In Gee Chun... Dumbo to her friends and fans... is extraordinary on so many levels, and her impressive wire-to-wire win at the Evian Championship yesterday was just the latest example.
The victory was record breaking, at 21 under, the lowest score ever in a major... men's or women's. In addition, this win made Chun only the second player in LPGA history to clinch her first two LPGA wins at majors (her iconic compatriot Se Ri Pak being the first).
In fact, In Gee Chun seems to have an affinity for big wins. She'd already won majors in Japan and Korea when she clinched the 2015 US Women's Open last year... on her first try.
The multiple major winner is ultra-impressive off course as well. According to her bio she's something of a math prodigy with a genius level IQ, and based on her performance in a commercial for the PING Rhapsody driver... she's also a stellar Barbie impersonator. Have a look at the video and I think you'll have to agree.
|Connecticut Golf at Mohegan Sun - Photo credit: Mohegan Sun|
It's an idea whose time has come, a global golf competition between the world's top caddies.
Stellar players in their own rights, these men spend most of the year supporting the likes of Jim Furyk, and Bubba Watson, but this coming Monday they'll be taking part in the World Caddie Matches at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Golf Club.
It'll be Americans vs Internationals, and the one day/two round event will feature both alternate shot and singles matches. The public is welcome, and the gallery is expected to include a tour player... or several.
Proceeds from the World Caddie Matches will go to K9s for Warriors, a non-profit whose mission is to provide service dogs to veterans.
I'm guessing this unique, first ever world caddie tournament might just become an annual tradition.
Additional information: World Caddie Matches Presented by Beckmen Law at Mohegan Sun Golf Club
|We celebrate National Golf Month annually at the O'Shea Open, a fun, family golf tournament|
We're two weeks into August which for some signals the waning days of the golf season... and inspires feelings of melancholy. Personally, I don't see it that way at all, and I'm guessing you don't either.
Most of the golfers I come in contact with, even here in CT where winters are often long, welcome the prospect of Autumnal golf with almost the same enthusiasm they reserve for those first Springtime rounds. With the oppressive heat and humidity behind us and fall colors beginning to show their splendor, golf can be be sublime in September, and in these parts the luster often lasts through Thanksgiving. So... nothing to be morose about right now.
In fact, let's get back to mid-August, because August is National Golf Month and we're only half way through it.
It's a month to share and celebrate golf, in any which way you want... from playing a round, to attending a tournament, to introducing a friend to the game. It's all good, and there are myriad suggestions, promotions, tips and trivia to be found online and in communities around the world, that will inspire you.
I'm happy to say, I've done a bit of everything so far this month; I spent a couple of days at both the PGA Championship and the Travelers Championship, played several twilight rounds with friends and introduced our 9-year-old nephew, to the game at our local par-three.
|The O'Shea Open - Players of all ages & ability levels, 9 holes, with a family course setup.|
Then, this past weekend was the O'Shea Open, an annual event that, to my mind, totally captures the spirit of National Golf Month. It's players of all ages and ability levels, 9 holes, with a family course setup. Best ball and teams of teams of 10... with a couple of cheerleaders along for the walk/ride. Yes, there are walkers and riders on each team and it's somewhat chaotic, but always fun. There's even a trophy, and we won it back this year, in a playoff. Exciting stuff. A quintessential American cookout follows the tournament in the shady picnic area beside the putting green.
The thing is, I've seen many of these young, first-time players come back to the tournament over the years, having improved from taking lessons, practicing and playing regularly. From their first exposure to golf at this casual, quixotic outing these kids have clearly developed a love for the game.
That right there is the spirit of National Golf Month.
|The Impressively Swinging Mel Reid|
Combine British wit, an astute eye for design and an unyielding dedication to sustainable golf and what do you get? You get Peter Gorse, the outspoken founder of "Golf Refugees".
Peter spent last week at the Ricoh British Open and wrote the following dispatch from the media center at Woburn Golf Club, especially for us.Golf Media Mannerisms
On arrival you receive a gift. Only the British would consider giving an umbrella for a major sporting event in mid-summer. Each journo is allocated a desk facing a manually updated scoreboard, fortunately the door between the food hall is left ajar and the waft of the cooking keeps you on your toes.
