The Local Knowlege


Images capture tense moments as Jordan Spieth awaits U.S. Open outcome

One final piece to the U.S. Open puzzle has been revealed: how did Jordan Spieth react when he won his second straight major championship?

Fox cameras were not there when Spieth witnessed Dustin Johnson’s three-putt. But Darren Carroll was, even if the moment proved a little awkward.

Freelance photographer Carroll’s work has appeared for years in Golf Digest, Golf World, and Sports Illustrated, but last week he was working for the USGA at Chambers Bay. Situated at the scoring trailer when Spieth walked off the 18th green holding a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson, Carroll snapped a few shots of Spieth signing his card before the 21-year-old left the trailer to greet family. Spieth and caddie Michael Greller then returned to the trailer to watch Johnson’s eagle putt and didn’t exactly invite anyone along.


Photo by Darren Carroll. 

You can see more of Carroll's candid photos of Jordan Spieth after his final round at Chambers Bay here.

Carroll equates his role to that of a wedding photographer, only with a USGA All-Access badge. Since no Fox television camera was in sight to catch a possible historic moment-- ala Rocco watching Tiger sink the tying putt at Torrey Pines or a player emotionally embracing his spouse ala Justin Rose or Geoff Ogilvy -- Carroll knew he might be the only one documenting golf history. He had to push.

“So I took a breath, opened the door to the scoring trailer and walked in,” Carroll writes on his blog. “Spieth stared straight ahead at the monitor on a table in front of him, but Greller shot me a look. I knew right then that I needed to tread lightly, so I headed straight for the other side of a partition in the trailer where I couldn’t see either one of them—and they could no longer see me.”

The resulting images, dipped in sepia, give us a sense of Spieth’s emotions in winning what was a true team effort. The many behind-the-scenes moments with the trophy and Spieth’s real father -- not the one mistakenly shown on TV -- encapsulate just how much winning meant to the 21-year-old.


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9 reasons why you have to attend next year's "Think Young, Play Hard" tournament

Golf Digest hosted its first-ever "Think Young, Play Hard" tournament in Las Vegas over the weekend and it was a lot of fun. So much fun that it's going to become an annual event. Here are nine reasons why you should attend next year:

You'll be able to wear ridiculous outfits while pulling off ridiculous shots.

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If you're lucky, you'll arrive to the first tee via helicopter.

When you're late for your tee time at Royal Links. #thinkyoungplayhard

A video posted by J Michael Morris (@jmichaelmorris) on

A cannon will kick off the event. An actual cannon. 

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Golfboards. There will be many golfboards.

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You'll have a chance to compete against guys like long-drive champion Jeff Flagg (nobody could outdrive him during the first-annual "Think Young, Play Hard" tournament...he's an animal) and 
the Bryan Bros. Participants took these guys on for chances to win GoPro cameras and Callaway's not-yet-released PM wedges.

This was one of our favorite photos of the day!! Thanks @gopro for taking good care of us! #TeamCallaway #GoProGolf

A photo posted by Bryan Bros Golf (@bryanbrosgolf) on

Off-course activities include gambling (lots of it), go-cart racing, dolphin shows, tiger-watching, pool parties, concerts and more. Contestants this year played blackjack on these awesome tables at the Mirage.

The swag bag is awesome.

The champions take home a cool trophy and can create their own media blitz. (The champs of the first "Think Young, Play Hard" took their trophy on a tour of San Francisco's Olympic Club.)

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It is, without a doubt, the most fun you'll ever have with three friends on a golf course.

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And here's a video that captures the fun:

(Many thanks to AJ Voelpel for providing most of these images.)

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The guy from this crazy photo atop the World Trade Center visits the finished product

Before Friday, Kevin Sabbagh had never seen the World Trade Center in its completion. He’d known it only as a skeleton of a building, with exposed  iron and steel. And he’d known it well -- Sabbagh, a fifth-generation ironworker, helped build the World Trade Center from start to finish. (His great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather helped build the Empire State Building.) 

On September 22, 2012, Sabbagh, a 2-handicap golfer, felt compelled to replicate the famous shot of an ironworker who hit a golf ball off a beam while constructing Rockefeller Center

"I was 100 feet from the top when I posed for this photo,” says Sabbagh. “I aimed down Tenth Avenue. I originally wanted to hit the ball, but the wind was howling that day so I couldn’t.”

Sabbagh clearly knows what it takes to make a balanced swing. He also knows how to slaughter his drives -- he generates a clubhead speed of 120 MPH and hits his tee shots more than 300 yards. 

