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News & Tours

Arnold Palmer has a dislocated shoulder, but plans on hitting the Masters' honorary tee shot anyway

Consider this just another instance of Arnold Palmer proving he's golf's ultimate stud. The King hasn't hit a golf ball since he dislocated his right shoulder last December, but you're kidding yourself if you think that'll stop him from hitting the honorary first tee shot at the 2015 Masters.

But the four-time Masters winner enthusiastically put to rest any notion that he might not be in Augusta on the morning of April 9 to join “Big Three” partners Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as honorary starters. He’ll participate -- ready or not.

“Oh yeah, I plan on it,” Palmer said. “I haven’t (been practicing). I’m not allowed to swing yet. ... I will whatever.”

Go Arnie!



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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Should we expect another "top five" moment from Patrick Reed at Doral?

Did your fantasy team survive "The Bear Trap"? Probably not, if you rolled with chalk. It was a tough week for the big guns at PGA National, but they'll get another chance this week with the first World Golf Championship of the year. Everyone in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking is teeing it up at Trump National Doral -- the first time that's happened since the 2012 PGA Championship. Who do we like to shake hands with the Donald (and Ivanka) on Sunday evening? A look at our weekly Yahoo! fantasy golf lineup:

The Grind: Paddy's frugal victory feast and more models take up golf

Starters -- (A-List): Bubba Watson. Didn't seem to really feel comfortable with the changes to Doral until last year's final round, but a Sunday 68 vaulted him to T-2. Watson also finished runner-up here in 2012 before the alterations.

(B-List): Dustin Johnson. DJ is coming off a rough week, but then again, you could say that about most of the big names who teed it up at PGA National. He finished T-4 at Doral last year and was solo second in 2011.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2014

(B-List): Graeme McDowell. Managed a T-9 last year despite not posting anything better than 71. The new Doral is much more about surviving than going low, though, making it a good track for this U.S. Open champ.

(C-List): Patrick Reed. The defending champ nearly won for a second time in 2015 at the Honda. It was here last year where he famously made his "top five" statement. Another win this week and that might actually become a reality.

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Patrick Reed and Donald Trump. Two guys with no confidence issues.

Bench/Backups: Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Rose, and Jamie Donaldson.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Jamie Donaldson. Long before -- well, months before -- he became a Ryder Cup hero, Donaldson finished T-2 to Reed. He's also coming off a fifth-place finish at the Honda Classic. In other words, he's really good. Maybe not "top five" in the world good, but you get the point.

Previously used: Paul Casey (Honda), Jason Day (Famers -- WINNER!), Bill Haas (Riviera), Charles Howell III (Sony), Dustin Johnson (Pebble), Geoff Ogilvy (Hyundai), Ryan Palmer (Humana), Brendan Steele (Phoenix).

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Video

News you can use: How those cars float in place at PGA Tour events

The most pressing question of the day in PGA Tour golf, apparently, inasmuch as the PGA Tour put issued a video answer: How do those cars float in place in the middle of ponds at PGA Tour events with automobile sponsors?

The first thing to know is that they don’t really float. No, really. Let’s go to the video tape of a Cadillac assuming its position at Trump Doral, site of this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship:

Here’s hoping the Cadillac fares better than a Honda did at the Honda Classic last week. On Saturday, it appeared on the verge of sinking as torrential rain raised the water level of the pond by the 18th green at PGA National.

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Style

Yes, there is such a thing as golf performance underwear

If the phrase "golf performance underwear" causes you to snicker, get in line. The folks at 2UNDR, which launched a collection of athletically engineered briefs this year, have heard all the double-entendres you can imagine—and even use a few in their marketing—with some playful hashtags on social media (#assetmanagement).

loop-stix-2undr-packaging-560.jpgBefore writing them off, however, they ask you to try a pair to see what they're talking about. We did, and were impressed. All four 2UNDR styles are designed to increase comfort (thanks to what the company calls the Joey Pouch) and decrease unwanted skin contact, particularly in warmer weather conditions.

loop-stix-2-under-boxer-300.jpgThe DayShift is the core cotton product, and the SwingShift ($24.95 each) is made with a rayon-blend material. The GearShift and PowerShift ($29.95) are compression-style underwear that use Garmatex fabric to wick away sweat and decrease temperatures by 3 to 6 degrees.

Part of the proceeds from specialty models will go to cancer research.

Interested in more stories on apparel? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things fashion.

 

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Courses & Travel

You can finally book tee times for Donald Trump's new NYC golf course, but when you can actually play is still anyone's guess

The highly anticipated public opening of Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point has finally arrived. Now, golfers just need the weather to cooperate.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that people can start scheduling tee times at 10 a.m. on March 11 for the month of April (www.trumpferrypoint.com). The new course's official opening day is scheduled for April 1, which seems ambitious with all the snow that's been dumped on the New York area of late and no winter reprieve in sight.

Related: Golf courses that were constructed on unusual sites

Speaking of ambitious, Trump said he expects the track "to have many major championships."