There’s an itinerary of set media events, from press conferences with leading players, to a Championship photo call with the imaginative theme of a traditional English tea party. I didn’t want to be a party pooper, but as an Englishmen it was all new to me. Obviously they’ve never seen The Royle Family TV show by the late great Caroline Ahern
You can never guarantee sunshine in the UK, hence the modestly warm and dry start to the week was a golden opportunity to be out and about in the field, taking pictures of the world’s best female golfers. With a media pass you’re allowed inside the ropes to capture the best possible images. And here I came across my first issue with the Ladies European Tour police. It’s never a easy situation for a bloke to be told ‘you’re not big enough’. In spite of all the correct paperwork my camera lens just wasn’t up to scratch in the ‘length’ department. To appease officialdoms, I simply stated, "size isn’t everything, it’s what you do with that counts". Alas, this didn’t wash, especially when other seasoned media bods were carrying around their massive male egos. My next line of defence was to quote from the late great photographer, Jane Brown, whose attitude was a stark contrast to her mostly male peers. Jane was supremely uninterested in camera equipment. She bought all of her cameras secondhand, and preferred working with a single lens setting, conspiring to make the environment fit the setting. All this fell on deaf ears and I was forced to seek a bigger lens. READ MORE --->
|SUMMERTIME GOLF, LAST WEEK AT RICHTER PARK|
All of a sudden... we're half way through summer.
For those of us in "continental" climate zones this is the heart of golf's high season... and here in the northeastern United States, the season's been pretty sublime so far; lots of warm, sunny days with uncharacteristically low humidity.
I suspect I'm not alone in feeling a tinge of regret for not having played more these past few weeks... that sentiment seems to be a yearly ritual among the recreational golfers I know. Now comes the yearly commitment to get out there much more often during summer's second half. Well, I'm on it! Despite the ill-timed heat wave due to descend upon us this weekend.
|OK, CALL ME CRAZY - MY GROWING COLLECTION OF VINTAGE GOLF SHOES|
In addition to playing lots more golf, I intend to get back to writing about it... with regularity. You see, `I've been on a bit of a blogging break while attending to family matters and focusing on creative projects in the non-golf world. The thing is though, my enthusiasm for golf... particularly its fun, flirty, fashionable side... hasn't waned one bit and happily, that side of the game finally seems to be coming into its own.
A tsunami of innovative technology is allowing players and fans to engage with golf on a whole new level, across multiple platforms. Meanwhile draconian dress codes have all but vanished, yielding fairways and greens to more casual, fun and fashionable styles. A diverse crop of young players has added flair to the professional tours while new formats and updated attitudes are aiming to make golf more accessible and family-friendly for recreational players.
So instead of lamenting the lost opportunities of the past couple of months this seemed like the perfect time to focus on golf again with a renewed sense of what makes the game so great. To that end, I hope to be playing watching and writing about it tons in the months to come. Here's just a bit of what I'm working on:
|THE FINAL MAJOR - WE'LL BE AT BALTUSROL FOR THE 2016 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP|
The PGA Championship! I'll be there next week with plans to focus on the fan experience, including a close up of Baltusrol... the course and the club house... as well as an inside look at the championship shops, and their vast selection of merchandise. Meanwhile, across the ocean the Ricoh Women's British Open will be taking place at Woburn Golf Club where the outspoken Peter Gorse of Golf Refugees will be our honorary correspondent, providing us with exclusive stories and unique visuals from this great event. I'll also be sharing a fun story about my rapidly growing collection of... vintage golf shoes.
And that's just next week. Beyond that there's the Travelers Championship, here in CT at TPC River Highlands, and later in August I'll be sharing my experiences at an unusual annual tournament that fully embraces the concept of family friendly golf... often with unexpected results. Oh, and there's the innovative new putter I've been playing with of late. It's a totally unique design... approved by the USGA... that's really working for me.
So, check in regularly. There's still a lot of summer left, let's make the most of it.
