Miami Sports Day

GOLF NOTES: Gate Invitational was not without controversy

By FRED WITT

Jax Golf News

This year’s Gate Invitational was not without controversy.

The winner was Dan Olsen, a former Touring pro, but his eligibility was questioned by some of the competitors.

The rules say that entrants must be employed PGA pros, but some feel that Olsen’s stated”employment” of teaching at local clubs and schools doesn’t count if the owner doesn’t consider him an employee.

Don’t fault the Gate. There was a Chapter event the previous week and Olsen was allowed to enter.

• There’s a lot of sentiment to change the rules governing dropping the ball. No more drops, say the non-purists. Let’s all place the ball, thus saving time and making things equal for all. Apparently, there’s enough support in the USGA to move it along, but the R&A has doubts. Pro shops will be serviced either by soft goods salespeople, or they’ll have to do it on the internet.

• Hard to imagine, but Nike has dumped its hard goods reps.

• Reynolds Plantation has been taken over by MetLife but folks there say it’s anything but a finance-related takeover. 

The insurance company has made improvements and has pulled together the various pieces — for instance, the golf shop and the hotel were almost totally separate operations. There’s also discussion of a zoo on the property.
• Nice member amenity: you can take your dry cleaning to Charlotte Country Club and they’ll get it done. Three-day service.

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