A look at what’s current in our regions and local Links Fellowships, along with some great ideas.

  • Pull up a stool

    After a round of golf, good or bad, the pleasure of golfers is to sit together and talk the game. You'll hear arguments over the best holes in town, critiques of an absentee's swing, stories that just might be true, and maybe even a few things that matter.

    We hope The Nineteenth is a place like that, where you see golf like you've never thought of it before. About three times a week, we'll add words and pictures and ideas that send you home satisfied.

Every Tour Post-Round Interview


Christian comedian Jon Crist has caused much laughter by mimicking football coaches, NASCAR drivers, Walmart workers, pastors, and missionaries. Today, get a laugh out of his hilarious bit on professional golfers.

Paid to Watch Golf on TV!


The newest golf job to elicit jealousy is this one: TV rules monitor.
Monday’s announcement from the USGA and R&A that call-in “gotchas” from overly enthusiastic television viewers will no longer be permitted during tournament play means that a rules official (or maybe more) will be assigned at each event to watch TV coverage and keep an eye out for any untoward actions.
Call it “the Lexi rule” if you want, after the brouhaha over Lexi Thompson’s mismarked ball and subsequent four shots of penalty that led to her losing 2017’s ANA Championship (a major). In that case, video showed Thompson had been too loose in replacing a marked ball on the green–we’ll never know how intentional this was. She was assessed two penalty shots for the violation and two more for having signed an incorrect scorecard–all a day later than the mismark occurred. Perhaps the better addition than a video official is that players will not be assessed that extra penalty when they signed a card that should have included a penalty they did not know about. In a day when every viewer and broadcaster knows the score in real-time, a faulty card doesn’t needs to be considered the honest accident that it always is on tour.
That said, little changes for the rest of us. With no cameras recording our play, self-policing remains the bedrock of the game’s integrity. Slow motion and still capture will never be called in after the fact for us (even these are inconclusive, as we found out with Sergio Garcia in the final round of the 2017 Masters). If we think we’ve done something wrong, we need to call the penalty on ourselves–or at least ask a fellow competitor or official whether we should.
Of course, if that kind of self-scrutiny doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to start compiling your resume. You can start here: “I’m great at sitting on the couch and watching golf on Sunday afternoons. I even know how to use a remote.”
-Jeff Hopper

Some great golf gift ideas


December’s here and you may be looking for a good golf gift or two. We thought we’d give you a few ideas to get you warmed up.

Vineyard Vines golf bowtie
The people at Vineyard Vines sell plenty of golf apparel, of course, but this tie’s golf club motif isn’t something you see every day. Here

BPutters Handmade Golf Tools
Wood and metal makes for a beautiful divot tool. Collectors’ items, really. Here

Bad Birdie polos
If you know a golfer who likes things out of the ordinary, these colorful print polos will be a favorite for sure. Here

Golf Art
Still looking for something just right for that blank spot on your golfer’s wall? The gallery at Golf Art gives you plenty of options. Here

Do you have to be a good golfer to lead a Links Fellowship?


One way golfers are discouraged from getting a Links Fellowship started is that they think they are not a good enough player to lead a Fellowship. Arizona region director Lewis Greer addresses this concern.

CGF retreats excite college players



College Golf Fellowship has announced its winter retreats for college golfers and the slate is as good as ever, with retreats hosted by Webb Simpson, Tom Lehman, Martin and Gerina Piller, and Trey Mullinax with MLB pitcher Kendall Graveman. It’s a great chance for young players to spend time with their heroes and role models.
“This has been the thrust of our ministry for a long time, getting guys away for a weekend so they can get some biblical teaching and see what a genuine relationship with Jesus looks like through the relationships and through the teaching,” says CGF’s executive director Steve Burdick.
Of course, the retreats aren’t just for guys anymore, as Gerina Piller hosts a women’s-only retreat Dec. 17-19.
Retreats are offered from Dec. 8 through Jan. 6 and interested college players can sign up at www.collegegolffellowship.com/retreats. The retreats are free once a player is on-site.
“We get participants from all different faith backgrounds,” Burdick says, “so we’ll have some who have never darkened the door of a church to guys that are solid believers coming together, having some fun, and getting some good teaching, and seeing the gospel lived out in front of them—that’s our hope.”


