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News & Tours

Trump defiant in response to ESPN, NASCAR, cites a benefit to bottom line

The Donald Trump fallout from comments he made recently about issues with illegal immigration and immigrants continued on Tuesday, to which Trump responded in a manner consistent with how he has always countered critics: Head on and without apology.

Trump issued the following statement regarding ESPN electing to relocate its ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National Los Angeles to Pelican Hill on the Orange County coast south of Los Angeles, on top of NASCAR’s recent announcement that it was pulling its post-season award banquet from Trump National Doral in Miami:

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In another announcement on Tuesday, the PGA of America said it would relocate its PGA Grand Slam of Golf from Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles.

The LPGA, meanwhile, announced that it was too late to consider a change of venue for its Ricoh Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry in Scotland.

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Equipment

Forge your own set of American-made irons for $200,000

If you play on the PGA Tour, your gorgeous custom forged irons are hand ground by small teams of artisans in California and Texas, but the heads themselves are still produced overseas -- mostly in Asia. 

Thanks to low labor costs across the ocean, American club forges have gone completely extinct. The last one, Kalher International, is selling off its club forging equipment and concentrating on its line of forged and electroplated musical instrument parts. 

If you feel like joining the whole Buy American/Handcrafted movement and becoming a sort of Hipster Clubmaker -- and have a spare $200k to invest -- you can pick up all of Kahler's equipment, dies and tools, along with 46,000 in-process clubheads. 

Load the lot of it into a few semis -- or rent some space near Kahler's Las Vegas headquarters -- and you can be making your own custom forged heads in a matter of weeks. 

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It might take some research and design work to come up with some more progressive-looking heads -- Kahler's inventory very much befits the "Classic" name stamped on the heads. Still, showing up at your club championship with irons you made yourself on a 550-ton press provides a unique kind of street creed. 

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Trending

Jordan Spieth just told one of the most epic big fish tales you'll ever hear

If this golf thing doesn't work out for Jordan Spieth, it looks like he might have a second career as a fisherman.

At his Tuesday press conference ahead of the John Deere Classic, Spieth was asked a lot about his decision to play the week before the Open Championship after winning the year's first two major championships. But his answer about a recent adventure on a boat in the Bahamas got most of the attention.

The Grind: Jimenez's Wimbledon snooze and DJ-Paulina's Fourth fireworks

Here's Spieth regaling the media with a tale about a much different type of haul. Let's call it "The Young Man and the Sea." Take it away, Jordan:

"It wasn't even a fishing boat, there was no chair or anything, but they had the belt," Spieth said. "We hooked on a tuna, and I was hooked on a tuna for about 45 minutes to an hour. It was a big tuna, and then these little sharks were coming in trying to get a piece of it, and the captain was scaring them off banging on the boat and on the water, and all of a sudden it just rips back down again.

"I almost got pulled in."

Yikes!

"[The line] was so much heavier, and I was just like, 'Wait, these fish must have seen the sharks and just tried to avoid them,'" he said. "I found some extra strength or whatever, so we worked on it again. So in total, it was two and a half hours. I had to take a break.

"My arm couldn't move anymore. It was, like, shaking when I held it up. So the captain had to come in for about five minutes while I took a bathroom break, and I came back, took it back from him. So in total, it was two and a half hours."

"What surfaced was a 12-foot long, 300-pound black-tip shark that had eaten this tuna and then had hooked itself," Spieth said. "So I guess I caught both in one, because I got that shark. But there was no room for the fish on the back of the boat so we couldn't pull it on, so the captain technically grabbed the line where it's considered 'landing the fish,' let go of it quickly, and then we let some string and it whipped the hook out."

"We were just going to cut it anyways," Spieth said. "It was a cool experience. I've never had something like that."

Two and a half hours? That's the time it takes to play a quick nine holes at Chambers Bay. And yet, Spieth didn't want to let go until he'd finished the job.

"A couple of my friends were like, 'I'll take over,' " Spieth said, laughing. "I'm like, 'You bet your ass you're not taking over. This is my fish. There's no way you're stepping on this. You're going to lose it.'

"I let the captain do it, because he's used to fishing. No, the competitive side of me, I didn't want to give up until I actually couldn't move my arm anymore. I just needed about five minutes of shaking it, and it came back, and it was sore for a couple days, but I'm good now."

