Golf


The Presidents Cup at the Golf Club of Dublin

The Presidents Cup at The Golf Club of Dublin

This post was written by U.S. Captain Fred Couples and is published as a part of a series of Captain’s Blogs on www.presidentscup.com.

I just returned home from an eventful week of Presidents Cup activities. It started off with a trip to the White House with International Team Captain Nick Price. We got to spend about 20 minutes trading stories with Presidents Obama in the Oval Office and even rolled a few putts on the putting green near the Rose Garden. Nick and I did our best to convince the Honorary Chairman of The Presidents Cup 2013 to attend the matches in October, and maybe play 18 with us at some point this year!

From there, I flew to Ohio to play in the Memorial Tournament for the 22nd time in my career. As a former champion of the event, I appreciate everything tournament host Jack Nicklaus has done to make Muirfield Village Golf Club one of the special places to play on the PGA TOUR. The gold course is always in amazing condition, and with the new expanded clubhouse and facilities, I have no doubt Muirfield will be a spectacular setting for The Presidents Cup later this year.

Also last week, I was thrilled to name on of my good friends, Davis Love III, as an assistant captain to the 2013 U.S. Team. A veteran of more than a dozen Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups as a play or captain, Davis will be a tremendous asset to the team, and I look forward to working with him and returning assistant Jay Haas.

Nine of the top 10 players in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings played the Memorial Tournament. I had the opportunity to play with or visit with many of those guys and get better acquainted with some others looking to play their way onto the team. Matt Kuchar, a regular on Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams over the last few years, won going away and moved to second in the U.S. standings as captain, that’s always a great result to see.

Automatic qualifying for 10 of the 12 roster spots on the U.S. Team will be finalized at the end of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship, with my two captain’s picks to follow on September 4. I look forward to the home stretch of qualifying as the excitement builds for The Presidents Cup at Jack’s place.

See you in October!

Fred

* This post was written by International Team Captain Nick Price and is published as part of a series of Captain’s Blogs on www.presidentscup.com. To view the original posts, click here.

The Presidents Cup with Field of Corn in Dublin, Ohio

The Presidents Cup with Field of Corn in Dublin, Ohio

Greetings again from sunny Florida. With the first major championship of the year in the books, we can now look forward to THE PLAYERS Championship.

Obviously, the Masters was such a great week for the prospective members of the International Team with all the good performances, particularly with Adam winning, but also Jason Day playing really well, and it was nice to also see Angel Cabrera play so well. Angel is an explosive player, to say the least, although he hasn’t recently featured on the Presidents Cup International standings. He’s always a player you pay attention to, but his Masters performance certainly helped his chances of making the team. Angel is one of those guys who can bring a lot to the team room. Any player who can fire like he can, and play like he did down the stretch at Augusta National on a Sunday – like Adam and Jason also – well, there were very few mistakes and amongst the three of them.  You could see they all really wanted to win. It wasn’t a question of who was going to lose it or not, it was who was going to win – and that’s the kind of attitude I look for as captain.

I’ve also been paying attention to Marc Leishman. He’s been around that mid-teen number on the International Team standings for the whole of this year, and I’ve watched him play a little bit on television, but I haven’t watched him in person. He’s got a wonderful attitude. I really like how calm and relaxed he is. There’s not very much at fault with his game. With a little more experience, he would have had a really good shot at the title on Sunday at the Masters.

Tim Clark has started to play so much better after his injury, and we saw him in the mix at Augusta National. He’s a little bulldog. He’s a tough competitor, and I’d love for him to be on the Team. Major championships are where the true form of players always comes out. The fact that we had several international players perform so well at the year’s first major shows me that there is a lot of determination in the potential members of the Team.

My last meeting with prospective team members was at Doral during the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, but since then I’ve been spending quite a bit of time down here in the West Palm Beach area with Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. I’ve also spent some time with Branden Grace. We’ve been chatting a lot about Presidents Cup plans and sharing ideas.

My next trip is a visit to Muirfield Village Golf Club at the end of May for the Memorial Tournament. In the meantime, I’m starting to pay more attention to the Official World Golf Ranking and starting to look for players who make moves up the rankings week to week. This is the time when a guy who may not have been on my radar early in the year begins to play well. The next four or five months are going to be critical for who my picks are going to be.

