“The tee box for Masters Tournament play on the 455-yard, par-4 hole could be pushed back an estimated 20-30 yards across Old Berckmans Road. The new tee would alleviate congestion at the fourth green and current fifth tee, which are just a few yards apart. An Augusta National spokesman said Friday that no definitive plans have been announced for any work on the fifth hole and that the site plans were filed so the club could explore its options.” – Kyle Porter, from CBS Sports
Everyone who plays/watches golf knows one thing, Augusta National in Augusta, GA is the holy grail of golf. It hosts the Master’s tournament every year; the only major which does not change venues, and has gone through it’s fair share of changes as the game has evolved.
The most recent discussions for changes at Augusta National would take place on the 5th hole, a current 455-yard par 4 that we could see stretched to nearly 500 yards by the 2019 Masters. This change, as you can read about and see above, would actually mean relocating a public road to accommodate the new tee box. What other course could make a decision to change the course and move a public road and it not seem outlandish? The paperwork has already been filed for this to take place, but nothing is set in stone.
The article mentioned this helping with congestion on the course and not about lengthening the course since players now hit it further but I don’t know if I buy that. I think this is a classic course making changes for exactly the reason of lengthening the course. It is no secret that Augusta National can be over powered; look at Bubba’s success there, and I think they want to change that. I believe this move will happen and it will not be there last, keep your eyes peeled for more lengthening coming in the future at Augusta National, if only it were as easy for the “average” guy to add length as it is at Augusta National!
By now you have likely all listened to Episode 3 featuring Mike Casuscelli, if you have not you need to, it was an excellent interview, and Mike discussed a vast array of topics. I am going to dig a little deeper into the topic of Briar Cliff basketball and ROOLLLAAANNDDOOOOOOO FFFFRRRAAAZZZEEERRR (in Mike’s announcer voice).
Mike references a few different interesting tidbits of information surrounding this small, mostly unknown NAIA basketball program during the interview. He discusses the fact the Briar Cliff at the time was known as the “Panama Pipeline” because of them having recruited 11 Panama born players between 1974 – 1981. He also spoke of the most well known of those Panama recruits, Rolando Frazer.
I have listed below some of the records that Rolando still holds today, because there are a lot to list, some of the most impressive are the fact he was a three time first team NAIA All American. The fact that his junior season he led, not only the NAIA in scoring, but all college players. Rolando gave professional scouts a reason to visit Sioux City, IA in the middle of winter, which in itself should go down as a record.
Mike mentions the Sports Illustrated article in the interview as well, which I have attached below, the article helps to put into perspective just how big of a deal Briar Cliff was to college basketball at this time. Rolando made Briar Cliff a powerhouse of NAIA basketball for his four years leading them to a 101-17 record and the number 1 overall ranking in the final NAIA Poll his senior season. This all just puts into perspective just how special those four years really were for Briar Cliff, and for Mike to get to be a part of the history while repeating RRRROOOLLLAAAADDDOOOOOO FFFFRRRRAAZZZZZEEERRRRRRR!!!
All the below records are where he ranks today:
Inaugural inductee of Briar Cliff Athletic Hall of Fame 1991
3-time First Team All American
Most Avg. PTS a season (36.4)
2nd in Career points scored (3,078)
Most Points in a Season (1,018)
Most Career Rebounds (1,110)
2nd Career Pts. Per Game Avg. (26.1)
Sports Illustrated article from February 2, 1981
Click below to see a video of Mike and Rolando telling the Whopper story at the Briar Cliff Hall of Fame Weekend
The PGA Phoenix Waste Management Open likely seems like another PGA event to any average golf fan. However, upon further review, the self-claimed Greatest Show on Grass has something a little unique to offer to the golf world. The tournament has produced winners such as Brooks Koepka, Kevin Stadler, Phil Mickelson, and this year, Gary Woodland. Some golfers abosolutely love going to Phoenix and others (Bubba) do not like it so much. What is all the buzz about the Phoenix Waste Management Open? Well, it's really just one hole - more specifically, the 16th hole.
The 16th hole is the last of the four Par 3s and is rated the second easiest hole on the course. Sounds ordinary, right? Wrong. The 16th at Phoenix is the loudest hole in all of golf. If you show up and don't hit the green, expect to be booed louder than ever before. If you miss a putt, expect to be heckled and yelled at. If you Par the hole, expect to feel like you've let thousands of fans down in their time of most need. But, and it's a big but, if you manage to birdie the hole, or goodness forbid get a hole in one, prepare to feel like you've just helped the world defeat the largest villain in the world as you're now a hero to be carried around on peoples' shoulders. This doesn't sound much like golf, does it? Some people are very against the antics at the 16th hole in Phoenix. Bubba Watson has openly stated he does not care to ever play in Phoenix, going as far as to say he was only playing because of his sponsors in recent tournaments. In one of his first visits to the Waste Management Open, Bubba bogeyed the hole and was nearly booed off the course with some fans yelling "You f***ing loser!" and "Your fans must be embarrassed!!" In the 2018 version, Bubba was booed from start to finish, regardless of his score.
Want to visit the rowdiest hole in golf? Want to know more? Well, look no further than our guest on Episode 2 of the Best Podcast You've Never Heard as we talk to Craig Storie who was live at the 16th hole earlier this year to enjoy the 2018 PGA Phoenix Waste Management Open. Get his take on the event, excitement, and what it takes to secure a spot on the 16th.
Photo credit to Craig and his group of friends pictured on the 16th hole in Phoenix in 2018.