Jack Nicklaus, a man with 18 major titles to his name, designed the course that was built on top of a Bronx landfill and took more than 12 years to complete. Constructed beneath the Whitestone Bridge, the challenging course offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.

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"Ferry Point was created to be a unique public golf experience, and it is our collective hope that the golf course will add to New York City's global reputation, enhance New York's reputation for quality golf, and give its proud residents a place to play and call home," Nicklaus said.

Related: Golf Digest's Q&A with Donald Trump

Once all the snow melts, that is.

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Video

Watch Paula Creamer drain another 75-foot, walk-off putt -- but this time, in high heels

A year ago, Paula Creamer ended a long winless drought by making an even longer putt. If you don't remember it, here it is:

Creamer is back in Singapore this week to defend her title at the HSBC Women's Champions, and tournament organizers set up another 75-foot putt for her to attempt on a mini-golf green at the pre-event gala. Dressed to the nines, Creamer took a crack at the putt and this happened:

The best part -- other than the ball going in, of course -- is Creamer turning away, thinking she'd missed, only to turn back in time to see the ball go in the hole. It didn't quite produce the same reaction from Creamer as last year's bomb, but the newlywed and those watching, including Michelle Wie, got pretty excited.

Related: Paula Creamer looked like she had fun on her honeymoon

Creamer immediately said, "I'm done, I'm done," and walked away after her perfect first attempt. As we saw at this tournament last year, Paula knows how to leave on a high note.

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Courses & Travel

Tom Weiskopf remembers Jay Morrish: "He was somebody special. I learned so much from him"

Jay Morrish-inset.jpg
These are some admittedly personal reflections on golf architect Jay Morrish, the left-brain half of the superstar design team of Morrish and Weiskopf, who died on March 2 in a Dallas suburb, after dealing for years with heart disease.
 
I started writing about golf architecture for magazines in 1983, the same year Morrish left Jack Nicklaus's three-man design firm and headed out on his own.  He was living in Tulsa at the time, and he took me around Tulsa Country Club, which he would soon remodel, and Tom Fazio's brand new Golf Club of Oklahoma, which Jay assessed with remarkable insight, pointing out structural challenges and solutions, potential maintenance issues and novel design features. I foolishly thought every architect was going to be as generous with his time.   
 
The following year, Jay teamed with Tom Weiskopf, at the latter's invitation, to design Troon Golf & Country Club in Scottsdale.  I'd begun running Golf Digest's course ranking panel, and their evaluations (I had no vote) picked Troon as America's Best New Private Course of 1986.  The team of Morrish and Weiskopf became a marquee firm overnight, and their subsequent work also glittered: Troon, the Monument Course at Troon North, the Canyon Course at Forest Highlands, Shadow Glen in Kansas and Double Eagle in Ohio all ended up ranked on America's 100 Greatest. Their La Cantera in Texas won Best New Public of 1995 and was later a PGA Tour stop.  Even today, our World's 100 Greatest includes their Loch Lomond Golf Club, the first design in Scotland by American architects and considered by both men to be their best, even though Jay was sidelined by quadruple bypass surgery during much of its construction.
 
Golf World proclaimed them joint Architects of the Year in 1996, when they surprised us by announcing they were splitting into separate, competing firms.(Their final co-designs, The Rim in Payson, Ariz. and The Reserve in Indian Wells, Calif., took three more years to complete.) 
 
To the consternation of some readers, my article on that honor focused on their shared love of big-game hunting, an activity Weiskopf first encouraged Jay to try in the 1980s.  Jay especially loved hunting in Africa. He described it as "95 percent boredom and 5 percent sheer terror."
 
His big-game trophies, including antelopes, lions and grizzly bears, were so extensive that in the early 1990s he built a 5,600 square foot home outside Dallas, designed by clubhouse architect Bill Zmistowski, to house them all.  In 2007, Jay and his wife, Louise, downsized to a smaller home nearby, and most of the mounted animals were donated to the Dallas Zoo and Bass Pro Shops.
 
Earlier this week, I called Weiskopf to talk about Jay.
 
"He was somebody special," Tom said. "The total package. I learned so much from him. I couldn't have started in the business with a better guy.
 
"We were a terrific team. He handled all the technical aspects; he was the best problem-solver in the business. I'd offer strategic elements, things like following a reachable par 5 with the longest par-4 in the opposite direction.  He liked my idea of a drivable par 4, which I'd gotten from playing the Old Course at St. Andrews. We did at least one on each of the 25 courses we did together.
 
"I'm proud to say that Jay and I always finished on time and on budget. And we've never had to go back and redo any of our courses."
 
I had to challenge Tom on that last statement.  After all, he'd just spent much of 2014 rebuilding every hole at TPC Scottsdale, an early Morrish and Weiskopf flagship design.

 
"That was a result of technology," he said. "When you have the world's best golfers playing a course every year, you'd got to keep it competitive. But its basic structure was still sound. We didn't change that."
 
On his own, Jay did many spectacular yet playable courses, including Stone Canyon, Pine Canyon and Talking Rock, all in Arizona, Castle Hills and Pine Dunes in Texas, Blackstone, Ravenna and River Valley Ranch in Colorado and Bent Creek in Pennsylvania. He was assisted on most by his son, Carter, whose career he wanted to advance by leaving his partnership with Weiskopf.
 
