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Can you be a pro golfer and not love playing golf?


Kuchar-MyShot-April-spread.jpgBy Ryan Herrington

It doesn't come as any surprise to hear people aren't always fond of their jobs. (No, not me boss. I'm talking in the abstract here.)

But when the job is playing professional golf on the PGA Tour -- where any given week you have a chance to make more money than many people will earn in their lifetimes -- well lets just say we all know plenty of folks who would agree to various nefarious acts to call that their occupation. 

It's why a comment Matt Kuchar made in the April issue of Golf Digest might give us all pause.

"I won't name names," the six-time tour winner said in a "My Shot" column with Guy Yocom, "but there are players on tour who I don't think love golf all that much. They're good at it, but they don't love it. Maybe the game has beaten them up. It's definitely harder than it looks physically and mentally."

Related: Matt Kuchar's April "My Shot"

Kuchar is only the messenger here, and one not traditionally prone to hyperbole. Maybe that's why his observation is actually worth noting.

"It makes me grateful to have the enthusiasm and makes me even more determined to maintain it," he continued. "At 35, I can see myself playing the Champions Tour 15 years from now. That kind of desire isn't rare, but I might be in the minority."

Interestingly, Kuchar reveals there have been times he wasn't 100 percent sure he loved the game. In the interview, he talks about aspiring to be a tennis player growing up and discusses his initial decision to turn away from pro golf, working instead as an investment banker for nine months after graduating from Georgia Tech.

"But a funny thing happened," Kuchar noted. "I played one tour event in 2000, the Texas Open. I got in on a sponsor's exemption and missed the cut. When I came off the green, all I could think of was, I wish I were playing next week. I KNOW I can do this. I loved investment banking, but it didn't consume my thoughts the way golf did after missing the cut."




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News & Tours

Golf Digest, GolfDigest.com, and Golf World collects nine GWAA awards, including two wins

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf Digest, GolfDigest.com and Golf World collected nine awards in the Golf Writers Association of America's 2014 Writing Contest, including first-place honors for Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde and the joint team of Gabriel Thompson, Jaime Diaz, Max Adler and Bob Carney.

In the results announced Tuesday, Tarde won first place in the Non-Daily Column division for his piece, "Without Fear Or Favor," which discussed Tiger Woods' illegal drop in the 2013 Masters.

Thompson, Diaz, Adler and Carney collected first in the Special Projects division for their series "How Latinos Impact American Golf." The project's central article -- Thompson's "The Caretakers" -- also collected the Sidney Award in January.

Related: Tim Rosaforte receives 2014 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award

Here is the complete list of Golf Digest's honorees:

Daily Columns

Third place: Dave Kindred, GolfDigest.com, "Some Kind Of Wonderful"

Non-Daily Columns

First place: Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest, "Without Fear Or Favor"

Non-Daily News

Third place: Jim Moriarty, Golf World, "Muirfield Masterpiece"

Honorable mention: Geoff Shackelford, Golf World, "Woods stumbles at Muirfield"

Non-Daily Features

Second place: Jeff Silverman, Golf World, "The Great Escape"

Third place: Jim Moriarty, Golf World, "Newsmakers Of The Year: Jordan Spieth"

Honorable mention: John Feinstein, Golf World, "Mr. Monday"

Special Projects

First place: Gabriel Thompson, Jaime Diaz, Max Adler and Bob Carney, Golf Digest, "How Latinos Impact American Golf"

Honorable mention: Ron Sirak, Golf Digest, "The Fox and The Peacock"

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News & Tours

Buy Adam Scott's Abu Dhabi house, get a round with the Masters champ

By Keely Levins

Adam Scott, reigning Masters Champion and should-have-been Golf Digest Hottest Golfer Contest Champion, is selling his 'house' in Abu Dhabi, according to Abu Dhabi Week.

This is the second real estate move Scott has made in the last three months. Gold Coast Bulletin reported he took a $2.5 million hit when he sold his Australia apartment on Surfers Paradise Beach in December.
scott house.jpg

He bought the Abu Dhabi house in 2008 before it was built, the plan being to use it as a home base while he was competing on the European Tour. He didn't end up spending any time in it, citing that as the reason why it's now on the market.

