The PGA of America selects Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., to host the 2022 PGA Championship from May 16-22. Excited to return to SHCC for the fifth time. The course offers a tough-but-fair test for the strongest field in golf. pic.twitter.com/Etkh81dC0X
The more I looked back at all of the wacky things that have gone on at Southern Hills the more I got excited by two things: this time around the course will have more refined architecture and fewer trees, meaning we might even see some of those cool features.
And it won’t be 100 degrees. Every PGA at Southern Hills I attended or read about has seen temps in the mid-90s to topping the century mark. That’s not conducive to anything but butt sweats, dehydration and dead bent.
Having detected which way the winds were blowing or believing Citi needed to justify paying Thomas to wear their logo, they are now speaking out. Because, you know, there isn’t much of significance taking place in the world these days.
But if you miss agonizing visits to the dentist’s office, here is the full post byCarla Hassan who is looking out for the brand and fending off internal forces that appeared to ask a silly question like, “we pay him how much to wear a logo, do one outing a year and say stuff like that?”.
We considered terminating our relationship with him. It would send a clear and important message, but we decided to use this moment to work with Justin to try to create change. While we have engaged with many in the LGBTQ+ community who agree with our decision, there are some – including some of my Citi colleagues – who believe that anything less than termination undermines our firm’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. We strongly considered that perspective and have great respect for it, and balanced it against the opportunity this situation provides to drive a more sustainable effort to shift minds and behavior.
You noble pioneers!
We want to do more than make it clear that it is wrong to use this word.
Now there’s a newsflash from the city.
Instead, we hope our efforts can lead more people to make an affirmative choice not to use this word or others like it – and to speak up when others do – because they understand the impact it can have, including on a friend, colleague or teammate who may be struggling with the decision to disclose their sexual orientation.
But good news, they will work with Justin so the ending is a happy one resulting in paychecks still clearing, charitable write-offs, and the brand remaining that of a soulless financial services company that loves the free market until it needs a bailout. Whew! Close call.
To that end, Citi will work with Justin to use his platform to play an active role in accelerating support for the LGBTQ+ community and to increase awareness of the discrimination this community continues to face. In addition, he will donate a meaningful portion of his Citi 2021 sponsorship fee to mutually agreed upon LGBTQ+ organizations. We will work with Justin, our internal Pride networks and LGBTQ+ organizations to develop an action plan to quickly move this effort forward.
Meaningful portions! An action plan! It’s also so darned progressive.
The strong feelings this situation has evoked among many, including some of my colleagues, weighs very heavily on me. While not everyone will agree with the approach we are taking, I can give you my strongest assurances that this course of action is based on our allyship for the LGBTQ+ community and is backed by my personal commitment to lead the effort necessary to create something positive out of this. We hope that even those who would have preferred a different course of action will work with us to make this effort as impactful as possible, inside and outside of Citi.
So essentially they heard from some internally but a higher up decided they just had to keep that logo on Thomas’s shirt and Hassan was tasked with justifying the decision.
At least they didn’t news dump this at 7 pm on a Friday.
While I’m fairly certainly Harvey Penick never gave Ben or Tom an overcompensatory bro shake and partial chest bump, the Brooks Koepka-Claude HarmonIII partnership did see the pupil win four majors.
But with Harmon’s other prized pupil winning the 2020 Masters and Koepka’s game slipping due to injury following his incredible 2017-2018 run, something apparently had to give. Eamon Lynchconfirms the news and that these two are forever friends. They just not an official thing any longer.
"Brooks is an unbelievable player and great champion, and extremely talented," says Harmon, who helped Dustin Johnson to the 2020 Masters title and watched student Si Woo Kim win The American Express on Sunday. "As devastating as it is to have it happen, I'm so grateful for what he did for me and my family. Me, [caddie] Ricky Elliott, [physical therapist] Marc Wahl, the whole crew, it was like we were a band of brothers. That's hard to not be a part of. He has to do what's best for his career, and I know he'll be fine."
After the last three weeks of minimalist PGA Tour broadcast coverage expect CBS to restore some order at Torrey Pines.
Last year’s Farmers Insurance final round started with CBS started its season also having to address and cover the death of Kobe Bryant, something Bryce Miller recapped for the San Diego Union-Tribune.
