Lydia Ko already one of LPGA’s all-time greats

 

You didn’t notice it over the weekend, in all likelihood, because you were watching a riveting British Open. But Lydia Ko won on the LPGA Tour again.

That’s 14 wins for Ko, who is just 19 years old. This win came in the Marathon Classic in Toledo, Ohio, where Ko had to survive a four-hole playoff for the victory. The win adds to the legend that Ko is already becoming.

Ko is becoming so successful at such a young age that you have to start looking at her in terms of the all-time greats of the game, even though Ko has yet to see her 20th birthday. A realistic question is whether Ko can qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame by reaching the required 27 points before she turns 21.

Consider that Ko has 14 wins, two of which are majors. That 16 points on the way to 27, and Ko also gets a point for being the LPGA Player of the Year in 2015. So at 19 years old, Ko already has 17 points.

The New Zealand player is also leading in the Player of the Year and the Vare Scoring race this year, and if she can hold on, that would be two more points. And that’s not counting any more wins she might get this year.

Comparisons to the careers of other players are always a little unfair, but let’s think about where Ko compares to one of women’s golf’s best players, Annika Sorenstam. Where the comparisons are unfair start right at the top, since Sorenstam didn’t win her first tournament on the LPGA until she was 24, after two years at the University of Arizona, one year on the Ladies European Tour and a 1994 season on the LPGA Tour that produced a rookie of the year award but no wins.

For Sorenstam, third all time on the LPGA career wins list with 72, the 14th win didn’t come until 1998, when she was 27 years old. Oddly, both Sorenstam and Ko had two major victories in their first 14 victories.

And Sorenstam would pick up steam in the years after she was 27. In the year she turned 31, Sorenstam won eight times, and in the year she turned 32 she won 11 LPGA events. So that’s 19 events in just two years, more than the young Ko has in her entire career so far.

Still, Ko is clearly on her way to the Hall of Fame and a large number of victories in her career, even if she retires at 30 as she has hinted. She may never catch Sorenstam’s 72 career wins, but she is sure to join Sorenstam in the Hall of Fame, perhaps sooner than later.

 

 

Article by: Larry Bohannan, Desert Sun

2016 U.S. Women’s Open

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The 2016 U.S. Women’s Open has been a thrilling and dramatic week befitting our national championship. Congratulations to American Brittany Lang for capturing her first U.S. Women’s Open trophy after besting Anna Nordqvist of Sweden in a three-hole aggregate playoff–only the second playoff in the U.S. Women’s Open 71-year history!

On behalf of CordeValle’s membership and staff, we wanted to thank every one of you for your support of this historic championship.

Through September 1, you can now receive special pricing to stay and play at CordeValle and its championship course. Packages start at $549 midweek and $749 on weekends. Choose from two rounds of golf with a cart included, one round of golf (with cart) and a $125 spa credit or a $250 spa credit! Don’t want to leave CordeValle yet? With any package or room booked, you may add Sunday to your stay for just $200 (room only). Call Rosewood CordeValle directly at 408.695.4562 to book your special getaway.

To every volunteer, spectator and guest, we offer our sincere appreciation for attending the 71st U.S. Women’s Open hosted at CordeValle.

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It’s true! The Royal Troon Votes to Accept Women Members

If you haven’t already heard, the Royal Troon Golf Club, which is currently hosting  The Open, took a vote 10 days ago to admit the club’s first female members.

According to a club statement, the vote took place during a “special general meeting.”

“We have said a number of times recently that it is important for golf clubs to reflect the society in which we exist and the modern world that looks to us,” said club captain Dr. Martin Cheyne. “Therefore, I am delighted with the decision taken by members of Royal Troon this evening and I look forward to welcoming women into our great club. It is the right decision for the club today, and for the generation of golfers that will follow.”

The vote comes after a similar measure to admit female members was narrowly defeated earlier this year by members of Muirfield Golf Club. The course was subsequently removed from the Open rota by the R&A, and earlier this month the club indicated plans to hold another vote on the matter.

“We welcome this decision by the membership at Royal Troon and recognize its significance for the club,” the organization said in a statement. “Our focus today is very much on the 145th Open in just under two weeks’ time, but we can now look forward to many more great championships at Royal Troon in years to come.”

Highest Honor Goes to Judy Bell

By Ann Guiberson

Each year the United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is one of the most anticipated and exciting weeks in golf.  The United States Golf Association’s (USGA) most prestigious trophy is presented to the low scorer typically on Sunday unless there is a Monday playoff.  Also, during U.S. Open week the USGA’s highest award for distinguished sportsmanship is presented.