Playing an unfamiliar course


In 1981, Bill Rogers won the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s and went on to become the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. Late in the 1980s, the rigors of the road brought Rogers back to his native Texas, where he settled in as a club professional in San Antonio. He still travels for golf’s sake, though less frequently and without the competitive pressure. We asked this genial ambassador of the game for some tips on playing a course for the first time.

What are some ways you can help us navigate our way around a course we’ve never played before?
“First of all, a lot of times having not seen a golf course actually works in your favor, the fact that you don’t know where the trouble is or you’re not in so much fear of what you do know—which is kind of an interesting dynamic about the game. Sometimes people play their best rounds on unfamiliar territory.
“There is so much information that you have the potential to get before you arrive at a golf course, so much so you could have played it in your mind, with all the internet access and different resources to get information about the golf course. That could or could not be a good thing.
“If I was really wanting to know about the golf course, I would seek out the golf course superintendent or the club professional and ask about any nuances of the golf course. Usually that pertains to elevation change in the golf course that isn’t exactly evident. Maybe the whole golf course drains toward the tenth green or something like that. Ultimately it can be helpful in reading putts or club selection.
“Another thing I would want to know, where the superintendent could be of help, is to indicate worrisome blind shots. That might be the most troublesome issue. You have a lot of that in Europe. People go over there and they don’t know how to deal with blind, and that can be really troublesome.”

Are there general things to keep in mind? Maybe I should be thinking that on most courses, the most severe trouble is beyond the green, that kind of thing?
“This would probably be the classic exercise in overthinking this. Golf really does boil down to one shot at a time—a tee shot to a particular point and then an approach shot and then hopefully being good around the greens. That’s usually going to be the simplicity of the deal. The more you make of it, the more anxiety you have about it being a new course, and all the things that go into playing a round of golf, I think you probably ought to be more careful to just relax, breathe out, and be aware of being the best you can on each one of your shots.”

Making More Putts


Do you have some extra time to work on your putting? Here’s are two one-minute lessons from a couple of Links Players who have proven their expertise under the pressure of professional play, Loren Roberts and Justin Leonard.


Ministering to those who have said, “Me, too”


Cris Stevens has long served as the chaplain of the LPGA Fellowship, traveling with the Tour and ministering to players, caddies, and staff. She is the executive director of Global Golf, through which she also reaches out to retired players, as well as college coaches and competitors. As hundreds of women (and also some men) have come forward in recent weeks about being harassed and assaulted–often under the heading of “Me, too”–we asked Cris to answer some questions for us about how people harmed in this way can find refuge in Jesus. She spoke with Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper.

Cris, as women come forward with stories of having been harassed or assaulted, you are not hearing these stories as though they are new. As a woman in ministry, you have been hearing women share these kinds of stories for a long time, am I right?
“Yes. The deeper you go in relationship, the more connected with each other’s heart you become. When I’m first building friendships, it’s usually focused around the periphery—the job, the career, the things that are visible in a person’s life. The more you grow in a relationship, the deeper you go into the heart. That’s where you discover or hear the wounds of the heart, because those are not things that people wear on their shoulder or on their belt or anything like that. Those take time to build the trust and the relationship to be to understand and to be able to hear and to be able to share.”

Those are certainly wounds. And people respond differently. When you read now women now saying, “Me too,” sometimes that comes with anger, sometimes the healing as has never happened. You’re committed to a work where the intention is to bring healing through Christ. How does that happen?
“Let me say first that it’s kind of like the original sin deal. Of course, Adam and Eve chose their own sin—it wasn’t like somebody came and involved them in their sin. But anytime there is an area of darkness, the tendency is to hide, to flee, to cover up. In the area of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, I think that is a tendency. It’s not just for women, but the stats show that one in five women will experience rape, and a large percentage of that is before they’re 25 years of age.
“The physical aspect is only the top of the iceberg in terms of how a person is affected in terms of sexual assault. So where does the Lord come in? He does definitely care about the external circumstances of our lives. We see that over and over in Scripture. The transformational part of the gospel is that it works from the inside out. The Holy Spirit comes in and he works from deep within to bring healing, wholeness, and freedom. So that’s where the gospel gets to the very depth of the pain that a person for years has hidden. Like God said to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” The second question—“Who told you that you were naked?”—was an intimate question. In counseling or providing pastoral care, the first place of starting is to be able to ask questions and listen.”

