Category: The Golf Channel

September 23, 2013

President Bush: Barack Obama should play golf

Posted at 1:48 PM by Pete Madden

In what could be the biggest display of bipartisanship since President Barack Obama took office, former president George W. Bush endorsed his successor's golf game.

Sitting down with the Golf Channel's Jimmy Roberts, Bush crossed the proverbial aisle:

“I’ve seen our President criticized for playing golf. I don’t. I think he ought to play golf. I know what it is like to be in the bubble and I know the pressures of the job. To be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the President. It is a good outlet.”

Several presidents, dating all the way back to William Howard Taft, have been avid players, but our Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs crowned Bush (whose great grandfather served as USGA president and lent his name to the Walker Cup) "Golfer-in-Chief" with the "best presidential swing I've seen."

President Obama has played 145 rounds of golf since taking office, 103 of them, according to TIME, with Marvin Nicholson, Obama's trip director and "First Bro," but as this three-putt indicates, he still has some work to do.

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October 22, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Keegan Bradley beat trash-talking Michael Jordan in match

Posted at 11:44 AM by Mark Dee

You knew Michael Jordan wasn't content just watching the Ryder Cup.

Maybe that's why he challenged one of the team's stars -- Keegan Bradley -- to a match. According to Bradley, though, the audition didn't go well.

Bradley, who miraculously transforms into a crazed mongoose once he enters match play, described the experience on The Golf Channel's Morning Drive. Will Gray has the recap:

"He was yapping pretty much the whole day," he claimed of Jordan, who displayed a penchant for trash-talking throughout his NBA playing career.

After birdies by Bradley on each of the final two holes, the match hinged on Jordan's final stroke.

"He had about 6 feet," Bradley explained. "It wouldn't have gone in if it was the size of a basketball hoop."

So you say Jordan missed badly at the last, with the match on the line? Well, maybe he does have the right stuff to make the U.S. side ...

RELATED PHOTOS: Michael Jordan on the golf course

September 19, 2012

Truth & Rumors: J.B. Holmes rings bell at New York Stock Exchange

Posted at 10:32 AM by Mark Dee

J.B. Holmes is in New York this week, and while he'd probably rather be playing golf in Atlanta, he's doing some cool stuff while he's in town. Specifically: Ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

According to The Golf Channel's Morning Drive, Holmes took the dais on Wednesday alongside Rand Blazer, president of Apex Systems, an IT firm that sponsors Holmes.

Afterward, Holmes talked with The Golf Channel about the improvements in his game, and -- more importantly -- his health over this past season:

Holmes said that 2012 was a great year for him considering what he went through in 2011 with brain surgery but it took a lot of time to get back to playing strength and back to a level where he wanted to be. He qualified for the first 3 Playoff events this year and he feels that there is room for improvement. Holmes added that he is no longer on the medications which contributed significantly to his weight gain but he lost a lot of the weight since getting off of the medications.

Good to hear that. Mr. Holmes, enjoy your vacation.

September 14, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Watch Ben Crane's newest video 'Hair Attachment'

Posted at 12:39 PM by Mark Dee

"The fastest thing in my life…was…my balding," says Ben Crane (very slowly) in his newest video, "Hair Attachment," which premiered Friday morning on The Golf Channel's Morning Drive.

That's right, the Golf Boys' token "Strange One" is back with his most cinematic release to date. The heartfelt two minutes is complete with the signature unitard, a German shrink, and a hairpiece that seems modeled after late-era Bernhard Langer. There's a moral, too. Spoiler alert: Don't go bald.

But we'll save the jokes for Crane. Check out the video below:

September 13, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Watch walk-off hole-in-one at Senior Women's Amateur

Posted at 9:49 AM by Mark Dee

The Golf Channel's cameras are always rolling. And sometimes, that's a good thing.

Like Tuesday at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, where they captured this video of Anna Schultz recording a walk-off ace on the 17th hole to close out her second round match:

According to Ryan Lavner of The Golf Channel, Schultz, the 2007 Senior Women's champ, used a 6-hybrid from 154 yards. She went on to lose in the next round, but she'd already done what every golfer dreams of doing with a match on the line. And that's got to be worth some consolation.