Yesterday millions of viewers around the world watched and cheered on Dustin Johnson as he claimed his first major championship and possession of the iconic U.S. Open Championship trophy dating back to 1895.  Earlier in the week the golf community celebrated another exciting event.  On Tuesday evening at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, Judy Bell was honored with the Bob Jones Award for lifelong service to the game.  Recipients of the Award are individuals who demonstrate the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by nine-time USGA champion – Bob Jones.

Judy Bell’s accomplishments in golf as a volunteer administrator, an ambassador for the game, and a player simply cannot be matched.  Here are some of her accomplishments.

Leadership

Judy started her volunteer career with the USGA when she joined the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship Committee in 1961.  She then served 17-years on the USGA Women’s Committee from 1968 to 1984.  Judy is well-known around the world for serving as president of the USGA.  In 1996, she was the first woman to be elected president of the USGA.  Simply put, when leaders and visionaries were needed, Judy delivered.

 

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Grassroots Program Development

One of Judy’s greatest accomplishments was a platform created for more youth and diversity programs.  Judy established the “For the Good of the Game” grants program, that dedicated more than 65 million dollars to local and national initiatives devoted to improving communities through golf.  She also created the USGA Foundation’s leadership and fellowship program.  Additionally, one can’t forget the LPGA/USGA Girls’ Golf program.  Today the LPGA/USGA Girls’ golf program is a very successful and growing program because of Judy’s early efforts promoting and supporting it.

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Support of State and Regional Amateur Golf Associations

Judy has always been especially supportive of state and regional amateur golf associations.  State and regional golf associations (SRGAs) serve as the USGA’s local delivery system and are the mainstay of the USGA’s ability to administer the game.  Judy assisted in facilitating the allocation and distribution of USGA-funded grants and goods to SRGAs designed to assist associations in elevating local programs and service delivery.  Judy’s ongoing support and recognition of SRGAs provided that extra push that has raised the bar at the local level.

Clearly Judy Bell made exceptional contributions to the game.  Every time I’m with Judy I learn more and more about how her passion for the game has facilitated and pioneered its growth.  She took her love and respect for the game and made a tremendous positive impact.  I’ve learned a lot from Judy and I am grateful for the opportunity to get to work with her.  She is an inspiring leader, mentor and friend.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.  Her smile is priceless.  Congratulations Judy on this well-deserved honor along with a heartfelt “thank you”!

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Meet Our Newest P.J. Boatwright Intern!

 


Meet Micaela Jorgenson! After serving 20 years in the Navy, she decided to attend
the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula and after graduating from there in
December 2015, she was given the opportunity to work as a USGA P.J.
Boatwright intern in our WSCGA San Dimas office. As an intern she is learning the various phases of golf administration and preparing  for a successful future in the golf industry.
Passionate about the game of golf, she plays at every opportunity….every day if she could! Her goal is to be active in growing the game, especially in regard to women’s and
junior golf and she is very excited to be learning and experiencing all aspects of the game
both on and off the golf course!

The Summer Heat

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extreme heat caused more than 8,000 deaths in the U.S. between 1979 and 2003—more than ­hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, floods and earthquakes combined. Many golfers are struck down by heat-related illnesses, they’ll feel a little funny but try to fight through it which is obviously the wrong thing to do! Take Michelle Wie: On a humid, 88-degree July day in 2006, the then-16-year-old was hospitalized when she collapsed after nine holes during the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

Susceptibility to heat is linked to changes in a person’s internal thermostat. In hot weather, the body regulates its core temperature by pumping blood to the skin’s surface and by stimulating sweat glands to initiate evaporative cooling. Heat syncope, or fainting, can occur when too much oxygen-carrying blood is diverted from the brain. Heat cramps may happen when the muscles don’t receive enough blood, or when heavy sweating depletes electrolytes, which muscles need in order to relax after contracting. Heat exhaustion, however, doesn’t occur until the body’s core temperature begins to rise, while heatstroke happens when your internal temperature hits 104 degrees; the high fever that ensues can lead to death.