Where can a woman who is still in hiding go to get help?
“The first place that I would want to direct her is to the Lord, who is a safe refuge—he takes us under his wing as a hen takes her chicks. There is a safe place with God. Now a person who has been assaulted might say, “Well, how do I know that, because this has happened to me? It wasn’t safe then.” That’s a tough question, because bad things do happen to believing people. I can give a long theological answer to that and still not nail it or understand it. What I do know is that he enters into our pain. He himself has suffered. He himself knew betrayal by a person and people that he trusted. A large percentage of women who have been sexually assaulted, that I have had the opportunity to enter into their story, it has been by people that they trusted, whether it be a father, a brother, a coach, a pro that’s teaching them, somebody that they trusted. And Jesus also was betrayed. So he can weep with them and understand them. I think that’s the first place.
“A second place would be to be able to share your story with somebody that you trust. For some people that might be a therapy circle, or a counseling session, or T-group, or whatever. But it doesn’t have to be. It is beneficial to share with people who have walked in the same shoes as you, but the main thing is someone that is trustworthy, that loves you, and is willing to walk the long haul with you. That is where I would go. And I of course would hope that that helping person is a Christ-follower who can always point the harmed person to the place of healing, to the one who heals.
“It is a part of grieving, because there is something that a woman lost or was robbed of through that. That’s grief, so it’s beneficial to have people to walk beside you who allow whatever time it takes for that person to grieve fully and freely.”


