Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Padgett II named Golfweek’s Father of the Year

Don Padgett

Don Padgett II

Golfweek has named retired Pinehurst President Don Padgett II its Father of the Year, an honor previously awarded to  Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Peter Compton.

Padgett, who served as president and chief operation officer of Pinehurst from 2004 to 2014, led the yearlong restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 in 2010. Conducted by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the project restored the course’s natural and historic character.

Coore and Crenshaw removed some 40 acres of grass to re-expose the natural hardpan sand and unkempt look the course’s designer, Donald Ross, so embraced in the early 1900s.

Padgett’s father, Don Padgett Sr., served as Pinehurst’s director of golf from 1987 to 2002. He is credited by then-CEO and President Pat Corso as being the “insider” in the world of golf who opened doors and lent credence to Pinehurst’s drive in the late 1980s and early 1990s to land a major golf championship for No. 2.

PF6-17.05-5 Don Padgett (1280x908)

Don Padgett Sr.

Padgett II came to Pinehurst to replace Corso in 2004 after a successful tenure as director of golf and general manager at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. His experiences on the PGA Tour in the 1970s (he shot a 66 in the 1977 U.S. Open) gave him a unique perspective on the nuances of the Pinehurst golf experience.

After the 2005 U.S. Open, Padgett came to the gradual realization No. 2 had become too homogenized with its svelte green sheen and a maintenance protocol that had course workers only half-jokingly say they’d catch fallen pine cones “on the first bounce” rather than let it reflect its natural ambiance that reminded Ross of his native Scotland.

“His leadership on the No. 2 restoration was remarkable,” said Jay Biggs, the club’s senior vice president for golf and club operations. “I’ve thought about it often: ‘If I were in his shoes, would I have had the courage to pull that trigger?’

“He had the idea and the vision to go to Mr. Dedman at a time when the economy was poor, the golf business was suffering. It was a big gamble. But it paid off and Pinehurst is better off for it.”

Padgett remains active around the resort with the title of Executive Emeritus. His office moved from the executive suite on the second floor of the resort clubhouse to a smaller office on the first floor — one that coincidentally his father occupied two decades before.

I can feel my dad’s spirit in here,” Padgett said. “It’s kind of like coming full circle.”

Read more about the Padgett family legacy at Pinehurst by clicking here.

Golfweek will honor Padgett during its Father & Son Open at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. View an entire list of past honorees here. 

 

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Phil Mickelson’s most painful U.S. Open loss

Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck has a new podcast, In the Rough, and the debut edition features Phil Mickelson’s caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay. On it, Shipnuck poses a tough question:

Which of Mickelson’s six U.S. Open runner-up finishes was the most painful?

The answer might surprise you: It’s not Winged Foot.

“It’s probably a tie,” Mackay says. “I would say between Shinnecock in 2004 and Pinehurst in 1999. Just because he played so amazingly well in both of them.”

Mackay explains, and is recounted by Golf.com’s Coleman McDowell:

The 1999 U.S. Open was the memorable duel between Mickelson and Payne Stewart where Stewart won by a single stroke.
“At Pinehurst, it was so surreal,” Mackay says. “You’re out there in the mist, and it’s like being on a movie set. At that point, he hadn’t won a major, and Amy was incredibly pregnant. Phil played so incredibly well and got beat by a guy who made the greatest par putt I’ve ever seen on 16, then birdied 17 and made a putt on 18. It was a tough pill to swallow.”

Mackay, it turns out, blames himself for Mickelson’s short birdie miss on 17:

“Phil brought me in for the read,” Mackay says. “We both thought it was pretty straight. He hit the putt, and I’ve only seen it once or twice on video, but it broke definitively to the right and didn’t go in. Payne makes the birdie putt to go one ahead, which was the difference in the tournament. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that, and if I had a do-over in my career, it would be that read.”

 

Shipnuck tries to smooth it over:

“I asked Phil,” Shipnuck says. “He says he pulled it.”
“Did he really?” Mackay says. “There you go, I’ve never asked him. That’s not something you talk about with your player there in the moment.”

