The Tour’s cashing in on the Tiger Effect

Once the official announcement is made, the Tour will see its broadcasting value increase a ridiculous 60%. That’s thanks to the new broadcasting deals with CBS and NBC totaling $700 million per year, up from $400 million. The 9-year agreement keeps the two networks as the official homes of golf, and begin once the previous contracts expire at the end of the 2021 season.

Why such a dramatic increase?

Tiger Woods, probably. The 2018-2019 season was the best we’ve seen from Tiger as of late, and from the Tour as a whole. It was emotional, it was controversial, and it was super fun to watch. The “Tiger Effect” is back in full fucking effect.

At this point it doesn’t even matter to the masses if Tiger wins or loses — so long as he’s playing, we’re watching — it just so happens that he’s coming off one of his best seasons to date, and performing better than many thought he would after making his comeback. And lucky enough for the Tour, it’s all happening as their current broadcast deals are expiring. The Tour did make a little gamble by not opting out of the deals and making a go at a larger amount back in 2017, good call.

It’s not all luck, perhaps. Golf has come along way in reimagining itself in recent years (still thanks in large part to Tiger). Brooks, Rhambo, DJ, Rory, JT, Phil, Rickie — there is no shortage of superstars to root for. And now, going out on a limb a little here, the Tour is enjoying its very own international super villains in Patrick Reed, and, to a lesser degree, Bryson DeChambeau, too. Golf is younger, flashier, and a whole lot more interesting. Those trends show no signs of stopping, and when you add the second-coming of Tiger Woods to the table, it’s no surprise it’s paying off for the PGA Tour.

Presidents Cup is must-see tv after what went down last week

Patrick Reed imageAs if there weren’t enough excitement surrounding the 2019 Presidents Cup already, the week that saw the Hero World Challenge provided a whole lot more to buzz about heading into Melbourne.

Topping the list is Patrick Reed’s now-infamous rules infraction during the third round of the World Hero Challenge in the Bahamas. Leading the tournament at the time, Reed found his second shot at the par 5 11th buried in a waste bunker. With a camera locked on, Reed can be seen grounding his club and sweeping a generous amount of sand from behind the ball — twice.

That little number earned Reed a two-stroke penalty at the end of his round, the loss of the lead heading into the final day, and ultimately the tournament. A couple stroke penalty and little social media chastising would usually be enough for everyone to move on, but not when it’s Patrick Reed.

Like him or not, Reed is one of the most socially scrutinized golfers on Tour and isn’t known to do himself any favors when it comes to his public perception. That continued with his statements after the penalty, in which he claims he didn’t intend to improve his lie, and something about the camera angle making it seem more egregious than it was (yeah, OK, Pat).

Adding even more fuel to that fire is Reed’s spot on the American Presidents Cup team, captained by Tiger Woods, the host of the tournament at which Reed made a fool of himself. The memes and calls for his removal from the America team immediately flooded social media, garnering reactions from other tour players and the bringing promise from some that Team USA, and Reed in particular, are gonna get it from the International fans in Melbourne.

International rookie Cameron Smith made his thoughts known unabashed. “I don’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats. I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him, but everyone [on the American team] next week,” Smith told the Australian Associated Press. “If you make a mistake maybe once, you could maybe understand but to give a bit of a bullshit response like the camera angle … that’s pretty up there.” Marc Leishman echoed the sentiment saying Reed’s brought the verbal lashing on himself.

With the odds stacked against them (US -275 at the time of this writing), the International team has asked fans to not screw up their would-be home-field advantage. “I’ll be disappointed if they are cheering enthusiastically for Tiger or anyone on the U.S. team,” Adam Scott told the Herald Sun last week. “Last time it was too friendly.”

Patrick Reed or not, that’s a tall order considering we’re talking about Tiger, the GOAT, Woods and the rest of the star-studded American roster. Woods is hot right now, finishing fourth at the Hero after winning the ZOZO Championship in October, and he’s clearly feeling himself.

