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The Loop

Missing Links: Obama on golf course 'needles you in best sense of the word'

January 05, 2015

Stories of interest you might have missed…

We frequently hear that President Obama is playing golf, but we seldom here details of how he plays golf, until now, courtesy of Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times. "He needles you in the best sense of the word," said one of the three golfers who have played with him, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified as criticizing the president, and because he hoped to be asked to play with him again. "He makes a bad shot, and he makes fun of himself. You make a bad shot, and he makes a joke with you. He just seems happy to be out there, so the poor play doesn't bother him."

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"Jack Nicklaus won the last three of his 18 majors after his 39th birthday, two as a 40-year-old, one at 46. But only 20 of the last 220 majors have been won by 40-somethings and since 2000, only a 41-year-old Vijay Singh has won a Masters, U.S. Open or PGA. [Tiger] Woods always will be a big part of the scene. But this season could go a long way in determining how relevant he is competitively," St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Dan O'Neill writes in a look to the year ahead.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club's decision to admit women as members last year was only the first step toward equality, James Corrigan of the Telegraph writes. "Of course, there are a percentage of clubs which are still male-only and the problem is these are usually the oldest clubs and thus boast the most cherished layouts. Muirfield, Troon and Sandwich do not have any women members but they do have the Open every decade. For now…The statement went out to all the Open' courses that the spotlight is very much on their membership policies. If they wish to keep staging the oldest, most venerable competition then they too must change."

Frank Nobilo sounded a note of caution for Rory McIlroy and his workout program in this story by Doug Proctor in Scotland's Sunday Post. "He is dead lifting 400lb. He is using high altitude training methods and is one of the players trying whatever they have to do," Nobilo said. "You cannot fault them for that. But the flip side is when you get injured, it affects your confidence and you get sidetracked and spiral in the wrong direction. Health is the big issue here, and I talk as someone who was taken out of the game because of injuries."