Glad to hear, Jordan. Reeling in a 300-pound shark sounds like quite the ordeal. And here we all are giving Rory McIlroy a hard time for kicking a soccer ball around with friends.

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(h/t Golf Blot)

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News & Tours

Scott Stallings suspended three months by PGA Tour for taking banned substance

The PGA Tour has announced that Scott Stallings has been suspended three months for violating the Anti-Doping Policy.

”Mr. Stallings self-reported this information after discovering that a supplement that he was taking was on the prohibited list,” the tour said through a press release. “He has acknowledged his inadvertent error and accepted his suspension.”

Ranked No. 154 in the world, Stallings, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had made 11 cuts in 19 appearances this season.

”I discovered in February 2015 that I had inadvertently taken a supplement for the prior two months that was not permitted by the PGA Tour,” Stallings said. “I did so on the recommendation of my physician due to chronic fatigue I had felt over a period of time -- not in any way for performance enhancement.”

Stallings can return to the tour Oct. 7, in time for the opening event of the 2015-16 PGA Tour season.

The 30-year-old pro is the third player to officially be suspended due to the tour's Anti-Doping Policy, joining Doug Barron and Bhavik Patel. Vijay Singh was also banned for PED use, but he later won his appeal.

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News & Tours

Jordan Spieth's instructor: 'No reason he can't have the right [British Open] plan by Tuesday'

Jordan Spieth’s historic journey, if that is what this ultimately proves to be, will have included a layover in Silvis, Ill., site of the John Deere Classic this week.

Spieth, winner of the Masters and the U.S. Open, has opted to honor a commitment to play at John Deere and to use it to prepare for the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews in what now is a Grand Slam quest. Learning the nuances of the Old Course can wait until he arrives on Monday.

“There are many reasons for it being the right decision, that being a big one of them,” his instructor Cameron McCormick said Tuesday, citing Spieth’s commitment to the John Deere. “The point needs to made that playing and competing is the right thing to do. The best way to prepare for a big event is to play a big event.”

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Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller (Getty Images)

“The other side of that is developing a game plan and acclimating to both time and weather conditions. Jordan’s always been a quick study — developing tactical intelligence, where the right places to be on the course — and with [caddie] Michael [Greller] amplifying that, I see no reason why he can’t have the right plan architected by Tuesday afternoon.”

That speaks to the tactical, but what about the technical? Spieth began preparing in Dallas last week, McCormick said.

“Coming off Chambers Bay [site of the U.S. Open], we’re in a unique position, because any equipment changes dovetail nicely for St. Andrews,” McCormick said. At Chambers Bay, Spieth replaced a a 20.5-degree hybrid with a Titleist 712U 3-iron.

McCormick said that Spieth worked on long lag putts in preparation for the Old Course. “There will be a lot of putts from off the green and you need a high level of touch control. Some of the greens at St. Andrews are beyond large and you’ll find yourself in situations multiple times where you might be lagging it up 70 or 80 feet. He was checking that box, ensuring he has good touch control going into next week.”

He also prepared for the possibility of facing steep-faced bunker shots and windy conditions. “We challenged him to create quick vertical trajectory to be able to escape them,” McCormick said. It also has been typically windy in Texas, and Spieth has been working on keeping “the trajectory of his shots down for control into the wind.”

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Video

Fox Business host offers clarification for why she called Rory McIlroy "a leprechaun," doesn't back down

On Monday, an on-air host was overheard on Fox News' Outnumbered program calling Rory McIlroy "a leprechaun" and saying she "can't stand him." A day later, she didn't back down from her position.

The Grind: Rory's soccer mishap and Jimenez's nap at Wimbledon

Lisa "Kennedy" Montgomery, who is still upset by how McIlroy ended his engagement with Caroline Wozniacki last year, made the following announcement on Outnumbered on Tuesday:

"Yesterday at this time I used the word leprechaun to describe golfer Rory McIlroy. I love sports, I love golf, but I am not a fan of Rory's. Mostly for the way he treated tennis great Caroline Wozniacki and discarded her like a piece of chewed gum when he broke her heart and broke off their engagement in a short phone conversation. That's worse than breaking up on a Post-it. Now to be clear, neither Harris nor Jenna Lee used the term and I don't want them to get the credit for it. I called Rory McIlroy a leprechaun and believe me I wanted to call him much worse. As you know, some of my best friends are leprechauns and they also have tremendous sense of humor. Thank you."