Paired with Justin Thomas for the opening round of the Hero, Tiger set the tone for HIS weekend by trolling JT on the tee box:

And followed it up with another jab on the fairway:

When the GOAT dishes it, you have no choice but to take it. But Thomas saved a little face when he wanted it known he’s undefeated against Woods when the two are paired together. We can only hope these two play together once again at the Presidents Cup.

Speaking of pairings, we may have gotten a taste of what to expect at the Hero, according to Golf Channel‘s Ryan Lavner:

There was one Team USA name missing from the tee sheet last week. Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Hero to recover from a knee surgery he had after the Tour Championship, but says he’ll be ready to take on the International team. As for his teammates, along with Woods, Reed, Thomas, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, and Tony Finau all finished top-10 last week, giving team USA plenty of momentum heading into the week. (Oh yeah, Henrick Stenson took the Hero Challenge and the $1,000,000 purse at 18-under par.)

After last week, as we eye the opening rounds of the 2019 Presidents Cup, we already know what we don’t know. We know the International players and fans want to get under the Americans’ skin, we just don’t know if they can. We know the American pairings are going to be good, we just don’t know how good. And we know the Americans are going to win, we just don’t know by how much. We’re ready to find out.

Coverage begins Thursday, December 12, with the fourball opening round followed by the foursome matches on Friday. Saturday brings a full slate with the second round of fourball and foursomes, and closing on Sunday with the singles matches. Tune into the Golf Channel for live coverage Thursday through Sunday, and NBC for a replay of Sunday.

A Last Minute Golf Gift Guide for the Hacker in Your Life

Love it or hate it, the holiday season is good for at least one thing — new golf stuff. There isn’t a golfer alive who wouldn’t love some new clubs, balls, gadgets, apparel, or a free round or two, the hard part is narrowing down your options. With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals gone, and the big day closing in, time can be a factor too.

So to make it easy the CGB crew has narrowed our 2019 last minute gift guide down to 10 items that are — or should be — on every golfers wishlist.

#1 Athalonz Shoes

Athalonz Image

Give the gift of power with a pair of the longest shoes in the game. There’s a reason why players like World Long Drive Champion Kyle Berkshire and others wear Athalonz— ground contact, comfort and stability are absolutely critical. Solid footing is what Athalonz stakes its name on backing it up with the science behind longer drives and more fairways. Anthalonz golf shoes are designed to promote the natural transfer of forces throughout your entire golf swing.

The subtle, modern slip-on design stands out in all the right ways, with natural colors offset by a bright leather-colored band wrapped around the heel, and goes with just about any outfit, too.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#2 UpSide LockOn Rangefinder

UpSide image

UpSide’s LOCKON rangefinder is a must for golfers looking to hone in on their distances with an easy-to-use device without paying an arm and a leg for a bunch of unneeded features. The instant response and accuracy and slope-calculating tech are fantastic, but the greatest selling point of the LOCKON, and its namesake, is the badass magnet built into the side of the unit to attach to your cart or clubs for easy access.

With just the right amount of data, the LOCKON magnet, and an unbeatable price, UpSide clearly has its sights set on changing how we look at high-tech golf accessories.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#3 ProGolfLabs CBD Gum

ProGolfLabs Image

Whether you’ve tried it for yourself or not, you’ve no doubt heard of CBD by now. The natural compound known as “cannabidiol,” derived from hemp cannabis sativa plants, has taken the natural health supplements market by storm. CBD products tout a variety of health and wellness benefits to better just about every aspect of your life — your golf game included.

Pro Golf Labs’ ProG1 CBD chewing gum offers a safe, unique, and effective alternative to other CBD products. Beat the jitters, aches and pains on the course once and for all.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#4 Epoch Eyewear

Epoch Eyewear image

You’ve heard the saying, it doesn’t matter what you shoot (as long as you look good doing it.) Veteran-owned Epoch Eyewear is bringing affordable, quality sunglasses to the masses with styles built for on and off the course. From sporty and performance to casual and high end, you’ll be hard pressed to not find a pair that’s just right.