Capturing the great golf photograph


You’ve been there in those special moments when the light hits the hole ahead of you just right. You run to your cart to grab your phone for the sake of its camera. It’s time to capture that perfect shot. Is your phone good enough? And if so, how do you capture the moment at its best? Professional photographer Gary Christopher, who also leads a Links Fellowship in Texas, gives us some hints for creating great golf course photographs.
Know your camera
Twenty years ago, 30 years ago it was very important to have some efficiency in the nomenclature of your camera. Now the phones work so good, I’m glad I’m not still in the business! Those iPhones, I’m telling you, you can enlarge them, you can edit them, you can shoot so fast, you can record it, you can see what you’ve got–they’re beautiful. Back in the day, most of the time I shot on manual so that I could control the exposure.
Keep it level
Always keep the camera level. Don’t ever have it tilted and make it look like you were drinking two beers before you ever had a camera in your hand. Keeping that parallel to the earth’s surface is important.
Find the right time of exposure
This is one of the top factors. If you’re just going out to photograph a course that you love, the time that you go out is very important. Two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset are very important. That’s when the sweetest light occurs. Not often are we there right after sunrise, but we could be. Many times we’re there two hours before sunset. Those are just prime times for photographing golf courses, simply because of the light. The way those courses are made and built and where they are, you can see so much more of the flow of the land and how the bunkers are structured. If you grew up at Tyrrell Park in Beaumont, the bunkers are only a foot and a half deep, but so many of the bunkers today are 12 feet deep. That sweet light and that sunset light are so important. They show the depth of the bunkers. So one of the biggest factors is the time that you shoot. If you’re at high noon on the prettiest course in the world, it’s not going to look as pretty as it would when the sweet light is occurring early and late. My best photographs have been made during those times of sweet light.
Use haze to your advantage
Also some of the best photographs I’ve made have had some haze to it–early morning haze occurred and stayed for a couple of hours. I shot rapidly one time knowing that it was about to disappear. I was hauling around in a golf cart with a 12-foot ladder, just so that I could capture a few of the holes that I remembered previously that were so good. So haze and a light fog are certainly factors in beauty if that’s what you’re looking for.
Capture the change of seasons
Another factor is the change of seasons. Our course here (in Bryant, Texas) will look better in about three weeks because of some of the oak trees that will change. The bunkers will look so good because of the quality of light. They don’t overseed here, so it will still be pretty. That’s just a valuable asset of courses. Then in the springtime here, and it may be in your area too, there are so many variations of green. And flowers too. We have roses in February and March and azaleas will pop for a short period of time. Not only flowers, but the trees and the change of seasons. Variations of the tones of trees are important, I think.
Check the course condition
I always tried to make sure that the course was in good condition. First, trash. Then the rakes. Do they leave them in the bunkers? Do they have them on the edge? Do they always have them outside the perimeter? Does it look crazy having two rakes laid on top of each other? There was a time when I photographed the course and it rained heavily two days before and people had messed it up on a number of holes with the golf carts. You saw tracks. So the condition of course is very important unless you want to do some retouching.
Identify the course
Most of the time I needed to identify the course somehow. If it was Whistling Straits, I needed it show it’s on the lake. I needed to go to number seven first, because there are some unique features of where it is on the golf course. At St. Andrews, you can be on 12 of the holes and probably couldn’t tell it from Turnberry or Troon, but it’s St. Andrews. I climbed up the CBS Tower and did a panoramic view that shows the number one green, the eighteenth tee, the Swilcan Bridge, and has the town in the background with the R&A. They know that’s the home of golf because of what it shows in the background. If I would have gone to number twelve, thirteen, or fourteen to photograph it, even showing some of the deep bunkers and the expanse of the green, I don’t think too many people, unless you know the course well, would have identified it.
Include the clubhouse
When we were at Royal County Down, there was a lot of dramatic scenery and holes. It was hard to show the ocean nearby, but you could certainly show that clubhouse. So clubhouses are important to identify the course and show its uniqueness.
Consider elevation
I’ve shot from elevation before, from a balloon, with people holding it, trusting they weren’t going to let me loose. I photographed two courses from a balloon and do you know that it didn’t make the course look better or didn’t please the owners. I thought it would. I photographed them from helicopters, just many times for aerial photographs. I thought working from the balloon would be worth it, but the owners didn’t like the looks of it. They wanted it ground level. So I kept it at a flatter height sometimes. I always carried a ladder with me, but ground level and ladder height were so much better. But that’s just from my experience. The next guy that got up there might have his drone, which I’ve never had, and he might get the best shots you’ve ever seen from his drone.
Reach to infinity
Another thing when I was thinking about my best shots that would have gone in a book or been sellable is that the hole always showed to infinity. My best shots always showed a long ways–some of them telephoto, some of them wide angle, some of them even at panoramic, like at St. Andrews (above), which was a two-shot panoramic that I put together. Including that sky seemed to always help in the vision of it.
Those are some of the factors that I’ve used as I’ve photographed throughout the world. A lot of them were done for the owners of the golf course. Some, I just happened to be at, like St. Andrews or a Troon or Turnberry. I always had my camera with me, but now it is so easy for all of us to have a suitable way to capture it. Those iPhones are certainly worthy.

How primed is Bernhard Langer?


The Schwab Cup Championship completes the Champions Tour season this week and by now we’ve all seen the commercial. Bernhard Langer is an ice hog. He’s been standing at the machine, filling up his cup, for “three long years” (say it in your best Miguel Angel Jimenez accent and you’ll really be having fun).

Now Langer has added to his juggernaut by winning the first two legs of the three-tournament playoff series. Still, he can be knocked out as king of the hill by Scott McCarron, Kenny Perry, Kevin Sutherland, or that other most interesting man in the world, Jimenez. Is it possible? Not if the tenacious 60-year-old Langer has his way.

Global Golf Post’s Ron Green Jr. had lunch (and a bit more) with Langer recently. Does the writer see a chink in the armor or will Langer hold fast? Read for yourself here

What kinds of leaders make a Fellowship go?


Even the smallest groups don’t organize themselves. We ask SoCal/Las Vegas region director Dereck Wong to tell us what leader types are helpful in starting and sustaining a Links Fellowship. Maybe you fit one of these roles! For more information about getting a Fellowship started where you play golf, visit our Fellowships center.

