No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.
After such a long, brutal winter we're not about to let a few April showers keep us off the course. Yet while the market is a plenty with rain gear from manufacturers A to Z, the inclement headgear game is a little soft. Sure, you'll find buckets hats from classic golf brands but big logos and chin drawstrings make the look a bit limited (i.e fine around the course but look a little strange on the street on a rainy workday).
So, as we endeavor to slim down your wardrobe and give you pieces that look good on and off the course, might we suggest a hat made by a hat company? A hat company steeped in style and tradition and made in Italy for over the last 150 years.
Borsalino -- $105
The simple, sophisticated Borslino rain bucket is 100 percent waterproof and rolls up smaller than a hand towel. Stick it in your bag or your brief case if the weather looks dicey and get on your way in style.
By John Strege
The charitable funds raised on behalf of local communities from their associations with PGA Tour events is substantial, as the tour frequently reminds us — $2 billion and counting. What generally is less known is the actual impact these funds can have.
Another Zurich Classic of New Orleans begins today, in the city that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a regional disaster with national implications. On Wednesday, Zurich and its Z Zurich Foundation provided a timely example of the impact.
It announced that it had made a $3 million grant to St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization that assists with communities impacted by disasters. The grant is to help create a Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab for the purpose of sharing information on disaster preparedness.
Zurich’s relationship with the St. Bernard Project, incidentally, began five years ago as a result of its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event.
The tournament was important, say, to Billy Horschel’s career. Horschel (shown above) won for the first time on the PGA Tour in the tournament last year. But, on a larger scale, it has proven at least as important to communities, too.
By Matthew RudyNew Orleans' French Quarter is something everybody should see at least once. They've been partying in these streets since the late 18th Century, and you'll lose your tourist card if you don't reserve a couple of hours for a stroll and a hurricane (rum, passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup and grenadine) from Pat O'Brien's on Bourbon Street.
NooNoo and me at domilises yesterday. Shrimp po boy till the best single bite of the weekend! pic.twitter.com/5nnk2h5eaH— Mario Batali (@Mariobatali) April 16, 2014
By Alex Myers
Fox officially announced Greg Norman will be its lead golf analyst when the network begins covering the sport at the 2015 U.S. Open. Norman will be Fox's answer to NBC's Johnny Miller, who will work his 20th -- and presumably, final -- national championship this year at Pinehurst. While Norman has never worked as a golf announcer, he shares a lot of similarities with the man to whom he'll undoubtedly be compared. Let's take a look:
Playing careers: Both Miller and Norman are Hall of Famers, won two major championships and yet both are often labeled underachievers considering their immense talents. Miller won 25 times on the PGA Tour to Norman's 20, but Norman's 14 wins on the European Tour crush Miller's one. Both played an aggressive style of golf and were tremendous ball-strikers, with some calling Miller the best long-iron player ever and Norman the best driver of the golf ball.
Advantage: Norman. His 331 weeks at No. 1 in the world give the Shark the edge. Plus, he had longer staying power at the top.
Toughest loss: Miller finished runner-up at the Masters three times, but the 1975 edition in which he lost to Jack Nicklaus by one stands out. Norman also finished runner-up at the Masters three times, with the most painful coming in 1996 when he blew a six-shot lead to Nick Faldo entering the final round.
Advantage: Norman. He also lost a Masters playoff, as well as playoffs in both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. In fact, he is the undisputed king of tough losses in golf. Maybe "advantage" isn't the right word. . .
Away from golf: Miller, a practicing Mormon who has been married to his wife, Linda, for more than 40 years, has led a relatively quiet life when he's not in the booth or designing golf courses. Norman, on the other hand, has been arguably just as successful in business as he was in golf, most famously owning and operating huge clothing and wine companies.
Advantage: This is a tough one. Norman, by choice, has stayed busier away from the course and has done very well. However, he's had a rockier personal life, including two divorces, one of which required a $105 million settlement. Let's go with a push on this and move on. . .
Yeah. . . we're going with another push here.
Announcing style: Miller is the one golf announcer people tune in to just to hear what he's going to say. He's opinionated, but fair. Norman hasn't announced golf yet, but he's never been shy about expressing his views.
Advantage: Miller, obviously. His two decades of experience will be tough to top, but we're willing to give Greg a shot. Norman has already hinted he'll pattern his style after Miller's. "I think Fox and Joe Buck want me to go down that path as well," he told our Ron Sirak. We hope so.
By John Strege
Tiger Woods, legend, the amateur years, might have been markedly different had his third-round match with Buddy Alexander in the 1994 U.S. Amateur at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., not taken an unlikely turn.
