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USGA, R&A finalize modern Rules of Golf, with four additional tweaks


Everyone goes wild for Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler honors Arnold Palmer with some custom shoes and Andrew “Beef” Johnson did the impossible … he ordered too much food.

All that and more in this week’s edition of The Social.

Not sure if anyone heard, but Tiger Woods is back.

Sure you’ve probably heard that more times than you can count over the last few years as he’s tried to return to the PGA Tour after several back surgeries … but this time, it sure looks like the real deal.

Sure, Woods ultimately came up a shot short at the Valspar, but watching that guy in red and black fist pumping his way around Innisbrook over the weekend was a sight for sore eyes. And not just these ones.

Fellow pros, superstar athletes, celebrities and even an ex-girlfriend caught Tiger fever on Sunday as Woods and Co., came down the stretch, and they couldn’t help but tweet their support for the 14-time major winner:

With all due respect to the rest of the golfing universe, nobody moves the needle like Tiger. Not even Phil Mickelson’s first win in five years, the previous week in Mexico, generated this kind of buzz. And the stats back that up.

The “Tiger Effect” is real and it’s spectacular.

It’ll be on full display again this week at the Arnold Palmer invitational, an event he’s won eight times, and if he heads into the Masters with this kind of form, the first major of the year will be a circus.

While the spotlight will certainly be on Woods this week at Bay Hill, one guy who may steal a few looks from fans is Rickie Fowler.

Fowler plans on sporting some special-edition shoes to honor the event’s former host, Arnold Palmer, and hopefully raise a good chunk of change for charity.

The 29-year-old has never been shy about his appreciation for Palmer’s contributions to the sport, and he worked with Puma to customize the kicks to include several tributes to Arnie for the second Arnold Palmer Invitational since he passed away, including Palmer’s signature, the iconic umbrella logo, pink lining and special inscriptions on the heels.

An identical pair of shoes will be autographed by Fowler and included in a giveaway benefiting Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.

After a few tweaks during the six-month comment period, the new Rules of Golf have been finalized by the USGA and R&A and are set to take effect on Jan. 1.

There wasn’t a ton of chatter online after the announcement, but Tyrrell Hatton did have a refreshing response to suddenly being allowed to tap down spike marks on greens – “What the hell am I meant to blame” for a missed putt?

Golfers of all levels can relate to the three-time European Tour winner. It’s never your fault. Maybe it’s the equipment? Perhaps the wind kicked up at the wrong moment? Maybe there was a spike mark that knocked your ball off line?

Whatever the case, blame should be placed elsewhere. You’re great at golf. Wish the rule makers would understand this simple concept and stop making it harder to embrace.

Sure, we’d all get our ankles broken by Hot Sauce during this tremendous promotion the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks are putting on during home games. But I defy you to find a bigger mismatch for the street-ball legend than ESPN reporter Darren Rovell.

Justin Thomas spent his off-week laying around doing nothing … for good reason.

The world No. 2 had his wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday, and we know that because if you undergo surgery in 2018 and don’t post a picture, then did it even happen?

Luckily for us, Thomas posted the aftermath on social media shortly after the procedure. Perhaps it was just bad lighting, but his career as an Instagram model is off to a rough start.

Of course, Thomas’ roommate, fellow PGA Tour pro Tom Lovelady, immediately jumped in the comments to reference Thomas’ recent run-in with a fan at the Honda Classic that ended with JT issuing an apology for overreacting.

Thomas may not live that incident down with golf fans for a while. But from the looks of things, his friends will remember it for even longer.

Because what good are friends if they don’t give you a little kick when your down?

Andrew “Beef” Johnston doesn’t come across as a guy who asks for a doggy bag at restaurants because he can’t finish his meal.

After all, you can’t get dessert if you don’t finish dinner.

That’s why the comment of the week has to go to Beef’s waiter at a restaurant in India, who had the gall to tell him he’d ordered too much food, and then was proven right.

After taking that loss, Beef also ended up losing the Indian Open in a playoff. While he won’t get another shot at that title for a whole year, he vowed to give the restaurant another chance before he left town.

Hope they stocked up. Beef eating with a vengeance must be a sight to behold.


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