Died: William “Hootie” Johnson, the retired chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, on Friday. He was 86. Johnson famously resisted public pressure to allow women to join Augusta National, proclaiming in 2002 that they would be admitted on the club’s timetable and “not at the point of a bayonet.” Ten years later, with Billy Payne as club chairman, two women were welcomed as members. Johnson oversaw the lengthening of Augusta National – known as “Tiger proofing,” to counter the modern game and Tiger Woods – from 6,985 yards to 7,445.
Alerted: LPGA players, by the tour, that a stricter dress code will be enacted starting today, according to GolfDigest.com. Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, the LPGA’s player president, emailed tour players to outline clothing bans that include plunging necklines, workout gear, racerbacks (without a mock or regular collar), leggings (unless under a skort or shorts) and lists “appropriate attire” for pro-am parties, GolfDigest.com reported, citing a copy of the email.
Advocated: For alternatives to 72-hole stroke-play tournaments, European Tour chief Keith Pelley. In an interview with Greg Allen of RTE Radio 1’s Saturday Sports program, Pelley said, “There is a need and a willingness to experience something completely different. … The 72-hole tournaments will always be there, but there is a desperate need for something else that can attract a different demographic, that can attract a new energy, a different time commitment to the game.” As an example, Pelley mentioned GolfSixes, a raucous event of two-man, six-hole matches that the European Tour introduced in the spring.
Memorialized: Arnold Palmer, by Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, which will name the stone bridge spanning the 16th hole on the South Course after the late World Golf Hall of Fame member, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Palmer, who died Sept. 25 at age 87, had dubbed the 667-yard par 5 “The Monster” after making a triple bogey during the 1960 PGA Championship. He won the 1957 Rubber City Open at Firestone. A plaque is scheduled to be dedicated Aug. 2, before the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.