Hmm. OK. . .

And here's a video clip of Montgomery delivering this message on the air:

Just a guess, but McIlroy probably won't be appearing on Outnumbered anytime soon.

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Health & Fitness

Rory's injury might affect his play long after this season

If what Rory McIlroy says is true, and he suffered a "total rupture of the left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage," there is a small, yet significant chance that even after his ankle heals, the injury might hamper his golf swing. A study done in 1999 that looked at treatment for the most severe ruptures of the anterior talofibular ligament—known as a Grade III sprain—reported that up to 30 percent of patients suffered chronic symptoms from the injury. Those symptoms included synovitis, tendinitis, stiffness, swelling and pain. In short, the joint hurt and felt unstable long after the injury. It's also interesting to note that it didn't matter whether the patients reporting chronic problems underwent surgery or a more conservative approach to recovery. The study was conducted by Penn State University's department of orthopaedics at the Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center.

Related: Rory McIlroy ruptures ankle ligament playing soccer 

While you might like Rory's odds using the 30-percent statistic as a barometer, keep in mind that his acknowledgment of "capsule damage," makes it even more likely he'll have long-term issues from the injury. "A torn capsule heals with scar tissue that might become a constant source of irritation leading to chronic pain," says Golf Digest health advisor Dr. Ara Suppiah (@draraoncall). "It could ultimately lead to compensations from other parts of his body." 

Suppiah predicts it will take roughly six weeks before Rory starts playing competitively, but that doesn't mean his ankle is going to feel great when he hits shots or walks 20 to 25 miles on uneven ground over four days of a tournament. It's going to be interesting to see how much power he can generate in his downswing. A key to Rory's swing is the amount of ground force he can create by pushing down with his left foot and then rotating around that ankle joint when he hits shots. Timing issues can also occur -- especially with a swing as precise as McIlroy's, Suppiah says. And one more thing to consider is Rory's vigorous off-course training program. Doing things like squats, box jumps, deadlifts and sprints all require stable ankles.

The good news for McIlroy is that the ATFL and the other two ligaments associated with lateral ankle sprains -- the calcaenofibular and the posterior talofibular -- are incredibly strong and durable. They take quite a beating over a lifetime and tend to heal well, albeit scar tissue around the joint can inflame them from time to time, Suppiah says.

While McIlroy's injury occurred playing soccer, it's a good reminder that golfers need to train the muscles and other soft tissue around the joint whenever they work out. With that in mind, we spoke with world-renowned strength-and-fitness expert Mark Verstegen (@TeamEXOS) and asked him for help with the ankle sprains. Click here for his advice

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

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News & Tours

Michelle Wie says she's pumped after watching the Women's World Cup

LANCASTER, Pa. -- Even athletes get pumped when they watch other athletes. Michelle Wie, who is defending her U.S. Women's Open title this week, says she and a few of her 2015 Solheim Cup teammates traded texts during the Women's World Cup final match on Sunday night. 

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Photo by Hunter Martin/USGA

"It was pretty amazing," said Wie, 25, during a Tuesday morning press conference. "Scoring two goals in the first 17 minutes, that was incredible. We had a couple of group texts going with our Solheim team...We definitely looked to them for inspiration and motivation. It gave me goose bumps."

Wie, who's been dealing with ankle and hip injuries, has yet to win in 2015. She withdrew from the ShopRite LPGA Classic in May (bursitis in her left hip was the culprit) and has missed two of three cuts since making her return. Wie admitted it's been a "tough year" and that she has been "struggling with a couple of injuries and illnesses," but she says every day "feels better than the day before." And she's feeding off the high energy at Lancaster Country Club.

"I've heard that we've already broken the ticket sales from this year," Wie said. "I was amazed by how many people came out to watch yesterday. It's the most people I've ever seen on a golf course on a Monday of a tournament. It's pretty exciting."


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News & Tours

PGA of America becomes first big stakeholder to dump Trump course from hosting an event

Know a course interested in hosting four high-profile tour pros in October for a couple days of mildly competitive golf? You might try giving officials at the PGA of America a call as they look for a new place to play the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

And don't mention Donald Trump as a reference.