The Secrets of Success?


TopGolf has managed to lay hold of a niche for golfers and non-golfers alike. Even the Links Players national board has spent an inclement afternoon in Houston wolfing down tasty snacks and sending those little chip-loaded golf balls out to the targets below.

What we can’t give you are the secrets to TopGolf’s success–and your success while playing at TopGolf. But maybe this father-son duo can…

Winning with Your Tournament Committee


It’s no little feat to pull off a great golf tournament. But you’ve been chosen to make your organization’s event top-notch. How will you do it?
An idea-rich article from Links Players can help you get it done. The article, “Hosting a Tournament that Brings Them Back Next Year”:
– Helps you welcome golfers and non-golfers alike
– Gives you keys to winning with your sponsors
– Shows you how to score big points for your organization
The article comes as an attractive pdf that you can share with your whole committee.
It’s here and it’s free!

Playing (well) lessons


An area director with Links Players in Southern California, Ray Carrasco has competed on the European Tour and teaches as a PGA professional. We asked Ray for some tips on starting and finishing rounds well. (Photo: Ray gives a short game lesson ahead of the OC Charity Classic in late September.)

What do you tell yourself when you’ve had a great warm-up session before a round?

“I’ve had tremendous range experiences before playing. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to hit it. Then adrenaline kicks in a little bit. I find myself swinging a little too fast, getting a little too excited, losing a little bit of my tempo, and missing it just a little bit—losing what I had on the range. So, what I’ve learned when I hit it great on the range is to try to relax and slow down and just trust it. See the ball flight, relax, know that there’s nothing I need to do extra special, but just kind of enjoy playing and just back off a little bit, rather than charging too much.”

How about when the range session has not been good?
“When I’ve had a bad session on the range, the good news is the expectations are really changing. It’s like, I can’t hit the ball on the clubface, what am I going to do? And then it’s kind of prevent defense—where are the best places to miss it? It changes my expectations. Just get it in the fairway. Look at the big green. I know the pin’s tucked in the corner, but can I get it on the green? Or if I’m going to miss it, can I miss it in a place where I can get it up and down? So it changes the expectations, and what’s interesting is I’ve had a lot of fairly good rounds not hitting it that well, but thinking my way around a lot better than having a good practice session warming up and being too aggressive and getting bitten a little bit.
“There’s blessings on both sides. If you hit it well, you want to relax and enjoy the round and not push it so much. If you’re not hitting it well, adjust the expectations and get a game plan to minimize the damage.”

Now let’s say I’ve got a great round going with maybe four or five holes left? How do I finish well?
“It’s one of the hardest things in golf. We want to look at what’s in front of us rather than getting ahead of ourselves and making the analysis, “Oh, if I just par in, I’ll have the lowest round ever,” or this is going to happen, or that’s going to happen. Well, it hasn’t happened yet. You still have to hit the next shot. So it requires getting back some of the Scriptures: “Peace, be still. Know that I am God.” He’s in control. I’m not in control. So “peace, be still,” gives you the sense of just hit the shot at hand. Give yourself only have one path. Move the ball from Point A to Point B. So what’s my next target, what’s my next ball flight, what club do I want to use, what kind of swing do I want to put on it? I want to be immersed in the process of the upcoming shot and not get ahead of myself.
“A lot of times people get so wrapped up in what they’re doing that they fall apart because all of a sudden they’re becoming to self-conscious rather than letting their natural flow unveil itself through the process of playing the game. They’re overcontrolling it, is what they’re doing. We all do it.”


Home and Away with an Open Lover


Tim Philpot is a family court judge in Lexington, Kentucky, and former Kentucky state senator. As a golfer, he competed at the University of Kentucky and in the British Amateur, and he currently serves as a volunteer assistant with the UK men’s team. Last week, the PGA TOUR announced it would be moving the Barbasol Championship, which is played opposite the Open Championship, to Tim’s home course, Champion Trace, in Lexington. For Tim, this creates a dilemma, because he is an aficionado of the Open. Where will he be in 2018?

