Martin Hall has joined Srixon and Cleveland Golf as a member of their professional staff. Hall, a former competitor on the European Tour, has over thirty years of experience as a golf professional and is currently the head teaching professional at Ibis, located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hall, a nominee for the 2015 World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, is perhaps best known as the host of a weekly show on the Golf Channel called School of Golf.
“We’re honored to have Martin as a member of our team,” said Todd Harman, President of Srixon / Cleveland Golf / XXIO - U.S.A. “With Martin’s broad audience and innovative teaching methods, he makes an ideal ambassador for Srixon’s Journey to Better, as well as Cleveland Golf’s short game educational initiatives.”
“I’ve always been a big fan of Srixon and Cleveland Golf and I’m thrilled to have forged a partnership with both of these outstanding brands,” said Hall. “Srixon latest woods and irons combine classic designs with state-of-the-art engineering, and their latest golf ball offerings are second to none. I’ve also long admired Cleveland wedges and I’m thoroughly impressed with their latest line of putters. I’m delighted to be a brand ambassador for Srixon and Cleveland Golf, and I look forward to representing both brands for many years to come.”
The USGA has been accused of many things during its existence. Some, if not many believe it is insulated to its ways and marches to the beat of its own drum. During it annual meeting held over the weekend, the USGA acknowledged it isn’t concerned with the number of golfers in the country. It believes with history on its side, that people will return to playing the game. Its only a matter of time.
“I think our industry gets caught up in looking at data about participation. And participation in all sports has been down, in a downturn probably since 2005 with the exception of probably soccer and lacrosse,” stated Tom O’Toole Jr, the USGA’s 63rd president. “We think that this is about sustaining a game, we mean economically and environmentally. The environmental piece is probably the No. 1 challenge that the game has. Participation is going to come back. We've already seen this. If you look at the junior numbers, they were at a height in 2005 and they've dropped since then. But if you look back in the '80s and '90s, we're equal to that, as it relates to junior participation.
“So we have to focus on participation, but we have to focus on making the game sustainable, and particularly environmental. Make sure that all the things that we've talked about in the last several years, how long does it take to play the game and our efforts there. And really taking data and coming up with scientific solutions at how we can play the game faster, or is the game welcoming. Do we welcome people into the game, which will then, of course, by logical progression, increase its participation rate.
“Participation rates, in our view, is a myopic look at this problem. We're looking at that, but we're trying to get what makes the game more sustainable. That's really where we're going to place our resources.”
USGA Executive Director, Mike Davis shared his two cents on the topic. “When it gets right down to it, we all play golf for different reasons, but if we don't enjoy it we're not going to play. I think that over the last 40 or so years we've seen a trend in this country where hard equals good. And we actually think enjoyment equals good. There's supposed to be a challenge to it. But having very high rough everywhere and really fast greens and fairways cut to a low, that's not doing anything to help the game.”
Rookie Patrick Rodgers of Indiana rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Steve Marino and win the weather-delayed Colombia Championship presented by Claro.
Rodgers, who broke Tiger Woods’ all-time scoring record during three All-American seasons at Stanford, closed regulation play with an All-World birdie at the par-5, 18th after hitting his tee shot into a hazard.
Brooks Koepka won his first PGA TOUR event in his second season. Koepka had a fine rookie season, with a tie for third at the Frys.com and a tie for fourth at the US Open. “I look at Frys two years ago. I can't tell you how much I learned from that. The failures I think are what really helped me,” Koepka said. This season he tied for fourth at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October, and he won on the European Tour in November.
Koepka's 15 under at Phoenix gained a total of 13.1 strokes against the field. He opened with a 71, which lost 0.3 strokes compared to the field average 70.7. In the second round, Koepka's 68 gained 4.0 strokes against the field average of 72; his third round 64 gained 5.6 strokes against the field average of 69.6; his fourth round 66 gained 3.9 strokes against the field average of 69.9. READ MORE>>>
GolfNow has announced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one lucky golfer to win Free Golf for Life. The sweepstakes is running through Monday, April 13, and will award one winner with a complimentary foursome once per month courtesy of the online tee time platform. “GolfNow is constantly trying to showcase golf in exciting new ways, and we are seizing that opportunity once again through NBC Sports’ high-profile platform this week,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GolfNow New Media Group. “In the past, GolfNow has arranged dream foursomes with Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley, and has sent winners across the country on a private jet to play golf on both coasts in a single day. The idea of winning Free Golf for Life is something that until now avid golfers have only dreamed of, and GolfNow is going to make someone’s dream a reality.”
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Phil Mickelson acknowledged his success has its limits. Last November, he made news trying to recruit a player to his alma mater, Arizona State University, where his brother is the golf coach. However, there has been a change in plans. “We had developed a plan to where I could call some recruits,” Micklson explained. “We weren't really going to say anything and hadn't said anything for a few weeks until one of the players had Tweeted it and it looked like there were some improprieties, which there weren't, so we had to publicly announce I was assistant captain; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to make the phone calls I had been making. As of the first week of January, Tim, my brother, needed a real assistant to help out with a bunch of the things going on with the traveling and I got fired.” he revealed. “He needed some real help!”
Its been said more than once that the Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday. One player remembers vividly the significance of that statement and specifically what that day meant to his young career. “It was the most important day of my career, yeah, bar none,” said Rory McIlroy. “It was the most important day, because if I had not have had that happen to me, who knows where I would have been. I learnt so much from that day. I learnt what I shouldn't do when I'm in that situation again. You learn way more from those days than you do from your victories. Everyone needs to go through them at some point in their life, whether it's golf or whatever, you make mistakes, and that's where you learn and move on and become better at whatever you want to do.”