PGA Golf Exhibitions Announces Multi-Year Participation Agreement with Titleist and FootJoy Beginning with the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show

NORWALK, Conn. (December 2, 2019) – PGA Golf Exhibitions announced today a new multi-year participation agreement for Titleist and FootJoy beginning with the 67th PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 21-24, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.

The PGA Merchandise Show annually welcomes more than 1,000 top golf companies and brands and nearly 40,000 industry professionals from around the world to explore industry trends, test new equipment and technology, source widespread golf lifestyle merchandise, learn fresh business and retail strategies, network among peers and help move forward the business of the sport.

Titleist will participate in the PGA Show Demo Day on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Orange County National Golf Center, highlighting its latest technology and offering hands-on testing of its full 2020 equipment lineup to PGA Professionals and golf retailers. During PGA Show days, Jan. 22-24, Titleist and FootJoy will showcase their complete product lines in two separate anchor exhibits and host a series of educational workshops within the Orange County Convention Center.

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Acushnet Holdings (Titlteist/Footjoy) announces a multi-year pact.

“We are pleased to once again welcome Titleist and FootJoy to the PGA Merchandise Show and greatly value their ongoing support of the Show and its attending industry professionals,” said PGA Golf Exhibitions Event Vice President Marc Simon. “Their participation throughout PGA Show Week provides an exciting experience across their full array of products and we look forward to helping them showcase the Acushnet family of brands for many more years to come.”

“On behalf of our nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals, we greatly appreciate the Titleist and FootJoy brands for their year-round support and promotion of PGA Professionals,” said John Easterbrook, PGA, Chief Membership Officer of the PGA of America. “Their annual activations at the PGA Merchandise Show help to educate and empower PGA Professionals to grow and improve their business during the most important golf industry week of the year.”

“The PGA Merchandise Show presents a unique opportunity for our Titleist and FootJoy teams to connect with a high concentration of partners, showcase our products, and provide connective educational opportunities for thousands of PGA Professionals,” said Peter Broome, Senior Vice President, Industry and Trade Relations. “The timing of this gathering sets the tone for the year and we look forward to participating for many shows to come.”

About Acushnet Holdings/Titleist & FootJoy

We are the global leader in the design, development, manufacture and distribution of performance-driven golf products, which are widely recognized for their quality excellence. Driven by our focus on dedicated and discerning golfers and the golf shops that serve them, we believe we are the most authentic and enduring company in the golf industry. Our mission – to be the performance and quality leader in every golf product category in which we compete – has remained consistent since we entered the golf ball business in 1932. Today, we are the steward of two of the most revered brands in golf – Titleist, golf’s leading performance equipment brand, and FootJoy, golf’s leading performance wearables brand. Additional information can be found at www.acushnetholdingscorp.com.

About the PGA Merchandise Show

The PGA Merchandise Show, “the MAJOR of Golf Business,” is organized in partnership with the PGA of America and is a trade-only event, not open to the public.

Learn more at PGAShow.com.

Brooks Koepka

The title is quick and to the point. No sense in mincing words when it comes to talking about a guy who can overpower Major Championship golf courses the way that Brooks Koepka has.

For some reason or another the golfing fan, in general, is not enamored with Koepka and personally, I don’t I understand it. He exemplifies what the modern professional golfer is about nowadays. He’s the perfect blend of a workout machine and neatly intersects where golf technology and Kinesiology meet. Thus creating the proverbial “video game athlete”. Much fun (in jest) has been made of what would comprise of his Champion’s Dinner in the event that he won The Masters. A protein shake bar with all of the fixings like Kale, Quinoa, Peanut Butter, and Ginger Root to say the least all being readily available.

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Photo Credit: Globe and Mail

But the reality is that he’s a machine and if you think about it, Brooks has already put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career together. He has four Major Championships to his name and it certainly is easy to see him capturing more. Think about it… he has four and according to my figures (round figures) he’s about a quarter of the way to 18 Majors. I’m not putting pressure on Koepka but is 18 or 19 a number that the 29-year-old can approach or overtake? A lot would have to fall into place neatly and he would have to stay healthy for it to happen. But it is entirely possible.