The PGA of America announced Tuesday that it will not be holding the 2015 event at Trump National Golf Club - Los Angeles as previously scheduled. The course had been named the site of the two-day competition, which annually pits the winners of the year's four major championships, in March. The event had been held the past seven years in Bermuda.


The decision to change venues comes in the wake of inflammatory comments made by Trump, who owns the course, regarding Mexican immigrants when announcing his 2016 presidential bid last month. Golf's connections to Trump were called into question as other businesses associated with the real estate mogul announced they were distancing themselves from him if not cutting ties altogether.

The PGA of America, along with the USGA, PGA Tour and LPGA, had already come out condemning Trump's comments in a release issued last week. All four stakeholders have events held at Trump-owned courses. The PGA of America, however, is the first to go so far as to remove an event from a Trump course.

Related: Courses that can replace Trump venues to host tour events

In a two-sentence release, the association said that both parties mutually agreed to moving the event. No replacement site was announced, with the PGA of America saying it was exploring options.

In a separate release issued by the Trump Organization, Trump acknowledged that he didn't want the PGA of America "to suffer any consequences or backlash with respect to the Grand Slam of Golf." 

The PGA of America will also not be playing the 2015 PGA Junior League Golf Championship at Trump National L.A., which was also to be part of the October event.

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The Grind

Rory's soccer mishap, Tiger's stunning stat, Jimenez's Wimbledon nap, and DJ-Paulina's Fourth fireworks

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we believe playing any sport other than golf when you're over the age of 25 is reckless (unless you are a pro in that other sport). Yeah, yeah, I'm an old man, but retiring from basketball at 23 has ensured I wouldn't miss playing any golf due to an injury. Well, except the time I threw out my back hitting too many practice putts. . . And the other time I threw out my back picking up my golf bag too quickly. . . Yeah, yeah, I'm pathetic, but imagine how many more times I would have gotten hurt if I still played a pick-up game from time to time? I feel bad for Rory McIlroy, but he could have been more careful. Soccer is a dangerous sport!

Be careful out there, folks. Missing golf due to an injury is a terrible thing. Now let's move on before I strain my neck staring at that clip. . .

WE'RE BUYING

Danny Lee: The 24-year-old New Zealander made pretty quick work of a four-man playoff at the Greenbrier, birdieing the first extra hole and parring the second. What took a lot longer was Lee, who became the youngest U.S. Amateur champ in 2008, finally winning his first PGA Tour title. Odds are, it won't be his last.

Jim Justice: The Greenbrier owner has done a tremendous job of gaining exposure for his event by getting golfers like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to play in the tournament and getting a guy like Shaq to play participate in the pro-am. And how about the 18th hole promotion? Justice personally handed out nearly $200,000 in cash because of aces by George McNeill and Justin Thomas, and was ready to hand out a lot more if there had been a third hole-in-one on the finishing hole. The guy is a gentle giant. He doesn't even look that odd standing next to Shaq:

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Tiger's irons: It's sad that the 14-time major champ has fallen so far we're now getting excited about him finishing T-32 in second-tier events. But there were some serious signs of him turning things around. Really! At least, with his iron play. Woods posted the best proximity mark (23'-11") of his career -- at least, since 2003 when that became an official stat -- and also led the field in strokes gained on his approach shots. The bad news is Woods' iron play was great under Sean Foley as well and, well, you know. But hey, talking about him leading in any stat is a lot better than talking about him being unable to break 80.

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

Robert Streb's wedge: After damaging his putter tossing it to his caddie on Sunday, Streb was forced to putt with his 56-degree sand wedge on the back nine. He responded by making five birdies (one from 27 feet) and three-putting just once. We know what you're thinking. Here's an instructional article on how to putt with your wedge. Read it at your own risk.

WE'RE SELLING

Rory's Open chances: McIlroy's ankle injury is a total bummer. For everyone. Even if Jordan Spieth wins a third major to start the season, he'll face inevitable (unfair) questions about doing it thanks to Rory's injury. And of course, golf fans wanted to see McIlroy defend his Open title and get another crack at St. Andrews after his 63-80-69-68 performance at age 21 in 2010. We'd love to see him topple the Old Course in a walking boot, but there's probably a better chance of Tiger shooting 19 under there and winning by eight shots again.