This post was written by U.S. Captain Fred Couples as is published as a part of a series of Captain’s Blogs on www.presidentscup.com. To view the original posts, click here.

The Presidents CupAs it does every April, being at Augusta National Golf Club for The Masters inspired me to play some great golf during the week. I seem to find a comfort zone there each year, which has allowed me to contend into my 50s. I hope to continue to play the Masters for many years to come and can’t wait to tee it up next year, as I relish each and every opportunity to compete in one of the world’s great sporting events.

In Augusta, it was great to see and play with many of the players that I have captained in the last two Presidents Cups, as well as several players who I expect to play their way onto the U.S. Team for the first time in 2013. I played a practice round with Tiger, and also got an up-close look at Dustin Johnson in the first two rounds.

Congratulations to Adam Scott, who moved to No. 1 in The Presidents Cup International Team standings in claiming the first Green Jacket for Australia. Adam is a classy player and individual, and his Masters victory will add to the buildup of The Presidents Cup as the event draws near.

The world also got a view of the future in Augusta, as 14-year-old Guan Tianlang of China wowed us all with his skill, demeanor and poise. I’m certain sometime in the near future, The Presidents Cup International roster will have a representative from China as the game continues to flourish in that part of the world.

While my team that gathers at Muirfield Village Golf Club this fall will most likely have several Presidents Cup rookies, you will also see players that have been staples of Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup teams for years. Every captain is different in terms of his approach to a team’s makeup, but relying on veteran leadership has been a successful formula for me in leading the team in the last two playings. I want our young players to relax, have fun and be comfortable with their pairings, and our veteran players have certainly helped in that process.

I look forward to monitoring the U.S. Team standings in the coming weeks and months in anticipation of what should be a great Presidents Cup at Jack’s place in October.

* This post was written by International Team Captain Nick Price and is published as part of a series of Captain’s Blogs on www.presidentscup.com. To view the original posts, click here

Presidents Cup Trophy in Dublin, Ohio

Presidents Cup Trophy in Dublin, Ohio

Hello from the International Team and from my home in Florida. I hope the weather is beginning to warm up wherever you are, and you are dusting off your clubs getting ready for summer.  I’ve been in full-planning mode for The Presidents Cup since being named captain back in May, but we’re definitely getting busier and busier as the months fly by. I’m pleased to take some time and give you an update on how things are coming together.

The biggest development is that we had our first official International Team meeting a few weeks ago at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Doral is just a short drive from home for me, and it was a great opportunity to get together with the guys and spend some time talking about tactics and the competition itself. A total of 13 potential team members attended, and two of my captain’s assistants were able to join me – Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone – so it was wonderful for them to be there and to spend time with a few of the guys they had never met before.  Our week together in October is going to be intense to say the least, so I think it’s important that we get to know each as much as possible before we get there. 

 You might be surprised to hear this, but Doral was my first opportunity to meet Jason Day and Marcus Fraser. I was very impressed with both young men. They’re talented young players, of course, but will have a lot to offer in the team room as well. Both are within the top 15 of the standings and have a great chance of making the team.

Speaking of standings, I’m really starting to track the points more closely now – checking the world rankings and performances of potential team members on a weekly basis. It’s interesting to note that Australians and South Africans are dominating the top 10, with Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan and KJ Choi of Korea the lone exceptions. With two big tournaments on the horizon – the Masters and THE PLAYERS Championship – I expect to see a lot of movement over the next few months. This is always a fun time of year to watch golf, and that’s even more true for me now as a captain.

 As always, thanks for your support of The Presidents Cup. I look forward to sharing another update after THE PLAYERS, when I hope to be celebrating a few big wins by my soon-to-be International Team members.

 Until next time….

*This post was written by U.S. Captain Fred Couples and was initially published on presidentscup.com on February 15, 2013. To view the original post, click here.

Muirfield Village Golf Club - the site of the 2013 Presidents Cup!

Muirfield Village Golf Club – the site of the 2013 Presidents Cup!

Hello from LA!  It’s fitting that my first blog for the 2013 Presidents Cup is coming to you from the Northern Trust Open, one of my favorite golf tournaments to play in, and one of my first chances of the year to see a lot of the guys who are going to be working to make the U.S. Team over the next several months.

This is one of our top-three courses on TOUR, in my opinion.  It’s right up there with TPC Sawgrass and Muirfield Village Golf Club as my all-time favorites.

