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News & Tours

More thrills for Corbin Mills at APL

BANDON, Ore.—Corbin Mills says he doesn't have a particularly good track record in match-play events and his putting has held him back from breaking out in college golf. You wouldn't know either of these to be the case, however, by the way the rising Clemson junior has played at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

After claiming medalist honors and advancing out of stroke-play qualifying for the first time in three USGA events, the 21-year-old from Easley, S.C., has found a comfort zone around the links courses at Bandon Dunes Resort. During Thursday's play at Old Macdonald GC, Mills knocked off recent NCAA champion John Peterson, 1 up, then beat Oklahoma State's Talor Gooch, 4 and 2, to reach Friday's quarterfinal round. ... Read
News & Tours

Wake's Woods continues winning ways at WAPL

BANDON, Ore.—In women's college golf, there's the SEC/Pac-10 Challenge. At the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, it appears we've got an ACC/Pac-10 showcase.

Seven of the eight players who advanced to the quarterfinals Thursday after the second and third rounds were contested on Bandon Trails GC play college golf at schools in one of these two conferences.
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News & Tours

Larry David's many stages of grief, er, golf

We've all been there. And judging by his "Shouts & Murmurs" column in the July 4 issue of The New Yorker, Larry David has been there more than once. The co-creator of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has enjoyed a fruitful career as America's favorite neurotic, but hasn't enjoyed the same type of success as an avid, but frustrated, golfer.

larry_david_300.jpg"The Anger phase lasted for years, and then I entered the next phase, Denial," David writes. 'All I need are some lessons,' I told myself. 'Why should everyone else be able to do it and not me? Why are they good? I'm coordinated. I have a jump shot! I can go to my left. Obviously I have it in me. I have it in me! Next year, I'll go to Orlando and spend a week taking lessons with Leadbetter. I don't care what it costs. How can you spend a week with Leadbetter and not get better? It's impossible.' But I did, and I didn't.

Eventually, David said, he entered the final stage -- Acceptance.

"I will never stand over the ball without considering the disaster about to befall me. I'll never line up a putt and think I'll make it. Never face a chip without fearing the decel.

"And yet I'll continue to play, because I do hit some good shots, especially when I'm on the driving range. I actually hit some great range shots. What the hell is that? I've had swing compliments on the range. 'I love your tempo,' a woman once said to me. That's right--I have good tempo. I've had many other range compliments that I won't bore you with, but, believe me, I'm an eight or a nine on the range."

"So it's clearly psychological. I wonder . . . what if I blindfolded myself ? Is it possible?! Have I stumbled upon the Secret? It makes sense. The reason I can't hit the ball is that I can see it! Tomorrow I'm going to play blindfolded, and if that doesn't work then I'll definitely and unequivocally accept Acceptance. I just want to try this blindfold idea. I have a very good feeling about it. Very good."

-- Sam Weinman
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News & Tours

In honor of July 4th, an ode to the hot dog

You've heard the Golf Digest nutritional spiel for years regarding those lethal, nitrate-loaded, cholesterol-building hot dogs that you love. Here is a quick review for those who have forgotten: a dog does have protein, iron, potassium and Vitamin-C benefits, but the sodium, fat and cholesterol content are off the charts. Get one with cheese sauce, and you're looking at 545 calories. All of which is why we've always suggested a nutrition bar for a back-nine energy boost.

But this time around, you're getting a reprieve from the message: We're with you, and that's the last of the bad hot-dog news.


Why the change of heart? It's Fourth of July time for starters, and franks and the Fourth go together quite well. But, in general, a hot dog is quick and cheap, and when we're hungry, the salt and fat in a dog taste mighty fine. Seven billion hot dogs are sold between Memorial Day and Labor Day -- undoubtedly a huge chunk at the golf course -- but they are lovable and edible year-round. Here's our ode to the dog:

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News & Tours

Despite rocky APL start, no give up from Hoadley

BANDON, Ore.—That Robert Hoadley would be preparing to tee it up in the third round of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship Thursday afternoon probably comes as a surprise to those who watched him during his first few holes of stroke-play qualifying.

Playing in the wind and rain that fell last Monday along the Oregon coast, the rising junior at UNC Greensboro stumbled early and often at Bandon Trails GC. It began with a double-bogey 5 on the second hole, followed by a double-bogey 6 on the third hole and a triple-bogey 7 on the fourth hole. Three more bogeys later, Hoadley turned in 10-over 45.

"That front nine was kind of a welcome to Bandon Dunes," Hoadley said. "A lot of people at home were texting my mom saying, 'Is this really true? Did he really shoot 10 over?' " ... Read
Gear & Equipment

Golf bags fit for kings...or at least presidents

After a decade with Nike Golf, Mike McKennon started his own company, McKennon Golf Bag Company, making leather golf bags in his basement. Now he's making them for presidents.


"We had set out to make something very presidential, but not too gaudy," he said in keeping with the company philsophy. "It's a simple navy blue bag with white accents. We've got the presidential seal on the headovers and bottom. And, subtly, on the side we put Golf Bag One."

McKennon said he was able to get it in President Obama's hands, though he would not disclose how he did so.