As for the broadcast goodies, look for a few new touches and don’t expect to see some of the pandemic-related experimental efforts from last year like Inside the Ropes and players wearing microphones. Carryovers include the live drone and other aerials we’ve also missed out on for a while.
For Immediate Release, with interruptions.
CBS SPORTS CONTINUES LEGACY AS LEADER IN GOLF COVERAGE AS NETWORK TEES OFF 64TH CONSECUTIVE PGA TOUR GOLF SEASON
Most Comprehensive Lineup in Network Television Featuring 20 PGA TOUR Events; Season Begins with Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday, Jan. 30 and Sunday, Jan. 31
Sellers Shy Assumes Role as Lead Producer for GOLF ON CBS
Network to Debut New Elements for Broadcast Including a Constant Mini-Leaderboard, New Theme Music, Rules Official, and More
CBS Sports continues its legacy as the leader in golf production as it tees off its 64th consecutive year of PGA TOUR coverage, as once again the network features the most comprehensive lineup in network television with 20 PGA TOUR events.
Led by new lead producer Sellers Shy – only the third lead producer in CBS Sports’ storied golf history – the network, in collaboration with the PGA TOUR,
At least they didn’t go with “powered by the PGA TOUR”…
will debut new elements to enhance the broadcast, including a constant mini-leaderboard; new theme music; a dedicated PGA TOUR rules official; enhanced capabilities and presentation for SmartCart; live drone coverage, and more.
Most intriguing will be the prospect full-time PGA Tour rules official dedicated to the telecast. Based on the CBS media call last week, we’ll see them at the SmartCart and hopefully get more use out of that for replays and highlights, ala Sky Sports.
The downside? An independent rules official as all football broadcasts have now might be more inclined to share stronger takes in controversial situations. But, as the release says, this is a collaboration.
As for theme music, I’m not clear who the composer is for those fans of Helmut VonLichten’s oeurve.
CBS Sports begins the season at the Farmers Insurance Open next weekend on Saturday, Jan. 30 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, Jan. 31 (3:00-6:30 PM, ET), from Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif.
Jim Nantz anchors CBS Sports’ golf coverage, and is joined by lead analyst Sir Nick Faldo, along with analysts Ian Baker-Finch and Frank Nobilo. Lead on-course reporter Dottie Pepper, with Mark Immelman and Trevor Immelman, and reporter Amanda Balionis, round out the CBS golf announce team. Andrew Catalon and Colt Knost will join select CBS broadcasts as well.
CBS Sports Network will air ancillary golf programming throughout the season as well, beginning on Monday, Jan. 25 (11:00 PM, ET), with COURSE RECORD WITH MICHAEL BREED featuring renowned golf instructor Michael Breed and co-host Greg DuCharme discussing the latest in the golf world. Additionally, FALDO FORMULA, featuring Sir Nick Faldo, will begin its second season in April. The network also will air classic PGA TOUR telecasts each week leading up to the tournament on CBS.
The CBS Television Network also will broadcast six PGA TOUR Specials and six Korn Ferry Tour Specials, along with multiple COURSE RECORD WITH MICHAEL BREED and FALDO FORMULA episodes, throughout the season leading into live golf coverage.
Nice upgrade for those two shows to get the network slot.
For all PGA TOUR events this year, CBS Sports’ full coverage will be available to stream live in markets across the U.S. via the CBS All Access subscription service, with additional coverage on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app, and CBS Sports HQ, the 24/7 streaming sports news service. ViacomCBS’ existing subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, CBS All Access, will be rebranded as Paramount+ on March 4.
I can envision Paramount Plus becoming Jim or Sir Nick'’s go-to for the pre-round voice warm-up. Nothing like alliteration.
Sellers Shy debuts as lead producer, with Steve Milton as director, for CBS Sports' golf coverage. Sean McManus is Chairman, CBS Sports. David Berson is President, CBS Sports. Dan Weinberg is Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Executive Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
Last year, the PGA TOUR Season on CBS averaged 2.495 million viewers, up +17% vs. 2019 and marking the network’s best viewership average in five years.
Let’s table the whole PGA West Stadium Course-has-turned-into-Indian-Wells discussion for another day and instead congratulate Si Woo Kimon his final round 64 to win theAmerican Express Championship. Also, a special salute to the PGA Tour staffer who computed that it’s been 1,352 since Kim’s Players Championship win. Seems it was only 2,352 days ago.