The house is 10,000 square feet, has a pool, and views of the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and nearby ocean. It's listed at a cool $6.2 million. And if that's the kind of investment you're looking to make right now, you're going to get more than the house: Scott said he'll play a round of golf with the buyer.

You can put a price on most things -- but I'm pretty sure a round of golf with Scott just isn't one of them. Let the bidding war begin.

 

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News & Tours

Pebble Beach finally has practice facility to brag about

By Jeff Patterson

The majestic views of the Pacific seen from half its holes ensure Pebble Beach Golf Links will never, ever, EVER be known for its practice area. But the fact that America's No. 1 public course had far from a first-rate range for visitors making their bucket-list trip to the Monterey Peninsula has finally been addressed. 

Officials at the resort left no stone unturned in building its new practice facility, which opened last week to accompanying acclaim. The 350-yard, double-sided range complements almost an acre of greens and bunkers, devoted to short-game practice. 

Pebble Beach Golf Academy director Laird Small, who is going into his 26th year working at the facility, says the plans to replace the old range were some two decades in the making. But well worth the wait. Pebble's prior range was something out of the Stone Age. This one, though, is built to last, as it fits in with the resort's long-term vision, says Small (below, left). 

Pebble Beach practice.jpg
Photo by TGO

A few years back, while I helped survey 45 pros for Golf Digest on which practice facility was the best on the PGA Tour, Pebble's was among a handful singled out as the worst. When the AT&T pro-am returns next week, those averse views will likely be reversed. "Now the pros have a wonderful surface to hit from and a variety of target greens to simulate game conditions," Small says. "I think they're going to be over the moon." 

Similarly, for those staying and playing the course the other weeks of the year, the upgrade is sure to be appreciated. "For the resort guests who have been here before, they just can't believe it," Small says. "They think it's amazing. Stunning. There aren't enough adjectives to explain how they feel about it. 

"Those that are here for the first time," Small adds, "really don't know any different, yet they realize that the range is a wonderful accent to the golf courses out here. It just fits in. There are wonderful practice facilities all over the world, but now ours is right up there with them." 
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News & Tours

Tim Rosaforte receives 2014 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism

blog-rosaforte-love-480.jpgBy Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf Digest and Golf World senior writer Tim Rosaforte was named winner of the 2014 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism on Saturday, marking the fourth time in five years a Golf Digest/Golf World staffer garnered the honor given by the PGA of America. Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde received the award in 2011 followed by Golf World's Editor-in-Chief, Jaime Diaz, in 2012. Golf Digest contributing editor Dave Kindred won the award in 2010.

Rosaforte, who also works as an analyst for Golf Channel/NBC Sports, said: "I'd like to think I haven't peaked yet and thanks to Golf Digest and Golf Channel, I have platforms to continue writing and reporting on television at the two most respected voices in golf media.

"It's all about telling a story, whether it's 15 seconds on TV or in 2,000 printed words. I've found the two careers complement each other."

Related: More from Tim Rosaforte

Rosaforte joined Golf Digest from Sports Illustrated in 1996 and has since won numerous awards for his various feature stories, projects and columns.

Full release below:

Golf Digest/Golf World & Golf Channel/NBC Reporter Tim Rosaforte Named Recipient of 2014 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Tim Rosaforte of Jupiter, Fla., who successfully transferred his unique insider coverage of professional golf from print to television, has been named the recipient of the 2014 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.
 
Rosaforte, 58, a senior writer for Golf World/Golf Digest and insider/analyst for Golf Channel/NBC, will be honored April 9, at the 42nd Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) Annual Spring Dinner and Awards ceremony in Augusta, Ga.
 
"Tim Rosaforte is one of the most knowledgeable and trusted sources in all of golf. It is no mistake that he always seems to have the story first," said PGA of America president Ted Bishop. "His attention to detail when reporting makes him one of the most credible people in sports. No one delivers the close-up insight on the various personalities in golf like Tim, and it is with great pleasure that we recognize him with the 2014 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism."
 
