The State of Golf in 2017

Golf Guide editor Jim Finnegan looks at what’s ahead for the game.



Jim Finnegan

Jim Finnegan

I feel the same way about the upcoming golf season as I did the year after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008. I’m elated, content and hopeful for what’s to come, but I still don’t want to let go of the amazing things that happened in 2016.

Last year included a long-awaited USA Ryder Cup victory, golf in the Olympics and four majors claimed by first-time winners. What a thrill it was for me to stand beside the 18th green at New Jersey’s Baltusrol to witness the Jason Day/Jimmy Walker duel to the finish at the PGA Championship. The epic Henrik Stenson/Phil Mickelson finale at Scotland’s Royal Troon was a shot-for-shot battle we haven’t seen since Ali v. Frazier.

Sadly, we lost Arnold Palmer, a man whose influence inside and outside the ropes was legendary. This issue, we remember Arnie’s life and talent in an interview with his longtime friend and press secretary, Donald W. “Doc” Giffin. On the upside, a new generation is picking up the torch, as all that is good about the game carries on in people like Delaware’s Earl Cooper, who’s featured in this edition for always finding ways to give back to the community.

My travels this past year took me to the holiest of golf grounds: St. Andrews, Scotland. It was a bucket-list trip that will never be surpassed. Inside, I’ll tell you what courses to play and the best place for a Guinness.

But you don’t need to travel to Scotland for amazing golf when we have some of the world’s greatest courses right here. In this Golf Guide, we offer a small sampling of the most scenic holes in the Delaware Valley. And to make sure you play those courses at your best, we’ll show you the latest golf technology and equipment to improve your game.

The 2017 golf season is something to look forward to. We’ve gone from a golfer in the White House to a golf-course owner as our president. Will that impact the sport? What great events will make new memories for us? Will we get Tiger back—or will Tiger’s back get him?

It’s time to turn the page and head to the first tee of another golf season. See you in the fairway.

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