I’ve only played one event so far this season – the Champions Tour event in Hualalai – so I’m a bit rusty, but I’m still very excited to be teeing it up at Riviera for the 31st time.  I found out the other day that I’ve now played in this event more than any other player in history.  That’s really hard to believe, and it’s hard to hear that without feeling old!  I’m paired with Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood for the first two days; Bubba was probably 4 years old when I played the Northern Trust Open for the very first time.

As far as The Presidents Cup goes…wow, what a start to the season for my U.S. guys.  Dustin, Tiger, Phil and Brandt have all kicked off 2013 with wins and are right at the top of the U.S. Team standings.  And then you’ve got rookie Russell Henley winning right out of the gates to get his name on the list and veteran Brian Gay outlasting the field at Humana, so he’s just outside the top 20.  I’m in between being thrilled about all of these guys playing so well and really nervous about how I’m possibly going to narrow it down to two captain’s picks in September.  If things keep going this way – and I hope they do – I’m going to have a lot of great players to choose from.  A good problem to have, for sure.

I saw that Nick Price wrote in his first blog that he’s already picked out his team’s clothes.  Nick is a pretty organized guy anyway, and as a “rookie” captain, he’s probably even more buttoned up.  I’m sure you’re not surprised to find out that I’m not quite that far along in the process!  But don’t worry…the U.S. Team won’t have to wear hand-me-downs or anything.  We’ll keep you posted on how things are coming together in the next month or two.

Until then, thanks for your support of the U.S. Team and The Presidents Cup.  I’m really looking forward to October, and I hope you are too.

The Memorial Tournament is always an exciting time for our kids, not only because it means summer break is almost here but because of all the great activities for the kids to do at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin. It is truly a great value — kids under 12 go free to the tournament with a paid adult and there is so much to do!

We always enjoy the practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday because the PGA players are so accommodating with autographs and, in many cases, will give the kids gloves, balls, tees, etc. My six-year-old daughter recieved an autograph glove from Chris DiMarco and she still has it hanging in her room and will refuse to wear it. Make sure you bring a Memorial Flag, Hat, Program or anything else you want signed. Be respectful to the pros and they will respond graciously.

Wednesday during the tournament is Junior Golf Day and includes a golf clinic at Safari Golf Club at 5:30 — the kids will love seeing a few of these world-class players up close. After the tournament starts on Thursday, it’s time to get the best viewing spot and enjoy some great golf. Our kids love hanging around the 18th green so they can take a short walk over to the driving range and practice putting green. You are also close to the 9th green — which offers a great view of approach shots over water to this beautiful hole. And, you are close to more autographs outside the scorers tent after completion of each player’s round. Wherever you decide to watch the golf, remember how fortunate we are in Dublin and central Ohio to host to such an international event!

Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio hosts the annual Memorial Tournament. The 2012 event takes place this week (May 28-June 3). For more information about the event, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 877-MTBADGE for tickets. Dublin, Ohio offers the closest hotels to the PGA event. For additional visitor information, go to www.IrishisanAttitude.com

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~Post by Scott Dring, Executive Director of the Dublin OH Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

Oh my! Where did the summer go? If your house is like mine, we are making piles of school supplies, trying to adjust sleep schedules and having all the last minute fun we can enjoy before school starts!

My son enjoying one of his final school-free days!

Zoombezi Bay is open daily until August 23rd, then only open on weekends through Labor Day. Their new rides are a blast and the wave pool is the closest we can find to a beach in Central Ohio!

Big Boa Falls at Zoombezi bay

COSI has a great exhibit this summer called Dinosaurs: Explore, Escape, Survive that will be “extinct” after Labor Day. Be sure to go see and experience this 10,000 sq ft exhibit of fossils, interactive displays and a prehistoric maze before it’s gone – and their annual two week shutdown in September.

If you need a break from your house and want great discounts on these attractions, visit the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau web site to find information on the “Kids Eat Free” promotion. Discounted admission tickets, a fantastic Dublin hotel and free kids meals from a number of local restaurants are included in the package.

Have you played golf with the family this summer? The Golf Club of Dublin offers special discounts to Dublin residents and their patio has a beautiful sunset view over the course.

Have a fun-filled last two weeks of Summer Vacation!

~Post by Katie.

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