Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

PGA Tour

Wolff a can't miss prospect

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

Over the years I've been lucky in predictions of young players who were destined for stardom. 

Case in point. Brooks Koepka, who before he competed on the PGA Tour. He was in Europe, plying his trade, and like many I didn't know his name but saw him cashing checks. Writing on this site I mentioned he was going to be a player on the PGA Tour. 

Today, he's a star. A major champion. A threat to win any event entered. 

My latest prediction comes via college in the US. Mathew Wolff, the NCAA Individual Champion, All-America, and long-hitter who was superb in his senior year at Oklahoma State University. 

This kid has all the tools, and I'm thinking he earns his PGA Tour card this summer upon turning pro. Not sure he will win an event, but it could happen. But he will have eight sponsor's exemptions to earn enough money to secure his card without the need to go through PGA Tour Qualifying School.  

Actually, I'm thinking he posts at least one top-10, which means he gets an additional sponsor exemption. And with his game and maturity you can bet he will get his card this year. 

Of course, it won't be easy. It will require a couple top-10s for the money to add up, but from what I've seen this kid has the game, the maturity and the desire to be a PGA Tour star.

Mark it down. 

Makefield Highlands hosts Open qualifying

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 
Will the endless inclimate weather end? Let's hope so. Because golf season is approaching and players are itching to get out an challenge their favorite layout. 
 
There is an added bonus this year as Makefield Highlands Golf Club will be one of 100 local qualifying sites around the world for the 119th United States Open Golf Championship.
 
Local qualifying for those with a USGA handicap index of 1.4 or lower can apply to play in the 18 hole event, with generally the top several players advancing to Sectional Qualifying where they will compete for a slot in the national championship at Pebble Beach. 
 
Last year 21 players advanced through local and sectional qualifying and into the 156-player field at Shinnecock Hills. Of those 21 players, seven made the 36-hole cut in Long Island. 
 
Makefield Highlands expects to be played at about 7,100 yards and to a par of 72 for the event. The Golf Association of Philadelphia will oversee the contest. 

 

CHIP SHOTS: The Symetra Tour, the LPGA's top feeding source, returns to the Philadelphia area at Raven's Claw in Montgomery County and the Valley Forge Invitational May 31-June 2. Jenny Haglund claimed the inaugural event.  

PGA Tour back...sort of

Written by Bob Oliver on .

The Delaware Valley has a storied history of men's professional golf, from numerous U.S. Open Championships to the PGA Championship. But hosting a regular tour event has long been a pipe dream.

Sponsors have not been able to back a regular season, regular, non-major championship. 

It just won't happen any time soon. 

Still, there are times when the biggest names in golf will play locally. Merion will host another open, and in August of 2018 the PGA Tour will be playing at the Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square in one of its four playoff events, the BMW Championship. 

Just a couple years back the Donald Ross designed Aronimink hosted the AT&T Championship for two years when its regular venue of the Congressional Country Club near Washington D.C. was being renovated in preparation for a U.S. Open. The players, and the fans, loved good old Aronimink.

It's a glass half full situation, but it will showcase golf in the Delaware Valley. 

Koepka: Remember the Name

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

Okay, time to toot my horn. Less than a month ago on www.golfbuckscounty.com this reporter mentioned Brooks Koepka would be a player to watch in 2015 on the PGA Tour.

That prediction was met by a big "huh" by a number of commenters. Not John Huh, but huh, as in what the heck are you writing about?

Well, in Scottsdale this past week American Brooks Koepka outdistanced a star studded field to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 24-year-old did it in style, ramming home a 50-foot putt on the par-5 15th hole at the Tournament Players Club for an eagle three.  His final round 66 ended the event at 15-under-par 269, one shot ahead of Bubba Watson, Ryan Palmer and Hideki Matsuyama. In an event where Tiger Woods missed the cut in his 2015 debut, Koepka was an eye opener with his performance.

Two years ago, Koepka missed qualifying for the PGA Tour. He made his way to Europe to hone his game, playing and winning on the minor league Challenge Tour to earn status on the PGA European Tour. Once there, he had an impact. He was more than comfortable, earning more than $2-million in prize money and more in endorsements. He captured the Turkish Open over a strong field and finished among the best in its season long competition.

Brooks Koepka. You may not know much about him, but you will as evidenced by his Waste Management Phoenix Open championship. Remember the name.

Tiger's to Blame!

Written by Bob Oliver on .

When last we heard from the ruling bodies of golf - the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Association – the anchoring of a golf club against one’s body will be bloody against the Rules of Golf.

We’ve heard from high above that such golf strokes will be illegal effective in 2016.

Why? Because Adam Scott, Ernie Els, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley had the audacity to win four of the last nine major golf championships using putting strokes featuring their flat stick anchored against their body.