Koepka is downright dangerous in Major Championships. Yes, Brooks has borderline superhuman strength or so his growing legend would have you believe. But if there’s a variable that he has that some of his competitors may not it’s his mental toughness. He’s shown that he can hit towering drives, hit delicate approach shots into greens and make putts when he needs to. But he also has shown us in consecutive U.S. Open’s (2017 and 2018) that he has the uncanny ability to win an event when it’s a battle of attrition. Mental toughness when things are seemingly spiraling downward and out of control. But he gets himself righted and finds a way to win.

Look no further than Sunday at the 2019 PGA Championship this past weekend at Bethpage State Park on the insanely difficult Black Course which measured a paltry 7,500 yards this past weekend for the field. He jumped out to a quick lead on Day One and never looked back. The final round proved to be more interesting than it should have been as his seemingly untouchable lead was within reach. But in a similar fashion, like I’ve already alluded to he held on and got some help along the way to win yet another Major “Battle of Attrition”. The cream of the crop rose to the top at Bethpage State Park and the 2019 PGA Championship. Kopeka (-8) and runner-up Dustin Johnson (-6) were six and four shots respectively ahead of the nearest competition. Going to show once again that if you grow out courses and penalize misses you can protect a golf course and their architect even with technology and player development being at the forefront.

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Photo Credit: CNN

I like Brooks Koepka. He speaks his mind and isn’t shy about criticizing other players or issues that are seemingly wrong with the game of golf. Look at his comment regarding slow play stating that it was “kind of embarrassing” or the latest of infamous tantrums of Sergio Garcia earlier this year. He sounds off on the same things that I do and in a way, he’s like my “spirit animal”. Golf really does need more notable guys like him to sound off and call out their peers or state what’s wrong with the game on TOUR or otherwise. I commend Brooks on doing this guy and more importantly congratulations on your 4th Major.

 

Koepka’s WITB

TaylorMade Golf M5 10.5* (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 TX)

TaylorMade Golf M2 Tour HL 16.5* (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX)

Nike Golf Vapor Fly Pro 3-iron (Fujikura Pro 95 Tour Spec X)

Mizuno Golf JPX 919 Tour 4-PW (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)

Vokey Design SM7 Raw (52-12F, 56-10S); Vokey SM4 TVD Raw (60-08M) (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)

Scotty Cameron Newport 2 SLT T10

Titleist Pro V1x

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Don’t Discount Yourself Too Much

Often the stories that I come up with to write about come from out of nowhere. More often it’s a thought and I just feel a need to write. I guess this morning.. .or late morning is one such case. Here we are… it’s Super Bow Sunday and admittedly I have no vested interest in the spectacle. So instead of making dinner plans I was working a little bit on the Teezy Awards. I can now tell you that I have some of the winners all sorted out.

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But it made me think…. about the Teezy Awards and about us.. golfers in general. Why do we insist on selling ourselves short? It can be our golf game or how we swing a golf club. I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that we all have elements of our game that we could improve upon. In my case my putting is an issue. So is clubhead speed in light of numbers that I saw in Orlando at the aboutGolf booth while on one of their simulators. My results looked so good at Demo Day and my drives sure as heck looked longer than 227 yards and a Swing Speed of 94 mph. If accurate, that means I’m down 20 mph (up to a 3 mph variance). That’s a lot! I may not get back the lost head speed and it might be a “golf consequence” of my September Stroke. But there are positives. My striking was great, I was in tempo and all things considered my putting seemed to be very solid on the practice greens. Positives!!

I know that it’s a human trait to look at the negatives but don’t sell yourself short. There are positives to your game and it’s not all doom and gloom.

Speaking of selling one’s self short… I need to talk about my Teezy Awards. When I mention these awards to manufacturers I do so in a way that almost discredits myself. At the very least… I demean myself. I talk about them “tongue and cheek” and use sarcasm by using words like “prestigious”. You know what?! They actually are… and I just realized it this morning (quite literally). The Teezy Awards aren’t Golf Digest Hot List nor are they MGS Most Wanted (I don’t follow them… and don’t care who they say is the “Most Wanted”). But to me… my Teezy Awards mean a little bit more. Here’s why…

  1. Golf Equipment manufacturers do not pay me for placing ads on my site
  2. I’m not sponsored by any companies
  3. I’m not swayed in any way shape or form to pick Brand A over Brand B
  4. My picks are genuine and based on what I use to pass judgement (my senses)
  5. I cover as many brands as possible no matter the size of the company. Every company deserves fair coverage. (I was one of the first to cover New Level Golf… long before the “big guys” did)