His tips for balance, distance and scoring:
  • My legs are flexed and in an athletic position at setup. A strong base is everything.
  • As an ironworker, my strength is mainly in my legs, my back and my hands. All three of these things help me hit it far.
  • Focus on the task at hand. As someone who works way above ground, I can’t afford to let anything distract me. My ability to really home in on whatever it is I’m doing helps on the golf course, since I never think about anything but the shot I’m hitting.

As a longtime Golf Digest reader, we were excited to give Sabbagh his first tour of the building we now call our workplace. He walked around the perimeter of our offices, recalling memories and pointing out spots he'd known only as beams. 

Thanks for constructing our great new home, Kevin. The views are terrific. 


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This viral golf photo speaks volumes about the separation of two worlds

Golf often is a place to escape life’s realities, but a Spanish course couldn’t avoid them as it became the backdrop for a dramatic photo making its way around the Internet Thursday.

The image shows several African migrants trying to enter Europe from Morocco by climbing a nearly 20-foot-tall, razor-wire fence adjacent to the Club Campo de Golf in Melilla, Spain. The migrants had been living for months in makeshift campgrounds near the fence, waiting for an opportunity to cross the border and seek asylum as Spanish officers (hidden by the bushes) attempted to keep them from coming over.

The photo was taken by Jose Palazon of the human-rights group PRODEIN, and posted on Twitter.

According to a story in The Guardian, roughly 200 migrants tired to scale the fence with 20 successfully making it over. As many as 70, meanwhile, remained stuck on the fence for several hours.

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This photo sequence of Jim Furyk says everything you need to know about the U.S. in the Ryder Cup

Countless column inches have been written about American futility in the Ryder Cup. We even just did a video on it.

But you can make the case nothing quite illustrates Team USA's plight like this sequence of photos of Jim Furyk from 2012. This was during Sunday singles, in a match against Sergio Garcia that Furyk famously choked away as part of a devastating U.S. loss. Here on the 16th hole, Golf Digest photographer J.D. Cuban captured Furyk seemingly about to take a 2 up lead with this 12-foot birdie putt.

Everything was looking good.

And Jimmy was set to let loose.

And then . . . 







Furyk lost 1 down.

Photos by J.D. Cuban.

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Lexi Thompson turns heads in latest photo shoot

In April, Lexi Thompson won her first major. Now, she's drawing major attention for something other than her golf.

Related: Behind-the-scenes photos of Michelle Wie's Golf Digest cover shoot

On Tuesday, Thompson Instagrammed a montage of photos from a steamy shoot she did with GolfPunk Magazine:

Here's the opening photo from the interview with the 19-year-old LPGA star, dubbed "Sexi Thompson" by the publication:


The Grind: Billy's millions and Tiger and Lindsey's "date night"

Despite Thompson displaying a grown-up golf game for some time, we're still getting used to seeing the golfer who burst onto the scene as a pre-teen behaving like a grown woman. But after a recent commercial for Puma, titled "Calling All Troublemakers," in which she's shown hanging out with two men in a hot tub, and now this photo shoot, it appears Thompson isn't holding back when crafting her public image.

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Courses & Travel

This piece of golf course vandalism is terribly upsetting

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

It really is an ugly sight, and one no decent human being would wish on any poor, innocent, beautiful golf course.

We can't confirm what course this is, but it's most likely Riverbend Golf Course, where a man was arrested on Monday for allegedly vandalizing the golf course. According to the report, the man allegedly drove his truck onto the course and caused about $5,000 worth of damage.

Related: A soccer golf course? Yea, it's a real thing.

Here's the picture:


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My sister got engaged on a golf course and it was awesome

By Ashley Mayo

Kira and Adam are the ultimate golf couple. She met him on a golf course, she spent their first date caddying for him in a 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier, and they're the current male and female club champions at Locust Hill Country Club. After dating for nearly seven years, Adam was finally ready to ask the big question. (I'LL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY IT TOOK HIM SO LONG.)

He knew she'd love a golf course proposal more than anything, and since they'd been talking about Streamsong for quite some time, Adam and I decided that was the perfect venue.

140402_ki ac ring_518.jpgHe asked me for suggestions on how to propose, so I, in turn, asked Twitter.

Some of you said he should place the ring inside her putter head cover (way too risky), others said he should mark her ball with the ring (golfers don't often mark other golfers' balls. . .that's not normal), and others said he should put the ring in the pocket where she keeps her golf balls, hoping she'd find it when she looked for a new ball (again, too risky).

Here are two of my favorite suggestions:

I told Adam about them, and he said he loved the lose-a-bet idea. So the plan was to walk 36 holes and play a girls-versus-guys match (my buddy Joe joined us). On the 36th green, after the girls beat the guys (GIRLS ALWAYS BEAT GUYS), I would demand money from Joe and Kira would demand money from Adam. Joe would hand me cash, and Adam would kneel down and propose to Kira.