Tell us about Champion Trace, where the Barbasol will be played.
“Arthur Hills design, built in 1988. Built with the hope of having a major someday. On a really good piece of property and a really good golf course from the very beginning. It was built with the intention of being the best golf course in Kentucky for sure. But interestingly, within two or three years, Valhalla was built. Valhalla had more money behind it. Arguably a little bit better golf course, not much. So all the wind to get a major at Champion Trace was sucked out of the air when Valhalla started getting stuff like that. So that basically eliminated Champions as a place that could get that kind of event. They did get the finals of the NCCA tournament, they did get the US Senior Amateur tournament, won by Gordon Brewer, that kind of stuff. Several Kentucky State Opens, those kind of minor things.
“So just about the time everybody had given up on the dream of anything big coming to Champions, we got new ownership in the last three years, Evan Mossbarger and B Frye. Both are Christian guys who bought the course with very specific intention of using it for Christian purposes, and they’re both also entrepreneurs and big thinkers. So when this began to be a possibility, they started working on it, and next thing you know, it’s going to happen.”

But what’s a golf fan like you supposed to do? This tournament will run opposite your beloved Open Championship.
“I‘ve sort of got mixed emotions because you’d sort of like to be here for the Tour event, but honestly for me I’ll probably be in Scotland, just because that’s how much I love golf over there.
“I like it so much primarily because of the bounce of the ball, the wind is always blowing, I’ve got skinny arms and I get to put a sweater on, I have ugly legs and I get to wear long pants. I love it so much that when you come back home after you’ve been to Scotland or Ireland, the ball doesn’t bounce and they’ve had to water the greens to keep them healthy and the ball just plops. The way I describe it, the golf shot back home lasts about two seconds because you already know when the ball is in the air exactly what’s going to happen, whereas over there, the golf shot lasts about 20 seconds because you hit it and it rolls and you start wondering is it going to roll in the bunker, am I going to get a bad kick or a good kick, you know, where’s the ball going to end up, and you spend 20 seconds just watching the ball roll. I’m sort of addicted to having fun with that kind of golf. The ball in the air, plop on the green, fix your divot kind of golf is almost no fun for me anymore.
“So I’m going to have a big decision to make, but honestly I’ll probably go to Scotland while the tournament’s going on here.”


A veteran and an athlete


Three-time major champion Larry Nelson is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Nelson picked up the game only after serving a tour of duty in Vietnam. This gives Nelson uncommon credentials at a time when professional athletes and patriotism are being intensely discussed. We asked him to respond to our questions as both a US Army veteran and a long-time Tour professional, whose experience includes three Ryder Cup appearances. (Photo: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

As a professional athlete and one who has served the country, what does the singing or playing of the national anthem before a sporting event mean to you?
“I feel a couple things; I definitely feel a great sense of pride in my country and for all the things that it stands for, both for me personally and around the world. I also cannot help but be thankful for the freedoms and all the blessings that we as Americans have been given.”

How different do you think this is for veterans or active duty than it is for the average citizen?
“I think I have a greater appreciation than I would have if I had not served, especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Having seen and experienced it firsthand, I think I can appreciate more the sacrifice and cost that is required for us to have what we have.”

Athletes in our culture are given a special platform, but is using this platform well harder than it looks?
“The platform is a very special thing that should not be taken lightly. It should be received with a sense of gratitude, but I also think it comes with responsibility. Some athletes have certainly used the platform better than others.”

When have you seen an athlete put their platform to really good use?
“Tim Tebow comes to mind as athlete who has used his platform very well in my opinion. He has taken a lot of heat for it, but I greatly admire the way he promoted Christ. Personally, I’ve always tried to keep in perspective what is most important. I know what is the greatest priority, and when trying to keep an eternal perspective you begin to realize how many things that people pursue are really just like chasing after the wind.”


What makes starting a Links Fellowship difficult?


We asked South Central region director Randy Wolff about the challenges of starting a Links Fellowship. For more information about getting a Fellowship started where you play golf, visit our Fellowships center.