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Basically, when I place my stamp of approval on something… you know it’s good. I don’t need to say that I’m unbiased or honest. That’s something that should be assumed in this industry. Educating golfers through reviews. Genuine with a real touch of humanity is another thing and that’s what I bring to each and every one of you. That’s why I will no longer discredit myself or the Teezy Awards. They are an honor for those companies that get nominated or win.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

Player’s or Game-Improvement Irons

This article may not head in a direction as you might expect from the title. As my departure for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show is a week away I wanted to see where I should focus my energy on. Especially, when it comes to the subject of irons. Did golfers on social media want to learn more about “Player’s” irons or “Game-Improvement” irons.? According to the poll there was more interest in “Player’s” irons. A result that I found a little surprising.

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The sampling was relatively small but it still shed light on the subject. Thanks to those who participated.

Which irons can you relate to more? Which would you prefer to learn about? Asking for a friend LOL Please RT

Game-Improvement Irons – 41%

Player’s Irons – 59%

51 Votes

Personally speaking, it is my opinion that any golfer has the right to pick and choose whatever iron type that he or she wants to play. After all, it is their money. Say there’s a 25-handicap non-gender specific golfer that wants to play a set of Titleist 718 MB irons. I have no issue with that but is said golfer doing themselves a disservice? I definitely think so and you may think that I’m wrong. Conversely, is there anything wrong with a single-digit golfer playing a set of “GI” irons? On this occasion my opinion is no. Here’s some food for thought. Maybe he or she is a single digit handicap because of the GI characteristics. The thing is… with GI irons you can still work and flight a golf ball. It may not be as easy as with a blade but it can be done. Last year after the show I was in a Tampa area Edwin Watts and I was swinging Wilson Golf D300 irons. I was calling out my shots… fade, draw etc and I was getting the results as called out.

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My thought for a long time was that if I had a chance to win a tournament and I have to pick between vanity or function… function wins. I could be wrong but it is my opinion. Under pressure, there’s always a chance that a swing could be less than optimal and having the chance to rely on a little forgiveness isn’t a bad thing. Of course, I realize that even the player’s irons on the market have forgiveness built into them. A few years ago Tungsten was the “sudden innovation” that golf equipment manufacturers were incorporating into their iron design… player’s forged irons.

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It’s sort of funny in a way. I used to be all about blades or muscle-cavity irons. As the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day has approached I find myself leaning towards GI irons. Maybe it’s a side effect of testing GI irons the past year, the fact that most recent press releases have been about GI irons and maybe it’s the fact that I’m playing a set of forged GI irons. Or maybe… just maybe it’s the fact that I’m not getting any younger (Yikes… I’m gonna be 47 next week). Either way, that’s where my head is at.

With a bevy of appointments on Demo Day I’ll be swinging as many irons that I can. Below is a brief list of what’s on my “hit list”.

  • Tour Edge Golf – EXS irons
  • Callaway Golf Apex 19 and Apex Pro 19
  • Cobra Golf KING F9 SPEEDBACK
  • Wilson Golf D7
  • Srixon Z 585 and Z 785
  • New Level 623-M
  • Mizuno Golf JPX 919
  • PING Blueprint
  • Epon Golf
  • Bridgestone Golf Tour B JGR
  • XXIO Forged

I cannot wait to get down there and put these irons through their paces. It’s all about first impressions. Stay tuned!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

2019 PGA Merchandise Show Prep

Can you believe it? It’s nearly 2019 and in a few short weeks UTNT will be heading down to Orlando, Florida for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. Honestly, it’s this event that gets me excited in a way that Christmas does for children around the world. For this event… truly makes me feel like a child.

As the show closes in my appointment book is starting to fill up. It’s a good thing because it will give me content for the year. This year though, is going to be different as far as distributing stories for the year. Look for a ton of video and “First Look” reviews while I’m still in Orlando. It’s a perk of writing for yourself I suppose.

Crystal and I are covering it all this year. Apparel, accessories, gift ideas, training aids and of course golf balls and golf equipment. I’m going to be trying to swing as many products as I can from as many manufacturers as possible instead of having tunnel vision and being very selective. However, there are certain companies that I definitely want to visit on Demo Day.