That plan, however, was ruined by a terrible thunderstorm that rolled in on our 15th hole. It kicked all golfers off the course for four hours. It was about 6:30pm by the time we got back out on the course (the lighting was gone, but the wind and rain had stuck around), and we managed to play seven more holes.

By the time we reached the 17th hole on Streamsong Blue, the sky cleared and the sun was setting beautifully. On the green, Adam told me that he changed his mind about how he wanted to propose, and that he wanted to place the ring, which was in a box, inside the 18th hole. (WHY ARE GUYS SO INDECISIVE?) He asked me to distract Kira by the 18th green so he could get the job done.

Adam knows that Kira likes to putt everything out, so he knew she'd find the box. And she did. "What's this?" she asked, shortly after she knocked in a three-footer. "What do you think it is?" That's when she knew.

140402_ki and ac kneel_518.jpgSo if you're a guy who's lucky enough to date a golfer (GIRLS WHO PLAY GOLF ARE THE BEST) and wants to propose on a golf course, here are three tips I learned over the weekend:

1. Know her playing style and pick a method that involves as little risk as possible. If Adam wasn't certain Kira would putt out, he would not have chosen to drop the ring in the hole. 

2. Know that the proposal will never go precisely as planned. Don't fret; roll with the punches.

3. Definitely propose on a course. It's the best.

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News & Tours

What's Super Bowl Week without golf? For those new to New York, here are some options

Welcome, welcome to the Super Bowl! The Northeast sure is happy to host it, especially all you spectators. Remember if the Super Bowl is foremost about football, it's also about the whirlwind of events that precede the big game. And that often includes golf. This week in New York is no different. As you may know, the Metropolitan area boasts some of the finest courses in the world, so for those if you in town, be sure to take advantage of some of your options.

Winged Foot East

The fastest greens in town!

Bethpage Black

Baltusrol Golf Club

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

If you can't make it out of the city, you can always venture over to Central Park.

Or even to a rink to play some ice golf (also known as hockey).

Hit 'em straight boys!

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Photos: Holly Sonders turns heads at the Humana Challenge

By Alex Myers

Golf Channel's Holly Sonders is putting her golf game to the test this week, playing in the pro-am portion of the Humana Challenge. Not surprisingly, she's also drawing a crowd in Palm Springs -- even on the driving range.

Related: Holly Sonders' Golf Digest photo shoot

On Friday, Kip Henley, caddie for defending champ Brian Gay, tweeted the following picture with the caption: "Concentration at an all time low on the range this morning."


But Holly isn't just there to be eye candy for the PGA Tour players and fans, she's there to play. And don't worry, thanks to our friends at Getty Images, we have more pictures of her doing just that.

Here's Holly lining up a putt on the ninth hole of La Quinta CC on Thursday. Good form:


But unfortunately, she missed:


Hang in there, Holly! That's right, give yourself a pep talk!


Sonders, entered as a 7 handicap, only managed a gross score of one under and a net score of four under in the first round while playing with partners John Daly and Jesper Parnevik. That left her near the back of the pack of 156 amateurs. But with neither Daly nor Parnevik breaking par on Day 1 (Seriously, guys? This is the Humana Challenge!), we'll give her a pass. Sonders was back at it on Day 2 wearing a different-colored short golf skirt. Look, she even matched it to her clubs!


Photo: Is Paulina Gretzky TaylorMade's newest star?

On Friday, Sonders showed more of the skills that earned her a spot on the Michigan State golf team and a co-hosting gig on one of Golf Channel's instructional shows. Here, she expertly keeps her driver in the bag on the eighth hole of PGA West (Jack Nicklaus), opting for a fairway wood instead. Course management!


Here, she hits an approach shot as playing partners Jonas Blixt and John Merrick watched. Nice balance! Thankfully, they provided her with a little more help than those deadweights Daly and Parnevik.


Moments later, she waved to the crowd after draining a putt. Clutch!


Here, she walks alongside Blixt. Funny, if I were betting on one of them wearing a matching pink hat-shoe combo, I would have put my money on Holly. . .


Who's her caddie this week, by the way? Rough gig.


Paulina & DJ: A love story in pictures

Sonders will play with Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler (Even odds of who will wear more pink) at PGA West's Palmer Course on Saturday. Think anyone will be watching?

UPDATE: Sonders shot a pair of net 65s on Friday and Saturday to finish near the middle of the pack at 18 under. She tweeted us to say she "left a lot of birdies out there on Saturday." Still, Sonders finished second out of the four celebrity amateurs, topping Michael Bolton and Jay Feely, but losing to Craig T. Nelson (Coach!) by a stroke. And the lucky guy carrying her bag all week? Cobra Golf master club fitter Ben Schomin.

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