If you’re looking for a signature style without paying for brand names Epoch has familiar makes and models starting for around $20 — need we say more?

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#5 BombTech Wedge Set

Bombtech_GG

Bombtech Golf has become a lot more than just a driver manufacturer. We were pleasantly surprised by the Grenade wedges several years ago and our feelings are still the same — these clubs are definitely worth giving a shot if you’re wanting more bang for your buck, literally. At the time, we wished the company would offer different finishes to highlight the stylish club head design, and now that wish has come true.

The limited edition Volcano Torched wedges set is, simply, BADASS. If you’re looking for a deal on some head-turning quality wedges, consider your search over.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#6 The Big Beertha

Big Beertha image

What’s a good day out on the course if you’re not tossing a few back? The Big Beertha has brought all the glory of party-style drinking to your local golf club, and we’re here for it. The design mimics that of most modern-day drivers, making for the perfect disguise from the course marshal and fitting perfectly into any golf bag.

Crack one open and fill the head of the Beertha, ready your gullet and toss it back. Now we’re ready to play some golf!

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#7 Birdicorn Divot Tool

Birdicorn tool

The tagline “The best divot tool in golf,” is a little misleading when you’re talking about Birdicorn’s claim-to-fame. Don’t get us wrong, it is the best repair tool on the market, but that’s literally a fraction of what this product can do. Birdicorn’s genius lightweight design packs 6 functions into one easy-to-use tool; a repair tool, putting alignment aid, grip rest, bottle opener, line stencil, and ball mark holder (fits any 1″ ball marker).

The compact, ergonomical design fits comfortably in your pocket, meaning you’ll have absolutely no reason to leave pocked greens behind you on the course.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#8 Jones Golf

Jones Golf image

Jones Golf is one of the the perennial trendsetters in the golf industry, staying on the cutting edge of performance and design with a nod to the game’s traditional style. Top-quality golf and travel bags, apparel, accessories and more, you really can’t go wrong with any of Jones’ offerings. But to narrow our selection down to one, we’ll highlight the product that “started it all” — the Original Jones. Less is more in the case of the Original, featuring a 3-way top divider, (2) front pockets and (1) back pocket, an unstructured body made of water-resistant nylon, and a single strap. It’s the definition of a traditional golf bag and sure to please anyone on the receiving end. What’s more, Jones offers customization to all its products, making it even easier to come away with a one-of-a-kind piece.

Golf has always been a game of style, class, and tradition, and it always will be. Companies like Jones Golf Bags exude that aesthetic with a perfect balance between the then and now, and setting the standard for the game’s next generation.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#9 Oak & Anchor

Oak&Anchor Image

“Go low. Stay fly” — a sentiment every golfer should live by. From throwback to modern, Oak & Anchor definitely has something for you or the golfer on your list — unless you’re looking for a “dad hat.” Each line sports a flat bill and snapback, and designed with just enough flair to suit any look while standing out amongst the crowd. Along with limited releases, O&A has too many designs to settle on just one — they’re all worthy of a spot in your collection. Quality material, designs, and a prices that fit any budget, O&A is a hat company for the people.

Join the ranks of the Oak & Anchor faithful — you’ll never look back.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

#10 MyLesson App

MyLesson Image

Golf is hard. Golf lessons won’t make it easy by any means, but they can make it a little less hard. But choosing an instructor and location, finding the time to commit, and the overall costs can sometimes be as complicated as the game itself, which is no solace to looking for help. That’s where the MyLesson App and it’s online, one-on-one instruction comes in — it’s as easy as 1-2-3, as the cliche goes. Choose your instructor from MyLesson’s list of PGA coaches, a process made easy with filters including cost, skill-level, overall rating and more. Then just schedule any time and find a WiFi-connected location that works for you, and start improving your swing.

With live, custom instruction from anywhere, signing up for MyLesson may very well be the easiest part of the game.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

ColoradoGolfBlog, in some cases, receives a small commission when you purchase items from these links. CGB has endorsed all advertisers, products and services and advertising does not influence editorial decisions or content.