Alexander is the long-time University of Florida golf coach who on Tuesday announced he was retiring. A former U.S. Amateur champion and Walker Cup player, Alexander coached two national championship teams at Florida.
In his match with Woods, then 18 and not yet in college, Alexander was 3 up and on the verge of going 4 up with five holes to play. “He’s going to make one more run,” Tiger’s father Earl said presciently.
Alexander then lipped out a three-foot par putt to win the 13th hole, a miss that even Woods admitted gave him a reprieve. “If he had made the putt it was basically over,” he said.
Apparently unnerved, Alexander began to unravel, with bogeys at Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 17 that allowed Woods to go 1 up with one to play. Each double-bogeyed the 18th, giving the match to Woods. He would go on to win the first of his three consecutive U.S. Amateur championships. Alexander had played the final six holes in seven over par. Woods played them in three over.
Thus Alexander had contributed to Woods’ growing legend, but fortunately had done nothing to his own. He will retire as one of the great coaches in college history, a three-time national coach of the year and a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America's Hall of Fame.
(Getty Images photo)
By Alex Myers
Breaking news: Matt Kuchar will NOT be in contention this Sunday. After a month of living on leader boards -- and finally closing out a tournament -- Kuchar is taking a week off and skipping the PGA Tour's annual stop in New Orleans. So is 2012 champ Bubba Watson and 2011 winner Jason Dufner. Yes, the post-Masters lull is upon us, but if you like birdie-fests, then the Zurich Classic is right up your alley. The past two winners were a combined 39 under par, with the two runner-ups combining to shoot 38 under. Who do we see emerging from this year's Bayou shootout? Here's our lineup:
Starters -- (A-List): Rickie Fowler. Rickie has been solid in his three starts at TPC Louisiana, highlighted by a T-10 in 2012. More importantly, he's finished sixth (Houston) and T-5 (Masters) his last two tournaments.
(B-List): Justin Rose. This isn't a great field and Rose is a great player. Also, he's shot seven straight rounds under par at TPC Louisiana and has finished in the top 15 the past two years.
(B-List): Billy Horschel. The defending champ seems ready for a breakthrough in what has been a sluggish start to 2014. As we pointed out following the Masters, the putter has been holding him back. Way back. That wasn't the case at this tournament last year. Remember this great reaction after his birdie on No. 18?
(C-List): John Senden. The recent winner in Tampa played well at Augusta National before taking last week off. He has four top-20 finishes in New Orleans since 2004.
Bench/Backups: Patrick Reed, Ernie Els, Jerry Kelly, and Ryan Palmer.
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Billy Horschel. We really like Fowler this week, but we used him at the Honda, so we'll take Horschel instead. We're hoping the good vibes from returning to the site of his first PGA Tour win translates into some good putting. Heck, even just a decent week on the greens for the man ranked No. 3 on the PGA Tour in ball-striking could result in a big payday for Horschel -- and another big celebration in New Orleans.
Previously used: Keegan Bradley (Doral), Tim Clark (Sony), Graham DeLaet (Phoenix), Luke Donald (Valspar), Rickie Fowler (Honda Classic), Jim Furyk (Heritage), Bill Haas (Farmers), Charles Howell III (Humana), Freddie Jacobson (Valero), Dustin Johnson (Northern Trust), Martin Laird (Kapalua), Graeme McDowell (Bay Hill), Adam Scott (Masters), Jordan Spieth (Houston), Jimmy Walker (Pebble -- winner!).
By John Strege
Stories of interest you might have missed
Future Hall of Famer Laura Davies sees some of herself in Charley Hull’s game: “She gets her driver out on pretty much every hole, goes for pins and isn't scared of messing things up, because she is trying to win,” Davies tells Ewan Murray of the Guardian.
“[Miguel Angel Jimenez is] a walking billboard for the priceless benefits of being comfortable in your own skin,” Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail writes, chronicling the popular and entertaining Spaniard and his bid to play on the European Ryder Cup team at 50.
Beverly Hanson, a pioneer in women’s golf, died in virtual obscurity a few weeks ago, a slight that the Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson attempts to correct here. Hanson won 15 tournaments on the LPGA, including three majors, and in 1950 won the U.S. Women’s Amateur at East Lake and was presented the trophy by none other than Bobby Jones.
Andrew Parr, a Canadian professional who estimates the annual cost of playing full-time tournament golf at $75,000, has taken a different approach than traditional sponsors to financing his dream: Crowdsourcing. So far, he’s raised $42,000, according to this story by Scott Stinson in the National Post.
Paula Creamer, a Northern California native, returns to the homeland this for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Country Club in San Francisco. Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle has her homecoming story.