Topgolfgears Morning 9: 2019 Rules | Getting to know Mark Broadie | Fujikawa’s full statement

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1. 2019 Rules of Golf ready for the reading
Our Gianni Magliocco with the report…”The modernized Rules of Golf features over 30 changes in all, and it is said to be the most significant change to the rules in more than 60 years.”
“The changes to the rules will see the reduction of several penalties, looser putting green and bunker rules, and regulations that encourage improved pace of play.”
“Among the significant changes that will come into effect in the new year
  • Penalty drops will now be made from knee height, rather than shoulder height
  • No penalty for an accidental double hit
  • No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green
  • No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search.
  • Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the current 5 minutes)
2. Getting to know the strokes gained guru
Brilliant stuff from Josh Sens at profiling Mark Broadie.
“That reputation stems from Broadie’s pioneering data-driven research, which began nearly two decades back, inspired by what you might call his golf obsession, and which continues to this day. Drawn from his analysis of millions of golf shots, struck by pros and amateurs alike, that research has yielded insights with farther-reaching implications than Broadie himself ever foresaw.”
  • “First adopted by the PGA Tour in 2011, “strokes gained,” Broadie’s breakthrough analytics tool, has become a fixture in golf’s Moneyball age. Though he was not alone in seeing the shortcomings of old-saw categories such as greens-in-regulation and putts-per-round (which, beyond being unhelpful, can be outright misleading), he was the first to do something about it. With strokes gained, Broadie was able to set the data straight by placing it in proper context. It allowed him to measure a player’s performance against the rest of the field while providing an isolated view of specific aspects of their game.”
  • “What started out in 2011 as merely a strokes-gained putting stat has, in the past seven years, spawned many other categories in the Tour’s ShotLink database, including revelatory strokes gained measures on tee shots, approach shots and shots around the green. Their combined influence on golf have been likened to the sway of sabermetrics over baseball, changing how Tour pros play and practice, how coaches coach, how caddies caddie.”
3. Tadd Fujikawa comes out
The former teen phenom posted the following to Instagram yesterday. He is believed to be the first openly gay male professional golfer
“I don’t expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.”
  • “I’ve been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I’ve struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I’m standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone’s life.”
  • “Although it’s a lot more accepted in our society today, we still see children, teens, and adults being ridiculed and discriminated against for being the way we are. Some have even taken their lives because of it. As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality. Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not, we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves, whatever that may be. It’s the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations.”
4. Longer, more sophisticated fairway woods
Golfweek’s David Dusek explores the phenomenon of longer-flying, technology laden fairway woods.
  • “For the longest time, I think fairway woods were sort of a dead category, just chugging along, but there was nothing that inspired consumers to go out and replace what they had,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s vice president of product creation. “It was clear to us that from a ball-speed standpoint, there was a lot of runway.”
  • “I give TaylorMade credit because (RocketBallz) really started the arms race in fairway woods,” said Dave Neville, Callaway’s senior director of brand management.
  • “According to Neville, Chip Brewer had just started as Callaway’s president in early 2012 when he was shown the fairway woods company officials planned to release. Unimpressed, Brewer canceled their production and pressed Callaway’s R&D team to further develop a prototype technology that could deliver significantly more distance, even though it meant releasing the clubs later. The result was the first Callaway fairway wood with a cup face, the X Hot, and it quickly became a hit.”


5. The Ryder Cup effect? Non!
They’re skeptical in France!
  • AP Report…”The head of France’s only golf major says hosting the Ryder Cup won’t help his country produce a star player.”
  • “Asked at an eve-of-tournament news conference Wednesday about a stellar month for French golf, the women’s Evian Championship chairman Franck Riboud dismissed what the Ryder Cup could achieve when it’s played Sept. 28-30 near Paris.”
  • “We need a (French) champion, that’s all,” Riboud said. “I think we need a project for the young French player to show we are a champion in the next five years. … We don’t have a golf culture, we have to build it.”
  • “Perhaps you are surprised,” Riboud said. “Because personally I think the Ryder Cup is not building or helping to reach the objective” of developing talent.”
The top Frenchman in the OWGR? Mike Lorenzo-Vera at No. 97.
6. A scarcity of women’s college golf scholarships?
Interesting take from Beth Ann Nichols at Golfweek on the poverty of women’s golf scholarships.
  • “I am so glad you are doing a story on this because I am so tired of hearing this,” wrote Boise State head coach Nicole Bird. “Parents in women’s golf expect a full ride, no matter how good (or bad) their daughter is because they think there is an overwhelming number of scholarships available.
  • “Parents and juniors often start the recruiting process not realizing that many golf programs aren’t fully funded, particularly at the Division II level, even among top-tier programs.”
  • “Division I women’s golf teams are allotted six full scholarships, while Division II is allowed 5.4.”
  • “Division III does not have athletic scholarships.”
  • “There’s a big chunk of your better academic schools who may only have one scholarship among the whole team,” Jackson said. “Eight girls on the team … the majority of those girls are paying to be there.”
7. AN Women’s Am coming to NBC
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…”The inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be broadcast next April on NBC Sports, it was announced Wednesday.”
  • “NBC will provide live broadcast and digital tournament coverage of the final round on Saturday, April 6 (noon-3 p.m. ET), while Golf Channel will cover the championship on its news and digital platforms.”
  • “Held the week before the 2019 Masters, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will include an international field of 72 players competing in a 54-hole event. The first two rounds will be contested on Champions Retreat Golf Club’s Island and Bluff courses (April 3 and 4), after which the field will be trimmed to the low 30 players.”
  • “The field will then play an official practice round at Augusta National on April 5, before the final round on Saturday, April 6.”
8. The rise of Rose
An unbylined AP column looks at Justin Rose’s long road to the top.
  • “He was a 17-year-old amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998 who holed out for par on the final hole to tie for fourth, soaking up a celebration that suggested golf could only get sweeter.”
  • “And then it went sour over the next year when he turned pro and missed 21 consecutive cuts on the European Tour.”
  • “It took him nearly four years before he won for the first time in Europe. He went 12 years before winning on the PGA Tour, rallying from four shots behind to win the Memorial and get that handshake with Jack Nicklaus. He won the U.S. Open in 2013 by denying Phil Mickelson. He added precious gold to the collection of silver trophies when he won in golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016.”
9. Mickelson the sniper
Phil Mickelson tweeted a video of himself firing a sniper rifle, saying, “How is today’s long range sniper shooting preparing me for the Ryder Cup? Meditation, controlling my thoughts, breathing, heart rate and connecting with the target are critical for both!”
GolfWRX Morning 9: 2019 Rules | Getting to know Mark Broadie | Fujikawa’s full statement

GolfWRX Morning 9: 2019 Rules | Getting to know Mark Broadie | Fujikawa’s full statement

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