Getting started on the PGA Tour


Andrew Yun emerged as one of the first 25 players to qualify from the Web.com Tour for status on the PGA Tour for the 2017-18 season. A Stanford graduate, Yun got his first taste of the PGA Tour experience in the Safeway Open earlier this month. While he missed the cut, the experience gave him the kickstart he needed to get his Tour career underway. Here he tells us about some of what’s on his mind as he waits for his next start. (Photo: Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)

What was unexpected about getting to the Tour?
“With regards to getting on the Tour, it’s something I don’t think you can even really prepare for. This past week was my first PGA Tour event, and I’ve been playing golf for nineteen years now and I feel like all the years I’ve been practicing and playing, I’ve been getting ready for this moment of getting on the PGA Tour. Then all of a sudden, I’m on the PGA Tour. All that was just preparation. It does come in handy, but at the same time it feels like nothing quite prepares you for it, because it’s a bigger stage—a lot more people, bigger crowds, bigger stands. Everything else is the same.”

All those new fans don’t know you yet. Tell us about the strengths of your game.
“The strength is in my short game. Growing up, I was a short, little, chubby kid, so I never hit the ball too far. I couldn’t get it too far past my shadow, so I had to rely on my short game in order to score, so growing up I leaned on that. When I grew up and hit the ball further, since I had relied on the short game when I was younger, I carried it on into my game later in my career as well. It’s what brought me here so far.”

Can you name one or two things you’re really looking forward to on Tour?
“I think competing against some of the best players in the world. There are a lot of guys that I’ve watched while growing up while playing, like Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson. These guys I grew up watching, I get to compete against them. It’s kind of surreal getting to do that, going from watching to competing against them. That’s definitely something I’m looking forward to, especially going into the back nine on Sunday, being in contention.
“I’m really looking forward to that and building a relationship with these guys out here. Golf is something that we do. It’s not a part of who we are, but at the same time it takes up so much of our time. It is a big part of our life. Since it is such a big part of our life, it is something I know that God has called me to do, and I know that I can use the platform. So I know that I need to do the best I can with it. To build a relationship with all these guys out there is going to be something that will help me do that.”


A Man with a Mission


The newest Links Players staff member, Bill Euler, comes to us after more than 30 years as a PGA club professional in Temple, Texas. Recently, the Temple Daily Telegram caught up with Bill to discuss his transition. There’s a lot of beauty in the story and we wanted you to be encouraged by how God may be calling you according to the preparation he has given you, whether in golf or another arena.
Read the article here

What Do People Like About Links Fellowships?


We asked Arizona region director Lewis Greer about the good things he hears people say about local Links Fellowships.


The Changes a Comeback Brings


With Jonathan Byrd‘s win at the Web.com Tour Championship two Sundays ago, he will return to the PGA Tour, where the 39-year-old Clemson graduate has won five times, including a hole-in-one playoff clincher at the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriner’s Hospital for Children Open. It’s a comeback win for Byrd, who has spent the last two seasons playing mostly on the Web.com Tour. We asked him about the changes such a victory brings. (Photo: Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)

What doesn’t change
“Things that won’t change are some things I learned over the last couple years and especially from the last week—how important it is for me to pursue more freedom on the golf course, not get so bound up thinking about my golf swing, and trying to be so perfect. It’s not so much trying to be so perfect, it’s trying to get everything just right in order to play well, and having a little more fun on the golf course, playing a little more aggressive, more athletic.
“A lot of things stay the same just because I’ve been on tour for so long. This isn’t new. A lot the guys coming off the Web just got their card for the first time, so it’s all new to them. To me, I’m probably more comfortable on the PGA Tour than I am on the Web.com Tour. I definitely am. I’m familiar with the golf courses and the tournament directors. I have more friends probably on the PGA Tour than the Web.com Tour, some closer friendships, longer friendships. So it’s comfortable returning back to that.”

What changes
“I would think some of the things that do change is some appreciation probably, perspective changes. I appreciate the PGA Tour a little more. I appreciate some events that I maybe used to not get as excited as much for. After you’ve been on the Web.com Tour for a couple of years, every event’s awesome. I appreciate the opportunities that are out there every week—the financial opportunities, the opportunities for my family to travel, child care, a little more flexibility with my schedule. There’s just so many things to appreciate.”