Even with some pesky breezes Sunday, the Stadium is no longer the course-too-hard-to-host-the-Hope afterr widespread adoption of Keto diets and analytics.
Thanks to the PGA Tour communications team for sending out these incredible feats by the former UCLA Bruin and world No. 10:
He bested the course-record by two with a bogey-free 11-under 61, replacing a 9-under 63 set by Charlie Reiter in 2019
Cantlay was 18-under in his final 36 holes, tying the best score in relation to par in the final two rounds of a 72-hole event on Tour (Rocco Mediate/2003 Sentry TOC); eclipsed his previous best mark of 14-under in the final two rounds (2018 Shriners Hospitals/2nd)
Cantlay made 20 birdies in the final two rounds, the most in a 72-hole non-major event on the PGA TOUR (19/Kevin Chappell/2013 The American Express)
He made 11 birdies in the final round
Cantlay made 151 feet, 10 inches of putts in the Final Round, his most feet of putts made in a round of his Tour career
Sat T56 and seven strokes back after 36 holes before carding weekend rounds of 65-61
Jeremy Schilling also highlighted this about Cantlay’s weekend bogey:
For those just getting caught up: Cantlay wound up 1 shot short of a playoff, 2 of a win. H/t to @brianros1 for remembering, while playing par-5 8th on Sat (his 17th) Cantlay went OB on 2nd shot into someone's back porch. Made bogey. Shows you how crazy good rest of wknd was. https://t.co/WZ92zdtUCd
One of the real mysteries for all of sports was finally settled: who would be the first league to pay tribute to the world’s amazing health care workers by welcoming those vaccinated for COVID-19 to their events.
Besides rewarding sports fans who work in the medical profession taxed by intensive hours these days, the move also endorses the vaccine. Sports has a role to play and the NFL grabbed the win-win opportunity.
Will anyone in golf try this? The PGA Tour? LPGA Tour? Masters? USGA? Now that the NFL has stepped up this seems like a no-brainer. Then again, it was a no-brainer before the NFL stepped up.
Hatton has all but secured a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team for later this year already. He is entitled to further, lofty goals. “Everyone in their career, their goal is to win a major and I’m no different,” said Hatton. “Obviously the majors last year for me were disappointing, I missed the cut in all three. But golf’s a funny game. You’re trying your best every single week, and some weeks, it sort of works out better than others. So I’m hoping that in 2021, the majors fall in good weeks for me.”
Hatton has struck up a wonderfully successful partnership with the charismatic Scottish caddie Mick Donaghy. “Mick has won four times the amount that I have,” said Hatton with a smile. That point relates to experience. “I love our partnership and working together. I’m hoping that continues for a very long time.”
Rory McIlroy continued what has been a bit of a notorious run of great (but not great enough) play to open 2021. With a third-place finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday, McIlroy has now finished in the top five of his first event to start a new year in 12 of the last 13 years. That run includes nine (!) top-five finishes at the Abu Dhabi Championship (eight of them within the top three) and another handful elsewhere around the globe.
But the biggest story remains Hatton’s ability to participate in what must have been a fairly lengthy social media shoot on Tuesday and recover in time to win a tournament by four. All credit to the team.
Tommy Fleetwood’s admonition to raise the thumb when feeling glum immediately became a thing (if you haven’t watched the short film this will all sound absurd). Some fun from the European Tour social team:
Longtime personality and interviewer Larry King, who passed away at 87, loved sports and while he didn’t know much about golf, managed to draw plenty out of the few golfers he talked to over his career.
This chat with Arnold Palmer was played during the 15th Club with Scotty Sayers and Ed Clements today, where yours truly was also a guest. The opening story about Arnie’s Army should draw you in.
While much of golf seems focused on just the men’s and women’s majors played this year, do not forget the huge schedule sacrifices made in the name of Olympic golf. The PGA moved permanently to May and the prime month of July is built around Tokyo (again) this year.
But as AP’s Syephen Wade notes, a Times of Londonstory citing government sources expecting cancellation of the games, the IOC is insisting otherwise. It sounds, at best, like a television-only event despite 80% of the country opposed to holding or postponing the Games (again). However, the story says the IOC derives 73% of its revenue from TV money and will be loathe to cancel.
