Part I: The Vibes, brought to you by @3Wiggle
What comes after late stage capitalism? As Big Randy reminds us, then the Preppers have their day. Nowhere on tour is this on better display than at this week’s “A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.” The Greenbrier Hotel is home to one of our nation’s finest atomic-era infrastructure projects, Project Greek Island, which could only be described as an Alex-Jonesian wet dream. This [infrastructure] week’s “Live Under Par” moments will be dispatched from an underground bunker. Gentlemen, the revolution will in fact be televised…and by CBS, no less. Dwight Eisenhower commissioned the bunker in 1958, but now it sits vacant, a tourist attraction and painfully obvious source of 10-15 minutes of dedicated coverage over the weekend. “And now back to the course, where a moment ago a player hit a great golf shot, but hey, check out these zany bunk beds meant to house Congress during the impending nuclear winter!"
White Sulphur Springs West Virginia is described by the PGA tour as follows:
Home to the breathtaking natural beauty that makes West Virginia wild and wonderful, The Greenbrier is located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, nestled in the lush landscape of mountains, forests, fields and streams. Downtown Lewisburg is a short drive, with historic art galleries and charming restaurants. White Sulphur Springs is not only home to The Greenbrier, you’ll also find interior design boutiques and America’s first golf course here, Oakhurst Links. We hope you’ll make time to enjoy the welcoming spirit and warmth of traditional southern hospitality.
One fun fact about WV is that it once changed the state motto from “Wild and Wonderful” to “Wild, Wonderful and Open for Business”. No matter what your stance is on the Oxford Comma, we can all agree that the state is much better off getting back to their roots, letting the country roads take you home, etc…
Aside from the casino and various shrines to Jerry “The Logo” West, this place doesn’t have much to offer…if your family hates fun, falconry, fast off-road vehicles and fly fishing! The Greenbrier has so many damned activities that they had to alphabetize the list. Did you know that there is a group called the Springhouse Entertainers that “provide music, dance, and entertainment” to the Greenbrier’s guests? They even perform singing telegrams! If CPS doesn’t have Sir Mumbles singing acapella renditions of Imagine Dragons’ hottest tracks, then what are we even doing here? Showing live golf?
All joking aside, the Greenbrier looks like a great place for young families residing in the upper tax brackets to summer (shoutout to Trust Fund @Tron). Yes, “summer” is a verb. When I see all of the available activities, all I can picture is Phil Mickelson enjoying a thrilling afternoon of falconry, the Sport of Kings. I pray that the resort’s 32 gift shops are stocked up on the Lefty collection from Mizzen and Main this week. Aside from a Tommy Bahama short-sleeve button-down, no shirt quite encapsulates the “resort casual” look better than a Jumpman.
It appears that the Greenbrier Casino doesn’t have a sports book quite yet, but I envision this to be a premier golf betting destination in the very near future. The resort chooses to describe their casino in the following way:
Described as Monte Carlo meets Gone with the Wind, the Casino Club at The Greenbrier combines high-roller thrills and high-class style to create an unforgettable Greenbrier gaming experience. Our new 103,000 square-foot venue is filled with world-class gaming at its finest. Enjoy live entertainment, international cuisine and boutique shopping in an elegant setting that revels in the warmth and charm of southern hospitality.
Horses for the Course
The Greenbrier’s past champions (going back to 2010) have a shocking lack of military experience:
2010 - Stuart Appleby
2011 - Scott Stallings
2012 - Ted Potter Jr.
2013 - Jonas Blixt
2014 - Angel Cabrera
2015 - Danny Lee
2016 - Noah
2017 - Xander “Disease X” Schauffele
NOTE: Streb-nation has had surprising back-to-back runner up finishes at the Greenbrier.
Part II: The Field, brought to you by @ANTIFAldo
Despite this tournament purportedly being a tribute to the military, a surprising number of the PXG Troops have gone AWOL this week. Zach Johnson, Pat Perez, Billy Horschel, and Charl Schwartzel have all decided to take a metaphorical knee and skip out on this West Virginia paradise, instead electing to live very under par for the weekend. It remains to be seen if these draft dodgers will resurface at the year’s fifth major or whether they will emigrate to Scotland for a tune-up before the Open Championship.
Despite the above, Team PXG is not entirely without representation at this weekend’s tournament. James Hahn, Charle$ Howell III, and Ryan Moore should provide an adequate showing of surface-to-air ballstriking, although they will of course be overshadowed by the Blue Angels-esque air show of the next two competitors.
It’s always good to see a local boy make good and compete at his hometown tournament, and for White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, that means Greenbrier residents* Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. Phil has had quite the 2018 thus far, first by earning his first PGA Tour win since 2013 in Mexico, and later by showing at Shinnecock Hills that temporary insanity can be the excuse for any number of aberrant behaviors. Phil will be looking to fine-tune his game in anticipation of his trip to Carnoustie, where he will undoubtedly show us that hitting a ball out of the Barry Burn is “not that tough of a shot, if you know how to hit it.”
Bubba, meanwhile, is enjoying one of the stronger seasons of his career, winning at Riviera (again), Austin Country Club, and TPC River Highlands (again). Given his recent form, Watson is a near-lock for the Ryder Cup in Paris, and Bubba’s sincere hope for this weekend is to lacquer on the excess patriotism of the tournament like a coat of armor, a sort of soul-enamel to protect him from prolonged exposure to continental Europeans come September.
[*property owners and paid spokesmen]
Odds and Ends
Although it is impossible to provide a full field preview with today’s technology (and a mere hour-long lunch break), a few additional golfers merit recognition:
Ken Duke: There are some feats of sport that transcend the time and event in which they took place. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile…Ken Duke’s 65 in the 3rd round of the 2016 Players Championship. It’s hard not to be enthralled by the beefy Arkansan, hoping that he will produce one more miracle before he graduates to the Champions Tour.
Smylie Kaufman: Reports are varied as to whether Smylie’s Army will provide support for our nation’s military as an auxiliary unit this weekend, as Kaufman’s Club-Pro-Guy-esque fourteen consecutive missed cuts have resulted in quite a few deserters.
Christian Brand: West Virginia native and alumnus of the Marshall Thundering Herd, Brand recently partnered with Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. to peddle their wares with the slightly verbose hashtag #GetOutExploreBringBeer. Here’s hoping that Mr. Brand #Explores the center of the fairway this week and posts some Cardinal Red numbers.
T.J. Vogel: If iron sharpens iron, then T.J. Vogel is truly a fine piece of cutlery. Monday-qualifying for seven (!!) PGA tournaments in a year is insane, and it would be great to see all of that hard work pay off with a nice paycheck.
Billy Hurley III: Sarcasm aside, the actual good person you should be rooting for this week. Military background, had a rough few years before breaking through at the Quicken Loans in 2016, and one of the better humans on tour.