John Adams, an athletic trainer on the LPGA Tour, says humid days are the most dangerous. “Humidity doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate, which is what cools you down,” he explains. Adams recommends monitoring the heat index—a measure of how hot it feels when you combine air temperature with humidity. Also, bear in mind that some medications can interfere with the body’s temperature-regulating mechanisms. LPGA Tour players can serve as heat-savvy role models. “They’re forever slathering on sunscreen,” Adams points out. “They’re in great physical condition, and they almost always wear hats and sunglasses. They drink lots of water and sports drinks, both on and off the course. And on really hot days, some walk under umbrellas for shade.”

Tracy Ray, MD, a physician at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., agrees with such measures. “It’s important to keep sunlight from directly heating up your skin,” he says. “You’ll stay cooler wearing a loose-fitting, light-colored, long-sleeved shirt than a black, sleeveless top.” Play early or late in the day; if you must be outside in high heat, play just nine holes or take a cart to decrease exertion.

Golfers should treat a hot day on the course as an extreme activity. “Hikers plan ahead and take water, boots and sunscreen to the mountains,” Stearns says. “Golf is no different. You need to be prepared for the environment you’re entering.”.

Click here to check out our other blog for some helpful tips on staying hydrated!

Happy National Golf Day!

The 10 Most Important Improvements In Golf Over The Last 40 Years

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Over the last 40 years some of the most important improvement and inventions in the world of golf have been made. Golf its’ self has seen more improvements to it’s equipment than any other sport. With the result of these improvements came some of golf’s greatest course have added length and difficulty in order to not be left behind.

Some improvements we feel have changed the game the most over the last 40 years have been listed bellow. These improvements include the golf ball, the 60 degree wedge, metal woods, graphite shafts, square grooves,, hybrids, long putters (belly putters), carry bags with stands, better golf shoes, and soft spikes.

The golf ball

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Let’s just start with, in many people’s mind, the most significant change of all – the golf ball. In the 1970s and 80s, the ball of choice for most professionals was the balata covered ball. This ball had a rubber core filled with liquid. It was wrapped in rubber bands and had a soft “balata” cover. At the time, this golf ball was top of the line. Most of today’s golf balls have a one-piece core with a more durable cover.

How do these two different balls compare to each other? The balata ball tended to produce more spin and had a softer feel around the greens, which many tour players prefer. However, the liquid filled core surrounded by rubber bands, coupled with the softer cover did not produce the kind of distance the one-piece of today produces. Also, because the balata cover was much softer, it was not nearly as durable as today’s balls of choice. Manufacturers have found ways to make today’s balls more durable while still producing sufficient spin rates.

However, the biggest difference is distance. Today’s golf balls travel much further than those of years past. This aspect of the ball is the most significant upgrade, and the most controversial. None other than Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are on record saying the ball goes too far now, rendering some of our greatest golf courses obsolete.

The 60 Degree Wedge

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Seve Ballesteros once said the most significant innovation to the game of golf is the 60 degree wedge. Coming from one of golf’s most talented magicians, that’s quite a statement. The 60 degree wedge has allowed players to hit shots around the green that, in years past, were close to or impossible to hit. Firm, fast greens (like those seen in the U.S. Open) have probably contributed to the use of the 60 degree wedge more than any other factor in golf. The ability to hit higher, softer pitch shots around the green have made this club almost a must for tour players.

Metal woods

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In the late 1970s, metal woods made their way onto the scene. The immediate difference these clubs made was an increase in distance off the tee. A firmer hitting area with more of a trampoline effect quickly made persimmon woods a thing of the past. Metal woods also proved to be more durable and required less maintenance such as replacing the insert of a persimmon wood, which would eventually wear out.

If there is a negative to the invention of metal woods, it is the fact that those beautiful, hand-made persimmon woods of the past aren’t produced anymore. Many feel the persimmon woods were a work of art, much like a classic car.

Graphite shafts

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Many consider the shaft the “heart” of the golf club. Throughout the history of golf, the shaft, more than any other part of the club, has undergone the biggest transformation. Going from hickory to steel is still the biggest step up in shaft technology.

Even though most golfers still play with steel shafts in their irons, graphite shafts in drivers and fairway woods have become the norm. Graphite shafts are lighter than steel, increasing club head speed and distance. Like the ball, but to a lesser extent, graphite shafts are responsible for much of the increase in distance off the tee.

Square grooves

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Controlling the golf ball around the greens and out of high rough has become a priority for tour players over the years. Square grooves, compared to U-grooves and V-grooves, produce much more spin. Many believe square grooves have contributed to a lack of shot-making by today’s tour players compared to the greats of years past. Just this year, square grooves have been banned on the P.G.A. Tour, much to the delight of many older players and purists of the game. Imagination and shot-making should now play bigger roles in golf like they did in years past.