Nice MBASpeak here too in a statement…delivery partners.
“All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) are fully focused on hosting the games this summer,” the statement said.
“We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure games.”
The men’s and women’s individual stroke play competitions are set for July 30-August 8th at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
We have our branding fun in these parts but we all know there is something to a timeless logo. So as the PGA Tour’s turns 40, Laury Livseyposted a few stories at PGATour.com about its origin, timelessness and golfer mystery.
Outside of minor tweaking here and there through the years—but nothing along the lines of a facelift—the iconic symbol of professional golf remains largely unchanged from its original 1979 design that replaced the TOUR’s “shield” logo. Four decades later, it has stood the test of time. With companies changing logos and color schemes and brand imaging all the time, the TOUR has not budged.
As for the mystery of who the golfer is, well, Livsey tries to answer that question. I won’t spoil it but will paste this from Deane Beman, who signed off on the final version.
About the logo’s design, Beman remembered, “There is no question in my mind as to what I said was that I want the name on it—PGA TOUR—and I want an active golf figure in it.” So what would the silhouette be doing? “I didn’t want him to be at address. That doesn’t denote motion. It has to be during the course of the swing or at the finish of the swing,” Beman added.
This week’s American Express Championship host may be inching closer to full time PGA Tour Champions duties.
Adam Schupakof Golfweek reports onPhil Mickelson’s surprising confession that competing is more fun, no matter which Tour. In his case, it may be the PGA Tour Champions if things do not pan out on the West Coast Swing.
“I’m excited to start the year and see if I’m able to continue playing at the highest level. If I am, I’m going to really try to play more events on the PGA Tour and make a push hopefully for the Ryder Cup,” he said. “But if I don’t play well early on, I’ll start to re-evaluate things and maybe play a few more events on the Champions tour because what’s fun for me is competing, getting in contention and trying to win tournaments.”
Your monthly reminder that more rounds and more people hitting balls is growing the equipment business, not the promise of more distance…
U.S. GOLF MARKET CONTINUES RECORD BREAKING MONTHLY GROWTH - DECEMBER EQUIPMENT SALES INCREASE 58% COMPARED WITH 2019
Golf Datatech Reports All-Time Best December Equipment Sales Numbers;
2020 National Golf Performance Report for Rounds Played and Retail Equipment Sales Set to be Released on January 25
Kissimmee, Fla., January 20, 2021 – Golf Datatech, LLC, the golf industry’s leading independent market research firm for retail sales, consumer and trade trends, has announced that U.S. golf equipment sales for December 2020 were up 58% over the same period in 2019, while exceeding December’s previous all-time high, set in 2006, by 16%.
These record-breaking sales are being released just days before the full 2020 National Golf Performance Report for Rounds Played and Retail Equipment Sales, which is set to be released on Monday, January 25.
“December sales are consistent with the golf industry momentum we’ve seen over the past seven months of 2020,” said John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC. “As we all continue to deal with the pandemic in our everyday life, golf equipment sales continue to surge, up over 40% for the June-December time frame.”
Categories leading the way for the total year were golf bags and wedges, which increased by 29% and 26% respectively. Overall equipment sales at Green Grass pro shops were up 1% while Off Course sales grew by 16%.
Krzynowek adds, “Green Grass pro shop sales were more heavily impacted by government mandated closures and restrictions on businesses, so even though courses may have been open to play the game, shopping and buying products inside a golf shop did not explode like the Off Course Specialty channel, which benefitted from a significant expansion in online sales.”
As noted here, International Golf Federation president Annika Sorenstam has been silent since traveling to Washington and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom mere hours after the Capitol riot killing five. Until today.
Serving as ambassador at the LPGA’s Diamond Resorts this week, Sorenstam spoke to Golfweek and Golf Channel about the events and seemed to be sticking to not looking back.
“I’ve always been somebody to move forward,” she said. “I’m going to spend energy and continue to give back to the game of golf.”
Many feel her sterling reputation a global ambassador for golf has now been significantly tarnished.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people, and you can imagine the range of emotions and comments,” Sorenstam said. “I hear clearly those who see it differently. … Now I’ve got my golf hat on. I am going to continue to be the mother I am, continue to be the philanthropist I am, continue to be the golfer that I am. This week I’m going to pick up the clubs and we’re going to do that.”