He has made one for Davis Love III, the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain, who used it in the Par 3 Contest at the Masters this year. "I made him a North Carolina bag," McKennon said. "Lucas Glover saw it and called and wanted a Clemson one."

McKennon's philsophy evolved from the statement at the top of his website home page: "As we developed the McKennon Player's Bag we considered every single feature of the modern golf bag. We didn't use a damn one of them."

"The whole premise of our company," he said, "is simplicity and intuitive golf bags. We don't have to have 13 zippers. You know where things are. We don't clutter it up."

The Player's Bag is handcrafted from aniline leather, sells for $799 and comes with either one or two zippered pockets.

In addition, McKennon purchased Jones Sporting Goods, maker of the Jones Bag that was so popular 30 and 40 years ago. "This is the only bag in golf where you can look at it and go, 'I remember that.' I carried a Jones bag until I was probably 25. It's cool to see it come back to life."

McKennon no longer works from his basement. He now has a 3,200-square foot shop and recently hired a fifth employee. "We're trying to turn everything upside down," he said. "We're going to go head-to-head with the bigger companies."

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

Something Bruin at the WAPL

BANDON, Ore.—National championships are something the players on the UCLA women's golf team are familiar with of late, the squad having claimed the NCAA team title last month at The Traditions Club in College Station, Texas. Perhaps then it's no surprise to see a few Bruins advancing into the match-play portion of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, among the 13 national championships the USGA conducts.

But five players from the same school?

"We were laughing about it," said Tiffany Lua. "It almost feels like a team tournament."

... Read
News & Tours

Is that an ace or an albatross?

UNLV's Derek Ernst has made one hole-in-one in his career, at a U.S. Amateur qualifier in 2007. But he went one better Wednesday during his first-round match with Joe David at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

On the eighth hole at Bandon Trails GC, a drivable par 4 that was playing 299 yards, albeit downwind, Ernst took out a 3-wood and went for the green. With the hole location in the back left, Ernst thought his drive was heading to the right bunker. A nice kick to the left, however, sent it toward the cup, where it proceeded to disappear, according to Ernst.

"I was thinking there's no way it went over the green," Ernst said. "There were two marshals on the side of the green and one guy ran out and put his hands in the air. That's when I knew it was in."

The double eagle was the first on a par 4 in the APL since the USGA began tracking such stats in 1982. It is just the third double eagle ever recorded at the APL.

"It gave me a big boost of momentum for the rest of day," said Ernst, who eventually won the match in 19 holes.


Form held in most first-round matches at Bandon Trails. Medalist Corbin Mills knocked off Greg O'Connor, 4 and 2, and faces John Peterson, the recent NCAA champion, in the second round Thursday. Peterson was a 3-and-2 winner over Peter Williamson.

Oklahoma State's Talor Gooch, recent college grads Harris English (Georgia) and Jonathan Randolph (Mississippi), Palmer Cup participant Daniel Miernicki (Oregon) all advanced to the second round as well, as did local Bandon caddie Kevin Rei, who defeated Kevin Fitzgerald 7 and 6.

For complete first-round results, click here.

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Gear & Equipment

Callaway CEO George Fellows resigns

After nearly six years as president and CEO of Callaway Golf,. George Fellows resigned from that post today citing personal reasons. Tony Thornley, a member of Callaway's board of directors since 2004, was named interim president and CEO. Until his appointment today, Thornley, 65, served as chair of the audit committee of Callaway's board and was the company's designated "financial expert."

"Tony Thornley has a deep knowledge of Callaway's business and the steps we must take to improve results going forward," said Ron Beard, Callaway's chairman of the board. "He brings decades of experience, including the financial and managerial skills and discipline to execute on our immediate priorities and to lead a transition to new leadership as the company charts a path for the future. As an avid golfer with a low single-digit handicap, he also brings passion for what we do."

Callaway also concurrently announced preliminary results for the second quarter which included revenues of $270 million and an expected net loss of $55 million (including $48 million of noncash charges). Callaway also announced reorganization measures including expected reduction in headcount at all levels of the organization. Callaway's stock price closed at $6.33 a share today, more than 50 percent off the $13.64 share price when Fellows took over, and about a third of the $19.25 mark it reached in July 2007--the highest it reached in Fellows' six years at the Callaway helm. Callaway has led the Golf DIgest Hot List in number of products earning medals in each of the last five years. 

"While it is clear that it was the global economic recession that derailed our record sales and earnings pace, it is also clear that our business is not keeping pace with the industry recovery," said Thornley. "It is therefore necessary for the company to take immediate and aggressive actions to reduce costs in order to return the company to profitability as quickly as possible."

--E . Michael Johnson and Mike Stachura
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News & Tours

Remembering a beloved colleague

Forgive us for a bit of melancholy today: It's been 10 years since we lost Pete Farricker, a co-worker at Golf Digest who inspired all who met him. "The world has changed incredibly," Editor Jerry Tarde says of the past decade, "but the things we liked about Pete still shine through." A Japanese maple and plaque in the ol' redhead's memory remain outside our office, and Jerry's beautiful column from 2001 can be found here.

farricker_470.jpgPete never shied from exploring a compelling story idea, no matter the extremes. Photo by Dean Batchelder

-- Mike O'Malley

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