Dec 16, 2014 | 10:22 am

Lydia Ko, Look Out!

The world’s best golf swing, pound for pound, may belong to five-year-old Hannah Pearson of Tucson, Arizona. She was just 14 months old when her non-golfing parents brought home plastic clubs, and she has been swinging—with uncommon grace and rhythm—ever since. At age 4 she placed fourth in her division of the San Diego Junior Masters, competing against a field of girls two years her senior, and this week she won her division of the U.S. Kids Golf Tour, having notched victories in five events in the 7-and-under division. For each of the past two years Hannah’s swing has been voted the Best Pee Wee Golf Swing in the World. 

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Dec 15, 2014 | 03:42 pm

In Their Cups

In the world of international team golf, most recent attention has focused on the Ryder Cup, with the American “task force” having held its first meeting last week. No one is talking much about the details, but early indications are that the session was positive and open, with the PGA of America listening to the suggestions from the panel's players—Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, and Steve Stricker—and former captains Raymond Floyd, Tom Lehman, and Davis Love III. Also, rumors are that Fred Couples has been asked about being the U.S. captain in 2016, but no official announcement has been made. And there’s news from the other team event, the Presidents Cup. Captain Nick Price is asking for changes since his International squad has lost the last six matches. Price—who was captain in 2013 and will be again in 2015, when the U.S. Captain is Jay Haas (both shown above)—told Golf Channel that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has approved only one adjustment so far, switching the order of play so four-ball matches could come before foursomes. Supposedly, Price and his players want to reduce the number of team matches: The Presidents Cup presently features 22, while the Ryder Cup has 16 matches before the final-day singles. Price was quoted as saying that 16 points “doesn’t really let one team run away with it…. It allows for something to be exciting on Sunday.”

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Dec 12, 2014 | 11:14 am

Blown Away

File this under “good news, bad news.” After about five years of severe drought, California is finally getting some relief as a huge storm pounds the west coast, bringing torrents of rain. And that’s the good news. The bad is that yesterday’s deluge claimed a notable victim, one of the two cypress trees that sit about 300 yards off the tee on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. You know the two: A big one in the middle of the fairway, a small one just in the right rough, perfectly guarding the landing zone on one of the game’s most recognizable holes. Perhaps surprisingly, it was the small tree (to the left in the photo above) that was “the only casualty of the day,” according to Pebble Beach officials, coming down in 40-mph winds. It will be interesting to see if a new specimen is planted, Augusta National-style, before the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in mid February. And, as the storm moves south, if other Golden State courses suffer significant damage. But at least they got some much-needed rain.

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Dec 11, 2014 | 09:09 am

Super Young

Most golf course superintendents don’t get their first head job until their 30s. Not Rhys Munro. The 17-year-old takes the helm next month at Aberfeldy Golf Club in Perthshire, north of Gleneagles. Munro, a local resident who grew up playing the 18-hole layout, recently completed a greenkeeping course at the Scottish Rural College Elmwood Campus in Fife. Although he will be supported by a group of volunteer Senior members, Munro (pictured above with cub president Chris Thomson) impressed during the interview process. “He answered all our questions maturely and offered some very sensible suggestions as to how we could improve the course,” said Anne Beeson, Lady Captain of Aberfeldy Golf Club. “His proposed approach to work planning and communication with members was refreshing. Although he is young, we felt he was ready to take the responsibility.” 

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