Here is my proposed list thus far for the Driver/Metalwood Category.

Bridgestone Golf – They’re back for the first time in a few years. Not only are they unveiling a new Ball Fitting 2.0 system but perhaps they will have the Tour B JGR there to swing among their new offering…the Tour B J819. The original JGR was a sleeper in 2016.

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Callaway Golf – The scuttlebutt surrounding the Epic Flash is pretty crazy. If this driver somehow marries the Epic and the Rogue the hype will be worth it. Honestly, I don’t know what they’re doing for irons this year.

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Cobra Golf  – You’ve seen my press release regarding the KING F9 SPEEDBACK range. With professional victories already this year by Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau it’s a must swing. Besides… the KING F8/F8+ was the best driver that I made swings with last year. Will the KING F9 live up to it?

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Fourteen Golf – This JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) is the first brand that’s a little obscure on the list. At the moment, they have two driver offerings the CT 518 and the DT 112. I made swings with their drivers in maybe 2014 and I remember the crisp feel at impact. Their irons are typically very good.

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Lynx Golf – Last year their #BB driver was the biggest surprise for me at the Demo Day. It was a nice looking driver and it performed very well. Maybe my expectations were set very low prior to hitting it and maybe that’s why I thought it “over-achieved”. Their new Black Cat woods and irons sound and look intriguing. Lynx Golf you’re no longer under my radar. The image was too small for me to share.

Mizuno Golf – The last time that I made a swing with a Mizuno Golf driver/metalwood was the JPX EZ. Before that, it was the Blue Rage. Yes… I kid you not. So I’m anticipating swinging whatever they bring to Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge. Is it the ST190? Or is it a Prototype that I’ve seen on the internet. After all… if it’s on the internet it has to be true.

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PING Golf – I have never made a swing with a PING product at the PGA Show Demo Day. A few years ago I snuck onto the ETC and made swings there where I was fit into a 8* G 30 LST and an X-Stiff shaft to get my spin down. It felt hot but I would have loved to see it on the Demo Day range. This year that changes one way or another.

Srixon Golf – Srixon Golf has two drivers in their stable for the 2019 product cycle. The Z 585 and the Z 785. I’ve heard conflicting reports about these drivers. Everything from they’re amazing and long to a few sales people at a large golf box store saying that they can’t hit them for the life of them. I’ll put them through their paces in Orlando.

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Titleist – I haven’t made a swing with a Titleist driver since the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show. Funny story, the 917 D2 and D3 review that I did based on those swings at that Demo Day was one of my most read posts of 2018. I’m going to try to get a hold of the TS2 and TS3 at Demo Day. Titleist uses a two-year product cycle which is something that I’ve always admired about them. When Titleist releases new clubs… they’re fantastic.

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Tour Edge Golf – I made a claim today. Tour Edge isn’t a game-changer in 2019… they’re an industry changer. The EXS line is promising and based on my findings while testing the EXS Hybrid was that they have a real winner. The driver and metalwood will be the same. Loaded with technology and an attractive price point at $299 USD. Tour Edge shows us that you can have premium products without having to sell off one of your organs to purchase them. I cannot wait to swing the EXS driver.

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Wilson GolfThe winner of Driver vs Driver 2 was introduced to the golfing public. It was fun watching the Cortex through all of the phases. I’ve been a little critical of the Cortex because I thought it looked “too safe” and “too familiar”. But, they know what they’re talking about (Tim Clarke and the rest of the team at Wilson Golf). I saw it in hand and it really is their best looking driver yet. What I heard from reps about Srixon (above) was not how they felt about Cortex. Apparently, it’s the real deal.

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Stay tuned for another piece leading up to the PGA Show. I have a list of “must try” irons and I’m surprised where that focus actually is.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

WITB Pics From The 2018 RBC Canadian Open

Well, my plan was to get some coverage of the 2018 RBC Canadian Open. I had high hopes of being granted media credentials to provide the best possible coverage that I could provide.

However, I would be denied. Being someone that’s fought hard for every inch of ground he’s gained or every page view that he’s received I don’t know how to succumb to quitting. It wasn’t my parents way and it sure as hell isn’t my way either. Determined to get some coverage I did whatever I could to get a variety of pictures with a focus on some WITB pics.