However, it's surely the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass that allows this tournament to transcend golf and capture the attention of the masses.
There's just something about an island green. The prospect of a sudden watery demise can play on the nerves of even the most experienced golfer, and high drama will often ensue.
It's a good bet there's not a golfer anywhere who's watched THE PLAYERS Championship without imagining themselves poised on that 17th tee, aiming for the island.
If a trip to Ponte Vedre Beach isn't currently in the cards for you, chances are you may be able to find a island green right in your own home state because, contrary to popular belief, island greens aren't all that rare.
Though they're not a traditional feature of golf course architecture, they've become quite popular since the mid-20th Century. In fact here in my home state of Connecticut... without doing much research... I've already discovered five!
So check out your state's course listings, you may find an island green or two. Meanwhile for those living in, or traveling to, the "Nutmeg State" this summer, here's what I've found:
Vineyard Valley Golf Course • 34 Brayman Valley Road • Pomfret, CT - It used to be a vineyard, now it's a 9 hole golf course... and the finishing hole on this scenic, steeply sloped course is an island green.
"The ninth hole is what Gus Loos, the designer of the course, considered to be eastern Connecticut's answer to the famous island green at the 17th hole at Sawgrass in Florida. Playing anywhere from 120 to 160 yards, the green is fronted by a watery marsh that has been and will continue to be the graveyard of many a good score."Chanticlair Golf Course • 288 Old Hebron Road • Colchester, CT 06415 - The 9 hole Chanticlair Golf Course has been in operation since the early 1970's in the scenic town of Colchester. The island experience greets golfers on the 4th hole here. • • MORE CT ISLAND GREENS
|Spring is in the air... and on the golf course... with the Bobby Jones Apparel Clover Collection for women.|
Springtime is all about renewal.
As the monochromatic winter wanes, we seek out color. In our homes, at work or on the golf course, when we think Spring, we tend to take our cues from nature. The acid greens of the season's first foliage and the bright hues of our favorite solstitial flowers.
I've got to admit, the first thing that attracted me to Bobby Jones Apparel's 2016 Clover Collection for women were the colors... as pure and fresh as the nascent Spring. Functionality, was a close second.
When it comes to golf apparel, functionality can make a marked difference: Strategically placed pockets, with non-slip zipper pulls and innovative, multi-tasking textile blends... how about polos with single-button closures and adjustable sleeves. These are some of the functional features that impressed me in the Bobby Jones Golf Apparel pieces I tested. They ensured maximum comfort, while adding adaptability and ease of use.
Then there are the intangibles. What a brand represents is a subtle but significant part of how it feels, and Bobby Jones Apparel is a legacy brand if ever there was one. Inspired by the golden age golf legend, known for his style, grace, humor and humility.
Born on Saint Patrick's Day in 1902, Bobby Jones remains the only player in history to win the Grand Slam, and in the women's golf apparel collection, Clover by Bobby Jones, his legacy is represented by the four-leaf clover charm that Jones consistently carried with him.
A nod to that lucky talisman can be found in understated clover accents -embroidered and embossed - throughout the collection. There's even a small four-leaf clover seal on each Clover collection hang tag. I've decided to use one of these as my own good luck charm this season.
The golf season hasn't officially gotten underway here in CT, however some area courses have opened their fairways to impatient players, and a couple of days ago I grabbed my favorite golf partner - who also happens to be my twin - and we headed over to one such course to play a few pre-season holes.
Though our golf skills were decidedly rusty... and the course not quite ready for primetime... our initial impressions of the Clover Collection were resoundingly positive. The fabric blends favor flexibility without sacrificing fit, and each piece we tested features distinctive styling details that set the line apart. Cathleen and I have agreed to play a full round in our Bobby Jones apparel next month and at that time we'll share a detailed review. As you may have guessed, we're looking very much forward to it.
|Women's Mitered Cable V-Neck Sweater in Cornflower * Women's Supreme Cotton Polo in Amethyst|
* Tech Burnout Hoodie in Green Apple * Sleeveless Tech Lace-Panel Polo in Melon * Tech Burnout Skort in Geranium