WEDNESDAY  | OCTOBER 17, 2018
by John Hawkins

Network television executives get paid the big bucks to make tough decisions, but this one was a no-brainer. Paul Azinger will become NBC’s lead golf analyst in early 2019, succeeding Johnny Miller, who is retiring in February after three decades of sparring and charring.

Few TV commentators in any sport have grasped the concept of critical candor as successfully as Miller. His sugar-free insight was based on the simple notion that PGA Tour pros should be held to the highest competitive standards, which is precisely what he expected of himself as one of the game’s top players in the 1970s.

 



THE EQUIPMENT INSIDER
by Gary Van Sickle

Against all odds, I am writing about sunglasses. This is almost as shocking as the time I produced a piece on jewelry – it was made from bunker sand, OK?

Sunglasses are not golf equipment. Or so I believed. I’m not a sunglasses guy, for starters. I never pay more than 10 bucks for sunglasses, although, due to inflation, I’ve raised my limit to $12.95.

 


OB rule leaves a house divided in New Hampshire
Thank you for the article on the inequitable out-of-bounds rule (“Simplest rules fix of all: Allow drop on OB,” Oct. 16).

As writer Mike Purkey pointed out, virtually no one, save in competition, follows this rule. It seems incongruous to apply a different rule for an OB than a shot into a lateral hazard, etc. Why not label all out-of-play places merely “hazards” and assess a penalty of one stroke from where the misguided ball entered the “hazard”?

 


1

Position in the Official World Golf Ranking that could be up for grabs this week in the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, South Korea. No. 3-ranked Brooks Koepka and No. 4 Justin Thomas, who will be paired together, could overtake No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who is not competing.

 


Confirmed: By Steven Bowditch, that he will be facing back surgery next month. Bowditch, 35, a two-time PGA Tour winner from Australia, disclosed in a Twitter post that he has been diagnosed with pars defect and spondylolysis – in common language, stress fractures in his spine.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Azinger to replace Miller at NBC
With Johnny Miller retiring after nearly 30 years as NBC’s lead golf analyst, co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude discuss the hiring of Paul Azinger, and TV golf in general.


Grill Room powered by Vertical Groove Golf
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Marc Leishman’s recent victory in Malaysia and the PGA Tour’s wraparound season. Bubka chats with Pete Charleston, president of GolfLogix, about the company’s Putt Breaks app. Also, Morning Read’s Alex Miceli talks about Johnny Miller’s decision to retire from NBC Sports.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

The inaugural Women’s Saguaro Amateur will be played early next year as part of the Troon Saguaro Amateur Series, organizers announced. The Women’s Saguaro Amateur, a 54-hole stroke-play event, will be played Jan. 7-9 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.

 

Provision Events has been honored for its design and delivery of the recent Callaway Golf Rogue Tour Experience. In the Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards, the Provision Events program was designated for a gold award for operational success of the year.

 

The number of young golfers who use push carts is beginning to equal the number of older golfers using the technology, Big Max reported. Big Max, which claims to be the No. 1 push-cart brand in Europe for the past 15 years, reports increased use among young U.S. golfers, especially college players.

 

Bill Reineck of Flower Mound, Texas, won the recent Golf Advisor Getaway sweepstakes. Reineck and his brother, Michael, will visit Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga., for a golf vacation to be hosted by Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella. The Reinecks will play three rounds of golf, attend various functions, visit the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf for club-fitting, plus other prizes.

 

Registration to the 2019 Golf Industry Show is open to members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, the GCSAA announced. The show will be held Feb. 2-7 in San Diego.

 


CALENDAR
October 15-17
Senior women: Senior LPGA Championship

French Lick (Ind.) Resort Pete Dye Course

October 18-21
PGA Tour: CJ Cup at Nine Bridges

Club at Nine Bridges, Jeju Island, South Korea

European Tour: Andalucia Valderrama Masters

Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain

LPGA: Buick LPGA Shanghai

Qizhong Garden GC, Shanghai

October 19-21
Champions: Dominion Energy Charity Classic

CC of Virginia, Richmond, Va.


      
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