The year 2024 will be remembered as one of the most incredible years in golf in quite some time. The game, on many fronts, was truly captivating. And once again the amazing headlines have led to an unforeseen growth in the game. Yes indeed, people who had never even picked up a Freedom Fighter Space-Chilled 1.65 Kryptonite Driver by Kurd Golf and blasted a 400-yard drive into the new and improved ozone-enriched stratosphere - were drawn to the game.
Statistics show there are now 8 billion people (just on Earth) who play the game. However, thanks to global warming and the disappearance of the glaciers, places like Siberia, Antarctica, and Alaska are now hotbeds (no pun intended) for golf. Naturally, the fact that you can get from Los Angeles to Anchorage in 14 minutes with the new Mach-10 light-fueled jets hasn¹t hurt the new golf frontiers of the far north either.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 moments in the world of golf in 2024 - "The Year of the Golfer" (as declared by President Schwarzenegger).
1. For just the second time in history all four majors on the PGA Tour were won by women. Michelle Wie, who won her ninth and 10th majors on the men's circuit, the aging Annika Sorenstam, and Joanne "Bigger Momma" Carner once again proved that you don't need certain equipment to take home the hardware on the PGA Tour.
2. Arnold Palmer rewrote the record books yet again as the 95-year-old phenom played in a PGA Tour Event for the 77th straight year - The Bay Way Over The Hill Classic.
3. For the first time in PGA Tour history competitors played a course that measured over 10,000 yards. The Doral Black and Blue Monster Course, which is highlighted by the newer and tougher 585-yard par-4 18th as well as two par-3s over 350 yards, was, according to one PGA star, "a bit long." Half the field still finished the event under par.
4. Fresh from their research on Mars, Callaway Golf engineers launched the Red Planet Series Drivers, which feature clubheads formed with dust from the newly populated planet. Engineers also turned heads when they announced the discovery of a new alloy found only on Neptune. The alloy, called Ignitonium, is 1 million times stronger than titanium and weighs absolutely nothing.
5. "Lunatic Larry," a Canadian Long Drive Champion who was inspired by the drug-aided comeback of Ben Johnson, signed on to take sizable doses of the highly dangerous steroid benzogoldmyassium hydrochlorozime for a one-year period and carried a ball 2.3 kilometres in the air during competition. Shockingly, his heart, lungs, and liver exploded shortly after hitting the drive. (Competition was slightly downwind).
6. Following a round of 92 at the Wal-Mart Senior Masters, John Daly went berserk in his hotel room, causing nearly a million dollars worth of damage. Later that day, Zuing Ho Chan, his 17th wife, filed for divorce.
7. Barry Woodson, a professional golfer from Florida, was banned from the PGA Tour after officials discovered that he is actually one of the 125 Tiger Woods clones that were created by the popular UK company Clones-R-US.
8. The embittered Hootie Johnson, former chairman of Augusta National, drew international attention when he led a protest outside the gates of Augusta National protesting the club's "all female, no redneck" policy.
9. Jack Nicklaus, at 90 years of age, made the cut in the Masters. Jack credited the achievement to his ninth hip replacement operation and his high-modulus graphite spinal cord transplant, both of which have rejuvenated his playing career.
10. Jesper Parnevik, fresh from his dazzling debut on the Inter-Galactic PGA Tour in the galaxy Andromeda (where he won the Klingon Open as well as three other major tournaments), credited his remarkable success on his new diet (comet dust & space garlic), which sparked a revolution in golf nutritional products on Earth.
While certain world issues seem stagnant and rather stale such as the Cub's losing streak and those bad Kevin Costner movies the golf scene continues to evolve and provide edge-of-your-seat excitement. Judging by the fact that golf is now being played in 876 countries, 43 planets, and six galaxies, we should have plenty to talk about in 2025 as well.
January 6, 2005
Andrew Penner is a longtime member of the Canadian PGA. Author of "One Flew Over the Caddyshack," he also writes for a number of magazines throughout Canada and the U.S.
We all love golf course rankings, but there's quite a bias involved, huh? Host a major championship and you're basically guaranteed a spot on the list. What about the average duffer who's more impressed with the beer list than the slope/rating - or prefers friendliness over the fine, imported lotion in the locker room? Where's our list, hackers? Answer: Right here.
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