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Kevin Kisner's playoff record: Incredibly, Kisner has lost three playoffs in the past 11 weeks. He is the only active PGA Tour player to lose three tournaments in extra holes in a single season and the first to do so since Horton Smith in 1937. Coincidentally, we hear he's terrible at the card game War and at flipping coins. Hang in there, Kiz. Your luck is bound to change.

Related: Get to know your British Open courses

Shaq's golf swing: The Big Daddy/Aristotle/Cactus/Diesel provided two big whiffs on his opening tee shot at the Greenbrier Pro-Am. Here's a look at his swing that rivals his free-throw stroke in terms of aesthetics:

But Shaq still provided big entertainment. Here he is showing playing partner Keegan Bradley how to shoot a free throw on the golf course.

"I make them when I need them," Shaq joked. Regardless of his golf game, this week proved a pro-am with Shaq is a lot better than a pro-am without him.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Illinois for the John Deere Classic, aka that event that takes place before the British Open and where Jordan Spieth holed that bunker shot to help him win his first tour title.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Speaking of Spieth, in case you didn't hear, he's playing this week. That's right, Spieth is going to try to do the unthinkable by playing some golf and then flying on a chartered jet and only having three days to prepare for playing some more golf. Can he do it?!

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Shaq will qualify for the Champions Tour when he turns 50: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Adam Scott will turn to putting with a wedge once the anchoring ban kicks in: 10-to-1 odds

-- People will spend way too much time talking about Jordan Spieth's schedule: LOCK

PHOTO/TWEET OF THE WEEK

We now know golf's Most Interesting Man in the World needs his sleep like the rest of us. Apparently, Miguel Angel Jimenez doesn't nap often, but when he does, he dresses in a suit and attends Wimbledon:

VIRAL VIDEO(S) OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING SHAQ)

For some reason, a Fox News anchor called Rory McIlroy a "leprechaun" and said she "can't stand him." Talk about adding insult to injury!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"It was just amazing. It's phenomenal. It's my fourth time playing here, and I liked it every single year. Only one wish I had was if I had a girlfriend, it wouldn't be as lonely in the room." -- Danny Lee. Hang in there, Danny. That check for $1.2 million certainly won't hurt. For now, though, maybe look away from the following photos. . .

THIS WEEK IN MODELS PLAYING GOLF (SORT OF)

How about Alexis Randock beating boyfriend Rickie Fowler at a game of closest to the pin:

Of course, the lovely couple provided other photos from their Fourth of July getaway to Baker's Bay:

each day with you is the best day💙

A photo posted by Alexis Randock (@alexis.randock) on

Aww, so sweet -- especially the matching Red Bull hats!

THIS WEEK IN KEEGAN BRADLEY-JILLIAN STACEY-SHAQ PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

My pro am partner at the #Greenbrier was very tallll. Had a blast today with @shaq.

A photo posted by Keegan Bradley (@keeganbradley1) on

"Bennifer" may be done, but "Jilligan" and "Ralexis" are going strong in the world of celebrity golf couples. And not to be outdone. . .

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

✿🇺🇿 @djohnsonpga

A photo posted by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

Happy belated Fourth of July, everyone!

THIS AND THAT

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ESPN is moving its ESPY charity golf outing from Trump National (L.A.) to Pelican Hill. That's not exactly the PGA Tour moving the Cadillac Championship from Doral, but it's a step in the right direction. . . . Speaking of race issues, Bubba Watson will paint an American flag over the Confederate flag on his General Lee car. Good of Bubba to save his sponsors a few headaches. . . . Bernd Weisberger shot a Sunday 65 to win the French Open for his third European Tour title. You may remember him as "that other guy" contending at last year's PGA Championship at Valhalla. . . . Former NBA star Allan Houston's beautiful Armonk, N.Y., mansion that includes a sick golf practice area in the backyard can be yours for (just) under $20 million! I'm actually looking for a house in the same area, but that property tax of $180,000(!) is just a little too steep. . . . A beloved fake horse (em>pictured) at a mini-golf course was stolen and then returned. The owners cried tears of joy when it was brought back. Tears of joy. True story.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Will Rory McIlroy ever play soccer again?

Will I ever dare touch a basketball again?

Who steals a fake horse from a mini-golf course?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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