Hybrids

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How many of you carry a 1, 2, 3 or even 4 iron in your bag now? The hybrid is one of those improvements to equipment that we can ask ourselves, “Why didn’t someone invent this years ago?” Hitting a long iron has always been a challenge for most golfers. Hybrids have made this a much easier proposition. With a little more “meat” behind the clubface and a lower center of gravity, getting the ball in the air with a less lofted club has become much easier. For most golfers, long irons have been relegated to “alignment club” status.

Long putters (belly putters)

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Long putters, also known as belly putters, might be the most controversial of all the innovations to our game. If you ask a golf purist about the long putter, you might want to find a chair and get ready for an earful on why it is a cancer to the game. If you ask someone who has the yips, you might want to find a chair and get ready for an earful on why this putter is so great. The purist, Tom Watson, will tell you that you shouldn’t be able to anchor your club to your body as a way to deal with a balky putting stroke. If you ask a “user”, Bruce Lietzke, he might tell you it added over 10 years to his career because of the improvement in his putting.

If something is outlawed on the P.G.A. Tour in the near future, it will probably be the long putter (belly putter). Only time will tell whether that happens or not. We would hate to see all of the great players whose career would have been cut short if not for the long putter. However, we can see the argument for both sides.

Carry bags with stands

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In the late 1980s, PING introduced the carry bag with a two legged stand that unfolds as you put your bag down. At first glance, this new contraption looked foreign and awkward. Because a bag with a stand made it easier to keep your bag, clubs and towel dry in morning dew or rainy conditions, this quickly became a standard piece of equipment for golfers who prefer to walk. Not having to bend down to pick up your bag also made this carry bag an instant hit for people looking to avoid a sore back. You would be hard pressed to find a carry bag today without a stand.

Better golf shoes

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Like many areas of fashion, golf shoes have changed dramatically over the years. The look of certain shoes tends to come full circle like we often see with pants and shirts. However, comfort and durability have been the biggest improvements in golf shoes over the last few years. Most golf shoes today are not only very comfortable, but also waterproof. More people than ever are playing golf and many of those players are walkers. Keeping your feet happy while playing golf is a must.

Soft spikes

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Soft spikes have made a big difference in keeping putting surfaces smooth over the last several years. In years past, metal spikes added an unwanted bumpiness to greens making them more difficult to putt. Soft spikes, made of plastic, have drastically reduced the amount of spike marks on greens, thus making for a smoother putting surface.

Looking back, all of these improvements and innovations have made the game better in one way or another. It can be argued that some of them lean against the spirit of the game. However, make no mistake about it, technology and innovation in equipment play a bigger role in golf than in any other sport. With competition for millions of dollars between equipment companies and golfers always wanting that extra edge, don’t expect equipment manufacturers to slow down their efforts in finding the next big innovation or improvement. This constant effort to come up with the next big idea is as much a part of the history of the game as the gutta-percha ball and the hickory shaft.

Tips for Warming Up Before Teeing Off

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Typically, golfers tend to have their own fitness routine before setting up for the first tee. Some warm up with a couple practice swings, while others do brief arm or leg stretches that barely heat up the muscles.

We’re all guilty of the one minute warm-up routine, but it’s important to remember that warm-ups and stretches are essential to helping you play your best and avoid injuries. So, before you step foot on the green, you need to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the course ahead.

To help you get your muscles moving, your mind focused, and your short game perfected, here are a few easy-to-follow warm-up and exercises tips to help you prepare for your best golf game yet.

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Begin by simple relaxing and unwinding, although golf is a great exercise that reduces stress and tension in the body you need to relax and refocus your thoughts away from the day. Whether you’re sitting in the locker room or in your car before the first round begins, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to unwind from the day. Meditation is great for golf preparation. It allows your mind to settle down and helps you release muscle tension.

Try to arrive at the course early to ensure you’re not rushing. The more time you give yourself to mentally prepare, the better you’ll play.

 

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After you settle down mentally, make sure you don’t forget to how crucial stretching is in order to ensuring peak performance. It provides you with more flexibility, a wider range of motion, and decreases your chances of injury from pulled muscles.

Click here to try some of these quick and easy stretches to get your arms and legs moving.

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Now that you’ve stretched your body and you’re feeling more limber, it’s time to head over to the putting green for—you guessed it—more warm-ups.

