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Surprise Leader in Houston Hasn’t Made a Cut in 4 Months

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Houston Open's Surprise Leader

The numbers are presented not to demean Martin Trainer, but simply to put into perspective just how brutal the game can be at the PGA Tour level, and how difficult it can be to fight your way out of massive slumps.

And for that matter, how remarkable it is that Trainer is leading this week’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open after two rounds.

Since a February Sunday in 2019, when he captured the Puerto Rico Open in only his ninth start as a tour member, Trainer had played on the weekend only nine times in 63 appearances. The 30-year-old was 3-for-16 after the win in 2019, 2-for-19 in ’20, 4-for-23 last season and this year he began the 2021-22 campaign going 0-for-5 before arriving in Houston. He’d missed 17 of the past 18 cuts, playing his last weekend at the 3M Open in late July.

But one’s golf outlook can change in the matter of a single week, and Trainer is having one of those breakthroughs that he hopes isn’t fleeting. With back-to-back 65s on the par-70 Memorial Park Golf Course—his best scores since a 64 in the 2021 Sony Open—Trainer is alone at the top, one shot ahead of Kevin Tway and three up on Adam Long with second-round play continuing into Saturday because of Thursday’s weather delay.

“It’s been tough at times for me the last couple years not playing well, but now that I figured out a little bit of ball-striking, dropped some putts, it really can turn around that quickly,” Trainer said. “So I’m just grateful that that’s happening to me this week, and hopefully I’ll keep it going.”

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Not all missed cuts are the same, and Trainer said he hit the ball better than he had in a long time in shooting 72-69 while missing the cut last week at Mayakoba. He just couldn’t make putts, but he’s put it all together this week, gaining more than a half-stroke (.60) on the field with the flat stick. Trainer started on the 10th hole on Friday and made bombs of 25 feet and 34 feet, respectively, at the 15th and 17th.

“Every course on tour is firm and fast and difficult, but this week especially so,” Trainer said. “So it’s really tough just to make pars, and then I had a couple instances today where I was just trying to two-putt and they dropped in from long range. When that happens, not only do you know it’s your day, but you’re thankful that you’re in that position.”

Trainer, who was born in France and raised in California, admits that he’s been demoralized at times by the results. After all, he very well earned his way onto the PGA Tour with two victories in 2018 on the then-Web.com Tour. He seemed destined for more success after the victory as a big-league rookie in Puerto Rico. But it’s been a monumental struggle ever since. In the last two years, Trainer has earned a total of $149,766 after making $692,155 in his first full year.

This is the last season he can lean on being a tour winner to own his card.

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“There’s always an incentive to play, and there’s always that hope that maybe I can find it, but yeah, there’s definitely been times when I haven’t been playing well in the last couple years where I thought about and pondered my future in the game. It’s nice to finally have one of these validating performances where all that work actually is paying off.”

This article originally appeared on Golf Digest.

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The Joy of Golfing with Friends

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Building Bonds on the Fairway

Ahoy, golfing companions! This week, we’re celebrating the unparalleled joy of teeing off with friends – because as any golfer knows, there’s nothing quite like sharing the fairway with your favorite playing partners. So gather your crew, dust off your clubs, and let’s explore the magic of golfing with friends:

1. Shared Laughter, Shared Memories: Golfing with friends isn’t just about hitting the ball – it’s about sharing laughs, swapping stories, and creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re reminiscing about past rounds, joking about missed putts, or simply enjoying each other’s company, the camaraderie of the game is what makes it truly special.

2. Support and Encouragement: One of the greatest benefits of golfing with friends is the support and encouragement they provide. From cheering you on after a great shot to offering words of wisdom when you’re struggling, your playing partners are there to lift you up and help you stay positive, no matter what challenges the course throws your way.

3. Friendly Competition: While golf is ultimately a game against the course, there’s no denying the thrill of a little friendly competition among friends. Whether you’re competing for bragging rights, playing for a friendly wager, or simply trying to outdo each other on the scorecard, the spirit of competition adds an extra layer of excitement to every round.

4. Strengthening Bonds: Golfing with friends isn’t just about the game – it’s about strengthening bonds and deepening friendships. The shared experiences, inside jokes, and moments of triumph and defeat on the course all serve to bring you closer together, forging bonds that are as strong as steel.

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5. Lifelong Companionship: Finally, golfing with friends is about more than just the present moment – it’s about building lifelong companionship that extends far beyond the fairway. Whether you’re celebrating victories, commiserating over defeats, or simply enjoying each other’s company, the friendships forged on the golf course are ones that will endure for years to come.