Here is Steve Burkowski’s interview with Sorenstam where she reiterates a lack of desire to second-guess and lack of energy to look back.
“I don’t want to spend any energy looking back, I like to spend energy looking forward, continue to open doors, create opportunities for the young girls around the world.”
Eventually after a third question, Sorenstam acknowledges the capitol riots were unfortunate.
“Listen, I share the sadness and the fear with everyone, what happened at the Capitol was a dark day in America’s history.
Asked by Burkowski if she would have done anything different, Sorenstam intimated she’s heard from those who see things “differently”.
“Looking back, you know I don’t second guess. I like to look forward you know and not spend energy on what could have been. It’s all about opening doors. That’s one thing I’ve learned. You know I’ve heard from a lot of people, a lot of opinions, a lot of comments and you know I hear clearly what those people say. I know they see it differently but you know I listen and I embrace them all.”
So remember kids, know that when you put a hundred down on Zach Johnson to hit the longest drive of the day at 200-1, you might have a problem. The AGA is here to help. And they’ve registered Have A Game Plan in case you were getting any ideas of stealing that killer slogan.
PGA TOUR and AGA Align to Educate Fans on Responsible Gaming
TOUR to introduce golf-specific content campaign “Know When to Lay Up”
January 19, 2021, 10 AM ET
WASHINGTON – The PGA TOUR joined the American Gaming Association (AGA) as the newest Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly public service campaign partner to educate golf fans on responsible sports betting.
As part of the campaign, the TOUR will develop content that encourages its fans to “Know When to Lay Up” and bet responsibly. The co-branded responsible gaming content will appear on social and digital platforms along with public service announcements that will air on PGA TOUR Radio.
Wait what? Radio? No TV?
“A key pillar of the PGA TOUR’s sports betting strategy is responsible gaming and ensuring our fans are equipped with the appropriate resources so they are properly prepared and educated,” said Scott Warfield, VP of Gaming at the PGA TOUR. “By aligning with the American Gaming Association in support of its Have A Game Plan campaign we’re able to align our efforts and provide a consistent message focused on responsible gaming.”
To the vast radio audience.
The TOUR joins NASCAR and the National Hockey League (NHL) as league partners in the campaign, which focuses on the fundamentals of responsible sports betting: setting a budget and sticking to it, keeping betting social, knowing the odds, and playing with trusted, regulated operators.
Ah now we’re getting somewhere. Trusted, regulated operators. Where we get a proper cut vs. Jerry at the corner bar.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Vegas Golden Knights have also committed inventory in support of the campaign.
Committed inventory sends an even stronger message than radio.
“The AGA is thrilled welcome the PGA TOUR to our growing responsible sports betting campaign,” said Casey Clark, AGA Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications. “As legal sports betting continues to expand in both availability and popularity, it is imperative that responsible gaming education keeps pace. Today’s announcement is a testament to the TOUR’s thoughtful approach to sports betting and marks an important step in continuing to engage all industry stakeholders in our shared responsibility to educate fans on safely and responsibly betting on sports.”
Launched in 2019, the AGA’s Have A Game Plan campaign provides consumers with a state-by-state guide on where to find legal operators, spotlights the basics of sports betting, and raises awareness on signs of problem gambling.
This partnership is the latest in a string of progressive and industry-leading sports betting initiatives by the TOUR. Following the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, the TOUR instituted a robust integrity program in collaboration with Genius Sports and later that year announced a global partnership with IMG ARENA to license its official, live scoring data to betting operators all over the world. The TOUR’s official sports betting partners include BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet, and the organization continues to evolve its innovative GolfBet partnership with The Action Network. The TOUR is also a platinum member of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Sure seems like they are worried more about the gamblers than how the gamblers might effect the players, but only time will tell. Still a ways to go
25 states and Washington, DC have now legalized sports betting, with 20 jurisdictions already operational.
45%, or 115 million, of American adults now live in a jurisdiction where wagering on sports is legal.
Between June 2018 and November 2020, bettors legally wagered more than $35 billion on sports nationwide, generating nearly $2.5 billion in sportsbook revenue and approximately $330 million in tax revenue to state and local governments.
45% of states means this is illegal in 55% of states, FYI.