Rosaforte is the 25th recipient of the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, which honors members of the media for their steadfast promotion of golf, both locally and nationally.
 
"I'd like to think I haven't peaked yet and thanks to Golf Digest and Golf Channel, I have platforms to continue writing and reporting on television at the two most respected voices in golf media," said Rosaforte, a native of Brewster, N.Y. "It's all about telling a story, whether it's 15 seconds on TV or in 2,000 printed words. I've found the two careers complement each other."
 
The son of a mechanic for the highway department in Bedford, N.Y., Rosaforte received discarded wooden clubs from his father and later took lessons at age 6 from a caddie with an inspirational name, Billy Graham. Rosaforte excelled in football and baseball in high school and attended the University of Bridgeport (Conn.) before transferring his junior year to the University of Rhode Island, where he started his senior season as an outside linebacker and on special teams. He was a two-time member of the dean's list and graduated with a degree in journalism in 1977.
 
Rosaforte credited Wilbur Doctor, a former Providence (R.I.) Journal editor turned University of Rhode Island professor, who was "as blunt as any position coach in football," for "turning me around in my attempt to build a writing career."
 
Rosaforte's journalism career began with the former Tampa Times in 1977, where he was mentored by Tampa Tribune Sports Editor Tom McEwen. "Tom recommended that I start playing golf to help my work because, he said, 'You can learn far more about someone in a span of five hours on a course,' " Rosaforte said. "That was an epiphany for me."
 
Rosaforte began to find his stride as a reporter, working from 1981-87 at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; the Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Fla., from 1987-93; and on to Sports Illustrated from 1994-96. While at Sports Illustrated, Rosaforte served as president of the GWAA. Rosaforte joined Golf Digest in 1996, and has since blended his work between the parent magazine and as a senior writer for Golf World.
 
In 2003, Rosaforte was named co-host of the USA Network's "PGA Tour Sunday," providing early-round coverage of Tour events, the Masters and the Ryder Cup. In 2007, Rosaforte joined Golf Channel, and is a contributor to NBC's PGA Tour coverage.
 
Rosaforte has won more than 40 writing awards, including a GWAA "Grand Slam" for first-place magazine coverage in features, columns, event coverage and special projects.
 
By his count, Rosaforte has covered 124 major championships, and missed only one Ryder Cup since 1983. Rosaforte has written five books: "The PGA Tour" (1990); "Heartbreak Hill: Anatomy of a Ryder Cup" (1996); "Tiger Woods: The Makings of a Champion" (1997); "World Golf Hall of Fame Yearbook" (with Jaime Diaz, 1998); and "Raising the Bar: The Championship Years of Tiger Woods" (2000).
 
Rosaforte and his wife, Genevieve, live in Jupiter, Fla., and are parents of daughters, Genna and Molly.
 
PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism Recipients 
1991 Dick Taylor
1992 Herbert Warren Wind
1993 Jim Murray
1994 Frank Chirkinian/Bob Green
1995 Dan Jenkins
1996 Furman Bisher
1997 Jack Whitaker
1998 Dave Anderson
1999 Ken Venturi
2000 Jim McKay
2001 Kaye Kessler
2002 Nick Seitz
2003 Renton Laidlaw
2004 Bob Verdi
2005 Al Barkow
2006 Ron Green Sr.
2007 Jack Berry
2008 Marino Parascenzo
2009 Art Spander
2010 Dave Kindred
2011 Jerry Tarde
2012 Jaime Diaz
2013 John Hopkins
2014 Tim Rosaforte


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News & Tours

7 Interesting quotes from Golf Digest's panel discussion on social media

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

ORLANDO -- Golf Digest's Audience Engagement Editor Ashley Mayo hosted an hour-long panel discussion on social media on Thursday -- specifically, the role social media plays in targeting millennials.