 

Please check out the podcast below. Great stuff:

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Our new favorite college golfer

As host to the North & South Amateur Championships, we meet and enjoy getting to know many college golfers.

We might have a new favorite, though.

In a great find by GolfNewsNet’s Ryan Ballengee, check out the trick shot video by Arizona State golfer Mathias Schjoelberg:

Getting good at the shots I’ll never need. #golf #golfer #asu #asugolf #sundevils

A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

  Insane, right? But, as you might expect, Mathias has more. So many more. Including an even better angle of the above shot:  

Close enough #golf #golfer #asu #asugolf #golfgods A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

 

We’re not even sure what he does here:

Need to play around a bit as well! #golf #trick #golfer #pgatour #GolfGods

A video posted by Mathias Schjoelberg (@mathiasschjoelberg) on

… Continue Reading

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Dude, it’s just a hat…but we’re here to help

If you haven’t seen this video already, well, give it time. It’ll be everywhere this weekend.

As you can see in the clip, we have a spectator at the LPGA’s LOTTE Championship who has chased his wind-blown hat into the water. The beer slipping out of his pocket only adds to the insanity of it all. Finally, he grounds his face into the hazard, which of course should result in another penalty of some sort.

Now, a few things here to think about:

1. We pick up the video and he’s already waist deep in water.

This is interesting. This means the hat blew off his head somewhere on the opposite side of the fairway. So the hat goes, and then the guy seems to think it’s OK to duck under the gallery rope* and race all the way across the fairway of a professional golf tournament.

*Granted, we’re only guessing here, but considering his athletic level on display later in the clip, envisioning this guy going OVER the gallery rope is not only unlikely, but virtually impossible.

2. The beer. Let’s talk about the beer.

The beer falls out of his pocket. Judging by the way it floats, it must be empty, right? But who carries around an empty beer can in his pocket? Especially a 16-ounce can. Especially when you have to go under a gallery rope, 75 yards across a fairway and into a pond.

But then again, how does that can, if empty and after all that trauma, not crinkle? Look at it. It appears to be in perfect condition. Was it half full at one point, losing its contents during the Great Hat Chase? Did the guy, in the split-second he had to process his plight when the hat blew off, really decide pocketing the beer was his best option?

Unless it’s unopened. Which means he couldn’t possibly allow a perfectly crisp cold beer behind just for anyone to pick up, right? Who does that? Certainly not this guy. Which means he probably had just bought it, then the wind picked up, off his hat went, and he after it. His only choice was to pocket the beer.*

*After closer inspection (which took 127 isolated viewings), there’s no splash when the can falls. It has to be empty. We’ll need to test this.

3. Tom Abbott is a genius.

His call here is pitch-perfect.

4. Finally, the hat.

Most of us watching this would argue it’s not worth suffering the indignity of what ultimately transpired for a measly hat. But this is a guy who wasn’t going to leave what might have been a half-filled beer behind at the rope. So you know he HAD TO GET THAT HAT BACK.

But we get it. Guys like their hats.

hatrack (1200x675)

That’s just one of Pinehurst’s hat displays in the main Golf Shop. So, here’s the thing.

If for some reason this guy stumbles upon this post (and, well, can prove it’s him), we’re offering him a brand new Pinehurst hat. On us. Granted, our selection of the straw, wide-brimmed variety is limited, but we do have pretty great weatherproof bucket hats.

And they have straps.

 

 

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The new (old) Jordan Spieth commercial

Remember when we told you about our most popular Facebook post since the U.S. Opens at Pinehurst?

You know, this one:

Not a bad goal at 14 years old.

Posted by Pinehurst Resort on Sunday, April 12, 2015

Off what is proving to be one of the most popular major championship victories in some time, AT&T has taken the 14-year-old Jordan Spieth and meshed it with the Masters Champion’s pristine performance at Augusta for a new ad, which you can view above.

Yeah, it’s pretty darn good.

(H/T to Alex Myers at Golf Digest.)

Also, if you watched The Masters, you now know Spieth talks to his ball as much as you do. Here’s a fantastic compilation by Michael David Murphy of every time Spieth gave viewers in-flight commentary on Sunday:

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