, 2016 | 12:27 pm

Everyone's a Winner

What could be better than a trip to Bandon Dunes? A trip there to play in a golf tournament. The bucket-list resort on Oregon's southeast coast has opened up the sign-up page for its 2016 tournament schedule. The championship slate includes four events all costing $1,575 per person double occupancy: the Bandon Dunes Cup (May 15–18), a 72-hole team event with three different formats on all four courses; the Electic, held on Dunes, Trails, and Old Mac (May 29–June 1), a new event where 60 two-person teams try to better their hole-by-hole score each day; the Links Championship (June 26–29), a flighted, 72-hole better-ball event on all four courses; and the Family Fall Match Play, were 48, two-relative teams compete in a round-robin match play format. For marathoners, there's also the Solstice (June 21), where players attempt to play—and walk!—all four courses in one day, but the field is already full. Owner Mike Keiser has been known to stand on the 72nd hole and hand out $100 bills to anone who completes the quest. Come to think of it, getting paid to play Bandon tops it all.

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