September 15, 2010

Truth and Rumors: Golf Channel expands its programming, Miller/Poulter fued heating up, Tiger Slam set finally sold

Posted at 12:33 PM by Steve Beslow

Morning Glory?
The Golf Channel has done a great job over the past few years opening up its branding and getting all sorts of new programming into its schedule. Nearly gone (but not forgotten) are the days when the easiest way to cure insomnia, even in the middle of the day, was to turn on TGC and let the infomercials and dubiously produced swing tips wash over you. According to VP of programing development Keith Allo, the network isn't resting on its recent accomplishments.Talking to Links Magazine's Tom Cunneff, Allo revealed at least one project in the works that could be a game changer for the network:

...We’ll also have a new morning show called “Dawn Patrol” that will air from 7-9. We don’t have hosts yet, but it’ll be our version of “Mike & Mike.” We have a third studio that we’re completely redoing to accommodate the set. It’ll be grounded in golf but it will also cover financial news, other sports. It will be a heavily guest-driven show with people calling in, including players. It will have a real immediacy. We’ll even do the weather. Our ticker will have more than golf news. It’ll have other sports scores and the top line results from the stock market the day before. It’ll be something that will service our viewers so they have a reason to watch us. It’s one of the things that’s been missing. We’ve been talking about launching it for two years but ’11 seems right. I think it will be really popular.

My colleague Mike Walker and I have very different takes on the Dawn Patrol idea. What we both agree on is that the concept itself is a no-brainer: they've got the footage, the access and the built-in viewership to keep overhead low and provide plenty of content. What we don't agree on is how well the show will be able to split its time between golf and other news/sports without stepping into actual competition with ESPN (and, specifically, the aforementioned Mike and Mike). Mr. Walker thinks they'll have no problem, while I anticipate growing pains at best, and a complete lack of identity at worst. I like TGC's gumption and their willingness to take a chance and expand their horizons, and I honestly hope Dawn Patrol is a smashing success, but I'm not afraid to go on record and predict that this show will flop bigger than Phil's 64-degree wedge. Still, anything will be better than those infomercials. Give me your take below.

It's Miller Time...Again
Johnny Miller hasn't been making a whole lot of friends on the PGA Tour this week. After Paul Casey called out the controversial NBC broadcaster at the BMW Championship, Ian Poulter took exception to Miller's take on the young Brit's ball striking ability. After Brad Faxon completely punked Poulter with a fake gift from Miller, it seemed like Poulter had finally decided to let the broadcaster's comments roll off his back. Until this morning that is:  Tweet

The link on that Tweet? It brings you to the European Tour's rankings for Greens in Regulation, which Poulter tops with 75.9% of greens hit in his 12 rounds on the Euro tour. A stunning stat...sort of. As you may have heard, Poulter also plays a bit on the PGA Tour, where his GIR is a more modest 62.47% (good for 171st on Tour).

The joke of this entire "feud" is that there are two undeniable facts. First, Ian Poulter is an extremely good golfer (and Johnny Miller never said he wasn't). Second, Ian Poulter is (by PGA Tour standards) a terrible ball striker. Poulter is currently ranked 159th on the Tour in ball striking (a combination of driving accuracy, driving distance and greens in regulation), and it's no aberration--he has finished better than 164th only once in his career. The joke is that there's no reason for Poulter to be ashamed of this--he still managed to be 20th in scoring average (the only stat that really matters) last year, despite his poor ball striking stats. Still, I can't wait to see how Miller reacts to Poulter's Twitter assault, especially since he actually has the stats on his side.