So there you have it, fellow golfing comrades – the joy of golfing with friends in all its glorious splendor. Whether you’re sharing laughs, supporting each other through the ups and downs, or strengthening bonds that last a lifetime, there’s nothing quite like hitting the links with your favorite playing partners by your side. Until next time, may your rounds be filled with friendship, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Friends on, my fellow golfers!

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The Zen of Golf

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Finding Inner Peace on the Fairway

Greetings, seekers of serenity! This week, we’re delving into the tranquil world of Zen golf – a place where inner peace and harmony reign supreme. So put aside your scorecards, quiet your mind, and let’s explore the art of finding inner peace on the fairway:

1. Embrace the Present Moment: In the fast-paced world of golf, it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of past mistakes or future challenges. But true Zen golfers know that the only moment that truly matters is the present one. Focus on the here and now – the feel of the club in your hands, the sound of the birds chirping, the gentle sway of the trees – and let everything else fade away.

2. Cultivate Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the cornerstone of Zen golf. By cultivating awareness and presence in each moment, you can elevate your game to new heights. Pay attention to your breath, your body, and the sensations of the game as they arise. Let go of distractions and immerse yourself fully in the experience of golfing.

3. Let Go of Attachments: Zen teaches us the importance of letting go of attachments – to outcomes, to expectations, and to ego. Release the need to control every shot or dictate the outcome of your round. Instead, surrender to the flow of the game and trust in your abilities to guide you towards success.

4. Find Balance in All Things: Balance is key in both golf and life. Just as you strive for balance in your swing, seek balance in your approach to the game. Avoid extremes of emotion – whether it be frustration after a bad shot or elation after a good one – and strive for equanimity in all things.

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5. Practice Gratitude: Finally, cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the game of golf and all the blessings it brings into your life. Whether it’s the camaraderie of playing with friends, the beauty of nature on the course, or the opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery, take a moment to give thanks for the gifts of golf.

So there you have it, fellow seekers – the Zen of golf in all its peaceful glory. With mindfulness, balance, and gratitude as your guides, you can transform your time on the fairway into a meditative journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. Until next time, may your swings be smooth, your putts be true, and your inner peace be unshakeable. Zen on, my friends!

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The Future of Golf

Trends and Technologies Shaping the Sport

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Trends and Technologies Shaping the Sport

Greetings once more, golf lovers,

As we conclude our series “Tales from the Greens: Chronicles of Golf Through the Ages,” we look ahead to what the future may hold for this venerable sport. From technological innovations to changing social dynamics, the world of golf is evolving rapidly. Today, we explore the emerging trends and technologies that are shaping the next generation of golf.


Technological Innovations in Equipment

The ongoing evolution of golf equipment is astounding. With advances in materials science and engineering, golf clubs and balls are becoming ever more sophisticated. Manufacturers now use artificial intelligence to design clubs that optimize both distance and accuracy, catering to golfers’ individual styles. Similarly, golf balls are engineered for increased aerodynamics and fine-tuned performance. These innovations promise to make golf more accessible and enjoyable for players at all levels.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

The digital realm is making its mark on golf through virtual and augmented reality technologies. Virtual reality (VR) golf simulators allow players to experience famous courses from the comfort of their homes, offering a practical solution for training and playing during off-seasons or unfavorable weather conditions. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, provides real-time data overlays during play, offering insights into course topography, wind conditions, and more, enhancing both strategy and learning.

Eco-Friendly Practices

As awareness of environmental issues grows, golf is also taking strides towards sustainability. Courses worldwide are adopting eco-friendly practices such as reducing water consumption, using organic products for maintenance, and preserving natural habitats. These efforts not only help protect the environment but also challenge the stereotype of golf as an elitist sport, making it more inclusive and aligned with contemporary values.

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The Rise of Youth and Diversity

Golf is experiencing a surge in diversity and youth participation. Initiatives to make golf more inclusive are seeing success, attracting players from various backgrounds and demographics. This shift is vital for the sport’s growth, as it introduces fresh perspectives and talent. Furthermore, programs aimed at young players are vital for nurturing the next generation of golfers, ensuring the sport’s continued relevance and vitality.

Global Expansion

Golf’s global footprint is expanding, with new markets in Asia, Africa, and South America emerging rapidly. These regions are not only participating more in the sport but are also hosting international tournaments, contributing to golf’s growth worldwide. This global expansion is accompanied by an increasing recognition of golf not just as a sport but as a vehicle for economic and social development.


As we look to the future, it is clear that golf will continue to evolve and adapt. By embracing technology, sustainability, and inclusivity, golf can maintain its cherished traditions while becoming a more dynamic and accessible sport for future generations.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the history and future of golf.

Warm regards, Robert Greenfield

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