The discussion, titled "Marketing and Retailing to Millennials," featured Ryan Kuehl of Under Armour, Harry Arnett of Callaway Golf, Adrienne Cass of Trendy Golf, Chris Rosaasen of Travis Mathew, and Matt Corey of PGA Tour Superstore.

Here are some interesting quotes:

Ryan Kuehl, on Jordan Spieth:

"He gets a little hot sometimes, but that's fine. It shows he wants to win...he fires at pins. I'd rather have someone miss some cuts who's shooting at pins and playing aggressively."

Harry Arnett, on the reading habits on millennials:

"We kind of think of them as media hippies. They're really creative and they're not afraid of trying a lot of different things."

Harry Arnett, on social media:

"Don't be afraid of the word 'social media.' It's just a word that basically means a lot of information, really fast."

Adrienne Cass, on millennials turning 30:

"Turning 30 is like turning 21, but with money."

Chris Rosaasen, on the Travis Mathew culture:

"How do we gauge if our [gorilla marketing] is working? By seeing how people respond when we do it. Sometimes, that can tell you a whole lot."

Matt Corey, on a social media campaign he once conducted:

"We told people 'hey, if you take a picture while you're in our store, we'll give you a free sleeve of golf balls.' All the younger people immediately got it. The older people...not so much."

Ashley Mayo, after Ryan Kuel said he sometimes gets yelled at by his bosses:

"Don't worry, I'm not going to yell at you."

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News & Tours

Stenson's key to success (or not): 'Double portions of carrots'

By John Strege

Conventional wisdom finds that success is achieved by digging it out of the dirt, though apparently now it depends on what it is that is dug from the dirt. Carrots, for instance.

"Eating double portions of carrots in June," Henrik Stenson said, explaining his remarkable resurgence that includes another victory and pot of gold. Stenson won the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday and the European Tour's Race to Dubai, a payday of $2.33 million. Two months ago, he won the PGA Tour's Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup, an $11.44 million payday.

blog-henrik-stenson-1117.jpgStenson was kidding about the carrots, frivolity the prerogative of a man playing so well it's a joke.

"Massive congrats to @henrikstenson best player on the planet. I tried but the man is playing some serious golf right now," Ian Poulter wrote on Twitter. Poulter, who finished second to Stenson, has played his own serious golf, to no avail beyond his bottom line. As his caddie Terry Mundy noted on Twitter, "62 under par for four weeks and not a trophy in sight!"

Related: 2013's major championships in review

Poulter lost ground on Sunday, even with a closing round of 66. Stenson posted his second 64 of the tournament and third in two weeks to win by six.

Golf Digest colleague Stina Sternberg, via Twitter, best defined the magnitude of Stenson's turnabout: "Reminder of what makes Stenson's feat so amazing: 2 yrs ago couldn't win his club championship."

Indeed, Stenson had not qualified to play in the PGA Championship in 2011, so he opted for his club championship at Sweden's Barseback Golf Club instead. And lost. He finished second to Henrik Hilford Brander.

Today, he is third in the World Ranking, behind only Tiger Woods and Adam Scott, the latter stubbornly clinging to that spot by winning the Australian PGA and Australian Masters back to back.

If not carrots, what then has fueled Stenson's resurgence? He cites his work with sports psychologist Torsten Hanson. "When you're a bit out, it's so easy chasing your own tail," Stenson said. "You want something to work for this week. But if we need to work on the swing, for instance, let's give it two, three months work on it, and sooner or later, you get the rewards. That was a big, big part of things, to give myself more time, patience to work on things. Eventually it gets together.

"This started long, long before this summer. Even if I didn't play good for like two seasons or even more, you don't forget how to play good golf. It's more about putting things together and then all of a sudden you have more experience than you had before. You learn a lot, even when you're not playing good and you can benefit from that at a later stage."

Related: Golf's all-time biggest slumps

It was for Stenson, then, as the sage of the Bronx, Yogi Berra, once said of his own sport, 90 percent mental and the other half physical. He has been operating at 140 percent, which translates to, well, mycket bra spelat, as Thomas Levet, a Frenchman turning to Swedish in homage to Stenson, wrote on Twitter.