Putting comprises over 40 percent of golf, and the putting stroke, itself, is the slowest and most precise of all strokes in the game. By spending time warming up on the green first, you’ll prepare for the speed of the greens and also start the day with a smooth, deliberate tempo.

Try to spend the first five minutes putting to a tee or a coin from twenty feet away. Then increase to thirty feet, then forty feet—using a variety of angles. After this warm up, spend another five minutes or so rolling putts to a tee or coin from ten feet away, then move closer to three feet. Finally, spend a few minutes hitting 6-12 inch putts. This warm up should only take you about 15-20 minutes to complete, but it’s well worth the effort, and you’ll quickly see how well your short game improves.

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Now that you’ve mastered your short game, take 10-15 minutes to practice teeing off with your driver. This is always a fun warm up and helps you lengthen your range of motion.

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Finally, remember that the best way to practice your warm-ups is with a positive attitude. Be thankful you have the opportunity to golf, and remind yourself to have fun regardless of how you shoot. A positive attitude goes a long way in this sport, and it will encourage your fellow golfers to do the same.

How to Survive Allergy Season

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Playing golf and sneezing, not the best combination! Airborne allergies are not easy to avoid but playing smart and taking the right medications can help relieve your symptoms.

 

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system treats an allergen as a dangerous invader. When the body encounters the allergen, the immune system produces large amounts of an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). The next time the body makes contact with that allergen, IgE attaches itself to tissue and blood cells, which release chemicals such as histamine. These cause inflammation, which results in the all-too-familiar symptoms of seasonal allergies.The most common allergy can be to ragweed.

 

Luckily, the arsenal of available allergy medications is growing fast. Nasal steroids such as fluticasone propianate (Flonase) and antihistamines like Allegra and Claritin now have fewer side effects. Eye drop Zaditor is said to offer 12-hour relief from itching, and there’s also Omnaris, a corticosteroid nasal spray that suppresses the immune response. If all else fails, consider allergy shots, which decrease your body’s sensitivity to a specific allergen.

 

As many have already discovered, susceptibility to pollen may depend on where you play. Pollination starts earlier the farther south you go; trees kick off the allergy season, followed by grasses and weeds. (Those three are the allergens that afflict golfers most.) A quick tip to keep in mind is the time of day you play for example, grass pollen is highest in the afternoon; ­pollen-counting websites such as ­pollen.com can help you adjust your tee time accordingly. And take medications an hour or two before the round.

COMMON POLLEN PRODUCERS:

March–June TREES: Oak, elm, maple, alder, birch, juniper, olive, hickory, pecan, sycamore and walnut.

April–September GRASSES: Bermuda, Johnson, Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy, redtop, orchard and sweet vernal.

August–October WEEDS: Ragweed, sagebrush, curly dock, pigweed, plantain, sheep sorrel and lamb’s-quarters.

How To Play a Scramble

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Golf is not an easy sport, we all know that, thankfully, if you don’t feel ready enough to play in a tournament, there are“Scramble” competitions that welcome all levels of golfer! They’re built around teams and set up to take the pressure off the individual player. If you hit a poor shot, you can discard it and use one of your teammates’ shots instead. The Scramble is a very popular competition format at golf courses across the world, because it’s collaborative, fun and fast. Here’s how it works.

The Basic Scramble

The main premise of a Scramble is that you’re constantly choosing the best shot hit by your team and then everybody on the team plays the next shot from there. So in a four-player-team scramble, all four players tee off, and the team chooses the shot they like the best (typically, the shot that went the farthest and is in a good position in the fairway). The spot where that ball has come to rest is now the place from which all four players hit their second shot. (Most scrambles allow players to place their ball within a club length of where the “best” shot had stopped.)

After every team member hits their second shot, you go through the same routine: the ball in the best position for the third shot is selected, and everyone hits again from that point. All four players hit again, and this process continues until the hole is finished (even on the green). The team’s score on the hole is the total of each “best” shot.

The Step-Aside Scramble

To mix things up and prevent a team’s ability to choose the same player’s shot every time, your tournament committee might opt to stage a “Step-Aside Scramble.” For this popular version of the format, the player whose ball was chosen on the last shot must step aside (not hit) on the next shot. So no player’s shot can ever be used back to back on the same hole.

The Step-Aside Scramble moves faster than the regular Scramble because only three players are hitting from each position.

Tip

If you are selecting a scramble team, try to include at least one player who can hit good tee shots with the driver. Good tee shots will put your team in a good position for its second shot. Having a player who has good short-game skills also helps, especially putting.