By the time we met in 1983, Jay had given up golf.  He'd once been avid about it, while earning a nursery management degree at Colorado State, and played left-handed. But quit because of back problems. "You don't have to be the world's best player to be a good architect," he said. "You just have to understand what the golf ball's going to do."
 
Morrish served as the rock-steady president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in the tumultuous year following 9/11.  He was impressively eloquent and well read, as evidenced by an essay he wrote in 2003 comparing the golf design process to the manner in which Edgar Allen Poe composed a poem.
 
He could also be blunt, like the time in 2002 when I asked him to comment on the passing of his old boss, course architect Desmond Muirhead. "Never liked him, never liked his work," Jay said.
 
My reaction to Jay's passing is to flip that line.  I always liked Jay Morrish. I always liked his work.

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News & Tours

Adam Scott is probably going to use a short putter at the WGC-Cadillac Championship

After getting over the initial shock of actually seeing Adam Scott on a golf course -- he hasn't been in action since last November -- it was interesting to see him tinkering with a short putter during the Tuesday practice round at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. The move was no doubt prompted by the USGA's forthcoming ban on anchored putters, which goes into effect at the start of next year.

Scott, who used the short putter with a claw grip, says he'll probably put it in play this week:

"It feels good," he said. "I enjoy doing it."

Scott first switched to the long putter at the 2011 WGC-Match Play after plummeting down to 186th on tour in Strokes Gained/putting. He's recovered since then -- he had his second-best putting year in 2014 -- so it'll be interesting to track what kind of effect the switch back will have on his game.

Year
Strokes Gained: Putting
Rank
2004
0.88
1
2005
0.016
101
2006
-0.122
133
2007
0.127
73
2008
-0.436
179
2009
-0.888
180
2010
-0.746
186
2011
-0.187
143
2012
-0.203
146
2013
0.001
103
2014
0.217
55

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Missing Links

Bubba Watson 'a well-adjusted, mature human being. Well almost'

Stories of interest you might have missed…

A wiser, more mature Bubba? “Bubba ‘I’ve got issues’ Watson isn’t the first father to have his world re-ordered when the baby comes home. By the time the second arrives, what remains of the boy within is all but totalled, replaced by a well-adjusted, mature human being. Well almost,” Kevin Garside writes in the Independent, while noting fatherhood has been good for Watson and his game.

WatsonB.jpg
(Getty Images)

England’s Paul Casey, an American resident and now a full-time PGA Tour member, lost in a playoff at the Northern Trust Open and finished third in the Honda Classic and suddenly is thinking about a European Ryder Cup spot. “Three months ago he resigned his European Tour membership and woke to headlines proclaiming he had spurned the chance to play in the Ryder Cup, since you have to be a member to make the team,” Derek Lawrenson writes in the Daily Mail. “‘I understood the stories and if it hadn't involved me, it's what I would have thought,' he said. 'But I haven't given up on the Ryder Cup.’”

***

When the Royal & Ancient Golf Club began admitting women members, it seemed to have a domino effect. Royal Troon and Muirfield are reviewing their membership policies and now Royal St. George’s has announced it is opening its doors to women. "Royal St George's Golf Club is pleased to announce that…a resolution to alter the club's rules to make ladies eligible for membership has been duly passed,” it said in a statement.

***

The WGC-Cadillac Championship is a showcase event for Donald Trump at Trump Doral. “Epitomizing the Trump doctrine of go big or go home, the week is a festival that includes a model search, fashion show, Carlos Santana concert and showcase for 70 of the game's best players, including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler. This will not be just another tournament week on the PGA Tour, and that's precisely Trump's intention,” Steve DiMeglio of USA Today writes.

***

“It’s as the father of a 17-year-old girl that I, along with many others no doubt, find it quite astonishing to watch what Lydia Ko is achieving in the Royal & Ancient game,” Martin Dempster writes in the Scotsman, “making her appearance on Scottish soil later this year in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry every bit as exciting as the prospect of Rory McIlroy defending the Open Championship at St Andrews.”


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Health & Fitness

The biggest fitness trend of 2015

Every year for the past nine years, the American College of Sports Medicine has surveyed thousands of health professionals around the globe to determine what's hot in exercise and what's not. For example, Zumba made the top-20 list in 2012 and 2013 but has since dropped off. The experts were asked to consider 39 possible trends for 2015 including the top 25 from last year. So what do the experts think is the big thing for this year?

Body-weight training.

blog-health-trends-ranking.jpgThings like push-ups, planks and plyometrics are finally getting their due respect. It's not that people haven't been doing body-weight exercises for years, it's just that the most common perceptions people have of what constitutes a good workout have been things such as running on a treadmill, or circuit training on a row of muscle-specific machines in some big-box gym.

The simple truth is you don't need a $500-a-year gym membership to get fit, and the 3,400-plus respondents to the survey think people are finally catching on to this fact.

Here is ACSM's top-20 list for 2015.


Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

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