Below are some of the pics from the 2018 RBC Canadian Open. Enjoy!!

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Shane Lowry walking up #1.

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Corey Conners

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Shane Lowry

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Sergio checking out his putter.

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Wesley Bryan

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Harold Varner III

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Retief Goosen rolling a Bettinardi.

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Cameron Champ

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George Cunningham

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Sergio’s golf ball.

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Sergio Garcia’s golf bag. That Carnoustie headcover is the best ever.

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Martin Laird

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Chad Campbell’s bag is interesting. Adams Golf irons and lead tape on his TaylorMade Golf M2 (2017)

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Joaquin Niemann

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Until The Next Tee!!

 

2018 Honda Classic

Alright this week on the PGA Tour was a very eventful one. There’s a few things to digest here so let’s get right to it.

Let’s start with the golf course. PGA National Resort and Spa is home to the PGA of America and features a five golf courses that include The Champion Course. The golf course designed by George and Tom Fazio later saw a redesign by Jack Nicklaus. While not overly long at 7,140 Yards (7,048 yards Actual Scorecard Yardage) while carrying a slope of 147 and a course rating of 75.2 (Actual Scorecard) it provides a challenge. The course yielded a winning score of 272 (-8) which means that it held up very well against the field. I love ‘The Bear Trap” and like the plaque says “It should be won and lost here”. Most of the holes (14 of them) played a touch over par so it goes to show that if the course is set-up (pin locations on “funny” parts of the green) you can still protect the course versus length. Of course, the winds through the first 3 days helped.

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Photo Credit; USA Today

Golf ball rollback. Well this is a conversation that isn’t going to go away any time soon. Again it became part of the week when Mr. Nicklaus said after having dinner with USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. Is it inevitable that the rollback is going to happen? Honestly, I don’t know and quite frankly at this point of my life it doesn’t impact me. But the way that the world has become I wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen. Sure ,the guys on Tour are crazy and yes Mr. Nicklaus had concerns about the golf ball dating back to 1977. I still think that if you just grow out the courses and let the course superintendents and tournament committees have a little “fun” scores will ultimately drop. The drawback however could be upset membership at host clubs. Is the issue with the golf ball the fact that it hinders pace of play (as suggested by Mr. Nicklaus)? In my opinion this might be the case for the top half percent of golfers playing the game.

Justin Thomas!! The young man has been on some sort of roll. He hasn’t seen a finish worse than a T-22 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions since at least October 15, 2017. In that stretch he has two victories and quite frankly he’s playing wonderful golf. He won this week and was cool under pressure coming into the 72nd hole when he had to hit a clutch shot and hit a tremendous wedge shot. He actually thought that he had holed-out the shot. He would end up in a playoff with Luke List and would eventually outlast List as day turned night. Thomas now owns 8 victories on the PGA Tour. But winning the tournament wasn’t the only thing that he did… Thomas also managed to get a fan ejected from the tournament when a fan cheered against wishing his ball to go into a bunker. Thomas was then picked up on a live microphone during this exchange…

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Photo Credit: thescore.com

“Who said that? Who yelled for that ball to get in the bunker? Was that you? Enjoy your day, buddy, you’re gone.”

The “offender” was of course singled out by other spectators. I think JT was ultra-sensitive here. It’s not like the fan said it during his backswing. It never factored in on his shot. If anything, this now has set a sort-of precedent. Maybe we’ve heard the last of “mashed potatoes”, “you da man” and every other stupid remark you hear when someone hits a golf ball. I’m trying to think back to when “that” became a “thing”. Oh yeah… Tiger Woods!

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Photo Credit: Golf Digest

For those that are unaware Tiger Woods played this week and the “Tiger Effect” was obvious at the Honda Classic. Those galleries! Only one person does that to a tournament. Tiger had his best showing in a tournament since… forever and even though I’m not a staunch fan of his it always sucks to see someone great be in a decline. Watching Tiger this week I observed a guy who’s feeling healthy, seems to be in a good place mentally and has a swing that’s working. He was impressive off of the tee and more importantly he led the field in proximity to the pin. I loved that he went for the flagstick on 15. He wanted to win and that’s an even more telling sign of where he is. Again though, I simply ask the golf world (fans, media etc) not to get too high or too low on him. Just let the guy play golf!

Until The Next Tee!!