Very well played.

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News & Tours

No more excuses: Introducing Golf Digest Handicap


How many times has this happened to you? You're on the first tee negotiating strokes and someone in your group -- it could even be you -- doesn't have a handicap.

Enter Golf Digest Handicap, a new tool on GolfDigest.com that allows golfers a quick and easy way to get their own handicap. You don't have to be a member of a club, and you don't have to pay a dime. Instead, all you need to know is where you played and what you shot, and you can have a handicap that lets you monitor your progress and compete fairly against golfers of all levels. 

blog-handicap-470.jpeg
"Out of the millions of golfers in the U.S., only 20 percent maintain a handicap index," says Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde. "Handicapping is one of the advantages golf has over other sports because it allows people of different skill levels to play together."

The formula for Golf Digest Handicap was created by Golf Digest Contributing Editor Dean Knuth, former Senior Director of the United States Golf Association Handicap Department, who is widely known as "the Pope of Slope." Knuth, the primary developer of the USGA Course Rating and Slope Ratings systems, developed a unique Golf Digest course-rating formula that is unrelated to the USGA handicap system, but still tracks skill and can be used in competitions between golfers. 

In addition to providing a snapshot of your scoring history, Golf Digest Handicap also directs you to Golf Digest instruction from leading teachers and players that is appropriate for your level of play. 

We're biased, of course, but we think it's pretty cool. If nothing else, it should help eliminate debate on the first tee.


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News & Tours

Tiger Woods tops Forbes' highest-paid athletes list

By Alex Myers

Earlier this year, Tiger Woods reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Now he's back on top as the sports world's highest earner as well.

blog-tiger-woods-0605.jpg

Photo by Getty Images

Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes and Woods is first. The publication reports the 14-time major champ made $78.1 million in the past year (From June 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013) from prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design fees.

Related: Who are the top 50 earners in golf?

Woods was a mainstay in this position from 2001-2012 until the fallout from his November 2009 scandal finally caught up with him in terms of lost sponsorships from the likes of Gatorade, Buick and Gillette. Boxer Floyd Mayweather knocked him from the top spot last year, but only checks in at No. 14 this year.

Woods has ranked No. 1 in Golf Digest's list of the top 50 earners in golf every year since its inception in 2004. In March, Golf Digest reported Woods earned $86.1 million in 2012. Figures for the list were compiled through interviews with agents, players, executives of companies involved with endorsements, industry analysts and through the official money lists of the professional tours. Golf Digest reported Woods earned nearly $122 million in 2009.

Related: Tiger Woods' long road back to No. 1

Forbes' list only included active athletes. If it didn't, basketball legend/golf nut Michael Jordan would be No. 1 with his $80 million in income. 

Other golfers in the top 100 are Phil Mickelson (No. 7 at $48.7 million), Rory McIlroy (No. 21 at $29.6 million), Ernie Els (No. 78 at $19.5 million), Brandt Snedeker (No. 81 at $19 million), who cracked the list for the first time on the strength of a $10-million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup.

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News & Tours

Obama to serve as honorary chairman of Presidents Cup

Obama.jpg

By John Strege

President Barack Obama's affinity for golf has been well documented, so it was no surprise Friday that he accepted the PGA Tour's invitation to serve as honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, in October.

Obama served in a similar capacity at the 2009 Presidents Cup at Harding Park in San Francisco, though he did not attend.

"We are truly honored that President Obama has once again accepted our invitation to be Honorary Chairman of The Presidents Cup in October," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a news release. "In 2009, he was gracious enough to continue the long-standing tradition of world leaders' support of the event, which dates back to the first Presidents Cup in 1994. His involvement again this year serves to only further enhance the stature of The Presidents Cup and the game of golf as a whole."  

Presidents Gerald Ford (1994), George H.W. Bush ('96), Bill Clinton (2000) and George W. Bush ('05) also have served as honorary chairmen.

Related: Pictures of Obama playing golf

CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who tracks such minutiae, reported that Obama played golf on 113 occasions in his first term as president.

(Getty Images photo)


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