Slam Set Sold
Here's an update on a weird story from a few months ago. You may remember the saga of Steve Mata, the former Titleist director of Tour operations who tried to sell the irons that he claimed Tiger used while completing the "Tiger Slam" in '00 and '01 (a claim Woods denied). The good news for Mata? He had the clubs at least somewhat authenticated and managed to sell them. The bad news? He didn't quite manage to get the $250,000 he was looking for. From

It seems everybody at Nucci's Italian Cafe knows Steve Mata. He lives down the street. He comes here all the time. Now might be a time for celebration, but Mata is subdued, thoughtful. He wonders about the future.

For a pricetag of $57,242.40, Mata just sold a set of 11 Titleist irons and wedges that once belonged to Tiger Woods. Mata says they were used by Woods to win the Tiger Slam in 2000 and 2001. Woods says otherwise, but a few touring pros have supported Mata's story.

Announcement of the sale, coming on Sept. 12 from Green Jacket Auctions, caught many observers by surprise. Mata was asking $250,000. It was widely assumed he would hold out for a six-figure bid (the name of the successful bidder was not released).

"It's time to put this behind me and move on," Mata said. "I need to find a job. I'm dedicated to golf. I'm a great employee. I know what I'm doing. I work hard."

The real story here is the state of golf memorabilia in this economy. I don't think anybody expected Mata to get his a quarter-million dollars, but just over $57,000 seems like a steal for these clubs. If and when Tiger finally breaks Jack's record for major wins, expect these babies to go back on the market, most likely at their original asking price.

February 10, 2010

Daily Flogging: Tiger to return for Tavistock Cup?

Posted at 12:18 PM by Gary Van Sickle

What ever happened to Tiger Woods? For a guy who has disappeared for two months, he still generates a lot of publicity.

The most recent series of rumors about his return starts with a report from gossip site that Woods will tee it up in the made-for-TV Tavistock Cup, a friendly, limited-invitation tournament between teams of pros from Lake Nona and Tiger's home course, Isleworth. The two-day exhibition will be played March 22-23. 

Steve Elling of responded positively to the rumor:

Of all the bob-and-weave, duck-and-cover, rope-a-dope moves Woods has made over the years to avoid the limelight and escape accountability, this might be his most masterful idea... which means that on his first day back on the job, he can walk to work. Just to set the geography for you, Woods could hit his first public shot since last fall on a practice range located 50 yards from his driveway, not to mention the most famous fire hydrant in Orlando.

The idea of a Tavistock Cup return for Woods makes sense because it's on home ground and he would be able to have some privacy -- the event is held inside a gated community. The crowd has traditionally been held to fewer than 5,000, and tickets are not available to the general public. The event is televised by Golf Channel.  Elling got a "no comment" from a Tavistock official about the possibility of Tiger's return and noted that tournament officials, who normally seek out media attention, "are in full lockdown mode."

Will Tiger play? It's just a rumor but unlike the one about him returning to play in next week's World Match Play Championship, this one actually makes some sense.

In a not entirely unrelated matter, former Tiger mistress Rachel Uchitel has signed on as a special correspondent for the fluff entertainment news show Extra, the New York Post reported. She'll be on the coveted hot night-spots beat... and will not be talking about Tiger.

In Tiger business news, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that developers of Punta Brava, a luxury golf course development 65 miles south of San Diego, has been delayed by permitting issues, not Tiger issues, and still plans to break ground this year and open in 2012. Woods is supposed to design the golf course, which includes some dramatic oceanfront land overlooking Todos Santos Bay.

The paper reports that home sales won't begin until next February. Lot prices begin at $3 million, condominiums start at $3.5 million. The money behind this $100 million project belongs to Red McCombs, former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings. The course was supposed to have opened in 2010 but the project has been delayed due to environmental and archeological concerns.

February 09, 2009

Jack Graham joins the Golf Channel

Posted at 4:30 PM by Anne Szeker

Graham The Golf Channel announced today that six-time Emmy award winner Jack Graham (right) would be joining their team as vice-president, golf events and executive producer. He'll oversee the network's live golf coverage.

Prior to this, Graham worked for 25 years at ABC Sports on everything from the network's golf coverage to Monday Night Football to the Olympics. More recently he has worked as a freelance producer for various networks, including ESPN.

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