Sauce Golf Co’s cooler towel is getting a Kickstart

Sauce Golf Co. cooler towelIt’s not often we highlight a product yet-to-be available to anyone, but we’re making an exception for Colorado-based Sauce Golf Co. The fledgeling company had been promoting its innovated cooler golf towel, meant to suit just about any golfer’s needs as a rain guard, shoe bag, towel and groove cleaner, and cooler bag all in one.

It sounds a little gimmicky at first, sure, but what really caught our attention and got us on board was one of the most entertaining infomercials we’ve seen in a while:

Bravo, boys.

Whether you think the cooler towel is gimmicky or not, you can’t argue against the subtle, clean design of the product, or usefulness. It’s not overly flashy or in anyway indicative of the product’s many uses, and worth having on hand when you need it for one thing or another. We definitely won’t mind one on or in our bags.

The video notes availability and dates for the 2019 holiday shopping season, but the company has decided to push the official release of the cooler towel until Spring of 2020. In the meantime, Sauce Golf Co hats and shirts are available to backers at the $25 level or higher via the company’s KickStarter page, with proceeds going towards the improvement and relaunch of the cooler towel. The no frills design of the shirts and hats sport a throwback-esque text logo in red/white and green/yellow schemes.

As of this writing Sauce Golf Co. has just over half of its listed fundraising goal of $1000 with a couple weeks left in the campaign.

ColoradoGolfBlog, in some cases, receives a small commission when you purchase items from these links. CGB has endorsed all advertisers, products and services and advertising does not influence editorial decisions or content.

Will the PGA Tour’s new pace-of-play policy really change anything?

When word that the PGA Tour Policy Board had passed and will implement new pace-of-play guidelines during the 2020 season began to spread, the age-old cycle of news headlines, analytics, anonymous sources, finger pointing and speculation got another big boost. We don’t know all the details of the new plan, and won’t until the Tour makes its official announcement about the change (reportedly coming early 2020), but we do know enough to keep the speculation going until then.

Golf Digest reports the new policy will shift the Tour’s focus on players in groups that are out of position to individual players regardless of group position, which is in-line with the Tour’s August announcement that it would be taking a closer look at the pace-of-policy. That announcement came on the heels of the “recent incidents,” the Tour cited at the time — those incidents being Bryson DeChambeau’s antics at the 2019 Northern Trust and a whole other p-o-p rabbit hole. But back to the new policy. To shift the focus to individual players, the Tour is reportedly going to create a secret shit list of the slowest players so they are more likely to be put on the clock. If a player records a second bad time during a round they will incur a one-stoke penalty.

The new policy is supposed to start a week after the Masters, at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina. That seems a pretty quick turnaround for what’s being talked up as some kind of sweeping, answer-to-all-problems policy — but is it really any of that? There are rules meant to address slow play on the Tour already on the books, though they are pretty weak, obviously. But the bigger part of the problem, one the rulebook can’t fix, is the Tour’s inability to enforce it’s own rules, or unwillingness to do so.

Pace-of-play has been a massive problem for the Tour ever since, well, ever. Any time it looks like the Tour is ready to do something about it, it doesn’t — a story seemingly as old as the game itself. Are we really to believe this new policy is going to change anything?

It’s no secret who the slowest players are, certainly amongst the players themselves, but the fans know it too. What’s keeping a list of the most-likely suspects going to achieve if the same rules officials won’t penalize anyone anyways? What’s the point of keeping the list secret in the first place if we can guess who’s on it? Maybe some good ol’ fashioned online public shaming is the change we need to speed things up.

Despite the announcement, right now the Tour is no closer to solving the problem than it was to begin with. This new policy gives it a new approach at highlighting AND enforcing the problem, but given its track record for penalizing players, or lack there of, the prospect that the Tour has effected any meaningful change is still a toss up.

At least we won’t have to wait too long to find out for sure.